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What To Do About the New Political Dichotomy
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What do we do with the plank?

Yesterday I wrote about a new political dichotomy in America. This new dichotomy supersedes or suspends all other political dichotomies: left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican, etc. This new American political dichotomy is elites vs. plebeians.

Elites and Plebeians

Think of elites as the people who donate lots of money and give lots of favors to the party in power in exchange for favors.Think of plebeians as those who say “huh?” as they watch the government take their kids’ money and give it to billionaires who failed in business or banking.coriola2

Eventually, the plebeians will figure out that plebeians under 33 have little chance of retiring and a smaller chance of owning a home thanks to government-mandated generational theft. Every person born today owes the government nearly $186,000 in debt, and teenagers are told they must take on another $100,000 in debt to get a college degree. And the supposed housing recovery is confined to $1 million and up homes because the middle class is broke.

Eventually, the plebeians will realize that college expenses have risen almost twice as fast as healthcare in the last 30 years. While medicine has made some amazing advances in that time, a college education is worth less in lifetime earnings, and every graduating class is less educated than the one before. (Almost 100% of the increase in college costs has gone to executives, administrators, and building contractors, not to classroom education.)

Eventually, the plebeians will realize they have more in common with plebeians than with the political party they’ve blindly voted for and supported all their lives. I’m an example of this having voted Republican with the consistency of molasses in January.

Eventually, we will hold that Universal Veto meeting and from it will come a small platform of three or four or five planks that almost all plebeians support.

But then what?

A Temporary Truce?

How about this. Suppose 10 groups attend in that meeting. What if each of those groups committed to promoting only that handful of issues for 30 days. No calling each other names. No obsessing over issues not on the list. A 30 day focus on just a few issues we all support.

After 30 days, we all get back together and decide whether to continue for 60 days. Then we do it again and commit to 120 days. Then 240.

At this point, 10 formerly opposed groups in some city like St. Louis will have spent 15 months focusing all their energy on four common planks in a very skinny platform. Imagine the power we’d wield together against crony capitalism, corporate welfare, domestic spying, and the opaque Fed.

Just imagine.

Yes, those are tiny steps. But a march of a thousand miles . . . and all that. The Universal Veto session (see what I did there?) could set a precedence that begins a sea change in American politics–a sea change already under way without direction or purpose.

And if it fails, we wasted, what, an hour or two? You probably waste that much time every week reading this blog.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Ellen Elmore

    Great idea! But I don’t see the “other side” as being willing to compromise or work on anything together. Compromise to them means doing it their way.

    • Thanks, Ellen. I probably need to explain my process more completely. I can see why you might think of this as compromise. It really isn’t. (I hate compromise, because it means the best idea gets muddled into a less optimal reality.)

      The idea behind Universal Veto is zero compromise. Yes, it requires collaboration and coordination, but not compromise. The only thing this group works on is the stuff we can agree on without compromise. We hold off on the other stuff until (a) our agreed agenda is complete or (b) we accept that our agreed agenda is impossible to execute. Then we go back to fighting.

      Does that make sense?

  • Wow.

    • Thanks, Blake, but I have to ask: is that a good wow? Or is it a “best evidence of the horrible mental health crisis in America” wow?

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