On the Path Forward, part 3
Why is a diamond ring the thing you buy to get married?
The answer is “A diamond is forever.” Nearly every single thing you can think of relating to a diamond ring being the thing you buy to say I love ya is linked to that sales pitch, that commercial series, that was first aired in I think the late 1940’s.
That awesome Marilyn Monroe routine so well known, was written at the request and via the funding of the same people as part of that campaign.
The Bond movie was named after the campaigns’ slogan.
And the purpose of that was to make you think a few different things: first, that you need to buy a diamond; next, to further the idea that diamonds are rare.
Diamonds are not rare. Their supply is limited, intentionally, but there are gazillions of them. Sapphires are more rare than diamonds. Gold is more rare than diamonds.
I tell you this because part of what we need to do is sell an idea to people that is as capable of changing the way people think about things as that campaign is.
The idea of Human Rights being what America is about.
It is not going to be as easy as you might think, since odds are pretty good that the Dems or the Greens or other political party aren’t going to take out TV spots that sell people on the notion.
They should, mind you. How the fuck do you think people either laughed at or cheered the orange nightmare until it was too late? One of the most important tools of the Reagan era campaigns was their reliance on some really powerful commercials to sell an idea of America.
With microtargeting and online interaction and a rushing need to reach those key demos, the basis of selling America to Americans was missed — see that whole four dots thing from before I was talking about.
Now the trick is selling them the idea that Human Rights are what America is about, but the value in doing so is really simple:
We are going to tackle the big problems, head on. Climate Change. Wealth inequality. Racism. Sexism and Misogyny. Homophobia, biphobia, Transphobia. Homelessness. Poverty, Hunger. Affordable healthcare.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Sounds like a freaking social justice warrior’s wet dream! Well, at least to the other side.
But we aren’t going to talk about those things. At least, not in that way. We are going to talk about ending oppression.
Because everyone is oppressed. If you doubt me, go put up a booth and offer free something to anyone who is oppressed.
Everyone is oppressed. They just don’t think others are as oppressed as they make out, or as oppressed as them. It is an olympic caliber sport, the competition.
We use that.
Sounds kinda slimy, doesn’t it? Hello, its politics, and its the fate of our country, and our very lives, and I think that if it sounds slimy that’s because you underestimate some basic facts about social beings called humans that no one wants to tell you and no one wants to hear.
Its owning the narrative and controlling the discourse, something the other side has been doing since those Reagan Era ads I told you about with the entire story that created a crapton of “fiscal conservative, socially liberal” types that do not realize that is part of the trickle down economics currently being shoved down our economy’s throat even further. Because it has been part of things for so long, and the ideas behind it are so commonly ignored except in long winded think pieces no one reads to make a difference to them.
You know, like this one.
If you have followed me for a while, one thing you can easily note is that one of my chief tools in overcoming those who hate is to use their own words and ideas against them, and I do it by knowing their ideas and their words really well, because they simply aren’t that creative.
But the best part of it is that I do not hit them in a way they expect. And trust me, the other side does not expect us to go human rights. They expect Civil Rights (which becomes 1960’s chaos and disorder), they expect Racism (which doesn’t exist anymore) they expect Gay rights and Transgender Rights (which are special rights and perversions).
They expect all those things. Their arguments about those things are boring. Reruns. Like watching old episodes of a bad 70s sitcom on the channel only old people ever turn to when they are too cheap to spring for cable.
Yawn. Hell, we are tired of them — seriously, the run of the mill person who would vote if they had a good reason to doesn’t want to hear about the culture war anymore.
The other side knows that.
We cannot argue white Politics, which is money, because white politics ignores the needs of everyone who isn’t white — and money won’t solve those issues. Plus, it feeds into the very narrative that is being set up because it divides the country by forcing people of color to stand up and say hey, can we talk about Racism, and women to step up and say hey, can we talk about sexism, and so forth, and they have to do that but what happens is that in the mind of the average voter, who has been surrounded by white supremacy their entire life, it becomes the scary folks and the womenfolk (mostly scary womenfolk,) are whining about how poor they are.
So we lose.
