Showing posts with label fascism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fascism. Show all posts

05 November, 2018

Letters from Trumplandia: Politics and the Phenomenon of Craving






A.A., like any other organization dedicated to a single idea, has it's own mantras and jingoisms. The Serenity Prayer has been co-opted by our culture -- especially the part about asking for courage to accept those things we cannot change, since it pretty much feels like no one has control over anything pretty much all the time. One Day at a Time and  Easy Does It get tossed out at regular intervals by a fairly large cross-section of people -- larger even than the cross-section of people who are among the 10% of people who have that particular allergy to booze that makes us one day either get to a meeting or crawl into a ditch. 

As a culture, we like mantras and jingoisms. They reduce complex ideas  down to sound bites that are easier to chew on. We like to be able reduce our moral, ethical, and spiritual life down to easily marked and remembered catch phrases that will rise above the one-liners advertisers throw at us to get us to buy the Next New Shiny Thing.

And since is a Political Season -- November 6 being an election day -- we have been further bombarded, traumatized, and had our central nervous systems cauterized by political ads. Incumbents who want to keep their jobs. Up and comers who want to unseat the incumbents. And we are being extolled, ONE MORE TIME, that this election, is The Most Important Election of Our Generation.

If you're wondering why I started with Alcoholics Anonymous and led into the election, it's pretty simple. It's what we in A.A. call The Phenomenon of Craving. An alcoholic drinks and the craving kicks in and there is no common sense that will make us stop.  Politics, and the emotional urgency its dealers push on the American people -- nearly all of whom are drunk on one brand of politics or another (that includes the politics of apathy) -- kicks in that Phenomenon of Craving. We can't help ourselves. We drink in that sweet, intoxicating moral urgency and sense of mission that will disappear as soon as the election results are in and we are all, once again, pressed with our individual tyrannies of the present that will drive back into the intoxicating arms of mantras, jingoism, and name-calling -- 

all while the Laughing Boys who are in charge and will most likely continue to be in charge regardless of which political party you hang your hopes on carry on making us hate one another so we're too busy seeing what the hell they're doing. 

Common sense, in both cases, is roundly ignored.

My politics of choice and experience tends to fall somewhere near the Far Left -- though not far enough to swallow every last drop in the bottle. My politics and my world view are probably best described by old radical standard (that fewer and fewer radicals know anymore),  The Internationale:





I've sang The Internationale drunk in a room stock full of well-intended liberals who fantasize about fighting fascists but never will. I've sang The Internationale sober with all the sad passion of Amazing Grace, waiting for God to tell me if I really need to fight, if this cup is really mine, or if I'm just one more vainglorious sap who is hoping for victory against the cyclical tide of historical implosion. I've sang The Internationale in a room full of unionists who barely knew the words and who probably would have refused to sing if they'd known where the song actually comes from. I've sang The Internationale with friends, drunk on bourbon and dizzy on didactic rhetoric -- only one of whom I actually believe could take on the fascists as a personal mission for the Almighty... and woe to them if that ever actually happens. I have sang The Internationale but I have never seen the collective fraternity, community, or egalitarianism it is supposed to represent... certainly not on the Left and never, ever, in all my years (including the ones growing up in the ultra-conservative Rust Belt) on the Right. 

And that is why the Radical Left is losing and why, if they don't rethink strategies that isolate them along ideological lines so tenuous that the lists of enemies is longer than their lists of friends and comrades, they will continue to lose. 

There is no moral urgency to this New Wave Fascism. The sense of inevitability people feel -- and believe me, people on all sides feel it, especially those that cry out against it from every social media corner of the country --  that causes them to call this election one more Most Important Election of Our Generation comes from something much deeper, something more dangerous, and something more profane. 

It springs forth from the shadow heart of us all, the evil that will not die until the last trumpet sounds and against which we have been fighting since man's evolutionary ancestors developed enough cognitive ability to dream darkly and to commit their hands to making those dreams happen.

So drink up, my friends. I'm not saying not to vote. If you still have the right to vote then you should, if for no other reason than to prove the cynics and oligarchs wrong. But Easy Does It. We need to take these days One Day at a Time, but it helps to be on the look out for that hangover. Because in spite of the jingoism, life will march on after this election is in the books.

And.. get to a meeting.

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14 July, 2017

Language front: from which all wars really begin.

The relations between rhetoric and ethics are disturbing: the ease with which language can be twisted is worrisome, and the fact that our minds accept these perverse games so docilely is no less cause for concern. ~ Octavio Paz

To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery. ~ Charles Baudelaire

Less is always more. The best language is silence. We live in a time of a terrible inflation of words, and it is worse than the inflation of money. ~ Eduardo Galeano


 In spite of the historical precedence dictating the fighting a war on multiple fronts almost always leads to disaster, nearly every war we are in is fought this way.

The culture war is no different. The New Wave Fascists have been at it for longer than most of the centrist Left realizes... and only now,  when it looks like the Nazis popped out of the closet all of a sudden to attack anything they consider liberal -- whether it's funding for the arts, free speech, higher education, or the previously sacred privacy of the voting booth -- do they decide that maybe, just maybe, something ought to be done.

Back when there were rumblings of a budget proposed by then newly elected Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin that would de-fund the Kentucky Arts Council, I reached out to artists groups online, asking if it wasn't the time to begin organizing a response.

I was called a reactionary and told that the then Democratically controlled legislature would protect the arts. Then the mid-term election came and the Republican Party, with it's New Wave rejuvenation, took the legislature away from the Kentucky Democratic Party. Then, the people who previously called me reactionary, who said there was nothing to worry about, were suddenly faced with the realization that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, THEY OUGHT TO PAY ATTENTION.

By then, national politics were on everyone's minds, and the thought of a Tin Pot Fascist in Frankfort and a Fascist Godhead in the White House was just too much. And we saw how that worked out.

But the truth is that Bevin didn't win because of a sudden surge of conservatism in Kentucky. Except for Louisville, Lexington, and Frankfort -- and, thanks to Kim Davis, my heart's home Rowan County -- Kentucky is largely a conservative state. It has been for years.  The reason Bevin won, other than the KDP's decision to run a cardboard cut out for Governor, is because he embraced a language and a rhetoric that was already in place. That language and that rhetoric was established by early right wing culture war veterans like Pat Buchanan, Richard Nixon, Dick Armey, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, and Rush Limbaugh... language that later picked up and funded by the Koch Brothers, spread by the likes of Bill O'Reilly Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Richard Spenser, and others.

The same is true of Trump's election win. I have written before that Trump did not create the New Wave Fascism that carried him into the White House. I'm not sure that Trump is particularly ideological -- as opposed to Bevin and Vice President Mike Pence, both of whom walk the social conservative culture war that they talk. Trump has been successful not because he's an innovator, but because he's had a good nose for where the trends are. He saw his chance and took it, and in the process took the GOP, the electorate, and the entire country for a ride.

Neither Bevin nor Trump invented the language of nationalism. Neither one of them invented the rhetoric used by creationists, anti-choice activists, or those opposed to marriage equality, LGBTQIA rights, racists, and other bullies.  To suggest they somehow crafted their messages in some For White Men Only vacuum gives them entirely too much credit and ignores history. It also lets everyone else who insisted that these folks were too marginal to ever impact the larger culture off the hook.

The ugly has always been there. And now we have to face it on every front before it consumes everything.

Part of this means that those of us who are word workers -- writers -- have to start taking the language back. We cannot speak of democracy, equality, peace, and love if we do not have the words.

from libcom.org



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01 May, 2017

Letters from Trumplandia 9: The May Day Special

 Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.  -- George Orwell


I wasn't sure where I was supposed to be this past Saturday. Part of me wanted to be in Pikeville this past weekend facing down the early break of this New Wave of American Fascism.  Somewhere in me lurks a reactionary, even still. The reactionary me wanted to go to Pikeville and punch Nazis and bring to bear on their heads the considerable anger and violence I feel towards the baby fascistas who vandalized my son-in-law's car and terrorized him and my daughter.

There are days when the lines are very clear and I know where I'm supposed to be. But as the plans started to come together for an insurgent reaction to the TWP having their little Nazi picnic, I found myself feeling not entirely sure of  how it was all going to pan out. Any time you walk into Eastern Kentucky like the Grand Pooh-bah Savior of the people, you are walking into trouble. If you think they need you (even if they ask) you've got to tread carefully. Regardless of your thoughts about the book, Jesus, fishes and loaves, the banished money changers, or Golgotha, you ought to expect to be crucified by the very people you think you're going to save if you intend to march into Eastern Kentucky.
Martyrs ... have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood - never. Camus

Because there isn't an Eastern Kentuckian, devout Christian or no, that demands anything less. They have what you might call a high standard.

As I write this, today is May Day. The first of May has historically been a labor
holiday pretty much everywhere except in the United States, where our early robber baron overlords gave us Labor Day in September in order to try and steal thunder away from the radical labor movement. Of course now, The Big Orange Meanie, our Fascist-in-Chief  Donald "The Don Don" Trump is trying to recast this historic and global radical holiday as "Loyalty Day."
The Don Don

Yeah. Let that one sink in and tell me again that he's not a fascist.

For months, Memeworld has been all a-twitter about a General Strike -- or, as I like to call it, the Wobbly Rapture. They've already started one down in Brazil. I don't expect to see much in the way of a general strike around here simply because there isn't the will or the numbers for it. Memeworld has it's own warriors, though, and I realize I am not one of them. I'm an opinionated sometimes activist and organizer who's really more of a poet than a protester. I'm all for it, of course... protesting and pushing back against Nazis, a General Strike. All of it. But one of the things I've learned is that just because you're in a room full of folks who might agree with you, that does not mean you have a cultural quorum.

That's not to say that the anti-fascists can't win out the argument. Tyranny always betrays itself in the end, and even now, the mask is starting to slip off the figurehead for the New Wave, our boy Don Don. The mistake that most traditional liberals are making right now is they act as if getting rid of Trump will stem the tide. It won't. His vitriol has unleashed something that's been a part of the American character since the first settlers came here.*

If the Pikeville Rally shows us anything, it's that there is absolutely nothing new about hate. It sometimes takes on a slicker facade, like Richard Spenser or Steve Bannon. It sometimes takes on the mask of an arrogant bully, like Donald Trump. Sometimes it takes on the mask of the true believer, like Kentucky's own tin pot fascista, Matt Bevin. But it's nothing new.

Something else the rally made clear, if it wasn't already: the powers that be are complicit in protecting the ability of hate to spread itself like cancer. The cops didn't try and shut down the fascists for making verifiable threats to peaceful protesters. The cops shut down the peaceful protesters by relying on fear and the implied threat that the cops would not be there to protect them.**

I was not at the Pikeville Rally. In the end, I decided it was more important to be here with my family and the community of folks I work with in homeless outreach.

But that shouldn't confuse anyone into believing that I've gone anywhere, or that I'm backing down. It's true, I've been a little quiet of late.

That's over now.
___________________________________________________________
*Note: the Puritans did escape England to pursue their own religious ideals, but they were not then, now, or ever, martyrs for religious freedom. These are the ones who burned women for witches, remember?
** This, too, is nothing new. See Also: The Kent State Massacre, The Cripple Creek Massacre, the Ludlow Massacre, The Haymarket Affair, the murder of Joe Hill by the state of Utah, and The New Testament. 

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20 March, 2017

Letters from Trumplandia 5: The doghead comes to town (with apologies to all dogs, great and small)

A man can be in two different places and he will be two different men. Maybe if you think of more places he will be more men, but two is enough for now. ― Elmore Leonard, Valdez Is Coming

You don't fight fascism because you're going to win. You fight fascism because it is fascist. - Jean-Paul Sartre 


River City is all a twitter because the WWE is coming to town. Trump is going to be at Freedom Hall this evening, giving his supporters, followers, worshipers, and the underbelly of bigots, racists, white power inbreeds, and generally all around delusional people a chance to catch a glimpse of the Mighty Orange Man himself.

