The belated call to protest the political convention results is a red herring.

Please note, in this post I will discuss the broad concept of protesting the political party decisions as it applies to both parties in the 2016 presidential campaign. Future readers, note that the Republican Party was split over the selection of Donald Trump and the Democratic Party was split over the selection of Hillary Clinton. This post will address both of these issues neutrally, this isn’t ‘taking sides’ or ‘sour grapes’ as some might call it.

 

In order to have a protest, there must be a minimum of two things: protesters and a responsive party.

Protesters, obviously, are those who stand together, united, for or against, a common cause. This group can consist of almost anyone, especially in our country, where “We, the People” have the right to peaceably protest.

In terms of effecting change, however, it is also important to have someone who will listen and can act in some manner upon the object of the protest; a responsive party.

Unfortunately, in the case of a national political convention, the parties most qualified to act upon the protest of their decisions are those same political parties. Herein lies the problem.

The protest of a political convention’s results would be heard by the media, who are so politically polarized that they couldn’t say anything for fear of a backlash from “the other side,” and the government.

There are several problems with the concept of protesting the government to the government. One is that politicians tend to claim membership to a political party and, therefore, are faced with a conflict of interest when asked to protest said party.

Another is that “We, the People” have allowed politicians to pursue a lifelong career in politics. This means that standing with the protesters and demanding change would be political suicide and, for a career politician, would lead to an early end of said career.

A third is that politicians and governments tend to do what their leaders tell them to do. This would be simple enough, had “We, the People” demanded they remain our leaders and prevented them from bowing to any other interest aside from ours. The reality is that they would first appeal to their leaders in their political parties. Then they would then appeal to those who lead their policy making decisions, namely financial contributors.

Appealing to the opposite party would also fail. The opposing party doesn’t really have any concern to ensuring the opponent was being just and fair, that typically leads voters to stray from the party seen as “unjust” or “unfair”. But it’s especially important to keep this in mind: during this election both parties were facing scrutiny, from outside the party and from within, for their decisions of candidates, so neither of them had a “high ground” to stand from in addressing any protest about corruption.

So, yes, we could have protested the results, but nobody would have been receptive to our calls.

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Dear America

Dear America,

On November 8, 2016, “We, the People” got what we deserved. “We, the People” are ALL to blame for what happens during the campaign and on election day. Nobody can wash their hands of anything by saying “I voted for the other candidate” because that isn’t how Democracy is designed.

In the past, “We, the People” were a population who would stop at nothing to prevent blatantly corrupt candidates being selected for office. Now, and for the past several elections, “We, the People” have become a group of people who will stop at nothing to line up to denounce our citizenship because “We, the People” don’t like the candidates.

Again, “We, the People” are getting what we deserve. “We, the People” marginalize everyone in the manner the media indicates. The voter apathy of 30 years ago – the “I don’t care who wins, so long as I’ll be able to keep making money and having fun” mindset – has devolved into willful ignorance – a “Don’t talk to me about politics; I don’t care and I don’t want to hear about it” mindset.

“We, the People” have been so uninvolved in the changes we claim to want, yet we haven’t mustered a single strong movement in nearly 40 years. Even after the hotly contested 2000 presidential election results, when there was an outcry over the electoral college, “We, the People” went right back to our chosen forms of entertainment, and we ignored the issues  with the passage of time.

Have I mentioned yet that “We, the People” are getting exactly what we deserve?

“We, the People” claim to be one nation, yet we act as though we are several different nations. “We, the People” no longer listen to opposing viewpoints, even though they may be accurate, because we are too busy talking about our own thoughts and beliefs. “We, the People” allowed a presidential candidate to ”elevate” to high-profile hate-monger status, and we championed him for it.  Americans came together more around hatred than any other sentiment, emotion, or ideology.

No, I don’t support Trump, but I’m not surprised for a second that he is the president-elect. Honestly, I get Trump.

I’ve seen the same ads for products that he has sexualize everything: from shampoo and chewing gum to cars and breakfast cereals, and everything in between, in order to make a profit.   I’ve seen this my whole life, so I get how someone would think it’s OK to say & do the things he’s said & done regarding women.

I’ve seen how people who don’t fit the “accepted by rich white people standards” scenarios are portrayed in the media my whole life, the same as he does, so I get how a person could judge others to be inferior based solely on a singular quality & trait. I get that.

I’ve seen how scumbags like Brock Turner get caught in the act of raping someone, but get sentenced to only 3 months in county jail because of their status, so I get that he thinks he can do whatever he wants because of his status.

