5.16. We Need a Plan!

Many of our efforts to create social change—even though they’re well-intentioned—are wasted.

Many of our efforts to create social change—even though they’re well-intentioned—are wasted.

They’re wasted because we never get out of the discussion phase, and into the action phase.

They’re wasted because when we do act, our actions aren’t well thought out, or part of a smart, sustainable, long-term plan.

But most of all, they’re wasted because all of our efforts are channeled into a two-party system that’s designed to create two nearly equal, opposing forces.

It’s a horribly wasteful, inefficient system.

No matter who you are, or what you believe, or how hard you work…there’s somebody on the other side, working just as hard against you.

The two parties dangle the promise of a breakthrough, making us feel like our side is about to win a lasting majority very soon, if only we work a little harder.

But deep down…I bet you know that isn’t going to happen.

Because both parties have billions of dollars and sophisticated analytical techniques at their disposal. And in politics, it’s easier to play offense than defense. As soon as one party eeks out a majority…the other party goes on the attack, makes the necessary adjustments, and wins the majority back.

We’ve got to figure out how to break this deadlock.

We, the American people.

Not these two parties that translate everything into a binary, divisive, us-versus-them struggle.

It’s going to be a formidable challenge, given that this two-party system is all we’ve ever known, and given the enormous resources devoted to keeping it in place.

But despite all the messaging and spin…people know.

People know this isn’t real.

People know this is really harmful.

They just don’t know how to address it.

The way to address it is radical inclusion, radical community-building.

The way to address it is to resist all the narratives that put us into two parties, and form a coalition with all the fed-up people on both sides.

The way to address it is to stop pouring our energies into this wasteful, deadlocked system, stop being content with getting to 51 percent…and aim higher.

Aim for 60, even 70 percent!

Here in the United States, a movement that gets to 67 percent is pretty much unstoppable.

Two-thirds support in Congress overrides a presidential veto.

Two-thirds support permits Constitutional amendments.

It even allows us to call a totally new Constitutional Convention, if that’s what we want.

But getting to that level of support is a really high bar to clear.

We can’t be too picky. We can’t make too many enemies. We can’t let ourselves get sucked into these partisan struggles that instantly mobilize half the country against the other half.

We have to just stand for the basic, broadly supported, commonsense changes that this country needs—and against the two-party system that’s suffocating it.

I think we can bust out of this deadlock. I really do.

But we have to be much smarter and more strategic, as I’ve emphasized in this set of videos.

And we have to bridge divisions, heal wounds, and build strong, diverse communities—as I’ll focus on in the next set of videos.


This is the 92nd in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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