What If "Democratic Disarray" Was a Feature, Not a Bug
I have been hearing a little too much — certainly for some months before last week’s mini Election Day and most definitely in the days of super-sized commentary and opinion about it ever since — of “disarray” and “disorganization” and “infighting” and “terrible messaging” within the Democratic party. It’s extremely easy to affix these labels not only because they have existed for as long as anyone can remember but because they are, for all intents and purposes, true.
But please, let’s not lose sight — between now and the bigger Election Day that will arrive one year from tomorrow — of the fact that the context in which these perennial observations and criticisms are now being and will continue to be made through 2022 is utterly and completely different than it has been for any of the millions of times the epithets have been hurled at Democrats throughout their modern political history. That context is, as we’ve been seeing and saying all year, that the Democratic complement to the (not constitutionally mandated) two-party system we long-ago adopted, has embraced an anti-democratic stance and appears uninterested in using their federal electoral power to govern in any appreciable way.
As such, Democrats eager to practice a more conscious form of politics would be singing from the same hymnal, as it were, about being the only small d democrats who are legislating at the federal level. Every Democratic officeholder would repeat that constantly regardless of what office they hold or what constituencies they represent or where they fall on the ideological spectrum. And from there, they’d proceed: We all believe that health care is a right. We all believe that voting rights must be restored and expanded. We all believe that every American has a right to healthy food and affordable housing. We all believe that none of us is better than any others of us. We all believe that robust and sound immigration makes our society stronger. We all believe climate science. We all believe that American corporations and wealthy American families should pay their fair share of taxes. We all want to live in an inclusive, multi-racial, multi-cultural, equitable, diverse society that works for all of us. Whatever the foundational issues are — whatever ones literally every Democratic officeholder ascribes to — should be codified and repeated all the time as context.
For example, tax reform can be placed in the context of fairness, which is about balance, which is about aligning with the nature of Nature. Child care can be placed in the context of compassion toward people who work hard for low wages, play by the rules, and who struggle to provide economic stability for their families.
And from there, they’d wear their reputation as a badge of honor. What others call disarray or disorganization, they would say, is the juicy, messy process of legislative “sausage-making” that we did not invent but which we currently embrace as evidence of transparency, one of our highest ideals. What others call infighting, they would say, is what we call listening compassionately to the widest possible array of voices — those who are well-known to us and those who are new to us — as we continually expand our coalition of democrats who believe in the policies and proposals we entertain and the legislation we enact. We take responsibility, they would say, for being poor communicators and would ask Americans to hold them to account for their commitment to communicating more effectively as a party. What others call bugs, they would say, we call features.
In the midst of writing this piece, the U.S. House of Representatives decided to pass one of the two separate pieces of infrastructure legislation that actually passed the U.S. Senate three months ago. Procedurally, it also voted to advance the other piece, not yet passed in the Senate. On the whole, “progressives” are the ones who have held out for three months so they’d have leverage with the rest of the legislation. “Moderates” are the ones holding out now for more information about the remaining piece which, by dint of its largely reduced size, more readily aligns with their proclivities. All of it, they would say — the “hard” infrastructure as well as the “social” — has been designed and written by those who are advocating for women, advocating for children, advocating for families, and advocating for economic justice, and so much more. And they are all Democrats.
On the communication side of things, “selling” what they’ve passed is now what political punditry and all interested parties will turn our attention to — rightly so and with great relief to many. From a conscious politics perspective, such effort will always be made infinitely simpler and more meaningful when placed in the context of a larger idea. For example, tax reform can be placed in the context of fairness, which is about balance, which is about aligning with the nature of Nature. Child care can be placed in the context of compassion toward people who work hard for low wages, play by the rules, and who struggle to provide economic stability for their families. Universal pre-K can be placed in the context of how improving opportunities for three and four year olds who would not otherwise have them benefits the whole of society because we are all connected. And so on.
What we’re talking about today, conscious politics practitioner, is one man’s take on some basic conscious living practices applied to the Democratic party. Democrats’ accepting their reputation as it is, not resisting or defending it, is all about being present. Turning said reputation into a positive is all about choosing (choices abound) on purpose what meaning to make or what to believe about a thing, ever, because beliefs matter. They create reality. Deciding to up their game about communicating more effectively is about intention — stating clearly what is wanted because the law of attraction is always on. These are some quick takes, of course, your results may vary. And so will hers. And so will theirs. His will, too, and I want to hear them all.
NOTE: Save the date. The next Spiritual Workout for Politics & Current Events will take place on Tuesday, November 16 from 5:00-6:30pm Pacific / 8:00-9:30pm Eastern.
Amen!!!!! Hope to sit in on Tues.