The Democrats held their first series of presidential debates for the 2020 election the other night, and already the ugly head of institutionalized resistance against genuine participation and choice has emerged. The apparent victim, businessman and political outsider Andrew Yang, claims that his microphone was kept off, and that this was not the case for other candidates. Yang’s claim appears to have some truth to it, in that an examination of the tape reveals at least one instance where he tried to speak, but could not be heard.

For anyone that has studied or experienced our political system as it exists today, this should not come as a surprise. There is a sickening abundance of evidence, in some cases codified as Law by the very people that stand to benefit, that the system is not designed to permit meaningful participation by anyone other than those willing to sell their souls to either the Republican or Democratic Party or, more generally, The Establishment.

Everything from ballot access laws to the carving up of voting districts, debate participation rules, editorial “decisions” by Establishment media, campaign finance laws, even the way that votes are counted – all have been designed, intentionally, to resist any infiltration from the outside and to keep things, with superficial exceptions, exactly as they are. Ostensibly, anyone is free to run for President, in the same way that a black man is free to run for mayor of a Klan dominated town. In reality, it is nearly impossible for anyone other than an anointed R or D to do so with any success. And those that do manage to make some inroads, people like Ross Perot and Bernie Sanders, quickly find that there is no level field waiting beyond the obvious obstacles that keep most people out.

Knowing all of this, the last thing anyone should expect would be for an outsider to mosey on up to this shitshow believing that they have a fair shot. There can be no support for this belief in the experience of any American alive today, so the only thing a person could legitimately claim at this point in our history is that they wish it to be so. But that is hardly a sound basis for formulating strategy. And for anyone to believe or suggest that the process as it stands now ought to be solemnly respected requires them to stretch credulity beyond the limit.

And yet that is exactly what Andrew Yang, and the #YangGang, are doing. Marching up to the halls of power and politely knocking: “Please sir, I have some good ideas and some supporters, please may I please come in?” The inevitable answer is not worth printing, but one can imagine hearing, in Mark Hamill's voice, “What did you think was going to happen here?” echoing down the street as Yang’s bloody carcass is tossed to the curb for trash removal.

Yang is not alone in this naive attitude towards the system. Another striking example of the cognitive dissonance people bring to the electoral process can be found in the Libertarian Party. On any given day, on any subject other than electoral strategy, most Libertarians are prepared to chew your ear off on the abuses described here, and how it is unfair to Libertarian candidates. Most are knowledgeable enough on the subject to be able to wax poetic on the myriad ways in which the stacked deck has made it impossible for the party to compete, to the point where many people become sick of listening and dismiss them as whiners and sore losers.

And yet, come election time, these same people are all of a sudden determined and resolute that the only thing to do is to play by the rules and treat the entire process as if the system is fair. “But what else can a political party do, hurr hurr!” They obligingly nominate characters who do indeed have different ideas than mainstream candidates, but who do their very best to ape them while they seek the validation and recognition of active voters. This, of course, never happens, largely because the system is designed to prevent it. They “ask” to be included in debates, though beg would be a better word. They bow and scrape not only to the law, which is certainly understandable, but also to convention, decorum, tradition and social expectations. In short, they try to play the game, by the book, despite being barred from the court.

The really staggering part is that the Libertarian Party, collectively, has not made this mistake only once. They’ve made it again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. If left to the the bog standard Libertarian partisan, they will try this approach yet again in 2020. The remarkable inability of these people to learn from this repeated experience and modify their strategy is both tragic and pathetic.

This attitude is personified by perennial Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. The nominee in both 2012 and 2016, his messaging during the open of each of these campaigns optimistically expressed very well the typical assumption among card-carrying Libertarians that, if only they could be heard, people will be overcome by the sweet reasonableness of their platform and come flocking to sweep us all into The Happening. And despite his suggestion each time that “Mickey Mouse” could poll better than the “unpopular” Establishment candidates and make the debates, he personally has failed to do so twice. One more for a hat trick!

The stark reality is that if Yang, or any other outsider, wants to make any impact on the shape of our nation, and incidentally factor into the 2020 equation, he or she first needs to open his or her eyes, and the eyes of their supporters, to the world we actually live in. They must understand and accept that the system in place has been designed over a long period of time, with much deliberation and malice aforethought, to preclude the possibility of genuine participation on a level playing field for any outsider whatsoever. This institutionalized embargo apples equally to candidates outside of these parties and to those that seek to subvert, or some might say reclaim, one of the major parties and become their candidate.

Armed with this recognition, they will now be in the position to take a more productive approach towards the endeavor. There are different options and avenues for strategy and tactics. But all of the viable approaches share one thing in common: the relationship towards the system, the Establishment, the process, the rules, and tradition must be an adversarial one. Anything short of this attitude serving as the cornerstone of what is to follow guarantees the candidate will be a non-starter, not just in terms of winning the office, but more crucially with regard to influencing public opinion.

This is all nice, you say, but what does it mean? What is the essence of the difference? Considering our opening example, what might Yang and The Gang have done other than complain and adopt a lame hashtag with a subservient tone: #LetYangSpeak? After all, we already had #LetGaryDebate and we see how that turned out. Here is one suggestion from a random Twitter user that displayed more sense than any of the other comments in the thread it was posted to:

By meekly trying to raise his hand, then standing there with his mouth shut, and following it all up by complaining and “protesting” to people who really don’t care, and who in fact want things to stay this way, Yang not only does himself and his followers a disservice. He does all of us a disservice by continuing to validate a corrupt system through his cooperative “participation.”

If he instead had done whatever was necessary, decorum be damned, to draw attention to what was happening, he would have performed a service to the American people that justified his entire campaign and the time and resources necessary to wage it.

Further elucidation on these concepts may be found on the campaign website and Twitter feed for my candidate of choice, John McAfee. He provides ample demonstration of the only potentially productive attitude towards the Establishment, and the process they have bestowed on us to replace what we were supposed to have. It is the attitude of a revolutionary staging a modern, bloodless and legal revolution - using votes in favor of bullets. At this point in our history, nothing else will do.

This may all sound strange, or even suspect, coming from the Campaign Manager of a potential competitor and from someone that thinks UBI is one of the most frightening concepts currently under discussion. But my allegiance is to The People first, and my advice is sincere for this reason. I want to see as many outsiders as possible closing in on this corrupt and self-serving Establishment, calling them out for their dirty tricks and making clear that The People will not continue to put up with it forever. If we have any chance of taking back what is ours it will be the result of a chorus of voices, not just one or two. I want as many non-voters, the key to this nation’s future if there is one, to find a good reason to show up at the polls and perform the electoral equivalent of DROWNING OUT the terminally foolish individuals that show up to vote for some flavor of the same nonsense every year.

The discussion among decent people should no longer focus on political differences. Reasonable people can argue and debate on how to set things up once the blight of the Establishment, and all of the corruption that comes with it, has been eliminated. So it is with all sincerity and with my child’s future in mind that I say: Andrew Yang, wake the fuck up and Know Your Enemy.

Rob Loggia

Rob Loggia is the founder of LoggiaOnFire Magazine. He has been published in the International Business Times UK, Digital Trends and on numerous online blogs and platforms.

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