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Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:54 PM

Revolution

“I’m flexible. As was stated earlier, all of the countries that are emerging today from under the shackles of colonialism are turning towards socialism. I don’t think it’s an accident.”
-- Malcolm X


“In my opinion, the younger generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living in a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change, and a better world has to be built.”
-- Malcolm X


“America is the only country in history in a position to bring about a revolution without violence and bloodshed.”
-- Malcolm X


In my opinion, we could benefit from an open and honest discussion of the concepts of political revolution, socialism, and the role of young people in social-political activism. I think it would be good for everyone who wants to make advances in social justice in this country. It has the potential to promote understanding between members of the Clinton and Sanders campaigns, regarding beliefs, values, and tactics. While we might not agree on everything -- including which candidate we support in the primaries -- there is a real chance that some common ground will come into view. Equally important, it may help prevent our differences in opinions and values from further dividing us.

Peace,
H2O Man

29 replies, 2035 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Revolution (Original post)
H2O Man Feb 2016 OP
daleanime Feb 2016 #1
H2O Man Feb 2016 #5
Jefferson23 Feb 2016 #6
H2O Man Feb 2016 #8
daleanime Feb 2016 #10
byronius Feb 2016 #21
Moostache Feb 2016 #22
TCJ70 Feb 2016 #2
H2O Man Feb 2016 #7
TCJ70 Feb 2016 #11
NCTraveler Feb 2016 #3
H2O Man Feb 2016 #14
bigtree Feb 2016 #4
H2O Man Feb 2016 #15
cali Feb 2016 #9
H2O Man Feb 2016 #16
Old Codger Feb 2016 #12
H2O Man Feb 2016 #17
Hortensis Feb 2016 #13
H2O Man Feb 2016 #18
Gregorian Feb 2016 #19
H2O Man Feb 2016 #23
wouldsman Feb 2016 #20
H2O Man Feb 2016 #24
Peace Patriot Feb 2016 #25
questionseverything Feb 2016 #26
H2O Man Feb 2016 #28
questionseverything Feb 2016 #29
H2O Man Feb 2016 #27

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:01 PM

1. It would be nice, but there's a fundamental difference that's hard to over look...

what place does money have in this discuss? Should it be allowed to continue to lead the conversation, or do we take that away from it?

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Response to daleanime (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:19 PM

5. Great point.

A serious discussion has to include the role of the dollar. Malcolm, of course, spoke openly about the influence of "dollarism" ....from the very negative role that "big money" played in American politics, to the positive potential of people at the grass roots level putting their "small change" together for a common cause. And that is certainly a central force in the current primary contest.

Hopefully, at very least, everyone here can agree on the absolute need for changes in campaign financing. And that corporations are not people.

Still, campaigns do cost money. It would seem that, no matter which Democratic candidate that people support right now, there should be respect for the way that Senator Sanders is financing his campaign. It's a model that needs to be used now -- until we can change the laws -- at every level, from local to state to national elections.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:31 PM

6. +1. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:32 PM

8. Thanks, Jefferson23.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:40 PM

10. Public funding.....

one of many changes we have to have.

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Response to daleanime (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 04:29 PM

21. +1,000,000

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 05:18 PM

22. There are several steps that need to be made to repair the current system...

Last edited Wed Feb 3, 2016, 05:52 PM - Edit history (1)

Top of the list is campaign finance law and a very close second is closing the revolving door between public office and private lobbyist.

My top 3 electoral priorities?

1) Term limits

- no more than 12 consecutive years in any legislative position
- 6 terms as a Representative
- 2 terms as a Senator
- 3 terms as a President

Logistics of running the Congress would be imparted to a non-partisan board of former members

12 years is PLENTY of time to achieve your aims; and if not, then there is a reason your ideas lack support to become law; I would allow the people of the states to send a term limited Representative to DC as a Senator, but only for the requisite 12 year maximum there as well and only after being out of office for one Congress (2 year election cycle).

Any sitting Representative or Senator wishing to pursue the Presidency would have to resign their seat by the start of the Congress preceding the Presidential election....so if Rubio, Paul, Cruz, et. al. would have had to resign to run. You either want to be President or you want to be Senator but "career politician" as a job title would be going bye-bye....

