The 12 Most Common Fallacious Gun Arguments (and How to Refute Them)

It’s really hard to talk about guns and gun violence, primarily due to the fact that the NRA has spent an insane amount of money brainwashing American citizens with catchy bumper-sticker type slogans that sound logical, but fall apart upon careful examination.

To make matters worse, gun-prohibitionists often take leave of their senses and attack decent law abiding gun owners who would never consider using their gun to take an innocent life.

In hopes of bridging this gap, I have created a comprehensive list of the most common fallacious arguments used to attack basic control measures, which 90% of Americans believe will make our society a safer place.

Before we begin, let me say that I am a gun owner and I have no issue with citizens owning guns. My father is an antique gun collector. My brother works in a gun store. One of my good friends is a national champion sharp-shooter. But as a passionate proponent of logic and reason, it pains me to see people making emotional arguments masked as logical ones.

If you want to own guns, then you do not need to defend this decision to anyone. You can simply say “I really like guns.” or “My gun makes me feel safer.”

Most reasonable people will not have a problem with this.

The goal of this document is not to discourage people from owning guns, but rather to dismiss with the foolish illogical arguments that proliferate nearly every discussion on this topic, making it virtually impossible to have an intelligent discussion on the matter.

If we are going to talk about guns, let’s use facts and ditch the rhetoric.

Can someone please fire a pistol into the air so that we can get started?

Logicians to your marks…get set…

starterpistol

Fallacious argument #1

If guns are outlawed then only outlaws will have guns.

On its surface this seems like airtight logic. It is absolutely true that gun prohibition will not stop someone who is overwhelmingly committed to obtaining a gun from achieving their goal.

But history shows that gun prohibition makes obtaining a gun EXTREMELY difficult.

As 99% of gun violence is committed in the heat of the moment, any difficulty in acquiring a firearm means that the person who was preparing to commit an act of violence will still be able to do so, using any number of methods.

People will still strike each other with their fists.. They will pick up nearby objects and strike with them when angry. They will stab one another.

If guns were outlawed, then average normal everyday people would not risk incarceration and passion-driven gun violence would drop exponentially, but other types of violence would rise. Still homicide would drop proportionately as people simply are less willing and able to kill one another using such up close and personal methods.

Of course, there is some truth to the outlaws with guns argument. There will always be deviants who will go to great lengths to acquire guns. But in a gun prohibitionist culture, these outlaws would have to have some measure of wealth to make their gun-ownership dreams a reality, as black-market gun prices soar in countries where it is illegal to buy guns.

A quick look at the mass-shooters in America illustrates that there is simply no way that the average spree-shooter could afford to own a gun if forced to pay black-market prices.

In addition to lack of funds being a large obstacle to gun ownership for those with ill intentions, it is also laughable to think of entitled suburban white boys like Adam Lanza, pulling into a dark alley with several thousands dollars in his pocket to buy a black-market AR-15. Even if these spree-shooters had the large amount of cash required to purchase a black-market firearm, it is unlikely that they would have such deep criminal connections and even more unlikely that they would leave the scene of the attempted purchase unharmed.

This is not to say that these shooters would be unable to obtain firearms, but we can all agree that it would certainly be a greater challenge for them and would undoubtedly drastically reduce the number of mass-shootings.

This commonly used fallacious statement would be more apt if it were amended to say

If guns are outlawed then only wealthy outlaws with criminal connections would have guns.

adamlanza
Newtown shooter Adam Lanza

Fallacious argument #2

I need a gun to protect myself from my corrupt government.

Again we find ourselves in agreement. The government is certainly corrupt, but they don’t want you dead. They want you alive, working your entire life away, paying taxes and buying products from the corporations that sponsor their campaigns.

If the government wanted you dead, then your AR-15 or Glock 19 would be of absolutely zero assistance to you. Our military has the most sophisticated weapons and armor the world has ever known. There simply is no civilian weapon that could stand up to their tremendous military might. You could stand in front of an M1A2 SEP and fire thousands of rounds into it without impairing its function whatsoever. You would have even less chance of defending yourself against a drone strike that was absolutely invisible to the naked eye.

This isn’t 1786. You can’t simply load up your musket to defend against the British.

If you want to own a gun, then own a gun.

You don’t need to justify this to anyone.

But for the sake of putting our heads together and figuring out ways to keep guns out of the hands of evil-doers, let’s stop using justifications that don’t make sense in real world practice.

 

tank

Fallacious argument #3

Well knives and cars kill people! Do you want to outlaw knives and cars too?

Before we tackle this, let’s establish that ANYTHING can be used to kill someone. You could simply pick up a chair and hit them over the head. Personally, if someone is going to murder me, I prefer they use a method such as this, so at least I would have a sporting chance at defending myself.

But, you’re right. Cars and knives can be used to kill people and in fact they are used this way, every single day. The fundamental difference is that cars and knives have other uses besides killing. These things are actual tools that we use to make our daily lives easier. As a society, we all agree to a certain degree of acceptable losses accrued by the misuse of said tools, as a trade-off for the convenience that they provide to our lives.

A gun, on the other hand, only has one purpose. It is an instrument designed to kill or injure.

When a knife is used properly, you get to cut your steak.

When a car is used properly, you get to where you are going faster.

When a gun is used properly, someone or something dies or is injured.

Let’s also add to this the fact that cars and knives lack the killing efficiency of a gun. While it is true that people will use knives and cars to murder people, they will not be nearly as effective as they can be with a gun.

This is not to say that killing or injuring is always bad. Sometimes it is necessary to subdue someone with malicious intent. But let’s not murder common sense in the process.

Let’s conduct a simple thought experiment.

Someone standing 20 feet away from you says that they are going to try to kill you, but because they are a fair and sporting person, they are going to let you decide whether they drive a car at you, charge at you with a knife, or shoot at you with a gun.

Which method gives you the least likelihood of escape or counterattack?

The answer is obvious.

Let’s stop using cars and other useful objects as a comparison to guns. For the reasons listed above, this is an extremely flawed analogy.

cargun

Fallacious argument #4

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

While it is true that guns are not going to just go around killing people on their own, let’s not be intentionally obtuse just for the sake of trying to win an argument.

While it is definitely true that a gun is unlikely to discharge on it’s own, to eliminate the gun from the equation of gun violence is like someone saying

1+1 does’t equal 2. It equals 1.

It is abundantly obvious that guns are an essential part of the equation of GUN violence.

I am quite confident that even the most ardent Second Amendment advocates are aware of this, but they refuse to acknowledge this point due to an emotional backlash against the media’s manipulative fear-mongering about how the extreme left is constantly threatening to infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.

We can understand the problem of massive gun-proliferation by imagining a hypothetical scenario in which everyone in America woke up one morning to find out that they had an app on their phones that would murder a nearby person every time they touched it.

Most of us would be appalled by such an app. We would want to immediately remove it from our phones. We would never, in a million years, use the app to kill anyone.

But some would!

And they would use it often!!

And having the app on your phone would offer you zero defense against a person using it with malicious intent, unless you walked around tapping it all the time in an attempt to keep nearby people from pushing the app on their phones.

Returning from the hypothetical realm, we know that this logical fallacy needs to be amended to say.

Guns don’t kill people on their own. But guns in the hands of the wrong people will kill the innocent.

Let’s stop using logical fallacies, in hopes that we can have an intelligent discussion, as a nation, that can result in minimizing gun violence against the innocent.

nratrump

Fallacious argument #5

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

There is some truth to this argument as well, but again it has been oversimplified.

We certainly don’t want to be at the mercy of a “bad guy” who has us outgunned. It is incredibly important that we have responsible members of our society who are trained to handle crisis situations or else we could fall victim to armed thugs with malicious intent.

Still, simply owning a gun does not offer much advantage versus “a bad guy with a gun.”

A gun rewards first-strike initiative and mutually assured destruction is not a factor once the aggressor has their gun already trained on you.

Imagine you are a responsible gun-owner, walking to your car one evening, when out steps a desperate man, gun drawn. The man begins telling you to give up your wallet. If you reach for your gun, you will likely be shot immediately. There simply is no time to access your gun when a gun is already trained on you. In the world of guns, he who draws first wins.

