Molineaux is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and president/CEO of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.
Half of our political class is delusional. There’s an old adage in the marketing business that goes, “Half of all ad dollars are wasted. The problem is, we don’t know which half.” This quip came to mind recently as I was thinking about the culture and narrative war we are living through and our inability or unwillingness to agree on observable facts without interpretation.
In 2018, 89 percent of Americans said that they want both parties to try to find places to compromise. The American public clearly wants something better from our leaders but the question is: What, if anything, are they willing to do about it?
Like the European crusaders who fought to liberate Jerusalem or the revolutionaries in 18th century France and 1930s Germany who built an ideology on liberating their people from oppression, the political class in the United States has been captured in the delusion of “saving the nation” from the forces of evil. On one hand, there is the evil of authoritarianism; on the other, socialism. The political class on each side claims themselves as the warriors of liberation. Russia’s encroachment and now invasion of Ukraine’s territory is their proxy war – protectionists and freedom fighters, battling for the soul of the world. But are they?
What if they are both wrong?
Considerable research has pointed to the “exhausted majority,” those Americans who don’t vote for a variety of reasons, (here, here and here). These citizens want to get on with their lives, loving their friends and family without tip-toeing through political landmines. Businesses would like to get back to serving their customers without feeling internal and external pressure to make statements about politics and social issues. If we want a better future for our nation, we need everyone to do their part. If our democracy is to work, and perhaps even survive, every resident, citizen and neighbor must realize they can make a difference.
If the political class cannot lead then it is up to the exhausted majority to engage and offer a course correction. One of the many reasons people do not engage is their mistaken belief that their vote doesn’t matter and their perspective won’t be represented. History shows us that We the People can make a difference. Unions helped course-correct businesses from unsafe and abusive practices in the last century. American citizens can course-correct the political class by voting. Given our gerrymandered districts, voting in the primary is critically important. Given that less than 25 percent of eligible voter votes in primaries, your vote is even more important. We’ll need three things to make a course correction happen.
- Enact automatic voter registration and easy access to voting for all eligible citizens. (The Heritage Foundation shows 1,165 convictions of voter fraud since 1982 – so let’s stop the pretense that voter fraud is widespread or election changing.)
- Open primaries and allow people to vote for their chosen candidate, regardless of political party. Does this cause discomfort? Please ask yourself why. One person, one vote is the foundation of democracy, why not in primaries, too?
- Be friends with people who are different from yourself. American innovation comes from our diversity. When we stay in homogenous groups, our thinking is more likely to become extreme and deepens our delusions.
I live in the D.C. area. I attend meetings with the political class every day and am frustrated with what I see. These people are my friends and colleagues. But we need your help to co-create a better future for us all. Let’s end the delusion of the political class that believes they are in charge. If they are, it’s because you fail to use the power of your vote.
Please vote in EVERY primary and general election this year. YOU are the course correction we need.
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