Activist and political commentator Nomiki Konst tweeted some interesting statements this week in response to political comedian Jimmy Dore’s #ForceTheVote campaign:
#ForceTheVote is a movement designed to encourage progressive House Democrats to give Nancy Pelosi an ultimatum that she either agree to put Medicare-for-all up for a floor vote in the House of Representatives, or lose their votes for her as Speaker of the House in January. Because, as worded on the campaign’s website, “Democrats lost seats in the House and were left with a slim majority, she needs votes from congressional progressives to get re-elected.”
Continuing the theme this week, Konst also tweeted that members of her family had been threatened as a result of her speaking out against #ForceTheVote:
I guess the implication here is that #ForceTheVote encourages crazed Jimmy Dore fans (who she smears as being mostly white and male) to threaten Blue-Check Twitter influencers’ families who oppose his idea to try to get us Medicare-for-all, so we shouldn’t support it.
Responses to her tweets included at least one referring to Dore as a “terrorist”:
This kind of rhetoric perpetuates the idea that progressives are violent. It’s a tried and true establishment method to discredit activistm. It’s been the go-to narrative of the mainstream media when reporting on the Black Panthers, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and countless other groups who fought bravely for civil rights and to end war.
The CIA even created the Symbionese Liberation Army, who committed bank robberies, two murders, and other acts of violence in the ’70s, to help discredit the Left.
The FBI’s COINTELPRO also used these tactics. From the Black Agenda Report:
“Additionally, the FBI liked to use a specific form of infiltrator known as “Agents Provocateurs” who would encourage members to commit violent or criminal acts. For example, a member of the Weather Underground arrested for a conspiracy to bomb Detroit police facilities was actually an FBI informant, Larry Grathwohl. Grathwohl reportedly instructed members on how to build bombs and participated in the group’s bombing of a Cincinnati public school. One of the most famous provocateurs was “Tommy the Travler” Tongyai who traveled around college campuses in the northeast encouraging students to bomb military research facilities.”
Bernie Sanders supporters at a 2016 Las Vegas Democratic Party convention were accused of violence by party leaders and establishment media (even NPR and the AP) who reported that chairs were thrown at the event, which even Snopes has since debunked.
If something violent were to happen, God forbid, real or concocted, it would be devastating not only to the victims, but to all activists working for change in this country on behalf of the less-fortunate. I find these types of accusations (sans evidence) to be extremely alarming, especially when the word “terrorism” is thrown around so freely.
Aligning activists with terrorism is all that would be needed for the State to legally begin to “disappear” people using Obama’s own indefinite detention bill that he signed into law on New Year’s Eve, 2011, when nobody was paying attention.
Needless to say, there is all the incentive in the world to blame threats of violence on the progressive movement, or to create the illusion of such threats. All the more reason to strictly follow MLK’s message of non-violence. But this doesn’t mean to back down on pushing our politicians to fight for us, especially when they promised to do just that — and even encouraged us to pressure them, as was the case with AOC.
Or is it that we shouldn’t be so hard on the Squad because if they were to stand up to power, they might get threats, or worse?
Konst, who hails from Tuscon, AZ, saw up close what threats to politicians can lead to when Arizona’s 8th congressional district Representative Gabby Giffords was tragically shot in 2011 after Sara Palin highlighted the district with a target on her website.
Interestingly, at only 28 years of age, Konst then ran to replace Giffords, but dropped out when it became clear to her that “there was not a way forward” in the race.
We know Obama said to progressive donors at a dinner when they asked him why he had betrayed his ideals, “Don’t you remember what happened to Dr. King?” The quote supports the theory that powerful forces controlled the 44th president by letting the “nuts” get close to him. It happened so often that the head of the Secret Service had to resign:
· Army veteran Omar Gonzalez, 42 was stopped by Virginia State Police with numerous weapons in his car, “including a sawed-off shotgun — and a map of Washington with the White House circled in red.”
· A month later, Gonzalez sprinted across the White House lawn and actually made it inside the building, while carrying a hatchet.
· The very next day, another man drove up to a non-public entrance of the White House and refused to leave.
· During an Obama trip to Canberra, Australia, a classified booklet containing the President’s security information was found in a gutter.
· While Obama was in Australia, a White House window was shot out by a man with an assault rifle — and the Secret Service didn’t learn about bullets actually hitting the building until four days later, despite the incident being discussed by a witness on Twitter.
· In 2009, two uninvited guests were allowed into a White House state dinner after being encouraged to try via email by Michele S. Jones, special assistant to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates — and Pentagon liaison to the White House.