But imagine a scenario, where you are in a public place and there is an active shooter. A “good guy with a gun” can save the day, right?

Possible, but unlikely. As the assailant has first-strike initiative and strategic placement advantage, it will more than likely take several good guys with guns (usually in the form of the police) to stop this situation. If another citizen pulls out a gun against an active shooter, this will add to the confusion of the situation, and the good guy will likely be shot when the police arrive.

This is not to say that a “good guy with a gun” should not be allowed to own guns. But it is important to dispel the myth that a well armed populace makes us safer during a mass-shooting.

Guns are excellent for home-protection, but in an active shooter situation, first-strike combined with the superior fire power of the shooter, who usually strikes with a weapon that can spray bullets at a much faster rate than a handgun, makes it all but impossible for a responsible handgun owner to stand their ground, even when properly trained. And adding another gun at the scene usually creates additional confusion for the police and victims alike.

Unfortunately the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is doing everything in our power from keeping him from getting that gun in the first place.

mcclain

Fallacious argument #6

Gun control doesn’t work. Chicago has incredibly strict gun control laws and they have a huge gun violence problem.

Again there is some measure of truth in the above argument (noticing a pattern yet?)

There’s a saying in Chicago that goes

“Chicago has a serious gun control problem. It’s called Indiana.”

In other words, stricter gun control laws in one city only serve to encourage the importing of guns from neighboring cities with lax gun control.

While getting guns into Australia or Japan may prove to be next to impossible due the obvious challenges of getting guns onto a plane and then past border agents, getting guns into a neighboring city is as easy as loading up your car and driving them in.

Chicago’s gun-control laws are impotent and will remain so unless the same laws are passed as a blanket measure across the entire United States.

Tight gun control laws in an individual city are unlikely to have a major effect. Gun control laws would need to be passed on a national level in order to truly have a noticeable impact.

kids

Fallacious argument #7

What about Switzerland? They are required to own guns and they don’t have a gun violence problem.

The Swiss are NOT required to own guns, but this is a common misconception. Still Switzerland is worth discussing because they are an example of a culture that actually has a well regulated militia. Exploring how Switzerland maintains a gun culture without having excessive gun violence could provide some insight into how Americans could improve our own gun culture.

First it is important to note that it is mandatory to join the military in Switzerland for all able-bodied males. After military training is completed a non-assault weapon may be purchased from the government, by the graduated soldier. As you might imagine this means that every gun owner in Switzerland has a high-degree of gun training and is taught a healthy respect for gun safety.

Swiss citizens are required to undergo a background check for every gun purchase and the Swiss government reserves the right to strip citizens of their guns for criminal offenses.

It is also important to note that being required to have a career in the military makes gun ownership a prestigious honor in Switzerland, versus in America where owning a gun simply means that managed to accrue a few hundred dollars.

Swiss gun owners often speak of a deep sense of Nationalism that comes along with their gun ownership. Whereas in America citizens often speak of needing guns to defend against other Americans, in Switzerland the gun owners speak about using their guns in the event of having to defend their country from invasion.

Switzerland is the embodiment of a well regulated militia.

Gun advocates would be wise to take notes of the differences between the two cultures and our relationship with our firearms.

swiss

Fallacious argument #8

What about Hitler? He took away all the guns and look what happened there.

This is a commonly believed myth, when in fact the opposite was true.

After World War I, stiff gun regulations were placed on Germany as part of the sanctions for losing the war. Adolf Hitler actually loosened all gun regulations when he rose to power in 1938.

While it is true that Hitler did ban gun ownership for Jews, he simultaneously allowed all citizens with a hunting license to open carry and lifted regulations on gun and ammo purchases, while simultaneously extending all gun permits to be extended from one year to three years. Hitler’s gun control laws were so lax that German citizens under the age of 18 were allowed to apply for guns and were often successful in obtaining them legally. In other words, the citizens of Germany could have offered an armed resistance to their fascist government, but chose not to. The German citizens were tired of being poor and fell in line behind Adolf Hitler’s message of German superiority. Hitler did not support gun prohibition.

 

hitler

Fallacious argument #9

Well, drugs are illegal and yet we still have a drug problem in America.

The goal of laws is not to eliminate crime, but to limit it.

As we have discussed previously, there will always be those who choose to break the law, which is why it is important to have a criminal justice system. But no one would be so asinine as to suggest that just because some people choose to break laws, that this means that we should just give up entirely on law and order.

There will always be people who will seek to obtain illegal guns, if they are not allowed to obtain them legally.

There is simply no logical reason for making this easier on the criminal element of any civilized society.

gunmerica

Fallacious argument #10

Gun prohibition would never work. With 300 million guns already owned in America, you could never collect them all. I sure as hell wouldn’t give mine up!!

No one is asking you to give up your gun.

But since you brought it up, gun-prohibition actually does work.

It is worth reading up on how Australia accomplished this after the Port Arthur mass shooting of 1996. They enacted sweeping gun reform, offered amnesty to those with illegal guns and began a gun buy back program, offering fair market value to encourage people to sell their guns back to the government for destruction.

This is not to say that everyone in Australia participated in the gun buyback. Approximately 80% resisted and kept their guns. The same would undoubtedly be true in America. It would take decades for the idea of gun prohibition to become a reality. Over time guns break, people die and relatives turn over their deceased loved one’s guns and other guns are ceased when people break laws and there is a search and seizure.

This is not to suggest that America should follow suit and demand gun prohibition. The point is to acknowledge that where gun prohibition has been instituted that it has absolutely worked. It works in Australia, Japan and in every other country where it has been applied.

It is common for people to argue this point by posting a meme laced with false information or by pointing out an exception to the rule where someone actually did get their hands on a gun and used it in a country that practices gun prohibition.

Science is never at the mercy of anecdotal evidence, yet still the unscientifically minded will continue to argue by posting the exception to the rule. For example someone might point out that there was a mass-knifing in China or produce an article that shows how Japan still has six deaths per year from gun violence.

It is difficult to argue with people who are determined to use the exception to the rule as evidence that the rule is incorrect, when no sensible person is trying to make the argument that any method will work 100% of the time. What we are speaking of is minimizing unnecessary gun-violence, while acknowledging that eliminating the problem entirely isn’t feasible.

It’s okay to say that you love your gun, but let’s deal in facts.

Gun prohibition has been proven to work in countries where it was enacted.

australia

Fallacious argument #11

You can’t take away my right to own a gun!! It’s in The Constitution!!

Once again, this is not an article about gun-grabbing, but rather an article about fallacious arguments surrounding American gun culture. But let us remember that The Second Amendment is just that, an amendment. It was an addition to The Constitution by the government of Virginia, because the slaves outnumbered the plantation owners and Virginians were worried about slave rebellions.

The United States Constitution can and will be amended to change with the times. Just as the 21st Amendment overturned the 18th Amendment, an amendment can be passed that would overturn The Second Amendment.

If we are to keep that from happening, responsible gun-owners may want to examine what it means to have a well-regulated militia and also to examine what it means to keep and bear arms.

Obviously there is a limit to this right. American citizens are not allowed to own tanks, rocket launchers or nuclear weapons, for example.

The greatest threat to our Constitutional rights as gun owners is to continue to allow guns to fall into the hands of irresponsible citizens whose actions reflect poorly on those of us who believe that owning a gun is a responsibility to be taken seriously.

whitethug

Non-fallacious argument

I need my gun to hunt and for home protection!!

This is the best argument for owning a gun. It is logical and respectable.

Licensed hunters are an important part of keeping ecosystems balanced and it is my personal belief that every person has an inalienable right to protect their home and personal property.

I would like to take a moment to speak on the subject of clip capacity. Coming from a family of hunters I can say that I have never seen anyone use more than four bullets to take down an animal.

In the event of a home invasion, it is highly unlikely that there will be a need to fire more than a few bullets to thwart the invader(s). If your argument for gun ownership is based around hunting or home protection, I assume that you would be in agreement that we should limit round capacity to between six to ten bullets, as no one needs a military grade weapon that can fire 120 rounds per minute.

