Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sibling vote deal amended! Hillary gets my vote

This just in!

My previous post was about how my sister, a North Carolina resident and avid Bernie Sander’s backer, was strongly considering writing in Bernie’s name on her North Carolina ballot.

I offered a swap. The deal was that she’d vote in the Tar Heel State, a crucial “swing state,” for Hillary if I would write in Bernie here in Oregon, a solid Blue state, on her behalf. I was previously intending to vote for Hillary here.

But events of the past week, including Trump’s saying he may not accept the results of the November 8 election, have convinced her that the strongest anti-Trump message needs to be sent at the polls — everywhere.

My sister and I have agreed that Hillary Clinton, for all her weaknesses, should receive every vote possible, including hers and mine.

In short, I just mailed in my Oregon ballot, casting my vote for Hillary. My sister vows to vote for Hillary too.

Note to Hillary: Never again do I want to find myself voting primarily AGAINST a candidate, rather than FOR one. Four years hence, Hillary, give us more — many more — reasons to vote for you than the fact that your opponent is deranged, dangerous demagogue.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, October 16, 2016

This Oregonian is voting for Hillary in North Carolina

Want to defeat Trump but not vote for Clinton?

Consider the deal I struck up with my sister Kate.

I’m a resident of Oregon; she lives and votes in North Carolina.

We were both avid Bernie Sander’s supporters during the primaries, but after Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, I decided to swallow hard and back Clinton.

(I’m the little-known founder of “Nose-holders for Hillary.”

My sister is a die-hard Sanders backer. The other day she told me she was writing in Bernie’s name on her North Carolina ballot. (I have a cousin in Washington state who has taken the same vow.)

Add to this electoral equation my sister’s learning recently that her step-son, who also lives in North Carolina, is voting for Trump.

She and I had a little back and forth on the phone recently exploring the political landscape and our “consciences.”

She asserted that in all “good conscience” she can’t vote for Hillary. I asserted that in all “good conscience” I couldn’t see how she would pass by cancelling out her stepson’s Trump vote.

We agreed that True Blue Oregon is going for Hillary and that North Carolina is still a question mark.

So we struck a deal. She’s voting for Hillary “for me” in North Carolina; I’m writing in Bernie “for her” in Oregon.

Sound interesting? Do you fit into a similar scenario? Are you looking for a vote swapping partner?

There’s an app that can help you find one.

Its web site is

For Republicans who want to block Trump but can’t stomach voting for Clinton, there’s help here:

Both help you vote without violating your conscience.

Yes, you can defeat Trump without voting for Clinton.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 13, 2016

From the Heart: The wellspring to action

Last Sunday in silent Quaker worship, I was obsessed by a “monkey mind” dominated by this absurdist presidential campaign.

Finally, I concluded, I simply had to let go. But how?

Then I realized the chaos was in my mind.

What if I moved all of that “stuff” to my heart?

It was surprisingly easy. I simply refocused on my heart.

I immediately felt peace move to my chest and then wash over me.

My mental churning vanished.

The hard turmoil in my mind had melted to a balm
in my heart.

The energy was still there, but I was different.

Everything had changed.

                  •  •  •

Could it be that we sometimes are “using” the wrong part of ourselves as we face life’s challenges?

Do some things require heart while others call on reason? Or is there a sequence of heart/mind or, more often, mind/heart that we should follow.

Quakers speak of “leadings.” Being led, almost compelled, to act. In the past, Friends have been led to women’s suffrage, the emancipation of slaves, civil rights, conscientious objection, prison reform. The list is long.

Thinking about those leadings, I see they have taken shape in both mind and heart, but ultimately heart spurs us to action.

The wellspring of leadings is in the heart.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A post-election, populist coalition must find common ground

A red swath of Trumpism still winds a lazy “S” curve from Idaho and Montana down across the nation’s “Heartland” to the Deep South to Georgia and South Carolina. Add in the “islands” of Alaska, Indiana and West Virginia.

How could this be in light of revelations in the past few days (and, really, weeks) about the sickening pathology of Donald Trump?

The answer lies in what these states have in common. They are largely rural, they are grounded in a strong sense of individualism and White nativism. Several feed on a history of racism and xenophobia.

Their economies remain stagnant or threatened or both. Several are economically dependent on the maintenance and expansion of a toxic fossil fuel industry.

They are grounded in a “gun culture” and swayed by media-hyped fear and machismo.

We can safely surmise that “locker room talk” like Trumps is more likely to occur here.

For all of this, most proclaim themselves Christians. That’s one reason I’ve concluded that the last thing a returning Jesus, a Jew, would do is convert to Christianity. The biblical table tossing of Jerusalem will be child’s play compared to Jesus’ fury in the “Prosperity Gospel” mega-churches.

Whether Trump’s predatory behavior toward women is more common in these Red states is an open question. But in such rural settings, the role of women has been relatively frozen for decades. It is vital but uncelebrated in the culture. (The children know better! Thank you, Mom!)

Community celebrations are saved for Friday night high school football games, preceded by adolescent “locker room talk,” which may or may not take the form of an absurdist prayer for victory. God is my quarterback etc…)

You would think that Trump’s behavior to women alone would shift these states to purple.

It hasn’t.

Apparently the “girls” accept letting the “boys” be boys…even when they are no longer boys.

So what else is going on in the sweeping Red “S”? Why does Trump still run so strongly in the Red “S”?

One explanation stands out.

On November 8, Hillary Clinton will not win the election; Trump will lose it. Our next president will be a non-loser, not a winner.

Clinton’s “victory” will have mostly to do with Trump’s scrambled, depraved and dangerous mental state.

But Trump did stake out several spot-on positions that the Red S took to heart, and rightly so. Who, for instance, would deny that political and economic elites are in league and “run the country”? NB: Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address.

Several of those positions, by the way, were shared by Bernie Sanders, but more thoughtfully and civilly.

Sadly, they are already forgotten amid the campaign chaos. Clinton’s base support is among the economic elites and the military establishment. They are the real winners of this election. The rest of her campaign support has come from folks, like me, left with no other realistic candidate to turn to.

My guess is that events of the next four years will revive these “Populist” issues.

After this election, we need to pivot and rethink what we are about. We need to think about who “we” really are. “We” need to listen and get to know each other.

That “we” is a coalition of the disaffected in the Red states and those in the Blue states who voted for Sanders in the primaries. Minorities of color need to be welcomed and recruited to join the coalition.

The Red State legions being victimized by political and financial elites must shake off the misplaced and false fears of racism, sexism and immigration. Reformers on both sides must coalesce, not around hate, but justice for all. Those “Christians” must search their souls and live in the way Jesus commanded them to.

After November 8, we must find a common ground that defines the political landscape of 2020.

Labels: , , , , , ,