Six Days After the Election

The disconnect between government and citizen grew for decades. We did not fight back as big money crept in, as gerrymandering became an exact science, and as our right to vote was surgically distorted. The fundamental corruptions of our government slowly and numbly severed communication between our collective head and the body of our nation. Slowly being decapitated, we stumbled around flailing in chaos. We allowed for thieves to steal and for liars to deceive. We made hypocrisy mundane and facts baseless. We followed the wrong golden rule, ‘The guy with the gold makes the rules.’ We forgot old wisdom, “Every ruler who accepts a bribe brings great wrath into this world.” (B.Talmud, B. Batra, 9b).

The message of this election is loud and clear and years in the making: People are disconnected from the big decisions that govern their lives. We now have a new government that will continue to tend to the swamp: Do not trust Trump to “drain the swamp,” his likely cabinet selections are swamp people (RNC Chair, former Speaker of the House, former Governor, oil lobbyists, Wall Street lobbyists, etc.) The swamp will change colors, slightly: Most seats at the table will be the same, and it is quite likely that firms that favor Democrats like Facebook and Microsoft will have a relatively smaller seat at the table, and firms that favor Republicans like Koch Industries and Exxon Mobile will have relatively larger seats, and the fundamental political stagnation will continue to simmer, and social unrest will continue to boil over.

Corruption downs power lines and lights unnecessary fires. Corruption militarizes our police, sells guns without accountability, and turns citizens against each other so that you won’t look corruption in the face. Corruption is like a virus in the computer program that distorts every law and every judgment. The Book of Exodus commands, “Do not accept a bribe, a bribe blinds those who see and distorts the words of the innocent.” (23:8). Too many are invisible, and too many cry out and are not heard, and their number will increase dramatically.

It will be necessary to resist against worsening emergencies; When immigrants are being rounded up, when climate change disasters worsen, when economic starvation hardens its siege; It is also necessary to hack away at the root cause of so much chaos.

When corruption is fought, democracy prevails. When bubbles of donors and lobbyists are burst, information from outside flows in. When the profit schemes of politicians are stymied, the gravity of public service weighs on public servants.

My path forward to decrease corruption and increase democracy did not change last Tuesday. The goal is still to pass four laws in Pennsylvania: End Gerrymandering, ban gifts, have automatic voter registration, and have public campaign financing.

The plan is still the same: Contact and learn the positions of all 203 State Representatives and 50 State Senators in Pennsylvania, march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, and perform creative and tactical nonviolent civil disobedience to push our government away from corruption and toward democracy. The themes of the March on Harrisburg are still the same: A space for community and democratic society to organize, a loving intervention for our public servants, a reconciliation between citizen and government, a surgical reattachment of the head to the body.

Spread the word, Democracy is Coming to the USA.

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