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The U.S. Capitol building is sieged by alt-right insurrectionists. Photo courtesy of ABC News.

On Democracy and the United States

The fundamental ideals behind our journey of building The Future Is Good stem from the tenets behind democracy itself. As a co-founder, I see our business as a logical extension of our privilege to vote—The FIG represents a serious attempt to create a resource for voting in all areas of our life, not just at the polls. It is through this lens that I have decided to share my thoughts on recent events in our nation; a nation that was once a model for democracy across the globe but has recently become a model for what can go wrong in democracies that are thought to be rock-solid.

With our ongoing mission to make the future good requiring dedication and constant refinement, I have had a lot of things to accomplish throughout the start of the new year—financial planning, project management, and vision-setting for 2021 has been at top of my list. As last week progressed, I continuously struggled to focus on work while news poured in about one of the most disturbing events I’ve ever witnessed via livestream. Scenes from Washington D.C. on January 6th resembled those that arise in failed democracies and countries recovering from decades of authoritarian rule. Simply on account of the virtues that founded this nation, these events should not be happening in the United States. 

Some people are calling what occurred at the Capitol an exercise in patriotism. Others call it the last sputtering breaths of Donald Trump’s soured brand of populism. Most call it an unprecedented and largely unimaginable event that will go down in U.S. infamy and be taught to future generations in history books.

Let’s call it what it is, and let’s discuss the implications and consequences of these events and of our current situation. 

This was an obstruction of the democratic process that didn’t border on sedition. By dictionary definition, it was sedition, and it arguably deserves the label of an attempted coup. This was an irrefutable denial of the very civil liberties that most of the people involved claim to be fighting for: democracy and freedom. Please ask yourself—if one of the most hotly-contested and important elections in modern times, in the wealthiest nation on the planet, was not a secure election, what election is or ever will be?  How can we ever expect the democratic process to work if we undermine the very foundations of how it operates and our beliefs about it's veracity? How can one side expect the other to respect the results of elections in their favor if they set a precedent of failing to recognize the legitimacy of results that aren’t? 

Everybody, throughout all regions of the political spectrum, needs to acknowledge the results of the 2020 elections. It’s over, and despite all of the fallout, nobody is truly talking about what we’ve learned.

Leftists, progressives, and left-leaning moderates must recognize that, despite the positive outcomes for the Democratic Party, there are countless people in the United States that feel entirely disenfranchised by modern society and progressive culture (especially the post-modernist relativism that led to woke-ism and PC culture). People who feel so alienated from their fellow citizenry and so scared of invisible (and often fictitious) enemies that they have embraced a totalitarian, law and order approach to government under the leadership of the wannabe fascist dictator that so many detest. The common tendency to rebuke their opinions before letting them feel heard has consistently driven them further into the misinformed, ill-intentioned, and incredibly dangerous mindset that drives their actions. You must recognize that 45%+ of our population does not see the same Donald Trump that you see, and that they instead see a man that just may be a god-sent messiah here to rescue us all from pedophile-vampires. Everyone must understand that this group of people includes alt-right extremists whose posts on obscure social media websites explicitly state that they are ready and willing to load into pickup trucks with assault rifles and terrorize our communities. If we do not figure out a way to make these people’s underlying concerns heard and work towards a future that solves their problems as well as ours, this group of people will grow. They collectively have the potential to become the single largest threat to our democracy and our peaceful lives that modern Americans have ever encountered. They have called for dictatorship in the name of freedom, they have rallied behind calls for atrocities in the name of returning to comfort, and they are nearly impossible to reason with. We must listen without interruption, filter out the noise and propaganda-driven madness, find the common ground, and act with them to save us all. A large part of this is ensuring that we leave the neoliberal policies behind (please demand this of your representatives), and that we start looking at integrative policy and actual solutions that actually benefit all of us.

If you’re someone who voted for Donald Trump and still stand by him, you likely will denounce my words and write off what I have to say. At this point, despite my usual desire to build an understanding and mutual consensus, I’d honestly probably do the same to you. But if you are at all disturbed by the events that your affiliates took part in at the Capitol, this is your chance to be on the right side of history. While it is irrefutable that we must be prepared to stand up to a tyrannical government, this is not what occurred on January 6th. In fact, this event was immensely counterproductive to any effort to protect and uphold the constitutional rights we’re so fortunate to have. We must recognize the hypocrisy and put an end to it. We must open our eyes to the double standard that is prevalent in right-wing culture. By their rhetoric, it is bad that tens of millions of Americans have advocated and (largely peacefully) protested for black folks’ rights to: live their lives without the persistent fear of a cop breaking into their home, warrantless, and gunning them down; their desire and innate right to fix the systemic issues that make it difficult to match a white male’s earnings; and fulfill their dreams of stymieing the racially-driven mass incarceration practices of our justice system. But recent actions and rhetoric show that these people believe that it is okay to destroy federal property, threaten our elected officials, and essentially declare war on another group of people in the name of… what, exactly? A man that failed to deliver upon his promises, who lies and deceives to further his goals, and shows no common courtesy for others nor any desire to unite the nation as one? Someone who has routinely tried to overstep constitutional protections and destroy all that our founding fathers worked to build? Why? Can we please stop this? 

It is undeniable that our media cycles and the echo-chambers that have become so prevalent on social media have led us to this point, regardless of which "side" the media represents. Good-intentioned, well-informed, and mutually-focused bipartisan discussion and action in the populace, not in government, is what is going to lead us back towards a place of safety and mutual respect. It is paramount that we recognize that we are being systematically ruled by a group of elites with shared goals of dividing us and further increasing their wealth, and that we recognize that now is a most crucial time to take back our society from their clutches.

If we do not come together, recognize the precipitous situation that we are all living through, and build upon common dreams to create positive change for everyone, this American democracy that was once a model for the rest of the world will die. 

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