|Rene Magritte - Pure Reason (1948)|
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to hold the liberal establishment's feet to the fire come January, vowing to work toward making the political revolution a reality once the task of electing Hillary Clinton to the White House is accomplished. In an interview with the Washington Post published Monday, Sanders said he intends to use the "leverage" he accumulated during his historic primary bid to promote the very agenda that propelled him to win "22 states and 46 percent of the pledged delegates, 13.4 million votes...and a majority of the younger people, the future of the country."
According to John Wagner at the Post, who conducted the interview with Sanders at his home in Vermont on Friday: Sanders said he and other senators have started plotting legislation that would achieve many of the proposals that fueled his insurgent run for president, including a $15 federal minimum wage, tuition-free public college, an end to "mass incarceration," and aggressive steps to fight climate change. The senators, Sanders said, also plan to push for the breakup of "too big to fail" banks and to pressure Clinton to appoint liberals to key Cabinet positions, including Treasury secretary. Sanders said he would not stay silent if Clinton nominated the "same old, same old Wall Street guys" to regulatory positions that are important in enacting and overseeing the financial reforms he supports. "I will be vigorously in opposition, and I will make that very clear," Sanders said. He named Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) as potential allies in this effort. Sanders plans to use the Democratic Party platform—which he was instrumental in shaping and has called "the most progressive" in the party's history—as a template, characterizing it as "more progressive than Clinton's campaign agenda," Wagner wrote. -- Deidre Fulton, Clinton Has His Vote, But Sanders Vows to Stand Firm Against Dem Backsliding
Common Dream, 10/24/16
Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #4: Eve Ensler, Pussy Riot and Bill McKibben Offer Final Words of Power on the 2016 Election
There are dangerous days ahead. It could all still go horrible wrong.
This has been the ugliest, saddest election campaign of my lifetime. For many of us, trauma has been triggered. For many of us, friendships have been challenged, perhaps to the breaking point.
I have a just a few more insights to share, and then I will ask Eve Ensler, Pussy Riot and Bill McKibben to offer the final words of power on this bizarre story.
I am not a Clintonista. Some of Hillary Clinton's policy positions are deeply disturbing to me, particularly those related to geopolitics and national security. But the irrational hatred expressed toward her by some friends and colleagues on the Left is even more disturbing. There is much good that could come from having Hillary Clinton in the White House, particularly for women, children and people of color. But there is no good that has or will come from the mindless rage that some of my friends and colleagues have succumbed to; seriously, we might as well have lost them to the fever swamps of the Alt-Right as to the off-the-cliff march of the Stein Bots. This is a time for clarity of mind and calm common sense decisions based on the greater good; not for becoming so narcissistically enamored of your own conscience that you lose it and drown not in authentic righteousness but in its shallow reflection. Worst of all is the mad assertion that Trump somehow ended up the Death Eater / Zombie Cult nominee so that we would all be frightened into voting for Clinton, an Alt-Left version of "it's all rigged." Well, the world simply isn't that simple (if only it were). It is imperative that you understand the profound historical significance of this moment, and see Trump for what he truly is, the final fruit of the poisoned tree planted in the time of Ronald Reagan; because without the jelly bean malice of Reagan, the naked sociopathy of George W. Bush could not have been visited upon us, and without George W. Bush, the unspeakable abomination that is Donald Trump could not have been visited upon us. The Death Eaters who are now desperately distancing themselves from this Trumpster Fire, e.g., the Bushes, Ryan, McConnell, Kasich, Romney, McCain, etc., are all responsible for what is happening now, they let the garbage pile up, they poured the gasoline, they lit the match.
To frame this election as just another choice between the lesser of two evils is to miss the deeper truth of it, this election is an opportunity, and extraordinary opportunity.
If the White House is passed from Obama to Clinton we can keep the patient alive, if control of the Senate is wrested from the Death Eaters then we can stack SCOTUS for a generation, we can stop the hemorrhaging, if we can somehow miraculously wrest the House from the Death Eaters, we can cleanse the wound, and stitch it up, and get the patient on the path to healing.
I watched Hillary Clinton debate Barack Obama in 2008, and I watched her debate Bernie Sanders this year, and yes, I watched all three of her debates with Trump. She was not persuasive in her debates with Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, not just in her policy positions, but in her style and her tone, she came across as disingenuous and duplicitous. But in her debates with Trump, she was powerful, calm, fully present, connected with her body, fluid in her moments, even mellifluous in her tone. This isn't just because Trump is such a freak show; it's because in her debates with Obama and Sanders, she was debating people more progressive than her in many ways, her debates with Trump are the first time we have seen her debate someone to her right since her Senate campaigns in New York. She came across as disingenuous, duplicitous and disconnected from her body and voice in her debates with Obama and Sanders because she knew they had the moral high ground, and outflanked her on the progressive side of the spectrum. With Trump, she could turn and face the real adversary, from a position of strength and authentic righteousness. That's why she came across as powerful, calm, fully present, connected with her body, fluid in her moments, even mellifluous in her tone. This offers some hope that her governance will be more enlightened than some of us surmise.
