Reader’s Forum — Lisa Dombrow

A collage created in response to our current selection, In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States by Dr. Omar Ali.

Lisa Dombrow is an independent New Yorker. Whenever possible, she likes to express herself without words.

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Politics for the People Zoom Event
With Author Omar H. Ali
Sunday, February 21st
7pm ET
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Reader’s Forum — David Belmont

Afterword and Forward

In her eloquent Afterword to the second edition of In the Balance of Power, Jacqueline Salit cautions us that “history defies forecasts and sets its own timelines for progress.” Tell me about it! I’ve been riding alongside Jackie, Omar, Cathy Stewart and many of the stalwarts at Independent Voting for the past 40 years and the road has certainly been bumpy.

The latest election twist was the combination of independent and Black voters delivering the presidency to Joe Biden and the US Senate (nominally) to the Democrats via two runoff victories in Georgia. Nationally, independents broke for Biden by 13% over Trump, a 17-point swing from 2016 when Trump won indies by 4%, and gave Biden his victory margin in several key battleground states. The Georgia wins were the result of impressive on the ground organizing by Black activists (led by Stacey Abrams) and the votes of independents.

Now we’re being treated to the usual partisan bickering in Washington as we wait for the vaccine to arrive. Not to mention the lack of a meaningful dialogue on race, the burning historical question for Americans (as Dr. Ali and others, including James Baldwin, have pointed out). Jackie ends her piece with a question: “Will these historical shifts thrust African Americans and independents into playing a leadership role in the balance of power?” I so look forward to that! And the journey continues.

David Belmont is a multi-media artist, community organizer and long-time political reform activist. He was Ballot Access Coordinator for Dr. Lenora Fulani’s 1988 presidential campaign and is currently a researcher for Independent Voting.

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With Author Omar H. Ali
Sunday, February 21st
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***

In The Balance of Power — Afterword by Jacqueline Salit

The first edition of In the Balance of Power went to press in the fall of 2008, just days before Barack Obama was elected to be the forty-fourth president of the United States. Omar Ali was able to see that African Americans were creating “new political practices” that could lead to “the remaking of a black and independent alliance.” Ali, a brilliant historian and history-maker himself, had—and still has—a boundless enthusiasm for new possibilities and new sources of power for the dispossessed.

Of course, history defies forecasts and sets its own timelines for progress, having to navigate and negotiate the actions of men, women, institutions, pandemics, and masses of people along the way. In this case, while the historic Obama victory in 2008 was powered by his winning 95 percent of the black vote1 and taking the independent vote by eight points,2 making that nascent alliance a reality, Obama and the political party to which he belonged neither nurtured it nor protected it. By 2012, Obama was hemorrhaging independent support, as many nonpartisan voters felt he had succumbed to the pressure to govern as a partisan Democrat. In his reelection bid, Obama lost independent voters to Republican Mitt Romney by 5 points,3 a swing of thirteen points.

I know this story not simply because I read the exit polls. I know this because I was engaging with the highest levels of the Obama team throughout the spring and summer of 2012 in an effort to persuade them to reinvest in the development of the black and independent alliance. How? By having the president, elected by an independent coalition, respond directly to the growing concerns of independent voters who felt that party interests were eclipsing the national interest. Those independents had provided his margin over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries and then over John McCain in the November election. They needed a signal that Obama still intended to champion their antipartisan values. Eight months into the discussion, the Obama team revealed that the Democratic National Committee had nixed any such outreach to independent voters. Its stakeholders believed they could win reelection without them.

In the short term, they were right. They did. But the political costs of that decision were immeasurable. Once independents were cut loose by the DNC, the swing by independent voters to the Republicans in 2012 helped lay the groundwork for the election of Donald Trump in 2016. It is estimated that as many as 9 million Obama voters—many of them white independents—cast ballots for Trump in 2016.4

But the story goes even deeper. The falloff in African American turnout for Hillary Clinton in 2016—estimated to have been upwards of 1.5 million—was intentional and significant.5 Beyond reports of voter suppression among black voters that year, African Americans seem to have been making a point by not voting. The combination was likely sufficient to have swung Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and even Florida into the Trump column. As the Washington Post recently reported on numbers from the political data firm L2, “more than a third of those who didn’t vote in 2016 after backing Obama four years prior were black.”6

In this book’s final chapter, Ali quotes Michael Dawson from Behind the Mule as observing, “Political behavior also includes the decision whether or not to vote.” In this case, the disillusionment with Clintonism among African Americans elicited political behavior of some consequence.

