Crowdsourcing Democracy: Part 4-A ~ Fight like a Girl!

by faithgibson on March 29, 2018

Part 4-A ~ Tiny URL ~ https://tinyurl.com/yavpv4ku

What can we do? Where do we start?

When I started this post, I already had a longish list of ideas that I started working on last summer. But in today’s bizarre political world, that was eons ago.

Every day it gets more obvious that Americans no longer can depend solely on voting every few years to keep the Ship of State on a true course. We have to be participants, to be personally involved, to take action, to become part of the solution.

But even I, the Eternal Optimist, could little imagine that one of the worst days in 2018 — the 21st century “Valintine’s Day Massacre” at a Parkland, Florida high school — would transform another horrifying event into an entirely new and incredibly EFFECTIVE non-partisan political movement that is, as we speak (read/write) reversing the fortunes of the NRA.

It’s just six days after the after the incredible “March for our Lives” in Washington, DC; its more than a month since 17 students at Marjorie Stoneman High School were gunned down by a former classmate wielding an AR-15. But its a whole new ballgame for the uniquely American issue of allowing assault rifles to be legal killing machines — not just once or twice, but again and again and again!

Didn’t a famous woman author define “insanity” as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”?

Emma Gonzalez, who fights like a girl! ~ Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School student, speaking at the 2018 DC “March for Our Lives”, standing in silent solidarity for the 6 1/2 minutes that 19 of her high school friends were gunned down, w/ 17 fatalities

Since the 1970s, the NRA has been the “undefeated heavy-weight champion of the world” that had 100% of our politicians on both sides of the political divide quaking in their boots.

But NOT anymore, thanks to high school students like Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and the rest of their dedicated team of teenage Ninja warriors.

In dozens of ways too numerous to list, these high school activists figured out what to say (the Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!) how to say it so people would listen, and how to fight the entrenched and monied establishment, which they defied and neutralized with the simple phrase: “we call BS!“.

What they’ve done is to formulate and communicate a rational message of democratic ideals that resonates with the vast majority of Americans of both parties. The word for this is “virtue” — they have given birth to “virtuous cycle” that displaced the vicious cycles that had taken hold of the country and made Americans hopeless (unless on the fringes of the far right, far left or one of the stratospherically wealthy!).

The impact of Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and the other dedicated high school activists is not just about gun violence (vital as that is) but all of politics will never be the same.

These self-selected Ninja ‘politicians’ have — using truth as their weapon — exposed the exact place where the real crime against democracy takes place: What is suppose to be a “democratic” electoral process goes off the rails of rational process and morphs into a deadly undemocratic ‘pay to play‘ game that is being substituted for fair elections. Under current laws, monied groups — 0.1% of the uber-wealthy that represent a tiny minority of the population — are legally allowed to simply ‘buy’ our political process by controlling the purse strings and reputations of each and every person running for state or federal office.

The Heart of Perpetual Darknessunlimited, untraceable political campaign money used to $abotage our moderate politicians and bi-partisan cooperation and the constitutional interpretations that have normalized such self-destructive habits    

How does this happen? It has far less to do with the campaign dollar$ contributed directly to candidates than we might expect. Its all about super-PACs that have NO limits on the amount of money they receive from donors (many millions vs. an individual limit of $2,500), how this money is spent, and in many instances, the inexplicable fact that super-PACs can legally keep the names of their donors (including corporations) and the amount of their contributions a secret.

This dark money could literally come from Russia, Saudia Arabia or China, via a once-removed shell corporation. Obviously, this irrational (but legal) process allows our democratic republic to be sold to the highest bidder, with the three international players listed above being the most likely candidates.

Our only choices could easily be between another American revolution (as in a shooting war!) or learning to speak Russian or Chinese. Horrible as this is to contemplate, this is NOT our worst or most immediate problem.

The big ugly underbelly of this obviously undemocratic (but nonetheless constitutional) activity is HOW political money is weaponized. Its deadly force doesn’t come from contributions made to candidates (however extreme their views), but by threatening moderates (of both parties) that massive amounts of this Dark Money will be used to: (a) contribute to their opponent’s campaign AND (b) to fund public and private $mear campaigns that will kill any and all chances for election or re-election.

