A Time to Resist
by Ron Gavalik on November 7th, 2016

It's Monday evening, November 7, 2016. I just got off the phone from a call with a Democratic Party pollster. Here's how it went:

Me: Hello.
Pollster: Is this Ron Gavalik?
Me: Who's calling, please?
Pollster: I'm [insert name] with the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Me: *sighs* Oh, brother...
Pollster: Do you have a minute to talk?
Me: I'm sitting on the can, so sure.
Pollster: Excuse me?
Me: For God's sakes...I'm taking a shit. What?
Pollster: I have you on my roles as a likely Hillary voter.
Me: Oh, do you, now?
Pollster: Is that correct?
Me: *laughs* That's rich.
Pollster: Rich?
Me: Yeah, that's rich.
Pollster: Does that mean it's correct.
Me: It means I don't vote for Social Security privatizers.
Pollster: I still not sure what you mean.
Me: I know... Sad, huh?
Pollster: If you say so.
Me: I am voting for Dr. Jill Stein. I encourage you to do the same.
Pollster: I'm in New York, so I've heard of people swapping votes.
Me: No swapping, man, just be a citizen.
Pollster: I believe a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump.
Me: And I believe a vote for Clinton is a vote for war and death.
Pollster: Ok then.
Me: And you know it, too, don't you?
Pollster: We need to defeat Trump.
Me: You don't give a damn about the people.
Pollster: Ok, sir. Have a good night.
Me: Yeah. Don't call here again until you've come to your senses.

That, my friends, is precisely how I feel about every single Democratic voter in this election cycle. They've allowed themselves to be tricked out by the splendor of party success. Some of these otherwise decent people have ignored the Democrats' war crimes in Libya, in supporting Saudi Arabia, or in multiple other regions. Some of them actually support the natural racism that comes with a corporate-capitalist domestic policy. Some of them just throw out progressive values for the fear of an orange orangutan. Regardless, I have no time for them or their corporate party's agenda.

Civics, it's not just for ninth graders

Across the country there are people of determined moral character who assign momentous importance to American politics. In most of my published free verse, the poems and written moments are laced with political perspectives. In conversations among friends and colleagues, all topics, no matter how exciting or mundane, always come back around to political philosophy. We agree, the United States is an idea, too often mistaken for a simple land mass. That ever-fragile idea of freedom from tyrannical aristocrats requires thoughtful men and women to come together in exploration of our civic lives. Study. Debate. Empathy. Humor. Love. Courage. Devotion. These are the attributes of politics that define our pleasures and pains. Citizens, in the duty and privilege that title carries, are the only organic mechanisms that keep democracy from falling into the dark temptations of totalitarianism.

Unfortunately, far too many of our fellow citizens have given up on civic life. Men and women in every voting demographic continuously trade the scholarly ideals of democracy for the ignorant sledgehammer of authoritarianism that is now represented by the financial and political establishments within both major political parties.

Financially crippled by the back-breaking greed of corporate oligarchy, too many good people have grown enraged over anti-politic topics. Womanizing, hairdos, clothing choices, tweets, and other non-legislative issues have dominated the realm of what the media sets as the limits of acceptable debate. Without the mental capacity to understand the complexities of global warming, terrible trade deals, or rapidly changing race and religious demographics, many citizens search for easy scapegoats and "pied-pipers" at which to direct their resentment.

Rather than point the finger at the swelled power of the corporate state, Americans of low political and economic comprehension have unleashed a violent fury at the abstract specter of terrorism or racism or sexism or an increased non-white population. In a fog of seething rage, our sense of justice is faded, and with it, intellectualism, and the pursuit of truth.

The celebration of our lack of knowledge, reactionary terror, and the desire to oppress change through violence has come to a head under the the presidential candidacies of a charismatic moron: Donald Trump (a.k.a. Drumpf) and a total corporate fascist: Hillary Clinton. Believe it or not, these petty, privileged, sideshows of the corporate state have awakened the demons within us that will haunt our nightmares for years to come.

Wherever you are, welcome to America in 2016

All I can ask of anyone who reads this blog is to remember, no matter who wins this presidential election, real progressives will have to fight hard for our values. The planet is only growing more unstable. The few social public trusts we have left are under constant attack. It's easy to get behind a candidate and defend them at all costs while ignoring their sins. It's more challenging, much more challenging to hold accountable these vain and venial politicos.

I'll be proudly casting my vote tomorrow afternoon for Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party. In my view, investing my vote in the nation's only progressive party is a no-brainer. I encourage you all to review the Green New Deal. If after reading, you can honestly say that you do not support such initiatives, fine, go vote and support one of Goldman Sachs' candidates. (They prefer Clinton, in case you're wondering.)

But if you identify with the green plan, for the love of everything holy, vote for it. Don't give in to the propaganda of strategic voting or the fear of Trump or the fear of Clinton. Don't let anyone tell you how to think or how to live. Your decisions and choices on how to live a civic life is entirely in your hands.

We can make a difference, if we do it together.

Posted in Disobey. Resist. Fight.    Tagged with Jill Stein, JillNotHill, Hillary Clinton, Totalitarianism, Authoritarianism, Fascism, American Fascism