Fact-Free Ideology (Part Two): Election 2018 Edition

Fact-Free Ideology (Part Two): Election 2018 Edition

On June 2, 2016, I wrote Part One of this post.

Yeah, so I’m still here. I did all the checking before the election and the path out no longer exists for someone my age, without marriage and/or migration to another country as an ex-pat with the clothes on my back, and that’s so far from impractical it’s not even worth discussing. So I’m here. And I’m pissed.

Wasting my time with fact-free members of the “Let’s Pretend” Party or the “Screw You, I Got Mine” Party isn’t going to move us forward. The bold fact is that there are NO Third Party candidates strong enough to garner more than a hundred votes to every thousand in any House district, and the two Independents in the Senate vote with Democrats because there are ONLY two of them.

The only Independent in the whole House lives on the Northern Mariana Islands and he can’t vote because it’s a territory, not a state.

This rich fantasy life, brought to you by Ralph Nader and Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, is the most vile congregation of uneducated idealists I have ever connected with and that’s saying something, given my 46-year history as an aware citizen of the US.

Blind assumption that if we just push a little harder, everything will collapse and we will somehow reach the new day of the Green forgets that Gary Johnson (a Libertarian who is only one step removed from the GOP, and that step is to the RIGHT) was the guy who came in Third in the 2016 election. Stein was a distant fourth in all but two of the races, in which case she was FIFTH or even SIXTH.

As for the rest of us, who understand pragmatism and the U.S. Constitution, we have our work cut out for us. We are at eight months, two weeks, give or take a day, to THIS YEAR’s election. If we want to see change, we’d better start stepping up that game.

Leave the Greens to their delusional fantasy world and step around them. Do not engage. It’s not worth your time or energy to try and convince them that they are complicit in where we are today. Stop wasting your breath trying to convince them that they bought all the propaganda the GOP have sold them, and then some. They refuse to hear that they are complicit in this, that Russia took advantage of naive wishful thinking precisely because they could.

THIS is the reality we’re dealing with. Either we wipe the GOP out, completely, or the Russians win. And if you think their interference was restricted just to Trump supporters, pay attention to this nugget at the bottom of this article from CNN.com: The unwitting: The Trump supporters used by Russia:

Trump supporters were not the only people duped by the Internet Research Agency. As CNN has previously reported, Black Lives Matter activists and Muslim groups were also targeted.

Micah White, a co-founder of the Occupy Wall Street movement, also fell victim to the Internet Research Agency. In June 2016, he gave a telephone interview to the website Black Matters US, which was run by the group.

He told CNN last fall that Russia’s ability to successfully mimic American grassroot movements was concerning.

“If it is true that a Russian-based activist group is indistinguishable from an American-created activist group, that will have negative impacts on our ability to create social movements that are positive, that actually benefit ourselves and not some sort of foreign power.”

Think I’m kidding? This came out in September of LAST YEAR:

Russian-funded Facebook ads backed Stein, Sanders and Trump”

At least one touted Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, who Clinton says “may well have thrown the election to Trump.

Just stop. It’s like playing Pigeon Chess. Save your energy for the fight that’s coming!

If you want to push the Democratic Party to the left, by all means, do it. That’s what the Primaries are for. That is, if you’re registered in the Party. If not, you get no right to complain. That’s how Party politics works, whether you like it or not.

At the end of the day, if you don’t want a Republican in office, vote for the Democrat. You don’t get any other choices here.

Asking for a friend…

Asking for a friend…

I keep seeing variations on a theme on my FB wall and elsewhere regarding protesters being late to the party and that we should stop blaming the people who voted third party and heal ourselves through compassion. This is the response I wrote to the direct question on my wall, to answer a question from a friend.

There is no way I can write a response to her question without taking on the people who read my writing, so let me preface this statement with the following: I am GLAD people are finally waking up and doing something. It’s about damn time.
 

That said, in realigning my personal and political blogs, I’ve had ample opportunity to look back at my writing. I lived through the Reagan era and I spent a lot of time reading articles about our history, about abortion, toxic waste, energy, and a host of other issues most kids my age barely acknowledged.

I guarantee you the writing was on the wall, even back then, especially as the USA Patriot Act was fresh and new.

People were complacent when the GOP put the mechanisms in place that control our lives today, but they were just as complacent when Reagan started to strip our rights, when Bush took office as VP and pushed the GOP to the Right, when Gingrich put out his contract on America.
 
Decades of erosion, blame, hate…they’ve all been there. NOW people have finally started noticing, and suddenly they’re paying attention because all along they thought it couldn’t happen here. The problem is, there is nothing T will do about it, nothing Pence will do about it, short of an actual war. And the mechanisms are already in place to prosecute with prejudice ANY individual who takes on the government.
 
About midway through last year, I asked a friend who I later unfriended (and then recently added back because he asked) what he would be prepared to do to keep his guns. Would he go out and shoot people who threatened to disarm him?
 
I never got a response. I won’t call him out now. It’s theoretically possible he’s reading this post right now. He might finally reply, or he might unfriend me.
 
I’m telling you this, right now: If you are not ready to kill to protect your family, if you are not prepared to run somewhere else to protect your family, if you are not reading every propaganda item that attempts to suggest this is normal, acceptable, or in any way false panic, you won’t see what’s coming next.
 
People are STILL telling me this isn’t Weimar, Germany, that we are not where we are today, that it can’t happen here.
 
The gunman who shot those Muslims in Quebec was immediately misidentified as one of the people INSIDE the mosque, instead of the white supremacist he is.
 
