Trump is a fool, many say. But is it he who’s the fool, or is it the rest of us? After all, we put him in office. Even if we didn’t vote for him, we didn’t work hard enough to make someone else President. That someone else could have been Bernie, Hillary, Jeb, or . . . . well, you name it, with hindsight anyone else would have been better. No? And having recognized our own failings – our own foolishness – what are we doing now to undo our own misdeeds? Yes, millions of us have signed petitions calling for his impeachment. Millions of us (at various times) have marched in the streets to fight the evil errors of his ways. But so far none of this has been enough.
I’m just one of the many. I worked hard to make Bernie our president, but when that failed (no thanks to Hillary), I basically ran out of steam. For the past year, I’ve mostly sat on the sidelines, watching our country – and our precious rights as citizens – slide downwards towards total destruction. But I’ve gotten to the point of thinking, “I’ve got to do something.” But what? What can I, the one of many fools, do to unhinge the greatest fool in our country’s history?
I was talking with one of my friends on the telephone. We were discussing Trump, and I said what I think so many of us are thinking: “Our world is spinning out of control. Even five years ago, who could imagine the foolishness that is happening in the United States? We have become an unimaginable April Fool’s Day.” And she said, “Maybe we should all go out in the street on April Fool’s Day.”
To which I replied, “Yes.” And together we decided that, foolish though it may seem, we would try to get all us like-minded fools together for one more try at making change.
Remember 2008? Obama proclaimed Hope and Change. Simply for doing this and getting himself elected, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Scandanavians – like the rest of us – were fooled into believing that Obama would do what he promised. And while he did do a few of the things he promised, he failed to do many others. He gave us Obamacare – but he didn’t get us a single-payer plan. He helped get us out of the economic collapse of 2008 – but he let the billionaires get more and more power. He talked about peace – but we have continued to make war. War hasn’t stopped since 2001, and we’ve had the most continuous period of warfare in our entire history. And the Republican domination of Congress – and, indeed, of our entire government -- has grown and grown since 2012.
Our biggest mistake as progressives is our failure to choose the policies we want and work collectively towards achieving them.
We call ourselves progressives, but truthfully we should call ourselves fools. Our biggest mistake as progressives is our failure to choose the policies we want and work collectively towards achieving them. So what I am doing here is calling for a way of bringing us together in a collective movement that will get us marching in the same direction. We do not work together in a meaningful way. For instance, why are there so many petitions to impeach Trump? Like Impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org and Needtoimpeach.com. These are separate petitions. The former says it has 1.342 million signatures.
The latter says it has 3.485 million. Do they duplicate one another or not? Why don’t they join together? There is a similar petition on change.org with 265,959 signatures, and one at thepetitionsite.com which claims 270,553 supporters. There are probably others.
Impeachdonaldtrumpnow started in February 2017 and had a million signatures early on. But it has stalled. Billionaire Tom Steyer started funding Needtoimpeach.com. But why didn’t he join forces with the earlier effort? Maybe he wanted his own organization, or maybe the earlier organization was unwilling to cooperate with him. I googled but could not find any information discussing the two organizations together.
I do know that progressives can work together and even cooperate with the Democratic Party. We have a prime example in the recent victory of Doug Jones over Roy Moore in the special election for senator in Alabama. Huge amounts of money were poured into this election, and there were huge amounts of time and effort on the ground devoted to making Doug Jones victorious. It is efforts like these that we must have to rid ourselves of Big Fool Trump and the GOP, as well as the part of the Democratic Party that has sold out to the corrupt corporations.
Why don’t progressives select five or perhaps as many as ten ideas on which they can all agree and create one large organization that reaches from coast to coast? What ideas? How about single payer healthcare? Combatting climate change? Getting rid of Citizens United? These are fundamental programs that anyone who calls him or herself progressive can agree upon. We don’t have to make any one of these the primary focus. Rather, we can make them all important, because all of them are important. And by making them all important, we can bring an astounding number of participants into one movement.
Let me add a few ideas. First, every progressive organization of any size has a list of names, addresses, and emails for its participants. Many of the names, I’m sure, are duplicates, but some are not. Why don’t these organizations put these names into one central file and permit any truly progressive organization to borrow from the file and contribute to it? Yes, we would need to watch out for trolls, but it would be worth it. We would be able to have a unified way of communicating with the people that matter. We would be able to have organized meetings on all of the important issues. Second, we should stop hammering potential participants with constant barrages and pleas for money. Raising money could be done through a central organization that would fund the efforts to advance the major issues that progressives support.
Third, we could have marches and protests that really mattered. If you can get 100,000 people out for climate change, how many do you think you might be able to get out for climate change and single-payer healthcare and fighting Citizens United?
Fourth, we could organize to elect representatives who really matter. We have numerous organizations now promoting candidates: Our Revolution, Indivisible.org, Progressive Democrats, Working Families Party, Bold Progressives, Turn Out Pac, Progressive Massachusetts, Justice Democrats. (The DNC has refused to allow some of them access to its voter information. Yet another reason that we cannot rely on the DNC). But why aren’t all these organizations working together? With enough collective strength, they could take over the DNC or possibly start a third party with real clout. (It was recently reported that three-quarters of millennials want a third party).
These ideas can be a start. If you want to join in this, take this article and spread it all over Facebook. Send me your name, address and email, as well as your Facebook address. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Then ask anyone who contacts you for his or her name, address and email plus Facebook address. Keep the information in a safe place. If I start getting responses, I’ll contact one or more of the organizations, let them know what we are doing, and tell them that we’ll share our information if they promise to start sharing information with the other organizations and start working towards a united front.
My dearest wish is to start a united organization, one that can work towards an April Fools Day March in every town and city in America this year. Let’s see if we can make it happen. Starting now.