Trump Trash Bags: Because we need to clean up America

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Focus on What is Important: Look Systemically

Talking Trash

There is a lot of outrage, tweets, and media coverage that can create a din of shrill rancor about the administration and its continuing drama. It's easy to become distracted, to ponder the character of individuals and their intentions, motivations, and plans. No matter how obscure or demented those factors may be (and there is substantial evidence that they are), not every outrage needs a response. On the other hand, persistent pressure must be applied to the people who are enabling the administration. Those people are in Congress.

It is so very critical that the public recognize where the legal authority to make policy resides. The administration may rubber-stamp policies that are far more onerous than any executive order. The elimination of resources and information related to protections and services that people rely on for their education, health, or economic survival will be a major part of what the party in control have espoused for years. They now have the capacity to enact their program with few, if any, limitations. Protections that took decades of effort to enact are now up for grabs. But in this moment, there are people standing up at town halls, expressing their displeasure and anger at those same officials. 

For now, most office holders are dismissing complaints, even disparaging them as the product of some nefarious campaign of 'paid protesters.' It's a shallow response to a very deep problem. News media are slowly beginning to recognize that this is a movement that goes well beyond partisan allegiances. At the risk of alienating many readers who are committed partisans, it is quite clear that party politics has not served the country very well in several very specific ways. While they are adversarial, they are not competitive and do not offer voters a wide variety of choices. They have been participants in structuring a political system where party leaders select voters through gerrymandering and first-past-the-post electoral methods that effectively eliminate the voices of large groups of voters. 

Understanding the structure of government, and the way the electoral process works is essential to planning how to regain control of a system that does not generally operate to benefit society, but operate for the benefit of a small group of people.  We need to figure out how to combat the tendency for these patterns of politics from maintaining their grip. If we do not, the consequences could be dire. The books below provide a good start on how we can think through that process.

Inequality: What Can Be Done?
By Anthony B. Atkinson