A Few Definitions


Definition: the body of real things, events, and facts

We can agree on truth because we maintain a common set of facts. Arbitrary attacks on these common facts without support of evidence are, by definition, lies.



Definition: the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity

Justice is administered correctly when it provides equal protection under the law, without regard to status.



Definition:  the quality or state of being free:

a :  the power to do as one pleases

b :  freedom from physical restraint

c :  freedom from arbitrary or despotic control

d :  the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges

e :  the power of choice

As the people of the United States, we enjoy the freedoms provided by our way life as long as our choices do not negatively affect others.  It is not the role of government to arbitrarily restrict those freedoms, but only in accordance with established laws.


Rule of Law

Definition: the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.

The Rule of Law is an agreement to abide by a common code of laws that governs the conduct of a society, and to accept that no one individual is beyond the reach of these laws.


( Definitions from https://www.merriam-webster.com/  )

The Threats Continue

Donald Trump’s actions continue to demonstrate his inability to function as an effective chief executive of the United States.  Again his impulsive tweets show his reckless disregard for the traditional decorum of the office, and serve only to debase the dignity and honor of the office of President.

Democrats should demonstrate what the office should be.  Hold frequent news conferences with a variety of up and coming office candidates that show thoughtfulness, compassion and leadership.  Draw a contrast to the current administration’s impulsive habit of attacking the media, belittling perceived foes and attempting to subvert the meaning of decency to defend these otherwise indefensible messages.

Don’t let Trump’s ramblings become normal – point them out as a counter-example of what NOT to do, and demonstrate to others the kindness and dignity for which the United States should be know for.

Revolution Democrats

What the Democrats Need To Do To Save Themselves, the Country, and Quite Possibly the Planet

Do you remember the rousing speech that Democrats gave last week?  Or the hugely successful Democratic fundraiser from earlier, which gave voice to the disadvantaged?  No, it’s not just you – I don’t recall either.  Most of the communication I have seen from the Democratic party is either the occasional sound bite from ranking leadership or one of an endless barrage of emails pleading for monetary contributions to the party.

Meanwhile, small fractured groups are forming all over the country, in an attempt to fight both the continuous stream of nonsense coming from the White House and the Republican efforts to implement their agenda using the White House noise as cover.  These groups are predominately made of new-comers and those disenchanted with the results of the last election (i.e. Bernie supporters).  They have the drive, determination and local connections to effect change, but lack coordination and resources to do much outside of their immediate communities.

And reaching outside of local communities is what I think will be required to make a difference.  Many of Trump’s supporters have legitimate grievances – they have truly been abandoned by the actions of both parties over the past several years, and can’t be blamed for looking for someone outside the traditional political system to “shake things up”.  It’s not solely their fault if the person they chose to address systemic job loss, opioid addiction and general economic decline in rural areas happened to be an accomplished confidence artist.  And the party needs a way to reach out to these American’s, while providing them a welcoming way to help solve their problems.

So a party transformation is called for, to change the public face of the party and its control structure.  What if the core Democratic party focused on their core strengths – fundraising and messaging – and also provided a framework that the smaller groups could utilize to coordinate their efforts?  This change would take the party from a group that advocates “for” the Americans to one that is comprised “of” the Americans it supports.

A change in how these groups are included may go a long way to enhance the Democratic party.  Since the election, there are four main groups that have risen up since the election:

– Women’s Rights

– Scientists

– Inner Cities

– Immigrants

Inclusion of these groups formally within the party seems natural.  I also suggest that a fifth group, representing “job rights”, be added, focusing not only on the decline of employment in rural communities, but also the lack of jobs in inner cities as well. Perhaps the solutions for one area would work for another as well.

The party would also need a new name.  I propose “Revolution Democrats”, to represent a new kind of democrat, which includes both the traditional liberal and social justice issues the party has traditionally stood for, but also to include more of what people what from their government, represented by these five main groups.  After all, the point of a political party is not to impose their policies on America, but offer solutions that reflect the issues that affect everyday Americans.

Once these new groups are added, the challenge for the current Democratic leadership is to step back and allow the newly-emboldened groups to flourish with their help.  Offer the tools and know-how to allow these group to grow and prosper – call it the “Community Action Framework”.  This will get everyday Americans back into the political scene, which will reinvigorate the republican democracy we all depend on, and even provide recruitment for the next generation of leaders for the party.

