Several months have now passed since the conclusion of our last presidential election, though there was little that seemed "presidential" about any of it in my opinion. Nevertheless, I often find myself reflecting on the innumerable circus-like events that led to the eventual outcome, as I'm well aware many still do.
Having personally observed the overt impotence of the existing two-party system from both ends of the political spectrum during the course of my adult life, I'm continually interested in the fact that most of us continue to play along with the same ineffective game of Two-Party - All or Nothing Politics.
Given our gridlock-dominated political history, it continues to astonish me that the majority of us still subscribe to using only two diametrically opposed ideological implements with which to engage one another; an arrangement, by the way, which appears only to keep us continually at odds with one another. This, as I see it, is the cornerstone of keeping the common man distracted and marginalized, while the unelected powers that be tirelessly seek to exploit every last corner of the "undeveloped" natural world.
The outcome of this ill-conceived, zero-sum configuration, as I've come to see it, ensures that no one (save only a select few) gets what they want, instead of us all working together within a well thought-out system which enables everyone to get what they need and some of what they want consistently.
It's the thoughts and questions motivated by these observations that I intend to explore further. My hope is that this will become part of a growing discussion, and eventually lend itself to an even larger movement to push our society in a more inclusive, socially cohesive direction.
I may get myself into a little trouble for what I'm about to write, but not because I'm intending to put-down or offend anyone. It's quite the opposite, in fact. However, if I do offend, I fear that it may only be due to my inability to express certain trains of thought I find challenging to articulate with the written word. However, having accepted my own limitations as an untrained writer, I understand that the potential for being misunderstood does exist.
Having said that, my intention is to simply share my observations and opinions as I see them. It certainly isn't to try to convince you of anything. Rather, it's to illustrate why I believe the unproductive strategy of attempting to convince others is a hopelessly futile endeavor in which a successful outcome simply cannot be realized. I will attempt, therefore, to put forward a practical alternate approach; one which can be implemented by anyone at any time, simply by making the conscious choice to do so.
I realize that this position is bound to stimulate at least some measure of disagreement from somewhere. However, this is to be expected and is even appreciated. I'm well aware of the fact that I, myself, do not even come close to possessing all of the answers. This being the case, I'm open to considering any alternate perspectives, which might further illuminate my own limited understanding.
Be that as it may, please know that my objective is not to be at all condescending or even remotely provocative. Rather, it's to share my personal perspectives as a radical free-thinker who participates in our election processes (even if only halfheartedly most of the time) and who has, at different times, spent a considerable amount of time and energy on both sides of the political fence.
My impressions, therefore, come by way of various insights gained from firsthand experiences during different periods in my adult life. For there were certain times when I would have certainly considered myself to be "bought-in" to whichever side I was supporting and attempting to learn from. Nevertheless, I'll strive to be as evenhanded and delicate as I'm able, while still speaking my truth as I now experience it. I'll thank you in advance for extending me the benefit of the doubt.
I grew up in a middle-class family of seven in Salt Lake City, Utah. And, as you may have guessed, we were active in the Mormon Church. I don't know if it needs to be stated, but the makeup of the church's membership is primarily republican with a sprinkling of conservative democrats. What's more, during my adolescence, the vast majority of those residing in the state were also members of the church. Suffice it to say, almost everyone I knew was a republican Mormon during my early formative years.
As such, I was raised in a highly conservative, deeply religious environment in which I was exposed to very few outside religious, political, or cultural influences. I suppose if I had to say something positive about having the tv continually on in the house I grew up in, it would be that I did gain at least some outside perspective through that limited medium.
After graduating from high school in 1991, I found myself becoming increasingly interested in politics and naturally found my views aligning with the republican party's decidedly conservative bent. Rush Limbaugh was my political hero. In time, however, I found myself growing dissatisfied with what I perceived as the conservative right's increasingly exclusive and constricting platform. Thus, in due course, I slowly made my way toward the opposite end of the political spectrum and landed on the far left by the time I was about twenty-six. From there, I quickly made my way back toward the middle (just left of center), then found I was left with no other choice but to completely abandon the whole political chessboard altogether about three years later.
