What brings us together as a political party? - Maximizing Equality


What do we have in common that unites us? Why do we support polices that others vehemently oppose and why do we strongly oppose their policies? (This is part 1 of 2.)
What binds us, and what binds our opponents, is our sense of what is morally right as expressed by our moral values. And what research since the 90s has shown is that there are two distinct and opposed views of what is morally right and two sets of moral values? We are all some combination of those two sets.
Our sense of what is morally right and our moral values were learned as the youngest members of our families. Different families and other life situations taught us our different values. For some, our values changed over time.
For most of US: “We came together because of our moral values: care and responsibility, fairness and equality, freedom and courage, fulfillment in life, opportunity and community, cooperation and trust, honesty and openness. We united behind political principles: equality, equity (if you work for a living, you should earn a living) and government for the people–all the people.” — Professor George Lakoff, cognitive linguist.
Let’s explore our moral value of equality and its opposite from our opponent's moral values.

Equality in our families

Equality is reflected and promoted in our families by accepting that both parents, of any sex, share in raising our children. Our families teach our children compassion for others as our equals. Our families nurture our innate empathy and promote responsibility for ourselves and others as our equals. Our empathy and compassion helps us understand that equal protection and empowerment of our family and others is morally right. Our families understand that there are many factors that impact family members and that some of those factors are beyond our control. We understand we need others, including government, to help minimize those impacts in order to maximize equality.

Inequality in other families

Our opponents moral value of inequality is based on a strong belief in a social hierarchy, or social Darwinism. Both the left and right see God above all. However, our opponents extend this hierarchy to put white, wealthy, heterosexual, monogamous, Christian, men next in line to God. Then everyone/everything is ranked below that depending on various human and non-human characteristics. For example, a non-white, poor, non-heterosexual, unmarried, woman with a child ranks very low in their hierarchy. Historically, their ranking has even placed the value of some animals, like horses, above some humans.
The families of our opponents typically have an authoritarian male dictating to other family members their place, and the place of others, in the hierarchy. Only those like him are his equal. This authoritarian male defines what is morally right and severely punishes family members who resist. Other family members have no rights except those he grants. The authoritarian leader teaches his children that having empathy weakens their ranking in this hierarchy.  The authoritarian leader teaches his children that they are only responsible for their own success in life. If they are unsuccessful, it’s ALL their fault. The authoritarian leader teaches that some, like himself, are more equal than others by virtue of the purity of their genes.  There is no need for compassion or empathy for those lower in the hierarchy - less pure.

Government reflects our moral values

Moral values are learned from our families and life experiences. They are eventually reflected in our governmental leadership and the policies this leadership promotes and enacts.
Here are two definitions of government that amplify the difference between our moral value of equality of opportunity for all and those of our authoritarian opponents - equality only for the self-made man.
Government for maximizing equality:
A Government of, by, and for the people requires both:
(1) Government representatives with the moral commitment to equally protect and empower all the people where:
(a) people’s individual freedoms are maximized, and
(b) economic, social, racial, and environmental injustices by those who abuse their freedoms are minimized, combined with
(2) Active participation (voting and political activism) of a majority of the people to maintain such a people-driven government.
Government for maximizing inequality:
A Government of, by, and for the successful, white, Christian, male requires both:
(1) A government with the purpose to protect and empower only the successful such that their individual freedom and wealth are maximized, and
(2) The active participation of only the successful and their minority of supporters, with the use of voter suppression and election fraud, to maintain such a government.

Government policies reflect our moral values 

Our moral differences on maximizing equality and our opponents' on maximizing inequality are also reflected in our different governmental budgetary policies.
Our opponents create federal budgets that maximize the wealth of successful white, males through tax breaks for the billionaires and government contracts for those who build, or fuel, our WMDs.
By contrast, our federal budgets maximize equality by providing jobs during severe economic downturns, by empowering our mobility with freeways and public roads, by advancing science and creating tools that empower us like the internet or protect us like weather satellites, by creating high tech green jobs to protect our air, water and land, by providing healthcare to protect us from bankruptcy and the threat of early death, by providing high quality public education to empower us without the enslaving debt, etc.

Know your moral values

Our sense of what is morally right determines our moral values which in turn drives our support for policies and laws that represent them.  When you talk policy, include your moral justification to help other understand why that policy it right.

