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Seize the Day

January 20, 2017

Say no. Say yes.

Stopping Trump and the Republican Rampage is not enuf. It must be only the immediate tactic in a grand strategy of advancing our democracy and healing the planet. We don’t have time for merely rejecting Trumpism and replacing Republicans with something that tolerates fascist oligarchs and depends on the good will of aristocrats, whose interests run counter to governance by majority and to the actions that are required for a healthier planet.

We must take power away from the few, and distribute it among the masses. But only the masses can do that. Our method can be either violent or nonviolent. I’m thinking that, in spite of the fait accompli of “Citizens United,” and the lack of a Constitutional guarantee of the right to vote, we still have a legal framework for successful, nonviolent revolutionary actions that are peaceable assemblies and petitions for redress of grievances.

Say no.

But our grievances are so enormous—the loss of a livable planet; the corruption, perversion, and potential loss of our democracy; the pervasive, steady transfer of our wealth to the very few; the pervasive, steady decline in our quality of life (using Thoreau’s measure of the cost of a thing: “the amount of life that must be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run”)—that true redress can only take the form of vast improvements. The guillotine alone won’t cut it.

Say yes.

Our progressive “Revolution of 2017-?” must seize today’s Trumpster occasion as an opportunity to marshal forces for a sweeping movement of reform and rebuilding.

Our identity and agenda must be visionary, offering a concrete imagination of “the good life” that is persuasively inclusive of all citizens, and is detailed about its ends and its means.

I’m thinking that, above all, we must effect a revolution of perspective, in the form of a return to the principles of the “Revolution of ’75” (as Thoreau called it)—the principles that negate aristocracy and inequality of human worth. They are principles of valorization that envision and encourage the best in our common humanity, by declaring that our humanity, in its fullest health, is an inherent, fundamental measure of value. That measure holds steady and is all-embracing. Consciousness, compassion, breath are the true measures of value. Not money. Say yes say no.

When we allow money to be the exclusive unit and measure of value, as is the case in America today, we reduce the imagination to a one-dimensional monomania that perceives both earth and soul as numbers, symbols of the exclusively objective, addictively cumulative, self-justifying, esoteric competition that is divorced from any moral imperative beyond its super-elite hoarders. Then Trump’s clique of Extractors are free to turn the earth, air, fire, and water into numbers in their bank accounts.

While Trump twitters his daily dance macabre, his clown chaos, we must not be misdirected by the whirl of hands, or be distracted by the flash of bling. We must focus our attention where the action is, both his actions and ours.

The masses can only take, and make, healing power where WE are. We must act everywhere that we live. Millions of Trump voters will be changing their minds. (There will be regret, self-recrimination, gnashing of teeth.) Welcome them. Show them our communities of health and compassion. Give them opportunities to resist, and to make America a democracy again.

We have until November 2018 to show that we can do it, and 2020 to finish the job.

The work has already begun.

In the name of everything that is good for Americans and the earth, say no. Say yes.

Say no say Yes with every opportunity and in the best imaginable ways.

And where there isn’t an opportunity, make one.

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