"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must -at that moment-become the center of the universe." Ellie Weisel.
"In November, Black Girls Ride will rev our engines, we will go to the polls and fill the ballot boxes of this nation and choose a leader that will provide the unity our country needs. We invite you to vote like your life depends on it. Thank you." Porsche Taylor, Black Girls Ride at the Get Off Ours Necks rally in Washington, DC.
Sides must be taken.
Americans must choose the side of the Kenosha, Wisconsin protestors and the two men killed by a teenage YMCA lifeguard and supporter of President Donald Trump. Trump must be soundly defeated on November 3, 2020. He is America's Mussolini and his followers the equivalent of the Black Shirts.
The American election process only produces two candidates for presidential office. For the foreseeable future, Americans are stuck with a system dominated by Republicans and Democrats, awash in large donor money and polluted by Political Action Committees. Talk of imposing term limits, eliminating the Electoral College, instituting referenda, and developing robust third parties are just that: talk. Americans are too lazy to be revolutionaries for change which is one of the many reasons cookie-cutter candidates from both political parties make the grade as presidential timber.
Indeed, Americans are represented by a two-headed monster and it is difficult to divine the difference between the two parties. But one head of that monster, the Republican ghoul in the guise of Donald Trump, has gone off the rails. It is trying to rip itself away from the Janus-faced Democratic side of its body and intends to reconstitute itself as a singular sort of Republican Lotan not only of the sea but adapted to the land. The Republican party has become home to racists, fascists, militant cops, Q'Non, the Boogaloo Boys, a rag tag army of right wing militias, and corporate vampires who want to pay no taxes, privatize Social Security, and rule over a wasteland of unemployed and homeless Americans. In short, it is the Republican party is the party of ignorance and oppression.
Joe Biden, a kind of conservative, not quite an elderly Yoda, called from exile on Planet Delaware, is no Ha'dad Ba'al to Lotan, but a vote for Biden represents a hold-the-line measure until a Ha'dad Ba'al arrives in some form to purge the United States of the social and environmental diseases that Trump and the Republicans have exacerbated over the past four years (with complicity of many Democrats)
Yes, Biden's fatherly advice was absent when it came to Hunter Biden; the nefarious "yes" vote for the second Iraq War; his support for the 1994 Crime Bill (although there is a lot of fog around some of the facts on the matter); and his Wall Street ties leads to a grimace. Further, Biden seems to be "playing not to lose" which is a dangerous strategy. "Protecting the lead" by going conservative is not a smart play.
So what's an American citizen supposed to do? Not vote and proclaim to friends and family that the candidates are beneath one's dignity and, well, "I can't morally cast my vote for x or y." Or, "Oh me, oh my, it's the lesser of two evils and I voted for y instead of x. I held my nose even." Bull*&^%!
The importance of the 2020 election can be found in the impassioned, and convincing, speeches from the Get Off My Neck March. There really is only one sane choice.
During a Trump second term, the militarization of the United States will accelerate. National Guard and active duty military personnel will occupy urban spaces which will become the site of relentless anti-Trump and pro-Black Lives Matter protesters.
John Stanton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org