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Leftists who don't vote are gifting the Right

By       Message Jill Jackson     Permalink
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A last ditch appeal for centrists and those to the left to get out the vote today. We are not facing an "if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice" scenario. We are facing a return to the bleak and heartless environment that created our current crisis, and that we appropriately and critically rejected two years ago for a vision of hope.

Yes, the Obama administration has disappointed. Not only because the administration has not been progressive enough, however, but because the rules of politics have been re-written by the moneyed interests of the aggressive right and have undermined the few populist initiatives that have been offered. No one can be elected to Congress any more without being independently wealthy (and likely to tilt to the right) or funded by moneyed interests that put reins on any progressive movement. Without a courageous and "free" Congress, we are stuck with gridlock. And, when the right publicly admits to its strategy of "blocking traffic" to prevent the flow of progressive initiatives"

These same power brokers own the media and its messages, honed by a half-century of advertising experience to successfully convince struggling workers to vote against their own interests by appealing to the selfishness of human survival instincts and dangling the carrot of someday winning the lottery to riches. It behooves the extreme right to keep our population suffering, and to manipulate them into blaming those who are trying to rescue them from the pillaging of the greedy robber barons themselves.

The left has few resources and little power to facilitate effective implementation of ideas and initiatives, and to publicly advocate on a large scale for its causes. It is, in many ways, too, too late for democratic change. Now, it is time for unity among moderates and liberals to counter the wave of right-wing extremism threatening our country. Obama, Clinton, etc,... were what we would have called liberal Republicans in my childhood. Not social democrats, but far, far better than "the John Birch Society" and other right wing extremist groups that have evolved into today's Tea Party. The trauma of the 8 years under the Bush-Cheney dictatorship might have been avoided if, for example, Nader's voters had opted in a tight race to support Al Gore. For all but the ultra-rich, a decade like the 90s under Clinton would have been better than the 00s under the Bush/Terror regime.

We are, sadly, at a similar juncture today. Either we support the Obama administration and other "centrist" candidates, and buy time to simultaneously develop effective strategies to re-educate and win over the disenfranchised angry voters that are brainwashed into voting against their own interests for the right; or we create an isolated fringe movement on the left that takes votes from centrists who might have won, and provides fodder for the Rushes and Glenns to stir up Tea Partiers and actually expand their ranks.

Communism as it was practiced in the Soviet Union and China was not a successful political system. European socialism and social democracy succeeded well for many years and were the more moderate and reasoned approaches, providing both entrepreneurial motivation within limits and a social safety net. Waving the flags of anarchy (read 'terrorism, chaos', and communism does little to recruit or encourage the moderate left and middle to consider enhanced activism.

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I fear that it may come to pass that civil disobedience,and even violent revolutionary tactics may become necessary at some point in the future, especially if the ultra-right corporatists, uber-rich, Christianists, and deluded dittoheads continue to take over our political and social institutions. But, in that scenario, we will all lose. Workers, the poor, the young, the old, the disabled, and the deluded. Millions of lives are at stake--literally.

I appeal to all progressive, liberal, and left-leaning individuals and organizations to help rally coalition development among the left; to vote in unison for candidates that can beat those running on the extreme right; and to buy time for a "new left" to reverse the Bush/Cheney devastation and implement non-violent strategies to counter the tsunami of right wing propaganda and influence. Right-wing victories over the next few years, facilitated by left-wing apathy OR discord, may terminally close the window of opportunity for our country to return to its humanitarian obligations and promise without the Damoclean sword of violent and ultimately self-destructive revolution.

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Jill Jackson is a writer, mother, wife, military veteran, and hard-core pacifist and liberal. She swallowed the red pill after 9/11.

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