Yes; I am cynical.
But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.
Every four years, we crank up the nationalism, split it down the middle with donkeys on one side and elephants on the other, and engage in an orgy of ridicule and one-up-man-ship. Every four years, each party dives deep into the American heart in an attempt to generate more anxiety than the other party. Every four years, our very souls are auctioned off to the greatest fear-monger. Here we find ourselves again.
What I see today; Republicans want me to be afraid of Muslims and Mexicans, and Democrats want me to be afraid of Republicans.
Look… I realize that both parties are not “the same.” I can see that each party brings real policy change to our country that has real effects upon real people. And that the nature of those policies is entirely relevant. It is true that which ever party wins the White House can determine how the Constitution will be interpreted for the next 20 years or more. From this understanding, I lean toward the liberal side of things.
But let’s step outside the box(es) for a minute. Take a moment and just *look* at it. Can you do that? Can you stop with the party loyalty long enough to see the system that both parties exist within? It is difficult to do. The first impulse is to look to the Constitution to tell us what the system is. This in turn leads to interpretation, and once again, we are back in the red and blue trenches, arguing for hours over what a group of men may or may not have been thinking 240 years ago. Let’s not do that for a minute. Let’s look BEYOND the Constitution.
Because the Constitution is nothing more than a structure. The structure was created by men (white, land and slave owning men) 240 years ago, according to their best understandings at the time. We can have a debate over their intentions another time. For now, let’s just agree that it is a CONSTRUCT. And the nature of constructs is that they are built. They are built by people.
This particular construct, is made up of not ONLY our Government, but also Capitalism, and Academia. And, it has tendencies. In no particular order, a few of them are;
- Centering European Ideals
- Unequal Resource Distribution
- Elevation of Elites
- Division of Common Folk (via race, gender, ability, etc.)
- Violence for Non Conformance
- Reward for Exploitation
These tendencies are upheld in our society through the institutions of Government, Capitalism, and Academia. These tendencies also give fuel to the “isms,” such as; classism, sexism, and racism. It is vital to recognize that these forms of oppression are systemic. The tendencies listed above, which are codified into our institutions, are the means for maintaining oppression.
Q: What does all this have to do with presidential elections? A: It is necessary to see that the presidential election is one manifestation of this construct.
As such, the election is a time when we all turn our focus to who will lead for the next four years and turn our focus AWAY from how this construct really functions. No single candidate will ever change the base nature of our society. No single candidate will ever overturn the tendencies listed above. It is simply not possible within the boundaries of the construct!
Step outside the box. Forget about donkeys and elephants. Forget about tax cuts or tax hikes. Forget about all the issues being framed for us by a media industry which understands; fear sells.
This system allows for a small group of elites to take power and resources from the masses. This system promotes divisions based upon identity. This system is built upon a foundation of oppression from outright land-theft, to enslavement. This system keeps all of us struggling to “stay ahead.” Ahead of whom?
The only revolution that will bring the change we need will begin in our hearts and our homes. This revolution requires us to reject and embrace in a single breath. We must reject the narratives that are teaching us there is no way out. We must embrace each other as partners and co-conspirators in creating true Liberty and Justice.
No candidate can bring a revolution. Liberty and Justice can never be “allowed” by an elite concentration of power. Think about that for a second. If some group, be they elected officials, or industry giants, are “allowing” Liberty and Justice, then by definition they CONTROL Liberty and Justice. I say NO. Liberty and Justice are every persons’ birth right and NO person or institution has the right to determine when We The People have had our fill.
If we continue to believe that a candidate exists who will lift the yolk of oppression from our necks, then we continue to believe that the yolk is inevitable. It will take all of us. It will not be easy. But this we must do.
Turn off the elections; you already know who you want to vote for. Go and vote, but do so knowing that the real work will happen in your living room, on your street, in your neighborhood, in your town. Remember that we are in this together and need each other to make it through. We don’t have time to argue over political parties and candidates’ track records. We need to be active in our communities, building affinity for creating real change.
The revolution will not be elected. The revolution will be live and in your face. It will REQUIRE that you reach across these artificial divides and embrace that person on the “other side.” The only way we make it out of this is together.