How We Win - part one
It's not with good stats
Everyone I know wants TFG (The Former Guy) in prison so much that they can taste it. “There must be justice!” and “How can we let him get away with an attempted coup?!” or “He is a crook. When will we see him in jail?” It’s normal. It’s the human condition to want to hold someone accountable for obvious crimes - especially when that someone is so vile as to be almost subhuman. We want more than justice. We want punishment. We want vengeance as vindication. And we have waited too long!
But I don’t think that seeing TFG in an orange jump suit will solve any problems. There is this to consider. Watching TFG do a perp walk would probably embolden his supporters. The martyrdom would be epic. A price worth paying? Probably.
TFG should be held accountable. He should face whatever charges can be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The January 6th Committee is doing it’s job well. Georgia has impaneled a grand jury to consider “that phone call”. New York is lumbering along on cases of fraud. And maybe the Justice Department will actually seek justice?
But my passion for seeing this monster behind bars has been tempered. Sometimes it’s wise to reign in our emotions and ask ourselves where do we really want to go. What do we want to change?
I wrote those first two paragraphs weeks ago, and stopped. I wasn’t sure what should come next. Today, it came to me after reading Robert Reich’s piece on substack today. Democrats and Independents are indeed beating on the wrong door in terms of politics and to some degree, policy.
Heather Cox Richardson’s piece today highlights some of accomplishments of a first year for President Biden. The key stat is 5.7% growth - the largest since 1984. That is a success. And for those of us who read about such things, it’s a winner of a number. But for most Americans…it’s absolutely meaningless.
Meaningless for the Starbucks worker who makes $28,000 per year working full time. Meaningless for her partner who had to stay home every other week to care for the kids due to Covid school policies. Meaningless for the Amazon or Walmart employee who works at a grueling job but is paid so little that he qualifies for food stamps (SNAP). Meaningless for the restaurant worker who has to choose between working in a job that exposes her to a public that may or may not be vaccinated - or not going to work to protect her un-vaccinated immune compromised 3 year old from a possibly fatal illness.
Democrats are on the right path in so many ways. Just read the list of executive orders that President Biden has signed - starting on the day he was sworn in. The list of his achievements is so strong, Biden’s polling should be through the roof.
1. Signed the American Rescue Plan
- assisting millions of Americans faced with Covid challenges
2. Rejoined the Paris Climate Accord - taking the Crisis seriously
3. Rebuilt America’s international alliances - “rejoined” NATO standing against
4. Promotes human rights and democracy across the Earth
5. Put into place a Cabinet of experts (not hacks) that is diverse
6. Nominated many Federal judges in his first year who are diverse
7. Will nominate to the Supreme Court a Black Woman
- (there have been 115 Supreme Court Justices - 108 have been White Males. His
three top picks are Black, Female and as at least as qualified as that 108)
8. Signed an “Infrastructure Bill” that finally addresses concerns with water,
highways, bridges and broadband - a huge job creator
9. Ended a foolish, brutal 20 year war in Afghanistan
10. Continues to push for Voting Rights legislation
And yet Biden polls low. I’ll tell you why. Because as righteous and fair and logical as these accomplishments are, that Starbucks worker still sees no hope for making enough money to even imagine the “American Dream”. The parent who has to miss work because of Covid still sees no end to the pandemic. The restaurant worker still feels unsafe and for that matter, most of us are still frightened to enter a favorite eatery.
There is a powerful path for Democratic politicians. I will lay that out in the next letter: How We Win - part two. Hint: it has nothing to do with “finding a new center” in politics. There is no center - as much as I would like to find it, it has vanished.
Hint #2: the CEO of Starbucks makes $14,000,000 per year.
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