Category Archives: A Plan for America

The Two Future Scenarios We Must Choose Between

Created May 13, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

One of these scenarios is very easy to visualize. It’s the downside scenario of war. We’ve seen the way this works and are extremely familiar with it. We can picture it, including sitting under a mushroom cloud ourselves, something I’ve been visualizing all my life.

The upside scenario is not nearly as easy to visualize. We as a race have not expressed much about that scenario. We seem morbidly attracted to dwelling upon the negative.

And yet we seemed to be making some progress there for a while.

In 2003, the late Mark W. Zacher, a pioneer in the study of global governance, wrote a paper published by Cambridge University Press called “The Territorial Integrity Norm: International Boundaries and the Use of Force”. In it, he cited nearly 100 academic authors in establishing his case that “coercive territorial revisionism” was on the decline since the end of WWII. Many of the scholars he referenced indeed painted the same picture.

Alas, today we see that this relatively halcyon period appears to have come to an end. WWII-size battles reducing beautiful cities to rubble in Europe are now happening again. Do we have to go back into the old game? Is it built into us that there will never be an end to people fighting for ground?

In the development of species, the hardwired instinct for territoriality behavior goes back at least as far as the first reptiles and perhaps even further back. But humanity, possessed of more obvious intellectual credentials than other Earth species, in discovering what instincts are, could use its brains to conquer instincts – or can we?

Why is it that Putin and his supporters feel the urgent need to own more land when they already are such a massive piece of geography? Opinions in the press suggest that he is driven to re-establish the U.S.S.R. And why would that be what drives him? Why would he not set equally lofty goals for leading the human race into space, or building larger particle accelerators than the west, or some other goal that is more original? The goal of simply taking over the neighborhood goes way back, it’s imitative behavior, it may make us remember a person in history but not necessarily in a positive way. It’s been done before. Why not show off by doing something new?

Why would China place such importance on taking back Taiwan which had previously been called Formosa? There are so many other things for China to do, and they are already doing most of them, and doing well at them. If the specter of war were swept off the table China should be among the most confident and hopeful nations on Earth. Why bother with adding another small swath of land to their country? When one takes land by force it’s only a matter of time before someone else is there attacking you to take that land back. It’s almost guaranteed to become a perpetual motion machine keeping war in the lives of your descendants for many generations if not forever.

The human race has so many better things to do rather than return to the old bullying game. It’s gotten so old. First, we have to bring the pandemic down to permanent containment, which implies far-reaching progress in being able to anticipate the directions mutations could take, and getting the jump on them before they go there. Then we have to bring everyone up to par in quality of life. Then we have to bring education up to an unprecedented level that is individualized to each person’s gifts and aspirations, lifelong education that starts in the home from birth and lasts throughout the individual’s lifetime. The list goes on and on after that, so many things to do to make us all feel a sense of purpose, of meaning.

Underneath everything else all of us are driven by a search for meaning. We didn’t make it any easier for ourselves when we made it unhip to allow for the possibility of God. Even in a world that avoids God like the devil, a person can still live a meaningful life by simply bringing her/his gifts out for the enjoyment of others. Putin and Xi each have huge canvases on which they are free to paint beautiful pictures the world can adore, why settle for the bad guy role, even if lies and censorship can make people keep their mouths shut? Why is that the way that Putin and Xi can make themselves the happiest?

If we didn’t have such a rich roster of activities into which we could happily throw ourselves, then maybe I could understand playing the war game, but that game has worn thin its welcome. We’ve had a good run since the end of WWII – not without enough violence for anyone with a taste for that stuff – but staying away from major wars. Why break the winning spree now? Just because they can? I suspect that is the real explanation.

But no one’s hands are clean. The rest of us have not done enough to paint the picture of what life could be like if there is world cooperation on the broadest scale. Dystopias have more drama in them, and more opportunity for action scenes, while utopias are easy to put down because cynicism is hip. So few if any utopian movies or television series or novels. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” came as close to a utopian vision of a united Earth culture as we’ve seen on television. Lost Horizon by James Hilton (1933) was a novel and then a movie which showed how a sequestered culture could live in harmony (the story of mythical Shangri-La).

