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I Want You To Run For Office
By Josh Cameron | Our Voice Contributor
If anyone had any doubt that Americans were tribal, you’d need to look no further than 2016 politics and beyond. What masquerades as news appears to be nothing but partisan propaganda arms selling you ideology, not administering objective facts. These are typically main stream media channels like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC etc. Where Fox News has Sean Hannity, an obvious blow hard and someone who wouldn’t know genuine sincerity if it bit him on the ass, MSNBC fires anyone who isn’t pro endless war. Hell, Rachel Maddow, the darling of MSNBC, wrote a book about how immoral the United State’s forever wars are, but is the leading voice in Russia-focused propaganda and supports our occupation of Syria.
Tribalism has a role to play. It encourages us to help those within our tribe and fight for their well-being. The problem is our tribes are far too limited. We hear of stories that call for accepting refugees from Syria that have lost their homes to U.S. bombs, but many people say some approximation of, “NOOO! we can’t help them if we have homeless veterans”. So we say: “Cool, Let’s help our homeless veterans.”
Then we’re met with “WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THAT?” I posit we do this due to ‘other-izing’ people who aren’t of our tribe. Our tribe is worthy of humane treatment and human dignity, Other tribes aren’t. When threatened with a larger tribal identity, say a human tribe and with that – taking care of Syrian refugees, we tend to immediately shrink the size of that idea and then only consider American’s our human tribe. Then when faced with the idea of all American’s being our tribe, we again shrink that idea to a more familiar place.
The goal post is always moving.
Targeting a moving goal post is often an exercise in futility. For instance, we have Democrats that wanted our troops to come home from various war zones and are now pushing for them to stay, because the orange bad man said to pull out. We have Democrats who have often been against military aggression, who are now propping up CIA spooks, FBI strongmen and military generals as bastions of human rights.
How did we get here?
I would say that it is because our tribe is too small, and those who would make money off of our backs and human suffering simply need to come up with basic taglines and sound bites to distract us. Democrats often have some approximation of “blue no matter who.” You may have heard this phrase before. It means that regardless of policy positions, if you put on a Democratic jersey, then all Democratic voters should be in the stands cheering for you. I don’t understand this position, because my brain doesn’t work this way. My brain demands evidence, not political posturing. My brain demands policies that help the working class, but right now with both the Republicans and Democrats courting Wall Street, we have 78% of the working-class living paycheck to paycheck, and we have banks that own 11:1 vacant houses to homeless persons in this country.
Often we see partisan hack-ery in some form of: ‘my red Republican jersey is better than your blue Democrat jersey’. But scratch beneath the surface and what you’ll actually see is not a left vs right, but a moderate right vs extreme right, and their shenanigans hide the true fight; a class war. We hear CNN and Fox News both say “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR THAT” when speaking of Medicare for All, even though studies have shown that it will save between $2 and $5 trillion over ten years. How are you going to save for a cheaper system that has better results? Really? Is this the level of disingenuous rhetoric we now employ?
Well yes, as a matter of fact, it is.
Why is that? Well billionaires didn’t become billionaires by working hard. Perhaps Elon Musk and a small select few did, but most were born into it by stealing. Hell, even Donald Trump and his siblings stole nearly 500 million by not paying taxes. Guess who picks up that tab when that happens? The working class. Every time we hear about tax breaks, who do you think the tax breaks benefit? Yup, you guessed it, the ruling elite. Sounds a little conspiratorial right? Well the Panama papers proved that this is a legit conspiracy of Billionaires creating shell companies to hide money and assets, divorcing it from the tax system, so you can pay their corporate Socialism. All the while they tell you Socialism is evil and doesn’t work.
Follow the money. We have an education secretary who owns a $40 million yacht, and it is registered where? The Cayman Islands. Why? In order to not pay taxes. These are the very people that convince those who make $25/hour that those making $7.25/hour and on food stamps are the problem. What will it take to get the working class that already work their knuckles to the bone to demand more from the ruling elite?
I often hear people watching the news, seeing some political chicanery, and they’ll scoff with some mention of “even I can do better than those morons”. You know what, they’re right?! Regular people know regular problems and can work towards regular solutions. We have a government shutdown occurring right now that has 800,000 workers not receiving a paycheck. I hear pundits saying things like “well this is better for them because now they don’t have to take sick time to get a day off” or “what does it matter, they’ll get paid eventually” concerning those who will get back pay.
Perhaps these assholes have never heard of a mortgage payment? You think the banks are going to give one flying fuck that they can’t make their payment because of this political theater? Consider our Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. He was considered the foreclosure king of California. He literally foreclosed on a 90 year old woman’s home over 27 cents.
Do you think the banks will all of a sudden grow a conscience? Like with Wells Fargo where they created illegal accounts to meet quotas for stock holder profit, then when caught they fired the working-class people and rewarded the same stock holders?
You think they’ll understand if you can’t make your payment?
We have a broken system that will never get fixed if you, yeah you, don’t do something about it. “What can I do”? This is the most common phrase uttered by the every-man/woman. Even if you have no chance at winning, you can inject common sense ideas and policy that progresses the quality of life for the working class, instead of a banker’s payday.
Like him or not, Bernie Sanders changed the way we speak about working class issues. He didn’t win. In fact, he didn’t even win the Democratic nomination, but had a much farther-reaching effect than she did. Why? I’d say it is because people are searching for an earnest person to actually take the time to listen, and care about their issues. He lives in that role.
We have 78% of the working class living pay check to pay check, and corporations haven’t been paying their fair share of taxes, causing wage stagnation since, you guessed it, 1978. I don’t believe in numerology, but this is symbolism that can inspire people to reach up and demand better; demand more. This is something that can inspire others to not only run for office, but help those who decide they will. Use every tool at your disposal to inspire people to reach for a better place and a better world to live in. If you don’t think symbolism is powerful, just look at the American flag and the fights it creates over people hurting its feelings.
Now it is easy to say run for office, but how? How does someone run for office? Start simple. Every mission starts off with some fashion of recon. Do a Google search of whatever political party you most identify with. Look up their local/county executive committee, or anyone they have listed with an email address or phone number. Let them know of your interest to learn more and I guarantee before long, you’ll know the layouts of the landscape and be introduced to allies on this venture. With that in mind, we, Our Voice USA, offer free canvassing tools to save you $1000’s on your campaign cycle. This way you can run on your ideas and learn without going further in debt. Use our tools, use Google searching, use party infrastructure in place to demystify the system. Don’t be afraid of perceived failure, because the only true failure is inaction.
And remember, probably the most important lesson to learn in life is this: The world is full of enough assholes that will tell you why you can’t do what you set out to do. Don’t be one of them to yourself. Don’t be afraid of asking basic questions. Everyone starts at 0. The stupid question is the one not asked. Don’t undermine your cause or your goals, because there will be enough people willing to do that for you. Stand strong, speak loudly, and demand a better way for you, your children and the world of tomorrow. We need your voice. We may not survive without it.
So what are you waiting for? Download the Our Voice USA app from your app store right now, and reach out to those party officials today. Regardless of party affiliation, more involvement is the answer. Be the change and Join the revolution!