Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Challenges We Face

The outcome of this election will leave a strong mark on the course of young lives. This week on the blog, millennials speak out about the challenges we all will face in the coming years and what they plan on doing to confront them

As we enter this holiday season, let us not forget the challenges being confronted by our brave water protectors at Standing Rock. Read my holiday greetings--and a challenge of sorts--to you at my personal blog.

The Challenges We Face
 by Catherine Whittington

It's taken me a few days to really get to the bottom of what I want to say about this election, and here it is: I have friends and family who voted for Hillary; I have friends and family who voted for Trump. I have friends and family who voted for neither. And I want to say something to all of you, no matter who you voted for.
I've lived my life split across two very different communities. I've spent about half of my life living in liberal cities with strong immigrant and LGBT populations. I've spent the other half of my life in the suburbs of a largely Catholic midsize Midwestern city. I've learned that there is a huge culture divide in this country.
Hillary Clinton was an extremely weak candidate for president. But ultimately, I think there were two large factors at play that contributed to her loss on Tuesday night: She dismissed youth voters, and she dismissed the working class Midwest. Honestly, I cannot stand Hillary Clinton's past transgressions, particularly when it comes to gay rights. But disliking Hilary is not a reason to vote for Trump. 

I can see why Trump is appealing, particularly when running against an establishment candidate. He primarily held tent-revival style rallies rather than $20,000 a plate benefits. He addressed the corruption inherent in our current political system. But the fact is, even if you voted for Trump for positive reasons, your vote is going to hurt people. 

Why? Because a vote for Trump gives sudden legitimacy to the voices of white supremacists, sexual abusers, and radical homophobes. Suddenly, they're in the right. Even though you might not have voted for Trump because he says Mexicans are rapists, there are people out there that do believe just that, and like it or not, your vote legitimizes their ideas. 

It is extremely likely that President Trump and Vice President Pence (and the Republican-controlled Congress) will strip me of some of my very own civil rights--I am a woman, and I am gay. To be honest, I am luckier than a lot of my friends. I am white, an American citizen, college-educated, and come from a supportive family. I have reliable employment and benefits. I am cisgender.
To those of you who claim that the protesters are simply sore losers, I can tell you from firsthand experience, that it could not be anything further from the truth. They are afraid. They are afraid that they, their friends, and their family could lose basic human rights under a Trump presidency. Suicide hotline traffic has spiked, and it's been reported that up to eight young people have already taken their lives as a direct result of this election. Can you imagine? The results of an election being so bad for you as a person that you would prefer to end your own life.
To those of you who are afraid right now, I am so sorry. There is nothing I can say here that will make your fears go away. But I will fight for you, and I will fight for me, too.
And to those of you who voted Trump, I won't cut you off; I won't unfriend you. You are my family, my friends--no election could change that. That being said, over the next four years, I want you to know that life for me will likely change drastically because of your choice in the ballot booth. I will ensure that you know the challenges that I face and the challenges my friends face.

BIO: Catherine is an artist currently living in the Chicago area. Originally hailing from St. Louis, MO, she firmly believes that cultural education is the key to tolerance across party lines. 

Here's another young voice telling us to Act Out! 


The Hypocrisy of the Democratic Party and How Do Progressives Move On from Here
By Eddie Alvarado

Remember when everyone and their mother said, “Oh my God! Donald won't concede if Hillary won? What a douchebag. #IMWITHHER”?  Guess what’s going on now? Hillary’s own supporters are losing their minds and saying we will protest. There are rumors that a lawsuit by her own supporters which may dispute the US presidential election results.  

Despite her winning the popular vote, by less than 900,000 votes, Hillary got schlonged with the likely Electoral College vote of 306 Trump and 232 Clinton.  As we know, this is not the first time in presidential elections in which the electoral votes conflict with the popular vote.  There have been four other elections where this has happened.  If you want to learn about why, and or how this happens.  This explains a lot and the drama that transpired:  The Trouble with the Electoral College--https://youtu.be/7wC42HgLA4k  

and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wLQz-LgrM

But now, we're dealing with literal riots. Let that sink in. People took to the streets and rioted, most notably in Washington and Portland, Oregon.  People have been attacking cops, vandalizing private property. People have been reported going to the hospital and getting arrested.  This happened right after major news outlets called the election at about 4 A.M.  Being an activist, and someone who frequents marches and political drama, I believe you should exercise your first amendment rights and protest if you are pissed about the toxic political climate in the nation. I commend the people who are going out to express their anger. But the moment you begin attacking your peers, cops, private property, etc., you are the problem.  Not Donald Trump, you.  