2) Lobbyist Limitations

No former legislator of any position would be eligible for a registered lobbyist position or any other position of legislative influence for 10 years after the expiration of the term limit from starting in office. A one-term congressman would be ineligible to lobby until 20 years after he took his seat. I would end the horse trading of votes for projects in favor of "being taken care of" by special interest groups IMMEDIATELY.

Vote your conscience, vote the will of your constituents, vote by freaking coin flip if you want....but voting in favor of securing favors from lobbyists and think tanks and political supporters at the expense of your district? No more.

3) Campaign Finance Laws

100% publically funded elections, with time bounded limits for campaigning (120 days prior to any primary, 60 days prior to an general election). No more permanent campaigns. No more arriving in DC on Sunday, getting the office set up on Monday and proceed to raise funds for the next 729 days!

We need to recognize that SPEECH does NOT = MONEY....INFLUENCE = MONEY.

Campaigns should be limited, publicly funded, time-bounded and inviolate. Attempts to influence the outcomes with undue, underhanded and monetary means should be among the most serious crimes against the state we have and should carry truly consequential penalties for the guilty.

One last thing....Election "day" should be spread out over the course of a national holiday and weekend to allow access to EVERYONE who is a citizen of the United States and of the eligible age to cast ballots by whatever means necessary. Electronic voting machines would only be allowed if they utilize open source coding that can be verified by candidate's and political party representatives AND that retain a paper record of their tabulations....otherwise, we vote on paper ballots, period.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:07 PM

2. I can only speak for myself...

...but at this point it would take a lot for Hillary to win me over. I see Bernie's message of involvement, ground up change, and focus on removing corruption as a better way forward. Hillary just seems like too much more of the same to me and too embedded in the system that is so frustrating to me.

There's a lot of focus on who can get more done, but neither of them can get much done if political representatives are still bought and paid for. That's why Bernie's platform and message are so much more important.

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Response to TCJ70 (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:31 PM

7. Thank you.

I appreciate your sincere response to the OP. Exactly as you note, each of us can really only speak for him/herself. Yet, it is evident that a sizable number of people on this forum think in a very similar way as you do.

Too often, elections at all levels present voters with the old "lesser of two evils" to choose between. And it is really difficult -- if not impossible -- to energize large numbers of people to participate in getting out the vote in those circumstances. More, so long as "big money" dictates our political options, that is exactly the type of contests that the public will be served.

In saying this, I am not suggesting that I view Ms. Clinton as simply that lesser of two evils. But I understand that a lot of good people do. While open and honest discussions may not change that perception, they are still essential for everyone involved.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:40 PM

11. No need to thank me...

...you opened the conversation in a good way and that deserves a thought out response.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:11 PM

3. I think we should be able to have that conversation as well.

 

While now would seem to be the perfect time for it, it's not. Reason, things are simply too personal right now and we are in the middle of a game where there are winners and losers. There is simply too much misdirection during the primary season to have such a big conversation that has to involve honesty or openness from all involved.

That said, I would like to hit on some points you mention.

Revolution. Revolution is not necessary in any way to move toward a more "socialist" society. I would argue we are slowly headed in that direction. The trend will continue and it will be slow. The greatness of the US is in it's slow approach. It keeps consistency from year to year while drastic changes are shown over time.

Youth. We must always go for young people and do so aggressively, making their participation in the process easier at every turn. There is one difference in youth that is factual throughout history. They fear change the least and have the least to lose from change if that change also incurs some form of wrath. They are also often a blank slate. Groups, good and bad, with different views than are often seen; aggressively go after the youth. The KKK was notorious for going aggressively after young people. Revolutionaries throughout history, both good and bad, are well known for aggressively going after the youth.

"Socialism" I believe we are headed closer to that direction. Revolution simply isn't necessary to get us there. So what do I think will? People like Sanders out there every day talking about Medicare for all or universal healthcare. Just talking about them builds support. Example. LGBGT rights. Equality. The changes over the last decades in this area have come at great cost and very slowly. But the movement kept going as we knew it was the right thing to do. Probably one of the greatest grassroots movements in history. It wasn't a revolution. It is paying off. The language and discussion itself shaped society.