Thus, one might reasonably conclude that some millions of African Americans and independents were politically aligned in their lack of confidence in the 2016 Democratic ticket. Though independents—in a show of distress with all corners of the political system—realigned in 2018 and gave control of Congress to the Democratic Party, this coalition is by no means consolidated for the long term.

What then is the 2020 status of these two historical movements—the independent movement (which sometimes but not always appears in third-party form) and the black empowerment movement? And what can those concerned to bring these two potent forces together learn from the vivid and conflicted history that Ali narrates in this volume?

First, we note the explosive size and diversification of the community of independent voters. As of January 2020, the Gallup polling organization found 45 percent of Americans identifying themselves as independents, a jump of 7 percent in two months.7 And, independent politics is not the sole province of the “moderate white center,” though the media like to portray it as such. Polls have shown that 27 percent of African Americans between eighteen and twenty-five years old identify as independents.8 The Congressional Black Caucus found in January 2017 that 63 percent of African Americans feel taken for granted by the Democratic Party.9 Ali himself conducted a survey of college independents in 2012 in North Carolina finding that 82.6 percent of the respondents said they did not want to be labeled as either a Democrat or a Republican.10 A little-noted study by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan found that 57 percent of those who had voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1984 Democratic primary would have voted for him as an independent if he had continued his campaign as a third-party candidacy.11 Forty-seven percent of African Americans cast ballots in New York City in 2005 for Michael Bloomberg, even as Stop and Frisk was in full effect.12 Bloomberg himself was elected in 2001 by a newly crafted black and independent coalition that flourished while he was mayor, largely because it was cultivated by its independent black leadership, most notably Lenora Fulani.

Still, the prospects for a durable crossover coalition of African Americans and independents are challenging. While it is the case that the prodemocracy passions of independent voters—who find themselves relegated to second-class status as primary voters, candidates, taxpayers, and debate participants—bind them to African Americans and the long and bloody struggle for civil and voting rights, it might also seem that common cause would be hard to sustain. Certainly, Ali documents plenty of those difficulties in this book. And the idea that independent voters—millions of whom voted for Trump in 2016—could have anything in common with African Americans might seem implausible in these times. And yet, if these divisions are in the forefront of America’s current political crisis, might we not look for ways to bridge that gap?

For a deeper look at this, I recently turned to the insights of James Baldwin and his now famous 1965 debate with conservative William F. Buckley Jr. at the Cambridge Union. The topic, or motion before the Union, a half century ago, staged with full Cambridge Union pomp and circumstance, was “The American Dream Is at the Expense of the American Negro.”13 In front of a packed chamber, Baldwin argued the affirmative. He presented a blistering and personal account of the bitter history of slavery and racism at the heart of the American experience. But he also did something else, something unexpected, something wholly relevant to the question of whether a black and independent alliance that reaches across the color and ideological divide is possible circa the first quarter of the twenty-first century.

Recounting a story of being made to wait for service at a Western Union office by a Southern white woman clerk, Baldwin explains:

But what is happening in the poor woman, the poor man’s mind is this: They have been raised to believe, and by now they helplessly believe, that no matter how terrible their lives may be, and their lives have been quite terrible, and no matter how far they fall, no matter what disaster overtakes them, they have one enormous knowledge and consolation, which is like a heavenly revelation. At least they are not black.

Now, I suggest that of all the terrible things that can happen to a human being, that is one of the worst. I suggest that what has happened to white southerners is in some ways, after all, much worse than what has happened to Negroes there . . .

Something awful must have happened to a human being to be able to put a cattle prod against a woman’s breast, for example. What happens to the woman is ghastly, what happens to the man who does it is, in some ways, much, much worse. This is being done, after all, not 100 years ago, but in 1965, in a country which is blessed with what we call prosperity, a word we won’t examine too closely, with a certain kind of social coherence, which calls itself a civilized nation and which espouses the notion of the freedom of the world . . .