I really couldn't care less if I trigger anyone. Political Correctness and the need to be nice from the Senate/House Democrats and the SJW Movement is one of the biggest reasons the most hated and most conservative nominee in the history of the Democratic Party got whipped by the most hated presidential candidate in the history of the US. They deserved it. Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of Washington corruption--hypocrisy, neo-liberal crony capitalism that people hate.  

But I have to say it the way I see it: Donald J. Trump is a retard.  A doctor said he has issues and may be a sociopath. Working families are why he won, and people who do not want establishment politics to continue and racist human pieces of garbage. But you can’t reach 270 electoral votes with racists and bigots.  Holy hell, 36% of Latinos voted for him!  But let’s disregard the demographics. Let’s talk about the message the candidates gave and show them.  

Coming from a millennial that everyone takes a crap on every other day, because apparently I have pipe-dreams that ruin my judgment, let’s talk about Trump's message: We want jobs, and we want them back. The reason everyone is unaware and has forgotten the bad effects of the Clintons is because you didn’t deal with it. The people in the Rust Belt remember because they were negatively affected.  Most of their industries that powered their economies are gone because of NAFTA, CAFTA, and the now defeated TPP and TTIP. Hilary didn’t even go there. She literally ignored them!  In no way, shape or form she wanted anything for them.  Trump said he wants it back, and his plan to get it back in an economic standpoint is reasonable.  Many economists on both sides say that specific part is probably the only good thing of his plan.  

Now let’s go to Hillary's message: “I’m not Trump.” Wow.  A message that sends anything but a good message on a major party ticket for why someone should vote for your party on the presidential side or the down ballot candidates that need you to be a good candidate so they have a better chance.

The Committee itself and what needs to happen to ensure the DNC learns for next time.

Simple--every DNC member needs to get the hell out. You want a Democratic controlled House and Senate or even ever see the presidency for your party ever again?  Clintonism and Neo-Liberal bullsh*t is done. It needs to get whacked in the skull by Negan and Lucille. (I will love someone forever if they get that reference.) Even Hillary Democrats are starting to see why Bernie was pissed about it. They are to a degree seeing why a deep blue state like Wisconsin went red. You need to remove Donna Brazile, remove any establishment Democrat, every blue dog in the DNC--except the one who yelled at Brazile during a conference, correctly pointing out the insanity and stupidity the Democrats did to screw their genuine chance to retake the Senate. 

The DSCC really funded campaigns in safer than safe Republican seats. Not toss-ups.  Safe.  I said Democrats would have 51 (D) – 49 (R) in the Senate if they put their money in the right races and would gain 16 seats in the house, not a retaking number, but an amazing start.  But no, they gained two. When Louisiana votes again, they are 100% likely to vote Republican, which would give the Republicans a less than comfortable majority in the senate 52 (R) – 48 (D).  There is more than enough evidence for the Democrats to boot all of those people controlling the main committee, the DSCC and the DCCC. 

Now let’s talk the presidential election.  If the Democrats in anyway run Tim Kaine, Cory Booker, Andrew Cuomo, Bill De Blasio, or even Joe Biden, I can then call the 2020 presidential election right now. Any of them will be massacred by Trump. Point.  Blank.  Period. They would have no chance to regain control of the House or the Senate if they played their cards right for years to come.  Because no matter how hated Trump will be at the end of his first term, the anti-establishment sentiment will remain, and it will go to him, no matter how establishment he’s become. 

Why would I sneak my own senator, Cory Booker, from New Jersey in here?  Because word on the street is he may not run for re-election in 2020 for a primary battle for the Democratic nomination. He will get demolished the same way Hillary did because he is part of the Jersey corruption elite that people around the country hate. To make matters even worse, he is funded by war-monger neo-cons--the same ones that fund Trump, for pity’s sake.