I fully support the rights of people to own guns for hunting and self defense, but if those are your actual reasons for gun-ownership then you would have no need for military grade weapons anyway.

These weapons should be reserved for the heroes who are brave enough to enlist and serve in the United States military.

march

Fallacious argument #12

Okay, you made some great points, but now is not the time to discuss gun control. It’s wrong of you to politicize a tragedy.

Sadly, there is never a time in America where there is not a mass shooting, as America averages more than one mass shooting every day. Mass shootings have become so prevalent that they usually do not even make national news unless they involve ten or more victims. If we wait until there are no mass shooting to have this discussion then we will never have it.

The time is now for responsible gun owners to stop regurgitating fallacious arguments and demand common sense gun control laws that protect their own rights, while keeping guns out of the hands of the worst members of our society.

While it is true that we will never be able to completely eradicate gun violence, it is incumbent upon all law abiding gun owners to do everything they can to keep guns out of the hands of street thugs and the mentally ill.

Hopefully this article will help you have more productive gun discussions with people on all sides of the gun debate.

Using flawed and fallacious arguments belittles us all.

dresswithgun
Michael E Sparks is a responsible gun owner who believes that common sense gun control laws protect the rights of the good citizens of America while saving the lives of the innocent. Michael is a completely independent journalist who is funded solely by his readers. If Michael’s work has value to you consider donating $1 by clicking HERE.

 

 

 

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How to Remove Donald Trump from Office In One Easy Step

Donald Trump has ramped up his rhetoric involving Kim Jong Un and is promising to “totally destroy” North Korea in his latest speech before the U.N.. Simultaneously the U.S. Senate passed a military spending bill for 700 billion dollars.

I am tempted to say “Here we go again” regarding the endless cycle of hawkish maneuvers by the United States, but to do so would be to dismiss that this is not like any other time in U.S. history. There has never been anyone in The White House quite like Donald Trump, a man who reads a Breitbart article at 3:00 AM and begins tweeting about his hotel room being wiretapped.

While most question the merits of Kim Jong Un having nuclear weapons, the idea of “totally destroying” North Korea is an act of genocide against a people that are already oppressed by a ruthless dictator. To punish the innocent citizens of North Korea is no better than “totally destroying” the United States, simply because we have a madman dictator in power. America and North Korea both have toddlers with nuclear weapons running their respective governments. Killing millions of innocent civilians does nothing to rectify either situation.Emad Hajjaj / Jordan

The problem isn’t that Donald Trump is incompetent. That much we could let slide. He would not be the first nincompoop figurehead to occupy The Oval Office. Perhaps we could even find a kind-of silver-lining to his presidency by framing it as a collective stupidity tax on every member of a society that allowed it’s culture to fall so deeply into the gutter that an orange racist punchline with bad hair could so easily lie his way into power.

If it were only Trump’s incompetence at play then we could all just share in the unified embarrassment of his Apprentice-style presidency for four years and then vote for Bernie Sanders (YES, then 79 year old Bernie Sanders!!) in 2020 and begin our nation’s healing process. We could work towards being a better country. We could apologize for our flawed electoral system (yes, $uper-delegates, I’m looking at you) and promise to take democracy more seriously going forward.

One day some inquisitive student would ask

“Is it true that there was once a president who was elected with no prior political experience, who bragged about sexually-assaulting women and said that women should be punished for having abortions, who made racist comments, who defended Nazis and used an ancient form of non-telepathic communication called tweeting to throw temper tantrums in the middle of the night?”

And an adult would say

“Yes, it’s true. That was when Americans woke up and realized that they had to participate in their democracy and do better as a culture. If you’d like to learn more about that dark time in our country’s history, you should check out the Mike Judge documentary Idiocracy. You can experience it in the Holodeck for just three galactic credits.”

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Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution has sparked great interest of late. The wording clearly states that if a president is incapable of fulfilling his duties for any reason, including mental incompetence, that the vice-president has the power to begin immediate precedings to remove the president from office.

In this scenario Mike Pence would be forced to lead the charge and he would have to convince more than half of Trump’s 24 cabinet members to declare him mentally incompetent to hold office. In this case, Pence would immediately take power (this means that Trump is stripped of his ability to use nuclear weapons) while Congress voted on the matter. If 2/3rds of Congress agrees with Pence’s assessment of incompetence then Trump is removed from office permanently, pending appeal.

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Trump’s cabinet is a mess and leaks from inside The White House point to ever-increasing instability. But for Pence to perform a hostile takeover of the office, he would not only need to be certain of the outcome, he would also need to somehow perform the maneuver without alienating Trump’s base, if he were to have any hope of reelection in 2020. If Pence initiated the takeover and it failed it would redefine awkwardness as Trump and Pence would still have to continue working together after the failed coup. For this reason, and many others, Pence will have to make sure that all the pieces are in their ideal positions before launching his attack.

The GOP will be more than happy to help him with this chess-match.

underwood

If those on the left are hoping for a quick and clean dissolution of temperamental Trump’s hold on said nuclear codes, there is really only one way to effectively create this possibility. Those on the left must do something that is completely out of their comfort zone. They must do something that will be completely foreign to them. They must act like they are Republicans for one day and actually show up to vote in the 2018 midterm elections so the left can take control of The House.

The only way that Pence would make such an ostentatious move is if he could then blame the Democrat-controlled Congress for passing the measure that he, himself initiated.

You are probably wondering about my logic at this point. How could Pence initiate a move to remove Trump from office then blame the Democrats for passing the measure that he started?

Simple. Pence would just use the GOP controlled media outlets to continually cast blame at the feet of the Democrats until Trump’s base believed the corporate propaganda. This would be aligned with the wishes of the party that sees Trump as a wrecking-ball. Most Trump voters will believe whatever the corporate media tells them to believe. After all, these are the same people who fell for the Democratic Party’s cross-party manipulation of their primary process.

If the media continues to focus on the Democrat’s passing of the bill that removed Trump, then that’s where Trump’s base will be more than happy to direct their anger towards the Democrats. Pence can give a few speeches about how much he hates the Dems and how he is looking forward to carrying on Trump’s excellent leadership and the country will be duped into believing what they are told to believe. The left will feel victorious and the right will have what they wanted all along; a predictable easy to manipulate corporate puppet for president, in the person of Mike Pence.

pencepuppet

Some will say that Mike Pence is worse than Donald Trump, due to the fact that he is actually a skilled politician who can work with the factions inside the GOP to pass draconian laws that will hurt American citizens more than Trump’s ego-tweeting ever could. I am inclined to agree with this assessment, but Pence, for all his flaws, is unlikely to launch nukes just because he’s having a rough night, whereas Trump is extremely unstable and is actually a very real threat to life on this planet. As far as passing law goes, Pence’s half-presidency would be completely handcuffed by a Democratic majority in The House and Senate.

Launching nukes is done by executive order and does not have a series of checks and balances. This is why Trump must be removed via the 25th Amendment. Any other method of removing him from power, including voting him out democratically in 2020, would result in a scorned Trump still having access to his nuclear arsenal, an inevitable scenario too dire for any of us to contemplate.

trumpnuke

While invoking the 25th Amendment sets a dangerous precedent that will undoubtedly have repercussions going forward, it is infinitely better than allowing this wannabe dictator to continue escalating his nuclear rhetoric with his narcissistic finger on the trigger of a gun that can and will destroy all life on this planet.

If you want Trump removed from office then the next step is to do something absolutely radical, something unprecedented, something so crazy that it just might work.

You’re going to actually have to show up and vote in the 2018 midterms.

That is if any of us are still alive by then.

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Michael E Sparks is a Progressive activist and independent content producer for Activist Media. If you believe in Michael’s work consider donating $1 so he can continue to expand his voice and affect positive change.

 

 

She’s Only Got Herself to Blame

The United States is in the middle of multiple turmoils. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated the South. North Korea is testing nuclear missiles, in an attempt to show the United States that they are willing to launch on us should the need or impulse arise. Nazis are driving their cars through crowds of protesters and our country’s “president” is signaling to hate-groups that he approves of their behavior.

