Whoa, the map of the U.S. has broken out in a rash of blue dots! What's it all about? Go to http://map.berniesanders.com and see if there is an Our Revolution (Bernie Sanders) livestream event near you on August 24. If there isn't one, why not host an event yourself? Do it! Because...
It's the End of the World as We Know It
(And We'll Feel Fine)
Song lyrics have a weird way of getting caught in my head lately. I can't get them out, either.
The chorus of the R.E.M. song It's the End of the World As We Know It keeps going through my mind, but not for the reasons you might think. I'm an optimist, so I'm not thinking about how a Trump presidency will bring about Armageddon (sorry) or how much I despise and loathe the treachery and corruption of the Democratic Party (because I do). I'm thinking that this particular election cycle will herald a significant achievement that's taken almost two centuries to bring about, and I can't wait for it to happen.
Yes, I'm dreaming of the death of the establishment's "two party system" in the United States of America. (Thom Hartman explain this well in the video below.)
Thank you so very much, dyed-in-the-wool Democrats and Republicans alike. You've actually done it! You've accomplished what many said could not be done. You've actually shown the U.S. electorate--indeed, the entire world--what childish, self-serving, greedy, racist, warmongering, entitled, corrupt corporate whores you really are. For this I--and many other Berners--will be eternally grateful to you. You've shown that, other than your monikers being spelled differently, your two groups are essentially the same where it counts, spiritually bankrupt and devoid of all morality.
So, thank you once again for at last being honest with yourselves and with us, the long-suffering American voters. We at last know that we can't--and won't--be guilt-tripped and bullied into voting for either of your corrupt and loathsome candidates. You've made it very easy for us to vote third party and feel good about it. Bless you.
Jimmy Dore sums it up well in this video. Truthdig does likewise in this article.
Even my hometown paper deep in the heart of Trumpland, the former Republican Courier and now just The Courier, wrote an editorial saying how third party candidates were necessary this election and voters should be able to vote for a candidate who doesn't make them "cringe." Wow. This admission comes from the newspaper among the first to endorse a third party upstart named Abraham Lincoln a few years ago. These times, they are a changin'!
My advice to Berners, Greens, Progressives and others is to watch the videos I've posted this week and discuss them with your friends, families and co-workers. Talk about how, once we've been made aware of the mental manipulation the so-called "two party system" has practiced for many decades, we can't be easily bullied and scared into supporting either of their demon spawn. You can even give them a link to this blog and tell them I told you to use the words "demon spawn" to describe their candidates if you're really shy. (Go ahead. I've had my share of nasty emails already this election cycle. But first show them this funny Lee Camp, Redacted Tonight, video. It'll chill them out.)
If anyone dares throw the ubiquitous, "You must vote for Candidate A to avoid electing Candidate B," line at you, here's the link to our blog posting with a piece about the logical fallacy of that argument. If they throw anything at you about how, "Hillary is more honest and trustworthy than Trump," please show them this page with links to the recent DNC e-mail Wikileaks scandal and the many, many, many (how many "manies" can I put?) off-putting controversies surrounding the Clintons and their so-called charity, The Clinton Foundation.
You have my permission to tell anyone who bullies or scolds you, "Cindy told me to tell you that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, and I'm not doing it." If they tell you that Bernie didn't tell us to vote our consciences, send them to this video. (It's also posted on last week's blog.) If they ask you who "Cindy" is, tell them you don't know, but she seems like an all right chick running a progressive blog, and in spite of receiving nasty emails, she's harmless enough.
Whatever you do in the coming weeks and months, don't stop talking about the political revolution and how we all should become a part of it. (Sign up to host a Bernie live stream event here.) Your enthusiasm will inspire others to join us and bring about a future to believe in where we'll all feel fine.
It's the end of the world as we know it--and it's about time, isn't it?
Voting Green: It’s Not Just Win Or Lose,
It's How You Play The Game
by Brandon L. Mouser
"We understand the difference between a neofascist catastrophe and a neoliberal disaster... But we reject both." ~Dr. Cornel West
Of course, the entire regime of the two-party establishment depends on this false dilemma. It depends on keeping the masses entrenched in the ruts of shallow political theater, fighting socially-constructed boogeymen that distract from the real boogeymen. If Democrats are terrified of Republicans and Republicans are terrified of Democrats, their voters have a scapegoat to blame for all of our social problems. If Americans are focused on inter-class conflict then they have less time for class conflict; i.e., political ideology is being manufactured to keep us from achieving class consciousness and cultivating the sociological imagination.
What many progressives have come to recognize this year is that the
mainstream narratives are hollow. Consequently, we are skeptical and rarely impressed by the pundits and talking heads.
Going beyond the mainstream establishment's script, the main problem with the win or lose narrative is that progressives have already lost this election. We lost when the Democratic primaries were rigged and voters were disenfranchised. We lost when the FBI and Justice Department failed to deliver justice to H.R. Clinton. We lost when President Obama (our supposedly-progressive president we all worked so hard to elect in 2008) refused to do anything about this and stopped listening to the People. We lost at the Democratic National Convention as progressive delegates were mocked, mistreated, and censored (and what was left of the Democratic Party essentially cheered for Republicanesque speakers and principles, including nationalism and warmongering). We lost during the roll call when we finally recognized that all of our Democratic Representatives were part of the problem. Progressives are feeling the loss, too, which is why so many Berniecrats could be seen crying throughout the convention, and the internet has been filled with anger and despair.