I suggest further that, that in the same way the moral life of Alabama sheriffs, and poor Alabama ladies, white ladies, that their moral lives have been destroyed by the plague called color, that the American sense of reality has been corrupted by it . . .

One of the great things that the white world does not know, but I think I do know, is that black people are just like everybody else. One has used the myth of Negro and the myth of color to pretend and to assume that you are dealing essentially with something exotic, bizarre, and practically, according to human laws, unknown. Alas, that is not true. We are also mercenaries, dictators, murderers, liars—we are human, too. What is crucial here is that unless we can manage to establish some kind of dialogue between those people whom I pretend have paid for the American Dream, and those other people who have not achieved it, we will be in terrible trouble . . .

It is a terrible thing for an entire people to surrender to the notion that one ninth of its population is beneath them. And, until that moment, until the moment comes, when we, the Americans, we the American people, are able to accept the fact that I have to accept, for example, that my ancestors are both white and black, that on that continent we are trying to forge a new identity for which we need each other, and that I am not a ward of America, I am not an object of missionary charity, I am one of the people who built the country. Until this moment, there is scarcely any hope for the American dream, because the people who are denied participation in it, by their very presence, will wreck it. And if that happens, it is a very grave moment for the West.” 14

With these prophetic words, Baldwin lays down the contours of the “conundrum” America faces today. And we must ask ourselves, in light of his words and in light of the last fifty years in which we have seen the election of a black president by a black and independent alliance and a broad reaction to it, what is the future of such an alliance? Is its ultimate power not simply as an electoral coalition, but as a bridge of empathies and interests between whites and blacks who have—each in different ways—been left behind, manipulated, hollowed out and abused by the dominant system? Could these Americans join together to transform an exploitative and divisive political and cultural system?

Ali documents the unlikely cross-racial and often cross-ideological coalitions that have appeared and reappeared over time with controversial and visionary black leaders Frederick Douglas, Walter Pattillo, W. E. B. Du Bois, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Lenora Fulani at the helm. There is historical precedent. But today’s political crisis demands more than just precedent. Today there is also a profound weakening of governing and political institutions, of parties and ideology and public trust. The consent of the governed is slipping away. While the stranglehold of party loyalty is at an apex, the public desire for political freedom, for choice, for mobility, and for development among ordinary Americans is spreading. New institutions based on new partnerships and ways of being must be built.

Will these historical shifts thrust African Americans and independents into playing a leadership role in the balance of power? This is the next question, the next challenge, the next call to action.

Jacqueline Salit

Footnotes 1-14 can be found on pages 233-234, In the Balance of Power

***

Politics for the People Zoom Event
With Author Omar H. Ali
Sunday, February 21st
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***

Ohio University Press Podcast with Omar Ali

Join Zoë Bossiere as she interviews Dr. Omar Ali on the second edition of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States. The 20-minute interview for the Ohio University Press Podcast aired in June, 2020.

As Zoë describes, the book “provides a history of how Black Americans have shaped political movements independent of the Democratic and Republican parties.”

If you’d like to jump right into the full conversation, you can listen below:

Here are a couple of highlights from their conversation:

African Americans have always had to insert themselves into the balance of power…creating and building movements that could expand democracy.”

Zoë asked Dr. Ali why so little has been written about independent and Black politics. He comments:

The framework of American history has been around parties and ideology, and political scientists continue to teach it that way. There’s a bias towards looking at things that are not party driven, and third parties are considered sort of marginal…all kinds of major important changes in American history have come about by the outsiders. And so, third parties and independent candidates have played a very important role in shaping American society.”

In speaking about the new edition, Dr. Ali comments:

The major parties have done a disservice by pitting people against each other around ideology, around race, around class, and I think that both major parties are no longer vehicles for Americans to fully give expression to their desires. And so, the book highlights the current moment we are in…We have a lot to reckon with in American history and we need to figure out new ways of moving forward, and I think independence and nonpartisanship is the way forward.”

The book “provides an opportunity to revisit American history in a different way than its mostly been presented…The struggles of African Americans are in some ways inspiration for all people to push for what’s right and seek change that benefits all people.”

Pick up a copy of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States and read along with Politics for the People!