There will also be protesters, I'm sure. Trump attracts a lot of attention, and he has done a lot to stir the pot in the last week. In releasing his budget proposal, he has done pretty much what he said he would do. He's proposing to eliminate funding for PBS, NPR, the NEA, Amtrak, and Meals on Wheels. The first three he talked about copiously on the campaign trail. That anyone is surprised now is only proof that
  1. they didn't REALLY pay attention, and
  2. they lulled themselves into complacency because that's what most liberals do.
And of course, the calls to call our congress people -- most of whom are Republicans who have had a grudge against PBS, NPR, the NEA, and Amtrak for years --  have been put forth like mighty beacons. Now, they say, is the time to act. Now, we can save democracy. Now we can protect the arts and the cultural soul of America.

Please.

If those hatchet men and warmongers want to put cultural institutions under the ax, they will. They have been for years.  The only difference is, now we have a president who, for all of the oozing evil he's unleashed, is an honest representation of who we are as country. There's no more delusion. As Plato pointed out in the mouth of his state-murdered teacher, Socrates, democracy most often falls back into dictatorship. In our case, we've got a festering form of fascism that's been part of the American psyche since the Puritans came here believing God gave them this land -- in spite of the fact that there were well established cultures living here already.  This same fascism bubbled to the surface in the mid 1800's (See also: The Know-Nothings). It's bubbled up other times, too.

We've allowed the oligarchs to hold power by turning a blind eye to the exploitation that has made them wealthy and let them control the language and the narrative by which we could condemn them. Those in the best position to truly articulate what is wrong with all this -- artists -- have always been the cross hairs. This too, is nothing new. The moneyed elite always seek to control the arts, whether it's by making it commodity, or by controlling purse strings.

If you're angry about these things, please consider the words of poet Robinson Jeffers , written in 1941:

Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.


Our hope -- the only hope really -- is knowing and having faith in the fact that art lasts longer than culture as long as we keep making art and keep passing it on. Art will outlast the dictators as long we pass on the knowledge to make art. Art will outlast because art always does... because someday, art eventually becomes the true historical record of a culture... not manufactured propaganda.

Just remember: your art is more than just a hobby. It is more than a weapon against fascism (which it absolutely is). Your art is part of the long memory. It is bigger than all of us, bigger than the institutions that were supposed to safe guard, and bigger than the engorged ego of one orange fascist and his fans. 

Get to it.



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31 January, 2017

Letters from Trumplandia: laying the groundwork

Self-erasure is a harsh religion. - from travel journal


I have to remind myself sometimes that in spite of what I think of my general sense of discontent, my own life is pretty good.

When I was younger, and probably smarter though not as wise*, I told myself that my sense of discontent was what drove my writing.  I blamed a small town childhood filled with social isolation and religion. I blamed the death of my father. I eventually cast wider nets and blamed my discontent on the state of the world, the sense of decay I saw in everything around me. I blamed my high school guidance counselor for the Three Card Monte fashion in which she preached about the importance of a college degree to achieving the American Dream. I blamed the American Dream for being fake.

Something in me when I was younger insisted on seeing the worst in things, and I would silently condemn my elders for acting as though nothing was wrong when everything seemed ravaged, burned, and abandoned. I wrapped myself in anger and discontent and I wrote about it. When I was writing about how angry and discontent I was, I would drink and think about how I'd somehow missed the train that every American boy was supposed to catch. At times, I blamed my father for having the audacity to die before imparting any of the wisdom I thought I was entitled to before being pushed into the world.

Yes, pushed. I was pushed. 

Because left to my own devices, I would have cloistered myself off years ago, wrapped in my self-righteous blanket of anger and discontent, ranting to the silence for its own sake. I would not have faced the world on my own because I'd drawn such a dim view of it that it I would have dismissed it out of hand.

