Empathy & Human Rights Require #CleanElections
by Chuck Watts
I live in the county and work in Wilmington and have for 21 years. I have a voice and no vote. Most people I know of whatever party persuasion want a community that protects and empowers them, their families, and their neighbors. That’s the definition of a progressive and effective government. We’re not getting that because progressives, Republican and Democratic alike, are staying silent.
If you want to know what progressive Republicans look like follow the work of Randy Riley, David Hollingsworth, Rob Jaehnig, Mark McKay, and Mike Wallace. The reason the budget didn’t pass is because it was progressive. The city could have made progress with it and gotten on with protecting and empowering our neighbors. We need more progressives. We need to strengthen progress for everyone. If you’re a progressive Republican, you need to step up. Your fellow progressives need you help.
There is an extreme element of conservatism in our culture that has warped both ideas of family and democracy. When extreme conservatives talk about budgets balanced to revenue, what they really mean is (1) public budgets should look like family budgets, and (2) family budgets shouldn’t have to pay for anything public. It may sound nice and fuzzy to equate a nation or city’s budget to a family budget. They are not the same. A family can come to an end. Family estates are settled every day, when family members die. On the other hand, our nation is still young and is the richest in the world.
When extreme conservatives apply so-called “family values” to our common wealth, what they really mean is they want to end the idea of “a more perfect Union” based on common wealth and common good and replace it with every thing private, i.e. me and my family. Yet, there are some things that families can not do on their own, like protect their own children. When we send our children to school or the movies, we expect them to come home to us safe and sound. We expect it, because true Americans rely on each other.
Effective government requires mutual responsibility, because it’s really not about my family or yours, but about all of our families. “A more perfect Union” is the promise of a nation with no end despite the passing away of your family or mine. All families are worthy of protection and empowerment for the good. That’s progressive. That’s effective government. That’s mutual responsibility.
What you don’t hear extreme conservatives talk about is investing more in public government to make it effective. They are perfectly happy with shrinking revenues. They are proud of the slogan “more with less.” Where is the outcry from any city hall, not just ours, that local government funding should be restored and expanded. Wilmington’s budget failed because it was progressive and based on an outrage at the thought of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness slipping away from Wilmington. The Riley Hollingsworth budget was progressive and could have been passed with more progressives.
Our nation suffers from democratic republic autoimmunity, i.e. the inability to protect and empower anyone other than one’s self. Our national autoimmunity is cased by many individuals suffering from EDD, empathy deficit disorder. The treatment protocol for our democratic republic autoimmunity is complex. That complex treatment begins with individual taking direct action to treat their EDD by seeking to be more empathic. Our tax dollars at work are an outward and visible sign of the fortunes of our democratic republic. Our tax dollars can work because they are part of a public budgets. Revenues could be based on equity of protection and empowerment, a progressive idea.
Corporations and wealthy individuals enjoy “compound” empowerment, currently with public subsidies from you and me. For example, you and I have been empowered by public education. Corporations are empowered by an educated workforce. I drive to work on public highways. Corporations have entire workforces and trucks using public highways. Corporations enjoy compound empowerment and don’t have to pay for that empowerment because of their corporate enablers inside government not demanding they pay their fair share. When corporations don’t pay for their own empowerment, we end up picking up the tab, i.e. publicly subsidizing corporate profits.
America and Wilmington public coffers have no revenue because unethical corporations and their enablers inside government have convinced many of us to think ONLY about your self and your OWN family. That’s why they use the marketing slogan of family values. Unethical corporate privateers want you and I so busy trying to make ends meet “for our families” that we don’t have time to talk to one another, to care for one another, to protect one another, to empower one another.
Freedom and democracy are impossible next to corporate servitude, which is where we’re headed, if we don’t occupy compassion.
The Wilmington City Budget failed because it was progressive and conservatives are in charge. Thank goodness that’s a temporary problem.
Chuck Watts has made his living in Wilmington for 22 years as a financial advisor. He is the co-founder of the Empathy Surplus Project. He is the elected precinct representative to the Clinton County Democratic Party. He is seeking another term in 2014, as well as, a new term for the state central committee of the Ohio Democratic Party in senate district 17.