Never in my life has there been an election so full of potential to make the world better. This year, for the first time in my life, I’m excited about the election, and filled with optimism. At this point, you’re probably starting to think that I’m crazy, with words like “wall”, “scandal”, and “rigged” coming to mind. Let me lay out the key reasons I feel this way.
Our communications abilities are greater now than they have ever been, meaning more people than ever are learning about the scandals, cover-ups, and lies (which are always present in elections). The great thing is that this facet of global affairs just keeps getting better every day. Just think (or remember) how difficult it was to get people informed and activated before cell phones and the internet, or even with the earlier versions of these things.
I’ve heard quite a few people call Bernie Sanders the Ron Paul of the left, which I disagree with as far as their political or economic beliefs, though I can see the similar roles they have played in the political scene.
In my travels, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone attribute their “waking up”, their knowledge of the underlying issues we’re facing, to Ron Paul’s campaigns and the way he was locked out. Bernie Sanders likely has more followers than Ron Paul did, especially with the under 35 crowd, the people most readily accepting of new ideas. Although Sanders wasn’t trying to spread the messages of freedom & peace like Dr. Paul was, his followers have still just seen the reality of the system laid out for them, are feeling disenfranchised with the system, and are more ready to hear about alternatives than ever before.
This “trade agreement” is a shining example of the expansion of fascism in global politics over the last century. This document is a clear declaration of war against the human race and the Earth we live on. It’s having the amazing effect of uniting the environmentalist, labor rights, freedom of information, food justice, et al. movements towards a common goal. This is the perfect common ground to bring people’s attention to the inherent structural issues we are dealing with.
Finally, we have the combination left-right ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. This pair was clearly chosen to lock Clinton in by getting the votes of right-wingers that don’t support Trump. What a perfect example of the oligarchy that is US government, as well as a great way to introduce people to things like the CFR. Best of all, this gives us a wonderful chance to (jokingly) ask for open & honest tyranny, a 1-party system, and the person who will take the most rights away. Talking about things like: “the best of both worlds, anti-abortion AND pro gun-control”, “supported by the universities & media AND the oil companies”, and “how divisive and frustrating the 2-party system was, how much simpler it will be just voting for the Tyranny Party”.
How to capitalize on these opportunities
However you approach spreading the message of freedom & peace, here are a couple of the keys I’ve learned to avoid people’s cognitive dissonance and defensive responses.
- Stick to the principles:It’s easy for conversation to get bogged down in the euphemisms, the drama, and the distractions of the political realm. An easy way to avoid this, and make sure you’re getting your point across, is to always bring it back to the principles and consistent application of them. The principles I most resonate with, and that nobody ever seems to disagree with (though they often don’t apply consistently) are:
- You own yourself
- It is wrong to use force, or the threat of force, except in self-defense
- All agreements between reasoning humans should be voluntary
- No group can have rights greater than the rights of the people who make it up
- Ask Questions: Whenever you try to tell somebody anything that doesn’t fit their belief systems, you are going to hit a wall. If you ask them questions that get them to agree with you, all of a sudden you’ve jumped right past those defenses. Here are those same principles laid out as questions:
- Do you believe that you own yourself, that you own your body, that you own your labor?
- Would you agree that it’s wrong to use force, except in self-defense
- Do you believe that a person should be subject to contracts they didn’t agree to?
- If a group of people get together, does it give them extra rights? For example, if it’s wrong to use force, but 3 people get together and decide to use force against someone, does it become right?
- Offer non-violent solutions & alternatives: For anything that the state handles, through it’s violent means, there is always a more peaceful, efficient, and high quality solution available. There is always an alternative that you can act on in your own life, a way you can take responsibility for the things you want to change, and BE THE CHANGE. Here are just alternatives for things that people often depend on the state for:
- food stamps: growing your own food, dumpster-diving, Food Not Bombs
- schools: Montessori Schools, Sudbury Schools, Khan Academy, Un-Schooling
- Police & Courts: DROs, Cell411, Unitive Justice, threat management centers
- building the roads: this is already all done by private companies, I think we can figure out how to hire & pay these companies without violence
- war: maybe we could just let this one go?