Wednesday, March 2, 2016

You Say You Want a Revolution?

Two of my neighbors are feeling the burn for Bernie Sanders. It feels like every other Facebook post from them is is proclaiming the revolution is upon us.

One of the many things that makes my neighbors great is that we can have a political conversation in which we disagree with one another. And I disagree mightily with the idea that Bernie Sanders is going to create a revolution.

I think electing Barack Obama was revolution enough for these United States. Eight years after his moderate governance, a presidency marked by enormous but understated success and peaceful, loving kindness towards our fellow humans, what I believe we're seeing is a pendulum swing towards the extreme and hateful right.

I don't need to go through the litany of disagreements with Donald Trump. Or Ted Cruz. Or [insert tea party candidate name here]. You only need to Google these politicans' names to find comparisons to Adolph Hitler, David Duke, Vladimir Putin, and other powerful hatemongers.

And this is where I think revolution is going to be born. In hundreds of battles against the loud, angry, racist, and hateful factions of our country and the peaceful, tolerant loving factions. And, as we're seeing, this is not a revolution that falls neatly along political lines, geographic boundaries, income, or religion. But I believe it will be a revolution.

I was recently reading a biography of Charles Manson. I returned the book to the library without finishing it. The backdrop from which the Manson family emerged, juxtaposed against the current political landscape was too upsetting to me. It feels like we're going to have a revolution on the scale of the civil rights struggle, with massive waves of civil disobedience and violence of a type we have not seen since the 1970s - in all corners of our nation. In fact, we're seeing it start with the Black Lives Matter movement, and the hundreds of rallies across the country in support of an end to the aggressive use of force, particularly against people of color, by public safety officers.

I can stand on the side of love, but love doesn't seem to touch the chuckleheads who decide to give toddlers the right to carry firearms, the fidiots who think that calling for justice for one racial category necessarily means that one is therefore against justice for people of all other races, the ignoramuses who think they have to vote for Trump because they want to "get that (black man) out of the White House." (Guess what? Whether Trump is elected or not, he's leaving in January because he CAN'T BE RE-ELECTED.)

So I'm pissed. I'm pissed because if I had a five year plan, it would NOT INCLUDE joining a revolution against racism and other forms of fear and hate.

I think Bernie Sanders was right when he said it was time for a revolution. But I predict we won't see it with his presidential candidacy. We *will* see it with a President Trump (I can't even type those two words without throwing up a little in my mouth).

With the primary election over in my state, I'm ready for the first battle in this revolution, which is putting everything I can muster behind whomever the Democratic candidate for president is. Who's with me? (Now, where did I put my beret?)

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