As I sit here on this rainy Sunday morning, I feel defeated.
I know the majority of the people reading this are feeling the same way and I wanted to reach out and let you know that you are not alone.
I know that I cannot allow myself to stay down for long.
I know that in politics, cynicism is death.
When I hear people say that they won’t even bother to vote anymore, I remind them that we MUST vote.
I remind them that it is our civic duty to vote.
I remind them of the millions who gave their lives for this right
But I know that our votes were not counted in the “Democratic” primary.
So I understand the discouragement that you are feeling at this time.
I have felt this way my entire life, but after the last year, a year in which an entire country was awakened and told that we could change the system, only to be crushed by that very system, it is hard not to feel defeated sometimes.
“The arc of history is long and it bends towards justice.” Dr King said and for my sanity’s sake, I am inclined to believe him.
When I look back over my brief time on this planet, I see great change has occurred.
We have made gradual, but huge progress for women’s rights, for the rights of children, for the rights of our sisters and brothers in the LBGT+ community.
And I know that I do not have the privilege of setting down my pen or my sword, while there are so many battles left to fight.
But my heart is made low by this presidential “election” and I sometimes long for the days when I was less informed.
As I search for the silver lining in this pile of dog shit, there are certain things I cannot live with.
Although it has been clear to me for some time that multi-national corporations have taken control of our government, I never fully understood the extent of their tyranny until this past year.
The corporations are experts in propaganda.
By design, the gap between the informed and the politically brain-dead is ever-widening.
Millions tune in daily to CNN, MSNBC or Fox to get “the news” and are filled to bursting with horrific, entertaining ideas, that leave them starved for relevent information.
The toxic effects of the corporate idiocracy do not stop with our eyes and ears.
As Americans stuff their mouths on products more akin to plastic than food, their guts are widening, but they are dying of malnutrition.
Corporate America is in the business of creating drones and has zero motivation to encourage free thought.
In fact, independent thought is a threat to their agenda.
Our TVs grow larger and our plates overflow.
But our cups are half-empty and what’s in the cup is rumored to cause cancer and maybe autism.
But we don’t know for sure
The FDA refuses to research it.
Welcome to America, where we rely on Russian hackers to free our news and corporate media outlets to cover it up.
Welcome to America..
Land of the free trade agreements…
Home of the slaves.
Welcome to America, where you are more likely to be killed by an angry white man with an AR-15, than you are to be represented by those whom you vote for.
While you are here be sure to visit Cleveland, Detroit and Flint and send a letter to Bill Clinton, thanking him for NAFTA.
Welcome to America, where the water is full of lead and the air is toxic.
Welcome to America, where our politicians get paid millions to tell us that scientists are liars.
Be sure to visit our lovely coasts, before they fall into the ocean.
Don’t bother with the zoo.
America is the zoo.
Welcome to America, where the citizens are dangerous and the cops serve death sentences to unarmed black people.
Welcome to America, where “patriots” drive huge trucks dependent on foreign oil.
Welcome to America, where we bomb people in the name of democracy..
When we do not even have democracy ourselves.
Welcome to America.
Kick back and watch your tax dollars at work on a 72″ high-definition screen.
Watch us bomb for democracy.
Watch us kill for democracy.
Welcome to the evil empire.
Welcome to Imperialism.
Welcome to for-profit prisons, where billionaires pass laws, so they can incarcerate poor people and spin propaganda over the airwaves that convince you to be afraid of your fellow-humans.
Welcome to the New World Order, where we have 662 bases in 38 foreign countries and you break your back 70 hours per week to pay for it.
Welcome to semi-automatic open-carry.
Welcome to tyrannical government, where reality TV stars and career criminals run for president(AND WIN!!!)
Welcome to America, where we bomb innocent people, then close our doors to their refugees.
Welcome to America.
But I am encouraged…
As funny as it sounds, I am encouraged.
Because despite all of our problems, there is at this moment, a tiny window of opportunity to take control.
While I am tempted to wallow in the misery of our rigged presidential election, I really don’t have time to waste on that.
Instead I must focus on the positive and it occurs to me, that the thought that they had to rig the election is encouraging.
This means we have them outnumbered.
This means that people are waking up.
How does the evolved citizen move within this corporate matrix for maximum effectiveness?
What can one do within the confines of a corporate controlled government to make the world livable for all people?
The truth is that we can do a lot, but it is a lot of hard work.
As it is my goal to keep this piece short and readable, I cannot possibly list everything that we can do in one paper, but if you are interested in information and ideas to exercise your power as an activist, you can click here to connect with me on social media, where I post daily ideas and strategies for activism.
For starters, we have to take control of our local government.
If we control Congress, then we decide what bills pass and what bills don’t.
The corporations can install Hillary Clinton as President, but she will be completely handcuffed, if we counter with a Progressive Congress.
This can be an overwhelming process.
It is no longer acceptable to just vote a straight Democratic ticket.
We need to know where these Dems stand on key issues like TPP, Climate Change and important civil rights matters.
We cannot just take them at their word.
We need to see their voting record.
We need to know where their money is coming from.
I suggest you start by joining Brand New Congress, a group that seeks to completely take control of The House with our Progressive agenda by 2018.
Here is a link to find people who are running for local office who also embody the ideals of Bernie Sanders.
Also visit BallotPedia and enter your zip code to find out who will be on the ballot in your area this November, so you can research their policies and decide who to vote for.
You may find that none of the candidates excite you.
In this case, I would encourage you to run for office yourself or encourage someone you know to take on the challenge, under the promise that you will do extensive volunteering to help them attain said office.
I encourage you to get deeply involved in your local government and campaign for those who represent your values even in the smallest of offices.
Who is your local prosecutor?
Do they have ties to for-profit prisons?
All this information is available online, if you search for it.
A small team of hardcore activists can drastically affect local elections.
You can change the outcomes of important offices in your community.
Find someone who champions your views and go sit down with them.
Tell them you want to help.
Believe me, they will be grateful.
In addition to taking control of your local government, there is so much you can do daily, by voting with your dollars.
Everyone likes to talk about how much they hate Monsanto, but do you unknowingly support them?
You know that free speech is sacred, but are you being deceived into giving money to corporations who want to limit it?
Activism isn’t about being perfect.
It’s about giving effort.
Transferring your money out of the banking system into a locally owned credit union won’t save the world, but it’s a step.
Don’t beat yourself up for falling short in some areas.
That just means that you are highly aware.
The corporations have such a stranglehold on our lives, that to avoid all of them would require you to live completely off the grid.
Unfortunately, we do have to make compromises at this current time.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t make an impact.
Perhaps you give money to Time Warner, Verizon or Comcast (companies who oppose net neutrality), because you have decided that having home Internet is essential to your happiness.
Your efforts in other areas still count tremendously.
Also, by looking at our own imperfections, we learn not to judge others, but instead are inspired to educate and help them.
There are a million ways to affect change.
The truth is ugly and victories are few and far between, but you can make a huge impact.
From the conversations that you have with people to what you share on social media.
From what you purchase, to who you vote for.
Ours is a war of attrition.
Ours is a battle for hearts and minds.
We know those in power will never stop trying to gain more control.
But ultimately, we will win, through using the power we have to organize and make change.
It’s okay to be angry.
It’s okay to be cynical sometimes.
For our own sanity..
We must all be activists.