We the Electorate regularly complain, with excellent and multiple reasons, about Electeds who don’t fulfill even some sliver of campaign promises. We fairly often talk about “accountability,” about that “holding their feet to the fire” thing. It’s a kind of campaign promise in reverse, Electorate to wannabe Electeds: I’ll be watching you. If you don’t do what you’ve promised, or make clear, substantial efforts to do so, I’ll hold you accountable. I’ll push you. I won’t vote for you next election.
Okay, that last one is seriously more iffy. At least as iffy would be something like: If you don’t do what you’ve promised — or even if you do — I’ll actively work for the “issues” and “causes” I support and you ignore or avoid, or do the calculated, pragmatic thing when you finally take action.
But when it comes time to fulfill the campaign promises of the Electorate, we don’t seem to do much better than the Electeds do.
Some pertinent thoughts from Rob Kall, at OpEdNews:
Once this damned election is over, we need to get to work — supporting Occupy, supporting progressive people — whatever party they are a part of. …
Progressives must organize outside any existing parties to develop ways to get traction with Obama and congress. We must also return to grassroots, local activism. Re-localization is the key to combat(ing) the system, … globalization, … big anything — government, pharma, farming, duopoly political parties…
As an individual it can feel daunting and frustrating, that you can’t do anything on your own. But be … absolutely certain that every… single change for the better, every single step of progress towards a better future, a better world, a more just kind humanity was taken starting with one person. Small acts are always at the root of the biggest movements.
One vital way of holding ourselves accountable is through organizing ourselves. Working with others on issues and concerns about which we are especially concerned, particularly doing that at the grassroots level, provides a face-to-face, we’re-in-this-together kind of accountability that electoral politics cannot, because Duopoly politics are ultimately not about us, but about the people at the top. The only kind of “accountability” the Republican and Democratic parties bring to the Electorate is of the “vote for us or else” variety, the kind that brings the “solutions” it pre-approves, declaring there are no other options. Either we accept their rules and preferences, they tell us, or we’re irrelevant.
I don’t think anyone — in or outside the two party structure — has “all the answers” toward addressing our totally screwed up political system, but for me, the no doubt complex solutions required must have people willing to invest their time, energy, thinking, creativity and whatever else working to build new structures and systems; willing to work at the grassroots level; knowing there are no quick and easy solutions, but willing to put in the efforts, keep plugging along, whatever dismissive, denying and demeaning words are coming from the Elites, Elects, Media and portions of the Electorate.
We the Electorate can only be held accountable by We the People.
(Nothing About Us design via RLM)