As a U.S. Congressman, Senator or even presidential candidate, you may have so many generous donors that you personally wouldn’t need to take a dime from the NRA or any of its dark-hearted sibling organizations. Nonetheless, candidates of both parties dare not ever make campaign statements that could even remotely be interpreted as anti-gun or anti-Second Amendment, or (G*d forbid!) find themselves on the NRA’s list of Electeds who have dared to vote in any way this lobbying organization for the gun manufacturers doesn’t approve.

Like the deadly Russian nerve gas recently used in London to poison an ex-Russian intelligence officer and his daughter,  our national politics are also under international as well as internal threat, and one’s political aspirations, no matter how noble, how bright, how experienced, can be killed off by small groups of miscreants from very far away who are funnelling dark money into criminal activities designed to corrupt our elections, just as Putin recently manipulated his own re-election.

The Russians/Chinese/Saudis are NOT coming after our guns, they are coming after our ConstitutionI say “Fight like a Girl” and never, never, never give up!

What that means to me is eschewing the use of force in politics — whether it’s a personal first fight, guns or military force, and also saying “no” to the use of dirty tricks, whether political and financial. The only reason to do the right thing is because it’s the right thing to do.

Instead of dirty tricks, we “Fight like a Girl” types have committed ourselves to use the arts of persistence, friendly persuasion and civic virtues to peacefully convince other people to join us in accomplishing a job that’s way too big for any one person.

Our Founding Fathers, while obviously male in the biological sense, used exactly these attributes of civic virtue to create our Constitution and get it ratified. That legacy included 85 “Federalist Papers” — a monument to persistence and logical persuasion if ever there was! If it was good enough for George Washington (nobody ever accused him a being a woze — at least not and live to tell!), it’s good enough for me.

We who have chosen to fight like a girl will use the same ‘instruments’ of intellect, of both passion and compassion, of being smart, being strong without being a bully, and thinking outside the ‘box’. We aren’t giving up and we aren’t going away!

For the last 3 generations, what had stood between us and responsible, constitutionally valid policies on gun safety and sanity has been the NRA as a lobbying arm for American gun manufacturers.

These Marjorie Stoneman students have bravely and insistently called that for what it really is “BS”. The country and its politicians will never again be held in the death grip of the NRA and their like-mind cronies.

Our New Target –> Dysfunctional Campaign Financing Laws that make all this craziness possible!

But what is equally (and ultimately) even more important is to call “BS” on our system of federal campaign financing laws that set the U.S. electoral system up to be flooded by money from the thoroughly undemocratic contributions of the uber, uber, uber-wealthy and (it seems very likely), money from foreign countries such as Russia, Saudia Arabia, China or whatever other country wants to ‘nuke’ our democracy by using domestic pass-throughs, such as the super-PACs associated with the NRA or other groups hell-bent on destroying our democratic institutions and betraying our country.

We can’t live with the “deadly force” of broken, crocked, or corrupt campaign financing laws of any more than we can live with the deadly force of AR-15s and other military-style weapons designed for one thing and one only — quickly inflicting mass casualties on unsuspecting civilians of all ages, all genders, all ethnicities, all economic classes, and all religions.

As a former ER nurse, I can personally testify that no matter what color our skin is, we all bleed RED and if enough of our red blood is left behind on the ground, you can ‘color’ us dead.

The real revolution (of the mind) starts today, at 3 pm.

Be there or be square!

And wear a touch of pink someplace, so we know you too are going to fight like a girl, which is to say, to win!

Failure is NOT an option!


03/30/2018: Comment by Evan McMillian, former CIA agent on MSNBC “Dateline: White House” about the fatal shooting by Sacramento police of a black 22-yr old father in the backyard of his grandmother’s house and whether this tragic event should be treated as a completely local issue (feds stay OUT!) or should include oversight by federal authorities.

His answer:

Listen, our Founders decided that the right to life was a federal issue when they put it in our Declaration of Independence“. Amen!

TINY URL for this document –> https://tinyurl.com/yavpv4ku

 

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