Friday, August 5, 2016

YOUR CHOICE: POLITICS AS ETHICS OR SPORT?

Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka

I woke up in a bad mood today. Then seeing that Jill Stein has cut though the bull of the current U.S. Presidential campaign by taking on Ajamu Baraka as a VP candidate made my day. I feel great.

As we should all know by now if we can read or understand WikiLeaks revelations, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the same beast in different costumes. The Donald's costume is all male and prickly. Hillary's costume is all grouchy mom who knows better and enables her lovable errant husband. The reality for both is that they subscribe to American Exceptionalism and The Almighty Dollar. They both believe bombing our way to a position of superiority is preferable to minding our own goddam business. They support self-aggrandizing moguls (Warren Buffett or George Soros. anyone?)  and hedge funders who bet on the nasty things they do to get even richer.

The Trump-vs-Hillary paradigm has become the usual social media pissing contest. Snarky GIF's and equally snarky retorts. All of it is very high school actually. I am ashamed of my occasional impulse to get dragged into it. After all, unarmed Black kids are getting shot, and the police lobbies seem clueless about the need for gun control. Drug cartels are boosting heroin cheaper than beer. Labor unions are becoming the new corrupting elite. Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the big banks are conspiring to keep you poorer and themselves richer. And the Federal government is helping them all do it in the name of fake free-market capitalism.

So, do you really have time to fart around on Facebook to win points against your "friends" by being cooler, more politically correct or more trendy?

The Green Party is offering you two sane candidates. The Presidential candidate, Jill Stein, is an experienced politician who has run for office before. She understands government. She is a physician. She believes in environmental activism, pacifism and social/economic justice. She is neither flashy nor flighty. In fact, she is so level-headed, she seems a bit boring, but I like that. In my experience, the boring people are the ones who do all the heavy lifting in society.

Ajamu Baraka, a Chicago human rights campaigner, is African-American. He has worked primarily in the non-profit sector. He is neither radical nor overly conciliatory on human rights and pacifism. He is strongly against the militarism in our country's foreign policy, something that Hillary Clinton is known to strongly support. He has openly criticized some Black leaders for being too ready to court White power. He has advocated for victims of natural disaster, like Hurricane Katrina. His position has been based in the ethical need to care for our own citizens first, before adopting the whole world or sticking our nose in. Amen to that. He also opposes our politicians' unseemly relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Most developed parliamentary democracies have versions of the Green Party in government. We do not. What does that say about us? What does that say about our commitment to the planet? What does that say about our political and social priorities? What does it say about our commitment to each other? It says that money is ruling this country.

I believe that politics should not be a spectator sport between two teams, despite the media's penchant to promote them this way to us in America. This is a way in which the powerful and corrupt party insiders dominate us. It has worked well for them for a long time. They will not willingly surrender the power to the people. The people will have to change politics in this country by voting on issues and conscience, not betting on outcomes.


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