Talking about social issues in a responsible way builds ground support. In my opinion, within the next ten to twenty years, the people of this country will demand some form of healthcare as a right. It will be demanded by an overwhelming majority. It will take time. This goes for many other aspects that tend to direct us toward a more socialist form of governance.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 03:01 PM

14. Great response!

The only thing that I disagree with has to do with the timing of such conversations .....and your post documents exactly why it is important we engage in them, but illustrates how it can be done in a rational, valuable, and absolutely non-offensive manner.

Smokin' Joe Frazier used to say, "There's no right way to do wrong, and no wrong way to do right." And I think that applies with efforts at "dispute resolution." Of course, my opinion is rooted in large part from my experiences as a psychiatric social worker, who enjoyed "community crisis response." I found that many of the same approaches that were beneficial to individuals and family systems, could be successfully applied in crises involving social-political activism. So, in that sense, I am perhaps not fully objective.

Governments often exploit young adults in just the manner that you speak of. For example, while people my age tend to have "more to lose" when it comes to threats to our society, the military specifically looks for young adults -- my children's ages -- to serve. One of my sons' friends joined the military upon graduating high school, and was sent to invade Iraq. He believed his service would protect our nation from those who attacked us on 9/11.

That young man was killed by an explosive device. The largest part of his body that was recovered, and returned here for burial, was one of his hands. This influenced the way in which my sons viewed "politics." And, despite the fact that it happened in the past, it continues to influence their opinions of politicians. It remains a sore spot for them and their friends.

I appreciate your thoughtful response. And I hope that we can keep this conversation going.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:12 PM

4. thanks for inviting discussion

...I'm going to take the opportunity (if you'll indulge me), to repeat this oft-posted perspective from an impressive book I own from an equally impressive man... not a rebuttal of any kind, but an observation:

Bayard Rustin, a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, argued in his book, 'Strategies for Freedom', that for any movement to have a permanent and transforming imprint, it should have a legislative goal attached which will transcend the whims of the emotions of the moment. Describing a different struggle that America faced with the advancement of civil rights, he wrote that:

"Moral fervor can't maintain your movement, nor can the act of participation itself. There must be a genuine commitment to the advancement of the people. To have such a commitment is also to have a militant sense of responsibility, a recognition that actions have consequences which have a very real effect on the individual lives of those one seeks to advance."

"My quarrel with the "no-win" tendency in the civil rights movement (and the reason I have so designated it) parallels my quarrel with the moderates outside the movement," Rustin wrote in his book, 'Down the Line.'

"As the latter lack the vision or will for fundamental change, the former lack a realistic strategy for achieving it." he said. "For such a strategy they substitute militancy. But militancy is a matter of posture and volume and not of effect."

Another important point Rustin made in reference to unity among blacks within the movement rings true for our own diverse, progressive coalitions which have massed to march together in protest, and have advocated within and without the system (together or independently).

"In a pluralistic democracy," he wrote, "unity (among we who agree) is a meaningless goal. It is far more important to form alliances with other forces in society which share common needs and common goals, and which are in general agreement over the means to achieve them."

Achieving legislative solutions which will adequately confront the republican minority and cause them to move away from their obstinacy is no easy or certain task. That effort will, more than likely, take even more activism and advocacy, but, as long as we keep our legislative goals at the head of our demands, and form the necessary coalitions of support to advance those legislative efforts within the system, we can assume the necessary responsibility for the consequences of our actions and transform the direction of our movements from agitation to action.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 03:11 PM

15. Thanks, Buddy!

I always appreciate your contributions to the DU community .....and Rustin was a genius, someone that every grass roots activist should study closely.

One of the most important points in your post is his focus on the absolute need to find common ground -- including with those that you "disagree" with. That defines the potential for real progress to be instituted.

It's hard. No doubt about that. But the failure to do so -- especially the failure to even try -- can only lead to even harder circumstance. If we simply look at the current republican primary contestants, we find proof of exactly that.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:33 PM

9. Fantastic. Thanks

 

I love Malcolm.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 03:21 PM

16. Thank you!

It doesn't surprise me, at all, that you love Malcolm!