I’m pretty sure more than a few of you are expecting me to bust out some sort of long winded explanation of how that works, but, really, I already have, and I get tired of cut and paste stuff, so right now, if you have a hard time buying that, its on you.
So the job is selling it to them. That means talking about them. To talk about something, you need to understand it. Hence why for so long I have been trying to get people to look at the various incarnations of The Line.
I do get to talk about them with folks on occasion, and I pay attention to other things as I have gone on over the years, and so yes, the Line has changed a bit here and there as I have tweaked something here or added a bit more there.
When the UN Human Rights body noted that internet access was a human right, I sorta had to rethink some stuff, for example.
So let me explain something here. If laws exist to support human rights, and, for example, they were to need to follow the human rights listed in that, then it would be really hard for lawmakers to stop some things.
It would, in fact, not be possible, especially if we got them to a point where they were part of an extension to the Constitution, but that’s reaching, so lets just settle for now for making a law that says laws have to focus on them.
If you think we already do that, then you don’t understand what human rights are. The US is not well known for human rights support and maintenance.
Right now, there are laws on the books that are directly in opposition to the Human rights in my Line. Laws that people are not happy about.
The dismantling of the Affordable Care Act is in direct opposition to the Line.
Yes, really. Indeed, the ACA does not go far enough, in my opinion, but barely meets the requirements and is not even close to perfect in terms of doing what it does without going to single payer.
Because there is a human right to health care. Competent health care, inclusive of in a language that can be understood.
The human rights there also support the Establishment of a minimum basic income for everyone. Oh, look, a major boost to wealth inequality. That has to be paid for, which means taxes, yes, but you know what else it means?
It means being much more responsible and accountable in our budget. Indeed, much of the value in human rights is that they sorta make it hard to waste money on things like, oh, I don’t know, war machines.
The criminal justice system has a rather notable problem with the way that sentencing is done. White kids getting sentenced in one state for a crime that is essentially the same crime but done by black kids in a different state, and the white kids get a lighter sentence.
There is a mechanism for that in human rights.
Now I am saying this, and I am also saying that my Line is not perfect. It is a start. A point of reference.
A place to ground our efforts going forward.
This is what I mean when I say that everything we do must be grounded in human rights. Because when you start in human rights, you no longer get to say “oh, that’s too hard” or “oh, that’s too expensive”. It is human freaking rights people. Now you have to figure out how to get it done. How to work within it.
How to compromise not on what needs to be done, but how to do it.
Which is a huge shift from where we have been pretty much since Tricky Dick took office and started the long slog of dismantling the work of FDR and Truman to make America Great Again.
Without the cheesy slogan. IT fell to JFK and especially LBJ to push through the Civil Rights and do something concrete about racism — but Truman took the first step there.
FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, GoldenCalfhorseturd.
Look carefully, there. Nixon made Ike and Truman’s warnings real — and remember that Ike was a Dem two years before he ran for Pres, and was a friend of Truman’s. Truman and Ike built the nation’s highways, but also gave us the HUAC and the Red Scare that were essential to Nixon’s power, which was built on the first major stirrings of the white racist resentment we have seen flower today.
Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush were all very different, but keep in mind that Clinton was closer to Bush 2 and Ford in policies. I know Clinton was pretty popular among Dems. I get that.
But politically, he was centrist in a time that centrist had moved right of center.
So we have effectively had Right of center leadership for all but four years of the last 55 years. And we are getting another four years of far right leadership now.
That is two generations. Gen X and Millenials really cannot remember a time when the main thrust of American Politics was not against the work of FDR, Truman, and even Eisenhower. Work which built the very foundations of the most recent popularly recalled era of prosperity (the 1950’s).
Work which was, largely, guided by the idea of human rights. Especially by Truman (who is the person who made them a big deal, because, well, FDR was more about the idea of global peace), who kept the United Nations going and made damn sure it was an instrument of US policy.
Which was picked up by LBJ, who needed something, anything to get away from the unpopular war he was finding himself stuck with, after thinking it was going to be like Truman’s Korea. Which didn’t end well, you might recall.
Boomers might recall the time if they are of the older portion, but the younger portion were surrounded by a very different kind of thinking.
