Thomas Lawrence Toscano
One - Um
Leaders are an interesting phenomenon. Throughout history there have been different ways of choosing them. In certain cultures it was the wisest elder who led the tribe. In other’s it was the strongest, most successful warrior, or the one with the most cunning who almost seemingly with magic would protect the tribe. As time advanced and societies became multi-layered there were other realities to traverse to arrive at a decision. Of course, we are rather aware of the issues of succession for many monarchies around the world and the many examples of what happens when it doesn’t go smoothly.
When voting became part of the equation there were conflicting interplays depending upon the kind of democracy requiring governments to be formed sorting out coalitions. America, of course, was formed doing away with the monarchical structure and yet those beings who were only 3/5ths human, didn’t get a vote. So, it fell to those in power, WHITE MEN, to vote. Further along the path women finally woke up understanding that there was no reason why they couldn’t vote, in spite of what the power structure told them. And, finally, as I wrote yesterday, although it had been promised by the constitutional amendments, it took approximately 100 years for it to actual mean something. AND YET!, it was and continues to be abused, manipulated and stretched beyond recognition as whole populations in specific election jurisdictions are disenfranchised at the drop of a hat.
Once again -
IF WE ARE NOT ALL FREE NONE OF US ARE FREE. IF SOME OF US ARE PREVENTED FROM VOTING - NONE OF US CAN BE SURE OF OUR RIGHT TO VOTE.
So, how have leaders served us? Frankly, with few exceptions I”m not so sure they’ve done all that well. Mediocre in my estimation.
There’s far to much prostitution in our government and our society “every body has a price!”. There’s truly an astounding hypocrisy given that this country represents itself as a Christian nation and yet the only god it truly worships at the end of the day, is money. And we’ve seen how those who amass ridiculous amounts of money, too many of them certainly believe, that they are above the rest of us. Never truly understood this and I delight to the fact that - “you can’t take it with you!”.
During the 1930’s Roosevelt was pushed by the enormous poverty and unprecedented human suffering that pushed him to make radical financial and social changes.
During the 1960’s the enormous civil unrest pushed the leaders to do the right thing. Would either Roosevelt or Johnson have done this on their own?
Not as far as I can tell. The great unrest, the enormous uprising coupled with undeniable proof of the need for change acted like an enormous title wave of energy benevolently pushing the creations which manifested under those conditions. Yes, the presidents did sign the required legislation, but, it was only because of the engagement of such an enormous numbers of citizens in the democratic process that it all came to pass.
When the above conditions are not as threatening, the results are much slower and certainly more circuitous, too often incomplete. The bribing of representatives still spun as lobbying and the political games, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”, too often brake movement towards fully significant legislation. Of course, there are exceptions. However, as we have seen over the last year. TOO MANY seams are coming apart because of the dishonest and incomplete way the social realities of our population are simply not adequately respected to allow people to live with dignity.
The idea that Mr. X or Mrs/Miss/Ms.Y who rise to be president will save us is nothing but childhood fantasy. There is no such reality coming our way. We have seen how a deeply incompetent, dishonest, divisive, mean spirited individual can do an enormous amount of harm. Especially when the legislative branch through the Senate, enables such destructive behavior. Yet for the most part we’ve seen that no matter the promises made during the campaign process, the dreams upon entering rarely, if ever, come to full fruition by the time the next president is sworn in.
What becomes clear, examining the history of these tremendous moments, is that democracy is at it’s best when all are involved. The involvement, in both cases, was during times of great stress and violence so the powers that be, bent to the power of the people galvanized through the duress, and instituted real structural and eco/social change.
I have long since given up the idea that any leader Is going to save us. That any one leader is going to take power and bring us back to some golden age of America. During this period, so many of the problems within this country have been revealed. As you all know it’s a long list.
Have you recognized why this is? Well, the rat race which the greater majority of the citizenry has to complete on a daily basis in order to simply survive suddenly stopped. Too many had to stay home and what happened then. WOW! People actually started to pay attention. Before, who cared who was the latest minority member to be killed. This time round there was too much idleness, people very open schedules allowing them to pay attention. And, suddenly, with a bit of time to actually pay attention, a greater majority began to become aware. True individual awareness is a great danger to those in power. Remember, the numbers are quite small. What’s the population of the US? How many people are at the top, economically, socially and politically? A very small number. They don’t want awareness. They want the machine to continue. They reap 300 - 400 times more than the average worker AND, don’t really give a damn what the consequences are. UNLESS? The circumstances could collapse everything because of a pandemic, for instance. Then…things get real and with the violence of January 6th, well, that scared the hell out of the frightful (those who have the most to lose - I’m NOT one of them) and they flipped in the blink of an eye.
Clearly, Covid has to be dealt with and the road to accountability for last week’s actions have to be followed. People, regardless of what positions they hold, should be assessed through their actions, not merely there words. There must be a comprehensive examination in a gesture towards lessening the power of rhetoric. SO MUCH BULLSHIT, how people can swallow 1/2 of the things that are made public is beyond me.
As you all know change is here. And, it’s not going anywhere. So, again, I believe in the power of each and every one of us to affect change. To create their own reality. We cannot return to business as usual. The idea of “new” normal to me is ridiculous. There was never a normal. There have been all kinds of clandestine realities all around us which were purposely hidden from us. We must be the change. We must take the lead and each time a politician is elected we must engage, pay attention, make our opinions known and actively monitor the actions of every elected official we support, even those we don’t support. Under those circumstances, democracy has a chance. Without it, demi-gods like our president until tomorrow, will take power and do everything and anything they can to divide, destabilize and take advantage of any possibility to promote themselves and heir wealth.
Don’t know about you - but I’m done with such people.
As always my friends, thank you all for being here with me today. Thomas