So, it almost seems like the “powers that be” can turn down the “security dial’ and get whatever they want from politicians. Because if anyone played ball with the Pentagon on its wars of choice after running an anti-war campaign, it was President Peace Prize himself, the “black guy with a Muslim name” who “took us from two wars to seven” as Dore so often reminds us about Obama.
Anyone who knows the JFK story at all knows that Secret Service broke protocol in Dallas the day he was murdered, after he spent almost three years fighting to keep the hardliners that surrounded him from starting a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
From Assassination Agnostic:
“The speed at which the President’s open-top limousine was cruising the streets of Dallas was dangerously slow and the sharp angle at which the car turned on Houston and Elm was in stark violation of Secret Service protocols. The motorcade cruised past hundreds of open windows during the parade through the streets of Dallas and no effort was made to secure these potential sniper points.”
“Most egregiously, there were no Secret Service agents riding on the back of the limousine or running to the left and right of the vehicle, leaving the President completely exposed to potential gunfire. Even more shocking, video footage has surfaced showing the Secret Service agents being told to stand down.”
#ForceTheVote puts the issue squarely on the table. Of course, I feel for these members of Congress who seem to have been terrified into submission. I have nothing but respect for AOC, Ilhan Omar and the rest of the Squad as the candidates they were. But something changes them after they get elected.
Rashida Tlaib quoted Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs as he addressed new members of Congress during what AOC comically referred to as “Congress Camp”: “You guys are way over your head, you don’t know how the game is played.”
Somehow, they all seem to have learned. Perhaps the late Bill Hicks, another left-leaning comedian, gave us the answer here:
AOC says that nuclear energy should be part of the Green New Deal. Omar voted “present” on the recognition of the Armenian genocide, and voted with Trump on punishing Iran sanctions during this pandemic. The entire Progressive Caucus, including Sanders, voted for the single largest upward transfer of wealth in human history with the March 2020 Cares Act, enacted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Let’s use Omar’s Armenian genocide vote as an example: Thanks to court testimony by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, we know about another married congresswoman who voted oddly on the recognition of the Armenian genocide. As it turns out, she had been blackmailed into her vote by the Turkish lobby. They actually set her up with a hooker at her own mother’s funeral and then videotaped their trysts. I won’t name her, but you can read the story here. These things do happen.
Dore calls the do-nothing members of the Squad “career climbers”, and that is possible, sure. But to assume it’s the politicians’ fault entirely is a mistake in my opinion. At some point we have to try something else. I think we have enough martyrs. We should learn the lessons they suffered for, and sometimes even died for, to teach us.
For a crash course on this, watch the Bobby Kennedy for President documentary on Netflix, and then watch the parts that were cut out here:
Politicians being elected without taking corporate money is a relatively new concept, so the differences between the candidates and the politicians they become once elected are now being exposed in high definition.
The first candidate that I became aware of who at least said he didn’t take corporate money was John Edwards, when he ran against Obama and Clinton in 2004. I watched the race closely, and as great as he was, he didn’t seem to have enough traction.
But they did have a plan in place had he become the front-runner. If it wasn’t a “honey trap” as some have speculated, no matter, the National Enquirer began to run the story about his affair with Rielle Hunter, a filmmaker he hired to work for his 2008 presidential campaign, in 2007. The affair was proven with photos released by the outlet in August of 2008, leaving plenty of time to ruin Edwards’ chances of beating McCain should he have won the nomination.
And if news of the affair wasn’t enough to ruin his political aspirations forever, Edwards was then indicted by a North Carolina grand jury on six felony charges, and faced a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison and a $1.5M fine for “failure to report campaign contributions”.
Russ Baker summed it up nicely: “Not all politicians are created equal. And not all are treated equally. Therein lies an issue deserving a much, much closer look: whether vulnerable Democrats, chiefly of the liberal persuasion, are targeted for destruction. Or at least helped along to their doom by a double standard.”
Part of me wants to encourage caution, but surely the answer is not to just passively watch as the Squad votes like corporate Democrats after getting elected with our money, just so they don’t get threats. The only way we can bring to light whatever it is that is transforming these seemingly well-intentioned, activist-minded candidates into shills for the corporate war machine once they get elected is to #ForceTheVote.
AOC herself has encouraged us to “make her uncomfortable”, and to “make a ruckus”:
“Are you all ready to make a ruckus? Are you all ready to fight for our rights? Everyone deserves justice, and everyone deserves equal protection and prosperity in our country…..Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, often times, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.”
If there’s really “nothing to see here”, they will respond to the pressure and address the people’s need for healthcare during this awful pandemic. If they don’t, then maybe we need to reconsider our tactics for enacting the change we need to survive as a species on Planet Earth. Because as the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I don’t think we have that luxury any longer.
Sign the petition at ForceTheVote.org.