Life in a Swing State….

Life in a swing state….
….with people I otherwise deeply respect vowing to sit out this election (whether because they supported Bernie or because the whole two party thing is corrupt and should be conscientiously objected by NOT VOTING) in my FB feed. Finally wrote this today [yesterday] after various posts (from people I otherwise respect) about not voting…..
Here I sit in Iowa (a swing state)….***
I get it…I do. I called Clinton’s office daily in the run-up to Iraq (she was my Senator then in NY) and swore to her staff who answered the phones: “if she votes for this war I will never vote for her again!!!!”….
(I really yelled. Those poor phone-answerers.)
I believe both parties are corrupt….I hate the two-party system…
…But I live in Iowa (a swing state)…and I’m about to break my vow and vote for Clinton despite what I yell/cried at her poor phone-answerers in 2002…..
…Call me a hypocrite; I usually keep my word (I’ve voted Green Party more than once)…
…but I finally wrote this (see below) despite so respecting folks in my FB feed who otherwise think not-voting in Iowa is a “less complicit option”….or is supporting the two-party system.
Because I live in Iowa, which is a swing state….so…
…Did you hear it? Trump’s ENTIRE opening words in his speech were a direct attack on Black and brown people. (Whole basis of his speech was a promise to further subjugate African American and Latino people)….
With an aim to rally folks behind him (which folks there did rally).
So…here goes my word on this election…..(with edits from what I first wrote, because later I read his speech)…
(Side note….this is not plagiarized from anywhere…..)
“Evil is evil yes. And, I was a Bernie supporter and I am definitely not [not, not] a Clinton fan. But, I have to say this (especially to those of us who live in swing states) there are evils with different outcomes. Think Dietrich Bonhoeffer….he was a PACIFIST (totally non-violence committed), but he realized he had to participate in a plot to assasinate Hitler (act violently; an assassination plot is utter violence) because there was no ‘non-violent’ option.
Trying to be non-violent in a situation where the stakes were that high was an abstraction, an empty principle. (Bonhoeffer died for his decision.)
There was no non-violent option.
It’s not a stretch to say we’re in a similar situation. We do not have a non-evil option.
Not voting is NOT more pure or principled than voting for the lesser-of-two-evils (for those of you who are progressive but vowing to not vote). Not voting is trying for a lesser-evil option; but evil is evil. And the evil of Trump–especially for Latino people and Black people—let alone the other folks we need to be throwing out of office this fall even if we hate both parties….well, I just finally had to at least say a word.
Black women who are serious/hard-core revolutionaries were the folks mostly who mentored and taught me (they have no illusions that the election system is bringing the revolution), and most of these same Black women who mentored and taught me would KICK MY ASS if I sit here in a swing state, and don’t vote (meanwhile thinking I’m somehow less-participating in evil as I do) and Trump wins. And they would be right to do so.
Because, there is NO non-complicit option. And letting Trump win has far worse consequences for some than it does for others.
I just had to say a word.”
There is a time to sit out for principle. THIS ISN’T IT.
**Technically I’m sitting in Colorado right now…but will be back in Iowa well before election time….
2 Responses to “Life in a Swing State….”
  1. emilie townes says:

    yep, i probably would give you a swift kick! thank so much for being an ally to the fullest.

  2. Your words are wisdom. No, this is not the time to sit on the side. That would be akin to not being involved in solving the crisis of White Privilege. The adage is true: “If you aren’t a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.” As an aside: I only recently “discovered” you on Facebook by reading about your book; and I now have ordered your book through Amazon.

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