Conversely, Bernie Sanders is fighting for Universal Healthcare with his right arm, while trying to reform the Democratic Party with his left. Bernie could have spent his last year on the talk-show circuit, complaining about how he got shafted in the “Democratic” primary. But instead he is using his newfound notoriety, not to whine, complain or sell books, but rather to attempt to ease the burden of his fellow Americans.

You would think that Hillary Clinton would use this opportunity to stand side by side with Bernie, as sort of a half-apology to the millions of people she shafted by spending the entirety of her campaign in hiding, while working hand in hand with her party to “elevate” Donald Trump, a problem we all have to deal with on a daily basis, thanks to their failed game-plan.

We all know how Hillary loves to come in on the coattails of Progressive ideas, once they become mainstream and attempt to take credit for them. So it seems like this would be a perfect opportunity for typical Hillary grandstanding. The Hillary of old would have stood next to Bernie and continually referred to Bernie’s Medicare for All bill as “her bill.” Bernie would have looked sideways at her, smiled and allowed her to take the spotlight. As long as the bill passed, Sanders would have been content.

berniesideways

But Hillary cannot even be bothered to pretend to represent the best interests of The People any longer. After a year and a half of listless, half-conscious speeches to three-quarters empty high-school gymnasiums, Hillary can not even bother to be bothered to pretend to care about what happens to the poor and disenfranchised Americans who cannot afford to go to the doctor or to buy the medications they need to keep themselves alive. “Oh, stage four cancer and opioid addiction? Let them eat cake.”

cake

Hillary and the Democratic Party are busy pointing their fingers at anyone and everyone, in their never-ending attempts to deflect blame from their catastrophic 2016 campaign, that was so poorly handled, that even with blatant cheating and massive media manipulation, they still found a way to lose to the Pipe-piper candidate that Bill and Hillary cajoled into running.

But of course, logic is not the strong suit of the corporatist Democrats. In their twisted minds, the fact that Orange Julius Caesar now has control of our country’s nukes has nothing to do with their own corrupt methods. According to Hillary’s new book, What Happened was that Bernie Sanders did “lasting damage” to her campaign and that’s why she lost. Hillary’s book release is conspicuously timed to coincide with a barrage of corporate media reports claiming that many Bernie Sanders’ supporters, actually voted for Trump in the general election, thereby costing Hillary her promised coronation.

Spinning information to form mind viruses is still a very effective way to manipulate public sentiment, so of course, the Democrats choose that path instead of actual party reformation. The Democrats have no intention of becoming more Progressive. Their plan is the same failed plan that gave away the White House, Senate, Congress and The Supreme Court in 2016. Their plan is as boring as watching paint dray and as predictable as the fall of the Roman empire. Their plan is triangulation. In other words, to stay just a click to the left of the GOP so they can collect disenfranchised Republicans while simultaneously attempting to guilt progressives into supporting lesser-evilism.

As if 2016 wasn’t enough of example of how disenchanted our country has become with “say anything and change nothing” D.I.N.O.s (Democrat In Name Only). As our country stands on the brink of fascism, with Climate Change threatening to end all life on the planet, instead of heeding the loudest wake-up call in political history, these Democrats, are looking to play the blame-game and the people they are blaming are the very people who are attempting to save their dying party and breathe new life into it.

Instead of blaming Sanders, who went out on the campaign trail to beg his recently cheated voters to swallow their collective pride and vote for Clinton, perhaps Hillary might want to explain why she never campaigned in traditionally blue Wisconsin, a state which she lost to Trump by a single point in 2016. Instead of blaming Sanders’ supporters, many of whom entered the party exclusively to vote for the Vermont Senator, perhaps Hillary might want to explain why her campaign made multiple trips to campaign in Texas, a place where the Democrats had no chance of winning, instead of making extra stops in Florida and Pennsylvania, states where Clinton lost by a combined three points. When Hillary points her finger out at independents and progressives, she is forgetting the three fingers that point back at her, in digits tattooed with her hawkish war record, big donor money and mysterious disappearing Wall Street transcripts. Even in the political afterlife, Hillary Clinton is still her own worst enemy.

It seems that blame is the only thing the Democrats are excelling at these days. Perhaps it would be better for them to answer questions regarding their strict voting laws that discriminate against independent voters in closed primary states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. If all the Democrats needed in the aforementioned states was a few thousands votes to swing the election, it seems abundantly clear that opening up those state primaries to independent voters would have made the difference for Clinton a few months later when a little good will with voters would have went a long way.

It seems Clinton and the Democrats “would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats” than to own the fact that their super-delegate program does more than simply crash grassroots movements, it actually crushes the spirit of all those people you most need in order to win elections.

Hillary Clinton is a self-proclaimed feminist, but in addition to literally playing her woman card in place of actually policy discussion during her campaign, her incessant whining about how she was cheated by Bernie Sanders, James Comey, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and all the “basement dwelling” Bernie Bros, comes across as sounding a lot more like victim-hood than feminism.

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It is no wonder that Hillary Clinton was the undisputed choice of the completely out of touch Democratic Party. They don’t get it. She doesn’t get it.

The People don’t like you Hillary. They didn’t like you in 2008 and they liked you even less in 2016. The only people that voted for you were the leftover remnants of now-defunct Oprah book-clubs and people who were afraid of Donald Trump. It’s 2017 and the rest of us have moved on to fighting this fascist you hoisted upon us.

If you really want to know who cost Hillary Clinton the election, I suggest you find a nice full-length mirror to stare into. When you’re done feeling sorry for yourself, wipe those tears off your pantsuit and start trying to make up for the huge mess you created.

Or just disappear back into the woods.

I don’t think it really matters what you do anymore.

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Michael E Sparks is a Progressive activist and head of Activist Media. His goal is to bring the media back into the hands of The People. If you believe in his mission please consider donating $1 HERE. All donations go towards forwarding the goals of Activist Media.

How Liberals Empower the Alt-Right Movement

“When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

-Ancient Kikuyu proverb

 

Yesterday, I made a post on social media which stated

“The alt-right was born in reaction to hateful, liberal PC police, who degrade anyone who has a belief that does not align with widely accepted cultural norms.”

I did not make this post cavalierly. It was the result of several months of intense study on the alt-right movement, where it stems from and what fuels it. Of course, knee-jerk liberals attacked the post immediately without even attempting to understand its meaning or the irony of their attacks. I had said something different, something nuanced, something that didn’t jibe with their “Donald Trump is the cause of all my problems!!” mantra. So they attacked. That’s what liberals do in 2017. They attack.

I received the typical hate-mail that I usually receive for stepping out of line, along with promises to “block my hateful racist ass.” One man even told me that “racism has always existed.” and that maybe I should go “read a book.” I particularly delighted in the “read a book” insult. Liberals love to find ways to let you know that they are intellectually superior to anyone who doesn’t agree with them. “Do your research.” is another popular liberal taunt. The message is always loud and clear. I’m right. You’re wrong. I’m smarter than you.

While I’d love to believe that these liberals were just being ironic, as they made my point for me, by attacking me and attempting to shame me on a post that was about how liberals attack and shame anyone who challenges them. But subtlety and irony are lost on these types. While missing the irony in their own knee-jerk reactions, the modern liberal is the epitome of irony, using hate and intolerance to silence hate and intolerance.

While it can certainly be said that Conservatives engage in the exact same types of degrading ad-hominem attacks, I’m not sure that liberals can continue to take the moral high-ground if their primary defense is “Hey, Conservatives are just as bad!!” It would be a good start if all people could universally agree that the moment someone uses name-calling or character assassination against someone’s argument, that they have automatically lost said argument. This type of behavior is an indictment on the perpetrator and really has nothing to do with the person on the receiving end.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As the white-hot rage of the left intensifies, the alt-right becomes more polarized. As is often the case, the outermost extremes have more in common than different. Each side empowers the other, while weakening the middle. In the age of social media, nuance and skepticism are replaced with eye-catching extremes. Attention gravitates towards those desperate enough to literally say or do anything to garner the spotlight. In fact, many alt-right groups exist solely as a reaction to what their members see as extremist liberal culture gone mad. It may be important to understand the mindset of those who think differently than you do if you are to have any hope of changing that mindset. It may be important to understand the disease you are attempting to cure, as degrading and shaming it away have lead us to the point where we have a White Supremacist president who is constantly signaling approval to these groups.

