Incrementalism

This week has been really, really hard. My stomach physically hurts. My heart aches. It feels like a break up…but without the weight loss.

That pain. That anger. That disbelief. That grief. We need to harness it. Use it to further our cause.

How do we do that? We stay mad. We stay engaged. We use this energy to propel us forward.

So, let me ask you, do you know who your county commissioner is? What about if judges are elected or appointed in your district? How are your libraries/schools/Medicaid/roads/parks and other local programs funded?

In the words of Tip O’Neill: all politics is local.

But sometimes we forget that. We think that everything happens in DC. In a far away land where there are lobbyists and no one looking out for us (this isn’t true, btw. The legislative branch is essentially run by millennials who moved to DC because they are passionate about something — most likely making a positive change in this world).

However, Republicans have LONG outplayed us at the local level. This was my number one take away from policy school. You want to know why we can’t make gun control happen? Because the NRA has organized at the state and local level and can ‘activate’ their base when needed. “This is why when tragic shootings happen, we see the same thing: collective outrage, followed by a momentary flurry of unorganized calls and letters and donations from thousands of individuals, and then a quick return to the status quo. In Congress and in state legislatures, a few elected officials invariably use the opportunity to advance gun control legislation. But most political leaders lie low, assuming that the public agitation will prove fleeting, just as it has so many times before. And prove fleeting it inevitably does.”

So don’t let this outrage pass. Don’t let our access to simply luxuries like iphones and alcohol or our small victories with weed and gay marriage lull us into complacency.

So how do you make a difference? You get involved and stay informed. It’s not glamorous to show up to your local county party headquarters. Some of the people will be radical. Some will look unkempt with Bernie-esq hair. But this is where change begins.

“The framers of the Constitution rigged the US political system to frustrate the ambitions of bold policy reformers and to reward those who build consent from the ground up. Their plan succeeds to this day.”

So embrace that design. Don’t start at the top, start at the bottom, and work to the top. Incrementalism is key. Change opinions, change regulations, change minds, change elected officials, change policy.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Hi friends,

Being that this blog is about my perspective on life, I wanted to give you my opinion on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

I wish, rather than having a day off from school, children of all ages would spend a day discussing King Jr., his life, his views and his tragic death. In first grade it could be the very simple message of equality but as children advanced so would the material.

I can only remember talking about Martin Luther King Jr. specifically one time in high school [thank you Mr. Dunn]. However, I think his messages are as relevant today as they were 45 years ago and deserve more than one lesson plan in 12 years of education.

Below I’ve included a brief video of King Jr.’s last speech before he was assassinated. While the portion about ‘the mountaintop’ is very prophetic and the most well known, I like what he’s saying at the beginning of this video. Watch it and let me know what you think.