The Republican Agenda represents outdated Values and Ideology that no longer serves our diverse country as we confront 21st century challenges
By: Eric J. Safranek
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States...
These are the opening words to an Oath that every US President, Senator, Congressperson and member of our Armed Forces recites
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The Preamble to the US Constitution as it lays out the intentions of our Constitution
As a Nation we have lost sight of the vision initially intended to guide us toward a “more perfect Union”. Considering it was written at a time when Women were void of Rights and Africans were shipped to our Country as Slaves (only to be viewed as three-fifths of a third-class person later) perhaps, it was never intended to represent us all equally. However you choose to interpret the above words or the overall intentions of our Founding Fathers, it is imperative that we as a collective, move forward together, to make the necessary improvements to our culture, our laws, and our behaviors, in an effort to create a more perfect Union that adapts to modern day challenges, which truly benefits ALL of our Citizens.
Over the past 233 years, since its signing, we have continually updated our Constitution to meet new changes, challenges and technology. A pattern emerges of slow adaptation, which has always lagged far behind the need for said changes — this becomes even more obvious now, during a time of exponential advancements across the board. Just as we all continually seek out better, safer, more efficient technology; we should enthusiastically seek out similar improvements to our society.
The Police Officers who stood aside as they witnessed one of their own murder an American, (George Floyd) are just as guilty as the Republican Congressmen who continue to stay on the sidelines. They fail to stand up, oppose, speak out against, or take action against Trump’s incessant crimes and calls for violence. Possibly due to a fear of retaliation from their own Party, from the Radicalized Right, or from this President himself; our Republican Congress and Governors have enabled Trump and supported his actions. This Administration, The Republicans who refused to oppose it, and the Citizens that continue to support it, all have blood on their hands, and No Republicans have shown the necessary Courage or Leadership to govern our diverse nation, in any capacity, moving forward.
The Republican Party does not represent our country Fundamentally or Demographically. Both political parties are desperately in need of fresh blood, new perspectives and new leadership, (just as America is in need of additional Political Parties to address the diversity of our citizens.) But it is the selfish “survival of the fittest” Republican attitude that continues to divide us. As we have learned through team sports, one player cannot win a game by himself… it takes the efforts of everyone on the team. Those who are religious, are instilled with a belief in helping those in need… and we currently have more than half our country in desperate need of our help, in one way or another.
Solutions… What Can We Do?
Ask more questions… Ask better questions… Listen. Is this a Right and Moral Response? This is a litmus test in which many of our policies and practices continually fail. Confederate Flags, Statues and mementos of our racist history should not be celebrated outdoors, but instead secured within museums to serve as cautionary reminders of our country’s past transgressions.
We face an uncertain future of fewer jobs, more health concerns, greater threats, and modern issues that simply cannot be resolved by 20th century approaches. The solutions we seek lie in creating A More Perfect Union which benefits us ALL, and the path forward is Together.
Working from home will be the new normal for many.
While many Businesses will therefore shrink their office spaces, other Corporations will be required to invest in much larger offices in order to accommodate these new standards being recommended by Advisors and requested by Employees.
We were forced to figure out the logistics and discover the necessary technology we needed to adapt to this crisis. Perhaps this will be the impetus that accelerates trends and our reliance upon A.I. and Voice-Command technology.
Additional challenges and beneficial improvements unforeseen previously, will become evident over the next several years.
Our Environment is likely to receive some relief from reduced commuters, but unfortunately for many, the jobs simply won't return…
With half a country living paycheck to paycheck, while drowning in debt, and living in housing they cannot afford; the shit is bound to hit the fan as unemployment heads north of 20%...
Our unsustainable pricing models and practices of the 20th Century were destined to catch up to us.
As these Dominos fall, we must consider improved standards, protections and improvements to better prepare us for 21st Century challenges.
“Nearly 10 percent of renters didn’t pay in April compared with 5 percent during a typical month, and May is expected to be even worse”
"The misinformation that reaches the Fox News audience is a danger to public health. Indeed, it is not an overstatement to say that your misreporting endangers your own viewers – and not only them, for in a pandemic, individual behavior affects significant numbers of other people as well."
"When the statements of knowledgeable experts are surrounded by false claims made by pundits and politicians, including the president – claims that are not rebutted by knowledgeable people in real time – the overall effect is to mislead a vulnerable public about risks and harms. Misinformation furthers the reach and the dangers of the pandemic."
Fox News first commenced broadcasting in 1996. Over the next 24 years, assisted by Right-Wing Media and “televangelists” such as Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly; they have delivered the word of Roger Ailes, and successfully brainwashed their viewers into believing a false narrative — an entirely new, alternate reality.
They have armed Republicans with an armada of misinformation — slanderous opinions repackaged and delivered as fact.
Fox News has instilled and normalized such fear, hatred and racism in unrelenting fashion, that they have trained their followers to vote against their best interests.
"Fox News hosts and guests minimized the dangers, accusing Democrats and the media of inflating the dangers (in Sean Hannity’s words) to “bludgeon Trump with this new hoax”. Such commentary encouraged Donald Trump to trivialize the threat and helped obstruct national, state and local efforts to limit the coronavirus."
Fox, combined with the efforts of Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, have created such divisiveness amongst Republicans and Democrats — a culture of Us vs Them, that Republicans now prioritize party over country and are committed to a win at any cost approach, to elections, gerrymandering, laws that favor the rich and unfairly discriminate against and disenfranchise: African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, the Poor and the Middle Class.
Add to this, an ongoing and never-ending rant from Trump about "Fake News", which is purposefully directed towards credible news sources, (such as AP, BBC and The New York Times) in an attempt to group them with the likes of Fox News, The Blaze and OAN, which ironically - Trump portrays as "Nice News."
The remedy to these tactics lies in education, access to a diverse selection of accurate information, and last but not least, independent thinking. We must take the time to teach our children how to interpret, digest and contemplate the overwhelming amount of information they digest every waking hour of the day; verify that these statements, ideas and ideologies meld with their personal convictions, while developing the skill to differentiate between sourced fact and personal opinions.
Right Now, as we deal with the spread of COVID-19, we can lessen the harm of this virus by dealing with the greater underlying danger that currently threatens us - misinformation. Prior to sharing your facts and opinions with others, the most beneficial measure we could take to help each other, is to take but a moment and think to ourselves... "Do my opinions and facts meet the high standards I set for myself?"
Referenced opinion article:
The End Of The American Dream and What Is To Come Next
"Three decades of neoliberal policies have decimated the middle class, our economy, and our democracy"
"America today has higher inequality and less upward social mobility than most other developed countries"
"After rising for a century, average life expectancy in the U.S. is now declining. And for those in the bottom 90% of the income distribution, real (inflation-adjusted) wages have stagnated: the income of a typical male worker today is around where it was 40 years ago."
What is Neoliberalism?
"Often associated with laissez-faire economics, the policy that prescribes a minimal amount of government interference in the economic issues of individuals and society. This theory is characterized by the belief that continued economic growth will lead to human progress, a confidence in free markets, and an emphasis on limited state interference... Neoliberalism supports fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, privatization, and greatly reduced government spending... There are many criticisms of neoliberalism, including its potential to endanger democracy, workers’ rights, and sovereign nations’ right to self-determination." [Investopedia]
"As diversity continually grows each year, the Baby Boomer Generation that profited most from the Neoliberalism Movement that started in the 1980's, will likely be the one's who will likely suffer the greatest, from the downsides of the system they once coveted."
"We can thank former President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for our current state of affairs. The neoliberal reforms of the 1980s were based on the idea that unfettered markets would bring shared prosperity through a mystical trickle-down process."
"We were told that lowering tax rates on the rich, financialization, and globalization would result in higher standards of living for everybody. Instead... a greater share of the wealth and income from this limited growth was funneled to the top 1%...
Instead of the promised prosperity, we got deindustrialization, polarization, and a shrinking middle class. Unless we change the script, these patterns will continue — or worsen."
