Season 2

Politicked Off Excerpt: The Bible

Below is an excerpt from  episode

2.09-Polticked Off: Lessons from the Election Cycle

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Don’t people realize that the Bible has been used to justify everything for almost two thousand years! The Bible has been used to suppress women voters, to suppress black people, gay people, handicapped people, Jewish people, Muslim people, the rich, the poor and everything in between. A perfect example of this came to me recently when I was watching “All in the Family”, an enormously popular 1970’s sitcom based in political satire most memorable for it’s main character, the outrageous outspoken Republican bigot, Archie Bunker. Archie frequently uses religion and the Bible in his own way to justify his narrow views, everything from Watergate to women’s lib, segregation to sexual orientation. Here’s an example, here’s Archie in an episode that featured Sammy Davis Jr playing himself. Archie is talking to Sammy Davis Jr. concerning the Bible as it relates to the division of races:

Archie: Now, no prejudice intended, but I always check with the Bible on these here things. I think that, I mean if God had meant for us to be together he’d a put us together. But look what he done. He put you over in Africa, and put the rest of us in all the white countries. Sammy: Well, he must’ve told ‘em where we were because somebody came and got us.

It’s twisting of the Bible and using misinterpretation as fact that was the comical genius of the show but in the real world, it’s deadly. I think Lindy West, writer to the Seattle Stranger and Jezebel.com said it best in her popular Facebook trending article ‘I’m Not Interested in Finding a Truce in the Culture War, I’m Interested in Winning It’. She states that this new brand of crazy religious fundamentalism is claiming that demand of civil rights for Americans is imposing on their “religious freedoms” but really, it’s more like “you’re religious freedoms are infringing on my actual freedoms”. I think that’s well said. And quite funny but true though.

Politicked Off Excerpt: Diversity Begots Diversity

courtesy of goooh.com

courtesy of goooh.com

Below is an excerpt from episode

2.09-Politicked Off: Lessons from the Election Cycle.

Click here to listen to the whole episode.

I’m reminded of episode 2.06: Adopt an Agrarian I did with Bruce Marron local activist, scientist and urban agrarian and what he said to me in regards to our conversation about growing food and bio-diversity. He said something like corporations and power and boiled down and concentrated, boiled down and re-concentrated until you finally only have two choices; Coke or Pepsi. “well, I prefer apple juice. That’s not an option. Diversity begets diversity, the more you have growing, the more you have living there, diversity is the meaning of freedom.” So consolidation puts us into narrow boxes and margins. It reduces us to this way or that way. It doesn’t take into account our actual feelings on issues, instead it says if you belong to this ticket, you must think and vote this way. Nah, nah, I refuse to accept that.

This election season, I was reminded of how much the political process both frighten and gets me so fired up that I can hardly stand it. I further learned this in example as I attempted to protest the heated Portland debate of forced fluoridated water without a public vote. This year, I took my fear, my anger, my conviction and my questioning and looked around. I decided to spend some time understanding the Green Party. A party I’ve always been interested in because it’s the only political party between our mainstream choices that actually has an environmental platform. They also include minority rights, support banking reform, single-payer healthcare, a focus on education and arts education and support alternatives to incarceration and the list goes on and on...While I agree with the party in general, I’m not comfortable voting for the lesser of two evils; between Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Obama’s done some wacky shit for this country and Romney will not doubt and probably do even wackier shit if elected but I can’t make a vote out of fear. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. It’s time for change. Our political system is currently built like a college football game, the red team and the blue team and to many people, it’s all about the win. You become a piece in a game. A pawn perhaps? It’s not about the issues, it’s not about the performance of the president and it needs to be all these things and more. Bush shouldn’t have had a second term and I’m not to excited about Obama having a second term. We need another option. Every progressive movement in history has started this way, think of founding fathers who wanted to make a new home in the New World. It started as a dream, a movement and then a reality.

Oraia Helene at Between the Earth and Stars podcast brought up a great point in her most recent podcast episode #48 titled “Skipping Through a Minefield”. She talks about the possibility of “throwing her vote away”. It’s interesting because when I voiced my support for Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein on Facebook, I got a response similar to Oraia’s response of “don’t throw your vote away,” or “Romney may win!”. I LOVE what Oraia had to say in response in that throwing your vote away has absolutely nothing to do with who you vote for. As a citizen she is entitled to a vote, that’s her right and who she votes for is not throwing her vote away because she explains, that she has carefully examined the candidates and made a decision that is most in line with her values and I couldn’t agree with her more. The only way I see you throwing away your vote is if you don’t vote. Oraia makes another great point. If the two major political parties knew that we were voting for other parities, they would work harder to earn our vote and do their best to actually represent us when in office. This is a democracy.

Before I close, I want to clarify that I’m not saying that I think you should personally vote Republican or Democrat or Third Party. I am also not trying to make a point of Obama accomplishment and sour moments or try to give creditable reasons as to why the Green Party is appealing to me because that’s not the actual purpose of this episode. It’s not to showcase knowledge of current events or political parties doing what to whom. It is also not my intent to get you to vote for a particular person. The purpose of this episode was to point out that parties are a distraction. If we had a diverse party system we could better serve the interests of the American public and work to create unity, instead of teams fighting against each other and not having our needs meet. As John Adams once said “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” George Washington agreed saying “ It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.”

Politicked Off Excerpt: An Obama Win

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Below is an excerpt from episode

2.09-Politicked Off: Lessons from the Election Cycle.

Click here to listen to the whole episode.

November 2008. The magic and fire of the Obama election win. The cheers I heard from the streets as I walked home from work that night, declaring Obama a victory. Do you know that moment just after midnight on New Years? The moment where the entire collective conscious in a particular time zone seem to vibrate in synchronicity and where your neighbors, the other people in the bar, the other people people at work all become your friends, your brothers and sisters? And we revel together in the newness of a year uncharted. Fireworks, cheers, drinks, hopes and wishes, a clean start...My entire commute home that election night was like an extended New Year’s wish. An extended New Year’s celebration. Shouts on the street, people jumping up and down on the light rail, a party gathered in the common areas of my building. We had a time for real change, a time for newness and time for advancement for the entire human race.

I felt good, my guy had won! My party had won, this was my savior. But like many critics of Obama, I soon became disenchanted with his administration and the things he’s not accomplished. While he has made great strides in healthcare, repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and creating more jobs mostly in the retail and foodservice industries, I don’t think it’s enough and truthfully, it’s not entirely his fault. It’s no joke that during the term of presidency, President Obama was victim to a Republican blockade on everything he did. Everything! He also had inherited an economy close to the Great Depression, many other countries are hurting or are in strife, so being the World Police that we are, we are stretching ourselves thin supporting them and our domestic consumer base won’t stop buying cheap goods sourced in China which, in a cyclical manner, ends up hurting us more than it’s worth to save the $3.00 buying that cheap plastic toy from China. And Military budget spending, our biggest expense in the U.S at 23% in 2011 according to NPR’s Planet Money. Do you know how much we spend on education? 2%. While assessing priorities here, I was having an conversation with a Portland Public Schools 4th grade teacher in a coffee shop who simply put it best “who are we protecting? A country full of dumb people?”