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Sun Mar 13, 2016, 04:14 PM

Primary Community Exercise

“Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi

“If we shatter the chains of egotism, and melt into the ocean of humanity, we share its dignity. To feel that we are something apart is to set up a barrier ….. A drop in the ocean partakes of the greatness of its parent, although it is unconscious of it. But it dries up as soon as it enters upon an existence independent of the ocean.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi


Within every community -- from a university campus, to a rural village, to a big city -- there are groups of people who are going to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in their state’s presidential primary. Now, there are also people who will be supporting a republican, or some other candidate. And people who don’t vote. But today, I’d like to focus on the groups supporting Democratic candidates.

These two groups are largely self-identifying members of the Democratic Party. So that’s another layer of social identity, and one that we generally share. And it allows us, in the age of the internet, to participate within some newly-accessible communities. A good example of that, for me and many others, is the Democratic Underground.

The DU community is of value for several reasons. It can serve as a resource for information, including documented information. One can sharpen their debating skills here, if that’s their thing. You can make new friends, and some really good friends. And, at times, it offers much-needed support.

In October, 2014, an off-duty law enforcement officer, in an unprovoked fit of “road rage,” shot my cousin and his son. My cousin was seriously injured, and endured several surgeries. His son bled to death in his arms, in a gravel parking lot. People here offered me support, and more: as pre-trial hearings approached, this community made more calls, e-mails, and sent letters to both the DA and County Judge. It set a new record for contacts from the community in our county, by more than doubling the old record.

Next month, the trial begins. And I’ll do a daily report on it, on DU:GD. And that’s to thank everyone who helped my family and I. It was the DU community that did so, not the supporters of one candidate, etc.

So, I’m trying to think of something that might be interesting, even of potential value, that includes everyone, without any hostility towards other community members, or either of the candidates and their supporters. It still doesn’t mean everyone likes one another. But that, as community members, we all value some things.

Thus, I hope people will consider answering a few questions: name an issue that you find especially important; tell how you became interested or involved in this issue; and then tell us how you think your candidate might best deal with that issue. Everyone should be able to participate, and contribute something of value, without any need to insult anyone else.

An issue that I am concerned with is the environment. My interest in these issue can be traced, in large part, to some outstanding teachers that I had in grade school through college. I believe that among the many actions that Bernie Sanders will take to help protect the living environment, will be to include traditional Native American leaders in the national conversation. I am confident that the non-Indian public, in electing Sanders, has reached a point where the teachings of the Elders -- the Faith-Keepers, the Wisdom-Keepers, the Fire-Keepers, and the Clan Mothers -- has already started taking root. I think that we can again become a constitutional democracy.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Primary Community Exercise (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2016 OP
Gregorian Mar 2016 #1
femmedem Mar 2016 #2
Luminous Animal Mar 2016 #3
liberal_at_heart Mar 2016 #4
Zorra Mar 2016 #5
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #6

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 13, 2016, 06:17 PM

1. Your idea of having the Native Americans advise on environmental issues has caught me by surprise.

I say that because the environment is the issue I am most supported by through Bernie. I'm still shocked when I hear him speaking about the environmental state of affairs. That is a brilliant idea. One that can only serve to better all of us, through their inclusion.

Those two quotes are powerful. They sum up the context of Bernie's campaign. I've known the power of community ever since observing forums.

Bernie has the sensitivity to know the extent of what is happening to the environment. But I have troubles, and here's why. At a time when we must stop burning fossil fuel, it is going to be very contradictory to be making massive improvements to infrastructures of this country. A trillion bucks worth of stuff translates to big environmental impact. But how does a society function without bridges and roads? So it must be done. I'm not fooling myself into thinking we're going to fix the environment quickly. But he will no doubt remember that while we are working on improvements, the top priority will be focusing on what is most important.

I became aware of the seriousness of our situation in a split second. I remember when and where. It was 1972. I was looking out over a view that told me what was in store for us. I've never been the same since. I often wish I had not seen the truth.

I think Bernie will jump start an entire renewable energy manufacturing era in the US. I also think that he knows that the war machine is a double win. Cut the money, use it productively, AND save on the environmental impact it has on earth.

I know everyone here loves what we do here: Communicate and share information and ideas. I have to laugh when one minute we're swearing at each other, and then the next we're all lined up in parallel to fight Bush. There is definitely a clue there.

Thanks.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 13, 2016, 07:25 PM

2. Limiting global warming is my biggest concern.

I don't know to what degree anyone can be successful at this point, but I know that Bernie's judgment won't be corrupted by having received campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry.

Bernie was a leader on the Keystone fight, opposes extracting fossil fuels from federal land, unambiguously opposes fracking, and recognizes that climate change is our biggest national security threat. He has been endorsed by Bill McKibben of 350.org and, I believe, understands that if we are to keep the planet habitable, we need to keep the vast majority of known oil reserves in the ground. Additionally, I trust that as we work toward mitigating the effects of climate change, Bernie will vigorously protect the rights of the most vulnerable.

Furthermore, I think he will embolden a new generation of politicians to speak the truth and to know that they can survive politically without the influence of big money. Most politicians understand the science behind climate change--or at least the Democrats do--but his example will give them the spine to act on this knowledge.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 13, 2016, 07:36 PM

3. Racial justice. Most of the advocacy work that I have done in my life has

been around this issue. My interest can be traced to when I was just a child and found myself electrified by the people involved, their activism, their bravery, their speeches and their goals. I was proud to join them when I became old enough to venture out and be part of a community that was quite different than the community I grew up in.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Mar 13, 2016, 07:45 PM

4. Wow it is really hard to pick one issue. I guess for this one post I will pick SS.

My autistic son will be turning 18 soon. He has been receiving SSDI through his father who receives SSDI because of being legally blind. My husband has some friends who are also blind and have several other health issues. The mother and her two children all just lost their SSI. Now the family is being split up because they can't afford to live in one place anymore. Not only does this upset me but it makes me wonder if my son will even be approved for SSI. Bernie is pretty much the only politician I have heard of that not only says no to cutting SS, but he wants to raise the cap on SS taxes and expand SS. I haven't heard anyone else propose doing this. This is one of many, many, many reasons I support Bernie.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 14, 2016, 12:31 PM

5. K&R nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 14, 2016, 03:43 PM

6. I pray...Peace

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