The following essay was written by my good friend Mike Wagner from Texas. Mike wrote the song “Unclaimed” that we use on The GOTMFV Show podcast for the Flint Water Crisis update segment. His thoughtful words are important to consider on the day when Donald Trump leaves the presidency and America turns to a new day. Those who enabled Trump’s criminality, immorality, and un-American actions have a big role to play in ensuring America moves forward and puts this shameful era in our past. It remains to be seen if they are patriotic enough to play that role.
Obviously there are no silver bullets that solve all the problems that have been building for the last several decades. And some could rightly say since the birth of the country. But the question remains: How do we begin to change America? How do we “unite” the country? A few thoughts.
The first thing that can be done, something that requires no governmental action, is for those who supported this President to publicly apologize. This means your friends, family, neighbors, those in public office, etc.… Get on Facebook, Twitter, whatever medium is appropriate, and where possible contact personally, whoever they may have hurt and apologize to them for the damage and carnage they have done. Words of apology must be expressed. This is a requirement. Don’t snicker at it. It matters. If people or representatives you know won’t apologize that means they support what has happened. It means they are good with the racism, the corruption, the damage to people’s lives, and untold deaths from the lies told about the corona virus. Their support has directly resulted in the damage done. They want unity? It starts with them. It starts with an apology. We need to know where they stand and it must be clear and unequivocal.
Of course that doesn’t solve the problems we face, and apologies are meaningless without action. One of the largest problems in this country is that a minority of the country has had, can have, and exert incredible power in this country. The minority rule for the last two decades has been corrosive to the rule of law, suppressed minority representation, targeted the vulnerable, and ultimately resulted in an armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The reason that a minority can rule is that representation is not based on the number of voters. It is based on land. How much does each vote count? It depends on where you live.
Presidential, Congressional and judicial representation over the last 20 years is nowhere near represented by the number of votes received. The Republican Party has been able to appeal to a minority of the country. And that minority is white and racist. And because political representation is based more on land than people, they have, and had, far more power than the number of their voters warrants. In the last 20 years they have won two presidential elections while getting substantially less popular votes, they have controlled the Senate despite consistently representing fewer Americans (and far fewer persons of color), and used gerrymandering to win control of the House far out representing votes for their members. And because of winning two Presidential elections and Senate control with a minority they have exerted undue control of the
Judicial branch of government. Again, not because they got the most votes, but because their votes counted more. Allowing the country to be manipulated by this racist minority is the largest problem in the country. Luckily, it can be easily rectified. And if the “unity” crowd is serious they can take the following concrete steps:
- Eliminate the Electoral College and move to one person one vote.
- Move to support a voting rights law and punish voter suppression with prison sentences.
- Pass anti-gerrymandering laws and require states to redraw districts that disproportionately represent a specific party.
- Change the basis of representation in the United States Senate. Wyoming should not have the same number of votes as California.
These are actions for equal representation and access to the ballot. You know: Unity.