When Joe Biden was elected, I wrote a series of fictional stories here in Pebbles in which Joe reached out to Vlad and Jinping and detailed how cooperation could be attained and how lovely that would be for everybody, with me hoping that was in his plans. My c dream soon collapsed, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up. If we don’t detail the upside scenario we will continue to slide down into this downside scenario we’ve been stuck on for too long. Someday soon we may never again have the option of revisiting this upside visualization opportunity, there may not be a someday if we don’t start now.

Love to all,

Bill

Unifying Our Idea of Social Progress

Created April 15, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

The most powerful cultural change driving world and personal events today is the underlying sense of loss of belief in the American Dream.

I’m paraphrasing the words of Walker Smith, former President of Yankelovich, for many years the most psychologically sophisticated research company serving the marketing field, speaking today at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) annual AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference.

What is or was the American Dream and how could it account for what is happening outside the US today? Because Walker was not just talking about the USA.

The American Dream has always meant the hope, aspiration, and expectation that each generation would be better off than the preceding one.

This idea did not necessarily exist before the USA came about. In the Middle Ages, the prevailing feeling was that things used to be better in the ancient world’s Golden Age, and that was now all gone forever, never to return. 

The Renaissance opened the door to art and science and technology in ways which restored the human race’s belief in itself. This led into a period we call the Enlightenment which then lost touch with the human spirit and curled back into the awe-neutralizing world we live in today, formed in the Eighteenth Century. 

The democratic revolutions in America and France were a turning point that restored the zeitgeist of hopefulness about the future, revivifying the optimistic inspiration of the Renaissance. For more than 200 years the American Dream inspired people around the world to work harder and smarter and with more inspiration to shape a better world for their children and secondarily for themselves.

And now it appears that Walker Smith is right, there is a prevailing tacit sense of disillusionment, tacit in the sense of not being expressed as directly as he expressed it today to me and hundreds of other leaders of the world’s marketing and media intelligentsia.

Walker showed compelling survey results to back up his point. In countries where most progress has been made toward economic success, social justice and the dignity of the individual, he showed that after decades in which most people believed their kids would have it better than themselves, today the majority believe that the kids will have it worse.

A later speaker at the conference showed a verbatim comment made by a Gen Z person indicating “I no longer trust government, other people, or the world.” 

Both optimism and pessimism are biases, less desirable than objectivity, but between them, one helps and the other hurts, because any mindset becomes self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s the way our minds work. Pessimism forces us down into the pit we feared. Optimism gives us back the natural zest for life and enables us to overcome – anything.

Data shown at the conference confirms that Gen Z (people born since 1997) are far above average in holding brands to communicate, by their actions and authentic words and images, that brands recognize their purpose is to make life better for everyone. And yet now these idealists are already experiencing the disappointment in their own golden dreams, all too soon, all too soon.

We can’t let this go on.

What gutted our confidence?

Walker had pointed us at the Starting Points of a generation, telling us that each generation reflects what the Cultural Tent Pole events were when they came into the conversation.

For Gen Z, the oldest of whom is now 25, when they were first starting to use media they heard about the war on terrorism, and the US limited ability to dial back violence everywhere. As they grew up, they saw a growing divide along partisan lines within the US, mirrored around the world. The idea of limits was reinforced and the idea of possibilities was diminished. The split into red and blue idealists played out as one side limiting the other side from being able to make improvements.

They may have consciously ignored most of this while playing expressively within their social media communities, but nothing could have protected their subconscious minds from imbibing these toxins.

Unifying our ideals and values is necessary if we are to protect Gen Z and all future generations from reruns of the worst of history.

We have the power. We have to use it constructively. We need to unify our idea of “What IS social progress?”

