The Five Books Every American Needs to Become Politically Powerf

The Five Books Every American Needs to Become Politically Powerful

As many Americans and people around the world watch news of what's happening with the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest related to the Black Lives Matter protests, a wave of social depression, frustration, and anger sweeps across the nation.
 
The political figures perpetuating existing systemic structures (even in the midst of widespread protest) remain in power, and seem to be doing everything they can to remain there. The Left demonizes the Right, while the Right in turn, demonizes the Left, as most Americans sit at home wondering what facts and figures to really believe. While we can reasonably expect that everyone is following some level of their own personal guidance system, that doesn't mean that their values match our own.

The remedy? It's not escaping through zoom cocktail parties, social media slacktivism, or even "peaceful" protests. The only remedy is legitimate political engagement. Yes, we need to become more informed of the issues and vote accordingly. Yes, staying in touch with our representatives is crucial. Sure, go ahead and retweet the candidates you support and join their social media engagement armies.... While genuine political participation through actually voting (note: most people who say they vote actually don't) these things are what Tufts University Political Scientist Eitan Hersh calls "political hobbyism." 

Below is a list of 5 Must-Read Books to completely change the way you live and see the world, to inspire the true American spirit towards real political engagement, power, and leadership. This list is not a "pick some of these similar books and study them casually" list. This is a "buy all of these books and study them simultaneously with a pot of coffee a day" list. These books are in order of their macro to micro application, as will be described below, they are not in order of when they should be read or how they should be applied. The idea here is that all five of them should be studied, digested, integrated, and applied ASAP as you begin your newfound calling as a 21st Century political insider.
 
Let's start with the big picture. Williamson's A Politics of Love outlines the philosophical context that represents the new generations general shift towards making the world a better place, overcoming previous generations' obsession with military power, and creating a new possibility for a peaceful world in which a higher standard of responsibility should be taken by government institutions for the quality of life of all living creatures. 
 
A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution by Marianne Williamson
An overview of the political vision of spiritual philosopher, entrepreneur, long-term political activist, and former presidential candidate, Marianne Williamson, who taps in to the deepest core of each issue and why problems are the way they are. 
 
Ok. Now that we're making sure to get the bigger picture into our minds (as well as our hearts) through A Politics of Love, we make our way to The System by Robert B. Reich. This guy really knows his stuff and this book will give you the required download to not only understand the idealogical lineage of the movements that literally rigged the system, but Reich's masterful strategy for how it is to be overcome.

The System: Who Rigged it, How We Fix it by Robert B. Reich
An incredible articulation of the mass manipulation tactics used by the financial and political elite to propagate myths about meritocracy, national competitiveness, corporate social responsibility, and the "free market" to distract most Americans from their accumulation of extraordinary wealth, and power over the system.
 
Next, we make our way inward one more layer, closer to home. In this stirring call to action, Politics is for Power by Eitan Hersh sets the stage tacitly clear: we've got to get real about the ways politics is viewed much like a spectator sport, take responsibility for the ways we play along, and how we'd hate for our children to marry a Red Sox fan as much as we'd hate for them to marry a Republican. Politics is about people, it's about human lives (not to mention the lives of every other animal and plant and the planet itself), and so therefore, it is not a game. If you see something wrong, if you feel passionate about something that's happening, you've got to get to work.

Politics is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change by Eitan Hersh
A matter-of-fact presentation of crucial case studies that lead readers to pragmatic, legitimate ways to take effective action and break out of the mesmerism of political spectatorship.
 
So, you're ready to get to work. Williamson has prophetically led the way, we see the vision. Reich has provided a detailed road map for how we can make the system more fair for all people. Hersh connects the dots to get us through our political fandom and into political action. Here comes Brene Brown with the best-researched strategies for real leadership for you to implement in your community organizing and grassroots team management in Dare to Lead. The very tools and techniques Brown presents here happen to be the exact medicine for the current dysfunctional political leadership style. You'll thank me later. In fact... America will be thanking me. Well no, America will be thanking YOU (and possibly Brene Brown).

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown
A breakthrough leadership training manual that uses some of the most up-to-date modern psychology of leadership and workplace dynamics to maximize real results in effective leadership.

Finally, if you can't stay sane, there is no way any amount of crucial content will make this system work. Decker's Practical Meditation for Beginners will help you with the closest, most intimate layer of this process: your own mind. Learn the techniques. Practice them. Practice his variations on the techniques. Become untriggerable. Stay committed to the practice, and reap the rewards. You'll adapt to shifting circumstances more quickly and effectively, your memory and creativity will improve, your ability to process information will strengthen and yes, you will stay calm and happy, as the title suggests, but it won't be a somatized, lazy happy/calm, we have enough of that. With Decker's guide, you will embody a wise, zen warrior calm, where you are capable of taking on our generations greatest adversaries while barely breaking a sweat.

Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You by Benjamin W. Decker
A practical guide to ten different meditation techniques, the scientific studies that validate them, how to practice them, ways to take each technique deeper, and tips for starting your own "practical meditation group."
 
There you have it. The five books that contain the exact combination of information, ideas, tips, and tools to overcome the greatest challenges of our day. Buy them all. Buy each of them for your friends. Create book clubs and study groups. Follow these leaders on social media. Join their mailing lists. Allow them to be your tribe of gurus as you create from within yourself the character, the campaigns, and the movement we've all been waiting for.
 
Enhancing one’s skills and striving to be better versions of ourselves are no easy goals. But these aims do not necessarily need to be achieved alone. One can jumpstart their journeys to self-improvement anytime and anywhere by utilizing available resources and taking inspiration from those who have elevated themselves to greater heights.
 
 

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