To me, the entire political game could be likened to an endless tennis match where neither opponent ever scored. Being the passionate and sensitive person I am, I found the idea of continuing to engage in this neverending political volleying to be completely untenable. In my view, it never went anywhere. Therefore, there was no discernible point, except to continually argue with each other for the sake of "being right". What I observed on both sides, and within myself, was that everybody almost always thought they were right and nothing ever seemed to go anywhere because of it. All it really did for me was continue to stoke my already increasing anger about troubling matters over which I had no identifiable control.
At some point during my twenty-ninth year, I was done with the two-party system and I never looked back. For me, I had come to a point where the idea of choosing between two ideologically opposed political candidates was like choosing between the conservative ideals espoused by one sock puppet, or the antithetical liberal leanings of the opposing sock puppet, even as both lifeless dolls were being propped-up and animated by the same mysterious, self-serving puppeteer.
I've since come to realize that there actually is a point to all the madness, that the system isn't broken as I'd once concluded; at least not for those whom I believe it was originally meant to serve. For me and those like me, however, it's quite apparent to me that the reigning political system isn't working in a manner which aligns with the majority of our interests; conservative, independent, or liberal. What's more, I'm convinced that there's no amount of tinkering that can be done with the existing infrastructure that will ever make it so. Despite what most seem to believe, I'm sorry to say that I simply don't see that it was ever designed with we, the people's, interests at heart. I believe this is something we'll eventually have to come to terms with if we wish to move forward.
In my opinion, this is what all the orchestrated madness keeps us from looking at more critically, as this elaborate, albeit ineffectual, two-party distraction has been working splendidly for quite some time now. For it appears to me that we've gone well beyond taking the bait. We also seem to have swallowed the hook, line, and sinker.
I've come to see is that if the disenfranchised masses wish to enjoy a system of government that actually does serve our interests, we're going to have to roll up our sleeves and build it from the ground up. To do that, we're going to have to dismantle the existing one. To do that, we're going to have to reach all the way down, individually and collectively, and take back our thrones. To do that, things are going to have to get a little messy. Nobody wants it to get messy, including yours truly.
As for those few for whom the present system is already working, they appear to be completely dependent on our self-preserving instinct to protect the status quo. And I'm confident they'll fight to keep things going just the way they are for as long as they possibly can. And why shouldn't they? If extreme wealth and power is the name of their respective game, they're winning quite decisively. And isn't winning the whole point for many in our competition-fueled, consumer culture? To pretend less is merely courting ignorance, as I view it.
However, what happens when matters become so intolerable and out of balance for enough people, that the leap from "normal" too messy is no longer a leap at all, but a mere step? At that point, or perhaps even much sooner, I think it'll be sufficiently clear to a large enough number of us that we'll begin to see that we have far less to lose by taking this uncertain step than not. And I've little doubt we'll eventually take it.
For history has repeatedly demonstrated that this is how the story eventually unfolds for all socially, economically, and politically complex societies. Show me when and where a culture more relatively complex than ours has ever existed in recorded history. In my estimation, therefore, this looming tipping point is simply unavoidable. I think most of us know this, even if only intuitively. Everything changes and everything eventually dies, and that's just the indisputable way of things. This appears to apply evenly to both complex systems and living organisms, as the two are obviously intimately intertwined. From my perspective, therefore, it's simply a question of what will light the fuse — and when will it happen?
The Game of I'm Right & Everybody Else is Wrong
If you pay very close attention to your own thoughts, over time you'll begin to notice that you're always playing a very addictive little game with yourself in the background of your mind. One of my favorite philosophers, Alan Watts, liked to refer to it as:
"The Game of I'm Right & Everybody Else is Wrong"
However, we don't typically like to bring this to our own attention very often because it tends to spoil the fun of being right all the time. Be that as it may, rest assured that we all play it in one way or another. But please don't take my word for it, have a look for yourself sometime.
