SWEET POLITICS
My job in this world is to bring joy to myself and others through music. There is no wall between that and the rest of my life. Doing my part in promoting kindness and defending & nurturing democracy has always been a natural extension.  So I offer my perspective as it arises out of a life of music, in the hopes that it might be helpful to one person.. 

One Boat No Shore

I had a dream that we were all in one boat and there was no shore.

We are the captains, who can steer this boat
toward sweet gentle waters, to keep us afloat

Defending Democracy

Dear Cousin, 

Consider this: The fight for the common good has been going on since the beginning of time and it will continue as the sun rises and falls in the sky. It's not about winning. It's an ongoing process. It's about always working to bring more good into the world no matter what.  We all have been contributing to that in our own way through our work, our relationships, and our civic involvement. And we will continue to do this no matter what the world looks like. 

We have each other and more

We have brilliant people and brilliant organizations doing great things that can make great use of our help. They have always had our back and have always been fighting the never ending battle for truth justice and the American way.  They needed us then, they need us now, and they will always need us.  Donation is essential, but if we are able, participation is the best.

There is opportunity

Nothing really has changed but that the sleeping dragon has risen, our calling now shouts in our face, our participation is required, time is of the essence, and opportunity is now a dazzling cornucopia of low hanging fruit.

There are Solutions

What we all need now, for our own hearts, and for the world, is to work together joyfully for the common good, and in the comforting presence of friends.  We can stand up strong, clear and fearless with wise strategy for what we each know is good and right.  But how?

Here's One recommendation of note

Right at this moment my best recommendation for a personal action plan besides running for office is some degree of involvement with Common Cause. It's been a non-partisan #1 defender of democracy for 46 years. It's time has come. It partners with other organizations and it gets things done! 

The more we Can join together, the more we can accomplish

Visualize where we would be right now without the Electoral College.  Think about it.  You might be interested to know that Common Cause has been working on getting back the 1 person 1 vote - everyone's vote counts - popular vote, for years.  Amazingly they are more than 60% there and you can be part of the effort to push it all the way. Now, think about where we would be right now with a stronger push for campaign finance reform, money out of politics, no more partisan political gerrymandering, full voting rights, and automatic voter registration for all.  What would be different? Think about it. ... Exactly! 

THE DNA OF democracy

What I especially have loved about Common Cause is that their issues (like the ones above) are basic and pervasive. These issues are the DNA of democracy and they affect everything in our lives. The more people have a voice and the less they are suppressed and drowned out by money interests the easier it will be to resolve other issues.  Since a super majority of citizens are in favor of the issues Common Cause is putting forth, they have been able to make great headway. But there will always be opposing forces undermining progress. Our forefathers handed the citizens a responsibility known as due diligence so we were really called upon to not only watch-dog the process, but to always be part of the process. Last night my wife/manager, Holly, was watching the BBC news and someone said; "You can't have only a goalie in the hockey game, you need to have a team on the ice to move the puck toward the goal." 

Defending Democracy

Common Cause has been described in different ways depending on the changing political landscape: Truth to Power, The People's Lobby, Money out of Politics, The People's Voice, and Holding Power Accountable, Though there are all these different facets, Common Cause is essentially; Defending  Democracy.  And to do this effectively they have to remain flexible and responsive to current events. So to really understand the brilliance of this mission we would need to look at their history and how it applies to current issues.  In the meantime; Defending Democracy.

we don't have to throw our shoes at the news

Holly and I, are constantly working with Common Cause Illinois and we have a very nice time together making a difference in the world.  Instead of throwing our shoes at the news, we look at each other and say; Well, at least we know we are taking part and supporting work that can help fix this problem.  You are welcome to join us in Illinois.  If not, there are 35 state chapters.

spreading the word

When you hear people expressing concern or dismay, or they are just complaining, tell them not to waste their precious time and energy on such things. They can use this energy to move things forward and improve a situation.  Take this opportunity to send them to this site, contact me, or just do what you think is best. Maybe we can inspire them to get off the sidelines and get involved.

