Open Letter To The People

(5 min. read) - There is a kind of political division rising in our society that is poisonous to democracy; because it is harmful to any relationship. In the U.S. a politic of lies, logic fallacies, and unfairness culminated in the January 6th 2021 insurrection at the capitol. If you normalize this politic in any group, especially when there is too little agreement building and too little accomplishment, people lose faith in the group. This venomous politic is harming our republic with extremism. Even if 2024 is won, it's important to review presidential polling at the end of 2023.

A year ahead of the 2024 election polling showed that Trump voters were trending to win. The coalition of voters that beat Trump in 2020 is deeply divided. Despite all the accomplishments of the Biden administration he is polling to lose to one of the worst presidents in history. Trump has many legal issues and his record is being exposed as even worse than we realized. And yet, in the winter of 2023, the greater unity of Trump supporters took the lead in polling to win 2024. Thankfully, everyday personal experience can help us understand the relationship we are in called democracy and the threat we face.

We live democracy everyday when we work out our differences by informal votes in friendship, marriage, family, church, work, union, and virtually all spaces of human collaboration. If you disregard the plan that comes from democratic decision making process, because it didn't go exactly as you wanted, you don't just poison the unity needed for the plan to succeed. You poison belief in the relationship if your primary focus is others doing what you want.

Democratic process nurtures consent as an actual core value of participants; we live everyday "consent of the governed" when friends or coworkers build agreement to a course of action. Our cities, states, and nation depend on settling differences through democratic process. This is especially important now with the rise of Trump politics.

Democracy is under threat by factions organizing the rejection of facts, logic, and fairness to advance political followership; by fascists. The dynamic mirrors religious fundamentalism. Years of right-wing political conditioning of tens of millions reached a point where it is easy for them to believe the big lie that Trump only lost the 2020 election because of voter fraud. Repeatedly the courts ruled against his voter fraud lies. This was not an exception, it was the norm: Trump made over 30,000+ documented lies as President. Imagine the harm to someone you care about if they have someone in their lives who lies to them so much and they just keep believing in them despite the lies and illogic. That tens of millions would vote to continue enabling Trump to harm others they dislike is a clear example of how fascism degenerates critical thinking and moral discernment. 47% of Americans voted to keep him in power despite four years of overwhelming evidence of way out of norm unethical conduct. This is especially dangerous because fascist organizing also weaponizes prejudice. That fascist behavior is so widespread among the 47% is an alarming signal of the harm this politic is doing in faith, business, civic, media, elected, and other spaces in our society.

Thankfully, in the 2020 election, a clear majority of 81 million Americans opposed this fascist politic. The trouble is that the 47% refuse to acknowledge the harm they have done during the Trump administration. Instead of making it right, they are still advancing candidates that are less blatant and, they hope, more effective versions of Trump.

Even when progressives win elections, instead of pressing on to other regressive dominated states and districts, infighting begins, polling of regressives to win the next election goes up, elected officials in vulnerable districts get scared, and legislation slows or stops.

If those of us who are loyal to settling differences by democratic process fail to restore faith in it, there is a real risk fascists will damage the basic norms of decency in society until they are a majority. We are in a catastrophic downward spiral of regressive politics winning control of government, wrecking the world, followed by one or two terms of the rest of us only partially cleaning up after them. Unfortunately, instead of continuing to press the attack after winning an election, non-regressives end up so divided again that regressives regain power and continue the spiral. The damage to economics, women, the environment, and oppressed people is clear. The fracturing of non-regressives has to stop. Greater respect for democratic process offers a better way of resolving differences among those of us opposed to regress.


Every four years our society invests a great deal of time and resources in the selection of not just a president, but a plan for governing; a platform. This document should serve society like a four-year business plan. Our constitution is clear, you should build agreement among the states for your policy proposals to the point the people elect a majority to Congress and a president in support. If you have not done the work of gaining consent in this way, then you have not earned the support required to change the people’s laws or to govern. There are too many groups that prioritize making demands but neglect organizing the people's representative power; their vote. Advancing the people's platform requires community organizing, holding obstructionists accountable, and winning legislative majorities; so we need a movement of organizers that make sure this work gets done first. 

Our society conducts a presidential primary process across all 50 states that all parties can leverage to draw a majority of people to a candidate and platform. It’s important to acknowledge the legitimacy only such a massive democratic process can confer. When too many groups disregard obtaining the consent of the governed, or dismiss the results of elections, it fundamentally harms our union the same way disregard for consent harms all relationships. Friendship, marriage, family, church, union, city, state, nation are all human relationships that depend on a deep appreciation for the importance of not just what you want, but also for building agreement or consent to a course of action. The national presidential candidate debates reach tens of millions. Tens of thousands of media reports cover a wide diversity of the people’s concerns. Hundreds of millions are spent by campaigns to educate, persuade and mobilize the people’s support on issues through their vote; along with countless volunteer hours. This not only produces tens of millions of votes, but it is also the greatest legitimate delegation of the people's power in our republic. Restoring proper respect and cooperation around this is how we address cancerous infighting. Here is our theory of change:

Great changes like the New Deal and Great Society reforms require removing the opposition from Congress until a supermajority in favor remains. Only democracy can legitimately establish the people's plan for governance through their vote for a national platform and leader. Demand tactics that fail to gain democratic consent from the people are easily dismissed if the opposition wins a majority in Congress. After each election continuous focus on the most progressive platform the people consented to is the key to national unity in law-making. The legitimacy of the people’s support, as shown in polling, is what determines the left or rightward direction of law-making. Legislation will stall or shift right if opposition polling is trending to win the next election. The more we organize the removal of the  opposition from power the more things progress.

The challenge we must overcome is that even when progressives win elections, instead of pressing on to other regressive dominated states and districts, infighting begins, polling of regressives to win the next election goes up, elected officials in vulnerable districts get scared, and legislation slows or stops. For Progress is dedicated to helping the largest non-regressive multi-party voter coalition in our republic move their platform and democratic process forward; year after year until every state is liberated from regressive politics. In the last presidential election, 81 million came together in support of a wide variety of vital issues. For Progress helps with planning, training, and campaigns that integrate the organizing of the people's community, law-making, and representative power. Defending democracy is not just the responsibility of grassroots groups but all non-profits, media, business, and faith groups. Just as civic groups benefit when they help the people, so should all groups. We hope to be in touch soon so we can explore how causes you care about and organizations you work with can thrive by advancing the people’s platform.