Examples of this game might include:
- Someone cuts you off in traffic, making them the unsafe idiot who doesn't know how to drive and you the superior king of the five 'o clock commute.
- The person standing in front of you in line at the coffee shop doesn't seem to be aware that there are other people behind them as they slowly meander through their order, making them the unaware simpleton and you the conscientious samaritan.
- Your spouse forgets to put out the garbage again, making them the inconsiderate partner and you the responsible one who has to remember to do everything or nothing gets done.
Anyway, you get the idea. I'm right and everybody else is wrong. And, as the late, Johnny Cash, famously sang:
"... and it all goes down in your mind."
With that said, is there really a problem with our playing these little games within ourselves? I mean, if these seemingly innocuous mini-dramas begin and end within the confines of our own minds, no one ever really knows about them. Therefore, nobody ever gets hurt, right?
Well, yes and no. Maybe these isolated examples, and the countless others like them, are relatively benign enough in the moment they're happening. However, what about the long-term, aggregate propensity this mindset engenders? To explain:
Because our outer environment is merely a reflection of our collective inner-states, yes, we all feel the ongoing effects of this widespread game. It's undeniably difficult, however, to draw a straight line from any one of these single private occurrences to their corresponding negative outcomes. However, if the root of a particular pattern is isolated and reframed, the subsequent unconscious tendencies can be worked with consciously.
If, however, we continue to move through our lives unconsciously selling ourselves (in countless little ways) on the idea that we're always right and everybody else is always wrong, over time this trains and conditions the mind to rigidly see things only one way (i.e., our way) in a world where there are as many ways to see things as there are people to see them. This, as it turns out, directly contributes to creating a shared environment where everybody thinks everybody else is clueless. The proof, as anyone can easily ascertain, is all around us.
If you consider yourself to be among the politically and/or spiritually enlightened few who are "awake," while the impotent masses remain asleep at the wheel. Consider allowing your position be softened by the knowledge that there will always be somebody out there who thinks you're a clueless idiot who needs to wake-up.
As I've been able to observe in myself, this innate tendency to make myself right in my own mind cannot help but eventually make the all-important step from the inner realm to the outer one. After all, the things I think reflect the beliefs I hold, and my actions have a reliable tendency to dutifully follow suit.
Groupthink & The Pattern of Addiction
GROUPTHINK: the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.
ADDICTION: the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
This, as it happens, appears to concentrate and can further entrench us in these rigid mindsets, particularly when we begin aligning ourselves with groups of people who have had similar life experiences. This is because our shared views have a way of coloring each of our subsequent individual perspectives in a similar fashion. For, not only do we get to be right in our own minds, but we now get to have these beliefs validated by others within whichever religious or secular organization to which we've naturally gravitated.
As I've observed in myself, this outer confirmation of my inner state is deeply satisfying to the human psyche. This is primarily what the mind feeds on because validating its thoughts and beliefs confirms its very identity, its very existence. More than anything, we want to believe that who we think we are is actually who we are. And this continual feedback, from both ourselves and others, provides us with the temporary sustenance to feed this insatiable hunger.
You may have noticed that I did say temporary? This is because, like any superficial remedy, you'll observe that the validating high eventually wears off. The resulting biochemical rush we experience by being right quickly fades, which compels us to seek out and exploit the next soothing fix.
If this pattern of behavior seems similar to the pattern of substance addiction, it's because the two are not different from one another. That is to say, they appear to operate in exactly the same manner. Furthermore, just like with the drug addict, the high only balms a deeper, untreated wound temporarily. This is why we always require another hit. And, more importantly, this is why the being-right-fix never solves the ultimate problem.
And lest anyone think that I've somehow managed to absolve myself of personal involvement by pedestalizing myself in my own mind, that I've somehow insulated myself from being included in this little pickle in which we find ourselves, rest assured that I fully accept that this includes me and my "radical free-thinking" position as well. For, as far as I can tell, no one's immune.
