A couple of years ago, I attended a lecture by George Lakoff, guru of "reframing". The Downing Street memo had just come out, Conyers had introduced HR 635, and impeachment was in the air. I asked Lakoff how we could reframe the public understanding of politics, so that the drama is not between Republicans and Democrats, not between red states and blue states, but rather between We the People and the criminals who have hijacked our government.
Lakoff's response was- have a clear message, a strong messenger, and a chorus which will repeat and amplify the message.
Lakoff gave an instructive history of the right-wing takeover of the US government and consciousness. It was planned by a cabal of politicians, corporate executives and clergy in the late 70's. With plenty of money, and lots of think tanks, they used psy-ops- psychological operations- to make the "hot button" issues of abortion and homosexuality central to the GOP platform. By this means, many well-meaning Christians were recruited as soldiers in the New World Order army, with the mission of installing "moral majority" candidates in as many offices as possible. They were persuaded to abandon planet earth psychically (The Late Great Planet Earth, Left Behind) and work toward a nuclear holocaust in which life would be destroyed and the "faithful" would be "raptured up". This religious heresy has enabled the oil/military/nuclear interests behind the takeover to plunder the nation and the planet at will, with no opposition from their core supporters.
The cabal has worked cynically over the past 30 years to politicize churches, raise a generation of children obedient to "authority", and instill in millions of Americans a belief that getting Republicans into power is God's plan. They systematically have bought up the tv stations, radio networks and major newspapers, so that they control public consciousness. They have undermined public education and done their best to discredit science.
The fruits of this evil plot are seen in the regime of George W. Bush. The only ones who benefit are the cabal- owners of oil, nuclear and military corporations. They are garnering enormous profits, installing fascism in America and dealing death and destruction abroad, while the planet deteriorates and We the People are impoverished and disenfranchised.
The cabal uses the American political system as "cover". It serves to legitimize their accession to power, and to distract from what is really going on. Voting machines are fraudulent, voter rolls are purged, candidates are swiftboated, but still the citizenry believes that the political system is working and that the action is between Democrats and Republicans.
Lakoff's advice was good. Now, two years later, we have a clear message- Bush and Cheney are criminals and must be impeached.. We have lots of messengers and a huge chorus of marchers, demonstraters, bloggers, speakers, writers for impeachment. It's written on freeway banners, beaches with human bodies, blimps. The Vermont legislature and the California Democratic convention are recent additions to the chorus for impeachment.
Still standing in our way is the two - party political framework, which we all accept as definitive reality, even though there is no mention of political parties in the Constitution. Despite the obvious collaboration of the Democrats in Congress with the Bush agenda, the unwillingness ot the Democratic majority to consider impeachment or oppose Bush's fascism, imperialism, transfer of wealth from poor to rich, privatization of the commons, etc.- the public continues to be mesmerized by the "fight" over withdrawing from Iraq, and the drama of the 2008 presidential campaign.
The two - party political framework is used by Bush to label the effort to make a timetable for leaving Iraq as a "political ploy". Both parties act as if the goal is to win the next election, not to set things right.
By playing politics- as - usual, the Democrats continue to legitimize the crimes of Bush and Cheney. We are in a crisis situation, about to lose our democracy. The framing of Republicans vs Democrats is paralyzing us and sucking up our resources of time, money and energy.
We the People need to withdraw our energy from the two - party system, and stop supporting the Democrats who collaborate with Bush with our attention and our funds. We need to cultivate candidates who will challenge every incumbent who is playing ball with Bush. We need to let this Congress know that we want the criminals out of office and behind bars, and all other business should be put aside. We need to tell them that their seats are not safe.
Right now, we need to be developing good candidates who will challenge the Congressional incumbents who are keeping impeachment off the table. We may find PDA Democrats who go up against Reps in the primaries. They may be Greens, independents, even maverick Republicans who have kept some integrity. We need to break the two-party framework and re-frame the picture as one of We the People seeking justice against those in high office who have committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
Impeachment- calling a spade a spade and taking proper action- is all that matters right now. It's peaceful, legal and democratic.