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Politics for the People Zoom Event
With Author Omar H. Ali
Sunday, February 21st
7pm ET
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In The Balance of Power – Zoom Event with Author Omar H. Ali

Originally published in 2008, Omar H. Ali’s groundbreaking study reveals the multiple independent political strategies and tactics that African Americans have used to expand democracy and to fight for civil and political rights since the founding of the nation.

This new edition of Ali’s book includes an epilogue by independent political analyst and Independent Voting President Jacqueline Salit. New chapters address the presidencies of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump, as well as the rising tide of independent and anti-party sentiments.

Omar H. Ali is dean of Lloyd International Honors College and professor of global and comparative African diaspora history at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. A graduate of the London School of Economics, he received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and was named the Carnegie Foundation North Carolina professor of the year.


What people are saying about In the Balance of Power

One of the many virtues of Omar Ali’s account lies in highlighting the variety of political structures and strategies blacks have chosen over the course of American history in pursuing the goal of racial justice. Independent politics… has a long history, which, as Ali shows, has at many points energized the black community and helped to make America a better place for all its people.”

Eric Foner, from the foreword

Captures the most important nuances of the ways that African Americans have fought for their own political and economic interests.”

Journal of African American Studies

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Politics for the People Zoom Event
With Author Omar H. Ali
Sunday, February 21st
7pm ET
Click here to RSVP!

***

The Politics Industry – A Politics for the People Conversation with Katherine Gehl

On Sunday, October 18th, people from across the country joined Politics for the People Host and Founder Cathy Stewart for a conversation with Katherine Gehl, coauthor of The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock.


If you’d like to jump right into the full conversation, you can watch the video below:


Watch Cathy’s introduction of Gehl and the book below:


Cathy kicks off the conversation by asking Gehl how her experience working in the Obama administration influenced her realization that we need political innovation.

…I know that you served in President Obama’s administration, and I wanted to especially ask you what that experience was like…and how that experience contributed to your coming to this realization of the need for political innovation.”

Gehl starts off by describing her nomination to the board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation under President Obama, and how that process ignited her critical observation of the political system:

There’s two insights for the purpose of this work. One, the senate confirmation process was a mess…my nomination, which was not at all an issue, got held up for political reasons for…about eight months, which meant that the board didn’t have the people that they needed to function optimally during that time, just for sort of political horse trading. But the other thing is that once I was on that board, I will tell you, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation was so phenomenally well run…and I felt, at the time, that it was really interesting, the disconnect between this high-delivery organization that was part of the government as compared to how we functioned in the political policy-making space.”

She then goes on to explain that her realization of the need for political innovation came more-so from development of business strategies and comparing how her business needed to function in service of her customers to how Congress functions in spite of the people’s disapproval:

…I originally developed politics industry theory, which is the basis for all this work, when I was doing my own company strategy back in 2013 and I was trying to figure out, essentially, ‘How do we sell more cheese sauce, how do I grow my company…how do I grow this company?’ And it told a story of ‘How do I make my customers happy?’ And while I was doing that, in the back of my mind…I was saying ‘Hey, how come for me to do well in my business, I have to serve my customers well, and the politics industry doesn’t?’ Meaning, Congress doesn’t have to make their customers happy – 90% of people are dissatisfied – but they seem to be doing better than ever in terms of power and revenue of their whole industry.’ And then second thing I said ‘And if I don’t do well by my customers, there’ll be new competition who will take my customers’ business from me…jeez, that never happens in politics – no matter how dissatisfied we are, we still have the same two competitors.’”

Watch Gehl’s whole answer in the video below:


Cathy frames her next question around Final-Five Voting, a reform that combines nonpartisan primaries that advance the top five vote getters to the general election with ranked choice voting in the general election.

Could you share with us the top-note reasons why you believe this is the star political innovation that could really move the needle in the way that you were just describing?”

To answer Cathy’s question, Gehl expands on the process of deciding what the most effective avenue for reform would be:

I don’t say other things aren’t important, what I say is ‘If we have to make the best choice of our time, resource, money, interest, evangelism, focus, organizing efforts, where are we going to get the most bang for the buck?’ That’s the main question. So I said ‘We don’t want to recommend out of our theory things that would be theoretically powerful, but we could never get them done.’ For example, we don’t recommend any constitutional amendments in our work. Now, certainly it’s still worth working on constitutional amendments because there will come a time when we can pass them…but it’s not the easiest path right now. So, we wanted to recommend things that were both really powerful and also really achievable, and specifically by powerful I mean what we want out of our work is that the things we change affect the likelihood that Congress will deliver legislation and policy that’s in the public interest.”

