Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “election”

Inauguration Day – Four More Years

It was a tough election, tougher than most outsiders realize. There was a point when I just couldn’t listen to righteous left-wingers who were sitting back drinking their decafs and stating why they couldn’t possibly support President Obama and bringing up all the promises that he wasn’t able to fulfill.

There is a particular radio station that infuriated me. Sitting in their plush studio they rolled out every possible so-called liberal, who were watching from the touchline, their hands deep in their pockets. Every time I got into my wife’s car, I turned the radio off before putting my seatbelt on.

They were woefully irresponsible. They left Obama to stand alone in the gladiator arena for too long.

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There was a point when I would rather speak to an NRA card carrier in a swing state than some family and friends about politics.

I’m not under any illusion that Barack Obama was less than perfect in his first four years. Neither is he. I’m also not under any illusion that many of the activists who helped put him there were seriously missing at the mid-terms and for much of the past campaign – I’ll raise my hand and admit to being one of them.

However, Monday is Inauguration Day and we begin a new chapter. Four more years to put right the terrible damage inflicted by a war-hungry and greedy minority.

Remember this?

Let’s not sit back and make the same mistake again. Game On!

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Alon Shalev is the author of three social justice-themed novels: Unwanted Heroes, The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Jewish Student Center, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

 

 

Get Off Your Butt and Vote!! – Tom Rossi

Today is election day! My message is simple…

Get to your polling place and vote!!!

I know I’ve come off as somewhat cynical on the subject of the presidential election. Well, it’s not a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich, as was once suggested by the loveable little eight-year-olds on South Park. It’s more a choice between a giant douche (with gray sideburns) and a liver sandwich. Some people like liver and it’s probably sort of good for you, but let’s face it, it’s not too many people’s first choice.

But forget about the presidential race for a moment. Most of my readers are here in California, and if a few hundred Californians actually took my advice and wrote in Dennis Kucinich or Elizabeth Warren for president, nothing at all would change. California would still be a blue state and its electoral votes would all go to President Obama anyway. And besides, for my plan to work, people have to make it known that they want a more progressive government. If you just don’t vote, nothing will be accomplished.

Mitt Romney video:

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No matter what state you are in, there are other races where your vote might make a difference. Here in California, we have several propositions on the ballot, some of which are very important (like prop 37 – YES!!!) and some of these are pretty much a toss-up as to whether or not they will pass, according to the polls.

In addition, in many states, important Senate and Representative races are hanging by a thread. There are actually some politicians out there that will put their shoulders against the gargantuan, immoveable mound of stone that is our beloved corporatocracy (and sometimes kakistocracy) and try to derail this train to the heart of dystopia.

So, NO EXCUSES! Your voices are important! I once saw an important bill in Colorado defeated something like 4,500 to 4,350. It was one of those bills that progressives would have cheered, but the “pro” side had almost no money, so it went down in tiny flames. Do your best to prevent this, wherever you live.

-Tom Rossi

P.S. Did you know that, in many states, your employer MUST give you time off to vote? Check it out here.

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

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Bumper Sticker – A Call to Activism

I love bumper stickers. This one was a no brainer to add to my collection. It is one thing to be apathetic or to bury your head in the sand. But the propensity of people to complain and criticize but refuse to try and do something is truly frustrating.

There is an election coming up. The untruths (I’m being nice here) being thrown out is startling. These candidates rely upon people not really listening to them and just grabbing onto cliches and soap opera-worthy ads.

Whatever your decision in November, be revolutionary and make an informed decision. Just understanding what is really happening is a first step to being an activist.
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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com

 

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