The Death of Accountability
ACCOUNTABILITY: the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.
Before moving on, I feel it important to note that this inherent need to be right, particularly in a group environment, also appears to extend to defending others who identify with our own views. This is especially interesting to observe when related to protecting those occupying leadership roles. For, not only will we work to safeguard our own identities at almost any cost, it appears we'll also defend those with whom we agree and follow just as fiercely.
There is, after all, no difference between our own values and theirs. If therefore, you attack one who represents my views (i.e., my identity), you're attacking me personally. As such, I've observed that we'll very often condone their behavior, even when it's undeniably clear that they're acting directly against our own best interests. If this seems counterintuitive, it's because it is. However, rational objectivity will rarely be found to exist where shielding one's psycho-emotional self-interests are concerned. For there's nothing sane involved in the task of preserving one's insane identity.
In a political context, nowhere is this more prevalent than when one's candidate of choice wins their respective electoral contest. To those who support their efforts, it appears they see their preferred leader as one who can do no wrong. Many, it seems, will support and defend anything they say or do whether they truly agree with them or not. This self-defeating reflex reaches far deeper than "saving face" when it starts becoming clearer that their political champion doesn't intend to deliver on their stated promises. For this indiscriminate whitewashing is motivated by something much more deeply personal in my opinion.
And in the inverse situation, where their respective candidate of choice loses, there seems to be an almost seamless transition from a decidedly defensive posture to one which blindly attacks the opposition at any slightest given aperture. Again, it appears these attacks will often be mounted even on the rare occasions when their perceived enemy is acting in their own interests. In these less common instances, however, I've seen that some of the more aware opposing constituents may go so far as to damn such actions with faint praise. However, little more typically results.
As I see it, the real-world consequences stemming from both of these myopic responses go far deeper than the frail, cosmetic underpinnings of being cast as "sore losers" or "gracious winners". For there appear to be pervasive defensive tendencies to gloss over and make excuses for their respective representatives, even when they invariably contradict the very platforms upon which their support was originally solicited. And again, when the roles are reversed, they appear to indiscriminately demonize the opposition's leader for essentially doing the same thing after their own respective candidate has suffered certain defeat.
The result, in my view, contributes heavily to keeping both factions perpetually polarized. It also appears to insulate those elected from ever being held meaningfully accountable for their conflicting words and behaviors. And, given our apparent unwillingness to back-up our own stated views and values, why would they? If the same people who support their efforts and put them where they want to be won't step-up to hold their feet to the fire, that leaves only the duty-bound opposition to pick up this heavy mantle. However, as I've tried to point out, they're already blindly attacking them at every conceivable turn. The result, as I view it, is that these political figureheads never actually lose anything they didn't already possess to begin with. The losers, therefore, are the right, the left, and everyone in between.
In light of these observations, can there honestly be any real confusion as to why politicians appear to be so utterly cavalier in their willingness to make broad, sweeping promises when seeking public office, only to predictably break or downplay them once they've assumed their respective roles? Moreover, why would they even think to do such a thing to those whom they claim to serve and supposedly answer to?
To me, the politician's position in all of this is ultimately the most precarious one. For they're essentially powerless against either of those they serve (i.e., the super-wealthy or the people) without the tacit support of the other. Yes, they're undoubtedly mere lap dogs for our society's super-wealthy. However, they're also the supposed mouthpiece of the people, whose sole purpose is to protect them from those with inordinate amounts of wealth and power. So, it appears they're always being stretched and pulled between these two opposing forces. This dangerous little balancing act may be possible the majority of the time. However, what happens when this delicately balanced game eventually reaches its mysterious tipping point? When it all comes tumbling down and something closer to the truth is left standing, as I see it, they'll be the ones left sitting exposed out in the open with no friends, no power, and nowhere to hide.
