Wednesday, November 16, 2016

☯ Silence Is Dangerous

Where do we go from here?

              This election hit me hard. I had planned on writing a piece about what strategy Progressives should take when dealing with a center-right Clinton Administration. Needless to say, that piece went straight out the window around 9:30ish Tuesday night. 11/8/2016. It's a night I don't think I'll ever forget. I sat and watched in horror as the most dangerous demagogue to ever run for President of the United States received the necessary number of electoral college votes to claim the office. I honestly couldn't believe it was happening. How could we elect this spray tan monster to the highest office in the country, and arguably the most powerful position in the world? I'm still not quite sure.

               To be honest, this whole election cycle was about so much more than a Trump victory and a Clinton loss. This election was about lies, manipulation, hate, fear, anger, ignorance, and hubris. The thing that really stood out to me, maybe above all else, was the stunning way in which the Democratic Party simply ignored the voices of millions of people. They did this willfully and with full knowledge of what they were doing. They thought they could coast to victory on rhetoric about Donald Trump, while intentionally not discussing or highlighting policy. Some of the reason they may have done that is because half of Clinton's policies would have been very beneficial to party and financial elites. I'm positive she would have pushed for TPP, and more intervention in relation to foreign policy.

               Countless pieces have been written about the policies of the Clinton campaign and the horrifying and non-existent policies of the Trump campaign (now administration, I suppose) so I don't want to relitigate the election. I want to focus on where we go from here. After a couple of days of wallowing in the mire of the reality of th situation, I began to see small slivers of hope in the future. This is not the way I hoped things would have played out, but I do believe there can be a small island of good in this ocean of darkness.

First: let's dismantle the establishment of the Democratic Party and rebuild it. The Clintons, and even Obama (to an extent) have spent 20 years talking the party to the right. That time has now passed. Their way was an abject failure. There is no way around that truth for the remains of the party now, so this is our time to change it.
Second: We need to organize and make our voices heard. There is one truth that rings louder now than ever before: SILENCE IS DANGEROUS. We cannot be silent. Every group that is non- white, male, or christian is going to be under vicious attack and we cannot stand by and allow it to happen. We need to continue to protest, we need to continue to speak out, but most of all we need to get out and fucking VOTE. Vote for progressives in local, state, and national election. If you can, go out and run for something. Work to change local governance, and work to build a real progressive movement to take back the Congress in 2018, and the White house in 2020.
Third: This is the most important one, get money out of politics. Real change will be  nearly impossible as long as there is an unlimited flow of money into politics. Trump has said he wants to "drain the cesspool" of corruption in Washington, but anyone with half a brain knows he won't do a damn thing about it, but we can do something about it. We can change the status quo. For more in depth information and an action plan visit .

              Of course, I am sure many people have a million other valid ideas as well, these are just a launching point. I find them to be a good motivator to keep me from losing sight of the goal of a more fair and just society.

              Now that all of that is out of the way I want to leave you with these thoughts. This is going to be a tough time for those of us who do not fall into the traditional power group of white christian men. It is also going to be hell for anyone with a conscience, but life does indeed go on. This whole election and its aftermath have reminded me how much I love this country and how much I hurt when it doesn't live up to the ideals I have always attributed to it.

               I want everyone to remember how powerful love is. No matter how much hate is thrown our way, we must continue to love one another. To those in the African American community, I love you and will stand proudly with you as we go through these next few years. To those in the LGBTQ community, I love you and will stand and fight with you to make sure you keep your rights and are respected as you deserve. To the Hispanic and Latino community, of which I am a member, we must stand together with the other communities and I believe they will stand with us, because they love us too. Together we can persevere, we can be the change that we so desire. Together we can make the world a little less dim.

As a parting gift, I'll leave you with my favorite scene from Synecdoche, New York. I'm not sure why, but it always makes me feel better.

Funeral Monologue : Synecdoche, New York
Funeral Monologue from Synecdoche, New York

Post by: Austin Colón: musician, activist, freelance writer

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

● Who To Blame for Trump


#WhoToBlame #2016

Who To Blame for Trump: in order . . .
  1. GOP & the donor class - obviously
  2. The Corporate Media - for its corporate bias
  3. Republican Voters - obviously
  4. liberal non-voters - for masking laziness with self-righteousness *
  5. conservative non-voters - for having opinions
  6. The DNC - for sabotaging their best candidate
  7. Centrist Democratic Voters in the primaries - for ignoring the issues, strategy, and what it means to be liberal
  8. conservative 3rd party voters - for voting while not believing in it
  9. liberal 3rd party voters (in swing states) - for feeling good about doing nothing to stop this tragedy on the one day they could’ve done something
  10. ourselves - for not doing enough
* If you’re in a non-swing-state, that’s
  understandable. But, a Green Party
  vote, in that case, would make more
  of a statement, than doing nothing.
* If you don't believe in voting, you're

Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist

Monday, November 7, 2016

● Progressives: Right in the Primaries, Wrong on the 8th

Yes democratic progressives, you were right during the primaries. You were right to vote for Bernie Sanders, both on the issues and strategically. We know now and we knew at the time, that the polls showed that Bernie would do better than Hillary in the general election against Trump. If independents could’ve voted, Bernie would’ve won. If Bernie had gotten half the media time as Hillary or Trump, Bernie would’ve won. If the democratic party didn’t funnel money and resources (designated for both campaigns) to Hillary, Bernie would’ve won. If the democratic party didn’t sabotage Bernie’s campaign, he would’ve won. I agree with Jill Stein on practically every issue. I voted for her (in a non-swing-state) in 2012. Yes, you were right to vote for Bernie in the primaries! It’s true that the corporate centrist democrats and the racist republicans put us in this horrible position.

If you wanted to have hope months ago that Jill Stein had a chance, that’s fine and even good, but not now. Polls are not 100% right, but they can be trusted to a degree, and Jill Stein will NOT win this election. There are the issues and there is strategy. Now is the time for strategy. If you’re serious about supporting the Green Party, make a vow for the next 4 years, and start on November 9th.

Hillary is a corporatist, but Trump is a new level of danger to our democracy. He talks like every dictator rising to power. So, don’t be surprised when he starts arresting journalists, because he said he would. He will resort to violence. He said he would. Dictators are idiots, who don’t know how to govern rationally. They are good at rallying crowds and rolling back rights, but not even Trump understands how bad he will be in office. But, those of us who know what dictators sound like, are fully aware of the danger. The famous last words of people who elect tyrants, “We never thought it could get that bad.”

So, if you are in anything remotely resembling a swing state, and you don’t vote against Trump by voting for Hillary, you are flirting with the worst case scenario. Progressives, we have to be humble. We lost this one. The question on the 8th is, how badly do we want to lose. Trump is a loss we may never come back from. You can disagree with Jill Stein on one thing. Make sure Trump doesn’t win. Join Jill Stein and the Green Party on the 9th and do the hard work of fighting for the next four years, or hopefully, for the rest of our lives, in an environment in which we are able to fight.

Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist