“What a difference this is. Just thinking to myself right now, we should just cancel the election, and just give it to Trump, right? What are we even having it for?”–Donald J Trump, October 27, 2016
By Doug Porter
Right after I hit “publish” on this column, I’m headed to the post office to mail my ballot.
It will be filled out all the way through to the best of my ability because down-ballot races are important. It will have two stamps because we have a lot to vote on. It will be signed because it won’t count otherwise. It will be filled in with a pen, rather than a marker, so the ink doesn’t bleed thru and invalidate a vote. And it will be mailed in time to be included in the first election night results.
There are people out there who don’t want me (and you) to cast a ballot… Nihilists who say ‘elections don’t matter’ from behind the screen in their self-imposed intellectual prisons. Scornful sore losers, sure their petulant protest will bring about the collapse of the system. And the alt-right types who would destroy representative Democracy in favor of strong man rule.
I will vote for Hillary Clinton. She has what it takes to do the job of President, and it won’t be easy. Look at what Barack Obama has lived through. Of all the people running, Ms. Clinton is the only one I can imagine surviving that political gauntlet.
Trump couldn’t make it through the first month. The minor party candidates may have ideas and ideals but will need help finding the bathrooms at the White House, much less putting together a team to help them govern.
I will also be protesting after the election when (not if) Hillary Clinton makes poor choices. It takes both activism and voting to bring about change.
I am fully aware of the baggage carried by the Democratic nominee. Our national oligarchy expects her to protect their investments. The industrial-military complex –industry first, because so much of it has been privatized– expects her to continue to use force in various (I think there are five right now) conflicts.
After all the positives and negatives are considered, I choose Hillary Clinton because her administration offers the best opportunity to keep moving forward. The progress will be incremental, and there will be setbacks. Better people who believe in public service will gravitate towards positions of power in the executive branch in a Clinton administration. Nobody else on the ballot offers progressives that kind of opportunity.
I also respect your right NOT to vote for Hillary Clinton. Respect seems to be a concept in short supply as of late.
For information on the November 2016 General Election, see our San Diego 2016 Progressive Voter Guide
To see what will be on your ballot, and for information about where, when and how to vote: Voters Edge
Voter Suppression and the Opportunity for Apathy
There were a lot of liberal types running around with their hair on fire in the wake of a story published at Bloomberg News entitled Inside the Trump Bunker With 12 Days to Go.
Charles P Pierce at Esquire gave it a great introduction:
Thursday’s required reading on the subject of Rats: How They Won’t Fck Themselves comes from Bloomberg News, courtesy of Josh Green and Sasha Issenberg, who were allowed inside the guts of the Trump campaign—”Only the best e.coli. Great e.coli!”—to see what’s actually going on with it beyond rallies and baseball caps. What they found should scare the hell out of two groups that otherwise have little contact with each other—people who care about the health of our democracy, and Republicans.
Here’s the money quote from Bloomberg:
Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are “super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.
It all sounds like negative campaigning to me. While discouraging turnout has always been a central feature of negative campaigning, calling this “voter suppression” is just bragging.
What should be scaring people in this story is in this tweet by Bloomberg reporter Joshua Green:
15. Bottom line: Trump ain’t walkin away empty-handed, has grifted GOP + donors to build list worth as much as $112 million that he now owns
— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) October 27, 2016
Even if Trump loses, he will continue to wreak havoc on domestic politics. And likely earn a profit while doing so. Despicables who think a raised middle finger is a qualification for being president will continue to dominate what’s left of the GOP.
Pros & Cons
There is real suppression occurring outside the Trump bubble, by both professionals and amateurs.
First the pros, from Politico:
Democrats are asking a federal judge to block the Republican National Committee from coordinating with Donald Trump’s campaign on “ballot security” efforts, saying the RNC is violating a decades old legal agreement that bars the group from tactics that critics call voter intimidation.
