What Can We do?
With synthisophy in mind.... what can we do to depolarize the Nation?
Recall that hominids that cooperated with one another – and punished those who didn’t – must have outfought, outhunted and outbred everyone else. Over millions of years, this genetically evolved and biologically selected tribal ethos resulting in the exit of Homo sapiens with the extension of the warrior ethos out of Africa 70,000 years ago, lead to the dominance of this human species and the extinction of others. This ethos resulted in our becoming the dominant and only human species on the planet and is still hardwired into our evolutionary genetic consciousness.
So maybe if we understand that these evolutionarily developed instinctive cognitive biases, the resulting confirmation biases, and the argumentative theory stoked by the tribal and warrior ethos may very well be present in the 100 billion neurons in our brain generating our perception of reality, our neuroreality, which as proposed by Andersen in Fantasyland, Powers in The Silencing, and expanded upon by myself, may not always reflect true reality, it may be unneureal. It’s in our genes, it’s been in our genes for a very long time. So let’s take a step back, try and detach ourselves from this genetic predisposition, take a deep breath and try and be a bit more rational rather than emotional in our political positions and discussions, listen, seek truth rather than argument, and reduce the amount of polarization and vitriol present in our society.
So what can we do to depolarize the Nation?
Participate in the democratic process, be an informed citizen, get involved in a cause that will better society. We need an active and informed citizenry. Consider classical times in ancient Greece: At any particular point in time, not just on election day, an estimated 75% of voters were participating in government in one form or another. Consider what Thomas Jefferson said: “the people can not be all, & always, well informed. the part which is wrong [. . .] will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.” Take Action on one of the issues below.
Run for office at the local, state or national level. There was a surge in candidates running for US congressional office in the 2018 elections. Take Action.
Choose an area of interest and contact your local, state or national representatives and express your views on that topic. Form a group supporting a particular topic and do the same. Create a website or organization to express this opinion. Take Action.
Follow the political movement started by the surviving students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida after the shooting that occurred there on February 14, 2018. They are setting the best example of citizen political action in our Democracy – our founding fathers would be proud. Take Action.
The Senate is not a valid representation of the people. When the US Constitution was written and the US Senate was formed in 1789, the 13 original colonies had populations ranging from 59,096 in Delaware to 691,937in Virginia. Virginia had 10 times the population of Delaware. Today California has a population of 39,536,653 and Wyoming has a population of 579,315, that's 70 times more! A 10 to 1 ratio back in 1789 might have seemed reasonable, but I wonder what the founding fathers would think today of 70 to 1? California has one senator per 20,000,000 people, Wyoming has one per 290,000 people. A Constitutional Amendment can be implemented in either of the following formats per Article 5: An Amendment may be proposed either by the US Congress with a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, or by a convention of states called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures. To become part of the Constitution, an Amendment can either be ratified by three-quarters of both state legislatures in the US Congress, or by the legislatures of three-quarters of the states, or by state ratifying conventions in three-quarters of the states. Perhaps an Amendment could pass in which the 2 least populated states would give one US Senate seat to the 2 most populated states in the US. California (highest populated) would then have one Senator per 13,300,000 people, Wyoming (lest populated) would have one Senator per 580,000 people. The ratio would be reduced to 23 to 1. Texas (2nd highest populated) would have one Senator per 8,300,000 people, and Vermont (2nd least populated) would have one Senator per 623,000 people. The ratio would be reduced to 14 to 1.
Gerrymandering – there are software apps that draw lines and create Districts by the Part in Power, with a large portion of the Party Out of Power’s voters in just a few Districts, and the rest of the Districts split so many have a majority of the Party In Power’s voters. The Party in Power then has a disproportionate amount of “representation” in government. It’s a false representation of the population. It’s called gerrymandering, named after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry who in 1812 signed a Bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his party, one district of which looked like a salamander. Here’s a quote from David Winston, who drew House districts for the Republican party after the U.S. Census in 1990, “As a mapmaker, I can have more of an impact on an election than a campaign, more of an impact than a candidate. When I, as a mapmaker, have more of an impact on an election than the voters, the system is out of whack. So let’s get rid of Gerrymandering and come up with a more equitable method of delineating districts. Gerrymandering cases from Wisconsin, Maryland, Texas North Carolina and other states are presently in the Supreme Court and other courts. In Michigan, an all-volunteer group of 3000 activists has defied the odds by collecting hundreds of thousands of voter signatures for a 2018 initiative to overhaul redistricting in Michigan. See what they did and do it in your state. Take Action.
Get rid of electoral college, or set up a state by state contract to bypass it. There’s a proposal in the works now called the “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact”, and it’s an agreement between groups of states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the popular national vote. The electoral college was set up by the founding fathers to insure against an unyielding public choosing an unqualified candidate, with the electors voting for a different more appropriate candidate should that occur. Perhaps that was a good idea back in 1787, but now it has done the opposite and elected Donald Trump with 3 million less votes than the opposing candidate. I don’t think the founding fathers would approve of this outcome. Contact your representatives and Take Action.
Get involved in depolarization as described at better-angels.org: The United States is disuniting. The last presidential election only made clear what many have feared – that we’re becoming two Americas, each angry with the other, and neither trusting the other’s basic humanity and good intentions. Today Americans increasingly view their political opponents not only as misguided, but also as bad people whose ways of thinking are both dangerous and incomprehensible. This degree of civic rancor threatens our democracy. Launched in 2016, Better Angels is a bipartisan citizen’s movement to unify our divided nation. By bringing red and blue Americans together into a working alliance, we’re building new ways to talk to one another, participate together in public life, and influence the direction of the nation. Take Action.
Overturn Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission. This was the landmark US corporate and campaign finance law dealing with regulation of political campaign spending by organizations. The US Supreme Court held (5–4) on January 21, 2010 that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting expenditures from independent non-government organizations towards advertising for political candidates. This opened the flood gates for the super-rich to drive elections. Recall Thomas Jefferson’s quote: “a vast accession of strength…founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.” Take Action to address the super-rich driving elections.
Should the President face impeachment? On what grounds? Research the impeachment process and take action if you see fit. Go to impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org and other sites for information on this topic. Contact your representatives and say such. Take Action.
Based on President Trump’s behaviors, is he fit for office? The 25th Amendment to the Constitution Section 4 states: