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What Hillary Must Do (1)

September 9, 2016

She must move to empower white Americans who have been weakened, or fear that they have been weakened, or fear that they will be weakened by economic and demographic changes. Why? Because (1) it’s the humane, compassionate, thing to do; (2) it’s the democratic thing to do; and (3) if she’s honest and right about America being stronger together, then “together” must include those fearful (and yes, even hateful, but mostly not) white folks, and she had best get started now.

I don’t think that she must do that in order to win the presidency. But she must do it in order to be the effective president that we fearfully need. Bernie was right about that. She will be a stronger president if Americans act together, in overwhelming support of her policies. Those supporters must include fearful white folks. Without that support, she will not be strong enough to fight off the divisive, lying, counter-offensives and offensives launched by Koch Industries, Trump Enterprises, and the Republican politicians whom they will own. In 2018 fearful white voters will then be even more scared, more resentful, and more sure that the Dem president lied to them (in what used to be known as politicians not keeping their promises).

For instance, she’s going to need those voters, in order to have the Dem majority in the House that will support adequate changes in the economy—the most important being the redistribution of wealth that would benefit “99%” of us, including those white folks.

Many of those white folks fear losing power that was unjustly given to them by racist governance. In that sense, like myself, they are structural racists. For instance, I benefited from the racist allocation of GI Bill funding of postwar housing. But note, my father had no idea what was happening, and I have reason to believe that if it had been explained to him, he would have agreed that the funding operation should not be racist. Today his children accept responsibility for righting such wrongs that stupidly caused others to suffer.  That, too, can happen.

Do those white folks now simply deserve what they get? Are they expendable? Only if your concepts of justice and human community are based on punishment, including ostracism. So much for “together.”

People of whatever skin color and ancestry can be brought to a better understanding of life, in which they see what is actually wrong, and understand that they are not threatened by righting it. “Stronger together” must include that understanding, by everyone.

I don’t know of any time in our history when Americans were “together” in the way I’m suggesting, and which I hope is what Hillary means. We’ve always been divided by the psycho-pathologies of classism, sexism, and racism. Trump gets that, and he plans to ride it into the White House. The Republicans get that, and they base their political philosophy and actions on it. The Koch Bros get it, and they are doing their moneyed best to ride the Republican Party into governmental power. America isn’t just weaker when we’re not together, we’re vulnerable to loss of our democracy.

On page 2 of this episode I’ll think more about this situation, with concrete examples.

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