Next month I turn 44 years old, and the world has become the world of monsters I imagined it was when I was young.  The culture wars are on fire, thanks to the gasoline poured on by our Fascist-in-Chief.  His supporters are loving him now because he has moved on pretty much every single campaign promise he made. To be fair, I don't know if he's signing more executive orders in the first 100 days than any of his predecessors or if he just signs them in front of television cameras. But I do know that politics is a three ring circus and Trump is the Ringmaster of all Ringmasters; and whatever is going on, I feel like making him roll up his sleeves to check for an arm full of aces.

The art of the deal is pretty much the same thing as the art of the con. It's all slight of hand and misdirection. And while Trump and his lackeys embolden the Proud Boys and Alt-Reich Evangelists to do the dirty work of cultural purification, he is slowly whitewashing America with one hand and jerking off with the other.

In spite of all this, however, I think it's important to remind myself that even as monsters walk the earth in human skin suits, that my life is pretty good. My primary goals have pretty much always been the same since I was 19 or 20:

  • write,
  • reject workaday time clocks and the masters behind them,
  • walk through the world at my own rhythm,
  • try to be useful,
  • work to be honorable, and
  • stand up for what I believe.

Along the way I've also found the love of my life and figured out how to be an ok father.

One of the most challenging parts of it all is to accept that while I could easily cloister myself and ignore the world, that my desire to do so is fueled by ego. To turn away and dismiss everything would mean that I have it all figured out. There's an arrogance to that notion which is toxic to not only the world, but to myself and to the life I am continuing to build.

The internal workings of my life are actually pretty good, and I'm grateful for that. I am lucky to be married to someone who loves me as I am and who I adore with all my strength and the marrow in my bones. I'm still writing.  I have clients and deadlines, but these are things I establish and set for myself. I am trying to be useful and I work to be live an honorable life (although it's more challenging for me than maybe for some other people I know).  Because the internal workings of my life are what they are, I have the ability to stand up for what I believe and do what I think is right.

These are the rights and privileges of a free person, and I have taken my freedom back from those who would take it from me -- bosses, politicians, punks, thugs, and lackeys of powermongers. And it's only because I understand that freedom is something we must take back -- not something that is conferred upon by the high offices of human institutions -- that I know it's not just about me, and never has been.

___________________________________________________________________
*Not that I'm all that wise now. Most days I vacillate
between feeling incredibly stupid and three steps behind enlightenment.

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20 January, 2017

Il est Trumplandia: No quarter given

With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.  -- William Lloyd Garrison

I should have taken that bet with Kenny Rose, a former colleague at U of L who I shared office space with in the basement. I should have taken the bet, but I didn't want some messed karmic consequence for calling the election a year ahead.

I should have that kind of luck with the horses.

Back when people -- mainly centrist liberals and conservatives --  were insisting that Donald Trump could never win a presidential election I pointed out that national elections are, for the most part, popularity contests. I also pointed out that Trump had made a career of selling everything from overpriced real estate to himself.

Still, I was told: it would never happen.

Well, we're here now, working on how to move forward in this, the Grand Republic of Trumplandia.

I have friends, comrades, and former colleagues who have taken to the streets today in Washington,
From Reuters
D.C. I wonder why I'm not there with them. When I'm being honest, I'm not sure I have much faith in the actual impact of street protests. I do believe that direct action works best, and sometimes that many require taking to the streets.  For me, though, the work is here. I don't know what kind of impact I could have on the street in D.C.  I do know what kind of things there are here in River City to do. We have our own little fascistas here. We have people who will be targeted by them after being emboldened by a new President who cares nothing for already targeted communities. We have mountains and trees and already polluted rivers that will need stewardship in the wake of President Trump's disdain for climate change science.

We have the poor. We have the homeless. There are battles here.

And if the early reports are true and Trump intends to eliminate The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, then I really have work to do.

And so does everyone else who writes, who plays music, who creates art of any kind. The work is wherever you are.

