The opening moves have been played. The fight has taken shape. We are well into the middle-game.
During the March 9 debate, Hillary Clinton inadvertently got herself redefined. Again. Sanders had already permanently branded her as a tool of Wall Street. Then the former Secretary of State and major celebrity in the Clinton Foundation (called during 2013–15 the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation) blundered by attacking Sanders for acknowledging the impressive achievements Cuba has made in healthcare (now sending doctors all over the world) and education (each-one-teach-one). Glen Greenwald stated in The Intercept that she “sounded like a right-wing, red-baiting Cold War cartoon”:
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!
— Ned Beatty as Arthur Jensen,
berating Peter Finch as Howard Beale, in the movie Network
The Democratic Party has declared war on Bernie Sanders. Now we hear a carefully orchestrated funeral dirge, the Black vote is Sanders’ fatal weakness, and he should “suspend” his campaign, concede defeat, and make good on his pledge to support the party’s nominee, even before Hillary Clinton is actually the party’s nominee. They want Sanders to hit the Kill Switch on his own campaign, save them the trouble. But as the Empire Strikes Back, their every move blows up like an exploding cigar, and feeds ammunition to the growing Sanders army. It is time for the Political Revolution that Sanders and his supporters are fighting for to stand on its own feet.
Millions have been energized, enlisted and mobilized into the Sanders campaign under the banner of the Political Revolution. But as Charlotte Corday sang in the play Marat/Sade, “change meant one thing to you I see / And something quite different to me.”
At a December gathering of Tampa Bay area Sanders volunteers, national staffer Corbin Trent was asked what the Sanders campaign was planning to do to organize the Black community in Florida, given that Sanders was “getting creamed” with the Black vote in South Carolina. His answer: make lots of phone calls to white voters in Iowa.
well, you know …
The Bernie Sanders message: “This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It’s about putting together a grassroots movement of Americans who stand up and say: ‘Enough is enough.’ This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”
In his closing remarks at the last Democratic Party televised debate, Sanders concluded, “Please be part of the Political Revolution!”
It was this message, and this call to action, that have galvanized 100’s of thousands of Americans across the country this past year. The surge in Sanders’s numbers was exhilarating. More volunteers were pouring in than the campaign knew what to do with. While refusing corporate contributions, grassroots fundraising was setting records. The media was taken aback — and disturbed — by the immense crowds flocking to Sanders at every stop, including “Red State” locales like Arizona. Continue reading
“You liberals won the day. Now political reactionaries are taking over ‘cause you liberals won and anything goes.”
— Dr. Fred Newman, 1996, from the play “What Is To Be Dead? (Philosophical Scenes)”
When I first saw that play so many years ago, those words lingered because I had to struggle to understand them. Almost 20 years later, I finally get it — in all its horror. Maybe I needed the passage of time. Fred Newman was a visionary and he saw the writing on the wall far better than I, back when I was only 26 and didn’t understand politics beyond the limited walls of my own angry and injured psyche. In 1996, there had still been some ability for humans to communicate. We didn’t abbreviate all our sentences (LOL!). At the dawn of the age of the internet, social media was just coming into its own, not yet the all-pervasive behemoth as it exists today. (However, the internet on its way to becoming a major force in politics and social interaction was one of the few things I saw coming better than Dr. Newman was able to.)
It was the day the killing stopped, 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of November, 1918. The killing had included 10 million soldiers and some 7 million civilians.
At the front, there was no celebration …
From the account of Colonel Thomas Gowenlock, an American intelligence officer on the front line that November morning:
“All over the world on November 11, 1918, people were celebrating, dancing in the streets, drinking champagne, hailing the armistice that meant the end of the war. But at the front there was no celebration. Many soldiers believed the Armistice only a temporary measure and that the war would soon go on. As night came, the quietness, unearthly in its penetration, began to eat into their souls. The men sat around log fires, the first they had ever had at the front. They were trying to reassure themselves that there were no enemy batteries spying on them from the next hill and no German bombing planes approaching to blast them out of existence. They talked in low tones. They were nervous.
— Submitted by Jeff Roby
September 11, 2015
“A state of consciousness is characteristically very transitory; an idea that is conscious now is no longer so a moment later, although it can become so again under certain conditions that are easily brought about.”
— Sigmund Freud. The Ego and the Id. 1923
“I can clearly see your nuts!”
— psychiatrist to patient wrapped in cellophane
At the risk of blasphemy …
… consciousness alone don’t do shit! Only people can “do” anything. Consciousness may influence and even determine what actions people take. But the bottom line is that if people don’t act, don’t do, then all the advanced consciousness in the world is as “transitory” as Freud describes.
— Submitted by Jeff Roby
August 29, 2015
Thus far I have explained the phenomena of the heavens and of our sea by the force of gravity, but I have not yet assigned a cause to gravity. Indeed, this force arises from some cause that penetrates as far as the centers of the sun and planets without any diminution of its power to act, and that acts not in proportion to the quantity of the surfaces of the particles on which it acts (as mechanical causes are wont to do) but in proportion to the quantity of solid matter, and whose action is extended everywhere to immense distances, always decreasing as the squares of the distances.
— Sir Isaac Newton
The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687)
Lost in Space.
Thus the moon orbits the Earth, rather than the Earth orbiting the moon. Thus with political parties. The smaller body is drawn into the orbit of the larger. Thus the Left is drawn into the orbit of the Democratic Party. Too simplistic? Perhaps, but the Left’s failure to achieve “escape velocity” and break out of orbit is in large part due to it being oblivious to this obvious fact.
Or rather, “to whose benefit?” The key forensic question in legal and police investigation.
— submitted by Jeff Roby
August 17, 2015
Here’s the best-case scenario I envision. Progressives register Democrat (if they haven’t already done so), work hard on the Sanders campaign, and then (should he fall short of winning the Democratic presidential nomination) immediately re-register Green, join the Green Party bringing their social justice politics into the Green Party, and revive it as a serious force in American politics.
But the current exchanges on the left over the Sanders campaign which have currently masqueraded as political dialogue — while clinically fascinating — cause me to despair that this could actually happen. What I see instead is the left attempting to circle their wagons in the face of what they perceive as the “Sanders Menace.” I have no problem conceding that Sanders is indeed a menace, a menace to the strangulation of political dialogue in the American mainstream, and to the Left’s complacent niche on the margins of that mainstream.
St. Petersburg Independents is getting a new computer. Our fundraising campaign has been successful, and we extend our deepest thanks both to those who contributed directly, and those who, like us, are scraping to make ends meet but sincerely wished us their best.
As we stated in our appeal on this site, we have been observing the vitriolic exchanges between Sanders Democrats and Stein Greens, and are appalled that good people who seemingly have so much in common are drawing battle lines that can only divide. This is a historic moment when we cannot afford such squabbles. There has been talk about the possibilities of left/right cooperation, if not unity. While we are quite definitely “left,” we think the traditional definitions, to be charitable, have seen better days. We need a venue for exploration.
Not this environment!
Simply put, we need an environment where these issues can be discussed.
To this end, we are setting up a Facebook page, St. Petersburg Independents, as well, so that articles posted on this website can be discussed on Facebook, which seems to be a good platform for discussion.
A good platform, that is, if it doesn’t degenerate into the kind of “discussion” better characterized as fencing with sledgehammers. There will be moderation, and sectarian bullshit will not be tolerated. Hope to see you there.
And again, your support has been deeply appreciated.