Think of the Democrats as the flawed lover who tells us they are going to leave their “spouse” (i.e., the powers of the American empire) but never do. When they need something from us, they tell us how much they love us -- but they always go home to the Empire. So ... now we have to be strong. We have to tell them we are no longer willing to get into bed with them without a commitment. It’s either the empire or us! In other words, will they respect us the day after Election Day? The best way to make sure is to make them respect us now.
Speaking of Dempublicrats, the reason why they’ve painted themselves into such a pathetic corner is because they have failed to contextualize the war in Iraq for what it is -- a war for empire. What Chalmers Johnson said in his recent book, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic is something wise patriots on both the left and the right have understood: Empire abroad is incompatible with freedom at home. Just as surely as the American Revolutionaries were up against the British Empire 230 years ago, American Evolutionaries today must understand today’s challenge is the American Empire, a leviathan bigger than either King George.
So ... coming from that context, and recognizing the American people have to recapture the political conversation before we recapture our government, what do we do? The answer is ... I don’t have the answer. But working together on the twofold intention of preventing the next war (and in the process, ending the current one) and restoring freedom in this country, I have complete confidence that we WILL prevail. What we have been lacking until now has been a unifying, drop-everything-else mission that proactively takes us forward. If fifty million of us blow in the same direction at once, there is no doubt we can bring down the wall of lies just as surely as the Berlin Wall came down.
Where There’s a Willingness, There’s a Way
The way has not showed up as yet because there hasn’t been the collective, focused will. First the will, then the way. The will requires a willingness to stand and keep standing, understanding that standing is easier when we are standing together. Next comes the intention, the prize we have our eyes on. What does it look like and feel like to no longer have to be afraid of your own government, and know the world is in less danger because of it? What will we see in the world that will tell us we have momentum towards peace? That we’ve won back precious freedoms at home? That we are on our way to working together instead of being manipulated into fighting one another?
Once we have that focused intention -- and know it is shared by tens of millions of Americans, with more awakening every day -- and are strengthened in our willingness, the ways will be obvious and many. The nature of leadership in this context is that it will come from everywhere, and above all the shared intention and the willingness to persevere. As for what kinds of structures and campaigns will be needed, here are some ideas:
1. A High Profile Front and Center Movement. It’s inevitable, and will hopefully happen sooner and not later. We need a high-profile, celebrity-laden, transpartisan council of well-known, well-respected, influential individuals and organizations to finally draw the line and JUST SAY NO to fascism at home and preemptive, undeclared warfare abroad. That means repeal of the Patriot Act, restoration of habeas corpus, repudiation of police state tactics and the end of the dictatorship by unitary executive.
Tactically, we are seeking to recapture the media, and at the same time -- just to make sure --put the media in its place. This means we need to launch a massive non-media campaign. We need to communicate outside the mainstream media, and preempt the media by speaking to people in the community directly -- by the each or by the bunch. Each of us holding this holistic context is an educator.
We use car banners, truck banners and if we can afford it, billboards. We wear arm bands. In so doing, we constantly remind ourselves of how many of us there are out there. Above all, we must go way beyond the obsolete distinctions of “Democrat” and “Republican.” Clear-thinking and goodhearted people on both sides have been hoodwinked into gravitating to the neoliberal and neoconservative camps -- two-sides of the same worthless coin. The greatest political awakening of this new century will be this: Supporters of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich have more in common with each other than with the leaders of their respective political parties. The heart and soul of these campaigns are in the same place, even if the details and approaches (more government vs. less government) are different. As we allow ourselves to be politically educated -- i.e., as the patriot left and the patriot right compare notes -- those with their hearts in the right place will work together to develop creative policies that are impossible under the thumb of empire.
2. Massive Snail Mail Campaigns to March for Us, Even When We Stay Home. Meanwhile, we strategically use snail mail in great numbers focused on specific entities, to make it clear to politicians, media moguls, and newspeople that we’re hip to the scam, and we’re not buying it anymore. There’s a lot of power in handwritten snail mail. First of all, the powers that be in power respect the numbers. Each piece of mail they receive represents thousands of e-mails, they figure. Secondly, it’s an opportunity to “get personal,” not in an insulting way but in a poignant way.
What could happen if those in power were repeatedly exposed to heartfelt messages from clear and courageous Americans, not angry but firm? With photos. That would mean a website where people could post their letters before sending, so even if Senators and media moguls didn’t read them, everyone else would. It’s easy to imagine people getting together with their twenty best friends and having an evening gathering to write letters together -- using art to appropriately focus emotion. It might even become habit-forming.
Meanwhile, the letters to news media can be focused and staggered -- one week for Fox, one for CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC and MSNBC. Some should specifically cultivate and support allies like Keith Olbermann and Bill Moyers, offering story ideas. The letters should focus on the media failing America and how to make up for it by balancing the coverage and putting those dissenting generals on the news shows. If not, then not putting them on becomes the issue, and the pressure intensifies. Various members of our board of notables begin making phone calls to the CEOs of these companies, and if nothing else, that gets in the papers.
3. A General Strike, or Something Even Better. There is even the suggestion in Harpers Magazine of using election day this year to declare a General Strike. This is an intriguing idea, but the Swami says, “Let’s throw them a curve, and have a general ball instead!” In other words, instead of acting like we are a protesting minority, understand that we are in the majority, and use the day to celebrate awakened citizens from across the political spectrum coming together to proclaim government of, by and for the people where the government does our bidding, not the bidding of the highest bidder. We need to gather at every city hall and local public meeting place on this day and declare together that we the people are no longer willing to be divided and conquered by our misleaders.
Is this possible? Can we do it? We humans are usually pretty good responding to an emergency once we realize there is one. We’ve been shamelessly and shamefully manipulated into responding to the wrong emergency, and now we must “emerge ‘n see” the truth that united we stand, and divided we fall. This means Americans with different opinions coming together to declare their support for rule by law, peace when possible, and freedom at home. These are the core values 75% to 90% of us stand for, and if we can’t stand together and hold our own government to that -- well, maybe we humans deserve to flunk third dimension.
To reiterate what I think is the most important point, intention strengthens will, and will finds a way. If we can stop “politics as usual” long enough to gather “under one big intent” the organizations and structures needed will make themselves known. Believe me, this is in the works. Meanwhile, begin to hold the dual intentions of freedom at home and peace abroad, and add your energy and momentum to anything that moves that agenda along. For example, there is now a petition circulating -- inspired by a similar letter by retired air force Captain Robert Bowman. Afterdowningstreet.org now has a letter signed by various luminaries from Thom Hartmann to Willie Nelson “instructing” our troops not to participate in an attack against Iran. At the very, very least we can get behind this move and make sure it hits the major news outlets.