• Spartan Considerations

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

“You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it

You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it” - Tommy Shaw


These lyrics came to me while I was discussing local politics with my good friend, Tranche Gerund.


She noted (correctly as always) that at least three of the BoE general election contenders (out of five seats) are receiving support from Republicans - ranging from a “you should check out Candidates X, Y, and Z, non-endorsement endorsement” to financial contributions to campaign help.


For those of you howling that BoE elections should be “non-partisan,” you can gaze down the tracks and see that that train has indeed left the fucking station.


It’s time for all good Democrats and others who share their progressive, pro-inclusion, pro-equity worldview to vote your values. Fence sitting is simply not an option in the face of well-organized local Trumpists who want a majority on the Board of Education. Did your preferred primary election candidate fail to advance? Lick your wounds and get over it. Does the candidate with Republican support seem “nice?” Who cares; some people thought that Pat Buchanan was a wonderful dinner party guest.


In short, get serious, do your research, and recognize that a Democratic sweep up and down the ticket is the only way to ensure that the Board of Education will have a progressive majority. Having values is splendid, actually living those values by demonstrating them with your vote for, and active support of, like-minded candidates is crucial.


In solidarity.

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  • Spartan Considerations

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

“We are socialists because we believe that work must be organized for the collective benefit of those who do the work and create the products, and not for the profit of the bosses…We are not convinced, however, that a socialist revolution that is not also a feminist and anti-racist revolution will guarantee our liberation.”

– Combahee River Collective


The Combahee River Collective Statement, crafted by Black feminists in 1977, is a seminal work that explores themes pertaining to intersectionality, a word which was itself coined by a Black feminist lawyer and civil rights advocate, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, in 1989.


Democratic socialism (or even it’s more “accessible” cousin - social democracy) would not, in and of itself, eradicate racism or misogyny in the United States overnight. That said, it is the belief of the present author that all such struggles are inter-related. In short, if more people were able to live within a polity which embraced the tenets of political and economic democracy and where they experienced greater practical liberties, it would be easier to root out these societal plagues. There would be far fewer “malefactors of great wealth” (TR quote) engaging in class warfare against the poor, working, and middle classes…and using race and/or gender or other elements of identity as both a wedge and cudgel.


Of course, socialism need not be a prerequisite of a feminist or anti-racist state, those advancements could come first or all could be brought about simultaneously.


These are hardly radical notions. One need look no further than President Franklin Roosevelt’s expression of the Four Freedoms (freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear) in conjunction with his proposal for an “economic bill of rights” (also known as the Second Bill of Rights) which offered guarantees pertaining to employment, housing, medical care, education, and other rights. The logical conclusion of these freedoms and these rights would result in a society based more on human need than lining the pockets of the uber-wealthy and their willing minions. In other words, if i may wax idealistic for a moment, these principles brought into being would help usher in the creation of a society with a genuine comradeship of the people (if I may be permitted to update the appropriate John Lennon’s lyric from Imagine).


I strongly encourage you to read the Combahee River Collective Statement .


In solidarity.

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  • Spartan Considerations

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Within in the last several days, I reached out to two old and now former friends. Both reside in Michigan.  One is a conservative and was a local officeholder, the other has raised funds for GOP candidates for over 25 years.  When police began rioting (again) in cities across America following George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis cops, I asked both of them to speak out against the lawlessness of the Trump Administration.  One provided a bullshit response about not being able to comment on political matters.  The other, my best friend of 30 years and “Best Man” at both of my weddings, did not reply at all.


Bear in mind these folks had political careers which began long before Trump announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for president. They were both fairly typical Midwest Republicans, one being more focused on social issues and the other more centered on economic and defense concerns.  Neither would be out of place at a Chamber of Commerce gathering.


Yet neither of these supposed “small government” aficionados could muster the moral fortitude to speak out against the authoritarian tendencies of the current regime.  Why are they in thrall to the Trump Administration?  Is it because of careerism?  Is it the money? Or are they true believers?

...


I wish I had written more about emerging conservative voting blocs a few years back.  I had this idea that a particular group, represented by the Ted Nugent archetype, would play an influential role in the 2016 elections.  These are conservative but not particularly religious, blue collar or mid-management white collar, racist, white men.  While they would prove to be highly susceptible to Trump’s message, I did not think they would gravitate (as they did) to Trump the man.


Let’s face it, if Trump were growing up in their neighborhoods and went to their public schools (which would not have been the case with Mr. Private Boarding School), they would have recognized him as an entitled prick and kicked his ass whenever he started shooting off his mouth.  They never would have hung out with him.  Later on, while some of them went to go fight in Vietnam, they would have rolled their eyes upon hearing that he received four draft deferments (“His rich old man musta pulled some strings…”).


And do you think Trump would have wanted to get to know them when he was busy leeching off his dad’s pocketbook?  Of course not. He would have looked down at them, because that is the kind of person he is. 


So why do so many follow him?  I can only believe it is because they are genuine adherents to Trump’s twisted ideology or because they are willing to be complicit in his and his minion’s wrongdoings (including committing acts of violence against fellow Americans, especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous people).   His supporters have proven to be so willing to go along with this aspiring despot, this hollow man, that one must ask, who is truly “deranged?”  Yet, unlike those who suffer from actual mental illnesses, Trump and his ilk are fully accountable and fully culpable for their words, their actions, and their silences.


In solidarity.  

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