On The Past is Prologue
It is said, every now and then, when discussing the character of a particular person or a series of events or even a nation, that the past is prologue.
It is, perhaps, more accurate than the far more often used “history repeats itself”, though the sentiment is quite of the same cloth, and both have become such truisms that the first thing we do when faced with the horrors of what we face now is to look to history to help us get a handle on what kind of damned fool we have put into place this time.
I have some news for you on the topic of how the Left failed to deliver on the necessary support in opposition. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying.
It had to do with not agreeing on how to try, and, in the process, fracturing into so many small groups — as the past has shown is the tendency –that it decimated the power of the people.
The people who are enough to basically run the board, locally and nationally, if they can stop long enough to agree on basic things and make them happen.
Here, the past is as much a prologue as it can be certain that the USA will renege on federal contracts. Because the Pretendent in Chief will try to not pay for work already done, as has been a trademark of his past efforts.
A lot of this stems from the fact that people no longer understand how the government works. Like the Pretendent in Chief, who thinks Judges are essentially under his thumb — as he has demonstrated both before the election and after it.
Past is prologue. It gives us insights into the character of the person we are dealing with. Or the nation. Or… well, you get the idea.
The past of the Democratic Party has been to be very good when they unite, but getting them to unite has been difficult, and so they suck a lot of the time.
The Left, as a whole, is even more fractious – witness the Truman-era infighting that surrounded the whole Sanders v Clinton rigmarole. And a truism of the Left is that it is never just the Democratic party.
It doesn’t matter who you voted for or why you voted for them or who you voted against and why you did that anymore: we lost.
We lost because we do not agree on what it means to be a Left person, to be a progressive or moderate or centrist or radical whatever.
There are so called radicals that cry out nasty things about Liberals and the Democratic party and then suggest things that are flatly unconstitutional. On the Left.
There are things that are cried out out about how we need to change the economic system, and *this is the system we need to use*, but never think about the impact of that change or how it would set us apart form other nations, isolating us. Which brings further problems.
I don’t mind any of that. There is a belief — and I use that word very precisely — of mine that I follow that says that nothing of any consequence is done by one person alone.
It always takes at least two. Some have called it co-dependent, to be frank, though it doesn’t meet the criteria for such.
It is the basis of being able to work with others — and especially with people who are not like you in their background and their outlook. When you are working along political lines, it means looking for what you have in common instead of looking at what separates you.
That bit is important, because if you do not look at what you have in common, all you ever see is what separates you, and you end up giving away your power to a fringe group that elects a complete and utter nightmare for your side.
This happened in 1860.
Past is prologue — people are wondering why I would bring up the election of Abraham Lincoln as a nightmare. Which is joined by the fact that most folks are not going to be reading this on the day it is published.
When the Left does get together and present a unified front, it is almost always at the federal level — they have, over the years, turned into Federalists, and most of them don’t know what that means.
But think they do.
But we have to, once more, do this, and that is why I am harping about Human Rights as our unifying principle.
Because it is why we advocate for so much stuff. Human rights are the way we can link arms and overcome and overpower and overwhelm the opposition because the thing that unites us is what they are opposed to: thinking about people who are not like them an giving a damn about other people.
That thing is human rights. There is no one on the left who does not find that point in common, and it underlies all the divisions within the party.
It also underlies all the core ideals and ideas that founded this nation — despite their ignorance at the time of the damn foolishness of what they were doing when it came to other human beings.
This is *always* the bright line I draw: dyssonance.com/on-the-line/
Human Rights are the radical, moral, ethical solution.
Where’s your line?
Past is prologue — we took this nation by force, freeing the people who did not really want to be free at first from a tyrant who was mendacious and bellicose and “told it like it is” named King.
We can, and will, do it again, by using the same thing they used: Human Rights. The idea that people are granted certain inalienable rights.
Human Rights as a calling card today means knowing them, and then sticking to them.
It is never easy to hold to — all the more reason they need to be made the basis of the nation, state, county, city.
This is truly radical. More radical than people fully realize.
Make this the basis of law and justice and we change the fundamental basis of economy, of liberty, of employment and business — everything.
With this we can end poverty, homelessness, hunger — the things that make our lives harder and worse. Really. More innovation, more jobs.
