On Political Cycles

This is a unique inflection point. The weight of this moment makes my bones feel heavier than I remember. Last November … hell … all throughout 2020 … we the people demanded our voice be heard and our will respected. When our legislators stop working for us their concept of civil service must be corrected.

Democracy requires participation.

For decades we have allowed ourselves to fall into a pattern of governance where one party advances our nation, with a focus on equitably caring for our nation’s people and with an eye toward global stewardship. After eight years, give or take, the people become seduced by the opposition party (their natural discontent eventually being harnessed and weaponized politically in order to flip the center). This is understandable and works both ways. As with COVID, the work done over those eight years, the progress made, has lagging indicators.

The first half of that time in power is spent course correcting the corporate policies enacted by the previous administration. The second half is spent future building. That future arrives after the eight years are up. This further muddies the water.

The connection between good governance and the people’s happiness and prosperity is muted and difficult to point out for anyone not flooding themselves with the world of politics.

Of course bad governance sticks out like a sore thumb and requires a hell of a good sales pitch (or some perspective shifting event) to hold onto power. So why is this transition different? Why am I calling it an inflection point?

This cycle saw one party flat out refuse to court the people with policy or provide any form of feasible pitch. This cycle saw one party attempt to exploit the bifurcation of our information ecosystem into dueling realities by flooding that system with propaganda.

Never in our history have our politicians so deliberately lied to the American people in a desperate attempt to cling to power. The demography of the people that form our great nation have the old white regime terrified that they will lose their power for the last time.

We have been a minority rule nation for decades now. The discrepancies between both the populations of the parties’ constituents as well as their monetary contributions (upon which the constituents of the other party are dependent) are unsustainable.

Why must one party rule from the minority? Because they refuse to embrace their role as a stable for civil servants. They refuse to put their constituents’ needs above that of their donors’. This last cycle, they failed to produce even a modicum of effort. They would not even gather what they were offering into words in some official party platform. They were not offering anything.

Instead of pitching we the people on why they deserve to retain power, they embraced the most vile forms of weaponized propaganda. They embraced fascism and white nationalism. They embraced a cult to which approximately twenty-two million of our fellow Americans have fallen victim. They embraced immortality by way of drinking up babies whilst wearing little girl faces.

They knew they could not grow their base with such allegiances, so they looked to abuse the court circuits they spent four years stacking (ask yourself why they deemed this necessary if not to extend their capability to hold minority rule over the American people).

This is an inflection point in our history because the very heart of American identity, the ideals we have spent centuries touting, the documents with which our nation’s forefathers have for so long guided the hand of governance … all of these have become vulnerable. In Trump this nation elected a president that would test every “oh shit” button our forefathers installed. For the first time in my lifetime, I was prepared to go to war for my country.

As Obama surmised while eulogizing the great John Lewis, I felt I could no longer accept freedom for myself while witnessing the subjugation of my fellow Americans. The narrowness of our escape from this trajectory is impossible to over exaggerate.

We endured four years of Trumpism, four years of learning just how powerful a weapon is the bifurcated bubble. Isolate. Pump in propaganda. Prey on worldview rigidity. Prey on those susceptible to cult phenomena. Do this and one may absolutely normalize the absence of accountability at the highest level.

All but a handful within the Republican party were hoping the insurrection would succeed. They were hoping they would retain power. They were hoping they would retain minority rule over this great nation.

For a brief moment, minority rule has ended. We the people have returned legislative power to the party that believes in civil service. There is, however, something of grave importance we must consider. The governmental imprint Trump leaves behind will sound as a death knell for American democracy should the current administration fail to rake the sand.

Should they choose, however, to pick up the reigns and lead, it may be possible for we the people to return to some lesser level of political engagement. Not disengaged, but not dominated by the engagement.

Senator Joe Manchin, if the Democratic party fails to invest their courage in their convictions, if they fail to lead out of fear of being primaried, if they tank good policy to brush back the red … we the people will be called upon once more to safeguard this nation against minority rule.

As arduous a task safeguarding against minority rule may be, merging our dueling reality information ecosystems is the more difficult task.

Senator Joe Manchin, the Democratic party must embrace the power we the people have bestowed upon them. The power we have bestowed upon them in order to restore a people’s freedoms. The power we have bestowed upon them to hold accountable those that have assaulted our democracy.

Senator Joe Manchin, and any other Democrat who happens to be cut of similar cloth, you will do the job we the people have asked you to do, or we … the people … will replace you with someone who will.