Is Peaceful Revolution Possible?

As most progressives already know, John F. Kennedy once said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” The corporate cabal that has usurped our government appears never to have taken Kennedy’s words to heart, as they have made it glaringly clear that peaceful revolution via the ballot box is not possible.

After the primaries, we discovered the DNC had not only preselected their candidate, but they had also preselected a suitable opponent against whom Clinton could theoretically win, given her own deplorable record was not sufficient to ensure her victory. Add to that the decimation of the Sanders campaign through the use of completely undemocratic superdelegates, and rigging the primary by purging eligible voters from the rolls, then flipping votes from Sanders to Clinton. These allegations of election fraud have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, yet nothing whatsoever has been done about it.

Although a healthy, objective media is necessary for a properly functioning democracy, it’s become painfully obvious during this election year that the news media are no longer doing their job. In 1983, there were 50 companies that owned the media. That number has since dropped to 6. Ninety percent of the newspapers and other media are now owned by these 6 giant corporations, all of which are owned by billionaires. It comes as no surprise that they don’t want any news reaching the people that might be detrimental to their financial interests.

For example, on October 7, Wikileaks exposed the Clinton campaign’s “Pied Piper” e-mail, in which they wrote of the need to “elevate” extreme candidates such as Trump and to “tell the media [to take] them seriously.” First of all, the concept of the DNC “telling the media” to do anything only confirms that they have all these news organizations in their pocket. And although this leak was all over social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, there was not a single mention of it on the electronic front page of the New York Times. Every single one of the top 10 recommended articles was about Trump and “Pussygate.” Only a single mention was made at the bottom of the “Politics” section, regarding how Clinton should handle these Russian leaks. The New York Times is now no more than a propagandist rag.

We are the media now.

It was via a Facebook post by Justin Smith that we first learned 12 participants in the CNN focus group after the first presidential debate were censored when they said they were going to vote “third party” in response to a question asking for whom they were inclined to vote for after seeing the debate.

Smith, a member of the focus group, said that after CNN saw the response, “They then said they were going to reshoot it, except this time they changed ‘3rd party’ to ‘undecided.’ Some of us asked about the third party option, and they ignored us. They then said they were going to shoot it again, and still asked for ‘undecided’ voters and left out ‘3rd party.’ A lot of the members voted ‘undecided’ because it was the only option other than Trump or Clinton.” Smith refused to raise his hand for any of their offered choices.

We are being deceived daily by biased polls that typically do not include voters with no land line phone (essentially, voters under age 50), voters of color, and those who did not vote in the last election. People on Facebook and Twitter have reported being called by pollsters who did not even offer Jill Stein as an option when asked for whom they intended to vote, despite people being able to vote for her in 48 states, far more than necessary to win the majority of Electoral College votes.

By skewing the polls to look like third parties are getting a fraction of the support they are actually receiving, they are setting up a scenario that makes it easier for one of the major parties to steal the election in November. If the polls are showing third parties polling at a low percentage, when they flip the votes for Clinton, as they did in the primaries, their deception will not seem so obvious. Significant exit polling throughout the country and UN monitoring of the election are crucial this year. We can be certain there will be “irregularities.”

Our government has been co-opted by both politicians and journalists who have been bought and paid for. They have repeatedly shown they are not interested in listening to the will of the people; therefore, it is time for us to use our Constitutional rights to impose our will on the government by ways other than voting. But do those ways need to be violent? Not necessarily.

Peaceful revolutions have happened successfully in many other countries. Gandhi helped win India’s independence by inspiring thousands to practice acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. The Velvet Revolution in 1989 freed the Czech Republic from oppressive Communist rule at a time when dissent and political activism were severely punished and anything critical of the government was censored. Vaclav Havel, the country’s president, said: “I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions.” A writer, poet and activist, Havel had no political experience when he took office, just the passion and intelligence to know what the people required from their government.

More recently, Iceland peacefully ousted the head of their government and jailed the bankers who had bankrupted them. They also protected the banks’ account holders rather than bailing out the failed banks with tax money. You probably never heard about it in the US because the banks and corporate-owned government ensured the media kept it quiet so Americans wouldn’t get any revolutionary ideas.

Although peaceful revolution is possible, this does not mean the oligarchs running the government are going to give up without an ugly fight. Like vampires, they have been sucking the lifeblood out of the American people, the economy, and the environment for decades now so they can live more richly than even Midas could have imagined. They will not make it easy for us to take the country back; however, I truly believe prolonged, unified mass protest, boycotts, and peaceful civil disobedience will eventually make it impossible for the government to function, and it will fall to the will of the people.

We must be prepared, however. A strong, clear goal is necessary. Occupy Wall Street made a strong start in its effort to wake people up to income inequality and the corrupting influence of money in politics; it ultimately faded, however, partly because they lacked a strong, united group and a clear list of demands. It’s important for us to unite the numerous progressive factions that have already made headway into waking people up through spreading the word in the social media if not in the mainstream press. If the Green Party, Black Lives Matter, No DAPL, the Fight for $15, and Occupy Wall Street, among other progressive groups, were to unite under one umbrella as a coalition of associated parties, it would make a powerful force for peaceful change.

Progressives will need to have reliable means of communication when the government realizes the people are finally fed up with politics as usual and realize we are organizing to oust them all. You can be sure our usual social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, will suddenly become either mysteriously glitchy or entirely unavailable.

Sustained protest will be difficult for many who are essentially enslaved to their employers. We live in a country where, if someone doesn’t turn up for work, they can all too easily be fired. This is not the case in Europe, with its extensive social support for every citizen, which is why protest there is more effective. We will need to begin forming multiple small, local support communities to provide food, housing, health care, and whatever is necessary to sustain one another through what could be months or possibly years of protest.

Yes, I fully believe a peaceful revolution is possible; if even half of us stand together as one and demand leaders who will work for the 99%, not the corporations. In the age of the internet and live streaming, we can be sure the whole world is watching. The American government cannot easily suppress protests of massive resistance without it revealing itself to the rest of the world as a hypocrite to its Constitution. Leaders like Jill Stein of the Green Party and other progressive groups throughout the country are ready and waiting to head a government that our Constitution guarantees us is “of, by, and for the people.”

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