I’ve seen what Hillary Clinton was called and accused of, and I’ve read the articles and WikiLeaks, so I get that people think Trump was the lesser of two evils.

I’ve seen how, from birth, we’re trained to see authority as “evil” – from our parents punishing us for what we did wrong all the way up to hating our bosses for asking us to work overtime – so I get that people think it’s OK for authority figures to be evil.

I’ve seen how this plays out in our history, too. Hate the natives enough? Band together to fight them. Hate the British enough? Band together and fight them. Hate anyone enough? Band together and fight them.

I’ve seen bridges collapse and power outages spread across half the country, with no call to update the infrastructure, so I get that we don’t expect anyone in charge to fix any of this for us.

I’ve seen a minority of zealous believers follow through on bizarre and dangerous actions, so I get that there is a desire to keep this from happening, no matter the cost.

I’ve seen that there is so little good in some people that, if given the chance, they’ll avoid making a choice, because it causes them immediate and direct discomfort – even so much as avoiding an annual checkup for fear of that needle used for blood tests – so I get that people wouldn’t want to venture out of their comfort zones to actually make a difference.

Through our inaction, we have created a society that encourages white males to idolize people who act and think like Trump. How could he have lost?

Do “We, the People” get it yet? They gave us the candidates they wanted, because nobody has been doing anything to demand, or produce, better options.

“We, the People” resorted to yelling and screaming, succumbing to the rhetoric and hate speech…. on both sides.  Through the entire campaign fiasco, nobody once tried to be the better person, to not “stoop to the same level,” and to rise above.  Neither candidate actually took a stand on issues and laid out plans for the economy, the infrastructure, or foreign policy, but, more importantly, “We, the People” didn’t insist on it. “We, the People” did nothing, so they did exactly what they wanted.

“We, the People” let the electoral college stay in place, even though it has been nothing but problematic for decades.  Sixteen years since that highly contested 2000 election, and still no call to action? No demands placed upon congress? None. “We, the People” sat down and expected the presidents, who are the sole beneficiaries of this archaic program, to do something to change it. Honestly, will any person, who just won any campaign because of a system that this person has called “broken” and “rigged” do anything to change it? Of course not! Sure, the system is broken…but only for the loser, not for the victor.

The victor never has to worry about changing something because the structure is in place.

“We, the People” sit back and wait for Congress – who decides whether or not they get a raise – to decide it’s time to cut Congressional pay.

“We, the People” sit back and wait for Congress to vote to pass term limits. Why, so they can go back to jobs they’ve likely forgotten how to do?   So they would walk away from cushy jobs with never-ending income for a chance to be a lawyer again?

Remember those people who broke the law by refusing to sit at hearings for a supreme court justice for almost a year? “We, the People” voted them back into office.

Let me reiterate this for emphasis: “We, the People” are getting exactly what we deserve.

Do “We, the People” really want change? If so, why haven’t “We, the People” been demanding it all these years?

Donald Trump ran for office promising that he would bring change, that he was an outsider to the corrupt political system. His first actions will be to fill his cabinet and select his aides and advisors. As an outsider, he would be expected to break the status quo on this. Instead, his first action was to dip right in to the choir of Same-Party Followers, just like every other corrupt politician before him. This makes it obvious from the start that he was not an outsider to the corrupt political game.

This election “We, the People” were asked to flip a coin. On one side, “We, the People” were shown the embodiment of the corrupt political structures that turned public service into a high-paying career. On the other side, “We, the People” were shown the embodiment of the corrupt economic structures that influence law making to such a degree that they routinely get free passes for their actions.

Many people think politics are more corrupt than economics. Well, it’s not. Remember the financial crisis that peaked in 2008? The one in which Bush passed a bill and bailed the banks out? (Also remember that “We, the People” can’t blame Obama, since he didn’t take office until 2009, and that bill was passed in October of 2008). Nobody stood up and demanded the law that was passed to allow this bailout be repealed. Those who knew in advance that they would emerge victorious allowed it to continue. “We, the People” sat back and watched it happen.

Regardless of the outcome, this was a significant meeting between the corruption of economics and the corruption of politics after which, “We, the People” sat back and watched… again. “We, the People” demanded nothing and, frankly, that’s what they gave us.