In a motion filed in New Jersey federal court on Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee charges that the RNC has violated the consent decree “by supporting and enabling the efforts of the Republican candidate for President, Donald J. Trump, as well as his campaign and advisors, to intimidate and discourage minority voters from voting in the 2016 Presidential Election…
…The DNC argues the court should prohibit the RNC from funding any Trump or state organization “ballot security” or “ballot integrity” measures, and order the committee to seek reimbursement for any funds that have gone toward them. The DNC also wants the RNC to distribute the consent decree to all its field offices and report any RNC worker who engages in the practices, and for the court to impose unspecified “coercive” sanctions against the RNC until it is in “full compliance.’
And then the amateurs:
The Huffington Post blew the lid off the “Vote Protectors,” scam.
Vote Protectors, the anti-voter-fraud group hosted by Donald Trump ally and political dirty trickster Roger Stone, plans to send volunteers to monitor polling places in nine cities with high minority populations on Election Day, Stone said last week. Untrained poll-watchers have intimidated voters in previous elections. ButVote Protectors is going further than its predecessors.
Stone’s group created an official-looking ID badge for its volunteers to wear, and its volunteers planned to videotape voters and conduct fake “exit polls,” efforts that election experts say risks intimidating and confusing voters. Or at least that’s what the group was planning to do before The Huffington Post asked Stone about it on Tuesday. The controversial Trump ally, long known for his bare-knuckled political tactics, said that key proposals on his group’s websites were there without his knowledge, and assured HuffPost that he would operate within the confines of election law.
Stone had initially refused to explain just how Vote Protectors planned to accomplish its goals. So on Monday, The Huffington Post responded to the group’s request for additional volunteers to work as “Exit Pollers and Citizen Journalists.”
Once registered, HuffPost used the site’s “I.D. Badge Generator” to create this badge, which could pass for an official credential to people unfamiliar with polling signage and rules.
The Vote Protectors site has since removed the badge generator. Volunteers are now supposed to be conducting an “exit poll.” Stone now says that Vote Protectors really isn’t his group (despite saying earlier he ordered the changes to the group’s website), but is affiliated with Stop the Steal, which I’m guessing is his real group.
Here in San Diego, True the Vote was active in the 2012 campaign and is reportedly recruiting volunteers for 2016.
Breitbart News reports True the Vote has produced a smartphone app allowing the right-minded to report their suspicions 24-7 from any state in the union.
Weekly Progressive Calendar: Upcoming in San Diego
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything.
San Diego City Works Book Release Event
Reclaiming Our Stories:
Narratives of Identity, Resilience and Empowerment
Friday, October 28, 7pm
World Beat Center
2100 Park Blvd
Info & Updates
San Diego City Works Press is proud to announce the publication and release of our new book, Reclaiming Our Stories: Narratives of Identity, Resilience and Empowerment edited by Mona Alsoraimi-Espiritu, Roberta Alexander, and Manuel Paul Lopez. This is truly a special publication. All are invited to the release event where there will be readings, books for sale, and light refreshments.
Reclaiming Our Stories gathers 19 powerful narratives written by members of the Reclaiming Our Stories Community Writers Workshop located in Southeast San Diego. The authors took great risk bringing these narratives to fruition. These are stories that pulsate with the kind of vitality that can only be constructed out of pain, love, and outrage. Almost all of the authors are emerging writers who reached deeply into their lives to excavate these offerings that, in the end, rise in triumph.
Youth Leadership in the Trans Liberation Movement Panel
Friday, October 28, 6:30pm
3911 Kansas Street
Info & Updates
The Transform California campaign is building a coalition of transgender advocates and supporters to promote safety, respect, and build understanding of transgender issues. This coalition is bringing together organizations, businesses, families, faith communities, and allies to share solidarity practices, and lift up transgender leadership in multiple movements.
This panel is the first part of the #FREEourselves inter-movement conversations with the intention of building across differences, highlight concrete strategies, actions and tools to create inclusive movement and community spaces for TGNC people within broader movements for racial, economic, and social justice. Join us as we bring together San Diego community leaders to learn about transgender youth organizing in the community and ways adults can show up for transgender and gender non conforming youth!
International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Police Brutality
Saturday, October 29, 2pm
World Beat Center
2100 Park Blvd
Info & Updates
The Family of Alfred Olango will host their first annual International Day of remembrance for victims of police brutality having a cultural conversation around police reform in the United States and around the world. More info. to come in coming days!