This is one of the main reasons that the win or lose narrative does not affect us in the way that many people assumed it would. As progressive voters, we have nothing left to lose at this point. We have hit bottom.
Of course, as Cornel West so eloquently expressed in his speech at the Green Party Convention, the win or lose narrative is short-sighted for so many
reasons. First and foremost, it is based on a bureaucratic formula that frames "winning" in statistical terms rather than spiritual or moral terms. Consequently, the win or lose narrative is a product of the neoliberal ideology itself, and it focuses on short-term victories and gains rather than putting elections and social movements into a more historical perspective. In reality, "winning" here is actually a perpetual loss--as "winning" requires us to accept the status quo rather than pushing for real change.
In other words: hegemony is maintained by defining "winning" as bowing down to our corporate masters, year after year, so that we might avoid risk by voting for the lesser evil and, somehow, feel good for voting for the candidate who actually won. The Republican Party is essentially a gun held to the head of every intelligent voter, and the Democratic Party is the purple authority figure who comes in and saves the day. After the charade, the 1% and all of our corporate masters go back to business as usual, and the American People breathe a sigh of relief. Nothing changes.
The win or lose narrative also keeps us from voting for the candidates and platforms that we really want. Anything that is not part of a mainstream party platform gets framed as illegitimate and unrealistic.
Real change? Impossible! You apparently need Democrats to make it happen, and they are not going to make it happen, so there.
Therefore, our social movements are castrated and hindered by the fact that most Americans worry more about winning an election than the actual content of the elections or who they are voting for or why. Nietzsche once said (and I am paraphrasing here) that the question is not "freedom, from what?" but rather "freedom, for what?" Americans need to ask themselves this question: "Democracy, for what?" For if all that our elections have become is just a defense mechanism from the latest man-made evils, then we are not really a democracy at all.
This is one of the things Hillary Clinton supporters just could not fathom this election cycle. They had internalized the official narratives and talking points so much that all they seemed to care about was voting to protect their own interests. They could not understand the millions of progressives who actually wanted to vote for something and demanded real change. Issues, facts, evidence--all this became secondary to mainstream Democrats--the real fight in
their eyes was a last stand against an apocalyptic boogeyman. Progressives were just an additional threat.
Under the win or lose narrative, morality is also secondary. Evil becomes acceptable because "winning" evil is framed as better than "losing" evil. Voters accept a fascist warmonger because it is a purple fascist warmonger, which isn't as bad as a red fascist warmonger. Corruption? Corporate pollution? Well, it is just something that goes with the territory, but think how much more corruption and corporate pollution there could be! No universal health care? Just imagine if the red fascist warmonger took away everyone's health care! Note that few people in this game actually sit down and refuse to vote for a fascist warmonger, nor refuse to support a candidate that will not take a stand against corporate pollution. No one votes for a candidate that is promoting universal health care. Because, again, morality is secondary in "win or lose." It is something that can be dealt with down the road--right now we need to worry about being on the winning team.
The reason that we are seeing fundamental changes occur this year is because progressive voters are finally seeing beyond the win or lose narrative. We are finally recognizing that winning isn't everything, especially when a so-called victory is really just another loss. Seeing through the Democratic ideology, we have seen the truth about the Democratic Establishment--and there is no going back. We are becoming more than just registered voters: We are becoming moral agents who vote. We are asking the philosophical question: "Democracy, for what?" We are dreaming and taking action. We recognize that voting for a fascist warmonger is voting for a fascist warmonger, regardless of their party affiliation.
If I vote for Jill Stein this November, she might indeed lose the election. But, again, I have already lost an entire political party. Wins and losses are always happening in life. The question is now really about how I handle this loss. Do I give up and forfeit my morality to the win or lose narrative? Do I vote for immorality, or do I keep marching forward as a moral agent and pushing for change? By voting for Stein, at least I can tell my grandchildren that I didn't support fascism (during a time when too many Americans were blindly accepting it), and that I was working hard to make this country better. At least I still walk away with my moral integrity. More importantly, voting for Stein could lead to the Green Party becoming a more viable alternative, set them up for federal funding and ballot access, help get them into future presidential debates, and set them up for future election cycles. Voting for Stein now could help sustain this social movement, even if it morphs into something larger down the road. All of this seems more worthwhile and productive, at least for me, than helping a fascist warmonger to get elected president by voting to "win."
Sometimes losing is really a victory, and vice versa.
Bio: Brandon Mouser is a public sociologist and philosopher who lives and works in Indiana. Much of his academic work focuses on understanding inequality and social problems. Growing up in a small, rural factory town in Southern Indiana, he has dedicated his life to fighting for working families.
So many of us Berners are over the two party system. We've had enough! We've witnessed election corruption up close. (Read Ava Kennedy's story about what she experienced at the Reno, Nevada caucus -- We Are Not Living In A Democracy.) We've found our voter registration "switched" without our knowledge. We've been forced to wait in hours in line to vote or traveled a distance only to find our polling place has been closed. Face it--we've had it with the criminal tactics of the establishment parties.
Fortunately, we're the majority of American voters as the above graph shows. We are independent voters, voters who know our minds and will vote our consciences. We will not be ignored. This is the year we take back our government and restore our democracy. Our Revolution has come of age. Be a part of it.
We'll see you at the livestream meet-up on August 24th.