As an American citizen, I have some expectation that I have a voice in my government.
This is probably naive, but this belief is a huge part of the foundation on which I build my happiness.
This is not simply an entitlement.
It is a right paid in blood by the warriors who came before me and one I have a duty to pay forward.
Millions gave their lives for democracy.
America invades developing nations in the name of democracy.
Our country was founded on the idea of giving liberty to those who were oppressed by tyrannical governments.
Democracy is the cornerstone of what makes us America and if we are even to begin to make the argument that this is the greatest country in the world, then we must first be willing to fight for the rights of all citizens to have a say in this social contract we are all engaged in.
Rigging an election, rather it is done in a blatant manner, like actually using machines to flip votes or in a more subtle manner, like working with the corporate media to convince Americans that one candidate has already won, in an attempt to discourage citizens from exercising their voice, is more than just a slap in the face to the American voter, it is an assault on the sacrifices of the brave women and men who laid down their lives for our right to participate in a democracy.
It is the ultimate in cowardice.
It is a crime against our ancestors.
The blood of heroes means nothing to those who feed on power.
The cries of the poor and evaporating middle-class disappear into a bottomless, corporate void.
They see an America where you have to pay to be heard.
They see an America where money buys power and the poverty stricken fight for the crumbs of a faux democracy.
I have always been a proud Democrat.
I spent my life going to rallies and protests, writing letters, raising awareness on liberal issues and trying to help those in need.
The Democrats aligned themselves closely with the issues that were near and dear to my heart.
For 25 years I fought for LBGT+ rights, fair immigration laws, a woman’s right to choose, gun control and fair working conditions for all Americans.
Although I am a cliche vegetarian, bleeding-heart artist, who boycotts Monsanto, WalMart, Chic Fil A and Hobby Lobby…
Although I am a steadfast ally for equality for all humans..
Although, I am in every way, a liberal..
I am no longer, in any way, a Democrat.
My former party has aligned itself with corporate greed and although you won’t find them pounding The Bible or fighting against Roe v Wade, they are every bit as reprehensible, in the fact that they are now loyal only to corporations and they no longer represent the will of the people.
When my party decides to build A WALL(!!!) around their convention, in fear that perhaps democracy might find a way in, then they are no longer my party.
When my party crowns an Empress, before the first vote is even cast, then they are no longer my party.
When my party colludes with corporate media heads to falsify “the news” and deceive the American people into not voting, then they are no longer my party.
In August, when I arrive home from the “Democratic” Convention and the (not so) super-delegates hammer the final nail into the coffin of our democracy by anointing Hillary Clinton, then I will leave the “Democratic” Party and spend the remainder of my years fighting against them.
This is not about sour grapes.
I’m a leftist in a conservative state.
I’m used to losing.
This is about defending democracy against a party that repeatedly used closed primary voter suppression and blatant electioneering to nominate a corporately-owned Oligarch, who does not represent the people.
This is about stopping the internal usurping of my party by lobbyists for the ruling elite.
This is about shining a bright light into the dark corners of a party that takes millions from those who exploit our citizens and then pretends to fight against those very entities.
This is about finally realizing that the lesser of two evils is still evil.
This is about fighting for something good and decent, before it is too late.
I cannot pretend to be innocent.
I have been complicit in their wily subterfuge.
I knew the system was rigged, but the “Democratic” Party are masters of marketing.
They knew that if they ran the right cult of personality, then well meaning fools like myself would fall in line smiling, feeling as if we had done some good by fighting against the Bush’s and Romney’s in the party of evil.
A good ol boy, who plays the sax and jogs to McDonald’s every morning?
“He’s got my vote!!”
A charismatic black man who promises hope and change and simultaneously placates my white guilt?
“It’s about time!!”
A female candidate to make me feel like I’m doing my part to overcome centuries of oppression aimed at women and an opportunity to elect someone my daughter can look up to?
This is the part in the movie where you hear the sound of the needle clumsily falling off the record.
I know about Hillary Clinton.
I know what she did and I know what she stands for.
I already said no to her in 2008 and what I have learned about her since, means that I could never, in good conscience, vote for her.
Sorry, I already bailed out the big banks.
I certainly won’t be supporting their candidate.
The Democratic Party has marginalized the poor and middle-class; the very foundation that once made them great.
They do not stand for the people, any more than Republicans do.
It is all one gigantic bi-partisan puppet show, where corporations pull the strings of party-aligned marionettes, in an off Broadway production designed to distract and amuse the American voter.
In the post Citizen’s United America, it is no longer about party representation.
It is about who signs your checks.
When a genocidal, sociopathic, racist, recently homophobic, Goldman Sach’s sponsored, TPP lobbying, wire-tapping, arms-trading, child-rapist defending, Henry Kissinger protege is now the face of my party…
Then I guess I’m at the wrong party.
I voted for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama…
But I will not, under any circumstance, vote for Hillary Clinton.
And I am as much of a feminist as anyone you will ever meet.
If Bernie Sanders does not create a new party, then I will be voting for Jill Stein and that is based on policy, NOT genitalia.
My fear and loathing for Hillary Clinton is based on her past transgressions and the absolute danger that I know she will be to world peace should she be allowed to steal this “election”.
My fear and loathing for Hillary Clinton is based on the fact that I know where her money comes from and to hand over the keys to the kingdom to her is the same as handing them over to the multi-national corporations themselves.
“If you don’t vote for Clinton then we will have President Trump!!”
Yeah, yeah, I thought about this.
Better to bear down and tough it out with Trump and get another shot at a Progressive in four years, then to allow Clinton to ruin 2020 also (some may not realize that the President runs unopposed by their own party if running for a second term, so a Clinton presidency would ruin any chance for a Progressive Democrat to run in 2020).
As bad as Trump is, he would just spin his wheels for four years.
Both Republicans and Democrats would vote down everything he tried to do.
The insiders hate him.
He has no government experience.
He can’t navigate it.
He would just be a four-year Jon Stewart punchline.
Trump is not the answer, but four years of his buffoonery is infinitely better than losing two elections to Clinton and her war machine.
Trump only talks about doing awful things.
Clinton has a proven track record of actually doing them.
I will give my party one final chance to keep me.
I will load up my car and drive to Philadelphia.
I will support Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.
I will be a tiny dot in a sea of people who want to give their former party one final chance to save itself.
And if the party does not nominate Senator Sanders and right these awful wrongs perpetrated on the American people by this sham of an election, then we will form a new party from the ashes of the Democrats.
I will give the Democratic Party one last chance to keep me, because I want to believe that we can rebuild this from the inside.
I want to believe that all of this new blood that Senator Sanders brought into my old party will cleanse it of corruption and keep it going strong for another fifty years.
I want to believe that there are enough good people left in the party to wrestle it away from the corporate virus that has caused it to rot from the inside out.
I want to believe we can save the Democratic Party…
But if we can’t, we will walk away..
And build something new and inspiring.