The Visionary Activist Show

The Visionary Activist Show – Liberating Democracy

-let’s cook democracy back to its originating impulse and offer our dedicated self to that spirit.

Mythological Campaign Coverage – Inaugurating a Guiding Story, Electing the Earth

james m yeager delray SFCaroline welcomes two political poet allies, James Yeager (worked for Senator Gene McCarthy and wrote Washington articles for the Texas Observer, the Progressive Populist and the Minority Business Report. He now lives in Santa Fe NM.) and Patricia Ewing (former Deputy Chief of staff for Al Gore, positive political strategist for sane reverence, liberating Christianity scholar…)

May Chinese New Year – Mardi Gras bring in more spirit allies for this crazed Trickster election cycle.

  • Gypsy Scholar

    Another wonderful show–great guests! (And always a good chuckle or two on account of the VA’s hilarious impromptu analogies!)

    As one of the VA’s “longtime listeners,” I wanted to make a contribution to this “complex conversation” and throw a few observations on the topic of the current presidential campaign process into the Cauldron.

    First off (now that we’ve pretty much finally got the message that there is, in fact, more than enough “difference” between the Democrats and the Republicans–“the Mental Patient Party”–to vote for the former, that choosing “the lesser evil of two evils,” as third-party hardline progressives condemn, isn’t a cop out but is pragmatically wise, and that the hardline progressive all-or-nothing attitude, which on misguided principle is not going to vote, is the spoiled-child attitude) I was pleased hear how “socialist” candidate Bernie Sanders is reminiscent of political/poet George McGovern’s 1968 presidential bid, since I was politically active for him way back then and have been lately thinking about, as a supporter of Bernie, the similarities in political vision and how it gets expressed as a platform. However, I’m at the same time anything but pleased about the extent of the historical similarity. I mean, getting all hopeful and worked up at the impossible prospect that we of the radical Left (and counter-cultural anarchists of the E.G. tradition) would finally get our man inside the System and work on turning things around before it’s too late–only to, once again, get our Eternal Outsider (“but it takes a crowd to get you really alienated and alone”) HOPES dashed!

    Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t nihilistically given up; it hasn’t at all stopped me from engaging in the struggle to get Bernie a fighting chance (both in my town and online social media). But I don’t want to get too carried away in investing all my hopes & dreams in what may be a George McGovern redux–I don’t know if I have the same psychological stamina and resiliency as I did in my eternally optimistic, puer youth.

    Which leads me to the issue that was discussed with the guests in today’s show: the Hillary vs Bernie campaign. Yes it’s contentious and has gotten a bit nasty between the opposed diehard supporters, especially in arguments on social media. So, as part of my loyal commitment to get Bernie elected, I have tried to keep my cool and not get offensive, but that doesn’t mean that I let the Clinton supporters get way with obnoxious comments without (respectfully) putting such in their place–even if I resort to “satire” (but, as opposed to the VA’s opinion, I don’t see why a healthy sarcasm is not part of “satire”).

    For, example (since there were criticisms voiced of the rancor between the the Hillary and Bernie camps), here’s what I think we don’t need in the Hillary vs Bernie debate: the indignant and self-righteous feminist position that (a) Hillary deserves to be president because of the vagina factor and–now that a black person was elected to the highest office in the (white-patriarchal) system–it’s logically a woman’s turn, (b) that if you have a problem with Hillary, it’s really because you’re one of those Bernie chauvinists, and (c) the real limitations Hillary has are because she is ipso facto a “woman,” and if she were a man Bernie wouldn’t have a chance. (Keep in mind here that we’re not talking about the reasons the far-Right hate Hillary and the “Clintons”.)

    I have lately seen a prominent feminist screed (not an “argument”) making the rounds on social media; all written in caps (as if this makes your untenable opinion more convincing). I won’t burden you with the particulars of this screed here and my deconstruction; suffice to say that just for starters it makes the unwarranted assumption that Hillary is a “Progressive” like Bernie. It then goes on to try and make the case that the problem is (when it comes right down to it–in the same way as Obama is a “black”) that here is a “woman” unfairly treated.

    Well, I can nip this feminist sophistry in the bud with just two words (about the only necessary factor in an election is that someone with a vagina is hands down preferable)–Margaret Thatcher. (Mind you, before I’m labeled a misogynist, when it comes to women presidents or prime ministers, I am someone who thinks (a) that back in the ’30s for all his socialist-type New Deal programs, his wife Eleanor, a real “progressive,” would have made a better president and (b) today, Angela Davis would be an ideal POTUS.) No, it’s about who–man, or woman–has the best political vision and who articulates the feelings of The People.

    Now, wouldn’t it be just dandy, if a woman (say, like Elizabeth Warren) who represents the same thing Bernie and is running for president? But, that ain’t the case–what we’ve realistically got to work with in this 2016 election cycle is the choice between a true “Progressive” and a centrist Democrat, who is business as usual. (And it’s my contention that those who consider themselves “progressive” and back Hillary simply are ignorant of her entire political background and the deals she’s made with Wall St.) The author of the feminist screed even tried to turn the negative fact that her candidate is “a Washington Insider” (financially connected to the Wall St. Bankers) on its head with the following bizarre contention: “But that’s exactly how you get things done as president!”

    Yes, this is what passes for a rational political argument for HC! Well, I’ve got some news for these Hillary supporters: Hillary ain’t no “progressive” by any stretch of the imagination–and a feminist backing her doesn’t make them one either!

  • Gypsy Scholar

    A point of clarification. When the discussion turned to what went down with the water-lead poisoning of the people in Flint and it was described how the governor/state of Michigan took over, they failed to mention the culprit; namely, the Michigan “Emergency Management Act” of Nov. 2013. This allows unelected managers to come in (appointed by the governor) and dictate policy, subverting the entire democratic process. There were those on the Left who spoke out on this back then and predicted this kind of thing happening. And, furthermore, bear in mind the racist element in this whole debacle; that–par for the course–the men behind the scenes also furthered their racist agenda, as some of the first communities to bear the brunt of this EM act were poor black communities of Detroit and Flint!

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