Written by Kipp Mueller — these are his personal opinions, not necessarily those of The Resurgent Left.
I know. The dude in charge is a sociopath. Completely devoid of any sense of empathy. Spews hatred and has access to weapons that can end it all instantaneously. This isn’t good.
And I totally get the call for resistance. It’s true. We have to resist.
But we can do more. We’re the party of Yes We Can. The party of FDR, JFK and BHO.
They’re the Party of No. And if we settle into being merely naysayers, we’ll have squandered an immense opportunity.
Mere resistance is capitulating to the status quo. It means every time we have a negotiation with the Republicans, we’re meeting them somewhere between status quo and crazy. And when we approach the debates this way, our best case scenario becomes status quo.
And status quo is bad. People between the two coasts are frustrated, and for good reason. We have failed to build any means of employment for entire cities, and we aren’t providing any answers.
I see two silver linings these days, and their co-existence is one big beautiful double-rainbow:
- As counterintuitive as it sounds, we have all the momentum. We are fired up like never before. And we needed this energy desperately, because we were getting obliterated at the state level for the last decade, lulled to sleep by a dreamy president. If we don’t all die in the next 4–8 years, we may find 50 years from now that the Democratic Party’s awakening during the Trump administration saved the party.
- Nothing’s crazy anymore. That means we can call for reforms and policies that are traditionally outside the realm of possibility. And we really, really need to, because there aren’t really solutions within the traditional boundaries that are sufficient to fix the problems we’re facing.
As an example, take the dearth of jobs resulting from automation and globalization. Within traditional political boundaries, our solutions are statements like, “let’s bring back manufacturing.” That’s not a viable option. At best, it’s a weak talking point.
Instead, we should #RESIST, and, simultaneously, let’s address social disaffection/economic stagnation resulting from automation/globalization by calling for universal basic income or, better yet, a job guarantee program.
#RESIST, of course. But let’s simultaneously call for a plan to end chronic homelessness in ten years.
Let’s #RESIST and demand true, universal healthcare for every person standing on our shores because we know it’s cheaper, more efficient, and the right thing to do.
The Republican Party has filled the void in people’s lives by using otherism. It’s _______’s fault you don’t have a job.
Which, by the way, is straight out of the fascist playbook. Hate and xenophobia have always been around. But their fluctuations have closely correlated with economic well-being. Nazi Germany took power after disaffected citizens with nothing and nowhere to turn were given someone to blame. Same with Franco, Mussolini, and Pinochet.
That means that as long as economic hardship continues to riddle middle America, the Republican rhetorical strategy of “otherism” will continue to be successful.
And it will particularly remain successful if our solution in response is _____________. Particularly if 47% of current American jobs are vulnerable to automation.
But there are solutions waiting for us. Brilliant minds have mapped it out. And these ideas are nothing new. They’ve been around since the 1930s. George McGovern proposed a job guarantee during his presidential campaign. Martin Luther King Jr. called for a federal job guarantee as well.
We’re the party of Yes We Can, aren’t we? The dreamers? Remember, just three months ago, who you were?
Don’t let them change that. Don’t let Trump take that away from us. He’s just a political figure. And movements don’t begin or end with politicians.
Let’s call for real change and real solutions, bolder than ever before.
If not now, when?