Yesterday afternoon, my sister shared with me a video that gave me words. In doing so, it took a load off both mind and heart.
Before I tell you about the video, I must first tell you about the load …
about which it will, I’ll caution you, likely be unpleasant to read.
— the load —
I’d begun the morning reflecting how completely I abhor the private corporation that is the Democrats—not those who vote Democrat, no, but the Democratic machine itself. By this I mean those with the power to draft its platforms;
those who routinely take actions that benefit people with massive power while further depriving the economically powerless any prospect for structural dignity;
those who call themselves the good guys while epsteining as a way of life.
As I’ve been clear about here, I grew up in deep poverty. That poverty paved the way for predation; as members of the vast U.S. underclass, my siblings and I were preyed upon by numerous predators. As I wrote in one post on my old blog, “The poor mom who cannot afford to feed her children cannot possibly afford an attorney,” a fact on which predators gleefully act.
Coupling my childhood learning with ample book learning the last four years, I am crystal clear on the many ways that machine has long acted to increase the suffering of those already suffering most.
Indeed, if it the Democratic machine had an accurate motto for its last decades of destructive choices, it would be this: “What are they going to do? Vote Republican?!”
This all was very much on my mind when I yesterday shared a tweet by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor:
Symbolic firsts are no substitute for substantive gains. We have been celebrating firsts for fifty years but the gains for the few almost never translate into a better life for the many. Check out Lightfoot in Chicago. These celebrations are old and our people are dying. Enough.
On the tweet, I reflected on a veep choice that’s as functionally catastrophic, for many, as the machine’s presidential candidate this year:
In August 2016, I began devouring non-fiction books that would help me understand this political moment in U.S. history. Taylor’s From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation was one of the first, and *especially* informs my utter lack of enthusiasm for celebrating Harris’s inclusion on the Dem ticket.
As Taylor wrote in 2016, “Yet, as near-daily reports on police brutality and murder fill the airwaves, this unprecedented display of Black political power appears to mean very little in the lives of ordinary Black people, who wield almost no power at all.” While non-poor Dems castigate Reagan’s financial trickle-down theories, many have their own variant: That BIPOC power “trickles down.”
From chapter 3: “Black elected officials obscure their actions under a cloak of imaginary racial solidarity, while ignoring their role as arbiters of political power who willingly operate in a political terrain designed to exploit and oppress African-Americans and other working-class people.” So, as poor BIPOC continue to suffer profoundly, daily, the salient point, for me, about Harris is best captured in this WSJ article title: “As Kamala Harris Joins Biden Ticket, Wall Street Sighs in Relief.”
For whom, again, does Harris successfully speak?
And yet: Trump, the candidate elevated by Clinton’s 2016 campaign to improve her prospects of winning, is even more catastrophic.
So, what am I going to do? Vote Republican?!
(Honestly, I’m voting Republican either way;
since Bill Clinton especially, it’s the
— the lifting —
In the afternoon, Rache sent me this video by Brandon Kyle Goodman.
While his opinions and mine clearly diverge in many specifics, his approach is illuminating. Light-bringing.
This magical video gave me the words I’d struggled to find as I asked myself:
How do I vote for a Biden/Harris duo that has wrought so much suffering over so many decades? How do I object, completely and fundamentally, to the devastating choices made by the Democratic machine over the last few decades and yet cast a vote for its candidates this November?
I vote and …
I vote and I show up every damn day to protest choices that crush those in need of most to uphold those already mighty. I make it really damn hard for them to continue making those choices by being part an active part of the upswell reminding them there will be political consequences for those choices.
I vote and commit myself to repairing a system that routinely gives so many people such terrible choices. I vote and encourage others to do more than vote and vote alone, underscoring how the options on which we’re able to vote are so much narrower than all the options that exist in the wild.
I vote and know my vote as one moment’s work in what must be unrelenting work, that many more people may suffer much, much less.
So: Will I vote for Biden and Harris, who only look like the lesser evil because the alternative is so profoundly evil?
(Again, let me be clear: I am talking about the evil in machines here, not the individual voters.)
I will apply a Band-Aid with my vote this year and, then?
You’d better bet I’ll be preparing for surgery.