This is a “Reprint” from the lamesa.patch.com of 8 August 2011. •••
My name is Michael Grant, and I am a journalist. But so what. The Huffington Post is not going to publish an op-ed piece written by me. I do not have a platform. I am not a national-level figure in business or government, education or media.
But I do have a brain, and eyes and ears and a college education. So in recent weeks I have been able to perceive a developing theme of deep public dissatisfaction with the polarization of Washington politics.
In May, economist Robert Reich of UC Berkeley wrote in The New York Times, “It’s hardly news that the near meltdown of America’s financial system enriched a few at the expense of the rest of us.”
I played with these comments. We have two polarized sides—left and right—and then, as Reich said, the rest of us. The Rest Of Us. TROU. (I coined the acronym in June.)
Singly, I am a Trouser. Taken together, the rest of us Americans are Trousers. The Trouser Party.
Then Thomas Friedman of The Times got on board. He lamented “the corrupt, encrusted, two-party duopoly now running the show in America” and called for creation of a Third Party, composed of Americans caught between the encrusted duopoly.
Then a couple of weeks ago—during days dominated by news of the debt ceiling debate—Bob Schieffer of Face the Nation on CBS said that America had two intransigent political parties and then “the rest of us.”
Those words again. The Rest Of Us. TROU. We are the Trouser Party! Seeking new movements and new combinations to fight the corrupt, encrusted, two-party duopoly! Trouser Power!
“Anything,” as David Brooks put it, “that might give the working class a leg up.”
Wow, Michael. Way to go. Trouser Power. Hey, thanks for sharing. Now get back in your hole of anonymity and let the platformed pundits like Howard Fineman track the state of the nation.
Well, OK. I have to tell you, though, it’s getting warm, and noisy, down in the burrow with the rest of us, particularly with the news of the debt ceiling agreement, and its proof of the radical right’s power to dictate terms, and the willingness of the president of the United States (whom I voted for) to cave to those terms, as if the rest of us didn’t exist.
Totally frustrating. We need to act. The Trousers need to act. But what do we do? What do we want? There must be millions of us. What can a sufficient percentage of us rally around (remember, we need a platform) to make ourselves heard in Washington?
A Third Party has been suggested, but it conjures visions of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, and that is not what we want. I hope.
I say to my fellow Trousers, right here in Trouserville (Trouserville and Patchville are sister cities): Start at the bottom. We can find our platform, and start to emerge from our pitiful anonymity, only by thinking for ourselves, and sharing those thoughts, and waiting for something to resonate.
We might begin by asking ourselves: Where did you feel most underrepresented in the debt ceiling debate? For me, as a working-class Trouser looking for a leg up, it was the right’s refusal to create revenue by closing tax loopholes for corporations and the richest Americans, and President Obama’s willingness to concede.
Practically all Republican representatives had signed the Grover Norquist no-tax pledge, my representative, Duncan Hunter, included. The idea of Hunter representing Norquist more than me really ticked me off.
As a Trouser, that’s where I would start. My platform would be increasing tax revenues by closing loopholes for corporations and the rich and, concurrently, defeating all the Norquist signees in their next elections. You don’t even have to call it “closing tax loopholes,” which is such a lame cliché. You could call it “adjusting revenue.” Or you could say: “Redo revenue.”
Redo Revenue! Redo Revenue! Trouser Parity! Congress, Congress, Redo Revenue! The whole tax code is next!
Still remaining, however, is the platform problem. However catchy, or earnest, the slogan is, how do the Trousers make it count? We could take events of 2011 as a model. The year will be remembered for the Arab Spring, when citizens formed a bottom-up business model, coupling with social media to succeed.
To my fellow Trousers, I suggest that we create a system using bottom-up political power. The Trouser Party does not become a political party but a voter advocacy party. Joining the Trouser Party means that, in 2012, you hitch up your britches and go vote. That’s all.
Our party logo could be a voting booth with trouser cuffs (slacks count, too) showing below the curtain. Just thinking, down here in Trouserville. How do we change things? How do we give the rest of us a chance for a leg up?
____________ end of reprint
A logo? How about a pair of Wellington Boots? Might come in handy if we are going to muck out the barn. Whoever is elected to go to Washington should be sure their trouser cuffs are tucked into the boots.
- TROU Web Admin