Everybody's Party | If you could create a political party, what would it look like?

Everybody's Party | If you could create a political party, what would it look like?

Everybody's Party Fights For Everybody

I keep finding myself wishing for a political party not defined by opposition but by unity—a party where anyone could find their place by focusing on legislation we all could agree upon (there is a lot we agree on!). This led me to do my favorite thing and make up a name, a website and of course a t-shirt for this imaginary party. I came up with Everybody's Party. Pretty catchy eh?

In the United States, we share fundamental desires: we want honest politicians and a bright future for our children. We seek affordable healthcare to prevent medical bankruptcy, safe public spaces—from schools to entertainment venues—and the opportunity to work hard and support our families. We all agree on the need for clean air and water, a livable climate, accessible housing, affordable groceries, a good education and a life free from undue government dependency. These universal aspirations should be our common focus and although we may disagree on exactly how to get there, these are goals we all share. Why do these basic needs remain so out of reach to so many US Citizens?

Distraction With Hot Topic Issues

icons fighting

There are certain hot-button issues that divide us, and it feels like no matter how much we discuss them, we cannot find common ground because they're incredibly personal and tied deeply to our values and beliefs; which makes compromise exceptionally difficult. Those in power often use these issues to stir up emotions and distract us from other pressing problems. This tactic effectively keeps them in control, as it shifts our focus away from collaborative efforts on issues where there might be more potential for agreement. It's a simple but powerful strategy that continues to work until we finally realize that very little is getting done to address critical issues like healthcare, education and housing. Examples abound. 

  1. Immigration as the Scapegoat: Politicians and media outlets sometimes claim that immigrants are the reason for high unemployment rates or low wages among native-born citizens. This diverts attention from policies that favor outsourcing, automation, or corporate anti-union practices that suppress wages and fail to create jobs.
  2. Racial and Ethnic Divisions: By emphasizing racial and ethnic differences, some leaders may incite fear or resentment among different groups. This can distract from issues like economic inequality, underfunded public services, and systemic discrimination that affect all low-income people regardless of race.
  3. Gender Issues: Debates over gender rights, such as transgender participation in sports, can be used to rally conservative bases and draw attention away from broader issues like healthcare, education, or workers' rights, which have more widespread impact.
  4. Culture Wars: Focus on issues like "cancel culture," historical statue removal, or school curriculum about race can overshadow discussions on climate change, healthcare reform, or economic restructuring, which require urgent attention.
  5. Welfare and Benefits: The discussion around welfare abuse or fraud is often exaggerated to justify cutting social support programs, steering the conversation away from the lack of jobs that pay living wages or the growing wealth gap.

Meritocracy Myth

icon working up

This narrative that success and wealth are earned through hard work, talent and individual effort while those who are poor are responsible for their own circumstances due to laziness or lack of effort is used to justify the vast inequalities that exist in America. Access to opportunities are shaped by your skin color, gender and class. Generational wealth tends to generate more wealth and entrenched poverty leads to more desperate poverty. There are few who can rise above the clutches of poverty and attaining the American Dream has become more elusive to Everybody, including whites, since the 1950s.

Scarcity Mentality

tag that says limited

The wealthy elite perpetuate a scarcity mentality by framing resources as limited and finite, thus reinforcing the belief that there is not enough to go around. This mindset fosters competition and hoarding behavior. It is the backbone of the Zero Sum framework you hear on right wing media through tropes like the "Makers and the Takers". Or "The immigrants come over here and freeload off of us."

But, all you have to do is take a look around you at the numbers to know that this scarcity myth is completely artificial. The wealth of America's top 1% grew by nearly $15 trillion over the past four years and reached a record high of $44.6 trillion by the end of 2023. (1) During and after COVID-19, corporate profits soared by 25% compared to the pervious year before COVID-19.(2)

Divide And Conquer

icons fighting

The wealthy elite often employ divide and conquer tactics to pit economically disadvantaged white individuals against other marginalized groups. By fostering animosity and resentment, they divert attention from the deep systemic inequalities they perpetuate and instead, redirect this anger toward convenient scapegoats. 

After Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 when white indentured servants teamed up with Black slaves to overthrow the elites and freaked them out with how close they came to succeeding, the government codified racial slavery and marked in the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705 which formally differentiated between Blacks and white indentured servants. These laws stripped African slaves of many basic rights and made slavery a lifelong condition based on race, distinct from the indenture of whites. At the same time white indentured servants were granted certain privileges including better work conditions, the ability to own land and legal rights in court. These strategies of driving a wedge between white communities and those of color continued through Jim Crow laws, miscegenation laws, voting restrictions, land and property laws and educational disparities.

This belief that one group's gain is another's loss is a false dichotomy pushed by those in power to maintain their status by keeping us divided. Unity on any issue often leads to success, which is why division is a preferred strategy by those at the top to retain their control.

In competitive sports, the zero-sum concept holds true as there can be only one winner. However, this isn't the case in our social systems. Although it may seem that white individuals receive better job opportunities, over time, the real beneficiaries are the elite, who continually pit us against each other. As a result, the apparent benefits of these 'better' jobs diminish, affecting security in employment, home ownership, and increasing healthcare and education costs. It may appear that whites are a step ahead of Black and immigrant groups, but ultimately, everyone loses in this manipulated scenario. Unlike a zero-sum sports match, everyone's well-being is interconnected in society.

