"We don't need a revolutionary uprising to overthrow the system. We need an evolutionary upwising to help us overgrow it."-- Swami Beyondananda
Every now and then, there is a defining moment that coalesces an idea that has been cooking over low heat for a while. And while we can point to the current "government shutdown" as one final straw to bring together our collective disgust from all sides, the defining moment I am referring to came last October when Green Beret and former NFL player Nate Boyer wrote this open letter to Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick and the American public in general. Writes Boyer:
Simply put, it seems like we just hate each other; and that is far more painful to me than any protest, or demonstration, or rally, or tweet. We're told to pick a side, there's a line drawn in the sand "are you with us or against us?" It's just not who we are, or at least who we're supposed to be; we're supposed to be better than that, we're Americans. This doesn't even seem to be about right or wrong, but more about right or left.
Here we have a mainstream American, a conservative probably, who is affirming and lamenting that the average American from all sides has just about hit "peak disgust" at our corrupt, dysfunctional system that pits one side against the other so that the fundamental things we agree about get obscured, making it impossible for us to act as a single coherent body politic to hold our governance accountable to any standard whatsoever.
While that's not the exact focus of Boyer's letter, the subtext is we have an untrustworthy government, and untrustworthy media. And all this upwelling frustration has turned us against one another, when it would be much more practical and sane for us to work together for solutions rather than defending our positions.
Were we to state the obvious -- that our government is run by the power of money and is so beholden to special interests that we the people have been effectively disenfranchised -- the majority of Americans would say, "Yeah ... that's right!"
Signs of the Upwising
So before we move on to two different -- and worthy -- strategies to address the disenfranchisement of "we the people" from government of, by and for the people, let's take heart at the awakening that I call "signs of the upwising".