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Liberals who attack people this way hinder our march towards equality. If your method of dealing with those who have differing viewpoints is to attack them and then block them, then you are nothing more than a tool for all that you claim to be against. These liberal attacks are born out of a desire to gratify one’s ego through downgrading someone else. The liberal knows that they are right and that they will have others who will agree with them, as they have carefully constructed their echo-chamber to eliminate all opposing views. Should someone have a question or viewpoint that is unpopular, this is the liberal’s chance to pounce and denigrate someone for all the anger they have been forced to carry around as a result of the world not conforming to their view. Over time, these constant attacks take someone who was simply racist through easily cured ignorance and hardens them into an alt-right warrior ready to take up arms and die for what they now view as martyrdom against liberals who they perceive to be hostile to their very existence.

Liberals have stopped answering questions. They can no longer be bothered to educate. Their answer to everything is to shout it down and shame it. This is not only born out of a desire to feel superior, but also out of the pathetic laziness that comes from believing wholeheartedly that you are always right. For example, the hypothetical question above regarding “White Lives Matter”, most liberals simply cannot answer it. They know what they believe, but their beliefs are typically fueled by emotion over reason. When someone asks a question that they do not have the answer to, attacking and signaling to their echo-chamber that they are indignant to the idea of racism and thereby less racist than others. Each attack signals to their cohorts that they are actually even less racist than their allies. Liberals, in their constant game of one-upping each other, have created an equal and opposite reaction of white-straight-males who feel so intimidated and marginalized that they actually believe the ridiculous notion that there is a genocide against their people.

I’m not asking you to feel sorry for the poor white man. Nothing is more disgusting and worthy of bile and hatred than the giant toddler engulfed in full white-privilege temper tantrum, while chanting something as seriously out of touch with reality as “The Jews Will Not Replace Us.” Nothing makes me puke a little in my mouth quicker than dudes in camo shorts prancing around with Tiki-torches showing off their weak grasp of monosyllabics by chanting “White Power” ad nauseam.

All I’m saying is that dehumanizing people with language has the effect of making them act inhuman. There has to be a step beyond PC culture where a compassionate dialogue is created, where it is safe to say something that others disagree with, because the intelligent, scientific, logical exchange of ideas is valued above childish name-calling.

Finally, to the white males who ask why it is not okay to say or display White Lives Matter or All Lives Matter, when black people can say Black Lives Matter…

The answer is that it’s totally okay to display something that says that. Because this is America and hundreds of thousands of people have fought and died for your right to say whatever uniformed, insensitive thing that you want to say. Black Lives Matter is not a way of saying that other lives don’t matter. It is a movement to draw attention to the fact that black people are targeted disproportionately by the system. The key word here is “disproportionate.” It means “not in fair measure to.” Yes, the system more than likely discriminates against you as well. But not in the same ways. You enjoy certain privileges that may be invisible to you. It is likely, if you are a poor, white, male who has worked hard to get where he is, that you may have trouble seeing your privilege. Privilege is an odd thing. One can be completely blinded to it, but once one begins to see it, they notice it all the time. We do not say Black Lives Matter to marginalize other races, but to draw attention to the fact that blacks are incarcerated at five times the rate of white Americans. We do not say Black Lives Matter as a way to invalidate anyone else’s struggle, but instead to draw attention to the fact that black people are 2.5 times more likely to be shot by police than white people are. I understand fully that many white people may believe that black people are shot more than white people, because they commit more crimes than white people do and you may be resistant to statistics that I can present that will attempt to show how socioeconomic struggles disproportionately affect black Americans. I understand that to someone, like yourself, who has worked hard their entire life, that these things may come across sounding like excuses. I assure you that they are not, but I am also confident that without a long-term dialogue, where I treat you with respect, than it is unlikely that I will achieve the level of respect from you required to get you to listen to my viewpoints. I can promise you that in the meantime you probably don’t want to display anything that says White Lives Matter or All Lives Matter on it, because once you get the whole purpose behind Black Lives Matter, you will probably be embarrassed that you ever displayed something like that. It’s your prerogative to do as you wish. I’m open to talk about it, but it’s going to take a while.

Wow, this is hard.

I’m starting to think that just insulting everyone’s intelligence and blocking everyone who disagrees with me might be easier.

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Michael E Sparks is a political activist, independent writer and head of grassroots media organization Activist Media. If you believe in Michael’s voice please consider donating $1 by clicking HERE. Your donations go to pay for equipment, server space and coffee so Michael can continue to spread his leftist propaganda.

 

The Time We Almost Hacked the U.S. Presidential Election

Hello fellow revolutionaries!!

This is the final leaked chapter from my book, My Bernie Journey – A Behind the Scenes Look at the 2016 “Democratic” Primary

My goal was to release the book on August 28, but while struggling to finish the final chapter, I decided to go out on the road and interview 30 people in 24 cities and ask them some fundamental questions about where our movement was going and what I should include in the book before it goes to press.

I got to interview amazing Progressives like Tim Canova and Sam Ronan. I also got to interview hardcore activists like Amos Miers and Peter Campbell. All of these videos will be up on the Activist Media YouTube channel in the coming weeks, so please click the Tim Canova link above and subscribe to our new channel. We have some incredibly exciting video projects coming up, one of which may even have an effect on Bernie Sanders’ decision to run for president in 2020.

For those of you who have helped bring the book to press, THANK YOU!!!

If you like what you read in this leaked chapter, consider joining The 27 Buck Club by clicking HERE. Anyone who donates $27 will not only get their name inside the book as being one of the people who helped bring the book to press, but you will also receive a secondary compilation of articles called The Independent Thinker Chronicles. Physical copies of the books will be sent to your home upon their October release.

If you cannot afford to donate, that’s cool. Money is tight for most of us in this economy that is eroding our middle-class. I got you covered either way. Just send me an email GoBernieGoBernieGo@gmail.com and I’ll make sure you get a digital copy sent out for FREE!!

Without further ado, here’s the final leaked chapter!!

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Shy Ridley passing out fliers for the Vermont Bernie Sanders write-in campaign at the Take Back Democracy March. Photo by Melaine Oringer.

 

Chapter 18 – The Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In

In which the author proves his absolute insanity by trying to hack into an exploit in the United States presidential race at the risk of pissing off the very person he is trying to help

Bernie had been very clear about the plan. We all vote for Hillary and then Bernie would use the leveraging power of millions of die-hard supporters to push Clinton to endorse Progressive policies. The plan was simple enough. The problem was that this plan involved Hillary Clinton becoming president and that just seemed too much to bear for people like myself who had given everything to Sanders’ campaign. There had to be a better way.

Many noted that Hillary seemed ill. “Perhaps she will die.” people would say, but then because they were good liberals they would add “Not that I would ever wish death on anyone.” There was also a looming indictment, but none of us really believed that the courts could touch someone so powerful. But there had to be a way. Looking back now I accept that I was simply in denial. But I kept looking. “There has to be a way.” Carrie would catch me saying aloud while I tore through article after article.

Then one day, while traveling, I pulled over to get coffee. While standing in line, reading The Inquisitr, I stumbled across an article by Dawn Papple called Could Just Thousands In Wyoming or Vermont Hold the Key to a Surprise Bernie Sanders Presidency? The article spoke of a ludicrous idea that people had been discussing on Twitter. In a nutshell, the idea was that we could focus in on seven states that allow write-in voting and canvass those states, Sanders could win those states, depriving Trump and Clinton of the 270 electoral votes needed to attain the presidency. This would force the House of Representatives to choose the President, as is the law. In short, there would be a slim chance of a Sanders presidency.

One who is informed on political matters would quickly note that The House was controlled by Republicans and therefore Trump would be the obvious choice between Sanders, Clinton and Trump. This was more than likely true, but my counterpoint was that establishment Republicans hated Trump and that there was a slim chance that some may step out on both sides of the aisle to support Sanders, especially after the Democrats had blackballed him in the primary. Granted this was a Hail Mary, but when that’s all you got, you throw it deep and hope for a miracle.