People snort, but haven’t read the rights, and haven’t thought about them, because that’s not how we do things now. Yet it is how we should.
We should not be arguing “should we” — that is saying you do not care.
We should be arguing “how do we”, not “we can’t”.
Human Rights are the solution to these ills of hunger, poverty, homelessness, inequality, oppression, injustice.
Because rights are the soul of US; they are the legacy we have been given, the promise we have fought against fulfilling, and now is our time to do so, our time to make this real, not abstract.
To change the world to something worthwhile, to end oppression, hunger, homelessness, poverty, criminal malfeasance of greed.
I know this line. I know these rights. I bled for them. Time to make them ours, and put the most simple rule into law:
Law and Justice in Service to Human Rights. The radical change to the world we know, to reach the world we want.
By doing that we change the function of the law and the political landscape to a new paradigm; One where we must stop oppression. We must undo homelessness. We must solve poverty. We must end hunger.
It becomes a requirement of law to do so, not an optional, maybe someday thing. It places property and wealth secondary, w/o denying them
It is a sea change in approach, a tidal shift in focus, a new frontier of freedom. Let us stop being cowards & hypocrites, end our casual hypocrisy of morality when convenient, and make this simple change that will undo the entire power base of those in place now. And watch as those who oppose it reveal themselves for the weak, desperate, immoral people we know they are. Deny human rights, deny your re-election.
And truly — read the Line: It is a source for all those things. Then, write your own. Or use mine.
Because the real trick here, simply, is to pass a law that is The Line. All of it. From section 1 on down.
Now I am not saying that my line is perfect. It isn’t. It needs more. But it is the best I can do with what I have.
And it is not that easy to fight against when you remember one simple rule: you don’t get to argue about what is a right.
Politically, that is where we break down the most. Indeed, the approach that has been taken for years is to add in the little bits and drips and drabs of the without distinction rule piecemeal, by resisting them as reasons to do so, because these are supposedly rights already obtained.
Well, this isn’t doing that. This sidesteps that approach, that strategy. It says these apply to everyone. Even our enemies.
By so doing, it changes the nature of the argument to one of “well, why would you deny someone a human right because of some distinction they have?”
That guts the opposition to LGBT rights. So now they have to argue about is something a right or not. And the resources used are all UN conventions — mostly modeled on US law as it exists already.
So it isn’t the rights themselves which are so rough and nasty.
It is the functional purpose of government that The Line alters.
And that is where the radical aspect comes in.
Right now, law and justice are in service to property and wealth, for the most part. But imagine if you pass a law that says the government must actively, intentionally do this thing to help people.
Like, say, provide for the common defense. Or ensure people who are poor do not go hungry or homeless?
Right now, we fight over should we do that.
I want to fight over how we do that. Conservatives will find themselves saying “well, we are doing a good job of that now”.
Far left radicals will be clamoring for a universal basic income.
That is what The Line does. And, as ever, I am always tinkering with it, making some things more explicit, plugging holes that are visible in it.
And we need to do this at the city level, then the county level, then the State level — and in so doing, we will find it much easier to make it happen at the federal level, because by then we will have fought this fight so many ways and in so many avenues that the fight will be easy to win.
Bottom up — an activists approach. Like the farmers and soldiers who founded the country, everyday citizens getting up and getting out.
Who will speak out against their own human rights?
Abortion opponents will scream about babies — but The Line doesn’t speak about abortion. It speaks about the right to bodily integrity.
Are they arguing the government should have control and oversight of their own body?
Read the rights. Suggest ones I need to look up that I might have missed (especially in regards the environment).
Some on the left will be angry that the second amendment is preserved. Read the Line.
This isn’t about taking rights away. This is about giving them forth, telling people that they can get what they deserve.
How we do these things is a fight we can have after we get the law passed.
Really freaking hard to sell national lands for drilling or fracking when the law has to actively protect those lands.
This is our fight. It is a fight that is overwhelmingly popular, overwhelming central to the character and quality of what it means to be an American.
We can win this fight, because the rules of the game are stacked up outside this. And by making that simple change — that law and justice are in service to human rights — we stop fascism.
We stop regression.
And we work forward, together.
You must be logged in to post a comment.