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Stand by our principles

Dear May,

Yeah, the parties seem to leave a lot of people out. But that doesn’t mean the Tea Party Automatons aren’t butts. Party politics is what it is. If we’re going to have universal suffrage, then the need to appeal to the broadest possible audience of voters necessitates or creates the need for political parties.

The broadest appeal doesn’t mean that people won’t be left out. They will be, and they will say things like, “if the two parties…” Simple solutions to complex issues is a formula for demagoguery.

The only way to redefine our two-party system is to address democracy as it’s developed here. Do we want a parliament? A monarchy? A totalitarian, dictatorial government?

If none of the above, then we have to put limits on campaigning, which gets us in trouble with our hallowed and sacred First Amendment. The only solution, as I see it, is to limit campaigning to two months, with one month before to raise money and one month after to empty the campaign coffers–or turn the leftovers over to the taxpayers. The further limitation is that after the fact, none of the money left over in a candidate’s account can be given to nonprofits–they control far too many votes themselves–and it cannot be given to another candidate–as they can now.

I believe Americans need to understand that the forces of reaction and division are after their own ends. To deride “gubmint” is to uphold the status quo–after all, government is us and it can do only what we let it. Such behavior, first, allows those who control wealth, power, and the means of accumulation of both to remain in control. In other words, those who benefit from the exploitation of other human beings remain in a position to continue that exploitation.

Second, it creates disaffection–a feeling of “they are all full of shit and I can’t do anything about it, so I’ll sit this one out.” This, of course, does the same as the first.

In either case, we remain either beholden to those in power and to those who have wealth, or we are expected to be ingratiated to them on basis of the myth that they create wealth, rather than understanding that, yes, they organize ideas and labor, but it is the laborer’s sale of their labor that makes wealth possible. In fact, I would say that labor creates wealth. Without it, we would still be burning sticks and writing on rocks.

So, my friend, instead of standing around bemoaning the state of the nation, get out there and get involved in its change. The Tea Partiers, the reactionary right, the alleged “conservatives” are crybabies with a sense that they are entitled to the fruits of democracy without working for those rewards or participating in democratic processes. In fact, I accuse them of having no faith at all in representative democracy, democratic institutions, or the democratic processes. They do not like what the people have chosen, so instead of accepting the results of representative democratic electoral processes, they want and believe they ought to have things their way. they dress this up in all kinds of rationalization–the nation is doomed! But they offer no solutions except the overworn platitudes of small government with a malignant military tumor.

Sorry to be so frank, but I live in a town where many of our inhabitants have no faith in people–in fact, they hate, distrust, and deride people who are not of the same mind. They wave flags all over the place but have no faith and hate the principles of personal freedom (in belief and behavior), individual liberty (responsibility to society), and the right of every person to make their own life so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.

I also say they have no faith in their God. In the end of their book of pre- and proscription, God wins. But they act all the time as if their God is at risk, that it will forsake the world, that it does not love and trust humankind.

Again, simple solutions to complex problems are the opiate of the insecure. Man up, my dad used to say, and grow a pair. My mom would say to have faith, love, and understanding for others. I synthesize the two–my mom was more on track–and say, “Have faith in the principles of our Constitution, stand for what’s right, and have infinite patience with the people…And always call things as you see them.”

Yours,
Patrick

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