I remember in the early 1980's, Dick Gregory said that the United States would never understand Islam -- and hence, would continue to have conflicts with the Muslim world -- because it had never really understood what Malcolm X had been saying. I've thought of that often, in the decades since.

One of the biggest influences on my thinking was my friend Rubin, who had been friends with both Malcolm and Martin Luther King, Jr. By the time of Malcolm's murder, he and King were beginning to appreciate the benefits of coordinating their efforts. It wasn't that they thought just alike, of course. Rather, they understood that not only was there strength in unity, but that their opposition was exploiting the differences that had previously separated them.

That's a lesson we should all appreciate.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:45 PM

12. Resolving the issue

 

Of campaign finance is, I believe, one of the major snags if not the primary snag in all of this overall endeavor. The role of big money and it's almost complete influence on our political system is,I think, the most immediate pressing problem we face. They tried to do something about it with the original "dollar" on our tax returns donated to the fund, that was a reasonable first step but only a first step.. Since the citizens united decision was handed down the influence has increased in magnitudes that really boggle my mind... A major role in the need for large sums in order to run a viable campaign is staggering to say the least. Bernie has shown that it is somewhat possible to keep corporate money out but that does nothing at all to alter the fact that it is almost impossible to run any sort of competitive campaign without tons of money regardless of the source.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 03:22 PM

17. Definitely!

I agree with you 100%. Thank you for clearly defining this issue.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 02:50 PM

13. The Reagan Revolution is called a revolution

for good reason. It marked the end of the New Deal, etc., liberal and joint lib-con progressive era of redistribution of wealth and power to the various peoples of the working classes, including development of robust black middle classes.

The Reagan Revolution's conservative policies returned that money and power to a wealthy elite -- but to intensified degree. Using modern media and advertising techniques, the billionaire class amassed unprecedented GOP voter support for their takeover of America.

The pendulum swung left once again in a natural correction, and we would be seeing the effects of a much stronger liberal revolutionary wave if it wasn't slowed and opposed by the infiltration of their control into elective government annd their takeover of our legal system, and, very notably, by the influence that enormous sums money has given this class over the minds of much of the populace. They divided us and have been busily conquering.

As it is, this election we're engaged in a war with the very wealthy for the control of our nation, and extremely unfortunately, most of our conservative citizens are still fighting, whether they know it or not, for the wealthy. The anger and resentment many on the right finally feel toward the leaders who betrayed them has only lead them to support candidates spouting extreme right-wing but supposedly anti-establishment messages like Cruz and Trump -- a worsening of their problems, not progressive solutions to their problems.

Unfortunately, this is a lot more like WWII than like W's "Mission Accomplished" fantasy of sweeping in and conquering almost as soon as begun. We have to unite a majority of American voters by joining with independents and wooing the last of the moderates still left in the GOP to work with liberals to fix our nation. We have to replace ultraconservative judges by the hundreds at all levels of our court system, reform a financial structure controlled by and corrupted to serve the wealthy, strip the billionaire class of much of its wealth and the last of its ability to purchase our elections, ungerrymander our districts so that by 2022 we will hopefully have a majority of good people to Congress to continue rewriting our laws, and once again build progressive programs and supportive infrastructure designed to promote the wellbeing of the entire nation.

Revolution? No. Ground war for America, yes.


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Response to Hortensis (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 03:28 PM

18. Very well said!

Thank you very much!

Our current social system is high-tech feudalism. The self-identified "nobility" (or, 1%) seeks absolute control over the economic, the political, and the legal system. So long as they are able to exploit the differences between us, they will maintain that unhealthy control.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 03:57 PM

19. How is it different from walking?

When we're a baby we explore and learn to use our limbs. After a few experiences with a situation, a neural pathway is established in the brain. I see it as a path going through a meadow. You walk a few times, and a path is established in the grass. From then on out it's easy to just take that same path. As we're learning to walk, someone gives us some instructions, and that may establish a new and lasting pathway. So we establish patterns that become ingrained in our behavior, whether it's how to walk, or whether to fear certain things.

It seems to me that until we address very basic consciousness and awareness from other perspectives than our own, we don't make changes.