To Dawn’s credit, she kept her sanity and journalistic integrity. She wrote the article with a whimsical “wouldn’t it be nice” folly. I, on the other hand, being completely desperate and insane, took the words far too seriously and began to research. I started calling into the seven states asking them about their write-in laws. I began reading obscure passages in each state’s law, getting stuck and making phone calls and asking odd questions that no one knew the answers to. I would get referred to someone who had spent their entire life studying voter law, who probably hadn’t been asked a question in twenty years. These people would be so grateful for my query that they would want to talk forever, discussing the finer points of said law and its origins. I did not have that kind of time. “Thanks!! Gotta go!!” I’d say, hanging up and heading off to the next challenge. My desk was a mess of printouts and sketches. I felt like a mad scientist who had discovered time travel and only needed a single equation to bring the whole thing together. Sleep became a distant memory. I researched and researched and researched until it was all very clear.

OH MY GOD!!! WE CAN DO THIS!!!

I’ve spent my entire life intentionally pursuing delusion. I’m not insane. I get it. I know how things work. I know statistical probabilities. But I also know that all great things are done by people who decide to do something that everyone around them thinks is completely crazy. After all, my hero is a man from Vermont who decided to run against the Clinton empire when it had already been preordained that Hillary Clinton was going to be the candidate. Bernie knew that the deck was stacked against him. He ran anyway. And now I’m sitting here writing this book and your life, just like mine, has been forever changed by him making this completely irrational decision.

When I started the Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In Campaign someone said “This has a one in a million chance of succeeding.”

I replied “The odds of success are actually much lower, but the chances of Sanders becoming president if we don’t try this is actually zero in a million.”

So I got to work. The first thing I did was to write an article about it. I needed every volunteer I could get so I wrote an article that explained every aspect of how the plan would work. I wrote it in a question and answer style that was fairly easy to understand. Sanders’ supporters are generally pretty intelligent and this was necessary as I was attempting to explain a loophole in our electoral process and most Americans have no idea how that process even works. I didn’t either when I started the movement. People think that I’m some sort of expert on politics. Honestly, I don’t know a damned thing. I just have a burning desire for The Truth, so I read a million articles on every subject I’m passionate about. I don’t seek out articles that reinforce what I believe. I am not lured in by this appeal to my ego, nor am I seduced by extreme opinions on an issue. I seek only the illusive reality that can be found only when one is able to anesthetize their confirmation bias and enjoy the pleasant feeling of accepting that they had been previously wrong. For much of humanity’s time here on Earth, those in power kept the serfs ignorant as a means of control. Now, for this brief time in history, we have access to the entire wealth of human knowledge, yet the serfs keep themselves ignorant by diving into toxic rabbit-holes filled with rhetoric and hyperbole. It’s very sad. I suspect if you are reading this, you are as frustrated with this trend as I am.

The article exploded. Its blatant insanity inspired people to action. My email box was overflowing. I simply could not keep up. I live my life by a saying, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” The first mighty force that came to my aid was Shannon Blosser-Salisbury. She became my assistant and quickly recruited others to assist her and just like that, before I knew what was happening, the Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In Campaign was off and running.

I made several attempts to get phone lists for Vermont so that we would be able to phone-bank into the state. Everyone I asked for assistance with this project told me that I was insane, that only legitimate political campaigns had access to this information and that I was wasting my time trying. This information seemed to be accurate. I was making zero headway and time was the one thing we did not have as we had started our desperate campaign just six weeks before the general election. Finally Shannon had the idea that we would simply call through the Vermont phone-book. I wrote out a script and began training phone-bankers and then heroically, Terje Oseberg came in with the actual phone-bank info for every single person in Vermont!! He even used his own money to pay for it!! Mighty forces were coming to my aid so fast that my head was spinning!!

I had done the math and knew that we needed to convert one out of every four voters that we spoke with. Expecting this kind of result in normal phone-banking is just delusional, but we were calling into Bernie’s backyard. The people of Vermont absolutely love Bernie Sanders. The key was having an effective script. Explaining a plan to usurp the United States general election in just a few seconds in a way that sounded fun and was easy to understand was one of my greatest writing challenges to date. I must have nailed it because we were converting 75% of voters!! Even though we were angry revolutionaries who wanted to right a great wrong perpetrated by the Democratic Party, I knew that the people of Vermont would not want to hear anything like that. Instead we framed it as a “celebration of Sanders lifetime of service to the people of Vermont.”

The people of Vermont loved our idea and most everyone hung up the phone saying that they would write in Sanders name on their ballot. The problem we were running into was that we had to call 625,000 people and we only had about 20 people volunteering to phone-bank. This was incredibly frustrating. I knew that I had built a successful model, but as determined as our volunteers were, we just didn’t have the bodies to make this work. It was at this point that I promised myself that I would build a political organization that was able to generate enough funds to support worthwhile projects in the future. Had I been financially prepared for this opportunity, I could have hired a bunch of kids who needed jobs, paid them $15 an hour, rented a call-center and flooded Vermont. I can tell you with extreme certainty that Bernie Sanders would have won Vermont if only I had had the money to pour into this project. Our phone-bankers were amazing, but we just didn’t have enough of them.

I called every major newspaper in Vermont. My goal was to run full page ads alerting the population of Vermont to our plan, but I simply could not afford it. To run these ads for six weeks would have been about $20,000. I was too proud to crowdfund the project. I was used to paying for everything myself. In retrospect I was just being selfish, letting my pride get in the way like that. I should have open the conduit and let others pool their resources. We would have won Vermont if we could have raised $40,000 dollars. Of course, we know now that it wouldn’t have made any difference. In order for our plan to work, Trump and Hillary would have had to be incredibly close in the electoral college. It wasn’t close at all. Trump won the electoral college handily. Still our movement taught me a lot and I realized that in order to get anything done in politics, great ideas and determination were a great starting point, but in reality, money is required.

For such a small group, we made a lot of noise. We even had people travel to Vermont to canvass. One family came all the way across the country from Colorado, with two small children, and were greeted with smiling faces at nearly every door they knocked on. Vermont resident Claudia Pringles did the same in her own backyard. All reports were that the residents of Vermont were incredibly receptive to our initiative. Phish drummer, Jon Fishman, even wrote an open letter to Vermont residents encouraging them to write-in Bernie Sanders. Before we knew it, Vermont news stations were covering our movement and The Washington Post contacted me and asked me to do an interview on what we were doing. A similar movement even popped up in Utah, as upstart Evan McMullin decided to throw his name in the electoral college lottery by trying to win that state. Another movement, OpDeny270, sprung up to focus on the other six write-in states. It was abundantly clear that the people were not happy with the “choice” between Clinton and Trump and would grasp at any and all attempts to be able to vote for an honest candidate who represented The People.

Just when I thought my Bernie Journey was over, I found myself planning a trip to Vermont to canvass, one last time, for this great man. I scraped together a few hundred dollars and told Carrie and the kids that I was headed off to knock on doors. They had dealt with me darting off to different cities so many times at this point that they didn’t even bat an eye.

But I was scared. One thing that I had been incredibly concerned about during the entire process was the fact that I was trying to get Bernie Sanders elected president, even though he had already stated very clearly that he was endorsing Hillary Clinton. I knew that if we contacted him directly about our movement that he would be forced to denounce it, as per his agreement with the Democratic Party, so basically my goal was to keep it hidden from Bernie until we had already canvassed all 600,000 Vermont residents. In the back of my mind this always nagged at me. What if Bernie didn’t want to be the president any longer? What if he was just exhausted and relieved that he didn’t have to take the job? Would Bernie be angry at me when he learned that I was going against what he had asked me to do? Was I deceiving Bernie Sanders with all my hard work?

In addition to keeping our movement a secret from Bernie, we also needed to keep it a secret from the Democratic Party, who had become well-known for using underhanded tactics against anyone who became a threat to their agenda. Vermont was an easy win for Clinton. What would they try to do to us if they found out we were trying to steal electoral votes from her? As it turned out, we did have a political campaign attack and sabotage us, but it wasn’t the Clinton’s.

