If you were alive during slavery what would you do? If you were alive during the rise of Nazi Germany, what would you do? You can see where this is going…

We, the American people, now know what it’s like to be lost inside of a fast-moving, all-powerful political coup. American democracy at the federal level has been decapitated. It’s gone, ruined, done-dee.

The GOP has pushed decency and law over the edge and now we are ruled by brute force and deception all day, every day. Home of the free, my ass. Land of the willfully ignorant is much more like it.

I know people who are on the wrong side of this power grab, and some of them think I am too far gone, that I am over-reacting to a bad time in America. They’re wrong. I’m hardly reacting at all. I’m observing and tallying the losses and stewing in the cauldron of media-made pain. If I was reacting, I’d be breaking the things that must be broken.

The GOP is like any corrupt organization that puts the value of maintaining power above all else. Now that they have TV Don to speak for them, they have the perfect POTUS for their needs. Their number one need is to distract the people from their radical agenda.

Sadly, the GOP’s vision for the future is darker than dark. They’re playing out their end game, right now. They know they can’t win elections in an open, fair setting. The numbers are not on their side, so they opt for tyranny and autocratic authority.

Their divisive brand of politics was here before Don and will remain here as he exits the stage. Here’s the bad news…I don’t see a Democrat with anything close to a workable plan to break through Don’s dominance of the daily story. He sets the talking points each day with whatever crazy shit he can come up with. The media takes the bait every time.

I thought the law would take Don down. Now, I think that’s much too optimistic and the reality of the GOP’s long-term dominance is starting to become more and more likely. Given that they already lost two presidential elections and still placed their guy in the White House, I have to ask, why in the world would they allow something like an election to remove them from power now?

If we want to reclaim power and restore democracy we’re going to need to fight them harder than we are fighting today. It’s fair to ask if we, the people, have that kind of fight in us. The radical right is well organized and religious about pursuing their Old Testament-inspired agenda.

Eric Levitz of New York Magazine gets to the heart of matters: “The most divisive question in the Democratic Party today may be, ‘Do desperate times call for milquetoast measures?’”

Levitz continues:

Meeting fire with fecklessness may feel wrong. But the fate of our republic lies in the hands of a very small, very strange subset of the American electorate. And for God knows what reason, these people despise the very concept of impeachment.

Every time I try to get right with the Democratic Party and its box full of blunders, I fail miserably. Millions of people are being badly hurt by The Donnies. Our natural resources are being drained, we’re toying with starting the next world war, and America’s stature and power are both taking hard hits. It’s frightening to consider how much can go wrong in such a short time.

In 2016, Democrats were feeling good about President Obama’s eight years of squeaky clean politics, feeling good about his intelligence and humor, and his legacy as one the greatest American presidents of all time. Democrats also thought that Don’s birther conspiracy was racist but dumb. Democrats heard what they wanted to hear, not what was actually being said on Main Street, and the price we’re all paying today is extraordinary.

Now, how do we break the spell and return to some semblance of normal? The GOP has stacked the courts, statehouses from coast to coast, and the U.S. Senate. Even if Don loses the 2020 election—provided he doesn’t cancel it during a wartime emergency—this multi-decade GOP gameplan will continue to have a tight grip on the nation and continue to drive the people of the country to extremes.

Republicans want to continue Rule by the White Male Few. Same as it ever was. Republicans also want to pretend that the women’s movement didn’t happen, that the civil rights movement, the free speech movement, the labor movement, and the no-nukes movement didn’t happen. It all happened, and it’s all happening now.

We have a rogue administration that does more damage to the county on a daily basis that Russia could ever do. We also have an opposition party that is anything but. Where do we turn for answers? My answer is we need to turn to each other. The time for the second American Revolution is past due.

I’d love to believe we can make changes and transfer power peacefully, but we need to be honest about what’s at stake and who we’re up against. The people in power are scared that there’s not enough to go around. They dwell in scarcity mindset which deprives them of joy, and a healthy disposition. Go talk to a person who watches Fox News for several hours a day. They are madder than a cut snake.

We’ve had true populist revolts in this nation before.

Then, as now, the powers that be did all they could to silence, jail and discredit the movement’s leaders. Emma Goldman famously said, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” This kind of bitter critique is hard for the American mind to absorb, precisely because American children are programmed from a young age to say the Pledge of Allegiance, to stand during the National Anthem and so on.

Meanwhile, those with the most to lose are tenacious and tireless in the pursuit of control. Emma Goldman is an American hero, a freedom fighter, and she did jail time for making her convictions well known. During her 1917 trial for Espionage, Goldman had this to say:

We say that if America has entered the war to make the world safe for democracy, she must first make democracy safe in America. How else is the world to take America seriously, when democracy at home is daily being outraged, free speech suppressed, peaceable assemblies broken up by overbearing and brutal gangsters in uniform; when free press is curtailed and every independent opinion gagged? Verily, poor as we are in democracy, how can we give of it to the world?

The truth hurts, and the people who are fierce enough to share it with others are persecuted by the state and/or the corporation.

As an American child in public schools, I grew up repeating this out loud for all to hear, five times a week: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The saying is ingrained and therein lies the problem for me and for many like me. Bullshit is ingrained. Where is there liberty and justice for all in America? Look around, please. Read some history books. The American story is brutal. The nation was founded by colonists who killed Indians and enslaved Africans. The founders, wise though some of them were, mostly believed in freedom from the crown’s taxation, and in their inalienable right to earn.

America has never lived up to its brand promises. It’s time for the nation’s officials to stop making them or time for us all to live up to them. If there were justice for all in America, there would be no homeless people, no citizens who can’t afford healthcare, no gun massacres in our schools and other public squares, and no room at all for mental garbage on our public airwaves.

The America I want to live in is modern, efficient and kind. We will have high-speed trains, the world’s safest and best schools, solar and wind power to run our cities, local sustainable food for all, six-hour work days, and so on. It is not too much to ask. The battle for what’s right never ends. Let’s keep the faith and the fighting spirit of generations of freedom fighters who came before us alive.

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About David Burn

Writer, strategist and brand builder.