First The Less Equal Must Demand Justice

April 2018

"Compassion Is Our New Currency"

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  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-08-15 21:41:48 -0500
    A Scale of Equality – Maximizing Turnout for 2020 Election

    What’s required to activate and unify voters on the left?

    Kochkash Increases Inequality:
    America’s political and economic policies have moved from greater equality after WWII and through the 70s to massive inequality in the decades since. This has happened surreptitiously, https://history.duke.edu/book/democracy-chains, without the backing of a majority of America’s citizens. Fear mongering, mass misinformation, and voter suppression funded by billions of Kochkash dollars have foisted this shift upon America.

    The laws passed under FDR and LBJ, and improvements for people of color and women since, helped advance our political and economic equality. Since then, neoliberal economists, corporate boards, and SCOTUS have reduced equality by empowering and protecting the oligarchy.

    Scale of Equality/Inequality:
    Imagine an economic/political equality scale of +10 for maximized equality to -10 for maximized inequality. The +10 end of the scale is not absolute equality and still has some inequality – limited mostly to the oligarchs. The zero point is where instances of inequality and equality are equal – they exist in equal portions but not necessarily equally distributed. The -10 end of the spectrum, maximum inequality, includes some equality – limited mostly to the oligarchs.

    The +10 end of the scale also correlates to left-wing communalism and the -10 correlates to right-wing authoritarianism. This communal/authoritarian nature of this equality scale takes us from maximized democracy and individual freedom in both our economic and political systems to minimized democracy and individual freedoms in both systems.

    For reference, Scandinavian countries like Denmark might rate a +5 and Nazi Germany would rate a -10.

    Democracy at Work:
    To maximize democracy and individual freedom for the +10 POLITICAL system, one requirement would be a law that makes voting a right, registration automatic at birth, and voting without arbitrary, fear/hate-based, restrictions like voter IDs. To maximize democracy and individual freedom in the +10 ECONOMIC system would require employee owned/run corporations as has been done in Mondragon, Spain, since the end of WWII. This is in contrast to -10 society where both economic and political systems favor a minority, purist, group of oligarchs that have enslaved all others.

    History Against The Scale
    Assume that in 2019, under the current right-wing authoritarian Administration, that America is approaching a -7. Maybe after WWII, we were at +2 and after LBJ’s civil and voting rights acts, and Nixon’s clean air and water acts, we made it to +3. Then Bush II took the scale to -3 and the political inertia took it to -4 under Obama while the Republican Congress kept Obama from pushing back.

    So, equality has diminished over the last 50 years. Millions are enslaved: in our prisons; by slave wages; and extreme personal debt.

    2020 Goal:
    Relative to this equality/inequalityscale and where America fits in it, what should our goals be for the 2020 election? How hard should voters push back in order to lay a certain foundation that moves our democracy and individual freedom back to at least a +3? What kind of voter turnout could help, in the long-term, move us higher on the equality side of the scale? What message will inspire that kind of voter turnout? What will bring back the base that dropped out of the 2016 election? What will bring back those who, in even larger numbers than the disinterested base, went to a third party in 2016? The losses from our base that either stayed home or voted third parties has been quantified, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/opinion/move-left-democrats.html.

    Reaching The Goal:
    Based on the detailed analyses of the election and re-election of President Obama, http://www.brownisthenewwhite.com/, and subsequent post analyses of the 2016 and 2018 elections, http://www.stevephillips.com/writings, part of the answers to the question above for maximizing our political and economic success in 2020 is to:

    - invest significantly in the ground (GOTV) game,
    - select a candidate who will:
    —- hasten a return to more equality, democracy and individual freedom,
    —- ignore the never ending distractions to hide growing inequality, and
    —- address and propose solutions to America’s inequalities from excessive economic, social, racial, and environmental injustices driven by right-wing authoritarians.

    What Say You?
    Based on the equality/inequality scale above, what should our goal be to politically and economically maximize equality, democracy, and individual freedom?

    I think our goal should be +7.
  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-07-19 12:02:35 -0500
    Racial/White Privilege is the deliberate but unacknowledged result of maximizing inequality.

    As to being unacknowledged, Racial/White Privilege is like white noise. It’s there, yet nowhere for those enjoying it.

