DNC Post #3: Ignoring Your Party’s Corruption is Condoning It

25 07 2016

Day number three started yet again with crippling heat and humidity.  It’s not supposed to let up and it is actually supposed to get hotter with added thunderstorms as the week wears on.  How many people would be here otherwise?  It is an endurance battle to be outside in the peak heat of a Philly summer.  It is inspiring to witness people standing and marching and protesting for hours on end with passion in such direct, extreme heat.  Tens of thousands of more people have come out today and the peak is expected to be on Monday or Tuesday.  I have not spent too many other trips in more extreme weather.  This is tougher than a burning man week in the Nevada desert.  I’d happily deal with dry 90 to 100-degree heat with a sand storm here and there than east coast humidity.  Philly you’re uncomfortable and stimulating and exotic but I hate you for what you’re doing to me right now.  I remember why we parted ways.


The day started at 9 in the morning attending a non-violence, direct action workshop training put on by the Bernie Sanders organizers at city hall.  It was a positive outing and conversation that was very relevant to the work being done here.  A vigilant, self-proclaimed “man of one army” tried to hijack the outing.  When tenets and practices of non-violence and de-escalation were being dicussed and learned this yearning-for-vigilante-status seeking young man tried with his megaphone to interject and promote car flipping and destruction.  What the power of one man could do to a society.  The combination between arrogance and energy and masculine physical prowess is what creates patriarchy and privilege.  The organizers did a great job de-escalating.  They didn’t kick him out of the gathering and included him and spoke to his aggressive overtones and fears and concerns and pivoted back to the original topic whenever he got preachy to alter the agenda and take over.  He needed to be part of a group to express himself and calm and collective conversation was interjected masterly by the group organizers.  A chief of police was to speak as well and upon him entering the conversation he continued to display a harm reduction and non-aggression focused type of demeanor.  I know why this man was a chief and I hope he continues to influence and train other cops to act in his image.  When aggression is throw loosely around to people in the community who are most in need and who claim they are being treated unfairly and have minimal resources they need to be included and listened to.


I loved the strategies being employed by the non-violence activists.  I asked them how one should react when a person is clearly out of control and going to embarrass the movement, or is directly headed towards aggression.  The answer laid in the actions of surrounding people yelling “mic check”, or giving some other verbal que, and neighboring people recognizing the situation at hand and forming a human circle around the individual.  These actions show that the community at large is not supporting this negative behavior and actually trying to help the individual calm down.  This keeps the attention seeking and sensational news motived mass media from painting a violent misrepresentation of the event, which they’ve proved they love to do.  These are smart and creative strategies and makes the community at large involved and responsible for their fellow neighbors; for human interaction and communication.  Doing things for others has been proven to dramatically decrease depression as well.  Mental health could be improved.  These simple nonviolent actions are brilliant and could impact communities in a number of positive ways.


Whenever I go to such progressive political outings I always wonder where the Hillary people are at.  There about 40,000 people here right now who are spreading their political passion and love and, really, no sightings of any Hillary supporters?  Not even any Hillary clothing?  Is the Bernie Sander’s obsession merely a fad?  Is all the polling data wrong?  Is it a made up mirage?  Did Hillary really win the election with support that we never see in the streets trying to spread their positive political views?  Is there an embarrassment of her political views?  Why don’t they show up in large, or even moderate numbers?  Do Hillary supporters do activism anymore outside of the establishment structure?  Is the Democratic establishment process just that convenient and efficient that they don’t have to have street cred anymore?  Have they lost touch with normal people?  There is more going on here than meets the eye.  Establishment politics has gotten lazy.  When will the establishment care?  Will it really take a Trump presidency to make them care?  Being demanded to meet someone completely, or very mostly, on their terms isn’t a recipe for success.


Do we want a democracy of people who don’t show up to events?  Do we want a political structure that doesn’t cater to people or care to experience and know what they’re going through?  Do we want a political party that doesn’t cater to grassroots organization?  There is a massive amount of people doing organizational work here who are excellent at it.  With very limited resources and no media attention they are threatening one of the most powerful political parties in the world?  There are physical numbers here.  You don’t need a poll to tell you what’s going on.  You just go outside and see it.  There is will and desire and power.  Hillary Clinton represents a strategy in politics that unfortunately doesn’t want human participation.  Very convenient for people already running things.  However, it is not good enough and our political parties are growing inefficient in their approach to organization, governing, and are not catering to modern and quicker ways to enact positive change, and really win.  Transparency and accountability are also something not highly practiced by the current establishment Democrats.  Will the Democratic Party just keep losing?  They have gotten the reputation over the years for blowing it time and time again.  Are they the Chicago Cubs of politics?  There is another way and it is slapping the party in the face.  How many slaps will it take?  The energy seems inevitable because the new grassroots, progressive Bernie Sanders energy is authentic.  Authenticity natural sells itself and wins.  It will win out in the end because it is a powerful and convenient approach.  It’s the wave of real progressive politics that is on the horizon and demanding attention.


The day’s main event was two marches starting from city hall.  One went east down Market street and was protesting for getting rid of the TPP, real action on climate change, banning fracking, rights of indigenous groups, and overall environmental issues.  It is nice to see so many different movements coming together around saving our own species and the environment we need to survive.  This level of intersectionality will create power and bring about their agenda.  Many movements coming together to form one big movement is what creates the lasting change we want to bring to the world.


The other march was a marathon five mile march from city hall to FDR park.  It was extra marathon because of the extreme weather.  City officials made smart and compassionate decisions to open fire hydrants that can were sprayed on people as they marched.  This march was very Bernie focused putting the agendas described above at the forefront.  It would have been more powerful if both marches had more coordination and they marched in each other demonstrations.  Organization is hard at these things.  Energy just takes off from one place and it seems to just go until it sputters out.  Organizers need to guess about how many people and what time things will take place.  Things get delayed and people end up waiting around.  Exerting energy and waiting around in this kind of summer heat makes people quit and become exhausted.  If both marches would have joined forces it would have really made a more pronounced statement.  Intersectionality needs to be improved on this level.


During the Bernie march the good news was delivered that Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned.  She would be finishing out the convention and then hired on Hillary’s own political team and given an “honorary” titled position.  That’s not shady or anything but, hey, got to take your victories when you get them, even if it is mostly symbolic.  One corrupt official has been removed from public office and that hopefully means one less corrupt official overall.  Now Hillary’s election team has one more corrupt employee on it.  The Hillary and Democratic strategy continues to show its true colors.  To a true progressive, these situations keep adding fuel to the corrupt fire and perfectly sums up why we need to keep fighting.  Politics is becoming exposed for its corrupt ways and when it gets recognized as such, that official just gets moved to the entourage of the candidate and given an honorary title, falling in the end, not too far from the influence of the original tree.  No wonder Hillary activists don’t show up to progressive political rallies.  How can they honestly believe in Hillary’s vision or the Democratic Party’s actions?  That level of corruption is being noticed.  Ignoring your party’s corruption is condoning it.







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