This was prepared as an intro to my podcast, Pointing Left, an Oklahoma alternative news and opinion program. This episode was released Jan. 31, 2018.
As I think about Trump’s speech tonight, and all the words posted about it today by astute thinkers, or my friends on FB, some of whom are also astute thinkers, I realize how terrorized I am, we all are, after a year of this orange dullard tyrant and his enablers. In Oklahoma City, on January 20, 6000 people attended the women’s march. Which in this town is an amazing turnout for a lefty event, except last year it was 12,000. Other cities reportedly retained or increased their numbers, but here we are shell-shocked by so much more than Trump.
Our state is in ruins after years of irresponsible government that kowtows to the oil and gas industry’s every whim, the religious right’s bigotry, and ALEC’s every crazy idea. My city, Oklahoma City, is in thrall to the Chamber and big money interests who swindle the rest of us with small favors and pipe dreams. More on that later. The departing mayor of that city, who snuggled in bed with every banker and oil baron he could find, ignoring the vast majority of his constituents, wants to be governor, while a Republican legislator who spent the last 12 years destroying the state seems to be sailing into that mayorship with the help of many Democrats and so called progressives who have been charmed by a few cheap votes – cheap to someone with ambitious plans for subsequent office. Thus keeping said mayorship tight in the grip of the elite who run things through their city counselors. Don’t get me started about where some counselors have aimed their sights for subsequent office. It’s musical chairs and the 99% are the one’s left standing.
So the beat goes on in OKC. How about your city?
But also, on Jan 20, in OKC and Norman, some new ways of doing things were being discussed and considered by a small group of activists. They – well, we, since I was among them — were participating in workshops put on by The Incorruptibles, a team of trainers using the ideas and practices of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, which took back their California town from Chevron, sweeping out the bought and paid for city councilors and replacing them with people dedicated to an unwavering commitment to real democracy.
Real democracy is not what we have. Not in OKC, not in OK, not in the US. Arguably we never have, but the resistance can repeat Richmond’s transformation, and extend it everywhere, if they will discard the old methods that always get us what we’ve got now – politicians corrupted by the need for large donations.
The key, The Incorruptibles say, is to get corporate money out of politics, and the place to start is in your city.
Here, in a year, 12,000 was reduced to 6000, because it was a 12 month non-stop barrage of insanity, corruption, lies, and mass psychological abuse, making people think it was hopeless, too hard, or in their despair, wonder if it was worth it, if their own perceptions were real.
Sure, I’ve felt like that many times this year. But I surround myself with who are not going to let me lie low for long. “Get up, you are needed by the rest of us” That’s how we have to be for each other, even for like-minded never-met IRL “friends” on social media. We are in a crisis, and at least a third of our country has lost touch with reality, abetted by cynical power mongers and the truly insane they manipulate into fomenting hatred and violence.
Thinking about the example of Richmond renews my hope. Thinking about Sophie Scholl, who resisted the Third Reich in Germany, strengthens my resolve. Thinking about the courage of the Dreamers, fires my soul.
That’s why I do this podcast, for myself, and for anyone who might gain from it a little bit of hope, resolve or passion to keep going. That’s what I ask of those who, like me, are part of a large movement of resistance, of democracy advocates who will keep pushing that dream of government that actually IS of for and by the people. The People. Not those few with money or power, or with so little morality they will do anything to get what they want. They really are so few, you know. Together, we can – and must – replace them. On the city council, in the legislature, in Congress, in the White House, and in every boardroom and control room. People have the power, not the few, the 1%.
Let’s get to it. The state of the resistance consists in changing our thinking and unleashing our power. We have no choice if we the people are to live in freedom and peace.
I didn’t intend to preach, but really, I know I need it and so do others, we need to express our frustration, which no one seems to have an issue with, but we have to express our passion for our values too, which doesn’t happen enough, it seems to me.