Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thousands Protest in Indiana--Should Have Been Paying Attention Earlier

"First they came for the unions, but not being a union member I did not stand up. Then they came for the black people, but not being black I did not stand up. Then they came for the gays...and I realized that maybe I should have been paying attention earlier."

So once again, there are protests in the streets decrying massive injustice. This time, it is in the form of thousands of people waving signs in downtown Indianapolis decrying the passage of a horrendously discriminatory bill against the rights of gays and lesbians allegedly in the name of "religious freedom." Just like the 2011 pro-union protests in Madison, Wisconsin, and last year's post-Michael Brown shooting protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the protestors have a legitimate reason to be aggrieved. Nevertheless, I would still like to ask the them one simple question: how many of you got involved in the midterm election campaigns for your state representatives last year and, relatedly, how many of you actually bothered the vote in said elections?

Because I just went and checked the voter turnout and saw that only 30% of Indianan registered voters even bothered to show up at the polls. In addition, you cannot tell me that the voting records and political views of the cretins in the state legislature who voted for this horrendous, pandering law were not easily available before now.

Maybe, just maybe, instead of whining, complaining and protesting the better strategy would be to organize, get your own people on the ballot, resist the corrupting overtures of the Democratic Party (form your own third party would be my advice) and beat these fuckers at their own game. Again, I realize that national and even statewide elections are so rigged by the big money as to be virtually hopeless. But the bigoted, opportunistic assholes who created and voted to pass this law by and large won their seats with only a few thousand votes. They CAN be defeated.

But no...have fun instead chanting your chants and waving your signs. It's all just sound and fury, signifying nothing. It'll feel good for a few days--kind of like watching an episode of The Daily Show or Real Time with Bill Maher. Then most of you will no doubt go home to your iPads, iPhones and 500 channels.

And that law you hate so much will still be on the books.

Bonus: "Breaking rocks in the hot sun"...indeed


  1. Agree wholeheartedly with your basic do these cretins get elected? Not a mystery....look it up, or read this blog. Then get out the vote.
    If internet brain does not get it done, we are so very well fucked we will need to change from carbon based beings to silicon based beings. God bless the Periodic Table.

  2. The Indiana Republicans have such a lock on the state and local elections that in order to kill a candidate off you have to vote in the primary election for the candidate's opponent, in many of our local races the Democrats don't have a candidate. During the last presidential election in the poor parts of my small city I saw Mitt posters in the yard of people whose jobs have disappeared overseas!!! Quoting the waiter in FB ," I weep for the future."

    whats the difference between Russian propaganda and American propaganda?
    Americans BELIEVE their propaganda!
    Russian Joke

    1. "many of our local races the Democrats don't have a candidate" - one consolation in that--it would make it easier for a third party candidate to win since the opposition vote would not be split.

      I know, I know--extremely unlikely to ever happen.

    2. Try getting a third party candidate on the ballot in Indiana. Just try it. I DARE you.

  3. I enjoy your blog but I'm confused about you trying to get out the vote. I remember you saying on here that you don't vote. What gives?

    1. To clarify my position: yes, I haven't voted since 2008 and will not waste my time voting in any future race where there is no real choice between the candidates (and I will continue to urge others that it is better to not vote or vote third party than give their votes to Republicans or mainstream sellout Democrats). However, if a potentially VIABLE candidate campaigning for real change and refusing big business donations was either trying to get on the ballot, trying to win a primary or makes it to the general election I would certainly not only vote but volunteer my time and do as much as I could to help them.

      What I'm really trying to point out--particularly to liberals--is that it might just be better to try and start changing things at the one place in the system where they can be changed rather than protesting. Take the Occupy movement for example. It was a complete waste of time to sit around in the parks for months on end until the police finally executed their forcible evictions. Had the movement instead focused on getting its people on the ballot as third party candidates in local races and executed get out the vote drives, they might by now have won enough races to at least have a voice in local governments and state legislatures around the country. Not enough to yet to win a majority anywhere after only four years, but maybe enough to force the media to take their message seriously rather than treating it as a joke.

      In Indiana, instead of protests their should be an organized effort to figure out who the most vulnerable legislators are who voted for that awful antigay law and to take two or three of the most vulnerable of those bigoted assholes down. THAT would have a chilling effect on other states' legislators who are thinking about pushing to pass similar laws. Making the those in charge fear they will lose their power is far more effective than chanting slogans and waving signs.

      But alas, it seems protesting is a lot more fun than doing the hard work of trying to make a real difference.

    2. Ah, yes. So many people thought Occupy was going to be their personal army. They thought all they'd have to do is grab a bullhorn, make a short, pity speech and everyone there would just troop out to the polls and vote whichever way they were supposed to.

      Of course, anyone who actually took the trouble to talk TO people at Occupy (instead of talking AT them) could have quite easily found out that the reason FOR Occupy was expressly NOT TO BE A VOTING BLOC. Which is why all the would-be oh-so-progressive liberal reformers who showed up the first couple days went away with the lower lip pooched-out.

      Of course, the preening morons who represent 95% of our national media didn't know what was going on either, but then again, they didn't want to know in the first place. Our media overlords just did what they do with every protest of a size they can't ignore, they picked a random looney out of the crowd and pretended he/she/it was a 'representative' or 'spokesman' or what-the-fuck-ever. Hell, they teach that in Journalism 101 these days. Our masters and betters gobble that shit up and their toadies at NBC/CNN/FOX know it.

      So it's a good thing that no one in Occupy really cared about bullshit voting reformers or media lackwits. They were pursuing their own goals, which were quite clear and explicit for those who cared to ask. Some Occupy groups are still around. Some morphed into something else. Some broke up or were broken up. You can ask around and find out what happened. Or not. That's up to you.

    3. So if Occupy didn't want to become a voting block, what was the point? In a "democracy," there's only two way to get TPTB to fear you, organized violence directed towards them or the thought that they might lose power via the ballot box--and the first of those methods will get you killed.

      You say they were "pursuing their own goals." Well, given that wealth inequality gets worse with every passing year with no end in sight, you'll excuse me for thinking that the whole effort was one big colossal failure.

    4. With regards to voting, I think Rosa Luxemburg phrased it best when she said: "Screw these Freikorp guys! I'm goin' for a walk in the Tiergarten."