I had to get a few things lined up on the home-front before I could head out. It would be two weeks before I could touch down in Vermont. I put out an advertisement looking for a canvassing coordinator to train incoming volunteers until I could get there. This is where the wheels came off the entire operation.

The most qualified applicant was a woman named Lisa (changing her name to protect her). Lisa was not only an experienced canvasser for Bernie Sanders, but had even been canvassing for Jill Stein after Bernie was cheated in the primary. Lisa said that she lived close to the Sanders’ residence and that in Vermont, Bernie and Jane were just normal people. She added that she remembered swimming in their pool when she was a little kid. In retrospect, I should have realized that this was too good to be true, but remember, I was desperate for help and as a result I was really susceptible to believing what I wanted to believe. I forgot to anesthetize my confirmation bias and it cost me dearly. Hiring Lisa proved to be a complete fiasco.

Lisa was supposed to go to college campuses to explain our initiative and recruit canvassers, but instead each day she would tell me about how busy she had been dealing with kids, work, etc.. While I certainly understood how life can place incredible demands on us, I still reminded her that we had to get our canvassers on the ground immediately. She agreed each time and then the following day came at me with a variation on the same excuses. When I told her that I would need to hire a different canvassing coordinator, Lisa told me that her busy schedule wasn’t the real reason why she had been dragging her feet. Lisa told me that the real reason was that she felt like she was betraying her lifetime friends, Bernie and Jane Sanders.

I had to do some deep soul-searching. In my desire to see Sanders elected president I had not only started a major movement behind his back, but now I was asking his friends and neighbors to keep a secret from him. I messaged Lisa back and told her that if Bernie knows then he will have to denounce the movement or risk his position with the Democratic Party. I asked her if she would be willing to compromise and ask Jane Sanders. Lisa agreed and I waited on pins and needles for the entire day. The following morning Lisa messaged me and told me that Jane was incredibly moved by what we were trying to do, but that she wanted us to stop it. Jane said that Bernie didn’t want to be president and pleaded with us to stop doing what we were doing and to “vote for someone who is actually on the ballot.”

I was devastated. I went to our volunteers and told them that I was walking away from the movement. To their credit they told me that they were going ahead without me. I loved them for that, but I simply could not bring myself to force something on Bernie that he didn’t even want. I felt so sick and foolish. I contacted The Washington Post and told them that I was canceling my trip to Vermont. That night I wrote an addendum to the article that had started our movement that simply said that Jane Sanders had asked us to stop and that I would no longer support a movement that went against the wishes of the person it was intending to honor.

The following morning I awoke to chaos. Someone had shown my article to Jane Sanders and Jane had tweeted that my article was a lie. Jane said that no such conversation with Lisa had ever taken place and that she would never advise someone to not vote for Bernie. Also someone sent me a video of Bernie Sanders being asked about our movement and Bernie laughed and said something to the effect that it would probably be okay due to the fact that Vermont only had three electoral votes.

This was incredibly scary. Bernie and Jane knew about our movement and had both given it a pseudo-endorsement. On the other hand, I had spread misinformation about the Jane Sanders. I immediately went into damage control mode. I released a statement saying that the write-in initiative was still in effect and apologized for the confusion I had caused, even though I still really had no idea what was going on.

Sifting through thousands of messages I found a series of screen shots from a conversation that Lisa had had with someone who worked very closely with Jill Stein. I’m not going to say this person’s name either, but the gist of the conversation was that Lisa was supposed to infiltrate our group and convince us to stop our initiative. It turns out that Lisa was telling the truth about one thing. She was a huge fan of Jill Stein. Apparently some of Jill’s loyalists had come up with the naive notion that our progress in Vermont was somehow threatening Jill’s chances of attaining 5% of the nationwide vote. At 5% The Green Party would qualify for federal funding in the next presidential election cycle. Some people, close to Jill Stein, had decided that we were a threat to their federal funding and hatched a plan to sabotage our campaign. If this sounds ridiculous it’s because it absolutely is. Jill Stein was not a serious candidate in the state of Vermont or any other state for that matter, so I have no idea why her people would think that 175,000 votes (our target goal) would affect her either way. While I don’t hold Jill personally responsible for the sabotaging efforts against our campaign, it is hard to believe that she didn’t know about what was happening, considering her proximity to the person who initiated the sabotage.

In the end we didn’t win, but I took some personal satisfaction in the fact that we managed to get more people to write-in Bernie Sanders than all those who voted for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and the other two small-party candidates combined. Our campaign for a man who wasn’t even on the ballot managed to get three and a half times as many votes as the campaign that attempted to sabotage us.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish something. With a little more time and money, we would have accomplished our goal and Bernie Sanders would have been the first write-in candidate in American history to actually win a state. We were a lot closer to achieving this than most people realize.

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Michael E Sparks is a political activist, Independent writer and head of Activist Media. Michael believes strongly in keeping corporate influence out of his political voice. His work is funded completely by donations. If you believe in what he is doing consider donating by clicking HERE. Or more importantly, donate to Hurrican Harvey relief by clicking HERE.

My Bernie Journey Release Notes and Other Exciting Projects

I wanted to let everyone know what’s going on with various projects I’m working on. Honestly, some of this stuff is going to bring a lot of joy to a lot of people and have a pretty major impact on the world.

The book, My Bernie Journey will be out in October. I really wanted to have it out by August 28, but it wouldn’t have been as good as it could be. I’m just adding a couple of chapters and tidying a few things up. Am I allowed to say that I’m incredibly proud of it? Or I am supposed to just spout modest cliches? Either way, I’m damn proud of the book. I really just wrote it for my friends, you guys. But anytime you start doing something for others, it always rewards you a hundred fold. Writing the book put me in touch with some things. It evolved me a bit. I think it will make some people happy. If you donated and thereby got the book to press, thank you so damned much. That’s seriously like the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I hope when you read the book you feel the love that I have for you.

I started this company, basically from nothingness (isn’t that where everything starts?). I’ve dubbed it Activist Media. There may already be a company out there with that name. So if that’s an issue, I will call it Resist/Revolt Activist Media. We are the tiniest of businesses at this time. Through kind people donating to our mission we were able to purchase a basic mobile film kit and we went on the road recording interviews with activists, basically just trying to listen to people and get a pulse for what our movement is doing.

That was an incredible experience. Carrie and I emptied our meager bank accounts to do it and it was incredibly freeing. Carrie and I have an ongoing conversation regarding manifesting and our relationship has been an exercise in helping each other to remove the obstacles that cloud the path towards that manifestation. And if that sounds like crazy hippie talk to anyone, just let me say that I completely understand how you feel. I used to feel the exact same way. It’s all good.

As to what we are manifesting, well it remains to be seen. I am Steve Jobs tinkering in my garage. All I have is a vision. In time Activist Media will define itself. I just know that there are viewpoints that aren’t being represented on all sides of the political spectrum. I’m going to assist in that process. I’m not going to be competitive or cut-throat with other content creators. I’m going to help them. There is no time for petty squabbles among allies. Fascism is afoot. We must take control of the media.

With that in mind, I have been turning a room of our house into a television studio. It’s our dining room, so it can’t just stay that way all the time. So I’ve been setting up a ten minute room conversion with infinity green screen that I built from materials I got at the Dollar Tree and Ace Hardward that were paid for with Catherine Harris’s donation and then Karin Heinley, Susan Simonsen and Marcia Stewart sent in donations that bought the editing software that we are using with it. Thanks to those incredibly compassionate people Activist Media will be producing a series of shorts, premiering in September that focus on topics ranging from effective political debating to creative activism. We’ve spent a ton of time preparing these projects and shooting them and editing them is laborious, but I know once Activist Media finds it’s stride then we will be able to bring on people who share our vision for a better America. In fact, I’m just declaring right now, that, in a year, I am going to have a personal assistant. I never thought I’d say anything like that, but it’s for the greater good. I’ll create a job. Starting pay $15, which is about $14 more an hour than I am currently making. I am wearing way too many hats to be as effective as I need to be, but it’s important that I learn what each of those hats feels like. That way, later, when I have someone else doing editing or whatever roles I sacrifice, I will be able to have a real dialogue with that person. Right now, it’s pretty exciting and challenging. I’m working twelve hour days and wanting to work longer. I’m inspired.

