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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.

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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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. (more…)

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

Today It Begins — Democrats’ Last Chance to Ensure Victory by Nominating Bernie Sanders

PHL DNC

Some might call it a long shot. Some might call it blasphemy. Some might call it the most brilliant and patriotic political maneuver in a generation.

Whatever one calls it, nominating Sen. Bernie Sanders remains a possibility at the Democratic Convention that starts today here in Philadelphia. Sanders provided an endorsement of Hillary Clinton a week ago in a show of party solidarity, but he has not conceded the race nor relinquished his delegates.

Thus this convention revolves around one critical question for superdelegates and members of the DNC: Which political path do they want their party to take today and in the coming decade?

Do they want their party to sweep to a landslide victory in November and add millions of diverse, enthusiastic new members who will carry the party to Democratic wins for a generation? Or do they want their party to run against the populism sweeping (more…)

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Posted in Democratic Convention | Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 12:28 pm on July 25, 2016

The Deeper Reason Many Intelligent Progressives and Independents Will Not Support Hillary Clinton

The Deeper Reason Intelligent Progressives Support Bernie Sanders

The “lesser-of-evils” argument might not work for independent voters this year.

For those who hope for swift unity in the Democratic Party, there are reasons to believe it won’t happen if Hillary Clinton is the nominee.

While there are serious policy differences between Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a deeper fault line must be acknowledged between their supporters.

Certainly the two candidates remain far apart on issues that matter to progressives and independents — fracking, the TPP, tuition-free public colleges, universal single-payer healthcare, racist policing, militarism in the Middle East — to name just a few. Indeed, based on policy and political strategy, many independents and Democrats see Clinton as more like a traditional Republican. Many even see it as indicative of privilege if one supports Clinton over Sanders, given the current state of the economy and the environment. Many intelligent progressives see the two candidates as representing different social classes.

Nevertheless, a debate about policy differences only partially explains the disconnect between Clinton (more…)

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by Tony Brasunas at 9:03 pm on July 19, 2016

The Connection Between Brexit and Bernie

Leon Neal / AFP

It has never been more important to ‘think global, act local.’

The movement in Britain to leave the EU and the movement to elect Bernie Sanders in the US share an underlying cause. Across the world today there is massive dissatisfaction and anger with how global capitalist rule is converging into smaller and smaller units with more and more power via elite agreements — NAFTA, WTO, TPP perhaps, and yes, the EU. These elite agreements are driving down wages for nearly everyone, destroying the environment, and starting or abetting wars.

There are several responses to this dissatisfaction and anger.

One shortsighted and simplistic response is xenophobia and isolationism. This response is manifest in the appeal of the Brexit vote and in the appeal of Donald Trump. If you can tell yourself that it’s your neighbor — rather than unregulated global corporate rule — that is making people you know lose their healthcare, their jobs, or their homes, then you can close a symbolic door to the world.

The more challenging response is manifest in the rise of Bernie Sanders — and also in the push to radically democratize the EU. People across the world (more…)

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by Tony Brasunas at 4:13 pm on July 1, 2016