Be that as it may, however, it's not they who are the true problem in my view. For it is we, the benign electorate, who create and maintain the fertile conditions for this unexamined pattern to thrive unchallenged.
ZERO-SUM: (of a game or situation) in which whatever is gained by one side is lost by the other.
IDEAL: existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality.
If you were fortunate enough to be registering a pulse from November 8th of last year till the 20th of January in this one, you might have been aware that there were a few people who seemed to be, shall we say, displeased with the results of the 2016 presidential election. Having no affiliation with either party, myself, I was somewhat agnostic over the eventual outcome. Though, in the interest of transparency, I personally chose to vote against our current president.
Be that as it may, aside from being surprised that he was actually able to pull something off which I personally saw as being unlikely, I was even more surprised by how liberal America appeared to respond to this decisive defeat.
I'm not going to spend time running down the laundry list of events that transpired between election day and inauguration day, as I'm sure they're still fairly fresh in our minds. However, I will say that I've never seen anything like it before in my life; not even close. And not to be glib, but if liberal America were a three-year-old child happily licking the biggest, most delicious lollipop ever, then Donald Trump was the disapproving parent who pulled it from their little cherubic hands and threw it into the garbage so they wouldn't spoil their dinner. And, from what I observed, the collective liberal temper tantrum that immediately ensued could have given most actual three-year-olds a contentious run for their gluten-free-lunch money.
But all joking aside, what exactly were they expecting? The democrats were able to hold onto the White House for eight years, which the Republicans did before them. It was their turn to disappoint us and lead us to want more "change" or "hope" or "greatness" or whatever other unimaginative taglines they could shamelessly recycle with which to easily reel us in.
There were only two candidates because there are only two parties to speak of. And what's more, registered voters in this country are divided right down the middle ideologically. Now, I'm not a gambling man, but, to me, those seem like pretty straightforward odds. I'm no mathematician either, but I'm pretty sure there was about a 50/50 shot either one of these lackluster, lesser-of-two-evils would come out on top. And this, from my point of view, is the single biggest problem with our diametrically opposed two-party framework. To explain:
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you subscribe to one of the two predominant parties, and that I have the ability to wave a magic wand and grant you three political wishes. Now, I could be wrong. But I imagine you would either swap out Hillary Clinton for our existing president, or you'd simply keep things as they are and let them play out. You'd likely use your second wish to fill the house, senate, and judiciary with those friendly to your party's cause so the president could actually get something done. And your third and final wish would ostensibly involve making sure the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government all remain staffed in your party's favor from now until the end of time.
This is what you secretly want, isn't it? Isn't this what's behind all of the anger and frustration when you're forced to suffer through the fallout of the opposing party's ill-conceived policies over the course of their respective reigns? Isn't it this crushed sense of entitlement and ideological superiority that makes four-years feel like eight?
Well, if you take this scenario out to its logical conclusion, what you're essentially left with is a political monopoly. Any hint of balance that previously existed would likely be thrown out the window, and we'd probably end up with something like what we fled from before we decided to cross the Atlantic to "form a more perfect union".
Moreover, even if you realized this and wished instead for some framework of evenly distributed alternating power; which is closer to what we have now, you would still find yourself going nowhere. For as long as we have only two parties whose views directly contradict the other's, each party will always be working tirelessly to undermine and undo anything the previous administration put in place to create room for their own politically superior policies. And in this polarized, change-addicted political environment, the scepter can only alternate between one side or the other. This sought after "change", therefore, can only be enjoyed by either side for a relatively brief moment.
So, where does this zero-sum arrangement leave us? It leaves half of us getting some of what we want today, only to have it taken from us so the other half can have some of what they want tomorrow. In other words, over a relatively short timeline, it leaves us getting absolutely nowhere; treading water, jogging in place. If you were to graph this alternating trend out over an average lifespan of seventy-five or so years, it would most likely look like two overlapping, flat lines (no pun intended).
