(5 min. read) - There is so much division in our society it is dragging down belief in democracy. Like most relationships, if there is too much arguing in a group and too little agreement building and accomplishment, people lose faith in it. To address these problems it's helpful to begin by demystifying democracy by leveraging our personal experience. We also should discuss one of the greatest threats to it so we appreciate the urgent need to recommit ourselves to settling differences by democratic process.
Groups need open airing of differences, presentation of plans to address concerns, a vote, and then to work together in support of what the group decided. This is key to working out our differences in friendship, marriage, family, church, work, union, and virtually all spaces of human collaboration. Our cities, states, and nation also depend on the settlement of differences this way.
Helping the people make their republic work is especially important now, because we face a problem that is a poison to any relationship. Democracy is under threat by factions organizing the rejection of facts, logic, and fairness to advance political followership; by fascists. This politic mirrors religious fundamentalism. You see it in how tens of millions still support the 45th President despite his responsibility for the January 2021 attack on the Capitol. Fascist organizing weaponizes prejudice to attack critical thinking and moral discernment. That 47% voted to keep him in power despite four years of overwhelming evidence of way out of norm unethical conduct is a alarming signal of what this is doing in faith, work, and other spaces in our society. The last election showed a clear majority oppose autocracy. However, if we fail to settle differences among ourselves by democratic process, we have no chance preventing fascists from taking control of government or really addressing the damage being done by it to women, the environment, and oppressed people.
Every four years our society invests a great deal of time and resources in the selection of not just a president, but a platform for governing. This document should serve society like a four year business plan. Our constitution is clear, you should build agreement among the states for your platform 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 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. The change the people need requires us to organize community, hold obstructionists accountable, and win legislative majorities; so we need a movement of organizers committed to that work.
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 consent of the governed, it fundamentally harms our union. Friendship, marriage, family, church, union, city, state, nation are all human relationships that depend a deep appreciation for the importance of not just what you want, but also others; and then 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, it is the greatest delegation of legitimate power and mandate in our republic.
Even when we win elections, instead of pressing on to other states and districts, infighting begins, polling of regresssives 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 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. We help with campaigns and training programs 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 of all non-profits, media, business, and faith groups. Just a 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.