“we are fighting over which employee will best suit the needs of an important job. it isn’t political home – we both have those outside of the electoral process, places and people to whom we feel accountable. this is for mass strategy, mass protection, high level policy protection of the communities we love.
purist debate is important, honing how you feel and having a place to practice it fully is important. make sure you have a political home. don’t get that confused with the American experiment, with shaping the conditions of this experiment such that the most vulnerable stand a chance of surviving and changing it themselves. do not make poor people and immigrants and women” (and trans people and disabled people and students and teachers and essential workers) “and our babies the collateral damage of purist ideologies. your theoretical happiness is not more important than the earth’s and species’ tangible survival.”
one of my favorite things about being a writer is how sometimes my words come back to comfort me. yesterday i was not feeling much about the nomination of kamala harris as vp – watching other people have strong emotions one way or the other, and just feeling like, ok.
then i was reminded of how i feel about electoral politics! electoral politics isn’t and shouldn’t be our political home. it is a commons of service, meant to be accountable to informed people who direct the values and policies of those we elect to deliver and construct service provisions like home, health, water, education.
maybe you’re more excited about the dem ticket today. maybe you’re appalled. but either way don’t get confused: electoral strategy = placing human beings we can hold accountable into representative offices.
electoral strategy doesn’t include identifying ideological doppelgangers who will lose, or aren’t on the ticket, but assuage our sense of imperial complicity (yes, here i mean that american practice of paying taxes each year and then trying to distance ourselves from what we invested-in/didn’t-stop by not taking responsibility for who manages the money thru nonvoting or emo-voting). it does include assigning our paid representatives to positions where they are hired to govern, which includes synthesizing amongst many possible distinctions and directions to find paths that allow the majority of people to survive and grow.
political home, on the other hand, is a place where we ideate, practice and build futures we believe in, finding alignment with those we are in accountable relationships with, and growing that alignment through organizing and education.
political home is where we solidify our critiques and generate solutions for human and planetary futures that, with practice and time and a functional government, become viable enough to scale (deepen, normalize), or, faced with resistance and dysfunctional government, divergent enough to move for secession or battle.
the current occupants of highest federal office are opposed to all forms of life and evolution outside of power and pussy grabs. our current available move is voting them out, as no one has a viable secession plan (really open to being surprised/wrong on this) and their side is armed and militarised. our strategic option right now is to fight on an electoral battleground riddled with corruption and confusion. biden and kamala are the viable ticket opposing those in office. recognizing the available strategy doesn’t always equal endorsement.
and it’s OK to feel excited if you see yourself in kamala, to be excited about representation, or even to feel amused by uncle joe.
and it’s OK to feel the flood of critique, the way this ticket runs the faultlines of race and power. it’s OK to feel disappointed and/or bamboozled by the closing off of significantly more thrilling alternative futures (like an abrams/warren/knowles ticket).
either way, the strategic next move is to vote on november 3 and now you know the other name on the ballot.
feel all your feelings along the way, but don’t let those feelings keep you from seeing the biggest picture, the one that includes those more vulnerable than you.
let those feelings clarify and grow your political home, even as you create the external conditions in which having a political home can and will matter.