The times, they are a changin’. Even though I’m referencing a song that was popular in 1964, I’m referring to the present in what I expect to be a new wave of upheaval and growth, not always for the better, but as unstoppable as a tsunami.
Here’s a link to a 2012 version of the song performed by the band Flogging Molly for Amnesty International. I like it because it takes an old standard and revs it up in a way that changes it.
Often, as a response to great change, people are swallowed up by fear or pain and fail to think rationally. Eventually those emotions overcome inertia to find ways to adapt. Or a leader helps to make them understand what they need to do and prepares them for it. As a party, we can also make a dent in the local consciousness, and I will get to that later in this column.
Recently I read a letter about how states that had the most robotics—almost uniformly all Republican-run—were the most likely to vote for Trump. Our country is in the throes of technological change that most people are unaware of, but which will sweep through every state, city and locale in the next decade, with economically powerful results and the potential for human devastation for those least prepared if our governments at all levels fail to plan for it. Picture the Great Depression, and you get the idea.
Arizona has become the poster state for what not to do in the face of change. Cuts to education funding in the state have been deep at all levels—making it much harder for Arizonans to adapt. It’s no wonder our young people leave in such great numbers.
Politically, demagogues like Donald Trump have been taking advantage of this change to blame it on politics or immigrants or other countries or on our willingness to embrace change for the better—such as rejecting fossil fuel power for solar, wind and other more advanced technologies. As we’ve seen in Arizona, clinging to the past only leads to delaying pain and eliminating options. Those in Navajo County, where the Kayenta Coal Mine will close because the Navajo Generation Station coal-powered plant will be shut down in 2019 (since it can’t compete with natural gas) are the latest victims of political myopia and hubris. Not only will 1,000 people lose their jobs, but also their property values have already fallen and tax revenues are much lower in the county.
I have hope people will begin to grasp the extent of deceit that has been peddled to them via the Republican establishment now that special counsel Robert Mueller is bringing to light the dark deeds of the Trump Administration and its ties to Russian propagandists. The Russians’ goals are to control and manipulate the American people for its own ends. These indictments are signs that this Administration will be held to account for its destructive lies, which not only misled the American populace to vote for Trump, but also misled them about what has really caused the loss of middle class jobs—a combination of globalism, automation and changing fuel demands—coal can’t compete with natural gas for its cheap access, and is therefore doomed as a major contributor to any economy.
In October, our Congressional Rep. Paul Gosar also showed how pervasive the propaganda has spread in targeting Democrats for contributing to the Neo-Nazi protests and citing a supporter as the financier behind it. Gosar is irrelevant and absurd at best, but he feeds the dark paranoia of the right and some might actually believe his wacky ideas. As a previous candidate said, Gosar must Go. We need to help make that happen in 2018.
To that end, we are working to reinvent the Yavapai County Democratic Party with a new focus. You may have already noticed the new logo, and now we are building a new website, launching a new fundraising campaign and planning training sessions to start in January. We will have great candidates who will formally file for office as soon as this month.