Power to the People

If politics makes you angry, you’re doing it wrong, says this Germantown behavior analyst. Moving on from outrage to activism.

This October, the Supreme Court became a political arm of the country’s corrupt administration – Brett Kavanagh’s appointment was a sham of double standards and a blatant disregard for law. Not that we of the global majority are surprised, considering the White Male power grab unleashed by the 2016 elections.

As the white patriarchy loses their majority hold on the US, they fight to maintain power by any means possible. Using fear and lies, the rich and powerful easily manipulate poor, ignorant, ill-informed masses, who are only too eager to blame easy targets rather than face the truth that their leaders are exploiting them.

Theoretically, laws exist to maintain a civil society, but in our current political climate, all legislation is up for interpretation, and – surprising to no one – judgments tend to favor the Ruling Class. Why are we all going along with this farce? As if the Kavanagh hearings didn’t make this abundantly clear: the white male patriarchy is threatened by the mere idea of equality.

Judging by their words and actions, our leaders are mean, entitled, mediocre men – and I’m speaking as a concerned citizen as well as a Behavioral Health professional. This racist/sexist white male culture has been an acceptable norm for generations, woven into the fabric of society. But those threads are tearing now. People of all colors and orientations are waking up and speaking up. Perhaps one benefit of this abominable administration has been a new openness across communities to come together in a spirit of hope and progress.

The principles of the Constitution are not to remain stagnant but to change as new morals and mindsets develop through generations. Somehow, though, the Old Guard of our political system is basically the same one as 150 years ago, at the end of the Civil War when Lincoln was shot after promising reparations for enslaved people. They’ve secretly (and not so secretly) clung to their racist/sexist beliefs that continue to harm women and people of color today.

Trump is a classic strawman, a “Mr. Ripley” with a life built on lies and cheating. He’s the perfect cover for the white male oligarchy, throwing his fame around and expertly clouding important issues with orchestrated drama. Feeding his base’s paranoia and stirring up their hatred. Selling them a story of their victimhood, goading them to fight back against imagined slights.

What we all saw in the East wing of the White House last month was a significant number of old angry wealthy white men distorting the rules of the land to save a liar, a scoundrel, and an unfit candidate for our country’s highest court.

Why are we putting up with this? When are we as a nation going to refuse to follow the laws when they’re being applied so wrongly? We see the damage being done, we know why shit is happening. Why is the vast majority of our country allowing a tiny minority – that we all know is cheating! – to keep calling shots that hurt us all?

We can’t allow our differences to divide us. At the basic level, we all want the same things: a healthy community and environment. Fair access to safe food and drinking water. To be valued and respected. To be informed and included in decisions affecting all of us. There’s no reason we should settle for less.

2nd Saturday in Germantown, May 2018 (Photo credit Louis C. Hochman/LCHPhoto.com)

One of humankind’s greatest assets is our social nature, which includes an enormous capacity for love and compassion – but only as much as we remain open and trustful. Whatever your political leanings, I urge you to reconsider any ideologies that block positive, productive energy with fear, anger, and animosity. We don’t have to agree on everything, just that it’s time to set new standards for leaders and our government.  We can work out our differences from there.

See you at the polls!

Lorenzo Woodson (Ph.D., MHS, CC, LBS) is a licensed behavior analyst specializing in clients on the autism spectrum.  He lives in Germantown with his wife of 24 years, and lectures nationally for social causes.  Lorenzo is a member of Men Who Care of Germantown. Connect with Lorenzo on Facebook or email him at lorenzowoodson@yahoo.com. Submit your own guest columns and editorials to editor@EastFallsLocal.com

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