Clearly this is happening on both sides of the political spectrum. Look at what happened when Obamacare, a push for a much-needed healthcare reform, was proposed. It wasn’t the perfect plan for “We, the People”. It wasn’t necessarily even a good plan. The problem is that it was the only plan they showed us, and “We, the People” didn’t demand more, so it won by default. “We, the People” did not insist that there be a counter-plan. “We, the People” did not insist that both sides of the spectrum work together. “We, the People” did not insist that the plan be examined by impartial third parties. “We, the People” did not insist on seeing real simulations of potential outcomes impacting real life scenarios. “We, the People” were given what they wanted to give us.

Throwing insults at opponents isn’t a new strategy. Nor is ignoring another’s opinion. Ignoring advice because you don’t like the source isn’t new either. The fact is, these are easy strategies, and there exists a tendency to rely on something easy. The comfort zone, the life routine, the hope that someone else will volunteer for the difficult assignment.

The easy thing to do is to avoid.  Avoid living beyond your own needs and desires.  Avoid seeing the struggles of others.  Avoid empathy.

The difficult thing to do is just the opposite.  To listen to those with whom you disagree.  To observe what’s happening beyond your comfort zone.

We’ve been doing the easy thing for so long that the hard thing has now become a mountainous obstacle course which we go out of our way to avoid, because that mountain looks very difficult compared to the path around it.

But that’s what we do. We chose “easy”, and continue to choose “easy”. We chose to do this. We chose not to act when the signs kept appearing over all these years.

The republican politicians are calling to “work together,” which is quite the opposite of what they’ve done for the democrat politicians.  The democrat politicians also say the same thing when their candidate wins, so their opinion is also invalid.  None of them are working together; they are working for themselves and their party, and against “We, the People.”

Furthermore, when a politician says “work together,” they are only referring to other politicians.  It’s not a call for “We, the People” to form solidarity. There is strength in numbers, as evidenced by those inciting violence in Trump’s name and those inciting violence against him in protest. These aren’t individuals harassing others; these are groups of people who have come together to harass and abuse others. Empowered and emboldened by a president-elect who, as of this writing, 3 days into the violence, has not said anything to distance himself from this violence.  In fact, during the campaign, he called for such acts, condoning them before they could occur. In fact, at this point, it could be considered that saying anything against this violence would come out more as “Alright, enough is enough, don’t go too far” instead of “Hey everyone, solidarity doesn’t mean beat the other people up.”

Additionally, four years ago, he denounced the electoral college and the entire election process when Obama was reelected. Now that the electoral college could be the sole reason he is considered “president-elect.” Of course, this tweet has now been deleted, because he is not an outsider, he is the same level of hypocrisy he claimed to be pushing aside.

“We, the People” are no longer the constituents of them – the political and economic elite. We have allowed ourselves to become “the voters,” called upon in times of federally mandated elections to “perform our civic duty” and “#voteIRL.”

“We, the People” have a civic duty far beyond that.  Our civic duty includes petitioning for a redress of grievances, protesting unfair treatment of any one of us, and demanding that change be made that benefits us.

“We, the People” now have what we deserve. “We, the People” have earned it through negligence of the rights of ourselves and others. “We, the People” haven’t demanded more, so we get what they want to give us.

“We, the People” call for hope, but “We, the People” must be that hope. “We, the People” cannot expect the politicians to fulfill our hope because our hopes are contrary to their best interests. Throughout history, change has not come from the victors; only through the downtrodden resisting the victors openly has change been achieved.

“We, the People” must not rest on the laurels of those who came before us and remembering them as great leaders and inspirations whom we know use as sources of quotes to inspire ourselves in our daily grinds. “We, the People” must honor their work by continuing the fight for our rights. “We, the People” must carve out a place for all of us: the obviously marginalized and oppressed, as well as the surreptitiously marginalized and oppressed. Those who crave violence and those who demand nonviolence. Those who fear big government’s imposition on us and those who think “We, the People” need strong guidance. United, “We, the People” will stand.  Divided, in any way, we will continue to kneel until we are sent to our graves.

“We, the People” need to accept that “We, the People” are many, with differing experiences, educations, thoughts, beliefs and values. Therefore, “We, the People” are free and welcome to disagree on issues, but “We, the People” need to discuss these issues civilly so that our leaders – corrupt or not – can see our example and understand that anything less is no longer acceptable.

“We, the People” must, once again, be the change we want to see. This time, “We, the People” must demand this from our leaders.  We must insist that those who cannot reflect the changes that “We, the People” demand need to be put on notice; that their time to lead must be shortened.