Keystone Environmental Youth Coalition

EmPower The Future

Let’s Replace we the corporations with We The People; Restore the Middle Class, and Have Fun: Part I February 23, 2011

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This post was authored by Ljubica Sarafov and is part 1 of a series entitled: Let’s Replace we the corporations with We The People; Restore the Middle Class, and Have Fun!

So I started thinking about this blog, as I do about most things, by learning about something completely different. That is why I feel compelled to make a confession: I am an Anglophile.

god bless the Queen; driving on the wrong side of the road; and the Beetles!

So it’s not completely random that I have taken in interest in the alternative vote (AV) debate happening in England. I am not even going to get into all that stuff, (the AV and the debate) I hope those links will do the trick. Instead I would like to explain what triggered me: in England there is a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition in parliament! That is so cool! That is like Bernie Sanders working with Saxsby Chambliss (yes, that Saxsby) or something, but on a much larger scale.

That is what caused me to begin thinking about how much stuff progressives and conservatives can agree on. Now of course its not lost on me that Brits have a completely different system of governing, which forces parties to create coalitions, while our two party system spurs competition. However, I think there is a lot of room, for consensus, compromise in our system, and a lot we can learn for the ‘lib dems’ and conservatives in England.

I believe that we can find common ground with conservatives on the following ideas: replace we the corporations with We The People; restore the middle class, and have fun. I am not throwing that last one in there lightly at all.

Over the Next few days I am going to do a series on these issues. My goal is to cut through the surface and get to the crux of each of these issues because I think that is where we will find the seeds for change. In other words I would like to look past the simple identifiers that divide us and get to the core of these issues, where I believe we can find common ground. Common ground which could bring about real change.

Replace we the corporations with We the People.

There was a great blog (linked above) written by Gabriel Elsner entitled, “Lets Replace We the Corporations with We the People.” In the piece Elsner says that, “We must unite the grassroots on the right and the left. The people that make up the Tea Party recognize the same truths as the people that make up the Progressive movement. Our government is not working in the best interests of We the People. We need real solutions to our economic depression, our addiction to fossil fuels, the housing crisis, the rising cost of health care, and our national deficit.”

Bingo!

In other words Elsner is saying despite political differences we have common ground and we need to find a way to relate to each other, and work together. I think this is a really important concept; although it is easy to dismiss as a liberal pipe dream after watching videos like this one:

It can seem difficult to believe we have anything in common, not true.

Tea Partiers are a group of people I would love to work with. They are passionate, they know how to get attention and they have fun. Just like me, these people are fired up! Just like me they feel let down by Washington and business as usual. And like me they want to be heard.

Unlike me, these people need a true grassroots movement. I know its something now one talks about anymore. But lets not forget all of the astro-turfing that went on to create the tea party. If you did forget check out David Koch explaining it below, in his own words:

or click here, here, here (or check out this New Yorker article about the Koch Brothers). That is the biggest difference.

You see while we recognize common issues, Tea Partiers have been co-opted by corporations. They are being mis-led into believing that they are part of a natural citizen’s movement, and false consciousness is really hard to break. No one wants to hear that they are being advantage of.

I think we need a different approach. Instead of arguing with tea partiers I hope we can harness that energy, commitment, and fortitude. But we need to offer solutions  to do it. We need solutions, which are stay true to our cause, but are also likely to appeal to the ideals of the Tea Party. Let’s show them our vision for America’s future, instead of debating about it. Then they too might see that there are areas where we can compromise, and areas where we can work together. For example green jobs!

But there is no way that any of that will happen unless we unite and demand such changes. We’re never going to get the change we want if we don’t engage with the other side, and allow them to be co-opted by dirty energy producers like the Koch brothers.

No, instead we need a power shift. We need Real People (not corporate citizens) to unite on the left and the right so that we can replace we the corporations with We the People.

If you’re interested in attending Powershift check out: www.powershift2011.org

or shoot me an email: ljubica@energyjustice.net

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