_____________________________________________________________________________

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26 July, 2016

Evolution for the hell of it

Pliny the Elder, who when Rome was burning requested Nero to play You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille, never got a dinner! - Red Buttons 


The problem with most revolutions is that they end up crushed under the weight of their own sense of nostalgia.

If the political season has reinforced anything for me, it is that I should be leery of political leaders crying out for revolution -- especially leaders calling for "revolution" within the structure of an institution (read: voting) that was meant, from the beginning, to avoid the previously aforementioned revolutions.

One friend of mine, whose political astuteness I respect even if I don't always agree with him, has been talking about the problem of ideological purity in the DNC. I was not able to make it to Philadelphia for the donkey circus like I did  to Cleveland to sit sideline and watch corporate media facilitate the very frenzy The Orange Il Duce described in his 75 minute prophesy of doom (read: nomination acceptance speech). The Bernie or Busters are busting a gut and threatening to go Green.

This is bringing the Nader bashers out in Memeworld -- poor, statistically inept souls who think somehow that Bush II only won the first time because Nader had the temerity to run for President in spite of the two party system. Claims by Bush I supporters that  Texas billionaire crack pot Ross Perot cost Bush a second term have been roundly debunked.  The problem with any recent third push, as far as a I can tell, isn't in the desire for a viable response to a broken two party system. The problem is that they never try and build from the ground up. The Green Party doesn't spend money on local, state, and federal elections. They go for the Big Chair on Pennsylvania Avenue. The problem isn't that Jill Stein will split the progressive vote. The problem is that the Green Party lacks a strong enough base to knock either corporate party off it's feet.

There are a lot of calls for unity behind the now coronated presumptive Queen Hillary, whose only smart move has been to pick a VP who at least knows how to play the harmonica. Meanwhile, journalists are arrested the DNC -- which, for all of it's circus and foreboding fascist themes, did not happen at the RNC.  Having seen how local law enforcement tone can have an impact on these situations, I am more inclined to put this off on Philadelphia's Police Department than I am the Democratic Party. Then again, corporate media outlets, the blogosphere, and memeworld have been brewing up a fight since Bernie Sanders first conceded the race and endorsed Hillary Clinton.

I'm more inclined at this point, rather than calling it for one political hack or another, to pick up my guitar and play a little music. Then I'm going to go write a poem. Then I might weed the garden. I could get angry at politicians behaving like politicians, or at corporate media acting like corporate media. I could sacrifice my ideological stance in the name of being on the winning team*.

Or, I could go camping.

Yeah. Camping sounds good.

______________________________________________________________________________
* #GoTeamFascist


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24 June, 2016

You say you want a revolution


 We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Modern folk like acronyms. They're a kind mnemonic, except that instead helping someone to remember more, they make the memory flaccid. Grammar purists rail against texting shorthand, but linguistic tidbits like LOL are the natural outcropping of an language that grows organically by assimilating bits and pieces of other languages. Language is itself a reduction -- an attempt to precisely describe internal observations and experiences to an outside audience -- even if the only audience is the self. 
The problem comes when this natural tendency to reduce the intellect and the imagination to simple utterances expands to attempting to reduce complex sociopolitical concepts into soundbites and slogans. George Orwell illuminated this phenomena quite clearly in 1984. Unfortunately, no modern political season would be quite the cluster fuck it is without jingoism to propel the masses:

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
GIVE 'EM HIL
BERNIE OR BUST
This political season, like every political season, is developing with an operatic flair. In 2008 it was marriage equality and war that drove the bases of the two major American political parties to spin narratives and drive people to the polls. This political season, we're worrying about which public restroom people use -- which is being used to fuel a fascist culture war masking itself as a wanna be religious crusade*. 
The other tent poll spin doctors on both sides of the isle are using to muster and manipulate the voting public is still war. Of course, the war has come home -- as war always does, one way or another. 

