DNC Day Two

DNC Day Two

After the rough day one, we opted for a mellow day two of touring Philly. All day long we kept seeing quotes that were applicable to our current political situation. For example, this quote on the side of the National Museum of American Jewish History aptly describes our two party system and what should be our correct response to it:

To bigotry, no sanction. To persecution, no assistance. — George Washington

At the Liberty Bell (inscribed with Leviticus 25:10 in reference to the year of Jubilee), we read about how the bell became a popular symbol for freedom and liberty, but this freedom and liberty was limited to white men.

It contrasted with the unrealized ideals of African Americans, Native Americans, other ethnic groups and women. While the Bell traveled the nation as a symbol of liberty, intermittent race riots, lynchings, and Indian wars presented an alternative picture of freedom denied.

Although we have “freedom” today, our capitalist oligarchy has established a new form of slavery and disenfranchisement. Frederick Douglass said something that still holds significance today:

I shall never forgot the difference between those who fought for liberty and those who fought for slavery.

We visited Independence Hall, where our founding fathers, frustrated with taxation without representation, were willing to sign what essentially amounted to their own death warrant (the Declaration of Independence). Today, there are many tax payers who pay for elections but are not allowed to vote in closed primaries and tax payers who elect representatives that choose to represent large corporations and special interests instead of their constituents – both modern day forms of taxation without representation.

Our tour guide also reminded us of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense, which introduced the revolutionary idea that the colonists should stop thinking of themselves as British and start thinking of themselves as Americans. Although the situation didn’t change, people’s perspective changed. And with this change of perspective, the revolution was born.

Similarly, when people stop thinking of themselves as Democrats and Republicans and start thinking of themselves as Americans and human beings, then the oligarchs, who rely on two-party distraction to continue their oppression unimpeded, will be held to account and subjected to the will of the people.

We took a picture with the Rocky statue and ascended the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (aka, the “Rocky steps”), and then stopped by a tavern to grab a bite to eat. On the television with the volume turned down, the Democratic party did their roll call vote. Close caption was turned on, but the font was difficult to read. Chain of Fools played over the sound system.  Bernie supporters in the place were visibly uncomfortable with Clinton’s manufactured victory.

The bar tender looked around at the long faces and said, “I want to drink heavily.”

  • Mary Vanderplas July 28, 2016 at 6:40 am

    I like what you say about the threat to American representative democracy posed by finance capitalism and elite power. I agree that there is a need to rewrite the rules of American politics. Sanders’s vision of a political system in which parties are not owned by big money interests and ordinary citizens have power to influence public policy outcomes is right on. I agree that there are parallels between American politics and the rise of populism now and the American Revolution. I don’t think, though, that simply emphasizing our commonalities and downplaying our differences will accomplish anything in the way of changing the system. Only turning Sanders’s (and Clinton’s) proposals for reform into law will do this. And keeping Trump – with his xenophobic and oppressive policy proposals – out of office is likewise important for upholding the ideals of democracy.

  • Stephen Helbig July 30, 2016 at 12:36 am

    “Unconventional Wisdom” Day 2 At DNC 2016 In Philadelphia (video)

    • Alice Spicer August 6, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks for sharing. I saw another video with the lady, who so elegantly and tactfully explains things.

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