Social progress starts with the criterion that one’s own descendants should have it even better than we do. That is the most unifying ideal of all. We should all find it easy to agree on that if nothing else.

Avoiding Derailment

The idea that everyone should benefit runs into major difficulty when it is looked at through the lens of a person who feels threatened. That person does not want a level playing field because they already feel cheated and are therefore naturally skeptical about the idea that they should support other people more than they have been supported.

The person who feels threatened is probably subconsciously feeling a sense of inferiority. In our materialistic culture the need to take work that is uninspiring leads the average person to live out a life of quiet desperation (TS Eliot) conducive of a sense of inferiority and of throwing one’s life away. So that there is a very large pool of people who instinctively flinch away from taking care of other people because they feel someone ought to be taking better care of them. 

The sense of inferiority was historically an albatross that Russia still bears. But the dissatisfied and resentful chords in the human chorus are not limited by geography, these poisons to the spirit are everywhere, and reduce openness to ideas about sharing with those even worse off than ourselves. Only those who feel good about themselves subconsciously and consciously can authentically support the idea of equality.

This does not mean putting the movement toward equality on hold. I personally feel that the momentum toward equality is now established, by the efforts of millions of people from Nelson Mandela to Martin Luther King and on and on, including the people of show business, and Gen Z will make it happen if we don’t complete the job, but we will. 

Instead, what I’m suggesting is that we don’t confuse the issue by too quickly bringing in more specificity, as we re-establish the unifying notion of a better life for our kids. All of our kids. That would defeat the drive to unity, a message in a bottle in all languages, e.g.: Rodovoi. Danketsu. Tongyi. Aikyam. Yachad. Henosis. Our objective here is unity in re-establishing the universal dream of human social progress. Today, in the present context, it can only be founded on one remaining point of solidarity: our children.  

So, as we sew up the ravaged flag of idealism and courage facing the future, in the complex world of motivations, we can’t go too far too fast. Start with the one universal common ground: our children. We must make a better life for them. We cannot, for whatever reasons we concoct with our brilliant rhetoric, justify anything less than a commitment of our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor (Thomas Jefferson) to this unifying ideal. This is the philosopher’s stone by which to navigate the rest of the journey. 

Because we must first re-establish unity of realistic idealism before we can turn to specifics.

Take the present most divisive issues and give them a rest. Let your hearts and minds discover what else there is to be said, with positivity, constructiveness, and encouragement. What will help make for a better world for all the generations to come. Words and feelings and actions that bring us together again. Don’t skip to step two, please, focus on step one.

Love to all, 

Bill

Partners – We Need Each Other

Created August 6, 2021

Good-natured rivalries are a constructive force for the betterment of all concerned. Unsportsmanlike vicious bitter feuds bring down all concerned.

The state of play at the moment between the two U.S. political parties is at the worst extreme observed in my lifetime. That can’t be a good thing. A house divided against itself, cannot stand. Who said that? Abraham Lincoln, one of the country’s first Republican party presidents, and one of the greatest of all of our presidents.

In this post I am setting out to document that the two political parties form a natural complementariness. That would not be the case with any two political parties. If, for an extreme example, our two parties happened to be Communism and Fascism, they would not complement one another nor work hand in glove together, because oil and water do not mix.

On the other hand, Republicans and Democrats names both mean almost the same thing: Res Publica in Latin means “public affair” and is usually taken to be a synonym for “commonwealth” (generally defined as “an independent community founded for the public good” and used as a synonym for “republic”); and Demokratia in Greek means “the people rule”.

However, Democracy specifies that the people call the shots, whereas a Republic exists for the public good but does not require that all the people together constitute the rulership.

This is not a fine point, it is the whole basis for the dynamic between the two parties.

The Democratic party takes the position that people should be able to reach decisions together by majority voting. That The People can be trusted to reach the right decisions.

The Republican party takes the position that The People are not always wise, they can be swayed by persuasion to make horribly wrong decisions, and must be protected by wiser heads.

No one can deny that there is truth and value in both of these opposed positions.

