What do you dream beyond 2016?
I received a DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL STRATEGY SURVEY a few weeks ago. I immediately placed it in my shredding bin, but pulled it out for inspection this weekend.
There’s so much I could say about this survey. Had I more time, I could write thousands of words on all the false dichotomies it presented, and all the ways in which it ridiculously limited choices while painting Democrats as heroes and Republicans as villains.
After sitting with it for a while, I struck through a prominent concluding paragraph*:
YES, LEADER PELOSI… I will help Democrats protect the progress we’ve made from attacks by Donald Trump and the radical Tea Party Republicans, and deliver the positive change America needs by putting more Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and electing Hillary Clinton to the White House!
I replaced it with much shorter text:
YES, LEADER PELOSI… I believe your party is useless at effecting change needed for true equality.
That’s what I want: true equality.
Deregulation and dramatic cuts on taxes to wealthy individuals and corporations over the last three or four decades have starved the U.S. government of revenue that had historically been used to create opportunity–educational and otherwise–nationally. While Democrats have leaned toward slightly higher such taxes during this period, the benefits have been as incremental as the increased tax rate.
Even as a UCLA Bruin, I highly recommend this USC article summarizing the changes and their horrific impacts, without any of the expected “trickle-down” gains. U.S. schools were one of the key no-longer-beneficiaries of these taxes, leading to dramatic educational disparities between affluent and poor students.
Having myself growing up in poverty and abuse, and knowing first hand how rare it is to escape these things, I demand economic equality as an essential mechanism to achieving educational equality … and thus prospects for quality of life into adulthood.
One of the survey’s questions asked, “Who do you trust to hold Wall Street accountable and provide economic relief to Main Street?”
Based on exhaustive readings the last few months, I rejected the “Democratic” and “Republican” boxes and checked “Other” instead. On the tiny line provided there, I wrote, “Hahaha, yeah, right.”
(Add the tax implications above to seeing how it’s best to “keep the people ignorant” about its favored candidate’s “relationships on Wall Street,” it’s hard to believe I’ve found in elected Democrats the representatives who will demand equitable redistribution of money from wealthiest beneficiaries of democratic infrastructure to those who have little hope of success as the infrastructure around them literally crumbles.)
My big takeaway from that survey is that I reject it. I reject us-versus-them. I love my Republican neighbors, and also my most ardent Clinton-supporting, the-content-of-WikiLeaks-doesn’t-matter liberal friends. I want all people everywhere to be consistently able to be safe, sound, and healthy. I don’t believe we’ll equip ourselves to achieve this by embracing us-versus-them mentality, or by creating “our” positions as primarily oppositional to “theirs.”
The world is more nuanced than that, which we’ll see better the more we try to see it better together … and work to ensure that our elected representatives truly represent all of us in effecting it.
That’s my take, though I also believe reasonable people can reach very different conclusions.
This leads me to ask you today:
For what do you stand?
In an ideal world, without framing your answer as against someone else,
what would you hope to be achieved following the U.S. 2016 election?
How will you take action to translate your dreams to reality?
All comments are moderated. No comments attacking, taunting, shaming, or belittling any other commenter will be published. If you’d prefer to submit your comment via email, feel free to use the form below. I can’t guarantee a response, though I’ll try to respond eventually!
* My more moderate husband requested I also strike his name from the survey. 🙂