Friday, December 11, 2015

Let's Not Take Our County Back

Last night at the Working Partnerships USA reception, Zelica asked me what I want to be when I grow up. I thought about the question and said some stuff, but what I didn’t say was that when I grow up, I want to amplify my voice to influence public policy on behalf of working families to forge a just and equitable commonweal.

Somehow, regressive powers have seized a large swath of public thought and are preying on people’s fears.  First we laughed at the ridiculous buffoonery and now we are scared.  The GOP leaders are really scared because their voters love Trump.  But they are governed by their economic interests and know a Trump presidency would be a disaster and embarrassment and more importantly, very bad for their economic interests.  Now they are preparing for a brokered convention. That will reinforce everything the Trump base believes about Government and Politicians.  They are making their voices heard and the GOP is proving to be as much of a bi-coastal elitist party as the Democratic Party.  It would be kind of funny if their base wasn’t armed and dangerous. When the Democrats forced a brokered convention in Chicago in 1968, the protesters showed up with angry voices and flowers. These people will show up with legally purchased assault rifles and the steely resolve to “take back our country”. 

This is a distorted form of extreme patriarchy where more than a few of the GOP candidates believe they are inherently superior and there are natural differences between “us” and “others”. It is the same rationale that was used to justify slavery – some races and religions are inherently inferior and therefore must not be allowed to have influence or agency.  There’s also a big dollop of misogyny for good measure. For example, Trump “loves the women” but as works of art that exist for the benefit of his male gaze. Unattractive women are an affront to him. He is offended if a women who is old, fat or ugly gains a platform. That is the America that they want to take us back to, where we all know our places and the patrician white males’ place is right at the top by divine right.

Last night fed my soul and I want to see Silicon Valley Rising as a counterpunch to the Fascist Tea Party. I’d like to see SVR replicate like the Occupy movement but really contribute to policy changes in a way Occupy couldn’t. It changed the conversation, but had little effect on the body politic. On a national scale voter ID laws are disenfranchising black voters, gerrymandered districts have guaranteed a GOP House in perpetuity and our economy is built on the hardest working, most productive backs who receive an ever smaller portion of the income generated by their labor. 

That must change and Silicon Valley Rising is an instrument of change.

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