The seething hate has been building for a century and a half, but back then, we didn’t have nuclear weapons, and there wasn’t a flood of refugees coming in from areas WE fucked up first. It was our own people rising up to fight and die for what was right, to end slavery.
 
In the early part of the century we did NOTHING until Europe attacked US. We would have sat out WWII if Roosevelt could have arranged it. We turned Jews away because we were afraid. We locked up our own Japanese citizens (and others as well) because we were afraid.
 
We’re about to do it all again, because people who thought it couldn’t be that bad allowed these dangerous assholes into the highest office of the country, and when they finally take over the Supreme Court, there will be no checks or balances left.
 
And the Soviets won’t come to our rescue this time. Oh, no. Not unless they think they’ll win control, as with East Berlin. Red Dawn was just fiction, after all.
 
No, I’m not crazy, and I’m not going to apologize. I wrote about this stuff then and people blew me off. Many of them still haven’t apologized. I’ve noticed.
 
I want you to get active. Protest. Call your senators and representatives. Take that trip to the local office, SHOW UP and FIGHT. And be ready to fight in the real sense, because we’re past fuzzy pink hats and high fives.
 
This isn’t a feel-good movement. It’s the fight of our lives.

ETA:

The people who ought to be reading this are no longer part of my page for a reason. If you think I’m wrong, fine. Bring them back. I’m done talking to them.
But let’s be clear here: Bernie wasn’t going to win. Not once the white supremacists made their presence known. He had zero chance, because he is a socialist Jew.

I supported him. I did not and DO NOT support those people who thought he should win, picked up their toys and went to vote for Johnson or Stein instead.

I listened to Stein continue the dialogue, and to Nader as well, on Election night. They *STILL* have not walked back one thing they said that night. Until I see THEM apologize, turn THEIR supporters back into the fold, this whole discussion is meaningless.

Where the fuck are THEY now?

I think for myself…

I think for myself…

There is an oft-paraphrased poem that circulates around the Internet. It goes something like this:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

It comes from the earliest form of this this speech, given by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) in Frankfort, Germany on January 6, 1946 (translated thus):

When Pastor Niemöller was put in a concentration camp we wrote the year 1937; when the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers.
Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians – “should I be my brother’s keeper?”
Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. – I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it’s right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn’t it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? — Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren’t guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers
I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.

I started this post before the Vice Presidential debate last night, and I was just going to talk about Trump’s attacks on Social Security, soldiers living with PTSD, and his $915,729,293 loss, but I’m on a different path this morning and I need to see it to the end.

First and foremost, Mike Pence ought to scare the hell out of you. As bad as Cruz was, he’s far, far worse. For starters, there’s no question regarding his citizenship. Unlike Cruz, whose birth in Canada is controversial for far better reasons than President Obama’s ever was (leaving off his American mother who renounced her citizenship), Pence has a clear track record in his service as Governor of Indiana.

Two articles scratch the surface of the issues I have with Pence:

Mother Jones: Stop Calling Mike Pence Boring. Here’s His Track Record on Gays, Women, Immigrants, and the Planet.

Patheos: Mike Pence Promotes Christian Theocracy

Trump won’t do a single thing while in office, besides take vacations and find new, exciting ways to ensure he’ll never go personally bankrupt again, but Pence? If you thought Dick Cheney was bad news, take a look at what Pence did to women in the time since he took office, in January, 2013. His Wikipedia page reads like a blotter for the Conservative Christian movement.

I hear plenty about how Trump is a Democrat in disguise, but he’s not going to do a damn thing in office. He’s all talk, no actual action. He will say anything to anyone if he thinks it will give him center stage.

Pence isn’t like Trump. He’s moved the ultra conservative agenda of ALEC forward with a vengeance.

Hitler didn’t do the things he did all by himself. He had help.

No, not generals. We know about them. They come to mind easily.

He had a secretary, who controlled access completely: Martin Bormann. If you wanted anything done, you had to go through Bormann.

Mark my words: If Trump wins, this will be a Pence presidency, as sure as I’m writing these words.

Meanwhile, the title of this post – I think for myself – comes from virtually every Bernie Bro (and Sis) who is truly Anti-Hillary. It’s taken me months to come to this conclusion, but I’m there. It would not have mattered if Bernie Sanders hadn’t run. No matter what, these people who refuse to listen to history, who believe it just can’t happen here, who live in nice communities with manicured lawns and comfortable homes with access to the Internet whenever they want, they just don’t have the ability to imagine how close we really are to disaster, whether Clinton wins or not.

They refuse to see the 36 year war of propaganda waged by dark money. They don’t believe there is anything wrong with voting “conscience” when there is so much overwhelming data to draw parallels between the US today and Germany in 1919.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe it’s all imaginary. It can’t happen here.

But these same people turn around and point to mass incarceration as proof that we already have these things and we’re still free.

They are blind.

They refuse to see between the lines of every single election that puts another Republican in charge of our day to day lives. People like Pence, who enact unconstitutional laws that force women to pay for burials for every unsuccessful pregnancy and more. Unconstitutional, that is, until we start replacing our Supreme Court Justices.

For every voter who insists “I think for myself” – this election is your opportunity to prove it. Denying evidence that’s out there will seal our fates for the next 50-90 years. You won’t see recovery in your lifetime. Your children might not, either. And if you think you’re safe, better think again if you’re anything but a devout Christian.

Don’t just think.

LEARN.

This is my formal declaration:

I regret choosing Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. I am sorry that I worked for his campaign, if by running he brought us to this moment. That his “followers” were never about Bernie and all about Not Hillary was never clearer to me than it is today.

#ImWithHer

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