Enough. Enough. I didn't want to say anything at all about this race. I didn't want to get engaged in this election cycle at all. But Words of Power is an ongoing narrative, and this is a moment of profound importance. I had to speak. There is the issue of Wiki Leaks to deal with, but I will write about all of that another time; all I will say here and now is that nothing that has been released has in any way changed the facts on the ground in this election, or revealed anything at all to be any different than what the astute analyst could already discern.
But now I will give the final word on this sad, ugly campaign to a few worthy allies.
Eve Ensler Speaks
Donald Trump is not a leader or a presidential candidate. He is an outcome, a viral manifestation of a serious malignant illness. He is the mirror of our emptiness, the emptying out that has been happening to our country for a very long time.He is an outcome of a two-party system that has consistently ignored the needs and wishes of the majority of Americans for generations. He is the manifestation of celebrity culture where those that have everything are worshipped for their shiny success and in the world of celebrity that shininess is a stand in for principles, substance and moral values. He is personality over planning, symbol over substance, insipidness over insightfulness. He is the outcome of the rich being able to buy anything, including our democracy. He is an outcome of centuries of underlying unaddressed, massively denied and metastasized racism. He is the hatred of the poor and the needy, the denigration of immigrants and those seeking refuge from the devastation of US wars and imperialism. He is the outcome of an insidious exceptionalism – the bedrock belief that American lives are more precious and valuable than any Others, those that we stigmatize, bomb, torture, murder, control, invade and whose economies we trash, whose resources we devour, whose futures we steal. He is the outcome of fear which masquerades as bullying. He is the manifestation of patriarchy and the endlessly indoctrinated belief that only a father will save us even though the mainly men who have been determining reality for this country and the planet have led us to near ruin. He is the outcome of high tech fantasy, virtual disconnection, TV reality shows.He is proof of the duplicity of corporate sponsored media that claim “neutrality” while reaping profits from propping up racists, tyrants, fascists, haters and those that would seek to destroy the country ... -- Eve Ensler, Let Donad Trump Be Our Unifier, Guardian, 3/23/16
Bill McKibben Speaks
Bill McKibben, author and co-founder of 350.org, minces no words addressing those environmentally-minded voters who are fretting over the mixed record of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton: Elect her, "and then give her hell." In a column published at The Nation on Tuesday, McKibben shares the sentiment felt by many progressive voters this election season: "I'd much rather have been campaigning for Bernie Sanders." Those feelings, McKibben acknowledges, were compounded after WikiLeaks revealed this weekend that behind closed doors Clinton defended natural gas and fracking, and said that environmental activists should "get a life." Those damning email leaks only further underscored what McKibben describes as Clinton's "craven" silence over the Dakota Access Pipeline fight. "Even the sight of attack dogs being used on peaceful Native American protesters didn't move her to break ranks with her industry allies and that fraction of the labor movement that still wants to build pipelines," he writes. "That's craven on her part, pure and simple." "So why," he asks, "are many of us out there working to beat [Republican nominee Donald Trump] and elect her? Because Trump is truly a horror." And when faced with the choice between a "horror," and a politician who—through growing pressure from concerned citizens—has shown she can be pushed on issues related to climate, McKibben reasons, he'll take the latter ... -- Lauren McCauley, With No Illusions, Says Climate Leader, Clinton Must Be Elected—Then Fiercely Confronted, Common Dreams, 10/18/16
Pussy Riot Sings
“Don’t play stupid / don’t play dumb / vagina’s where you’re really from!*” These glorious words comprise the powerful (and dangerously catchy) chorus to Pussy Riot’s new song “Straight Outta Vagina.” The danceable number, which features Desi Mo and Leikeli47, is the latest from the Russian punk group, whose members spent nearly two years in a Russian prison after criticizing Vladimir Putin in their 2012 performance “Punk Prayer.” In their newest song, Pussy Riot lodges their message at Putin’s non-best friend Donald Trump, whose history of verbally and physically abusing women is truly sickening. It’s ironic, Pussy Riot reminds us, that the man who so cavalierly bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy” owes his very existence to it. Although it’s hard to listen to the song without thinking of all that’s at stake in this maddening current political climate, the powerful lyrics are about so much more. “This song could be considered an answer to Trump,” Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova told The Guardian. “But I believe the idea of powerful female sexuality is much bigger than any populist megalomaniac man … Vagina is bigger than Trump.”-- Priscilla Frank, Pussy Riot’s ‘Straight Outta Vagina’ Wants Trump To Remember Where He Came From, Huffington Post, 10/25/16
YOU TUBE VIDEO: Pussy Riot - Straight Outta Vagina (featuring Desi Mo & Leikeli47)
Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #3: Cauldrons Lit in Rio and Philadelphia
Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #2: Lessons of 2000 and 2008
Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #1: Of Trump, Snowden and Sanders
Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.
For information, visit his Amazon author's page.