Benefits of Solidarity

hands of color holding each hand

In one of the richest countries in the world, we must question why we haven't secured a basic standard of living that includes food, housing, and medical care for every citizen. These are fundamental necessities that we are more than capable of providing to all as demonstrated by other countries around the world.

As our country is leached by billionaires, at some point we must stop squabbling over crumbs and come together to take back access to basic necessities and nice to have public services like free access to higher education, paid parental leave, affordable childcare and an infrastructure that is not falling into disrepair. These are not socialist ideas.

The Declaration of Independence tells us that we all have the right to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," and it's the government's job to protect these rights. There's a big difference between a socialist country, where the government controls everything like property and businesses, and a system like ours that offers public services such as schools, hospitals, roads, and also access to basic needs like food, clean air and water, housing, and medical care. These things are essential for everyone to have a fair chance at happiness.

These services aren't just handouts; they are crucial to prevent a situation where a few people take everything and leave the majority struggling. Without the government doing its job to protect the public, we could end up with a country where people can't afford homes, where people can't get the medical care they need, where wages are too low to cover basic expenses, and where The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our roads and bridges a D+ because our basic infrastructure is falling apart. Without enough support, we would also see more homelessness, drug issues, people with mental health issues who can't get help, and more money spent on prisons than on schools.

Oh wait, we are already here.

The only way for us to go back to the good old days when the American Dream was accessible for whites is to ensure that it is accessible to Everybody and the only way to achieve this is to join together across race, gender and class lines.

When you begin to feel resentful that someone is getting something for free that you had to pay for remember this parable.

The Parable of the Non-Zero Sum Game

In a small farming community, there lived a farmer who was known far and wide for growing the best corn. Each year, his corn won the top prize at the county fair, and people came from miles around to learn his secret.

Unlike many others who were secretive about their techniques, this farmer did something unexpected: he generously shared his best seed corn with all his neighbors.

Perplexed by this, a visitor to the community asked the farmer, "Why do you share your best seed corn with your neighbors? Aren't you concerned that they might take your prize from you next year if their corn surpasses yours?"

The farmer smiled wisely and replied, "You see, corn is pollinated by the wind. The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn as well."

The moral of this story is clear: sharing our best with others leads to mutual success. Our personal good fortune is intertwined with the prosperity of those around us. By helping our neighbors, we are actually helping ourselves. The best way to achieve our goals is to ensure that those around us are also equipped to succeed.

 

Some of the benefits for Everybody include: (3)

  1. Economic Prosperity: When communities work together across racial lines, it can lead to greater economic opportunities and prosperity for everyone. This includes better wages, more stable jobs, and stronger economies.
  2. Improved Public Services: Solidarity can lead to improved public services like healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Racially inclusive policies and investments in public goods benefit all members of the community, not just people of color. (4)
  3. Healthier Societies: There's a correlation between more inclusive societies and better health outcomes. Solidarity can reduce stress, improve mental health, and lead to healthier communities by fostering a sense of belonging and support.
  4. Greater Innovation and Creativity: Diverse groups working in solidarity tend to be more innovative and creative. This is because they bring different perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to better problem-solving and more effective solutions.
  5. Stronger Democracy: Solidarity across racial and ethnic lines can strengthen democratic institutions and practices. It promotes a more engaged and informed citizenry, which is essential for a healthy democracy.

Addressing these critical issues requires a political system free from the influence of substantial financial interests.

Everybody’s Party is dedicated to one critical mission: bringing Everybody together and removing big money from politics through unification around this singular goal.

Regardless of your stance on other matters, if you share this belief, you are inherently a member of Everybody's Party.

I created an imaginary political party for fun but know that there is a lot out there working to try and unify us. 

If you are sick at the corruption in our government check out these websites.

Represent Us - RepresentUs is a prominent nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in the United States focused on anti-corruption and government reform efforts across the political spectrum. Their mission is to bring together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass meaningful reforms that aim to curb political corruption and ensure that the government truly represents the people. The organization emphasizes grassroots involvement, leveraging a network of volunteers to push for local and national reforms. It is the website where I got a lot of my info from on legislation.

Common CauseCommon Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. Their work focuses on creating open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest, promotes equal rights and representation, and empowers all people to make their voices heard in the political process. They are actively involved in various initiatives such as election protection, anti-disinformation campaigns, ethics and accountability, and fighting the influence of money in politics.

Campaign Legal Center The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that focuses on issues related to campaign finance, voting rights, political communication, and government ethics. Founded in 2002 by Trevor Potter, a former Republican chairman of the Federal Election Commission, CLC aims to enhance transparency and fairness in political processes and governance.

If you are tired of all the division in our country check out these websites.

Braver Angels - Braver Angels is an organization dedicated to depolarizing America by bringing liberals and conservatives together for discussions that foster understanding and reduce political hostility, aiming to find common ground.

Weave: The Social Fabric Project - Founded by David Brooks at the Aspen Institute in 2018, Weave aims to address the crisis of social trust in the U.S. by fostering community connections and promoting a culture of relationalism. The project supports grassroots leaders who help weave inclusive social fabrics in their communities​.

 

Footnotes

1.$44 Trillion: Combined Wealth Of America's 1% Reaches Record

2.Profits and the Pandemic

3. The Sum Of Us

4. The Benefits of Socioeconomically and Racially Integrated Schools and Classrooms

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