Watch Gehl’s full answer below:


Stewart and Gehl explore the role of independent voters, now 40% of the country’s electorate, when Stewart asks:

So, my question to you is to ask you how you see this community of voters as a force to drive political innovation in the country.”

Gehl responds by using the viewers on the call as an example:

What’s going to drive political innovation is people from outside the system…The innovation starts with people who choose to spend their Sunday night on a call like this thinking about how things could be different, and then a subset of these people will alter the way they spend their time in the next week, months and years. When enough people alter their time to be spending it on these innovations, which is to say getting Final-Five voting on the ballot or getting Final-Five voting in front of the state legislature, that’s how it adds up to that you win, and that the system is changed and that the results are changed.”

Watch Gehl’s full answer below:


I wanted to ask you whether you’re seeing a change in how the business community thinks about the political parties and the two-party system – what’s that looking like?”

Gehl responds:

What I think is interesting is that, at the same time as businesses and business leaders are grappling with their responsibility within capitalism to all stakeholders instead of just this traditional responsibility which has been to the bottom line – you know, shareholder financial responsibility – I think that that is opening up and sort of participating in their reawakening on what they may owe to the democracy, as well as their power there.”

Watch Gehl expand on her answer below:


The first Q&A question comes from Catana Barnes from Tennessee, who asks:

Given the severity of disunity in the United States created by the two-party voter-prison system – a.k.a. the duopoly – how do you propose creating unity without a unified local plus national effort approach to changing the rules of the game?”

Gehl responds:

…I would love to have the belief that a centrally organized, controlled, perfect organization could come together at the top, at a national level and really push this everywhere, but there are two reasons why that doesn’t happen, and the first is the nature of systems. So, if we just think of what comes first, chicken and egg…any system is just a larger version of ‘what comes first.’ So does the divisiveness come first or the parties come first or the divisiveness – and really they keep feeding back into each other. So, the rules of the game feed into the division and the division feeds into people willing to push those rules of the game even further and make them even more divisive and more unfair.”

Watch her full answer below:


David Belmont from New York talks about scholar Kermit Roosevelt’s view of the U.S. Constitution as a living document, and his assessment that partisanship is the biggest challenge in further developing it. He explains, quoting Roosevelt:

…because party loyalty now dominates over loyalty to your particular branch of government, thereby eroding the checks and balances and separation of powers critical to the continuation of constitutional law.”

David asks Gehl if she agrees with Roosevelt’s observation, to which she replies:

Yes, I agree exactly with what he said…Article 1 of this constitution that Roosevelt was talking about gives the power to change the rules of elections to every state individually – that’s what’s pretty fabulous about this. We don’t have to get the national movement to get everybody across 50 states to agree or congress to pass a law, we don’t need a constitutional amendment – we need, state by state, the state legislature to pass a bill and the governor to sign it, or in half the states, we can use a ballot initiative where the people can use signatures to get Final-Five voting on the ballot and then the citizens can vote for it.”

Watch her full reply below:


Paige Bartkowiak from Michigan asks about the idea of integrating competitiveness with government:

…it seems to me like businesses are primarily concerned with their profitability, yet government’s primary purpose is not that, so I’m wondering if you’ve considered…if there’s any concerns with using competitiveness as a marker for success just do to the business principles possibly coming into tension with our government…”

Gehl clarifies that the extent to which competitiveness would be applied would be limited to the politics industry itself, responding:

…we are never saying that government should be like a business. In fact, our work is not about government…our work is about the politics industry, which consists of private, gain-seeking organizations. I mean, everybody in the politics industry, with the exception of the actual elected officials…are mostly for-profit entities. So the media, the consultants, the pollsters, the fundraising entities, all those people have businesses and they’re making money.”

She goes on to expand even further:

I want to see a free-market politics where what it takes to be successful, what it takes to make that profit, is by getting good results out of congress for the public interest – not getting results out of congress or a gridlock that benefits only certain special interests or donors or party-controlled primary voters.”

