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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

These are my latest posts about the Peaceful Revolution. I’m working for–and writing about–the revolution that Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, and many other progressive leaders tall and small are talking about here in the United States, to restore democracy and verified voting, to take aggressive climate action, to bring universal single-payer healthcare and tuition-free public college to all Americans, and to end institutional racism, for-profit prisons, and for-profit wars around the world.

This Election is the Perfect Storm for a Party: Jill Stein and the Green Party

Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President of the United States

Voters seek alternatives to the ‘choice’ between Trump and Clinton

The year 2016 is going down in history as the year the majority of American voters turned against both of the major political parties.

This year will also go down as the year a new political party spread its wings.

The Republican Party, once the “Party of Lincoln,” the party known as the Grand Old Party (GOP), has chosen an awful candidate in Donald Trump, a racist, sexist, failed businessman and television star famous for mean-spirited diatribes. Trump mocks the political system he seeks to preside over, evokes xenophobia at every turn, and calls for violence at political rallies. He is widely reviled by those who take him seriously and harshly ridiculed by those who don’t. He seems to be an awful choice for president by virtually any measure, and he might not even really want the job.

The even older Democratic Party, once the party of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, has also chosen an awful candidate in Hillary Clinton, a dishonest, corporate-controlled warmonger married to a former president who was impeached for dishonesty. As Secretary of State, Clinton has amassed millions via her private Clinton Foundation by sending billions of dollars in weapons to warring countries around the world in exchange for donations. Her misuse of private email servers to handle state business and classified information has resulted in scandal after scandal and leaves it unclear whether she even qualifies for basic security clearance. She seems to be an awful choice for president by virtually any measure, and she might not even qualify for the security clearance for the job.

People in this country and many around the world are amazed and horrified that these two ridiculously bad candidates are supposed to constitute “democracy” in the most powerful country on earth. Many wonder how this can even be called a choice. These two candidates support the same wrong side on so many of today’s most pressing issues.

A Perfect Storm

But all is not lost. What many view as an illegitimate choice comes at a time when both the United States and all of Planet Earth badly need an honest accounting of the issues that confront us. Collectively, Americans need real leadership to address these (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 1:24 am on October 16, 2016

The Four Reasons Pragmatic Progressives are Supporting Jill Stein

Jill Stein, Green Party Nominee for President

Voters seek alternatives to the ‘choice’ between Trump and Clinton.

It’s early October, and the usual suspects in the corporate media are bellowing hyperbole about the supposed “craziness” of supporting anyone other than the two most disliked presidential candidates in history.

Why might the Paul Krugmans, Ezra Kleins, and Charles Blows of the corporate media world be veering into shriller and shriller tones?

Most likely because both practical and idealistic voters are increasingly supporting Jill Stein, and one of the jobs of the corporate media is to prop up the corporate parties. When someone doesn’t listen to you and you don’t have reason on your side, you often raise your voice.

The truth is, there are dozens of reasons not to support Trump or Clinton, ranging from the way Clinton issues dangerous military threats about Russia, Syria, and Iran; to the way Trump brashly scapegoats Muslims and immigrants; to the uncomfortable sense that the Trumps and Clintons are actually longtime friends and attend each other’s events and donate to each other. Idealists could probably list one hundred reasons to avoid these candidates.

I attended Jill Stein’s energetic event in Oakland last night, and instead of talking to the idealists, I asked the pragmatists there why they were supporting Stein.

Here is what I gathered, the four main reasons pragmatic progressives are supporting Jill Stein:

  1. The Electoral College. It actually doesn’t matter who you vote for if you live in any of the 41 states that aren’t contested for the presidency. Such is the system we use to elect the president that (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 8:26 am on October 8, 2016

The Debate of Election 2016: To Surrender or to Protest

Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Donald Trump

Outlook on the day of an illegitimate presidential debate.

The problem with accepting today’s debate as a legitimate democratic event is that to do so would be surrender. In fact, accepting this entire election, as currently run by the two corporate parties in collusion with the corporate media, would at this point be surrender.

The debates are illegitimate because three-quarters of Americans want more candidates in the debates, and Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were barred via disingenuous rules and flawed polls. There is no legitimate reason the debates should be run as the two older parties see fit, rather than how we the citizens see fit. Yet that’s what’s happening.

The debate will be illegitimate also because it seeks to force us to accept primaries that were a sham.

Those who followed the primaries closely know that the Clinton campaign and the DNC lied, cheated, and stole their way to the nomination. Several prominent media pundits do argue that the primary was fair, but the endless and ongoing leaks of internal emails continue to show that the primary was rigged. Now even the DNC itself, after insisting for months on its impartiality, is arguing in court that everyone knew all along that they, the DNC, favored Clinton.

Trump, on the other hand, employed the worst tactics of demagoguery — inciting violence, racism, jingoism, and actual political ignorance—to win the nomination on the Republican side. (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 7:39 pm on September 26, 2016

How Democrats and Republicans Seek to Bar Greens and Libertarians from the Presidential Debates

Jill Stein and Gary Johnson Debates

The Democratic and Republican parties aim to exclude Jill Stein (G) and Gary Johnson (L) from the debates.

