A viral infection is spreading quickly through American politics. We all know it, but most of us think there is only one strain of this virus. Most Americans don’t realize there are actually two.
The first virus has spread across the entire left half of the body politic. The second is spreading across the right.
The dangerous and potentially deadly viral attack on the left is carried out by a political industry that profits from the weapons of political warfare. It’s an infection that our gradually saps us of our sense of personal power, our vitality, our money, our freedom, our prosperity, our environmental sustainability, and our confidence and capacity that we can change things.
On the right, the virus is operating in parallel. It has its own distinctive ways to undermine our national vitality, and our senses of confidence, security, personal power, and safety. It renders us less powerful politically and forces dependence on central authorities. Now, in the midst of a presidential race, immersed in this toxic virus, I look at our two candidates politicizing a vaccine that would put this virus to rest. I see no capacity in either to do the job.
On the left, I respect and admire Joe Biden. However, I see him as a part of the virus, a part of the establishment. He is part of the status quo that embeds dependency in voters. This state of affairs appears to attack issues like injustice and environmental destruction. But our reality is in fact constrained by a powerful political industry, one that sets policies based on financial enrichment by established interest groups that pay the bills.
On the right, is Donald Trump, who angers voters. He calls attention to grievances that the left appears to have neglected for too many generations. President Trump’s manner of giving voice to grievances often creates anger. Anger deepens and doubles down on the toxicity that both parties are spreading.
I find no way to vote with confidence for either of the Presidential candidates come November. Like millions, I recognize that we don’t have a choice, because our democracy is broken. Our democracy has been infected by this toxicity.
This virus is in fact an algorithm. It is an algorithm of power that maintains the flow of dollars from vested interests that are actually destroying our capacity for a healthy tomorrow. Both the left and the right look out and see terrible problems, terrible threats, that we want to overcome. Our focus becomes arrested by the need to avoid the overwhelming toxicity that threatens to capture Washington DC once again.
The solution to our problem is relatively simple. Alice Walker said the quickest way to take power from the people is to convince them that they don’t have it. The truth is, we do have power.
Very few of us, around 5%, actually exercise that power. With that power we can help bring together the rhetorical center of American politics. We can all leverage the 70% of politicians and media who do not pander to the ideological extremes of right or left. That’s all it takes.
Five million of us, who share anger and outrage, are deciding to take action to ensure that politicians and participants of any party commit to be part of the solution. We set aside the polarization that divides and conquers democracy itself. Once we set aside our prejudices, we can see that we are united around a common set of values. We will never agree on every issue, but nor will we allow our ideological differences to prevent us from solving problems. We will recognize our differences while we work together to solve problems and restore our democracy.