When Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, there was much talk of a “frozen nation” and a “civil war” in America.
But for the majority of Americans, that is now the case.
We have seen that there are many of us who are willing to fight for our democracy, even as we know the political system is rigged against us.
We are ready to make our voices heard.
But can we do it?
What are the lessons of the last two decades of the United States?
The next few weeks will tell us how to fix our broken democracy, whether it is by electing an alternative to the status quo or by moving toward a new, more inclusive, and more peaceful future.
Here are 10 lessons that can help us make our way forward: 1.
The politics of fear The election of 2016 was a political earthquake in American politics.
People woke up and began to believe that the system had been rigged against them.
The establishment Republicans who won the popular vote were in control of the White House.
The Republicans in Congress and in the states had won control of both houses of Congress, as well as the governorships of most states.
But in Washington, D.C., the country had become a divided nation.
In the end, Donald Trump’s victory was the result of a vast grassroots movement of ordinary Americans and a vocal minority of politicians who were desperate to make their voices heard, and who were willing to put their bodies on the line.
As the days and weeks passed, the movement seemed to be taking shape.
People in key swing states like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania came together to take on the political establishment and the political elites that had been holding them back.
The people were willing and able to rise up and say: No, the system is not rigged.
We do not need the politicians of the past to tell us what we can and can’t do.
We will make our own decisions.
The media were forced to cover this movement with respect.
It was not only a movement of people with guns and knives, but also a movement for a new way of doing politics.
A group of young and talented young people with little money, who were able to start their own organizations and networks of supporters and activists, and to build an army of activists, began to organize, train, and mobilize the country.
This was the beginning of the new America.
There was no longer a small group of white people in Washington.
In a few short months, millions of Americans began to stand up and be counted.
The end of fear As the end of the Cold War drew near, many people began to fear that the Soviet Union would strike again.
This fear was not misplaced.
It is true that some politicians in the United Kingdom, France, and elsewhere began to panic and speak of a Soviet attack.
But that was not the case with millions of ordinary people in the American Midwest, working-class whites in the South, and working- and middle-class people in New York City.
They had all heard the fears of the establishment politicians about what the Soviets might do to them.
They were scared, but they were not panicked.
The fear had been manufactured by the establishment, and it had been used to scare people.
There were so many of them in the early months of the Trump administration that the president had to call out a few to reassure them that the American people would not be intimidated.
Trump used this fear to his advantage.
He started to take credit for a massive economic stimulus package that had passed the Senate and was being signed into law by his fellow Republicans.
This economic stimulus was a success.
It boosted the economy, gave more jobs to the working class, and saved taxpayers money.
It also saved the American taxpayer a great deal of money in taxes.
The administration then pushed for even more stimulus and expanded it, but it did not work out well for the people who voted for it. 3.
The need to have a conversation about democracy A conversation about politics and democracy has never been more urgent.
We all want to change our country.
But what can we say and do that will move us forward?
Democracy is our first and most fundamental responsibility.
Democracy is what makes us free.
Democracy requires an honest discussion about the issues that divide us, and about how we can all come together and make a better world.
In that context, we should be asking questions.
Is there a way to improve the voting process, so that more of us can participate in elections, so we have a fairer, more representative, and less partisan system?
Do we need a new kind of democracy, one that will allow us to elect a president, not the one who wins the popular mandate, or even the one in the popular mind, but one that puts all Americans before special interests and the corporate establishment?
Can we have the kind of conversation that will get us to a more peaceful, better country?
The urgency of democracy The first and best antidote to fear and division is to