Now, all of this is still warm up, and is me selling you on the importance of reclaiming the mantle of Human Rights that essentially lies at the heart of Liberal efforts.
Because we let it drop. Aside from the very Honorable John Lewis, who carries it now — and Lewis is never going to be President.
Now yes, I realize that I spent a lot of time previously talking about local stuff, but I know you are just as concerned about the federal stuff as I am. And the federal stuff is where we go after we get the local stuff, and we have time.
We start by fighting Oppression. Oppose Oppression. This is the heart of the Resistance!
Oppression is the anxiety about, aversion to, and/or animus towards a grouping of human beings based on some characteristic combined with the societal and institutional power of the group that benefits from that anxiety, aversion, and/or animus to form a whole which subjugates the group being oppressed.
It is violence, of the sort called evil.
Misogyny is oppression
Racism is oppression
Islamophobia is oppression
Homophobia is oppression
Ableism is oppression
Transphobia is oppression
Members of the group that holds power cannot experience oppression along that axis.
So here’s the next piece. You’ve been primed by everything that has come before.
Think of ten Policies that you want to see happen.
Here’s my list:
Minimum basic income
Universal college education
Human rights defenses and protections
Single payer health insurance
Corporate tax deductions elimination
Increase to 25% tax on all incomes over 100k
Ending reliance on fossil fuels
Preparing for the impact of and mitigating climate change
Sensible gun control laws
Go to your city councilman, to your school board, to your state legislator. Speak out in favor of human rights.
Use those words: Human rights.
Do not talk about racism, sexism, poverty, taxes, the closing of the town mill…
Talk about human rights, because in doing that, you talk about all those things, but they might not realize that. Get them involved, supportive, find them in a place that you can now do because you know them — you’ve been visiting them for a few months now. They probably know you by freaking name.
Talk about “all people are created equal”. Another exact set of words.
Talk about common decency.
Descriptivist thinking frees people, is limited only by what they can see is possible, progresses and liberated.
A prescriptivist person describes you as either/or. A descriptivist one labels you as all and of…
Talk about How human rights apply to people no matter what they are.
Talk about three other things that you care about.
When people raise objections, say this:
“Well, how do we make these two things work together?”
Then figure it out.
When someone says racism and sexism are less important than classism, say “how do we do all of them?”
And then remind them you talked about human rights and mbi and single payer and free college for everyone and better pay for teachers and more funding for schools to do important stuff like teach kids how to manage their money and live together as roommates and do well in that free college.
Do this, constantly. Weekly and monthly.
About eight months from now, a few people in those precinct meetings will start to talk about candidates. Money will be mentioned, volunteers sought.
Seek out the one that listens to you, that understands these “radical” ideas are not radical at all, and back them.
In about 18 months, you talk about bussing voters. About raising funds for voting daycare. About registering new voters and doing door to door sweeps.
And in 23 months or so, you organize a march for fairness. For human rights.
Even if only two people show up, you make it into the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is the place where the internet and your social networks come in handy.
Then you vote. You help others vote. You do everything you can to turn the red blue and make a change for the better.
That is the plan we follow for the next six cycles. Remember that a cycle is two years. Every Four is a big one.But the really big thing is that you no longer support people who are not big on human rights. You look for people who do and you say “hey, let’s get some signatures and get you elected.”
That online petitions are only useful when the people in charge care about such things — and the folks in power don’t. If they did, the orange turdblossom wouldn’t be where he is.
You give 20 hours a month to these things, we can have all of them within a decade.
Abusive language is not politically incorrect. It is immoral, unethical, disgusting, violent, and cruel. Decent people do not make abusive statements.Denial of human rights is always abusive. From denying a woman the right to her own body to denying a woman the use of the restroom because you think she isn’t woman enough to saying that couple of men cannot get married or adopt children because they aren’t approved of by your religious faith to mocking the disabled on national television to throwing coffee on someone because they happen to believe in their religion that keeping their head covered with a pretty wrapping is important.These are acts of violence and abusive. These are immoral, unethical, unprincipled, disgusting, loutish, filthy actions and words and those who do such things are anti-American, in opposition to human rights, and trashy.