How To Actually “Make America Great Again”
By Mar-Li Pitcher and Lauryn Petrie
Red banners wave and the exuberant crowd’s cheers of “Make America Great Again” rise to the rafters. The working-class descendants of the Mayflower feel that they have finally found their king. Xenophobia and fear fuel their rabid enthusiasm. Meanwhile, outside, homeless people are having their blankets taken away, just in time for temperatures to drop below freezing.
The protesters in South Dakota continue to fight on. They are fueled by notions close to those of famed environmentalist Edward Abbey who once said “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” And for this, they are rewarded with rubber bullets, tear gas, and being put into hypothermic shock with water blasts.
The Trump crowds are warm inside, cozy in their distrust of “the other”, and happy to take whatever shortcut to “security” is offered with the most haste. Whether it be deporting Muslims, or not disavowing the white supremacist smiling beside them, they are content with the oppression masquerading as change being offered.
Basking in their righteous distrust of “the others” and the defeat of their pantsuited spokeswoman. They are soothed in their staunch sense of “being right”, confident that “Law and order” will once again spread throughout the land. Muslims and Mexicans will be deported in droves, white supremacist will be rebranded as Patriots, their hate-fueled acts either reframed to blame the victim ignored altogether, all in the name of security.
Are you scared yet? Good. Here are some steps you can take to actually “Make America Great Again”
1.) Don’t Give Up.
It’s easy to say “well I guess we lost, let’s just see”. Fuck that. Even more importantly, how do we keep fighting effectively without spinning our wheels and emotions on campaigns meant to distract from actual results? When we bitch about Trump on a Facebook thread for an hour, it might make us feel like we’ve done something. The key word here is feel. Because we have realistically done nothing.
It’s the same reason that The Daily Show is used as controlled opposition. You watch it and get riled, up, you feel good, you say “fuck yeah!” at the screen. You feel vindicated, and as if you are not alone in your opinions. Then you jerk off, and go to bed. That’s not affecting change.
The REAL way to to make an impact would be to consistently contact your local and state representatives. Repeatedly. Annoyingly. You know when your weed delivery guy is a few hours late? How many times do you blow up his/her cell phone?
Begin to treat your state representatives like THE WORST weed delivery guys in the business. Not only is your bag late, it’s full of seeds and stems, and the price has been jacked up over 200% by Martin Shkreli. Are you just gonna sit there and take it? Are you just gonna say “fuck it” and go back to watching WestWorld? Fuck that! You’re going to fight it.
When your weed delivery guy is late as fuck
When you question the election results tell these people. When you question your health insurance costs, tell these people. When you question your friend’s arrest, tell these people. If you think you have a skin condition caused by mold in your apartment, tell these people. If you don’t like the fucking smell of the sidewalk you live on, tell these people.
If you live in New York, these people are:
Here’s the easy way to find the Congressman for New York depending on what part you live in
Write to them. Don’t just sit there and take it like Jared Fogle is in prison right now.
2.) Find Common Ground With Enemy
BOTH sides are operating with the most finely tuned PR and PSYOP programs ever developed. We ARE all (on the left and the right) affected by the Neuro Linguistic Programming used on both sides. And obviously, it’s sufficient enough to divide the American people. It’s an age-old war strategy. It’s easier to control a population that is divided than one that is united. Hence the phrase “divide and conquer”. To counteract this programming, it’s especially important that we begin to focus on what unites us instead of what divides us.
Yes, I agree that one of the most detrimental parts of Trumps rise to power has been the unearthing of the ugly underbelly of racism that has always been a part of the fabric of certain parts of America. I agree that he incited and poured fuel on this toxic fire.
In spite of the platform for hate that Trump has created, the minute you start repeating a party line or saying “you’re just wrong” or calling people names, they shut down.
If you want to reach someone on an intellectual and emotional level, you have to be open-minded yourself and hear them out. Truly hear them out and start a dialogue. It’s the only way that we can possibly get a few Trump supporters to see through their own cognitive dissonance.
The humans that align themselves on “the left” and “the Right”, at the end of the day want the same things. For their families to be safe, to be able to afford medical care and live in a safe neighborhood. There are uniting factors between us, and it’s up to us to make sure that those commonalities are not burned to the ground like the crosses that some on the alt right burn on their Saturday night potlucks.
3.) Don’t Litter
And by “don’t litter” I mean don’t spread around garbage news online or in person. It makes you look bad, and it makes your friends look bad. You’re causing preverbal subway fires with that fake news article you just helped go viral because it cherry picked your favorite political leanings. Knock that shit off. Even Snopes has been discredited from time to time.
