Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Guest Editorial: by Scott Alexander, Stratham July 1, 2019
If we wish to end political corruption in our country, then emails, phone calls, and letter writing are only a small portion of the actions that "We the People" can be taking to ensure that our elected government officials (both republican and democrat) truly do work for all the people, not just the top 1% of the wealth in our country. In order for a protest campaign to be effective, it needs to be coordinated with many actions of nonviolent resistance. Unfortunately, our current Congress continues to allow Trump to do what he wants, when he wants, regardless of rules and common decency. His out of control policies are doing lasting damage to our country both at home and abroad.
I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who commented on how well the economy is doing, which for him was proof that Trump must be doing something right. Yes, for some, the economy is working fine. Unemployment is low and people are spending. The problem is, people are building up credit card debt again, taxes are continuing to increase, and costs of goods are rising even though wages are not increasing at the same rate. The national debt is spiraling out of control.
I run a retail business, and the tariffs imposed by Trump are causing manufacturers to increase their pricing by up to 10% or more. American consumers are the losers in this game as they will pay higher prices for just about everything. American farmers, those who haven't gotten flooded out, will be selling fewer crops making it even more difficult to maintain profitable farms. So, on the surface, for some, things are great. I feel, within a year from now, consumer purchasing will go down, the economy will slow, and major corporations (to protect their profits) will begin laying off employees, which will only compound the problem. If this does, indeed, happen, we will fall into another recession/depression like we saw in 2008. Too few people, however, look ahead. Most are narrowly focused on their bank accounts at the present moment and this is what will get many into trouble once again down the road. I do hope I'm wrong, but from what I see, and from what I hear from customers that do business with me, others that run businesses within my industry, and the manufacturers whom I deal with, we need to start holding ALL our elected officials accountable and get them to start doing their jobs.
Impeaching Trump is a definite must happen procedure. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW, not even POTUS. Far too often, Trump's actions put him in a position that he feels he can do, say, and act without consequence because Congress doesn’t seem to be even slowing him down. A well-organized people power movement is the only way that our elected officials are going to hear the voices of America. Many groups all over the country have formed at the local, state, and national levels. One of the problems that I see is that very few of these groups are working together to make a national movement effective. Protests, demonstrations, emails, phone calls, letters, etc... are all being done with only marginal success because there is no national citizen’s leadership that brings all the groups together to make the efforts effective. Marches that include millions of people around the country get attention, but then everyone goes home and we go right back to the norm, feeling increasingly disheartened that our protests are not making an impact.
A well-organized citizen action movement would employ many tactics within a non-violent strategy where one action would build on another in an escalating and sustained way. This would not only grow the movement, it would get results by undermining the power of corrupt officials to carry out those policies that hurt working families. An effective movement needs motivated leaders, a grand strategy, training, and well-thought-out campaigns at the local, state, and national levels that include millions of Americans from all over the country. Want Congress to hear what we think? Get millions of Americans to speak out with action from all these local groups from all around the country, not just 1 day, but day after day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year in a sustained national people's power movement.
"We the People" have the power if we truly want change. We just need to act in an organized fashion, with clear goals, a well-developed strategy, with training and education. If we do this, as many have done throughout the world including our own country, the people will gain back their democracy, their freedoms, and their ability to live safely and economically soundly in their communities.