"Trump and the lobbyists he has appointed to dismantle the U.S. government are doing everything they can to strip away regulations protecting the environment, public health, and even the economy."
"The U.S., after all, stands alone among developed countries in not recognizing health care as a basic human right. Ironically, while the U.S. spends more on health care — both per capita and as a share of gross domestic product — than any other developed country, its predominantly private system delivers worse outcomes."
"It requires that we reverse the Republican Party’s systematic effort to disenfranchise large segments of the electorate through voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other anti-democratic techniques. It also requires that we reduce the influence of money in politics, and restore proper checks and balances."
"Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling,"
"Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive."
"The privatization or marketization of public services such as energy, water, trains, health, education, roads and prisons has enabled corporations to set up tollbooths in front of essential assets and charge rent, either to citizens or to government, for their use."
"“Like rent,” he argues, “interest is ... unearned income that accrues without any effort”. As the poor become poorer and the rich become richer, the rich acquire increasing control over another crucial asset: money. Interest payments, overwhelmingly, are a transfer of money from the poor to the rich."
"Not only are the banks too big to fail, but so are the corporations now charged with delivering public services... vital national services cannot be allowed to collapse, which means that competition cannot run its course. Business takes the profits, the state keeps the risk."
"The greater the failure, the more extreme the ideology becomes. Governments use neoliberal crises as both excuse and opportunity to cut taxes, privatize remaining public services, rip holes in the social safety net, deregulate corporations and re-regulate citizens."
"Neoliberalism show[s] that it’s not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. For Labour, the Democrats and the wider left, the central task should be to... attempt to design a new system, tailored to the demands of the 21st century."
"The current economic crisis has exacerbated stagnation and inequality."
"Real socialism is the only option to the current economic crisis... as capitalism ceases to be a viable historical system, socialism may prove to be the only viable solution to the fundamental crisis confronting humanity in the 21st century"
"Capitalism is inefficient as is socialism... The great advantage of socialism over capitalism is that the former outscores the latter in fulfilling social needs."
"The presence of exploitation in both systems. In the case of capitalism, capitalists exploited workers and peasants. In socialism, the state exploited workers and peasants"
"Neoliberalism is a failure because it has produced lower growth rates than keynesianism and real socialism. Furthermore, it has not satisfied people's basic needs."
As you can see, there are no perfect options or simple solutions. It is evident that, what we are doing, and the current path we are on, IS NOT SUSTAINABLE. Change is imminent.
I have been saying for years: the solutions do not reside on the Far Left or Far Right, but instead somewhere in the middle. The irrelevant models and systems of the past are antiquated. It is imperative for us to develop a new modern system that creatively integrates Capitalist Innovation with all-encompassing Social Democratic Safety Nets.
If we have learned anything from the Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020, is that wars are no longer the greatest threat to humanity. Viruses, Technology/AI and Climate Change pose far greater threats. The need to redirect resources, (both financial and other) towards: Education, Health and Eco-Friendly practices are mandatory to our survival.
As of this morning, Italy has now witnessed over 74,000 cases of Coronavirus and more than 7,500 Deaths as a result. To put that in perspective for Americans that may be minimizing the impact of this pandemic and possibly believe that this is just another flu, consider this:
you turned on Fox News today and they announced that EVERY SINGLE PLAYER of the: National Football League; Major League Baseball; National Basketball Association; and National Hockey League, had passed away since the Super Bowl on February 2nd, 2020?
In addition to that, EVERY SINGLE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER of the SEC and BIG10 had also passed.
Not to mention, the: Head Coach; Assistant Coach; GM; Owner; Mascot; and even #1 Fan, of each of those 151 Teams have also died in less than two months, would that be a point of concern?
So, to put this all in perspective, if the above scenario played out, the 6,059 dead would still fall short of what the Italians are currently dealing with as we speak.
My hope here is not to instill fear or loss of hope, but instead... awareness. Demand that your local Representatives, Mayors, Governors, Senators, and even President, take this seriously and give Human Lives greater priority than Corporate Profits.
Pray for those in mourning all over the World who are dealing with the results of this pandemic, as well as the brave and hardworking: Doctors, Nurses and Scientists; who are on the front lines of Hospitals and Laboratories everywhere, attempting to care for and treat those infected or dying, while striving to remain healthy themselves.
#NFL #MLB #NBA #NHL #NCAA
"The coming weeks and months will require us to make decisions, decisions that will bring major changes, and I will take full responsibility for those changes"
~French President, Emmanuel Macron
In a foolish attempt to stay informed and better grasp the situation at hand, I mistakenly watched Trump ignorantly and incoherently stumble through yet another divisive and mind-numbing press conference.
Inspired by a friend's post the other day, I decided to see how other Leaders were addressing and comforting their citizens.
I have no desire to enter in to conversations of another Leader's politics, stances or past actions - for I do not follow, and have no dog in that fight.
What did impress me was the Confident, Coherent and Compassionate messages that were delivered to their Citizens. In such interesting times like these, it is encouraging and reassuring to witness True Leadership during this unprecedented period that we are experiencing.
If you are curious, I have attached links to the speeches below.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Confident & Stay Informed!
All the Best,
Prime Minister of Canada
Chancellor of Germany
(Perhaps he should not be the one to lead our country for another Four Years)
51 Rules for Leadership Excellence
How do you think Trump stacks up
against the first 20 Rules of Leadership Excellence?
1. Take responsibility; never, ever place blame elsewhere.
2. If you want to control your future, let go of the control.
3. Learn to be a strong communicator. No, this does not mean send a lot of text messages.
4. Listen, don't judge.
5. Don't make excuses; when it comes to being a respectable leader, there are none.
6. Never forget that your team - not your product, not your bank account - is your number-one asset.
7. Give your team the tools and freedom to be extraordinary. There is no better investment.
8. If you promise to do something, do it--and do it well.
9. Let your ego know that it's really smart to surround yourself with people who know more than you do.
10. To work with a coach or mentor is a sign of a successful mindset, not a weakness.
11. Consciously build a powerful company culture. Otherwise, it will build itself and you probably won't like the results.
12. If you consistently work through the night, you're doing something wrong.
13. Employee meetings are not a disruption, waste of time, or inconvenience.
14. Never enter into a 50-50 partnership.
15. Do not launch a product without doing market research that goes well beyond family and friends.
16. Before you even think about stepping into a leadership role, define and understand your values. Otherwise, you have no road map to lead yourself or others to success.
17. You are only as successful as you believe you are. Mindset is everything.
18. Don't think your idea is a great one because you believe in it and you've worked hard for it. It's only great if your customers believe it too.
19. Honesty is a code to live by; choose your words carefully.
20. If you think it's time to quit, it probably is.
Google Maps vs Apple Maps vs Waze: Are we being guided to our destination or driven to consume?
Are Humans being manipulated and moved like chess pieces through a Matrix-like game of Life, as we are continually updated on more efficient paths to take? Where one route may give preference to or promote taking us along the toll road, the other is paid to steer us past a Starbucks, (which they know we frequent) or perhaps a Ford Dealership because we searched for “used Ford F-150” just prior to leaving our home.
We all know of dirt road shortcuts, but we are never presented with these options, perhaps due to a lack of commercial or retail options along the route, perhaps because “popular” routes create more traffic which calls for increased gas and energy usage as well as opportunities to monetize you and promote our American Capitalistic Consumerism?
Just as an App thriving from increased usage time, your retail consuming probabilities exponentially increase with each passing moment you spend outside of your home. Turn by turn, each move is strategized and monetized.
When all is said and done, are we all just some cat, dog or Cookie Monster emoji icon upon a Waze game board, literally being played on a modern Illuminati influenced video game platform???
Perhaps we are not just cattle being domesticated and raised as obedient consumers.
Perhaps subliminal advertising is but an illusive sacred cow...
"I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second"