Social Media can be our best weapon, so use it wisely. Don’t waste your social media time arguing with people who actually believe joking about sexual assault is just “boys being boys.” And DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ. Verify sources. Get your news from more than one outlet. Before you take any news source as the gospel truth, attempt to find out what parent company owns said news source. Follow the money. Every news outlet is owned by someone with a vested political interest.
Put your critical thinking cap on to identify patterns and biases. And remember, authors of news stories are paid by the people with the political motives. Research authors and journalists and their known biases and general epistemology. Listen and read multiple sources of news. Here are just a few to get you started: Liberty Now / AlJazeera / BBC / Reuters
4.) Cops aren’t allowed to have high IQ’s
Yes. You read that right, and it’s true.
Could this possibly be related to police brutality? As easy as it is to look at this issue in black and white (pun most definitely intended) in order to understand why, you must understand how. More than a race problem, more than a class problem, the issues we’re seeing with police are an institutional problem.
Since 1996 courts have ruled that police departments can legally opt to not hire someone simply because he or she scores too high on an intelligence test. Think about that for a minute. If you’re too smart, you cannot become a police officer.
Now, why is that, do you think? Could it possibly be that people with lower IQs are easier to control? That with minimal (if any) critical thinking skills they’re like more likely to just go with the flow? Even if that flow defies all logic, common sense, and basic decency. Add to this quotas.
Because of nationwide underfunding, police Departments are being forced to meet quotas to make money. That’s like telling a bunch of guys with guns “You need to go arrest poor people to get paid.” (And by “poor people” we mean populations that can’t afford to lawyer up.)
You give a bunch of dumbasses guns and tell them to harass poor people for money. Great idea. Police officers are be rewarded for picking on vulnerable populations. This isn’t proving to have positive results (i.e Ferguson, Eric Gardner, San Diego.)
Why don’t we make police applicants go through the same strict background and psychological rigors that FBI applicants are put through?
4.) Repeal the Patriot Act
From an early age, it’s pushed into our soft brains that “We live in the land of the free.”
Wake up. In the words of late comedian Bill Hicks “You think you’re free? Try going somewhere without money.”
Adding to our false illusion of freedom is the Patriot Act. You know why it’s called the Patriot Act? Because the government is hoping that you won’t notice how un-patriotic this act is, if they wrap it up in red, white, and blue bullshit and don’t have it read by anyone that voted for it.
The Patriot Act allows government agencies to gather “foreign intelligence information” from both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. So say you’re a fiction writer and you’re researching ways to kill people for your next murder mystery. Under the Patriot Act, the government can get a warrant to monitor all of your internet activity, tap your phone, and generally keep an eye on you. Oh, and they can store the information indefinitely.
Better yet, if you’re a journalist working on a piece about hard proof that the CIA trafficked cocaine into the USA in the 1980’s to help start the crack epidemic in disenfranchised populations…..yeah….just don’t write that article.
So what can we do about getting the patriot act repealed?
a.) Fight 215
5.) Teach Empathy In The Classroom
“Not In My Backyard?”. This is the prevailing wisdom that those with less should be kept away from those with more. Brilliant. This is also known as “White Flight” Basically, in the 1950’s all the white nuclear families fled to the suburbs away from the “others” filling up the inner cities. This was done out of fear, the exact same kind of fear that Trump is inciting at his warm, cozy, hate filled rallies. It’s segregation without using that word.
This kind of fear ensures that all those struggling families and individuals trying to better themselves should be routinely denied access to goods, services, and opportunities that are commonplace to those of us fortunate enough to afford to live in a better part of town. Good call folks.
What does this have to do with “Making America Great Again?” Everything. In fact, correcting this mindset might be the single most important thing we can do to “Make America Great Again.” People don’t wake up at 50 and decide that they’re better than anyone else, they are taught to feel this way.
Remember when hobo was a popular Halloween Costume? What a great way to teach children not to take homelessness seriously. There are no cherished children’s stories about a best friend living in public housing, and the value of helping others is viewed as a way to enhance your college applications. This has to stop!
We have to start teaching children empathy in the classroom as early as possible. That all lives matter, that we are a democracy, not an Oligarchy, as diligently as we teach them arithmetic and the alphabet
In fact, empathy is routinely taught in classrooms in other countries. In Denmark for example, children are taught to care for one another from a young age. It’s also worth noting that Denmark is reported to be one of the happiest nations on earth. Coincidence? I think not.
Of course, these are just a few of the issues we need to tackle if we’re going to have a shot in hell of truly Making America Great Again. There are so many more; for-profit prisons, the assault on whistleblowers, the utter lack of government transparency, and Trump’s (along with the Alt Right’s) attempt to turn America into more of a police state than we already are. But it starts here with you. And it’s going to take each and every one of us to overthrow this wannabe dictator to restore truth, fairness, and, just for the heck of it, basic decency and common fucking sense.