Thursday, August 25, 2016

Red, white, blue ... and green: Why I am considering voting for Jill Stein

Buying Government: Why I am no longer supporting Democrats or Republicans. (I simply don't have the chips to play this game any longer. Read about this below.)

Why I am going "Green."

Not because I like the idea -- I am too traditional to relish third parties -- but mainly because I cannot afford to play with the big-moneyed guys and girls at the national-poker-game we call "politics," at least not under today's rules of the game. I simply don't have the chips. And chances are, you don't either. Every day I get emails from candidates desperate for donations to offset the competing donations of dark and not-so-dark money: Big oil, pharmacy, rich individuals like the Koch brothers, the banking industry. I imagine it is the same with rank-and-file Republicans trying to offset donations from Rich Democrat supporter George Soros. What all of these begging candidates are doing is asking us to go head to head, trying to match or beat billionaire contributors. The bottom line is that we are being asked to buy our government! They are taunting us to buy our government back from its very wealthy owners! This is not fair. Right now the government is up for sale to the big bidders, who also try to get an edge by tapping into donations from the poor and middle classes, basically begging for the widow's "mite." Why bother with us poor folk at all? Could it be they want us to feel invested in the present system, which will always be just out of reach? They are teasing us! All of this I guess, is supposed to be part and parcel of the American political system, part of American democracy. Yes, the government is for sale, but unless you are very rich indeed, you probably cannot afford to "buy." Guess what? I cannot afford a "place at the table" either. All I can do is try to convince myself and others that we need to exercise our one legal right, to play the one high card that is in the hand of every one of us: We must go to the polls and vote. Yes, vote, but not for a Democrat or a Republican. Voting for a Democrat or a Republican is never going to get corporate money out of government. Democrats and Republicans created the system that we now have, and they continue to defend, protect and sustain the status quo. Hey, the Democrats could have supported such an agenda, could have lent their full-hearted support, for example. to Bernie Sanders, but instead they had their "finger on the scale" (as I think is well documented now) in favor of a candidate who opposed Sanders. She agreed to Progressive platform only under intense pressure from Sanders and his movement, so no, she is not necessarily "in." Yes, we need Our Revolution and we need it now, but Democrat and Republican politicians simply cannot be trusted to get this job done. Even Democrats who want to change the system are locked out by the current power arrangement, as we have seen in the case of Bernie Sanders.

So what to do? As I see it, there is only one non-violent option left open to us: We must revert en-mass to third party candidates who are not (not yet) "hooked" by the present set of rules and corporate "hooks." . We must somehow impress the two-party system that they are not invincible. No, we most prove to them that we can remove them from power, break up their parties and smash their (metaphorical) rocking-horses: No more fun-and-games, no more rich boys (girls?) calling all the shots..

No, I am not claiming that we have a very good chance at taking over the country. (I started to say, "to "take back" the country, but that would not have been very accurate. The country never did belong to the poor, to the laboring class. Nor can we call for a return to "the good old days." Of course not! After all, the country is owned by very powerful, vested interests. Prior to the late 18th Century most states had property ownership requirements for voting. As many has half of white men were excluded from voting, as were women, Blacks, Native Americans and other disenfranchised groups. Since then, the country has become more "liberal" with voting laws, however, and if you only have one hand to play, you have to play it to the best of your ability. For some reason decision makers must have felt compelled to extend the right to vote to more people, and it seems they did so without seriously jeopardizing the status-quo.Perhaps they realized that most disenfranchised groups would not vote anyway. And that is why I am going "Green." Because I want for us to fool them, by voting en mass. It really is that simple.

Risks

Yes there are risks in going "Green.". Yes, the Green Party seems (to me at least) to be poorly-equipped to step into place and run the country. Yes, if elected, the Green Party candidates may be hog-tied, blocked by opponents hell-bent on stopping them (In fact, I would anticipate that.) And no, I am not certain that once in power they will exercise necessary but rational violence sufficient to defend our country from external threats. On the other hand, once in power I cannot guarantee that they will not go the opposite direction and become heavy-handed once in power. Having said that, being "in power," seems to be a remote possibility, if by being in power you mean control of the Admonistration as well as both houses

The question of the military

Will the military stand by and remain neutral as they have been in the past? The military seems complacent within the parameters established by the current status quo: The false, Yin-Yang relationship of the Republican-Democrat parties as they slow-dance around the Sacred Constitution. I would hope that the military would remain above the fray, but we should take nothing for granted, which is why I wonder what will happen if we make moves to cut the military budget by 50 percent. I don't think they would stand for that, so maybe we should think of alternative jobs for the military to do: jobs that would truly benefit humankind. Cuts would still be necessary to reduce the budget shortfall. Military officers, including generals, can be retrained as experts in how to prevent wars and avoid violent encounters. In fact, if we just ask them how to do this, they might have more relevant answers than we realize. So there are risks. Nonetheless, we must also look at the risks of voting for Democrats and Republicans who are hell-bent on more-of-the-same. Would a real social revolution be wise? I would argue that a social revolution is not only wise, it is imperative, if you think the best-government-that-money-can-buy is not in the best interests of the nation, or for the world for that matter.

Behind closed firewalls

The Democrat/Republican paradigm has always been about "show business," although the clowns have really come out during the 2016 national primaries, epitomized by candidate Trump claiming that he would build a wall around American and make Mexico (the Mexican government?) pay for it.. The national debates are mainly about entertaining the masses while powerful interests to the real negotiating, often behind closed doors or, in the case of Hillary Clinton and others, behind closed computer firewalls.

How do you get there from here?

What would it take for the Green Party to win the White House? To win, we have to identify and mobilize the millions of non-voters who have stayed home. We are wasting our time if we merely "preach to the choir," although that is necessary too. And what if you are already "in the choir"? The choir has the chore of activating the non-voting power base. That is our only hope. So every "choir member" must be actively recruiting to expand the number of people who vote. We need to get them to commit to voting. We can do this online, we can do it by home visits, we can do it by targeted advertising, but it must be done if we are to be effective.

On coalitions

We cannot do this alone: It seems to me that a Green Party simply does not have the resources, nor the personnel to carry out a Revolution, but can it be done anyway? I think, yes. Many, myself included, are burned out with the two-party system, but there are good people in that system with whom we could, and would, cooperate, including former Sanders supporters and liberal Democrats and others with whom we share values. Furthermore, Green Party documents indicate they understand this. So we would not be in this battle alone. But for reasons stated above, we must shake things up if we are to see long lasting, beneficial changes made. Otherwise, if we don't go all out and upset the apple cart, we are back to trying to "buy" government in a very competitive bidding contest: And buying government is a Poker game that few of us can afford to play.

#jillstein #steinforpresident

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