35 Days

The past 35 days was your preview of the next 600 days. For those of you not keeping up, it was 35 days of a government shutdown, and about 600 days until Election Day 2020. The Democrats have made it clear that politics will become an obstructionist game of beating Trump by showing voters they will not bargain with him. Have fun America, because if you’re looking for a soap opera where the storyline doesn’t change, then this is the show for you. It will be a mix of Days of Our Lives and Groundhog Day.

Republicans made the rules for this game two years into Obama’s administration. The Tea Party won in 2010 and had to show their voters they meant business. They investigated, put bills forward they knew wouldn’t pass the Senate, and once they controlled both the House and Senate, they put bills forward they knew Obama would veto. This led to a largely inadequate six years of Obama’s presidency. He primarily used the DOJ and the powers of his AG to carry out change. He coupled the behavior with executive orders and that was why it has been so easy for Trump to tear down what he did in his presidency.

Sound familiar, right? The Democrats are not going to budge an inch. They won’t compromise, and everything they do will simply be for show. The media will eat this up. They’ll relentlessly mock Trump for not being able to negotiate and complete his promises. They’ll constantly be making fun of the Art of The Deal. The Democrats will continue to applaud Pelosi and show The Resistance that they accomplished exactly what they put out to do when they won in 2018.

Where does this lead? It leads nowhere. It continues to breech an ever-widening divide of bases that moves us further apart than ever. It keeps up the division among the fringe groups. It uses Americans as pawns in a bigger picture while each party tries to appease their base. It short. Nothing to see here. Keep moving.

Republicans are getting what they deserve. They cannot cry foul when the Democrats are simply using the playbook they (Republicans) used before them. Voters can’t complain either. There was a Blue Wave and it was very clear that the resistance was going to resist. Shocker, right?

The half full approach is it isn’t that bad. Government doing nothing is Ok, because that means they are staying out of our lives. In fact, in a day and age when the government must rein in spending, maybe a slowed down version of government bodes well long-term.

The half empty approach is it kicks the can down the road at least two more years for problems that eventually require attention. They are in no particular order – immigration reform, although Republicans have themselves to blame here for not doing this in the two years they ran the government. Our leaders must address entitlement reform about Social Security, our national debt, cyber security threats, decaying infrastructure, climate change, and healthcare costs. All of this is off the table until 2021, and likely only one or two on this list gets fixed between 2021-2022 when we get a chance to make changes electorally.

Feeling lost? Don’t. Feel entitled and empowered. But how?

Change the channel. Take the money out of the pockets of big media and go readDevelop new ideas. Learn about the polarizing groups on the left and the right to find out the playbook of these parties for the next two years and beyond. After all, it is quite obvious that both parties only care about the lunatic fringe (their base), and not the independent, swing voter, anymore. Ask yourself if this is what you want part of. If not, begin to talk about it with others around you, but not in a complaining, unproductive way. Be informative, and creative. Spread information. Educate each other. There’s about 600 days to let our two-party system and major media know that the real American voter isn’t a partisan hack that has zero need to compromise with the other side. The real American voter is a creative, problem solver in search of agreement and action.

It starts by changing the channel. Putting down the devices. Reading. Educating. Creating your own ideas. Discussing with like-minded people.

Start yourself off by watching the movie Network. It is quite relevant to the times. This should begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together, open your eyes, and jump-start your plans.

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