In return, the new groups will have to join to together and adopt a platform that addresses the identified issues and appeals to the common interests of most Americans. They will create meaningful goals, provide status updates, and pursue policies at the state and local level that benefit the majority of Americans.  Progress can be measured by the democratic leadership, and successes highlighted at the national level as examples for a party that is dedicated to listening to the issues that concern everyday American’s and taking steps to solve those issues, even outside the traditional Washington power structure.

The Democratic party needs to adapt to the current post-election political landscape.  A central party is still needed to prevent fracturing of the effort to hold off the agenda of the current administration, but needs to change it’s makeup and hierarchy to reflect the current issues – immigration, jobs, women’s right, inner cities, and science.  By providing a working framework, I think we could craft a party that addresses the current issues, and maybe even instill something that’s been missing recently.


Next time:

– What would the “Community Action Framework” look like?

– What are concrete steps that can be taken to address the needs of these groups in the here and now?

The Value of Ideals

The defense of democracy makes America great.

On January 20th, 2017, Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States. Such occasions are usually a time of celebration, reflection on the history of the United States, and the promise of the future to come.  We witness the ceremony together, reassured as past presidents stand witness to the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next.

But this transition has been anything but reassuring.  There are disturbing issues surrounding this administration, which challenge the foundation upon which the United States is based, and assault the values that shape it.  Values such as truth, justice, liberty, and the rule of law which comprise the principles that we as a people have treasured for centuries and form the center of our democracy.  Flouting these principles is a rejection of our democratic republic.

Truth is a necessary requirement for any democracy to thrive.  The pursuit of truth gives us a common frame of reference upon which we base our beliefs and allows us to come to a common understanding of the issues at hand, even if we disagree about the solutions.  Without truth, we lose this common connection, and ideas become a kind of currency, given value by the most powerful.  The constant attacks on the media, unfounded conspiracies and an endless stream of meaningless 140-character messages distort reality, and redefine truth as the unhinged impulses of one man.

To ensure truth, we must support existing institutions that prize integrity and value the meaningful exchange of viewpoints.  Truth is often said to be subjective, but really we all strive to uncover the same common truths, each of us contributing to its understanding. Common truths, whether they are cultural, scientific, or otherwise universally apply to us all, and evidence-based support and rational arguments are the most effective way to prevent the distortion of reality.

But truth alone is not enough for a vigorous democracy – our freedom and liberty must be ensured.  Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1795 that, “Light and liberty go together”, and this liberty must be established for all people.  Threats of racially motivated mass deportation foster a climate of fear that serves only to suppress the next generation of leaders – the very immigrants who have come to our land sleeves rolled up and ready to work.  We must forcefully reject this culture of fear,  and nurture the liberty and freedom which provide the fertile soil for the innovators that drive our republic.

To preserve truth and liberty, the “Rule of Law” needs to be followed in accordance with fair justice and obeyed by all, regardless of status or power.  No one individual can declare themselves above the law.  But already we have heard statements from the current administration that harken back to the “Divine Rights of Kings”, where rules can be disregarded solely on the belief that one individual has been elevated as a crowned monarch. Our laws must be written and applied evenly to meet the highest standard, without regard to ethnicity, lifestyle or religion, and for the general benefit of all.  We should demand that this administration follow existing rules, both written and observed, to meet and exceed this standard.

Despite these dangerous precedents, Donald Trump is the president.  The constitution and laws of our land have been followed, and the outcome, however worrisome, has been verified.  So the question is put to us, the people of the United States of America: Who will preserve these values?  For to be an American it is not enough to simply live within the borders of this country – it is to accept the truth of these principles and demonstrate to ourselves and the world their importance.

We must rise and state unequivocally that we define these values as core to our existence, and any government that represents us must also hold these values equally. Contact your local, state and federal representatives, and let your voice be heard. Assemble local groups to get out the message.  If you see these values challenged in public, counter with your own belief in the importance of these values.  

Together, we need to lift each other up and preserve these values for future generations. The world is watching, so take action.  It’s not enough to say it is so.  

Make it so.