You can go to the Positive Action section where we have a growing list of links to the ACLU, Chicago Lawyers for Civil Rights and other similar organizations. In the mean time here are your links to Common Cause:

Thank you for your interest and friendship.  I want you to be happy.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

Corky (and Holly too)

Post Election Letter from Common Cause
This is a recent down to brass tacks letter from the CEO of Common Cause for a nice introduction to how Common Cause is attending to current eventsFor 46 years Common Cause has been holding presidents and other national and local leaders of both parties accountable to make sure they use public power in the public interest.

Common Cause Illinois.  
205 W. Randolph Street. Suite 1220 - Chicago, IL 60606 - Phone: 312-372-2422
Email: tgervais@commoncause.org (Trevor can find the right fit for you).
Join Holly and me.

Common Cause National Office
If you are not in Illinois, Common Cause has chapters in 35 states.

 

T-Shirts, Buttons and Stickers with various slogans at CafePress.

All profits to Common Cause Illinois
http://www.cafepress.com/oneboatnoshore

Hindsight is 20/16     Foresight is 20/18     Perfect Vision is 20/20

 

Positive Action

Join up with great people and great organizations doing great things

Isn't it a waste of our beautiful energy to just stand on the sidelines and worry and complain. Every positive step we take together will make the world a better place.  Donate sure.  But participate.  They wait for our help: Common Cause, ACLU, Chicago Lawyers, SKUPE, and more. 

Let me know about other non-partisan organizations we may want to list. Contact

Common Cause Illinois
Common Cause Illinois and its members are building a movement to fight back for a real and accountable democracy. After re-launching the state organization in 2012, we continue to advance landmark reforms to create a stronger voice for every Illinoisan, from improving access to the polls to getting big money out of politics. If you're interested in voting rights, campaign finance reform, or creating a government that works for the people, get involved with Common Cause Illinois to help build a movement for a great democracy.

Common Cause
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Common Cause in Other States
A true citizen's lobby.  Find your office in any one of 35 states. (Members in all 50)

ACLU
For almost 100 years the American Civil Liberties Union has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

Chicago Lawyers Committee
The mission of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. (CLC) is to protect and promote civil rights by bringing the strength and prestige of the private bar to bear on the problems of poverty and discrimination. CLC was created in 1969 as a public interest consortium of Chicago law firms to provide pro bono legal services in significant civil rights cases.

SCUPE
Vision Statement: SCUPE envisions a world in which religions come together as a proactive force for justice, inclusivity and peace.  Mission Statement: SCUPE educates people of faith and goodwill to become powerful leaders to tear down barriers of exclusivity and superiority and build communities of peace with justice.

Tools

Fact Check
We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.

 

Thoughts

The Dream

I had a dream that all my FaceBook friends (with diverse opinion, culture, and desire) were in the middle of an ocean with no shore, and we were all together in one boat. It became immediately clear that pure kindness was the first and most valuable aspiration. The Dalai Lama said something to the effect: You should always be kind. If you find it impossible to be kind, you should still be kind. When you think about all of us in one boat in the middle of the ocean you can see why kindness is so important.  And don't think that kindness is weakness. On the contrary. Kindness requires thoughtfulness, thoughtfulness leads to clarity and wisdom, and in wisdom we find the best strategies to overcome our greatest enemies both inner and outer.

Other thoughts As they arise

  • We have only exactly the right amount of time to turn life into love. (1,3,17)
  • Nothing is worth accomplishing without kindness.  And nothing is really accomplished without kindness. (1.2.17)
  • There is contentment when a challenge is placed right in front of us, and it is clear, we are in the right place and it is the right time. (1.2.17)
  • Have a plan and don't look back (12.29.17)
  • A beautiful life. The sky, the earth, touch, fragrance, color, love.  And just as profound the opportunity to nurture and defend democracy. (12.30.17)
  • Hindsight is 20/16; Foresight is 20/18; Perfect Vision is 20/20. 
  • I'm sure people ask me about these particular topics for good reasons. While I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, I do claim to be a friend.