Also, along the way in life, we react to experiences which ingrain new patterns. Conclusions are drawn, and new pathways established. Walking begins to change into dysfunctional movement, due to muscular imbalances. There is no conscious behavior involved, but simple neural pathways just doing their thing. It's how we walk without thinking.

The only way I know of to start the process of restoration is to become aware of the problem. I have had solutions staring me in the face for years before taking advantage of them. Why did I not embrace them, I have asked. Usually it requires suffering before the process of transformation begins. I didn't need cancer before stopping tobacco. But even self preservation isn't guaranteed among some of us. I think information has to be in the proper form in order to alter the process from taking the path of least resistance. Let's say someone has a bank account, and for whatever reason, it's important enough to the owner that they'll allow others to suffer without so much as sharing their money to help the situation. That pretty much includes all of us. Very few people have the will to sacrifice. If more information were to suddenly appear, could it change the situation? What if the person suffering is a stranger? What if it's your child? Oh, suddenly it's worth the sacrifice.

I think fear and blindness are pretty basic to this. One bit of information would be that our health literally depends upon the way we structure our society.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 06:40 PM

23. In an interview

towards the end of his life, he noted that a leader can't hand a movement plan down to unconscious people. He said a leader wakes them up to their humanity and worth, and then they figure out their movement.

In that context, we might use your great example about "walking," to say that a lot of people -- and I include really good people -- are sleep-walking.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 04:16 PM

20. Great thread.

I would like to add that it seems like when "others" label you (in a perforative sense) a commie or socialist it is often just used as a general term to slander you while attempting to thwart positive social change.
For example, in the late 1800s if you supported the suffrage movement that made you a commie. If you supported better labor conditions you were called a commie. If you thought POC should have equal access to voting and other democratic privileges then you were called a commie. If you thought that two folks who loved each other, even if they were of different races, then they should be able to marry, then you were called a commie. If you thought two folks who loved each and wanted to get married even though they were of the same sex should be able to then you were labeled a commie.
Off course it is true that it was the commies (and socialists )that supported all of these things significantly before other liberals and progressives did. But it is unfair to suggest that just because you are ahead of the curve on social change that you are a commie or socialist. For me personally, if I want to hang out with true kindred spirits who are passionately concerned with the well being of our planet and its peoples, I have to hang with commies and socialists. I just don't find the altruistic compassionate lovers of humanity anywhere else.

I wish I was better at this online posting thing- I have a photo saved on my desk top as a reminder of this name calling. The photo appears to have been taken outside of a southern United States courthouse. There are a bunch of "good ole boys" leading a rally against interracial marriage. There are numerous professionally made signs with statements like "race mixing is communism". Looks to be late 50s early 60s vintage.

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Response to wouldsman (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 06:52 PM

24. Great point!

You raise an important point, and one that I've had a lot of experience with, over the decades. Even a few years ago, when I was first elected to the local school board, I learned that one principal had "campaigned" against me, calling me "a wild-eyed radical ...(and)....nothing but trouble." (I don't have "wild eyes."

I think our society is up to considering those "socialist" programs that Bernie Sanders is talking about. There's no good reason to attack his ideas, or the people who believe in them.

It's difficult for me to identify differences in what Bernie Sanders is saying now, and what the Pope said when he was here. I can't say that for many politicians in my lifetime.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 09:50 PM

25. Hello, H20 Man! And thank you for this thread!

I'm particularly moved by this quote:

“America is the only country in history in a position to bring about a revolution without violence and bloodshed.”
-- Malcolm X


But the hell of it is that SO-O-O-O MANY obstacles have been put in place specifically and deliberately to prevent our democracy from working right, to prevent critically needed reform, to demoralize us and to take breathtaking thievery and militarism and fascism to the nth degree.

The obstacles are many, some obvious, some not. They include the installation of electronic voting systems all over the country, during the 2002 to 2004 period, containing 'TRADE SECRET' programming code--code that the public is forbidden to review--code that is owned and controlled by a few, private, far rightwing-connected corporations, which surely helped steal the 2004 election and many congressional and state elections since then. It is no accident that this current Congress has an EIGHT percent approval rating! It is unrepresentative of the American people, and the reason is that many Congresspeople were NOT elected.