3rd Annual Dia De Los Muertos Festival
Saturday, October 29, Noon-9pm
404 Euclid Ave
Info & Updates
Authentic Day of the Dead altars by several indigenous tribes from Mexico. Live entertainment and Mexican dances.
Dia De Los Muertos Skull Art Show
Saturday, October 29, 5pm
La Bodega Gallery
2196 Logan Ave
Info & Updates
La Bodega Gallery invites you to our 4th annual “Dia De Los Muertos” Skull Art Show.
Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and acknowledged around the world. It is a day to celebrate, remember and honor those who have departed.
For Dia De Los Muertos skulls are an important icon that illustrate the belief in the existence of an active afterlife. In Mexican culture, skulls continue to symbolize death and rebirth.
We have supplied 50 artists with white ceramic skulls to be designed as they choose. Please join us to view these remarkable skulls and to continue to keep this tradition alive!
Sunday, October 30, 10am-3pm
Info & Updates
Please join us for San Diego’s next CicloSDias Open Street event on Oct 30, 2016! For a portion of the day, we temporarily close off some of our favorite streets to vehicles. Enjoy miles of car-free streets from 10-3 that day!
Neighborhoods included are University Heights, North Park, and City Heights! Route shown in the discussion below.
CicloSDias is a public event that promotes active living and healthy communities. Open Street Celebrations temporarily close streets to cars so that people may use them for healthy and fun physical activities like walking, jogging, biking and dancing. Open streets are typically part of a broader city or organizational effort to encourage sustained physical activity, increase community engagement, and build support for the provision of broader transportation choices.
Standing with Standing Rock
Sunday, October 30, 11am
(Grass area East of Belmont Park)
Info & Updates
Rally for nodapl until and solidarity for all camps. Family event with BBQ donation accepted with March calling on all socal tribes and open singers dancers and drummers welcome. Come support!
Dia De Los Muertos
Altar Space at the GO
Sunday, October 30 (10am-3pm) thru Nov 2, (10am – 8pm)
Grass Roots Oasis
3130 Moore Street
Info & Updates
I am moved to host a communal Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead altar space at The GO on October 30-November 2. NOT a Halloween party, but to provide myself and others with the opportunity lent by this sacred tradition, going back 3,000 years.
Mickey Kasparian, Laura Fink & John Dadian
Friday, November 4, 11:45
Albondigas Political Society
South San Diego
248 Third Ave.
Info & Updates (Tickets/Admission)
This election will go down as one of the most memorable on the national stage. But what about the local political races in Chula Vista, San Diego and throughout the County? Who will come into power in 2017? Come and find out and hear from our panel of labor, Democrat and Republican prognosticators – Mickey Kasparian, Laura Fink and John Dadian. The panel will be facilitated by special guest Rafael Castellanos, San Diego Port Commissioner.
The cost is $15 at the door, payable to Mangia Italiano, and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch, beverage, gratuity, and of course, delicious albondigas soup. There is ample metered parking located behind the restaurant.
Friday, November 4, 6pm
California State University at San Marcos
333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road
Info & Updates (Admission)
In the forthcoming Democracy Matters Tour, Dr. Cornel West will impart a message of love, equality and justice with a focus on the American democratic experiment but with reference to a broader, global humanitarian context. Topics will range from the 2016 political climate, Socratic self-examination, social activism and civic engagement, police brutality, the African American Freedom Fighting tradition and more.
Dr. West is a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.
As a writer of 20 books and editor of 13, he is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, as well as his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.
On This Day: 1879 – Union organizer and anarchist Luisa Capetillo was born in Ariecibo, Puerto Rico. She organized tobacco and other agricultural workers in Puerto Rico and later in New York and Florida. In 1916 she led a successful sugar cane strike of more than 40,000 workers on the island. She demanded that her union endorse voting rights for women. In 1919, three years before her death, she was arrested for wearing pants in public, the first woman in Puerto Rico to do so. The charges were dropped. 1886 – The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland. The statue weighs 225 tons and is 152 feet tall. It was originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World.” 1963 – The Beach Boys’ “Be True To Your School” was released
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