By Charlie Keil
A national Transition Party USA would protect the apolitical Transition movement from nearby nuclear disasters, the perpetual wars required by the military-industrial-twoparty-complex that will bleed America dry very soon.
From a local transition and resilience perspective, politics as usual, or politics as we have known it, can only be an interesting distraction at best, or a discouraging and entangling alliance with existing power structures at worst. After attending a day of “transition training,” getting just a taste of the humor, joy and personal passions that can be nurtured when you are following common sense and having a good time building community resilience, I wouldn’t want to pull a single person away from this local process and into national politics. The solutions to the shocks of global peak oil, the shocks of global storming, the shocks of global economic steady declines and sudden collapses, the shocks of desperate populations crossing borders for survival, are going to be almost entirely local.
On the other hand, there may be many people this year and next, who are so alienated by totalitarian big government Republicans and so fed up with the wimpy big government Democrats, that they will want a better choice than the one between the lesser of two evils or the evil of two lessers. In particular, there may be many “teapartiers” who really love the Constitution, truly want to return to traditions, family values, family farms, local autonomy, states’ rights, and 9th Amendment rights to privacy, clean conscience, clear consciousness who will find themselves with no one they can vote for enthusiastically as their Representative in the House or Senate. The Transition Party USA, with citizen candidates advocating for the 7 themes and the 7 principles, could be very persuasive and exciting for the millions of Americans, the vast majority of Americans in fact, who have given up on the so-called “two party system” as corrupt, bought and paid for, unresponsive, irresponsible, a game they no longer want to play.
How could elected Transition Party USA Representatives in the House change anything? They could vote for the very few but very important things that Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich agree upon, i.e. bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan as the beginning of a non-interventionist, non-state-building, anti-empire foreign policy. They could vote against anything and everything that expands the role of the Federal government at the expense of state and local governments. They could lead common sense, rational, science-respecting Democrats and Republicans to close poisonous and dangerous nuclear power plants one by one using appropriate criteria: demographic (too close to major cities), ecological (biggest threat to water supplies), geological (worst earthquake probabilities), past maintenance weaknesses, age of plant, etc. Even a small group of Representatives following “transition to sustainability” values and principles, rather than lobbyist financial incentives, could make a momentous difference in the House of Representatives by voting as if people and the planet mattered!
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I could stop right here. A case a for a “fourth party” (paleoconserving decentralist greens to balance the existing left-green “third party”) well made. But it is important to make two more points:
- There are at least ten federal income tax refusers on the right for every tax refuser on the left.
- When the economic collapse of 2008 happened I noticed an interesting alliance take shape that lost on key votes.
All the Republican Reps. from Texas voted with liberal Democrat Marcy Kaptor of Ohio, and a few other wise and courageous Democrats, against bailing out the “too big to fail” Wall St. firms that caused the crisis in the first place. (“Marcy and the Texas Republicans” is the funk band I want to bop and hop to!) Bush/Cheynie favored bailouts and gauranteed loans to Wall St., Obama/Biden favored bailouts and gauranteed loans to Wall St., but a minority in each party voted for “Main St.” – code for not yet resilient localities, localities not prepared for a major economic disintegration.
A recent mailing by the “Tea Party Patriots” (a Koch Bros. front? a branch of GOP?) has 11 demands:
freeze all new federal spending;
halt federal raids on the Social Security Trust Fund;
outlaw federal bailouts of corporations;
return unspent “stimulus funds” to the taxpayers;
make ALL of the Bush tax cuts permanent;
abolish the “Death Tax”;
utilize our own natural resources for our energy needs;
fully secure our borders; and
respect the original meaning and intent of the Founders.
Why did I put the “tax cuts” and “Death Tax” demands in italics? Because these are the two demands, safely nested in the middle of the list, that matter most to Koch Brothers, Inc. and the other super-rich who currently own, loan, (“Ravings & Loans Associations”?) and run this country. I like, or can interpret and live with, the other 9 demands. If all 9 were implemented it would hasten and strengthen the local transition movement in many wonderful ways. “Single payer” universal health care in each of the 50 states would be half as expensive and better for us than ‘ObamaCare’ I’ll bet. Our own natural resources could be 100% wind, sun, hydro and geothermal. Think about each demand. Government giving special assistance to help the rich get richer is the only senseless and cruel one.
Until most of America’s towns and city neighborhoods are happily in transition to self-reliance and robust resilience in basic food and local energy, we will need a rapidly growing Transition Party USA to protect this happily apolitical movement from nearby nuclear disasters, the perpetual wars required by the military-industrial-twoparty-complex that will bleed America dry very soon, and all the other dangers that a “polarized,” dysfunctional, “corpstate” represents. We also need to protect all Americans from any version of the Teaparty movement that embeds and enshrines in the midst of its demands the principle of “the super-rich getting still richer” on the backs of everyone else. That way lies death, destruction, the more rapid extinctions of species, a horrible fate for peoples everywhere and for the planet.