December 15, 2019 by epoetus
Some have said we should already be marching. Where we are at, where this is going and what makes sense?
Where are we at?
So much appears to be going wrong in this nation and around the world, that it’s hard to come to grips with it all. Is there a common issue or set of issues that people can rally around? Is there a strategic view which can be used to navigate our way out? A totally incomplete list to suggest what’s going on right now:
• The impeachment process appears to be pre-determined, or is it?
• The Presidential elections are right around the corner, where many hope that we will finally address the ongoing issues with healthcare, climate change and gun control.
• COP 25 was essentially another missed opportunity according to Greta Thunberg and many, many others.
• The impacts of Global Warming and Climate Change are escalating around the world and the United States.
• Many democracies of developed nations are having trouble with representing their people, and the protest movements appear to be increasingly energetic. Examples: The UK has just broken the hearts of those who wanted to remain in the EU, and France’s “Yellow Vest” protests continue despite the US media not giving it meaningful attention. Even the protests in Hong Kong can be rolled under this umbrella of public discontent.
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Where is this going?
If we look for commonality, it is there, but in short we’re seeing a big international problem continuing to worsen.
• It appears that many developed nations are becoming increasingly oligarchic, despite their ability to maintain the trappings of a democratic process.
• If nothing is done to change the game, the Impeachment trial looks like it will become sham show trial where the Republican controlled Senate just brushes off the grave charges against a President who violated his Oath of Office – not to mention the Senators who will violate their Oaths by perpetrating a sham trial.
• Since the President’s Ukraine call, there was a significant change in public sentiment towards supporting impeachment.
• COP 25 revealed that there is a lack of will by the leadership involved to take on Global Warming at “the source” – as the main contributors (100 companies produce 70% of Global Warming emissions) continue to remain largely untouched.
What do we need?
• We need to keep building more pressure on politicians, the media and those who have power, because we are not seeing progress where it matters.
• Greater access to factual information and a broader public discourse that breaks down the partisan political party and news silos
• A growing consensus for change, and a demonstration of the political will to implement change
• We need democracies that demonstrate they are implementing the will of their people and not the extractive policies of the wealthy who have co-opted their countries institutions so that they can become richer.
• We need the world to prove that it has stopped climate change by implementing significant changes at the sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
What are our options?
• Start an ambitious movement, that has a genuine organic but focused strategy, which probably involves protests designed get people’s attention and gain momentum.
• Continue down the same path we’ve been going and hope that the outcome will change. But that’s the definition of insanity, right?
• Focus on the upcoming elections and work towards Democratic majorities, and bring pressure on elected officials while doing so (e.g. have McConnell recused).
There’s no reason why we can’t pursue multiple options, but it is fair to say that we cannot continue doing the same things and hope that we implement the changes we need.
Some benefits from getting a non-violent movement that engages in protests and civil-disobedience to generate increasing support going
• Is able to get people’s attention, and while doing so is able to communicate a simple, effective message in that brief time the movement has your attention. Example: “We demand a fair impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must recuse himself.” The questions of why must he recuse himself? And what does it mean to have a fair impeachment trial? The follow up messaging is important as well – you’ve got their attention and the media needs to take the next steps to complete the communication, so it must willingly participate in this as well, or be in such a tough position that it’s actually impossible to brush it aside. Having prepared press releases that can be disseminated and handed out will help
o Why does he need to recuse himself? Collaborating with the President on defining the rules for the trial, who is the defendant. Separation of the branches of government. Ties to Russia.
o What does a fair trial look like? The rules have already been detailed before. The House has been using the same rules as previous impeachments, yet the Republicans act as though they’re not fair.
o Stick to the argument which is supported by the facts
• Is based on an honest, factual and probably difficult admit assessment of where we are at, but we all need to get over the denial and onto the next stages of grief.
• As the movement progresses the message needs to change to address the next challenge, but the organic strategic goal of the movement remains intact.
• Needs to be inclusive, as it needs to grow quickly – no ‘holier than thou’ political posing should be allowed.
• It is best to be inclusive so that we can ‘cross the aisle’ when generating a popular movement whose goal is to tackle existential crises.
And it’s not like we have to reinvent the wheel either. Plenty of “How To” guides exist, the most famous of which is Gene Sharp’s “From Dictatorship to Democracy” (FDTD) (circa 1993), which has helped many non-violent revolutions bring democracy back.
100 companies generate 71% of global warming emissions
Petition to have McConnell recuse himself from the Impeachment process
Five thirty eight poll analysis on impeachment
From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp of the Albert Einstein Institute
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