A Political Game-Changer?
By Steve Bhaerman
“We need a transpartisan upwising to overgrow the partisan trance.”
— Swami Beyondananda
There is the classic story about a man who is down on his knees in a parking lot one night, obviously looking for something. A passerby asks him what he’s doing.
“I’m looking for my car keys,” is the reply.
“Oh, let me help,” the stranger offers. “Where do you think you lost them?”
“I lost them in the bushes over there,” the man replies, pointing.
“Then why are you looking in the parking lot?” the stranger asks, puzzled.
“Well, because there’s more light here.”
That story is the story of well-meaning political activism in America. Those who want to create a healthier world for our children tend to invest time, resources and hopes in organizations and campaigns working in the familiar well lit spaces. However, as we are finding out, most if not all of the political and economic decisions that impact our lives and world are made in the endarkened corridors of power.
Go ahead, pick an issue:
- Health care “reform” completely bypassed a single-payer system, and instead coerces Americans to buy insurance from a private monopoly.
- In spite of hope and hype, the foreign policy of the new boss is not that different from the old one. (Can you say, “Egypt?”)
- Again, despite a “regime change,” Monsanto rules the Agriculture Department, the banksters regulate the banks, the drug companies run health care, and big media owns the FCC.
Meanwhile, our elections cost seventeen times what they did 35 years ago, and with each election we the people seem to be less and less in charge of what really happens. The “free press” that our Founding Fathers hoped would inform the electorate has devolved into a brainwashing machine stuck on spin lobbing weapons of mass-distraction from behind the Irony Curtain.
Despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans from all across the political spectrum mistrust the corporate state, we have been divided into two warring tribes, and while the red and blue tribes have been arguing about whether it’s worse to kill the born or the unborn, our commonwealth has been stolen out from under us.
No wonder the topic of politics – hearing the word, actually – for most people elicits feelings of disgust, anger, hopelessness, apathy, and even dread for our future. In spite of it all, dedicated activists seeking a better world continue crawling around the parking lot playing the only game in town. Until now.
If we want to have genuine change instead of chump change, if we want a political system that serves the commonwealth and not just the uncommonly wealthy, we must change the political game.
How? Read on.
A Recipe for Political Climate Change
As you may or may not know, my background is in political science and history. And after more than four decades of political activism and awareness, I believe we now have a political game-changer thanks to my friend and colleague Joseph McCormick. I first met Joseph nearly three years ago, and we instantly had a meeting of the minds and hearts. Although our backgrounds couldn’t be more different – he’s a former Army Ranger and Christian Coalition activist, and I’m a one-time Vietnam War protestor and lifelong progressive – our “foreground” is remarkably the same.
We both resonate with the Declaration of Independence’s radical contention that our rights to life, liberty, and happiness derive not from an external sovereign, but from our intrinsic sovereignty as human beings.
And we both recognize that only by integrating the opposites that seem to divide us – left and right, progressive and conservative, feminine and masculine, heart and mind, and even science and religion-can we successfully rule ourselves in this challenging time, and bring the vision of America’s Founders of a nation built on freedom, justice, truth, and unity into this new century.
After a ten-month collaboration, we are publishing – now in e-book form, soon in print format – a book that can transform politics in America, and profoundly impact the world we live in. I’m not bragging on myself here, because this book is largely Joseph’s story of political transformation from political divider to political unifier. Just as valuable as his inspiring personal story are the lessons he has learned along the way, the practices and principles that will turn “We, the People” into a force powerful enough to “overgrow” the current system based on the unchecked, unbalanced, unmitigated rule of money.
From Joseph’s personal story, you will learn:
- How Congressional campaigns are really run, and what candidates have to do to “qualify” for special interest money.
- How losing everything led to a spiritual and political epiphany.
- A journey to “look for America” where interviews with Americans as politically diverse as Ralph Nader and Ross Perot, Grover Norquist and Noam Chomsky revealed striking similarities in regard to what’s wrong with America and how to set it right.
- A remarkable Reuniting America retreat that brought Al Gore face-to-face with the leading Republican debunker of climate change – and might have been the reason Pat Robertson told his flock, “Climate change is real.”
- The issue that united the Christian Coalition and MoveOn.org, and jammed the switchboard of Congress.
- How an Oregon town transformed local governance, by not lobbying.
- How a politically-diverse group of Seattle citizens meeting for eight months offer a glimpse of what nearly all Americans want, and are willing to work for.
From Part II of the book, Lessons Learned, you will discover:
- Why it’s important to bring all parties and viewpoints into the room.
- How to use political polarities as a dynamo to propel a group past positions toward practical solutions.
- How to manage emotional triggers so that both conservatives and liberals feel safe.
- Why and how a new political alignment is emerging between “conservatarians” (conservative libertarians) and “progreensives” (progressive greens) and how this can transform politics from the grassroots up.
- The practices and principles that will create a “sacred container” for a democratic republic.
- What “Sunshine Governance” of We, the People could look like – and how amazingly close we are to having it.
Now, you may be so turned off by politics that you don’t believe anything could turn you on. Maybe you’ve sworn off “hopium,” or find the challenges too overwhelming or have decided to focus on the personal, your own life and family. Maybe you have taken a peek down the political rabbit hole and just “don’t want to go there.” The undeniable truth is, “there” has already come here. We are already subject to “subtle dictatorship” thanks to government secrecy, the so-called Patriot Act and myriads of directives seeking to consolidate power at the top. These conditions will impact our lives and the lives of children whether we like it or not. Denial – or as the Swami calls it, “not-seeism” – will only make the current conditions worse.
Two principles of political science are operative regardless of what we do or don’t do:
1. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
2. When few rule, few benefit.
If you’ve read and were inspired by Spontaneous Evolution, get ready to be inspired by a practical blueprint for political evolution that will take us past both hope and hopelessness to genuine empowerment as healthy cells of a healed body politic.
Let the new political game begin, and let’s get ready to take the field.
Order this book here now for just $9.97. It may be the most important $9.97 you spend this year!
We invite your comments on the book at www.reunitingamerica.org