I’m also enjoying the last time in my life where I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills. I know this may sound crazy, but I’m trying to cherish that. Once Activist Media gets off the ground, I’ll take some money and hire a lawyer and figure out the smartest way to set it up to be the most effective. Once the company is successful, I probably won’t be below the poverty line for the first time in my life. At that point, I’ll go hardcore into philanthropy. I don’t have anything against money. But my only motivation to have money is to promote positive change. I don’t understand how people can horde money when there are people starving in the world. It will take a couple of years to really get it off the ground, but I’m completely dedicated to it and human beings can mostly accomplish anything they put their minds to. They can do this, because when people are extremely dedicated others come and join to help them.

In closing, I wanted to tell you that in October (that’s Mr Optimist talking…he means NOVEMBER) we have an interactive music video that is actually an open letter to Bernie Sanders encouraging him to run in 2020. This is going to be epic and I’m just putting it out there, right now, that I’m going to ask my kid’s hero, Kimya Dawson, who is a super Sanders supporter, to be part of it. I’m actually working right now to get the demo prepped to send to her. If you’re reading this, you’re going to be part of this epic project. I can’t even go into all the nuances of it now, but for real, the word epic was made for this project.

Anyway, back to work. Thanks for letting me rant. 🙂

dresswithgun
Michael E Sparks is the only employee at Activist Media, an organization founded with the sole intention of reclaiming the media for The People. If you believe in what Michael is doing then consider donating by clicking HERE. If you donate Michael will buy something else to create more and better media. Once a lot of people donate then we will create jobs.

Watching My Friend Meet Bernie Sanders

This is not an article and will not be edited for punctuation or grammar. It is a stream of consciousness and will not be reviewed or rewritten. I will sometimes use this space to just blog out to my friends, so that we might feel more connected. Things move at a certain pace on social media and people do a lot of talking past one another. I am suspicious of a medium that expects that we consolidate the essence of ourselves and our thoughts into fragments that people can absorb and be moved by, before their finger can flick the screen to the next message. I’m wondering if this method of methadoning for loneliness isn’t somehow detrimental to our wellbeing. I’m wondering if the nuances of what makes us human are getting lost in corporate algorithms that decide that you should see a picture of someone’s cat and then someone else’s food as substitution for actual human contact.

I wonder if Bernie Sanders ever just thinks “Fuck it! Fuck these apathetic people!! Let them have what they fucking deserve!!!”

I don’t think he ever thinks that. I’ve been watching the man very closely for a couple of years now. I was never moved like this before. I usually meet people and think “Man, if it wasn’t for (insert personality disorder here) they’d be really amazing.” But Bernie, he’s a better person than me. I try to be like him and fail, but I get closer with practice. It’s a zen thing. You can’t pretend to be Bernie. You just have to let go of outcomes and march towards what you know is right. You have to forget about ego and accolades and just act out of love. It’s hard sometimes. I’ve been watching him. All I see is strength.

I’m aware that there are those who do not get it and would say that those who do get it are basically cult members. Sure, that’s fair. I like belonging to a cult that’s about love and servitude. I believe we can make a beautiful world that way. When I feel down, I think of Bernie Sanders and how he doesn’t give up and I don’t give up and I don’t feel as down.

My friend texted me after the rally, Monday, and asked how it was. I replied

“I feel renewed. Bernie rallies are like church for us secularists.”

Can I tell you something amazing that happened at rally? First off, I am close friends with the keynote speaker at the thing, as well as having worked with most of the people who were standing behind Bernie on one political action or another, so if I wanted to be standing up there next to him I could be opportunistic and make that happen. But fuck that. That just makes me sick to even think about being that way. Bernie Sanders is a busy motherfucker. I’ve been within a few feet of him on several occasions. I just watch him and observe how kind he is to everyone. It’s incredibly genuine. I try to absorb that attitude and model it in my own life. I’m not even close, but now I know what it looks like.

When I was a little kid, I used to watch Little House on the Prairie. I’d watch Michael Landon’s character. He was such a good man. Not at all like my father or the junkies I had met in our home. Had I never watched that show, I wouldn’t have known what a good father was like. And I wouldn’t have known that the way I was being treated was abnormal. I’ve always modeled strong men since then. Bernie Sanders was the first man I’d seen in a while that really inspired me to try to improve some of my rougher edges. I want to be kind like he is. I’m pretty difficult to get along with sometimes.

Monday I saw Bernie fall backwards over some steps and my heart sank, but some heroic people caught him and stood him upright. I was imagining that the news might have caught that and that it may be used against him, should he announce he is running for president again, some nasty spin on the poor man’s stumble to try to make him look old. I hate that the world has come to that, but if they caught it, you know they put a pin in it to refer back to later.

Anyway, the rally ends and I’m standing next to the barrier with my friend Colt Silvers (badass name, right?), talking to my friend Michael Torres, the final speaker that day, telling him how amazing his speech was. Michael is such a humble man. He is beautiful and kind. He is a labor leader and he works very hard locally to advance the cause of the working man. Michael is a small, Hispanic man and I know that he is afraid to speak in public, especially after Bernie Sanders had just spoke. But he grabbed the microphone and rocked it. I watched him standing next to Bernie on the stage. I watched as everyone came over and took selfies with Bernie. I knew that Michael wanted to do the same, but I know he is not the type to bother someone for such things. He was standing right next to Bernie the entire evening and he never once bothered him. I was blown away by that.

BUT THEN SUDDENLY, as I was talking with Michael and Colt, Bernie Sanders starts walking towards us Colt says “I want you to meet Bernie!” at the same time Michael Torres, from inside the barrier says “I’m going to direct Bernie to you.”

I did not want to meet Bernie Sanders. I do not want to bother the man. I want him to go rest and spend time with his grandchildren. I do not want to exalt myself above others. But still, I was absolutely blown away by the selflessness of these two men. I stood there, accepting their offer of kindness, feeling awkward.

A mob converged on Senator Sanders and I wanted to tell him that we would start a fund to have guards protect him at all times because we just don’t like him walking around like this out in the open. That’s all I wanted to say to him. I always ask people what they said to Bernie when they met him and they always say that they cried and said “Thank you.”, which is probably what I would have actually said, had I met him, but what I wanted to say to him was that we were going to start a fund to protect him and ask him if he would accept the guards if we paid for them. But of course he would have said “No.” That’s just not how Bernie rolls. He isn’t afraid of anything. He knows his ideology is already unstoppable so he doesn’t fear for his mortality.

But I didn’t meet him…

Something better happened..

Michael Torres, who is so meek, bravely stepped right in front of Bernie Sanders and directed him to me. Bernie was overwhelmed, smiling and trying to listen to everyone at once. It looked extremely hard to be Bernie Sanders.

Michael Torres said “This is Michael E Sparks. He is writing a book about you.”

Michael Torres doing that, was about the most beautiful act of kindness I have ever seen. I would have been mortified to do that. I’m sure Michael was too. I had to pay this kindness immediately forward.

Bernie reached his hand through the crowd, right at me. Everything moved in slow motion, I looked at my friend Colt, who is an amazing man, who loves Bernie Sanders every bit as much as I do. I live loudly, so people know how I feel. Colt lives in a quieter way, but he is every bit the man I am. I knew instantly what needed to happen. I’m not sure if I actually grabbed Colt’s arm or if I just Jedi mind controlled his arm with my eyes, but either way, his hand grabbed Bernie’s and I got to watch my friend Colt Silvers shake the hand of his hero, Bernie Sanders. And if there’s one thing better than meeting Bernie, it’s watching that happen.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks, but that happened.

That will keep me smiling for a good long while.

MikeInBernieGear
Michael E Sparks is spreading peace and love through Independent media. His book, My Bernie Journey, debuts in October. There is also a new podcast in the works as well as a YouTube show (gotta buy a green screen and learn how to use it). Michael is currently working on editing interviews with Progressive activists that he collected while touring the country. If you believe in his mission you can donate by clicking HERE. Thank you sincerely to all those who are spreading love and light.