Especially today, when social media exposes how rampant madness is.

And social media probably adds to the madness.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guardians – the wiser heads – in the republic? That is the key to the success or failure of a republic – the people trusted to make the decisions. Solomon, Socrates, Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Walter Cronkite… we’re probably all in good hands. Most human beings who come to mind are not quite as rock solid.

The Founders were aiming for something optimized by combining Democracy and Republic, checks and balances everywhere. The U.S. Constitution they created established the principle that the power to rule comes from the people who invest that power in their chosen representatives in the U.S. system, a representative democracy and a democratic republic.

The Constitution didn’t mention political parties, and George Washington quit 20 years down the pike when political parties erupted on their own in 1796.

Yet our two parties, balanced as they are around a question of responsibility – can the public be trusted to have total responsibility, and if not, what is the proper interaction between the public and government itself, to achieve the optimal results? – have spontaneously evolved and their respective ideologies are extremely similar. If we had to have parties, these two are the perfect ones, on the face of it.

And one is conservative (in most cases) while the other is more progressive (in most cases). The Republicans coming from a place of getting people to stand on their own two feet, where the Democrats sympathize more with those who have fallen off their feet. The balance between these opposing Goods is where the greatest Good lies.

We need a degree of conservatism more than we ever needed it before, simply because we have been printing money to the extent that many economists fear a hyperinflation that could lose the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and have global economic effects possibly worse than the Great Depression.

Both parties have been taking advantage of the printing money alternative, and so we are under-representing the conservative ideal. It would be good to see us able to balance the budget and pay down debt. Both sides have good creative ideas and it’s a shame that filibuster prevents or delays debate which could lead to synthesis that is satisfying to both sides and to most citizens. At least let’s modify filibuster to require debate aimed at such synthesis, even if we retain the 60% supermajority requirement to pass a bill.

Let’s get back to using each other’s complementary skills and viewpoints to reach even better decisions and creative ideas than ever before.

The other party are not bogeymen. They are us, Americans, with very slight differences in point of view which are valuable, because they cause us to think, and the combination of two viewpoints causes a synthesis that is more perfect than either of the two original viewpoints.

Although the Founders did not visualize this taking place as two parties, they definitely foresaw that debate was going to be the modus operandi for the infant democratic republic. So let’s debate! The more we debate in a cooperative manner the quicker we shall unearth creative solutions for win/win. It makes no sense to delay debating, it is delaying the creative process the Founders invented.

We can carry on the work of America by simply ratcheting up the cooperation and winding down the rancor. Please give it a chance.

We can all act like children some of the time. Let’s not let ourselves do that all the time.

Two Sides to Every Story

To set us off on the right foot, let’s begin by acknowledging the good that has been done by the rival party. Here is a compilation of my subjective top ten accomplishments of Republican and Democratic presidents over the past 30 years. I left out many others worthy of inclusion in a longer article, and provided a bibliography for serious students. Because I set out to help bring us all together, please let’s not get into knocking any of my specific choices below, that wouldn’t do any good. The main reason I put these lists below together is simply to demonstrate that regardless of party, we have in general chosen well, that our recent presidents have all strived to do the best job they could, and that nothing irreparable has been done to damage the U.S.A. or to prove that our system is no longer functioning.

Bill Clinton (Democrat)

  1. Presided over longest period of economic expansion in U.S. history
  2. Unemployment dropped from 7% to 4%
  3. Poverty rate dropped from 15.1% to 11.3%
  4. Federal investment in education and training doubled, 3000% increase in educational technology funding, Internet-connected schools increased from 35% to 95%
  5. Largest crime bill in U.S. history caused crime rates to decline for eight years in a row and in 2000 were at their lowest levels since 1973
  6. Made approximately 300 free trade deals
  7. Helped end the war in Bosnia
  8. Helped negotiate the Oslo Accords between PLO and Israel
  9. Reduced the deficit for the first time since Truman was president, and reduced inflation
  10. Led the fight to pass GATT which lowered tariffs on manufactured goods by more than one third