The Empty Promise
If we, the people, could somehow find a way to accept the fact that we live in a world where we cannot have everything we want all of the time, we might actually have a chance at being able to separate ourselves enough from our own limited perspectives long enough to see what's actually going on right under our own noses.
As I see it, the two-party system wasn't designed to actually function in the way it seductively promises. However, it does appear to have been built to keep us striving and believing it can if we'll only fight a little harder for a little while longer, if we'll just throw one more vote behind this or that political savior. That ever-elusive "brighter day" is always just around the next corner, only a few more short steps away. But we never quite get there, do we?
The Empty Fist
This appears to be no accident. For, in my opinion, this is the sole intended purpose of this particular half of the complete picture. In my estimation, the two-party system is merely one distracting component of a larger, two-part whole.
Though this complicated topic deserves a much broader and deeper discussion to do it any sort of justice, I'll simply say that the two-party system, as I've come to see it, is merely a tactical diversion; a ruse. It's sort of like distracting a child with an empty fist, while you do something else with your other hand behind your back. The other half of this whole, which seems to compel our elected representatives to often act in ways which appear to directly conflict with our own interests, is to serve those few whose objectives are predominantly out of alignment with our own. For those they truly appear to serve seem to be completely disinterested in freeing us, but appear to be deeply concerned with keeping us hopelessly enslaved to carrying out and supporting their own veiled objectives under the guise of "democracy".
Incidentally, these cancerous goals just so happen to directly conflict with most of our own. Hence, the need for the aforementioned two-party diversion. They do, however, appear to provide our political "counterparts" with what they're evidently striving for, which is what people of their sort always seem to be groping and clamoring for but never appear to get enough of wealth and power. There's nothing new or mysterious in this uncomplicated meme. It's one of the oldest stories in human existence.
And to be clear, I have absolutely no problem with there being an environment where those who play bigger, riskier games amass wealth commensurate with their relative efforts. With that said, however, when those interests conflict with that of the public good, and they begin to hijack everyone's government to serve their own exclusive ends; as presently appears to be the case, I cannot and will not get on board with this.
So, in my view, the system isn't actually broken at all. From this larger, more wholistic perspective, it's working brilliantly. It's just not working for those it seems it was never intended to work for in the first place. In other words, it appears to be serving the purpose which its original architects specifically intended.
Maybe you think I sound cynical? Twenty years ago, I'm confident much of this would have sounded like "fuzzy thinking," "political quackery," or the like. However, I think it's presently fairly well understood by a rapidly growing number, that what goes on behind the political scenes and what's openly offered up for public consumption are two substantially different matters. In the wake of recent discoveries, I don't think I'm being at all controversial by suggesting that we don't have the honest, reciprocal relationships with our elected stewards that we'd like to think we have.
The Political Promised Land
In the end, I believe this just-beyond-our-reach ideal of some mythic political promised land, like all ideals, doesn't exist. And it doesn't exist because it simply can't exist within the existing divisive structure. Until we come to grips with this, therefore, I don't see how we'll ever be able to take a single meaningful step in the direction we all intuitively know we can.
In my very sincere opinion, any former or sitting president who says they "believe in the system", is either very foolish, they're lying, or they're referring to the larger corporate-political configuration of which I speak. In which case, they're only partially telling the truth, as they're failing to describe the system they hold so dear in its entirety. I'm open to any alternate possibilities, of course. However, everything I've seen up until this point leads me to believe that the latter, unfortunately, is the more accurate reflection of the true state of things.
The Revolution is Acceptance
REVOLUTION: a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people's ideas about it.
ACCEPTANCE: the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.
As I've endeavored to illustrate with this post, we live in a world with 7.2ish billion other people who all possess their own deeply held personal beliefs. Some of these beliefs are conscious, many others are not. These beliefs are inexplicably influenced by a countless number of interrelated variables, such as country of origin, ethnicity, sex, family of origin, conditions of upbringing, culture, tradition, education, religion, and economic status, just to list a few.
