Breaking through the election cycle mindset

Political engagement matters

The great thing about being engaged in politics is that we know how much it matters. We know that engaged voters have the power to influence the decision-makers. Even though corporate money carries much weight with the elected ones, theoretically at least, voters are the ones who keep them in office. This power struggle between corporate money and engaged voters plays out, ultimately, in the ballot box. So, elections determine which side has been more successful in the years leading up to election day.

When voters are not engaged, corporate money dictates what happens at election time. Then it’s goodbye democracy and hello oligarchy! This is where we are in 2017, and contrary to the views of many, we’ve been here awhile.

Creating political pressure

The critical work of politics is to create the conditions in which elected officials are beholden to the voters. For Green Party members, this requires intelligent, fact-based, engagement, virtually 24/7/365, rinse and repeat.

Reality check

Winning a presidential campaign seems a far-fetched idea for Greens in the near future. But, it doesn’t matter right now. The success of our struggle to regain our democracy is not measured in the “if and when” of winning the big chunk of cheese. Success is measured in how much influence we can bring upon not only our government, but also our culture, our society, our educational institutions, and upon the process of decision-making.

On that last point, the process of decision-making is a key value of the Green Party (see Democracy 2016 in the Green Party platform.).

The necessity of becoming a party of activists

Through political activism we remain engaged all the time. We have to be a party of activists, not just uninformed election cycle participants who show up at the polls religiously because that’s all we have to do, we’ve been told, to maintain our freedom and democracy. For us, it’s an “all-in” proposition if we really intend to turn back the entrenched corporate-funded duopoly of Republicans and Democrats.

By the time election cycles roll around, our candidates should be known for what they’ve done for the causes we fight for during the previous two to four years and even before. The candidates should naturally arise from the crowd of possible contenders because of what they’ve done for the issues, and who they are in terms that relate to our core values.

Remember this

Activists have the ability to create ripples that can turn into waves of engagement. These waves can swing elections, and they often do (example: the Tea Party, ’nuff said.).

DemExit finally

I’ve taken a lot of crap from friends who are Democrats. If you voted Green, or for anyone but Trump or Hillary, you’ve heard it, too.

The election of Trump? SAD! On this, I agree with Hillary’s supporters.

Other SAD things also come to mind:

  • The sense of entitlement that Dems have that tells them all people left of Attila the Hun are “their voters”
  • Their addiction to greed and reaping the rewards of corporate donations to their campaigns for looking after corporate interests over the people’s
  • The duplicity of saying different things to different crowds of people; call it deception, or better, LYING
  • The manner in which they condescend, throughout the mainstream Dem party and their puppy-dog propaganda press, to speak to me, to minorities, to blue collar workers, to millennials, to Republicans, to virtually everyone except those in their elite circles of money and power
  • Their inability to speak the truth plainly about their own shortcomings and deceptions of the past — their complete inability to conduct honest self-analysis and critique
  • The way they shift blame to everyone but themselves for giving up over 1000 positions in state governments during the period of Obama’s presidency
  • The way they are satisfied with mere symbolism, as in the election of a black president, and the prospect of having a woman president, rather than being authentic crusaders for social justice, peace, workers rights, and others
  • The way they so quickly embrace war, drones, and intervention as solutions to many issues that could be negotiated if they would drop their dogged allegiance to money, oil, and Israel.

SAD, REALLY SAD!

I’m done with the Democrats. I’ve given them over half my life, but I’m finally over it. I have found a good home in the Green Party as many people are doing. Our success will be found in winning the issues we fight for. We are informed, and we are active beyond words.

 

Hedges: “Crawl toward despotism”

Readers of GreenGuyBlog will quickly note that I read Chris Hedges, and I trust his analyses and forecasts.

In today’s column on Truthdig, Hedges forecasts the “crawl toward despotism” of power in the United States. His article, “A Last Chance for Resistance”, presents a chilling call to Americans to heed the stark warnings of our impending democratic demise.

It will be increasingly difficult to carry out mass protests and civil disobedience. Repression will become steadily more overt and severe. Dissent will be equated with terrorism. We must use the space before it is shut. This is a race against time. The forces of despotism seek to keep us complacent and pacified with the false hope that mechanisms within the system will moderate Trump or remove him through impeachment, or that the looming tyranny will never be actualized. There is an emotional incapacity among any population being herded toward despotism or war to grasp what is happening. The victims cannot believe that the descent into barbarity is real, that the relative security and sanity of the past are about to be obliterated. They fail to see that once rights become privileges, once any segment of a society is excluded from the law, rights can instantly be revoked for everyone.

Read the entire article here.

A change in focus – Hello Greens!

My political journey has had some dramatic twists and turns in the last 42 years that I’ve been politically aware and somewhat conscious (most of the time). As I entered my 60’s a few years ago, I looked back and gasped at the amount of time I spent wandering, unanchored to principles that matched my passions at the time.

The lack of consistency in my political activism, I believe, is due to my dependence on a “false anchor” that I was reluctant to cut myself away from. This anchor was the Democratic Party.

I don’t care to defend that last statement — I’ve spent too much of my life trying to satisfy critics of my political leanings, of which there are many.

We have been brought to heel by “big money” politics, and the most predictable outcome was achieved, a thriving oligarchy in which the Democratic Party, under Clinton and beyond, especially, was its chief architect. In pursuing corporate money, i.e. power, the masses of people who had once depended on Democrats to do their bidding were betrayed by the Party’s pursuit of richer pastures. They sold us out for thirty pieces of silver. Many of us were reluctant to admit it; and, many still haven’t.

So, I’m going in a new direction, one in which my principles and passions match. I am now a full-fledged and soon-to-be full-throated member and activist with the Green Party. I stuck my toe in the water in 2016, voting for Green candidates in all the races where they existed in my district, but now I’m diving in. So long, Dems! Hello Greens!

(Posts previous to this date have been retained for the record, but this marks the beginning to a new title for the blog, GreenGuyBlog. The old “60 Left” entries were written during the period I supported Bernie Sanders for the Dem nomination.)