George W. Bush (Republican)

  1. Withdrew from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, ending the Mutual Assured Destruction era
  2. $1 trillion tax cut
  3. Established Homeland Security
  4. Targeted Osama Lin Laden for 9/11 and sent troops to Afghanistan breeding grounds for similar events in future
  5. Took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to prevent more than half of America’s mortgages from going under
  6. Signed No Child Left Behind Act
  7. Signed Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia
  8. Instituted new penalties for corporate fraud while proposing other reforms to “demand corporate responsibility and integrity without stifling innovation and growth”
  9. Department of Justice guideline prohibiting racial profiling in federal law enforcement
  10. Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes tax credits for wind and other alternative energy, identified ocean energy as a renewable technology

Barack Obama (Democrat)

  1. Signed into law the largest annual increase in research and development funding in America’s history
  2. Ended the 2008 recession: his last three years in office saw annual average growth of 2.3% in U.S. Gross Domestic product (GDP)
  3. International Climate Change Agreement
  4. Modernized the auto industry, raised fuel efficiency standards, and lowered carbon emissions
  5. Reformed health care
  6. Regulated the big banks
  7. Eliminated bin Laden threat and withdrew troops from Iraq
  8. Put 10 million people back to work
  9. Established a new cybersecurity office, appointed a cybersecurity czar, ordered first nationwide cybersecurity assessment
  10. World’s largest free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Donald Trump (Republican)

  1. Abraham Accords: the 2020 Agreement among Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain encouraged similar pacts with Morocco and Sudan
  2. Space Force: recognized that a new branch of the military is now a necessity
  3. More efficiency in striking down terrorists: continued the use of missiles and drones to kill key terrorists without putting Americans in harm’s way
  4. Historic peace deal with Taliban in Afghanistan
  5. Degrees of improvement in relations with most difficult countries such as Russia and North Korea
  6. Called out China’s currency manipulation, product dumping, industrial espionage, and lack of trade reciprocity
  7. Contributed $483 million to the development of Moderna, $456 million to the development of the J&J vaccine, and up to $1.2 billion to the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine through Operation Warp Speed
  8. His first three years in office (before pandemic) saw average U.S. GDP annual growth of 2.5%
  9. Record highs in the Dow Jones Industrial Average
  10. Prior to pandemic, achieved the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years

Joe Biden (Democrat)

  1. Quadrupled the level of vaccinations per week
  2. Most diverse Cabinet in U.S. history
  3. Rejoined the World Health Organization
  4. Rejoined Paris Climate Agreement
  5. Bolstered U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and other cutting-edge technologies
  6. Provided a comprehensive plan for Covid relief and support
  7. Proposed an Immigration bill that provides a path to citizenship and protects Dreamers
  8. Brought troops home from Afghanistan
  9. Restored relationships with allies
  10. Gave fair warning to Russia and China regarding cybercrime and aggression

Interestingly, most of the Joe Biden accomplishments listed above were drawn from Fox News’ Leslie Marshall’s March 11, 2021 opinion column. The full bibliography of sources for this presidential review is included below.

We’re not as far apart as it seems. Sometimes we get good ideas from each other. Let’s stop the silly squabbling and “put the Beatles back together”.

Best to all,

Bill

Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton#:~:text=Clinton%20presided%20over%20the%20longest,for%20national%20health%20care%20reform.

https://clintonwhitehouse1.archives.gov/White_House/Accomplishments/html/accomp-plain.html

https://learnodo-newtonic.com/bill-clinton-accomplishments

https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/achievement/index.html

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/george-w-bush-event-timeline

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency_of_Barack_Obama#:~:text=Obama’s%20first%2Dterm%20actions%20addressed,US%20military%20presence%20in%20Iraq.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/barack-obama/

https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril-2012/obamas-top-50-accomplishments/