Watch Gehl’s full explanation below:


Evelyn Dougherty from Massachusetts asks about the effort in her state to pass Amendment 2, which establishes ranked choice voting, and what the impact would be if it passed:

I know it’s not your full model, but if we win, what do you think the impact will be on Massachusetts, and actually, for the nation?”

Gehl expands on Evelyn’s question to include the effort in Alaska to pass THEIR Amendment 2, which would give the state ranked choice voting AND non-partisan top-four primary elections, and responds:

I think that, similarly as I said to Alaska, the case in Massachusetts is that these states that are making the effort to engage citizens across the state…this is a harbinger for good things, because that’s precisely what it’s gonna take in every other state in the country to change the rules.”

Watch the full conversation below:


Harry Kresky from New York asks:

What I don’t feel completely comfortable with, and I’d be eager to hear your response to this, is the suggestion that there’s a magic bullet – open primaries, top-five. I just think that our problems culturally, economically, politically, historically are just bigger than that.”

Gehl dismisses Final-Five as a magic bullet and encourages other efforts towards political reform in tandem with Final-Five:

Two comments: First, there is definitely no magic bullet, and not just because there are multiple bullets, as in multiple problems, multiple things we’re going to have to address over time, but in part because magic bullet suggests that after we get it off in its right direction…then you would really have a utopia…Winston Churchill said ‘Democracy is the worst form of government out there, except when compared to all the others.’ Meaning, government, self-government, is really hard. So, what I think is that right now in our democracy, we have – it’s messy, it’s hard and we have bad results to show for it. I think that with Final-Five voting, combined with its ancillary benefits and other things, we can have a democracy that is messy, hard and with some good results to show for all of that.”

She continues:

…the second comment, which gets more at the heart of your question, is there’s so many problems and some of them are contextual and cultural and all-encompassing and date from the founding of our country and how do we get at those? And here’s where I go back to a core tenant of strategy and business, and I’ll quote my co-founder, Michael Porter: ‘Strategy is about choosing what not to do.’ So while I know that a sufficient number of us must get involved in Final-Five voting…I definitely don’t suggest that every single person should make Final-Five voting their top priority because there are other things, there are other huge problems, that need to be fixed in the country and addressed, and lots of other people have agency and passion and leadership around those problems.”

Watch her full explanation below:


Patrick McWhortor from Arizona asks:

Do you have any sort of notions of how, once you get reform – hopefully Alaska, Massachusetts, Florida, wherever it happens – once you get it in place, of following it up with essentially an additional political movement to take advantage of the new system that hopefully will forestall – as much as possible – the parties, the powers that be…that have the capture of the current model, so that you can forestall their effort to capture the new system?”

Gehl responds:

You’re right, there’s going to be an ongoing battle – and I don’t mean that like a good versus evil battle, but just a battle – which is to say that organizations and humans will constantly optimize under the system that they’re in. So, when we change these rules, then all of those players in the political industrial complex will work to figure how they need to engage the best to do well in that system. Now my hope, candidly, is that they will find that this new politics industry doesn’t necessarily make their life worse.”

Watch her full answer below:


Jane in North Dakota asks Katherine Gehl to comment on the separation of powers in government and cites Measure 3, a ballot effort supported by the Badass Grandmas that would have established open primaries and instant run-off in North Dakota but was ultimately thrown off the ballot on a technicality:

I’d like you to talk about the separation of power and the disintegration of it.”

Gehl responds:

So, when change to the political system is made in any state – I would say, over the course of making these changes, they’re completely partisan neutral. They’re not a Trojan horse for hurting one party more or benefiting the other party more…But if one half of the duopoly has a lot more power in one state, then in that particular state, this could be seen as leveling the playing field. And although they can’t understand that we’re not talking about leveling the playing field between two, we’re talking about opening the whole thing up to open competition, the existing powers that be see change as a threat.”

Watch the full discussion below:


Gehl concludes our Politics for the People conversation with a final comment:

I have always thought that if we, not just me but any of you here, take this to our fellow citizens who love this country the way we do, they’re not going to say ‘Oh no, let’s keep it how it is. No, this thing is great. I want to keep being divided. I can’t think of anything better.’ No!”

Watch her whole statement below:

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