–Thomas Jefferson (spurious quotation)
An Unplanned “Tract” with Incendiary Origins
I began this “Tracts for Our Times” series from a sense of having some interesting, outside-the-box ideas tailor made for these highly perilous “interesting times.” Perhaps it’s emblematic of our times that I find it impossible “to keep my tracts on track.” In other words, something even more urgent pops into my brain that supersedes the content I promised in ending my previous tract. Such is my discussion of Donald Trump’s “bearing” (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) on the Second Amendment here.
Like my previous piece (about my proposed Justified…
Joe Biden, Meet JO Outrage
“Call Me JO.”
If serious opponents of our disgusting duopoly unite and rise in revolt, that movement “calling card”–as Internet meme, billboard, bumper sticker, T-shirt, lapel pin, what-have-you–could soon be provoking horrifying nightmares in what’s left of Joe Biden’s brain. Or (if we’re lucky enough to dodge the fascist Trump bullet) in the younger, more agile amygdala of “Vice-Bastard” Kamala Harris.
When I’m not busy crafting the rhetoric of revolution, I scribble quirky song lyrics (of literary aspiration) for the promising indie band God’s Comics. While the band name is chiefly a hat tip to songwriting legend Elvis Costello, it’s hardly surprising a band so named should pen an occasional song about God.
The Best-Laid Plans of Mice–and Strategy Writers
Like my previous article, this one will depart a bit from my original plans. Less drastically, however, since I still intend, as planned, to discuss the rhetoric of a truth-telling satyagraha “movement of movements” supporting a peaceful Green New Deal (GND). One designed to place relentless pressure on Joe Biden. (Assuming, of course, that we’re lucky enough to elect Biden rather than Trump, who’ll brutally repress all movement dissent.)
The Why and Wherefore of This Unplanned Article
Readers following my series “Leverage Under LOTE: Sane Progressives’ Herculean Task” were expecting an article detailing the risks (for member movements) and rhetoric of a united “movement of movements” practicing satyagraha on behalf of a peaceful Green New Deal. Thanks to Glenn Greenwald, instead you get this.
My strategic scheme, you’ll recall, unites three key elements: a “movement of movements,” Gandhi’s satyagraha, and a peaceful Green New Deal. Readers might not understand each item at first sight, let alone grasp them when yoked together for strategy purposes. The yoking of these three…
Visionary Radical Realism–NOT Eternal Optimism
With my last piece invoking Gandhi and satyagraha, this series took a frankly visionary turn. A seemingly outlandish turn, perhaps, given its topic: the brass-tacks, workaday problem of how U.S. leftists regain the political leverage surrendered via lesser-of-two-evil (LOTE) voting. Putting things concretely, how the hell do we expect to successfully pressure Joe Biden after voting for him?
Any leftist keenly attuned to recent Democratic Party history should concede that this is a staggeringly difficult question. And to coddle any hope of strategic success, leftists must face it squarely. …
Updating Gandhi for a Nation “Colonized” by Propaganda
Informed readers will quickly identify satyagraha with Mahatma Gandhi, the world-revered political liberator, patron saint of nonviolent resistance. While I fully intend that identification, my updated application of satyagraha will differ substantially from Gandhi’s. Peaceful–yet forceful–resistance, rooted essentially in truth, will be the common denominator.
Invoking a world-historical figure like Gandhi and his satyagraha movement probably seems a wild, bizarre turn in a series discussing progressive strategy under “lesser of two evil” (LOTE) voting. I’d never risk taking it but for two salient facts: 1) the stakes of the next presidency being…
LOTE Antagonists Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky
BOTH Chomsky and Greenwald Offer Crucial Insights
For progressives, to call choosing between Donald Trump and Joe Biden “unappealing” is the mother of all understatements. Unsurprisingly, the topic of lesser-of two-evils (LOTE) voting, a long-time election staple for leftists and progressives, is hotter and more relevant than ever. Bad as our “choices” are, the fate of civilization itself may hang on which “evil” gains the presidency this November.
“Lesser of Two Enemies” — the New and Improved LOTE
This article was inspired by a new RootsAction campaign that finally gave me hope. Or rather, somewhat gave me hope.
The campaign concept — voting Trump out while pressuring Biden from day one — strikes me as splendid. It reflects the basic political sanity that should now guide all progressive and Green New Deal organizing. But I fear for the execution. Above all, the execution of the “pressuring Biden from day one” part.
Note to Readers
The piece that follows reflects a rather novel, creative (and lazy) approach to writing political articles, or at least to writing them quickly. Its main substance — its “centerpiece” — consists of two e-mails I sent on consecutive days this week to a longtime friend, a retired philosophy professor who (along with his wife) finds himself on the opposite side of the Trump “Great Divide.”
In justification for my “labor-saving” approach, I offer two reasons. First off, my e-mails are often (as here) part of discussions with highly intelligent friends and opinion leaders whose able minds I’m…