We have to stop thinking in terms of “us Democrats” against “them Republicans” or “us Republicans” against “them Democrats” or “us conservatives” against “them liberals” or “us on the left” against “them on the right” or “us whatever” against “them Trumpists.” This “us against them” America, which this tribal thinking (or gang mentality) creates, is the America ruled by the rich which has been going to the dogs and steering ever closer to the cliff. It’s the America which has seen the quality of our lives decline to where many of us live in outright misery and despair and… quiet – or sometimes not so quiet anymore – rage!
Perhaps the worst form this is taking as of late (and NOT by accident, mind you!) is the “us progressives against Trump” theme. This is total BS created by neoliberals usurping the term “progressive” so that some progressively minded people have begun distancing themselves from the term progressive and, for example, unfollowing social media places like progressive Facebook groups, because the usurped term has become toxic to them. To ever more people, the term “progressive” no longer stands for people who want life to get better for everybody, but rather for corporatist shills like Hillary Clinton and that entire rest of the neoliberal junta which has taken over the “Democratic” Party so it now is no different from the Republican Party — a deceitful political gang taking bribes from business tycoons while telling their supporters the lies we like to hear.
This warping of our language is an old dirty trick of the neoliberal and neocon thugs. When those of us who fight for fair pay, fair jobs, fair taxation, fair access to healthcare and education – well, a fair life, really – and a functioning democracy without which none of us can have a say in our national affairs; when we don’t even know what to call ourselves anymore because the term that used to describe us has been usurped by crooks, don’t we then simply disappear?
This sure is their hope. Us disappearing is what our masters want, the robber billionaires and their millionaire minions in CEO seats, the mainstream media, and the political offices which they abuse for their personal enrichment. But even if they smear our name, we are still here, because we are none other than the American people, gradually – one by one, person by person – waking up from the false dreams and narratives by which they have been controlling us.
Maybe we no longer need the term “progressive” to identify ourselves, since we are nearly everybody in our country. We are THE PEOPLE.
Once we wake up and put aside our delusional political party identities, we recognize our colleagues and neighbors as people like ourselves, equally underwater from our ravaged economy, equally or similarly cheated by a system which redistributes our national wealth and the fruits of our labor to a criminal minority of vile despotic rulers who manipulate all the rules of our society: our political process, our working conditions and work compensations, our tax system, healthcare and educational system, even the media, all to maximize their control and profits and leave us as little as possible — and that in a nation where we are so productive that we could easily overcome all scarcity and make everybody’s life good once we shake off the yoke of these nefarious masters. Once we recognize that, we know who our true enemies are. We then can put aside our minor differences and join forces to make America into the America we were always promised, a country of liberty and justice for all, a place where the phrase “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is no less turned on its head than the term “progressive.” It’s what the founders did.
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