Kelvin MaceKelvin Mace's Journal
Go all Red Wedding on him at the convention.
Maybe I can pitch it as a new reality TV series....
Once upon a time I was an incrementalist. A pragmatist. A person who believed you had to work within the system to change the system. I was also a Catholic who believed that I could work within the Church to change its culture to a more enlightened and liberal viewpoint.
Then two things happened.
The child molestation scandal exploded and I saw the vile perversity that the Church "leaders" had been hiding and perpetuating for centuries.
Around the same time I read a biography of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, who also found himself confronting an ethical and moral crisis on the question of whether to oppose slavery in a pragmatic, moderate and incremental manner, or to adopt a radical and "unrealistic" attitude toward the problem.
I quote the words that leapt off the page and set a fire in my soul:
In Park-street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, in an address on slavery, I unreflectingly assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this opportunity to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice and absurdity. A similar recantation, from my pen, was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Baltimore, in September, 1829. My con-science is now satisfied.
I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnestI will not equivocateI will not excuseI will not retreat a single inchAND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.
At that point I realized that by trying to engage the Church on its own terms, by its own rules, not only was I doomed to accomplish nothing, but I became an accomplice to the evil that it did by lending it the legitimacy of my society, minor though it may be. By attending any service, donating any money, I was enabling the molestation of children, and the oppression of women, lesbians, gays and trans individuals who suffered at the hands of their "teaching".
This I would no longer do.
I unequivocally broke with the church, and over the course of years, left religion behind entirely.
Today I hear the same arguments being made in this election. I am told that I must be pragmatic, realistic and sensible. I must vote for the one candidate who, despite their "faults", is the only one who can "win in November". If I refuse to support that person, then I doom us all to a much worse fate. They agree with me that change is needed, but admonish me that change takes time, and I have to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Now is a time for action, not starry-eyed dreams. Yet their "action" is to support a policy of gradualism that has done nothing but merely slow down this country's march to the right. My guy can't win, they tell me, because his policies and plans will never be accepted by "the people" because they are "too radical". If I refuse to vote for the incremental status quo, I am throwing women, children, minorities, gays, lesbians, trans people, et al, to a Randian dystopia AND IT WILL BE ALL MY FAULT.
No. It will not.
The time for radical change is now. And it is our last chance. The reality is that this country is hurtling toward the abyss at 60 mph with a hundred feet to go. We have a choice of two drivers:
One will gently apply the brakes, and drive us over the edge at a more restrained 45 mph.
The other will jam on the brakes, and slam the transmission into reverse.
The rest of the country will pick between one of these two, and a driver who will stomp the accelerator, hit the nitrous booster and light the JATO rockets.
Of these three choices, only one driver has any chance of keeping the country alive. The other two mean certain death.
Think I am exaggerating?
Well the "live or die" issue of our time is not campaign finance reform, not marriage equality, gun control, abortion rights or income inequality.
It is global warming.
After decades of warning people that we were approaching the point of no return, we have now either reached it, or passed it. Ahead lies mass extinction, famine, pestilence, and war on a cataclysmic scale.
Our choice of candidates, as "Democrats/Liberals/Progressives" is simple:
The person who will take radical measures to cut carbon emissions and build a green energy infrastructure, or the person who will compromise and only implement realistic plans with consensus "buy in" from the relevant stake holders.
The first person will probably fail, but might, just might succeed.
The second person will fail, PERIOD.
And that, my friends, is what is on the line. After the primary we will either choose between two candidates who will both drive us into abyss, or one who will drive into the abyss with maniacal glee and one who will do his damndest to stop on the edge.
I refuse to be blamed if you pick wrong.
A Republican president, especially among the current crowd, would not hesitate to find some to Scalia's right to appoint, but our "leaders" say we kowtow to the right and pick a "consensus" candidate.
This is a potentially gigantic game-changer, Biden acknowledged. My advice is the only way we get someone on the Court now or even later is to do what was done in the past.
Cave and appoint people like Clarence Thomas to replace Thurdgood Marshall?
But Biden suggested that using Scalias successor to make a political statement or stack the court in his final year would be a mistake for President Obama.
There are plenty of judges who are on high courts already who have had unanimous support of the Republicans, Biden told Minnesota Public Radio. This should be someone who, in fact, is a consensus and whereby we can generate enough support to get a person passed, he said, pushing back against calls for a more liberal jurist.
Biden said that the President intends to nominate someone who has demonstrated they have an open mind, someone who doesnt have a specific agenda. The Vice President named Republican nominees and eventual Supreme Court Justices David Souter and Anthony Kennedy as examples of such consensus candidates.
That would be Anthony Kennedy of Bush v. Gore and Citizens United fame.
And people ask me why I don't like Joe Biden. Well, it is shit like this and his bankruptcy "reform" bill which does it.
You are asking me to accept the responsibility/blame for:
1) The cruel and unjust practice of executing people, including innocent people
2) The perpetuation of a prison system which corporations run for a profit, and which requires laws that keep people in jail making money for these same corporations.
3) The continuance of a policy of eternal war without regard for cost in blood and treasure.
4) An economic policy which privatizes profit for the select few, while socializing losses on the backs of the majority.
5) A political system by the dollar, for the dollar.
6) An environmental policy which dooms us all by famine, poison air/water/soil, and climate change inimical to human life.
Then you tell me that if I refuse to be your accomplice in supporting any of all of these eventualities, then I am complicit in the election of someone who will be "worse".
In essence, you ask me to compare stacks of corpses and choose the smaller stack in the name of "pragmatism". And if I refuse to choose, I am guilty for what happens none the less.
Damned if I vote for.
Damned if I vote against.
Damned if I refuse to vote.
Now some of you will get angry and accuse me of playing the "morally superior" card. Well, that is your choice. I am unlikely to convince you that some of us are actually bothered by these moral questions. Some of us can't simply pick the lesser of two evils and look at ourselves in the mirror afterward.
So, do what you will. You certainly do not need my approval or permission. Conversely, I refuse to accept any blame for acting in accordance with my conscience.
This little golden oldie from 2008.
I love her final prediction:
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