    As to being deliberate, Racial/White Privilege occurs when a given race believes in a social hierarchy and decides to place itself at the top of that hierarchy. It is then only natural to reward one’s purity/supremacy and selectively limit the sharing of their rights and privileges with others based on that hierarchy and the arbitrary purity tests they concoct to position others in that hierarchy.

    Thus only the purist have all rights and all others have less to a greater and greater degree depending on their rank in the hierarchy as defined by the privileged.

    The result is maximized inequality for the less pure and maximized privilege for the pure.
  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-07-07 22:44:15 -0500
    Maximizing Equality

    In our pinned post, we define government of, by and for the people as:

    Government for maximizing equality:
    A Government of, by, and for the people requires both:
    (1) Government representatives with the moral commitment to equally protect and empower all the people where:
    — (a) people’s individual freedoms are maximized, and
    — (b) economic, social, racial, and environmental injustices by those who abuse their freedoms are minimized, combined with
    (2) Active participation (voting and political participation) of a majority of the people to maintain such a people-driven government.

    The first point emphasizes a moral commitment: … to equally protect and empower all citizens which provides the moral foundation for the following Democratic, morally right, policies:

    - Health care without the threat of bankruptcy, unemployment, old age, or premature death, and heals our veterans,

    - Health care that minimizes drug addiction and ends the deaths of citizens in public schools, churches, and other venues by those abusing their individual freedoms/public duties,

    - Public education that empowers citizens by honoring teachers, teaching civics and critical thought, and that closes the pipeline to prison,

    - Higher education without freedom-sapping debt or indentured servitude,

    - Public and private housing that fits citizen needs without drug testing or excessive debt,

    - Immigration that accepts asylum seekers escaping US sponsored regime change and keeps families together,

    - Wages that reward worker productivity, enable savings, and maximize worker mobility,

    - Private employment that maximizes democracy in the workplace and minimizes loss of employment,

    - Publicly financed employment that advances science, saves the Earth, and upgrades the infrastructure of the common wealth while minimizing dirty energy subsidies and our war budget,

    - Public financing to minimize homelessness for the unemployable,

    - Public services that protect citizens by eliminating the abuse of profit over people – minimizing privatization,

    - Income taxes based on paying citizenship dues in proportion to a citizen’s use of the nation’s common wealth, that prevents control of our government by the wealthy, and minimizes the threat of inflation,

    - Economic policy focused on balancing inflation against the full employment of an economy at full capacity, which makes the above possible.
  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-06-28 16:34:36 -0500
    Understanding Climate Change Acceptance by our Opposition

    “Climate change affects us all differently and those who have more money, also get to pay to leave the affects of climate change, the poor and working class can’t afford to.”

    The moral values of our extreme opponent’s, those in charge in Texas and Washington, D.C., include their faith in social hierarchy and the inequality it breeds. Maximizing inequality of others to maximize gains for those at the top requires tools. Climate disruption is such a tool to maximize inequality.
  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-06-19 00:48:39 -0500
    Equality vs Scalia’s “Racial Entitlements"

    In 2012, SCOTUS gave new life to “Jim Crow law making” by striking down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Since then, those states once required to pre-clear voting law changes have been free to limit voting by minority citizens as they see fit.

    Scalia, and the court majority, had decided that the “racial entitlements” section of the 1965 law needed nullification:

    “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes,” wrote right-wing authoritarian Antonin Scalia.

    Even though this rationale was critical to the SCOTUS decision, it was left out of Justice Roberts’ ruling. Also left out of Justice Roberts’ ruling was any indication of what part of the Constitution was violated by the VRA law to justify the nullification. Instead Roberts said, “Things have changed dramatically.”

    For our political opponents, who believe in social hierarchy and inequality, “racial entitlement” is a dog whistle for equalizing minority voting rights and reducing their power over those deemed less pure. It means sharing their white privilege and diluting their racial purity, and that is immoral in their worldview.

    The dramatic change Justice Roberts spoke of is really growing equality which threatens white privilege.

    How might this racial entitlement rationale impact a SCOTUS decision on the citizenship census question?

  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-06-09 16:24:27 -0500
    Juli, Thanks for your comment. This posting, and it’s comments, are an evolving effort.

    “Civility” as an action comes from our compassion and empathy and they come from our deep, moral, belief in equality, or as you put it, “seeing great value in EVERY individual being an element in our society.”

