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[I’m catching my breath now that my 15 minutes are up. As you may have noticed, the whole thing caught me a little off-guard. I’ll definitely have more to say in the coming weeks about issues directly related to the petition, but for now I need to just get back to writing whatever the hell I want on any given day. To that end, here is my first post-petition post.]
First, a little background…
Despite what has been written about me in recent days, I have striven, not always successfully, to remain more-or-less neutral in the matter of Hillary vs. Bernie. I donated $25/month to Sanders last July thru December out of a sincere fondness for the direction in which he seemed to be nudging the Democratic Party.
As 2016 rolled around, I became concerned about the tone emanating from some segments of the Bernie fan club—concerned enough that I was uncomfortable being associated with it. His odds of securing the nomination were roughly as remote then as they are today and it felt important to support the likely nominee. Fortunately, this involved no real compromise on my part.
Even then I harbored no particular ambivalence toward Bernie Sanders himself. I like what he stands for. I like the political-demographic shift he appears to be a harbinger of. I would like to live in a country that might someday elect a candidate like Bernie Sanders. I just don’t think we’re there yet, in part because of voters whose attitude toward our sort of-Democratic process amounts to “give me what I want or I’m taking my toys and going home.”
Politics is incremental and if you don’t or won’t understand that you’re probably part of the problems you’re railing against.
The chief complaint lodged by Sanders’ most annoying supporters against Hillary Clinton is one that I am superficially sympathetic to, namely that she gets lots of cash from lots of corporate backers. Believe me, I get it. I am no great fan of our capitalist overlords and the stench of their grimy money is as foul to me as that of Chris Christie’s underboob sweat. Here’s the problem: I live in the real world and do not have the luxury of indulging in dilettantish ideological purity just because I saw a shiny thing and maybe can get laid at a rally if I tattoo “Feel the Bern” on my dick.
Pragmatism aside, what we’re really talking about when we talk about political donations is, first and foremost, the political speech being exercised by donors. Sure, we can talk about the deliverables they expect to receive in return from the beneficiaries of those donations, but that is ultimately a secondary issue that cannot be turned into an attack without impugning unknowable motives (beyond the motivation to win an election—an essential motive for all would-be officeholders). I don’t see how we fix the problem by focusing on beneficiaries who are locked in a financial arms race wherein unilateral disarmament would spell electoral doom.
But here’s the crucial bit of nuance I really wanted to get at: without being naive about it, I don’t think it’s a stretch to presume that the majority of corporate donors have ROI expectations that diverge drastically depending upon which party they donate to. Overgeneralizing and idealizing only slightly, I would argue that corporate givers likely donate to Republicans specifically to get them elected, knowing they’ll have a firm ally, while they donate to Democrats to soften the blow and ensure they have a seat at the table.
In other words, if Wall Street could write a check and make it so, Republicans would likely hold every elected office in the land. Recognizing that they can’t quite accomplish this, the money men endeavor to cultivate positive working relationships with Democrats. Yes, even a generous reading of this analysis implies that Democrats have an incentive to take their foot off the gas on any number of economic issues, but if given the choice between a) taking too long to get somewhere I want to be, b) not getting there at all, or c) driving in reverse, i’ll take eventually getting there every time.
Painting Clinton as just another puppet of the oligarchs ignores this distinction. It also pretends that Sanders would not have had corporate backers if he had wanted/accepted them. And that is the real problem. Only regulating the supply will curb this particular behavior.
I would like nothing more than to see the money driven out of politics, but as things stand, the money is very much all up in the politics and the candidate who handicaps him or herself by being overly particular about where it’s coming from is likely to find him or herself fighting an uphill battle against the delegate and/or electoral college math.
Okay, sooo….that happened.
Listen, I will, I promise, have more to say soon and I hope you’ll check back in to see what that is. I may even try to resurrect some of the stuff I said before this, this, this thing…stuff that I burned and shredded and buried and locked until I could wrap my head around the firestorm created by this, this, this thing.
In the meantime, follow me @hyperationalist or here on WordPress and I’ll keep you posted.
Yesterday morning, the dedicated staff of the Hyperationalist launched the Change.org petition posted below. We have since collected 1,500 signatures and the pace seems to be picking up. Clearly we have struck a nerve.
Please head on over to Change.org and sign your name to this extremely important cause. Share the petition on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you like to social mediatize. Here’s a shortened link for you: http://bit.ly/GunFreeZoneFree
RECOGNIZE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO OPEN CARRY FIREARMS AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION AT THE QUICKEN LOANS ARENA IN JULY 2016
SUMMARY: In July of 2016, the GOP will host its convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Though Ohio is an open carry state, which allows for the open carry of guns, the hosting venue—the Quicken Loans Arena—strictly forbids the carry of firearms on their premises.
According to the policy on their website, “firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden on the premises of Quicken Loans Arena.”
This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk. As the National Rifle Association has made clear, “gun-free zones” such as the Quicken Loans Arena are “the worst and most dangerous of all lies.” The NRA, our leading defender of gun rights, has also correctly pointed out that “gun free zones… tell every insane killer in America… (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.” (March 4, 2016 and Dec. 21, 2012)
Cleveland, Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America. By forcing attendees to leave their firearms at home, the RNC and Quicken Loans Arena are putting tens of thousands of people at risk both inside and outside of the convention site.
This doesn’t even begin to factor in the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack on the arena during the convention. Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life. All three remaining Republican candidates have spoken out on the issue and are unified in their opposition to Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s “gun-free zones.”
Donald Trump said “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools—you have—and on military bases on my first day. It gets signed my first day…you know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That’s bait.” (Jan. 8. 2016)
Ted Cruz has accurately pointed out “shooting after shooting after shooting happens in so called gun-free zones.” He continued, “look, if you’re a lunatic ain’t nothing better then having a bunch of targets you know that are going to be unarmed.” (Dec. 4, 2015)
And Ohio Governor John Kasich has been a leader in this movement to eliminate deadly “gun-free zones” starting with his brave decision to fight the Democrats and end “gun-free zones” at National Guard facilities in Ohio. (Dec. 18, 2015)
We are all too familiar with the mass carnage that can occur when citizens are denied their basic God-given rights to carry handguns or assault weapons in public. EVERY AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THEIR FAMILY. With this irresponsible and hypocritical act of selecting a “gun-free zone” for the convention, the RNC has placed its members, delegates, candidates and all US citizens in grave danger.
We must take a stand. We cannot allow the national nominating convention of the party of Lincoln and Reagan to be hijacked by weakness and political correctness. The policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution.
THEREFORE, WE ARE CALLING TODAY FOR THE FOLLOWING FIVE POINTS OF ACTION:
- From the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland: A suspension of their policy preventing the open carry of firearms on the premises of the arena from July 18-21, 2016 to coincide with the Republican National Convention.
- From the National Rifle Association: An immediate condemnation of the egregious affront to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution constituted by the “gun-free zone” loophole to the state law.
- From Ohio Governor John Kasich: A concerted effort to use his executive authority to override the “gun-free zone” loophole being exploited by the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
- From Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee: An explanation of how a venue so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights was chosen for the Republican Convention. Further, we demand a contingency plan to relocate the convention to another location should the Quicken Loans Arena refuse to honor the constitutional rights of the RNC guests to open carry firearms during the convention.
- From all Republican candidates for President: You have been brave in raising awareness about the immense dangers posed by “gun-free zones.” In order to ensure the safety of your supporters, delegates and all attendees at the convention in July, you must call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena’s unconstitutional “gun-free zone” loophole. Every American is endowed with a God-given Constitutional right to carry a gun wherever and whenever they please.