The Orlando massacre was just the latest in what a long string of horrific acts that have given both gun toters and gun moaners plenty of ammunition. Our own burgeoning Il Duce, Donald "The Don" Trump**, in wake of more facts about the Orlando shooting coming out that contradict his hip-shot twit tweet about being right on terrorism, declared that if everyone at Pulse had been carrying a gun, the shooting wouldn't have happened.*** 

Violence is the symptom of another sickness. Sometimes it erupts and makes the international news cycle. Sometimes it slides in and out of memeworld, like the San Diego cheerleader who helped her boyfriend kill George Lowery.  A lot of it is lost in the local police blotters and crime statistics.

People who have signed on for Trump and who are shuffling in line behind Hillary each have a vision for the country and they're selling their visions to an American public that is soul tired and looking to blame anyone or anything they can reach out and touch. For the Trumpites, Mexicans, Liberals, the LGBTQIA Community, and "terrorists"^ are to blame. For the Hillarians, the jingoism has been honed down to a single hashtag:

#nevertrump

An interesting thing is happening, though, as this election year rolls on. Instead of creating new jingoisms and slogans, both the Democratic and the Republican Party are using pretty much the same language to move their armies into action. The rhetoric on both sides is steeped in nostalgia and historical inaccuracy. If there is a difference, it is that Trumpites believe to core. Hillarians have embraced the very cynicism that many on the left have accused the republicans of for years. They want the status quo -- which, in this case, is the very same Neoliberal economic policy that has destroyed South America, is ripping apart the European Union, and will eventually decimate what's left of the Democratic impulse in American culture. Trumpites want their America to be pure, unfettered, and held unaccountable for any of backlash caused by xenophobia, nationalism, warmongering, and greed -- all of which are avenues of violence.

Each sides claims it wants a revolution. But the options they are giving us are not worlds I want my grandchildren to inherit.

If there is a revolution worth having, it is a revolution that rejects violence, rejects, greed, rejects warmongering, and rejects petty hatred based on culture, on sexual orientation, or even on language.

On the whole, however, revolution is almost a complete waste of time. Nearly every battle engaged in ends in loss. You see people's strong words shrink to cowardice actions. If you hold your ideals close, you'll risk losing everything on a long shot gamble that history will vindicate your losses. But losses are never vindicated. They are only counted or ignored.

However, revolution is not a total waste of time for the simple fact that a lot of people have to lose in order for the right people to come along and win it for everyone.
________________________________________________
*For those of your unfamiliar with the Aryan Paragraph, you may want to read up on it.Here's a bit pulled from the Wikipedia Page on the Confessing Church -- or the German Lutheran Church that defied Hitler:
On 13 November 1933 a rally of German Christians was held at the Berlin Sportpalast, where — before a packed hall — banners proclaimed the unity of National Socialism and Christianity, interspersed with the omnipresent swastikas. A series of speakers[29] addressed the crowd's pro-Nazi sentiments with ideas such as:
  • the removal of all pastors unsympathetic with National Socialism
  • the expulsion of members of Jewish descent, who might be arrogated to a separate church
  • the implementation of the Aryan Paragraph church-wide
  • the removal of the Old Testament from the Bible
  • the removal of "non-German" elements from religious services
  • the adoption of a more "heroic" and "positive" interpretation of Jesus, who in pro-Aryan fashion should be portrayed to be battling mightily against corrupt Jewish influences.[30]
** For those who might think that I, like Dear Bernie, am declaring my allegiance to Hillary Clinton, nothing is further from the truth. The Don could very well be our first unfettered fascist leader if he's elected. Mrs. Clinton is no salve to solve the problems that have led to the resurgence of far right extremism in America. She is a product of the very same system. That she is simply an uninspired Neoliberal (read: disaster capitalist) rather than someone who can inspire and feed every violent human impulse, wrap it in nostalgia and patriotism, and call it America.
*** Because guns, booze, and sexual energy are really very good together.  Sounds just like a Dick Cheney hunting vacation.
^As defined by whatever segment of the population is more poplar to hate at any given moment.
 
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