It’s Election Time Again, Yea
More ranting from John Johnson
I participated in the 1964 election, having been involved in supportive actions for the civil rights movement that was taking place in the South.
Some of us were already working in groups, including the Young Democrats. Our main target was the reactionary Birch Society’s candidate, Barry Goldwater. We worked for Johnson and local politicians going door to door. We worked for politicians who seem to oppose the growing Vietnam situation, and helped to get them elected.
It didn’t take long for most of them to start supporting the war. The campus ACLU invited Dorothy Healy, then head of the local Communist Party, to speak. The administrators decided to balance her with a Nazi. That was the last time we asked permission.
We also started a civil rights group, one of our members had just spend a summer working with SNCC and Core. The 1965 Watts Riot awakened some people to the fact that local African Americans weren’t being treated much better than those in the South.
We then started to focus on the escalating war in Vietnam. We organized an SDS chapter and held a civil disobedience action at the Van Nuys Air Base, where men and supplies were being shipped to Vietnam. We sat-in during three separate weeks. About 30 of us were arrested. [The Sit-in was the 1960’s version of Occupy.]
While organizing a regional SDS, we helped a number of local colleges to organize their own.
After the police violence against protestors at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago, most of us gave up on electoral politics in favor of massive organizing.
I didn’t vote again until I voted for Kucinch, at the urging of a friend who worked for him. And look at the choices we have now:
In addition to escalating Bush’s war crimes, Obama has turned a blind eye to Wall Street’s theft of seven trillion dollars from the economy, which plunder continues, forcing austerity on the rest of us and causing world wide depressions.
And I have no idea why anyone would vote for the shallow, corrupt, lying plutocrat Romney, unless they were wealthy or racist, of course.
He and his corporate buddies are evil. There’s no more truth in his campaign than there is in his opponent’s. In the midst of his shameless self-promotion, one of his companies is closing down a factory and shipping jobs to China. They even forced US workers to train their Chinese replacements. Instead of earning $17 dollars an hour now, his employees get barely a dollar.
Romney is a corporate hack, working with those who deposited the seven billion to offshore tax free accounts. The same hacks that are closing factories, breaking unions, trying to limit safety laws and environmental regulations, building on Federal lands and helping to cause our current climate change. Their greed and indifference is at the root of arctic melting, devastating droughts and coastal flooding. They pollute the air waves with ads for expensive cars and junk food.
Not that Obama’s administration has done any better. True, he currently has a Congress that blocks anything half way decent. But what about the two years when he had what should have been a slam dunk with a Democrat Congress and accomplished nothing?
George McGovern just passed away. The Democrats had finally nominated a liberal anti-war candidate, but the public voted him down by one of the biggest margins, ever, and elected Nixon, one of most crooked, war-mongering, opportunistic and murdering Presidents in our history. One reason why it’s so hard to trust our electoral system.
So in about ten days, we can all get back to grassroots organizing. Occupy, get moving!