Then there's "Citizens United" and all the rest. All the rest includes using unelected governors and legislators in the states to purge blacks, other minorities and the poor from the voting rolls, and other more hidden tactics such as mass incarceration of blacks and browns who lose their voting rights and location of prisons in white rural areas to swell the influence of white, rural, Republicans (this is a huge scandal, mostly caused by the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs"; plus, an unelected, fascist Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act, vicious gerrymandering and more.

I'd say that America WAS ONCE "the only country in history in a position to bring about a revolution without violence and bloodshed," and is very, very close to not being that country any more and to entirely losing our democracy. (Meanwhile, others have surpassed us in real democracy including much of South America.)

That is how bad I think things are. Bernie Sanders' candidacy may be the last shot we have at starting to recover our democracy. I support him wholeheartedly. I think he is possibly the single most important presidential candidate we've ever had--one who genuinely summons US to a political revolution. That is what has to happen--not just one man or woman standing up and telling the truth, and calling for real remedies, and having the amazing courage and stamina to do that, but all of us rallying to that cause and standing up for our democracy itself. And I do think that is happening. 3.5 million small donors in 24 hours! I mean...

!!!

I think we may well be headed for a bloody revolution (which may manifest as bloody outbursts of this or that disenfranchised, disaffected group, and civil wars among such groups, as well as brutal government responses) if we can't start turning this country BACK INTO a democracy, where everyone has a voice, everyone has a chance, everyone has all human and civil rights and everyone has a decent life and fair opportunity.

So that's where I'm coming from. We are at the brink. On top of that, industrialization is killing planet earth at a very fast pace; we need to address this NOW; and our government continues to drag its feet in favor of the polluters.

I was feeling so ill about Hillary Clinton the other day that I started fantasizing about what she could do to convince ME that she isn't a Wall Street/Bankster shill who has used social issues such as feminism to gain more ground for the 1%. She has proven to be that, in my view. How could she prove otherwise?

Here is what I thought: She could publicly renounce her SuperPacs, give back her Wall Street/Bankster/Billionaiare donations or at least pledge to take no more, and join with Bernie Sanders in cleansing the Democratic Party of dirty money.

That would cripple her campaign, of course, temporarily--but, in my fantasy, it could be so great for HER and her supporters! She is even now going back to these sort of big donors for more money because she spent much of it in Iowa for a very poor result, against a candidate (Sanders) who started with nothing and TIED her in the caucuses! So, if she does this--renounces dirty money--she will have to appeal to US to continue her campaign. That is as it should be anyway!

Her campaign is failing, not just as to ideas ("No, we can't!" and dirty money, but also as to organization, the people advising her, her dependence on a biased DNC chair, and the negativity and outright lies about Bernie Sanders that she and her campaign have perpetrated.

She has got to change her campaign dramatically to convince ME that she understands what is happening to this country and its people. She could announce that she has seen the light and is born again in democracy, and prove it with her actions.

I do believe in redemption. I believe people can change for the better, even politicians. But, of course, I would need strong actions backing it up, especially in the case of Hillary Clinton. Then we might have a real, honest, heartfelt discussion of the issues and how to accomplish what most people want. I don't know if I would vote for her (against Bernie Sanders) but I might well donate to her, if she were to do the above things, for the sake of having that discussion: how to un-rig our election system (rigged in so many ways); how to get real universal health care done; how to get rid of college debt; how to achieve fair taxation; how to evict the lobbyists from Washington DC; how to curtail military profiteers; how to re-regulate Wall Street and the "too big to fail" banks; how to put people back to work; how to end the horrid scandal of private prisons and mass imprisonment; how to stop the police from murdering unarmed black people and bullying nearly everybody; how, for heaven's sake, to save our Planet!

I WANT that discussion--HOW to do these things!

I want that discussion to become THE national debate. I want Sanders and Clinton to argue it out in detail, to let US know what the problems are and how we can all deal with them, and I want to be able to trust Clinton in that debate. I don't, now.

Such a debate, between two honest and greatly experienced people--Sanders and Clinton--would drown out the fascist absurdities of the other side with a grand roar of approval from the American people! We are thirsting for such a discussion! How do we fix our broken country?

My fantasy of Clinton's redemption is more than likely not going to happen. I fear that she's so caught up in the swirl of her own ambition that she can't see out of it. I wish--oh how I wish--she could!

