A Poor Substitute For Democracy
Oh man. Bring in the zombie clowns: Scott, Ernst, Walker, Brownback, McConnell and, yes, LePage, the surreal results of older, whiter, richer voters going with their fear, greed and anger, and dark money encouraging them to. Even the bears lost. And, unfortunately for the haters, at the end of it Obama is still black.
For inspiration at these low times, Howard Zinn helps. Insisting time and again that "real democracy comes from waking up," he blasted the myth, especially prevalent during Presidential elections, that "the most cherished moment of democratic citizenship comes from two minutes of voting between two mediocre Anglo-Saxon males who have been trundled out by big corporate and billionaire-run political caucuses" - both of whom will go on to only slightly differing degrees to tax the poor, subsidize the rich, squander the environment, support corporate welfare and spend billions on weapons systems at the expense of education, health care, jobs with a living wage and other socially useful goals.
We will only have real democracy, said Zinn, when American citizens are "educating, agitating, organizing to budge the nation from its twin fundamental illnesses: capitalist greed and militarism." When there is, across the country, "a clamor for change."
We have seen it work. Amidst Tuesday's electoral hellscape there were key victories was leavened by some victories for marriage equality, the minimum wage movement, weed and, at least here in Maine, banning tar sands. There just need to be more. So. We begin again.