How you can start the campaign to reform America

Summary: Today we finish the series using hit TV show “Castle” as a mirror for America. We gained insights from it about our society: about romance, marriage, justice, our myths, and values. The tentative conclusion drawn in these posts was that we have become alienated: we no longer see America as us, or ours. Today we end the series with a proposed solution, a way to help start the political reform process.

Patrick Henry

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How can we re-kindle American’s willingness to fight for the Republic? Such a campaign should have several characteristics.

  1. A simple message.
  2. A message tapping into people’s existing beliefs and values.
  3. A message a wide range of groups will adopt and promulgate.
  4. A message that encourages people to become more politically involved.
  5. A message that overcomes our alienation.

Here’s my guess: we feel alienated not because of what America has become. It’s imperfections provide our excuses for passivity.

We’re alienated because we no longer believe we own or control America. It’s a natural reaction to the rise of the 1%.

We need reawaken a belief that we are strong, that America belongs to us, and that we can retake control of it from the 1%.  We need a call to action.The 1% powerful, but we have greater strength in our numbers — and even (collectively) far greater money.

This asks to to get involved in politics, contributing time and effort. The specific things that each person does depends on his or her individual values and beliefs. We need to have faith in each other, faith that no matter how great our differences together we’ll find a path to rebuild America.

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I suspect that the mainstream Left will not participate, caught up in their campaign to save the world (and gain regulatory power) by limiting CO2. I suspect the mainstream Right will not participate, having become servants of the 1%. But they are both a minority in America, and what remains is more than sufficient.

This is a simple campaign. Any of you can start it, today.

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Some words from the past

… They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary as our government. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year?

… Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The three hundred millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible.

… The conflict is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.

There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the streets of Washington! The conflict is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. …

This speech was given by Patrick Henry at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia on 23 March 1775 to the Virginia House of Burgesses. It first appeared in print in 1817 in Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry by William Wirt. His words have been edited — slightly paraphrased and with the noted ellipses– to better fit our current circumstances.

(6) Other posts in this series about “Castle”

(7)  For More Information

(a)  See all posts about reforming America:

  1. Art, Myth and Literature
  2. Women and gender issues
  3. Reforming America: steps to political change
  4. Good news about America

(b)  Inspirational posts about our strength:

  1. Can Americans pull together? If not, why not?, 29 August 2008
  2. An important thing to remember as we start a New Year, 29 December 2008 — A great speech from Morpheus to Zion, from we too can learn
  3. Sources of inspiration for America’s renewal, 23 April 2009 – The Law of Equivalent Exchange
  4. A famous guest speaker visits the FM site to tell us that we are not weak — we are strong, 8 June 2008 — Patrick Henry
  5. A great artist died today. We can gain inspiration from his words., 26 June 2009 — Michael Jackson
  6. A wonderful and important speech about liberty, 23 July 2009 — Judge Learned Hand
  7. Why the Turkey is not our national bird, and a reminder that America belongs to us, 26 November 2010
  8. The missing but essential key to building a better America, 21 November 2013 — Seeing the game

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True political power

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12 thoughts on “How you can start the campaign to reform America

  1. It does seem as though Patrick Henry’s eloquent and passionate words have been modified to fit a more recent time. That said, the words are still powerful today.

  2. Not so sure about that. Here are three links to organizations claiming opposition to Citizens -United.

    http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=183

    https://movetoamend.org

    http://dccc.org/pages/about

    Are they all really in opposition or do they have other agendas?. If all are yet equally effective? Or are they duplicating efforts and watering down their message.?

    When OWS started Move On stuck their hand out and tried to connect and siphon support.

    When a grass roots movement forced a recall election in Wisconsin heir strength was taken over by the regular Democrats and the Governor kept his job.

    When so many of us get our news from the Main Stream Media and think he Today show is a news show how can your plan work.

    I still think if we stop voting for the Majors they will move in our direction and if some on starts posting predictions on Billboards when they turn out to be true maybe people will turn to them when their eyes are open.

    Not sure about my history but is that what happened in Briton with Churchill ?

  3. This says it better then I can: “Astroturf America“, Sarah Rosenblatt, Truthout, 2 June 2014

    Radical cartoonist Sarah Rosenblatt illustrates astroturfing, or fake grassroots organizing, to demonstrate how corporations and politicians undermine social democracy via sock puppets, front groups, and false online personas.

  4. So you really had to watch that many shows of Castle? The f**cking show is not watchable! It is everything I hate about America. Maybe that’s your point. I get it. But one show would have been enough. C’mon man.

    Also, the Constitution is vaguely written enough to allow the current bullshit to occur. There is no restoring the Republic, never happened in history. Really, Castle? Alex

    1. Alex,

      One thing I’ve learned from the multiple generations of my family and friends: people’s taste in fantasy is subjective and highly variable. Hence fans of Show X passionately hate show Y.

      On the other hand, you are absolutely correct! The point of this series was that “Castle” mirrors many dark aspects of America today — and its fans are blind and amnesiac not to see this. Just like Americans, as a whole.

  5. There’s an alternative interpretation of recent events.

    American labor and voters were strong because the 1% needed us to fight the dread Red Menace. Once communism vanished, American labor and voters lost their power. The mask came off and the military weapons and paramilitary thugs (DHS, TSA, etc.) re-emerged to crush the peons and keep them in their proper place.

    If you want to talk about recent popular media, take a look at the movie The Grand Hotel Budapest and notice how the fascisti and jackbooted goons who summarily stop the train and drag people off and beat them or arbitrarily whisk them away to secret prisons without arrest eerily parallel America in 2014. Busses and trains and cars summarily stopped by jackbooted goons. People beaten for no reason or dragged away to secret prisons without arrest.

    Say hello to Weimar America.

    Americans in 2014 are fearful and cringe like whipped dogs because we are not powerful and America does not belong to us and never did.

    1. Guess my first comments were to confusing so I’ll simplify.

      I like your idea and have tried to follow it however it is not always easy to identify the “Astro Turf” Outfits.

      How would you suggest one go about identify those people and groups trying to distract us?

    2. Yaker,

      Assume all organizations are astroturf, unless you know otherwise. Sheep are easily herded.

      Sometimes astroturf organizations can catch fire and grow on their own. It’s difficult to tell how strong a role the original showrunners retain. That’s the story of the Frank Capra – Gary Cooper movie “Meet John Doe” (1941). It happens today: Are the new “tea party” protests a grass roots rebellion or agitprop?, 1 March 2009.

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