Millions of American voters will remember this 2016 election year as the year they left the two older political parties once and for all. After deeply problematic primaries, including epidemic fraud on the Democratic side, the two parties nominated the least-liked candidates in history. Never in modern politics has a candidate with either Hillary Clinton’s approval rating (-16) or Donald Trump’s approval rating (-18) won a nomination, let alone the White House. These two candidates are widely, historically disliked.

Meanwhile three-quarters of Americans want to see two other candidates in the presidential debates. You can’t find a lot of things that three in four Americans agree on, but polls show a stunning 76% of us want Dr. Jill Stein, nominee of the Green Party, and Gov. Gary Johnson, nominee of the Libertarian Party, to be included in the debates.

Not that this should be surprising. With our democracy fraying, corruption and election fraud on the rise, climate change encroaching on virtually every ecosystem, and income inequality at record levels, it’s a crucial juncture for the United States and for the planet. Citizens of all backgrounds long to hear a broad range of ideas before determining the optimal path forward.

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Americans want to see Stein and Johnson in the debates.

With climate change a leading issue for many voters, the Green Party, which pushes for immediate action on climate change, should be heard. In light of revelations about domestic spying from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, American citizens want personal liberty and privacy right now, and for this reason the Libertarian candidate should be heard as well. The two older parties inspire little trust on these 21st century issues.

Presidential campaigns are the only nationwide campaigns we have as a country. These political seasons are the most important avenue for large scale political exchange, inspiration, and expression. (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 11:02 am on September 22, 2016

The Great Recognition of 2016: Nixon-level Corruption in the DNC Means It’s Time to Build a New Party

Green Party Nominee Dr Jill Stein

The Democratic Convention fiasco has triggered an exodus to the Green Party

Back at the end of July, as I was leaving home and traveling to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, I wasn’t yet certain whether the leaders of the Democratic Party — the Democratic National Committee — were simply incompetent or actually corrupt. As a writer, as a progressive, and as a citizen inspired by the Bernie Sanders campaign, I was interested to see the workings of the DNC up close.

I had already witnessed in 2016 the DNC allocate and count “superdelegates” prematurely, which favored the Clinton campaign. I had also seen tremendous irregularities and probable fraud in the primary elections, which also favored the Clinton campaign. In short, I knew the DNC wasn’t running a fair primary between Sanders and Clinton, but I wasn’t sure exactly how unfair it was, and whether it was random incompetence and peccadilloes, or whether it was concerted rigging and intentional corruption to install Hillary Clinton as the nominee.

The future of our democracy, our country, and our planet hang in the balance here in 2016, so I departed for the convention knowing that the decisions of the DNC and the superdelegates would be extremely important. (more…)

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Posted in Democratic Convention | Peaceful Revolution | Politics | Travel
by Tony Brasunas at 10:15 am on September 4, 2016

While Publicly Seeking Unity, the DNC is Censoring a Convention and Silencing Dissent

Bernie Sanders supporters locked out of the DNC convention

Locked doors separate Sanders delegates who walked out of the Democratic Convention

Sanders delegates, volunteers, and supporters have felt marginalized.

The Democratic National Committee professes publicly that it longs for peace and unity between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The DNC’s actions as organizers of the convention, however, have repeatedly had the opposite effect.

To begin, no one who wanted Bernie Sanders as the nominee was ever allowed near the microphone on stage. It is an open convention, regardless of the way it’s been covered in the corporate media; Hillary Clinton did not get the required 2,383 delegates required to win outright from pledged delegates. The superdelegates are casting the deciding votes this week. Bernie Sanders, although issuing an endorsement of Clinton earlier this month, hasn’t conceded the race nor released his delegates and so he could become the nominee.

Nevertheless, the entire first day of the convention — ostensibly the “Bernie Day” — featured no speakers who favored a Sanders nomination. Several one-time Sanders supporters who now favor Clinton were allowed to speak.

“Instead of having both candidates’ surrogates make their case, even if the outcome seemed obvious, Monday only featured speakers who advocated voting for Hillary,” said Justin Baird, from the convention floor, a Sanders delegate and whip from Washington state. “It was painfully obvious that if that was Bernie Day, it was really just another Hillary Day, and it riled nearly half the delegates.”

Simply allowing a few Sanders supporters — Nina Turner, for instance, or Tulsi Gabbard, or even Jane Sanders — to speak Monday would have immediately increased feelings of unity. Instead, the convention got off on the wrong foot, fomenting feelings of suppression right away, even before Bernie gave his heart-rending “three minute ovation” speech later that night.

Barring the ‘Super Volunteers’

Even worse than preventing pro-Bernie speakers to address the convention, the DNC has barred all 824 Bernie Sanders volunteers from the convention. Yes, all of them, having traveled across the country on their own dime, expecting to be inside the convention, have been barred from the convention floor. (more…)

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Posted in Democratic Convention | Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 2:52 pm on July 27, 2016