And so we begin our latest odyssey as Americans, in which we appear to have elected an arrogant, infantile racist and sexist as our President, and have returned solid Republican majorities to Congress for him to work with. And still I refuse to drink from the cup of cynicism! I still believe, as I said a few days ago, that Americans are fundamentally good and wise people when you don't pound political party loyalty into them -- why, voters in South Dakota and Missouri both approved significant statewide campaign finance reforms on Tuesday even as they were delivering their states' electoral votes to Mr. Trump. But, as I said a few weeks ago, Mr. Trump still had many paths to victory; we may yet find that the notorious "Interstate Crosscheck" database -- which has de-registered countless Americans on "suspicion" of illegally voting in another state, said "suspicion" established merely by whether or not you have a simliar name to someone else in another state, which just about all of us do -- played a big part in his victory. Some folks may be amused that the "liberal" media pollsters got so many races so wrong, but widespread vote suppression is not at all amusing.
Still, that shouldn't have mattered. When the referees are against you, as Phil Jackson used to say, you have to play above them. Easy to say, I suppose, if you're coaching Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, but Democrats once again played not to lose and nominated Hillary Clinton, whose husband's bubble economy is remembered fondly by just about no one anymore, instead of playing to win and nominating Bernie Sanders, who actually talked to voters the way a human being would do, and diagnosed specific problems and offered specific solutions that actually resonated with voters across the ideological spectrum (much in the way campaign finance reform resonates across the ideological spectrum, as we discussed in the first paragraph). Some would say we should, in response to Election Day's reversals, double down on support for Democratic politicians. But that's what they want you to do: to join their system, instead of bending them to our system. And we must not wait for some Great Person to act, because we are Americans, and thus we are the Great People who must act.
And that's why this blog exists -- to give us a way to express our will to our representatives, and be those Great People. Regardless of who belongs to which political party, our representatives are supposed to, you know, represent -- which doesn't mean they're supposed to do every little thing we tell them to do (since some of their constituents are going to give them completely conflicting things to do!), but they're supposed to work for us, and not just their big donors. That all sounds like a tall order: how can we be heard above the din of lobbyists, corporatists, and "liberal" media enablers? Some say the answer is community organizing. It is one answer, for some people the correct answer, and community organizers do hard, important, essential work all over America. But a lot of folks work in fields completely unrelated to community organizing and have families to care for; they deserve to be able to make their voices heard, too. So Thieves in the Temple helps you express your will to your representatives in a matter of minutes every day. Some call that "slacktivism," but representing your will to your representatives is never "slacking." And if we act en masse, we'll make them change their ways.
Please don't snort tea out your nose at that statement -- I know it's true, because I've seen it happen. In 2003 a Republican-held Congress had no reason to oppose the FCC's proposal loosening media consolidation rules, or the Labor Department's proposal diluting overtime standards, but both Houses of Congress returned votes disapproving of both of those rules, merely because the public organized against them. President Bush pushed his 2004 "mandate" into a proposal to privatize Social Security, but good Americans simply didn't want it, so it never even came to a Congressional vote. In 2011, both parties in both Houses of Congress wanted to pass an "internet blacklist" bill, but broad public opposition derailed it. And in 2014, the FCC looked certain to approve yet another weak net neutrality proposal that would be overturned in court just like the last one -- but the public organized against it, apparently prompting the President to speak out in favor of it, and the corporate lobbyist who was heading up the FCC did as the people told him to do. "Free" trade deals are a constant thorn in our side, but believe me, there'd be a lot more of them, and they'd be a lot worse, if people didn't oppose them -- the President was shorn of his "fast-track" authority for over eight years only because of popular pressure. I wish we could point to so many more victories, believe me -- but if you see it happen even once, as I've said, you'll want to help make it happen all the time, and the times you can help make it happen will sustain you through a thousand failures.
So I'd like you to join this effort. You can like our Facebook page here to get updates, or enter your email address in the upper right-hand corner of this page and get daily emails -- or you can remember to check in as often as you can. Action posts go up every day during the week, and typically consist of two to four action alerts; you'll be in and out in 10 minutes. And, more importantly, you'll help make good things happen.