Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, December 12, 2016

The greatest enemy is the GOP. Act like it.

Republicans are the enemy. Never forget it. Fight them like you know it or they win in the short term and may win long enough to destroy the world. (Because climate change and nuclear weapons are real.)

Yes, Republicans are the enemy -- No, not the imperfections of Democrats as measured against your philosophical ideals, nor the compromises Democrats bang out among diverse stakeholders that fail to measure up to best policies they actually probably mostly agree with you would be the best policies too if politics weren't about solving shared problems in a world of diverse stakeholders whose interests and perspectives differ from your own...

Republicans are the enemy. Not bankers, the police, hackers, evangelical pastors, or (that's right, even my own personal bugbear) futurological Thought Leaders and VC marketeers -- all of these social and cultural formations are facilitated or frustrated in their worst conduct according to the policies and norms and reform struggles shaped by the Party in power, Democratic or Republican. The worst will do their worst when Republicans encourage them and will be checked when Democrats at their best do their best to reform them.

Republicans, Republicans, Republicans are the enemy. The racist, patriarchal, gun loving, cheating, bullying, privatizing, greedhead, anti-intellectual Republicans of our lifetimes are the enemy. They must be defeated, then marginalized, and then made to change.

The Republican Party is the most dangerous and evil organized force in the world. This is not because Republicans are more evil than other evil people the world over -- but because the Republicans are one of two nationally viable parties in the most resource-rich and militarily powerful nation on earth.

Let me repeat: Republicans are the enemy.

The Democratic Party, to the contrary, is an indispensable tool, perhaps the indispensable tool, Americans have to progress toward sustainable equity-in-diversity. While there are educational, agitational, organizational efforts that contribute to progress apart from the work of reform and governance undertaken by and through the Democratic party, even that work is most effective when it complements and strengthens the work of the Democratic Party. Democracy, equity, diversity, sustainability, civil rights, social justice, progress -- none are ever served by weakening or undermining the Democratic Party tool.

And so, always vote and always vote for Democrats, even imperfect ones. Always support more, and better, Democrats. There are bad Democrats, to be sure, but voting for them when they cannot be supplanted by better Democrats empowers better Democrats in the coalition, while not voting for them empowers a Republican instead: and there are no good Republicans. Always pressure Democrats to reflect the most progressive priorities their constituencies will tolerate. Reward loyalty, competence, and effective communication even from Democratic candidates who do not agree with you in every particular. Never criticize Democrats in ways that undermine our coalition, only do so in ways that strengthen it. Always ask yourself: is my criticism one that will actually give Democrats ammunition to win election and policy campaigns or am I indulging in useless scolding that troubles the Democratic voting coalition to no real purpose? Ask yourself: Am I supporting progress by strengthening Democrats or am indulging in purity cabaret because it feels good to me and makes me feel superior, whatever the consequences? Never criticize Democrats in ways that pander to or suggest false equivalence with Republicans. Never do so because: that. is. a. lie.

Never count on or hire or support or appeal to the decency or patriotism of Republicans. They have none. They will betray you and cheat you if they can (holding out for bipartisan support that never arrived delayed and diminished the ACA and stimulus in ways used by the GOP to undermine Obama from the beginning of his Presidency, James Comey, whose unprecedented deceptive intervention late in the election was a factor delivering the White House to an unfit unqualified infantile imbecilic bigot, was a virtue-signaling bipartisanship hire, the examples can be multiplied endlessly and the next four years will so multiply them). That Republicans are the primary enemy was not always true and it may not be true again some day, but it is true now. Multicultural Democrats won the culture wars and Republicans feel like strangers in a strange land: they experience tolerance and equity as existential threats (that they are deluded in this as in so much else is quite beside the point) and they no longer think that fair play and civil liberties and public investments benefit their cause and constituency. Make no mistake, they are fighting a Civil War to preserve white supremacy and patriarchy and Christianist hegemony by any means necessary.

America is a diversifying, secularizing, planetizing nation. Our diversity in the context of our never-yet-realized always-aspirational equitable laws and norms is an endless resource for pleasure, education, discovery, invention, problem-solving, practical strategies of conviviality. The Democratic Party is the imperfect but best-available and actually-available vehicle through which to support and implement the multicultural mission of this nation and its role in building a sustainable equitable consensual world. The Republican Party is deceived and deceiving, dying off and dealing in death. Republicans are the enemy. Know this, and then act like someone who knows it.

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