I’ve been thinking about the wonders of Indivisible lately. Hell, It’s almost impossible not to, with images of town hall attendees, missing only pitchforks and torches, roasting their Members of Congress over an open opinion fire night after night. All of us normal, freedom loving, compassionate people swell with pride at the reports, both at their chutzpah, and at their successes.
Indivisible is a true creation of grassroots effort. It’s original genesis is a 24 page “instruction manual” for civic resistance and social pressure created by former Democratic legislative staffers, searching for ways to combat the reign of our new usurper President. They researched the original Tea Party movement, which had significant success, much to the detriment of the rest of us. They identified and keyed on the tactics that the Tea Party used successfully that could be replicated with nothing more than a little passion, and organization. Not a structured organization with the annual budget of GM or Ford, but something easily self sustaining, without a lot of cash or outside funding. And it has worked beyond anybodies wildest dreams.
Recently, I happened to spend a little time just idly thinking about Indivisible, and the other grassroots efforts that have sprung up in its wake.I asked myself two simple questions. Who are they, and what are they actually doing that is working so well?
Who are they? Well, they’re us. They’re friends, neighbors, co-workers, relatives. a lot of us here at Kos are part of Indivisible. We/they come from every walk of life, and none of us are getting paid for it, we’re doing it for the benefit both for us, and for the country as a whole.
And what are we/they doing that is working so well? Some of us march, some go to town halls, some of us (like me) send e-mails or call district offices, write letters to the editor, show up at district offices to express our thoughts and opinions. Basic grassroots stuff, but driving the GOP nuts, and steeling the spine of Democrats. We are acting as the watchdogs and guardians of democracy, holding our elected leader responsible for their actions.
The content of the last paragraph led to my realization and another question. Read that last paragraph again. Why in the hell is Indivisible necessary in the first place? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that what Indivisible is doing is what all of us were supposed to already be doing for the last 240 goddamn years!
What Indivisible and the grassroots groups are doing is the simple nuts and bolts mechanics of basic democracy. We elect people to represent us and our interests, and then we pay attention to what the hell they’re doing, and hold them responsible for their actions. We don’t send them off, and then forget about them for 2-6 years. We don’t just zone out on “Happy Days” marathons forever. We don’t shake out heads when they do something stupid, and grumble over our beer about “goddamn politicians, wadda ya gonna do”? This is exactly what we’re all supposed to do! Not all quit our jobs and spend 24/7 watching their every move like an FBI investigation. But show a little interest fer Chrissakes! It doesn’t take that long, nor is it that hard to look up and find out how your MoC voted on a bill that’s important to you, there really aren’t that many important bills, especially in this dysfunctional mess. Take 5 minutes to call their office and let them know your opinion on what they’re considering. Show up at their office, or a town hall, let them see you, know you’re there, and tell them your opinions personally. This is how the system is supposed to work, and always has been!
My dear friends, somewhere along the path we lost our way. We became dulled and apathetic to our political process. This was by political design. Make the political process as complex and confusing as possible, turn all of us sheep off to it. Politicians are like the aliens in “They Live”, give us just enough to feel normal and contented, while subliminally telling us to “Sleep” and “obey”. Forget the shell game, forget all the rules and legislative protocol and procedures, the bullshit and doublespeak, it isn’t all that complicated. Here’s all you need to know about legislating 101. We elect them. They represent us. They pass laws in our names and interests. We hold them responsible. That’s it, really.
Our nation fucked up, “Bigly”. We abdicated the most precious gift our Founding Fathers gave us, self determination. We abdicated our responsibilities, fell asleep at the switch, and just moseyed along for the ride like a herd of prize Herefords. It took a cold water douche like Trump to wake us up, and now we just have to hope that it’s not too late to turn the ship around before it hits the reef. Anything else we forgot in the depths of our national slumber, anything else we need to do here? Oh yeah, one more thing. Indivisible is reminding us that all of the protest and activism in the world doesn’t mean a damn thing if you don’t show up at the friggin’ ballot box and VOTE!