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Viva La Revolucion!

The Road to Resilience

The conventions are over and our next president will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  A few years ago, it looked like we were going to have a very humdrum choice of the two ruling family establishment candidates, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.  Then the popular revolution emerged from the national unconscious and what was going to be a snooze of an election turned into an unpredictable, ever-surprising contest.  What we now have is actually worse and better at the same time.  Worse because Trump, the antiestablishment candidate from the dark side, actually has a chance of winning.  Worse, also, because Clinton, the very essence of establishment, who must prevail over Trump, will have a hard time attracting voters.  On the bright side, a positive vision of change has been shown to be a possibility by the Sanders campaign.  That vision has resulted in the most progressive Democratic Platform ever.  More importantly, it has brought millions of people into the effort to realize that revolution.

There has been some misunderstanding about the nature of the political revolution that we are espousing.  Many have thought it was about taxing the rich and giving to the poor,  rebuilding the infrastructure, addressing climate change and building a clean energy economy, and on and on.  It is really much simpler, but more profound, than all of that:  it is about returning to, or perhaps evolving into a government that is of, by, and for the People, and it starts by getting the money out of politics.  Thanks to Bernie, we now know that is possible.  In our constitution, our representatives are to be accountable to the People.  Today they are not.  In the Declaration of Independence, it clearly states that at such a time that  “a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.”  All the above-mentioned issues may come into play once our power is restored, but any group, progressive or conservative, has a right to have their interests seriously addressed by the government.  It is not a Democratic issue; it is not a capitalist or socialist issue.

Our government is currently controlled by an Oligarchy made up of the corporate interests, and the media they control.  Both parties do their bidding. They actually do address issues that resonate with various factions of the general public, but their solutions are always on their terms and not ours.  Any thing that might diminish or eliminate any one of them is off the table.  That creates such stalemates as our health care crisis and the climate crisis, the first of which can’t be addressed without seriously diminishing a major oligarchy player, the health insurance industry, and the second will go nowhere without seriously diminishing the fossil fuel industry.  We need to free our representatives from the control or these groups.

 What we have now are two candidates, neither of which intend to create a government that is truly accountable to us.  However, the choice is obvious and compelling.  Trump is a mentally unbalanced narcissist whose presidency could only portend violence, ruin, and mayhem.  If the country and the world survived a Trump presidency, the establishment could then say, “See? That’s what happens when we have a popular revolution!”, and they would have a selling point to forestall a power exchange to the people for a hundred years.  Clinton may be more interested in doing things her way rather than ours, but, as her acceptance speech showed, she has embraced many of the policies that Sanders espoused.  If we are vigilant and active, we could hold her to a lot of those promises.  Trump would be totally oblivious to us.  

Like many of you, I swore I would never again vote for the lesser of two evils.  I’ve agonized over this, but there simply is no other choice.  There are no third party candidates that have a chance of beating both Trump and Clinton.  It’s not going to happen.  Hopefully, the choice between a mentally unbalanced person and one who is not should come down heavily on the side of the sane person.  If, come October, Trump has even the slightest chance of winning, there will be nothing noble about voting for our ideal third party candidate or refusing to participate at all.  Vote. For. Clinton.  Think of it as an orderly retreat that gives us a chance to fight again.  I think that is all I will be saying about this presidential election.   

What do we do now?  We elect representatives that are beholden to us and not the special interests.  We convince existing representatives that if they respond to our concerns, they won’t need that special interest money.  Bernie showed us the way and now we can all run for office without connections to wealth and power.   Meanwhile, we continue to become more resilient and self reliant in our own communities.