You need someone like Russ Feingold, Elizabeth Warren, or even the man himself.  Bernie Freaking Sanders, if Democrats want a chance to win and have any glimpse of hope in seeing the Oval Office once again.  How are we going to get that to happen?  Progressives need to continue to test Clintonism establishment politics, kill it and show it to be detrimental and not the way of the left-wingers, nor the way of the nation. 

So, where’s Bernie been?
Bernie has been making first interviews since the election. He has been coming out swinging, and giving the right jabs to the people who screwed us over with Trump and $hill.  He has released his new book Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.  Bernie has said he is not shocked about Donald’s victory. He feels the election results show it is time for the Democratic Party to undergo a fundamental reassessment.  "I think it's time for a fundamental reassessment," Sanders told NPR's Robert Siegel, "and I think what that reassessment has got to entail is to understand that we cannot have a party that will win, if we continue to become dependent on big money interests and campaign fundraisers all over this country."

Gearing up for the Future

The great Bernie Sanders once said, “Never lose your sense of outrage.” And conveniently, we have the No Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Fortunately and unfortunately, we need to continue the fight against it at all costs. So many banks want the DAPL complete so it can return an investment for them from screwing people over.  But investment or not, this pipeline risks Native American sovereignty. If you don’t give anything about it, you should be concerned about the fact that oil pipelines have huge risks that have a huge chance of contaminating Lake Oahe, which is part of the Missouri River, and millions of people, including Natives, get their water from this alone. What is happening in Alabama is an unfortunate example of why this needs to be stopped.  Thankfully, progressives are standing with Standing Rock.  In spite of the risk of arrest or physical harm from the dogs, cops' rubber bullets and tear gas, we need to keep going. This isn’t a Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Green issue.  It is a national issue.  

Standing Rock is the start.  We need to begin protests, marches, and action days of many issues that drive progressives and get them going. We need to stay angry at how establishment politics, or the shift to the right Democrats have been doing, is inevitably hurting the country as a whole. It starts with midterms. We now have a group that is slowly growing in numbers and is committed to produce 400 progressive candidates from both parties and even independents across the country. They will challenge incumbent representatives in the primaries to start the Political Revolution. I am proud to be a volunteer of Brand New Congress, and hopefully a worker of the platform committee, the platform those candidates will use and work on when in office.  

The late launch of Our Revolution and the funding drama of the DCCC and DSCC made it hard and ruined campaigns that had the chance to flourish, but that doesn’t justify an excuse to slow down or give up on it. With the Democratic establishment wanting blood from the left, it is highly unlikely for Democrats to retake the House. They will continue to nudge Republicans with a more and more uncomfortable majority to the point where I expect them to have a chance to take it back in 2022.  The Senate can be easily re-taken; we just have to get real progressives, someone like Keith Ellison as DNC chair, commanding the wave of progressives to take back state houses and the Senate since this year’s crushing Republican revolution. 

In the end, even if faithless electors do cast their ballots for Hillary, or stay with Trump like the classic Electoral College should, we have to fight like hell to stop their atrocious neo-conservative policies. We need to fight like hell to make our establishment-leaning Congress listen to the people and put the policies of the people first, not their donors. 

The Revolution is starting, and the next right-wing trifecta is starting, so buckle up and go outside and raise hell to the establishment.  Because one is none and two is one--and we need those twos to rise as one!
BIO: Eddie says: "Born in Newark and raised in Elizabeth, NJ in 2000, I've been committed to protest, discuss, debate and even rant whenever possible because that is how we teach people.  Saying you aren't going to take sides says you are with the aggressor.  Saying Neo-Liberal Clintonism keeps us afloat shows you don't care.  Saying we shouldn't fight for what is right, even when it means the right might not have a chance or doesn't at all, still doesn't give anyone incentive to go with lesser evil because it will get more evil and will ruin everyone as a whole.  Don't lose your sense of anger, or the Political Revolution never begins."

 Baron Lichenstein and the Penguins of Death sum up the election fairly well in The Best Laid Plans. (Warning: Contains some NSFW language)


  1. "Even if you voted for Trump for positive reasons, your vote is going to hurt people." Can't put it any simpler than that, but so many don't seem to care. :(

  2. How we often forget how our actions affect others, both for good and for ill. It shows that we need to "wake up" more people to the reality of prejudice and bigotry. Perhaps when the authorities come for them they'll wake up, but until then...


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