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/11/30/fact-sheet-celebrating-president-obamas-top-10-actions-advance

https://www.good.is/articles/obamas-achievements-in-office

https://www.thebalance.com/what-has-obama-done-11-major-accomplishments-3306158

https://time.com/4616866/barack-obama-administration-look-back-history-achievements/

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/04/06/the-fragile-legacy-of-barack-obama/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/obama-biggest-achievements-213487/

https://ramonahouston.com/blog/the-244-accomplishments-of-president-barak-obama/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/11/09/no-pfizers-apparent-vaccine-success-is-not-function-trumps-operation-warp-speed/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-45827430

https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-biggest-accomplishments-and-failures-heading-into-2020-2019-12

https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/opinion/2021/01/trumps-top-10-accomplishments-of-2020-opinion.html

https://capaction.medium.com/what-has-joe-done-for-me-lately-biden-administration-accomplishments-98c71f9ce2d8

https://www.npr.org/2021/04/26/990305593/100-days-how-biden-has-fared-so-far-on-his-promises

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/biden-top-10-achievements-leslie-marshall

https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/apr/26/evaluating-president-joe-bidens-first-100-days-off/

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/news/2021/05/06/499245/first-100-days-analyzing-biden-administrations-foreign-policy-successes-opportunities-next-year/

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/biden-s-track-two-big-achievements-here-s-how-it-n1272343

https://capaction.medium.com/what-has-joe-done-for-me-lately-biden-administration-accomplishments-98c71f9ce2d8

https://khn.org/news/article/evaluating-president-joe-bidens-first-100-days-in-office/

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/28/politics/president-biden-first-100-days/index.html

https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-first-50-days-president-have-been-historic-success-2021-3

How Can We Get the United States Back to Normal?

Created July 30, 2021

“America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.”

–Ronald Reagan

The world is waiting to see how this unprecedented drama comes out. Billions of people had high hopes that America would lead the world to a fair break democracy for all. Now it’s looking like the whole idea of democracy is failing and the brutal bosses are restoring their clutches on the whole planet. The tyrants who used to wear masks as monarchies now wear different masks but they still get their way, one way or the other. They buy it, or threaten, or kill, but nothing stands in their way. Apparently not even the legal government of the USA. Because that legal government is no longer one thing, it’s two things:

  1. People who truly believe in what America is all about.
  2. People who only care about themselves and are betting on the Republican party, led by a splinter arm, to take over the country and maybe one day the world by using perfectly legal means, through their cleverness in gaming those legal rules.

It’s my best estimate based on studying survey results from Pew, Gallup, Dynata and others, that at least 86% of Americans do not back this splinter sub-party within the Republican party, we back America, democracy, equality, freedom, justice, truth, science, and perennial human values.

However, some of the 86% are loyal to the Republican party, it is deeply ingrained, all joining-group phenomena build upon the primal human need to belong, and simply out of loyalty these people have been giving their support to the individuals who are driving this bus.

The tools the drivers are using were not in the U.S. Constitution, but introduced a long time ago by politicians anyway, and now filibuster and gerrymandering are treated as American as applesauce. Filibuster being in place, it stops legislation which could otherwise depose both of these tools. In the next midterm elections coming up soon, prognosticators believe that the Republican party, although a minority, will take possibly permanent or at least multi-decade control of the U.S.A.

We have already seen how, at a time which was premature for a successful coup d’etat (voter restriction laws not yet in place, gerrymandering potentials not yet fully exploited), Trump attempted to remain president and got dangerously close to doing it, and retains his freedom to continue to translate the Trump-Republican sub-party ideas for popular allegiance. How much harder will such people fight to keep their control later on if they manage to ever lose an election again despite the use of false stories through all the media, filibuster, gerrymandering, State level voter rights restrictions, sponsored militias (possible but not proven yet), infiltrated police departments and armed services, and local intimidation.

How can we get back to being the beacon for righteousness for the world? It is not by standing helplessly by and allowing it to continue to be driven by a very small minority that prove by their actions they don’t care at all that they are breaching their oaths of office:

“I, ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.””

