Edited by Diana Buehler

My name is Barbara C. and I am a recovering addict. March 26, 1984, is my clean date. 12-step recovery runs through my veins; it’s my preferred language. I’d like to share with you a journey through the 12 steps on Healing the Divide in this country. I think there is a better way than the two-party system.

Step One: We the people have become powerless over Government, and our lives have become unmanageable. 

Powerlessness and unmanageability are key words of Step One. I think there are many people in this country who feel that powerlessness. Our government seems locked in a stranglehold of the two-party system and “corporate kleptocracy,” as RFK, Jr. has called it, which has polarized our country to such an extent that not only has the government become unmanageable, but we as citizens see our lives as unmanageable.

Take, for example, the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 2022. Not a single Republican Congressman or Senator voted in favor of this bill. It passed the Senate because the Democratic Vice President broke the tie. It has been reported the Republicans thought it was a “cornucopia of wasteful liberal daydreams that would raise taxes and families’ living costs.” The Democrats announced the Act would “lower costs for families, create good paying jobs for workers, and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.” Depending on who is in power, will we ever see the outcome of this bill? Currently, the Republicans, who recently gained the majority in Congress, are putting together a bill that would reverse the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. On and on this merry-go-round goes depending on who has the majority.

In the article, The Inflation Reduction Act: Here’s what’s in it, dated October 24, 2022, McKinsey & Co. noted, “The majority of the $394 billion in energy and climate funding is in the form of tax credits. Corporations are the biggest recipients, with an estimated $216 billion worth of tax credits.” A report published by Statista Research Department on Nov 3, 2023, notes: “In 2022, corporations in the U.S. made profits of around 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars. This indicates significant growth since 2000, when corporate profits totaled 786 billion U.S. dollars.”

Matt Egan of CNN reported on August 11, 2023, that “U.S. inflation means families are spending $709 more per month than two years ago.” Corporations are growing exponentially, while costs to the American public are going in the same direction – up. Congressional lobbyists for these corporations are powerful and busy. While we, the working American public, don’t have the time or the money to invest in a mere share of these corporations and reap their profits. We are too busy trying to make ends meet. In fact, we are left with the misguided “trickle-down effect” of paying more at the pump and at the grocery store, while those in Congress/Senate/Corporations become millionaires, or even billionaires. RFK, Jr. explains in this short interview.

The dilemma Americans are facing is not difficult to see. If the Democrats and the Republicans are voting for the interests of corporate America, we the people are not being represented. Is anyone looking out for our best interests?

I’ve had people say to me that they’d just be throwing away their vote if they vote for anyone other than a Democrat or Republican, insisting that Independents never win. In the last election, many people voted for the “lesser of two evils.” If faced with the same Democrat and Republican choice, are you going to do that again? In 12-step language we call that insanity—Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

To paraphrase a few lines from a 12-step book: When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer function as a flourishing society, either with or without Democrats or Republicans (corporations) running our government, we all face the same dilemma. What is there left to do? There seems to be this alternative: either go on as best we can to the bitter end—inflation, debt, or bankruptcy—or find a new way to live. Is there an alternative? Is there a way to Heal the Divide? Is there a solution to the unmanageability we face as Americans?

I believe there is. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. believes there is, and he is willing to lead the way. In his personal life, he has faced powerlessness and unmanageability. He has embraced the spiritual principles found in the 12 steps. He has found a new way to live, and he freely shares this wisdom on podcasts, videos, and in person. He is intelligent, well-read, and articulates solutions in a way that the common person can understand.

I encourage everyone to visit People4Kennedy.com. and get involved with this exciting campaign. I also encourage you to watch podcasts and interviews featuring RFK, Jr. and his position on America’s issues, which can be found on various platforms on the Internet. I think you will see that Robert F. Kennedy embodies the spiritual principle of Step One: Honesty.

As a recovering addict, I can tell you it is never good to stay at Step One. Powerlessness and unmanageability can leave one depressed and feeling hopeless. We must move on. Step Two is about hope. Stay tuned!

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