What did optimism ever get us? It got us Barack Obama, for one thing. The great Bait-and-Switch President soon became The Great Impostor. It was a hard pill to swallow, that meme with George W. Bush laughing at us saying ‘How is that whole hopey changey thing working?” Remember that? Weren’t we positively indignant when we saw that? We were, but deep down inside we knew he was fucking-A right. At least I did. (And I voted for Obama, that piece of garbage in a suit, not once but twice.)
op·ti·mism: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
There’s that word again: HOPE. That’s the revolution killer. We did the hopey changey thing after the Bush regime when we embraced Barack Obama. Remember that? He was supposed to be our ‘revolution.’ Of course, the problem with comes to people’s interpretation of the word ‘revolution.’ So, let’s stop right here and define that appropriately.
rev·o·lu·tion: a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.
Right off the top, let’s establish that having ‘hope’ in the Sanders revolution is a waste of time. It isn’t a revolution. And hope is the reason we’re not having a revolution. We’re not having a revolution because it’s easier and less painful to hope that we’ll end up with a ‘progressive’ Democrat. As if they even exist. (Hint: They don’t.)
There will be no revolution from within the system. None. We need more anger and hope. Anger can be channeled into activism. Hope only leads to optimism. There will be no revolution coming from optimism.
What you do get from hope and optimism is a disease called ‘Savior Effect.’ You move right into the lane where you wait for some savior to come along and magically solve our problems. People imagine Bernie Sanders as a savior who will ride in on his unicorn and save the day. We keep hearing about his “long game.” When I ask people what his long game is about, this is generally the response: “He knows what he is doing.” Good, because none of us know what the hell Sanders is doing. Or maybe we do. I do. I think he’s been part of the “game” plan from day one, and he’s punking us on behalf of the hopelessly corrupt Democratic Party. We sometimes forget that Sanders has had (and continues to have) a very long and fruitful association with the Democrats. The “I” next to his name is because his native Vermonters simply love the idea of independence and the notion that he’s not part of the establishment. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Truthfully, however, there are still other impediments to a revolution in America. We should look at those.
People talk change but won’t change
Too many people are unwilling to change their own habits. Somewhere along the line, many people decided that there should be a people’s revolution that doesn’t require so much damned work and that does not make them sacrifice their comforts. For example, buying from Amazon and Jeff Bezos, the Online Antichrist.
It’s almost like instinct: You need a filter for your fridge? Amazon. Paper towels? Amazon. One-stop shopping may be convenient, but you should know who you are supporting and what you are condoning when you do your one-stop shopping at Amazon.
We are talking about an elitist with $106 billion in personal wealth who refuses to treat his employees decently. To him, they are nothing more than human chattel. In spite of his nauseating wealth, many of his employees are forced onto food stamps just to make ends meet. So paranoid is he about theft, that he refuses to open the doors of his warehouses in the summer, instead opting for ambulances outside his facility in the event his employees have problems with the heat.
It is more than possible to eliminate Amazon altogether. My family has. In fact, we even saved some money over the holidays by buying elsewhere. Amazon is nothing more than the Walmart of the online purchasing world. Imagine the message that is sent if we can stop enough people from buying from Amazon that it affects Jeff Bezos’ personal wealth?You bet they’d stand up and take notice. Do the American people have what it takes to pull this off? They haven’t so far and, while many I know have great disdain for Amazon, there are still plenty of people who purchase from Amazon instinctively like retail automatons.
People do not understand what activism is
Too many people think activism begins and ends with social media and the Internet. It is estimated that 11% of U.S. adults do not use the Internet. Of the ones who actually do use the Internet, civic matters, politics, or even accessing the ‘news’ of the day may not be the main attraction. I know people who use it strictly for Pinterest and Instagram. They aren’t even on social media like Facebook, Minds, or MeWe. I know family members who get their news strictly from their local television news; they can also go a few days without even thinking about looking at their email. Believe it or not, there are teens in my son’s high school class who do not have Internet at home.
I can assure you that activism embodies more than a few angry posts on Facebook.
ac·tiv·ism: the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, and civil disobedience.
Posting is not vigorous action, even if you’re posting on multiple sites. I come from the Chris Hedges school of revolution. The only thing that saves us now is continuous refusal to cooperate, otherwise known as civil disobedience. What does that look like? How about a May Day General Strike? In order for that to work, we need more than social media ‘activism.’
As for being on the streets, pink pussy hats and permits neither qualify as activism nor make a movement. It’ll be activism when it’s not scripted by the Democratic Party, permitted by the state, or funded by the elites. Until then, it’s controlled opposition.
People (Some) are either entitled or myopic
This is a difficult category. There are people actually questioning why they should have to fight this battle since they didn’t contribute to it. I have seen posts like this on more than one social media site. I can’t even go there because we all have been complicit in our lack of engagement and our continued silence. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of Americans who are either waiting for someone else to do the heavy lifting on their behalf or waiting for the inevitable destruction of Empire figuring they’ll pick up the pieces then. I’ve actually heard people say that.
I hate to burst everyone’s bubble but, unless we the people are prepared to seize control when that happens, what we end up with could be markedly worse than what we are currently dealing with.
It is time now to look in the mirror and take stock. What we do going forward counts now. Nobody in Washington is going to give us back our free speech rights, give us back our media, return the nation to the rule of law, or make income inequality a priority. Nobody will give us back our power. We’re going to have to take it back.