From these beliefs, which are incomprehensibly shaped, molded, and blended with the above-listed factors and countless others come our thoughts, behaviors, and cherished viewpoints. These stem from our own unique life experiences and are, therefore, as real and true to each of us as are the noses that sit on our faces. To ask anyone to change their own perspective, therefore, is to ask them to deny their own life experience, their own identity, who they believe they are. How many of us are willing to deny who we believe we are, and what would it take for us to do so?
Knowing only a fraction of the lengths to which we'll each go to defend and protect our own identities, to be "right" within our own minds, how can any of us think that we will ever succeed in convincing anyone with an opposing perspective to abandon their own in favor of ours simply because we tell them they're less than us if they fail to do so?
I would like to suggest that it's literally impossible for others to see things exactly the way we see them, by convincing them or any other coercive means, as everything we perceive as being "out there" is processed solely through our own uniquely shaped lenses. In other words, we're all exclusively preoccupied with only our own thoughts 100% of the time.
At best, therefore, we can happen upon others who already view the world through a similarly shaped lens, who may also possess a less developed story of self than we. As such, others may wish to adopt aspects of our's, which appear to them to be more complete than their own. However, the more dissimilar their story is from mine, the less likely this is to happen. For, if we're standing too far apart to begin with, we simply won't be able to see each other from where we're each positioned.
In my view, we must open our eyes and fully accept that this will never happen for the vast majority, unless their respective circumstances are so desperate they simply have no other choice or it's forced upon them at the point of a gun. Both of these cases, of course, provide only the illusion of acceptance.
This, to me, is the only first step to creating a lasting momentum forward. The very act of unconditionally accepting, and working with, our unalterable differences is a profoundly revolutionary act. For it unites us in the acceptance of our differences, which is the one thing those who seek to further divide and subjugate us cannot ever hope to withstand. For this deep ideological divide is ultimately the only weapon they possess, as it's the only thing still breathing life into their beloved, inert two-party Prometheus.
This acceptance; this working together within our current differences, as I see it, must happen now. Waiting for some distant point in the future when we're all magically agreeing with one another to begin working together, is like deciding to climb Mount Everest on the condition that we'll help each other only after we've reached the top. We need each other on the way up the mountain. We need each other now.
If we won't agree to this most basic of starting points, how will we ever form the basis for coming together at all? This, in my humble opinion, is the one thing that will save us. And make no mistake about it, those few who seem only to be interested in keeping us subordinated to their own narrow interests know this all too well.
There's a reason, for example, why the major news conglomerates are reluctant to provide adequate coverage to any political candidates who fail to parrot the predictable two-party rhetoric espoused by their reliably opposed sock puppets. A reality that was made unmistakably clear with the almost non-existent coverage Bernie Sanders' swelling populist movement received before and throughout the democratic primaries in 2016.
In my view, the way forward will not be found in the fruitless pursuit of convincing others. For it has nothing to with others. The way forward, then, lies solely within each one of us. It's absolutely dependent on our individual willingness to see others for who they are now, today, and to fully accept them anyway. It's not up to anyone else to do this for you because no one else possesses this power but you. The responsibility, therefore, rests squarely and exclusively upon your own shoulders. The way through this perpetual stalemate is entirely up to you because the way through is you.
And if I may be so bold as to respectfully disagree with the distinguished senator from Vermont when he states that it's a political revolution we need… It isn't. It's an inner one. A political revolution is merely a natural external byproduct of a deeper collective inner shift in consciousness. And the inner revolution that's needed, as I see it, is one of acceptance for ourselves and everyone who inhabits this tiny planet. And, like any revolution, it will organically rise or fall within each of our hearts and minds commensurate with our individual and subsequent collective choosing. And, of course, as nature consistently dictates, the resulting physical outcome will always reflect whichever collective inner state we've each chosen to embrace.
If we wish to know the current condition of our world, we needn't turn on our tv's nor search the internet to learn the unavoidable truth. For we need only look into the depths of our own intolerant hearts to see exactly where we stand.