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By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler     Permalink
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Last week here, at, I announced my two-part campaign to try to change the destructive political dynamic in this country.  One part is an electoral campaign for the congressional seat in the 6th District of Virginia, where I live, and the other part is an effort to try to take my message national.  My message --encapsulated in the slogan "Let's Talk About THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!"-- I described as being "not only a call to battle, [but] also the weapon of choice against this destructive force, and a strategy for victory in that battle."  And I there gave a very quick overview of the idea about "The Elephant in the Room" of today's American political system, and of why talking about the two-fold problem --the elephant, and the failure to confront it-- can be key to solving that problem.

Here I will expand a bit on that previous, brief explication.  (In my next posting here, I will expand further --in an essay, or "speech," of about 2500 words.)  These are the essential components:

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-          America now faces one of the gravest crises in the history of the nation.

-          In the American political realm, a battle now that must be fought if we are to meet this historical challenge successfully.

-          The way to fight and win this battle is by talking about "The Elephant in the Room."

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-          The idea of "the elephant in the room" identifies two problems:   the elephant, and the fact that people act and talk as if it were not there.

-          The "elephant" in our American room is the unprecedentedly destructive force that has arisen on the political right.

-          We can see how this "elephant" is damaging everything in America that it touches.

-          Taking power away from this destructive force is Job One for us Americans, because until that job is done, none of our other jobs can get done right.

-          In a democracy, the only way a force like this can gain power is by deceiving the people about its true nature.

-          The way to defeat this destructive force, therefore, is to expose it for what it really is so that, discredited in the eyes of the American people, it loses its support.

-          Yet both the national media, and our national Democratic leaders, act as if these are normal times in American politics, refusing to confront this unprecedented force.

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-          Both sides of our political divide have their defects, but they are complementary, not symmetrical:   one insists on making a fight of everything, even when there's no need, while the other shrinks from the fight, even when it is absolutely necessary.

-          Meanwhile, the battle goes badly--lies continue to be rewarded, power continues to go to the force that has taken over the Republican Party, the nation's good structures continue to be degraded, and the power and wealth continue to flow from the American people to the already very rich and powerful.

-          If it's clear that the force to turn things around will not come from the players at the center stage, that leaves one possible source in the American body politic: a rising up of the American people.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)

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