The Constitution contains the 15th Amendment:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

The people who have proposed voting restrictions, blatantly designed to disenfranchise minority voters, have clearly breached their solemn oaths. All of these conspirators in a coup d’etat plot, anyone who stayed in a room where words were heard conveying this plan to sufficiently game the system and pack the courts and use every foul means available to gain and retain absolute power over a free people despite knowing themselves to be a minority, are traitors to the American Dream.

“Seditious Conspiracy” has already been mentioned by prosecutors in the cases against Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Florida 3%ers who are known to have coordinated their insurgency at the Capitol. We have to open our minds to wider consideration of such charges as investigators continue to trace the causes of the insurrection, from low places to high.

In this citizen’s opinion, they are traitors, guilty of treason; this is not intended as hyperbole. The indications of treason, to me, are disseminating false information in the media, undermining Americans’ self-belief and the world’s belief in us and in our elections, our Constitution, and our vaccines, causing large scale deaths and encouraging authoritarian foreign governments to escalate cyberattacks on the U.S. and other threats to the security of the world. We ought to overcome our hesitation to call a spade a spade and a traitor a traitor. If this is not treason, nothing is treason. They have lowered our chances to lead the world to democracy. Severely lowered them. They are not only traitors to the U.S.A., they are traitors to the human race.

If evidence is found sufficient for legal action, alleged conspirators ought to be removed at least temporarily from Federal and State office until the court decides what outcome is right and proper on a person-by-person basis. In Congress, these suspended lawmakers must be replaced by someone in the Republican party who has not disseminated false information or in any other way evidenced failure to keep their oath of office.

We should welcome people who have been acting solely out of loyalty, when they rediscover where their true loyalty lies, to the true America, the bastion for freedom and truth, for telling it like it is, for brotherhood and sisterhood, for practical idealism, for working together and reaching the best decisions under majority rule as the major principle that makes all the rest possible.

 

 

After the true conspirators have been weeded out and it is once again possible to function under the U.S. Constitution without filibuster, gerrymandering, or any other loopholes that can be gamed by traitorous actors, we can decide together how to refine the Constitution itself so as to ensure majority rule prevails, such as by elimination of the Electoral College (or by means of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact), and by some adjustment to the equality of States in the Senate. Both of these Constitutional rules are evidence that our Founders were worried that unbounded democracy could lead to bad outcomes, given the fact that most people at the time lacked education (still true today). So they built in rules to provide a cushion: the Electoral College and States’ equality in the Senate. However they did not fully visualize how those cushions could undermine the entire structure of the World’s Greatest Most Daring Experiment. In this century two presidential elections were won (by George W. Bush and Donald Trump) despite the popular vote going the other way (that also happened three other times in U.S. history). In 1776 the difference in population between the most and least populous States was only 12 to 1; today it is more than 62 to 1. A person in California’s vote is worth only 1/62nd of a person in Wyoming in terms of Senate voting. If the Founders had been even more clairvoyant than they were, there might have been codicils to adjust for the uneven growth of the nation.

So many great heroes gave their lives to give us this, the greatest and realistically ONLY hope in the world for a fairer society on this planet. In a short time we have managed to smear ourselves with the excrement of falsity, fascism, paralysis, racism, sheer lunacy, hate, violence, power madness, unmitigated greed, abject stupidity, and a taste level that even P.T. Barnum would sneer at. We can rebound as quickly as we plummeted. We lost every battle in WWII for years but in the end our victory with our allies was inevitable. We are supposed to win. It’s in the cards, in the heavens, in the script. Good triumphs over Evil. Always preceded by a dramatic rise in Evil which seems to be winning and the odds of success seem miniscule. Here we are again.

OVER THE TOP! (What Americans and allies said in WWI before leaving their trenches to face almost certain death. But we won. And we will win this one too. It is our Mission.)

That these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

–Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, November 19, 1863

 

Best to all,

Bill