An appropriate subtitle for this blog post is unifying "We the People." America’s national ethos is encapsulated in what we call the “American Dream.” The American Dream is a set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, and equality). Freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success and upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. The American Dream is rooted in the following principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal” with the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The American Dream is also rooted in the principles espoused in the US Constitution promotes similar freedom in the Preamble to “secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Rather than promoting a positive ethos (Representative Consensus Democracy) and a positive socioeconomic orthodoxy (justice, fairness, and inclusion), America opted for a negative ethos (Virulent Majoritarianism Democracy) and a negative socioeconomic orthodoxy (Eurocentrism or “white supremacy”). The adoption of Virulent Majoritarian Democracy has resulted in the installation and maintenance of Eurocentrism over time.
The American body politic has bifurcated around these competing ethos and socioeconomic orthodoxies, and two competing groups are vying to impose their preferred ethos and socioeconomic orthodoxy on America. Each group is fixated on winning at all costs. Each position and the political party that advocates it, is losing legitimacy with some portion of the American people. This loss of legitimacy will have immediate and long-term negative ramifications for America and its democracy. Resolving this conflict is necessary to unify the country and forge a new social contract. Before America can achieve unification, it must eschew Virulent Majoritarian Democracy and its attendant principles. First, Americans must realize that they are being offered a false choice. Neither Eurocentrism nor Multiculturalism is tenable in our pluralistic society. Michael Lind asserts in his book, The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution, the following:
Eurocentrism (systemic racism) is dead, and Multiculturalism is dying. Whoever fills the void will define America’s political, social, and economic sectors for the remainder of the 21st century.
For Americans to eschew Virulent Majoritarian Democracy, Eurocentrism, and Multiculturalism, they must be offered a positive alternative vision that can appeal to all Americans. Washington & Associates, Inc. (W&A) developed Equity Management -Plato (EM-P) to provide the people with a positive alternative to the negative populism being offered by some. EM-P is based on the concepts of Representative Consensus Democracy and justice, fairness, and inclusion for all. EM-P is a variant of positive populism. By adopting EM-P, we can unify the country, mitigate polarization and hyper-partisanship. Thus, we can end the fight over which ethos and socioeconomic orthodoxy should prevail, and America can get back to political arguments over public policy.
Promoting positive populism will create circumstances wherein voters no longer have to give away their votes in exchange for nothing or next to nothing. Political “representatives” (legislators and executives) must be held accountable for responding to the general will. Thus, a new majority, a new political center would be created that would change the manner of and the issues around which electoral majorities are aggregated, the agendas of political parties, and finally to break the hold of those trying to maintain the status quo on the machinery of government and economics. An empowered people need to make it known that they want a positive vision of America and not the negative vision of America being put forth by some of today’s politics. The schematic associated with this news release depicts the building of a new political center.
Rebuilding the political center can only be done by promoting positive populism and embracing the general will. Rebuilding the political center will require finding common ground, or as Rawls calls it, an “overlapping consensus.” See the list of policy issues desired by the American electorate. It is also the only way that a new social contract for America’s Fourth Democratic Republic can be fashioned. The need to fashion a new political center (an Overlapping Consensus) was one of the foremost principles elucidated in John Rawls’ seminal theory, Justice as Fairness. Building a new political center will also lay a solid foundation for developing a new social contract and national unity and saving liberal democracy.
It is possible to use the current polarization level in America to be to our advantage in fashioning a new social contract. A useful starting point is that Eurocentrists and Multiculturalists fear each other and what the other might do if given the reins of power. Given the realities of Virulent Majoritarian Democracy and winner-take-all politics, each side fears the other. As a result, America’s elections have become a “blood sport” in which prevailing is an almost life or death proposition. Fear of the “Tyranny of the Majority” animates both sides. However, the potential for “mutually assured victimization” can be mitigated by what Judith Sklar calls the “liberation of fear.” It is the fear of an equally armed adversary that kept the peace during the Cold War. The same type of fear, fear of retaliation from a powerful political adversary, can help forge a lasting social peace in America. Fear can drive all to come together and negotiate a deal, a new social contract. It can cause us to forsake Virulent Majoritarian Democracy, injustice, unfairness, and exclusion, Identity Politics, zero-sum politics, and economics and opt for Representative Consensus Democracy and justice, fairness, and inclusion in as many areas of public life as possible.
We are now at a time of choosing; do we choose the “well-ordered society” and the realistic utopia of John Rawls and the “Beloved Community” and the “better world” of Dr. Martin Luther King, or do we choose the anarchic nightmare of Thomas Hobbes? We at W&A believe most will prefer the former, so we are reaching out to the people to engage with and solicit their buy-in and participation in forming the populist movement outlined in white paper no. 007.