Thursday, December 7, 2006

Congrats to the Dems, Part II: Where Next?

This is the post I actually first tried to write, but all that other stuff just had to come out first. Not so much cathartic, as simply laying an honest foundation for where we are, what we have to work with, and where we need to go.

Because the one thing that should be apparent, above all else, is that America voted for change, although as usual managed in some--perhaps not insignificant--ways to shoot itself in the foot while doing so. Such was the case with the defeat of Lincoln Chaffee; and I can't find enough positive terms to describe my elation that Santorum was beaten, but the anti-abortion, pro-gun Casey was the best the Dems could come up with to do so?

Anyway... whatever... I'll let that go for the time being.

So, in the spirit of bipartisanship being called for, how about building a bipartisan relationship between people and the planet they depend on for their health and well-being, and that provides all of the raw materials for any type of economy. Even a steady-state economy, which more people are finally beginning to realize will be necessary as the growth economy implodes and more natural resources disappear, will depend on the sustainability of a productive, vibrant and non-toxic natural world.

I've been working on an article for the past few weeks now dealing with some of these issues. Hopefully, you should find it more balanced and less ranting than these last couple that I've dashed off in under an hour since the election results. Before I finish that article up, though, let's begin looking at some of the things progressives must do to enlighten their new representatives on the people's desire for change, the direction it should go, and how to best enact it. Wouldn't it be great to expand and extend the rightful and long overdue celebration of the defeat of right-wing extremism and religious fundamentalism?

The new Democratic majority in Congress should take a long, hard, and honest look at what the majority of people in America are clamoring for. The Republicans who survived the election should join them in this inquiry. The Democrat's election win was not a "centrist" call to maintain the status quo.

The war in Iraq must come to an end. Actually, let's continue in the spirit of honesty and admit that the war against Iraq, which was really an illegal and immoral invasion of a sovereign nation, has been won and has been over since pResident select Bush declared "Mission Accomplished." What the U.S. is now engaged in is a brutal occupation for which the U.S. military is ill-equipped and ill-trained to maintain. It's time for serious rebuilding instead of profiteering to begin.

No one of right mind would say that Saddam Hussein didn't need to be removed from power. Allowing the barbaric and self-serving methodology of a neoconservative ideology to hold sway was the mistake that has proven fatal to thousands of U.S. military personnel, tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, the ecology of the entire Middle East, and to both the U.S. treasury and its standing as a moral beacon on the world stage. Whether or not this standing has actually been earned and is deserved after hundreds of years of imperialist policy to protect corporate interests is another issue that merits serious discussion as we move forward in discovering ways to build a sustainable culture of peace based on ecological wisdom and social justice.

Fighting terrorism, however, must be recognized as the oxymoron that it is. If we're to have any hope for success in becoming secure from terrorist threats, we must remove the reasons for terrorist activities to arise.

These issues cannot be divorced from their relationships with the even more serious threat facing humanity of catastrophic climate destabilization, the threat facing a global growth economy that has the moniker of Peak Oil, and the loss of our sovereignty to corporatism. This is what I call the Triumvirate of Collapse.

The growth economy is how we've come to define reality and is the basis for our modern notions of prosperity and security. Its immanent collapse due to the decreasing availability and increasing cost of fossil fuels, with no _realistic_ replacement on the horizon, could prove catastrophic for humanity if government continues to ignore the issue and does nothing to help people prepare for energy descent and relocalized economies. These issues are all intimately intertwined and must be evaluated in the context of dominator control hierarchies and how they have led the shift from the founding American ideals of a democratic Republic toward the current Plutocracy that is running America. I would say running into the ground, but with so much topsoil disappearing, it's more like a bottomless cesspool of toxic waste.

The typical progressive band-aid approach of regulatory incrementalism, which we're told by the elites that continue to benefit from it is the only realistic response to corporate abuse and exploitation, must be replaced by a systemic approach that effectively deals with root causes. Only by effectively dealing with these root causes can a sustainable future be built.

Sustainability should become the agenda to unite progressives from the peace, justice, environmental, and grass-roots democracy movement. Adhering to a comprehensive definition of sustainability that includes the concept of carrying capacity must be used to help inform the decision making of our newly elected congress. Meeting the goals for a sustainable future will also provide the yardstick to measure the new congress's progress and success.

The question on everyone's mind should be whether the centrists of the Democratic Party will awaken from their consensus trance? To be honest, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for this to happen. What I am hopeful for, however, is that the millions of caring activists, and the tens of millions of caring citizens, that have traditionally identified with and pinned their hopes on the Democratic Party will finally awaken from their own self-imposed consensus trance and realize that their only hope for systemic, sustainable change that is equitable is to join en masse and empower the Green Party. This would transform the landscape of American politics as quickly as Hurricane Katrina transformed the landscape of New Orleans. Our very survival may very shortly depend on it.

The next two years is more than enough time for the current Democratic majority to prove their mettle. Excuses should not be tolerated. If they don't, and in 2008 we are again presented with the typical choice of two appointed party losers who will most likely be McCain and Clinton (and I can't for the life of me decide which of these two is further to the right, and actually trust McCain more as he's closer to a true Republican than Hillary is), the Green Party would be foolish to not seize upon the best opportunity, presented quite literally on a silver platter, they'll likely ever come across.

Outreach and education, passion and compassion in helping people connect the dots between what is actually oppressing them and keeping them from their potential, and what they can actually do about it as the unsustainable system collapses around our feet may be the best chance for electing not only a Green president in 2008, but a solid majority of legislators as well. There is no time like the present to start prepping candidates.

What better gift to the world than providing the Ten Key Values of the Green Party as the foundation for the planet and humanity's future? Because the bottom line is that corporations and their quest for profit and their consolidation of power and control cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged; the planet cannot survive its destructive and self-serving onslaught for too much longer.

The process of relocalization based on the natural systems principles of mutual support and reciprocity, no waste, no greed, and increasing diversity not only adheres to the Ten Key Values, but provides both the path to sustainability and the antidote to corporate globalization. It seems to me to be the real platform that people across the political spectrum are clamoring for.

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