    On the other side, empathy is seen as a weakness because it weakens their place in their hierarchy and goes against their moral belief in inequality. If you see others as less than you, it OK to punish them. Some punishment is to teach their children. Some to enforce hierarchy. Some for abuse of others. Some to train troops. Some to enslave. Some to kill.

    Their position in the hierarchy means they are pure. They want cardon copies of those who are pure.
  • Julia Perry
    commented 2019-06-09 11:38:19 -0500
    Something not mentioned is that there’s a very serious inside us to express our beliefs with civility. We are bound together to not be hostile like our opponents. I think it’s because of our interest in seeing great value in EVERY individual being an element in our society, not just the ones who are carbon copies of us.
  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-06-07 22:16:19 -0500
    The Power Dynamic of Right and Left – Concentration or Distribution

    As stated in the original posting, those on the left, non-hierarchical/equality side of the political spectrum tend to favor a government that equally empowers and protects all citizens. Then there are those on the right, hierarchical/inequality side who tend to favor empowering and protecting those whom they consider most pure.

    As stated in another comment to this post, there is an integral power dynamic that is used to express the moral values of each side. On the left, it is about maximizing the distribution of power. The greater our empowerment, the greater the freedom for all to succeed. On the right it is about maximizing the power of the purest amongst them. The greater their power, the greater their freedom to succeed without regard to impact on others lower in their hierarchy.

    When it comes to enforcing their hierarchy and power concentration, the right demands a heavy hand, guns, and a strong, excessively, funded military. These tools impose and agressively maintain their unnatural and immoral hierarchy.

    When it comes to nurturing equality and power sharing, the left relies on integrity, strength of character, empathy, cooperation, diplomacy, and a moderately funded military focused on defense. Enforcement tools are available, but appropriately limited for protection — not aggression.
  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-06-07 19:48:41 -0500
    Take some time to listen to this 2018 interview of Rev. Dr. William Barber, of the Poor People’s Campaign a movement. You will hear about the moral values that brings us together, Fusion Politics, and what actions must be taken to reverse the injustices put in place by the right-wing authoritarians and their 50 year enslavement plan and reestablish our moral values as the vision for America. Hear about “Saving the soul of this democracy:” “Give American a real choice!” " … people in a movement to vote." " … change the moral narrative." " … there’s a battle for morality …" “… bring it on …”
  • Charles Hailey
    commented 2019-06-03 23:38:45 -0500
    Hierarchy Side Effects:

    Before interacting with one of our right-wing authoritarian opponents, keep the following in mind to help understand their opposition to equality and policies that equalize. There are two side effects from the purity aspect of their social hierarchy: their perceived power from exceptionalism and feelings of victimization with any loss of power.

    Our opponents that believe in social hierarchy are predisposed to obtaining, retaining, legalizing, and enforcing their power over others lower in the hierarchy. Any attempt to elevate ‘others’ in their mythical hierarchy is a real threat to their perceived power. Proposals that infect their perceived purity with equality threaten this power perception and induce fear. That fear amplifies their hatred of others and leads to inciting and committing violence.

    Our opponents believe in a hierarchy where their purity makes them top dog. They perpetually expound on the myth of American exceptionalism that grew after WWII. Attacking (9/11) or diminishing that purity through expansion of equality (Equal Rights Act) is an attack on the top dog. Giving ‘advantage’ to those inferior in their hierarchy leads to victimhood. To lessen this feeling of victimhood, they will accept loss of a social benefit as long as the ‘others’ also lose that benefit. Don’t forget that initially Social Security excluded domestic and farm labor. Now that the others have guaranteed SS, our opponents don’t mind losing it (privatization – no guarantee) as long as ‘they’ don’t get that guarantee either. This shared victimhood also unites them and strengthens their support for their leaders when those leaders are attacked/victimized by Democrats or Congressional investigations.

    Voter Turnout Effects
    For our opponents, the growing threat of policies that promote equality, and of those who support those policies, has a direct impact on their voter turnout. For example, the historical Republican voter turnout for midterm elections in Galveston county is 17% less than for presidential elections. However, in 2018 Republican voter turnout was only 1% less than 2016. The Democratic numbers are 11% and 2.5%, respectively.
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