I won't accept lies, though. I won't accept Hillary one day saying "we can't" have real universal health care, because Bernie is for it, and the next day saying she is really for it, because he's doing so well with voters--when we all know what the real issue is: Big Insurance and Big Pharma donations to her campaign! I won't accept the lie that she was "misinformed" about Iraq. That won't wash. She needs to come forth and say that she voted for that horrible war because that was the way the wind was blowing and because military profiteers were about to make billions and billions of dollars in war profiteering and she is beholden to that industry as well. I guess I want a confession. Somehow I think she's capable of it. I don't know why. Maybe because she's a woman and has had rather a hard time as wife of Bill, and is most certainly hated, with a venom, by rightwingers. There's something there of the chameleon, but that could be good. Could be. Could she change that fast, with a genuine change of mind and heart?

One big reason why Bernie Sanders is such an awesome candidate is that he doesn't really care all that much if he becomes president, from a personal point of view, I mean. He's 74 and seen it all. He has nothing to prove. He exudes that confidence and lack of ego. But he passionately wants to see a democratic revolution and all of these vital issues dealt with, no matter the difficulty. THAT is the president we need, the one who doesn't need to be president!

Could Hillary Clinton give up that personal need to be president--so evident in her face, her voice, her actions and her words, and in her campaign? Could she, zen-like, give it up, and become a real democrat and do so in a way that we would believe? Could she say, "It doesn't matter if I win, as long as we all win?"

Quite a fantasy, huh?

End of dreaming. Back to reality. I'm becoming encouraged about reality, about our democracy, about our people and about the future with Bernie Sanders' campaign for president, with what he's saying (I never thought I would hear these things from a U.S. politician in my lifetime!), with his rise in the polls, with his huge support from young people, and with the fantastic phenomenon of small donors that he has inspired.

One other thought: We might be looking at a deadlocked convention. If so, Elizabeth Warren would be an excellent, a brilliant, choice for compromise candidate between Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters, if the Democratic Party starts getting torn apart by their contest. (The differences between Sanders and Clinton are so fundamental that this could happen.) Warren is similar to Sanders on the issues, and she is, of course, a woman--for those who are voting primarily on that issue (wanting the first woman president)--a woman who doesn't have Clinton's corporate baggage and high distrust numbers in the polls.



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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 09:59 PM

26. the red shift since the mid 60s (when we began electronically counting votes)

is no accident

i so agree with what you wrote here.....

The obstacles are many, some obvious, some not. They include the installation of electronic voting systems all over the country, during the 2002 to 2004 period, containing 'TRADE SECRET' programming code--code that the public is forbidden to review--code that is owned and controlled by a few, private, far rightwing-connected corporations, which surely helped steal the 2004 election and many congressional and state elections since then. It is no accident that this current Congress has an EIGHT percent approval rating! It is unrepresentative of the American people, and the reason is that many Congresspeople were NOT elected.

///////////////////////////////

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 4, 2016, 10:26 AM

28. Last year,

I ran the campaign for a friend who, as a first-time candidate, was challenging a long-time incumbent, who had served for over twenty years. My friend won by one vote. The other side had four re-counts, because they just could not accept that their guy lost!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 4, 2016, 03:03 PM

29. congrats for counting the votes

look how long it took for franken's recount but minn has good election laws and eventually the machine "output" was corrected

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 4, 2016, 10:24 AM

27. Very interesting.

I'm not as concerned about attempts at "violent revolution" as much as disorganized violence. There are certainly militia groups that will continue to cycle, and that pose threats to specific targeted groups -- rarely focused upon "government." Likewise, a continuation of the same basic foreign policy will result in the continued threat of terrorism.

But, as you note, the level of domestic violence will increase in other, related ways. Gangs, for lack of better word, will compete against each other for control of territory. Oppressed people who do not engage in non-violent revolution always engage in the vices that gangs/ organized crime control. And we witness the violence associated with vice in many regions of the nation.

Hence, it's no coincidence that Malcolm's ministry focused upon having individuals and communities eliminate vice -- self-purification -- as the first step towards waking up to their humanity, in order to prepare for the Good Fight.

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