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What’s an activist to do?

By Marta Lev

The opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do not reflect opinions or positions held by Indivisible Northampton.

Every day there is some image that sums up the extent of the malice and, okay, evil of the times in which we find ourselves. For me, today’s image was of a pick up truck filled with US Postal boxes, and a worker unbolting another box from the ground, to be carried off. This is the latest gambit to manipulate an election’s outcome by limiting US citizens’ access to voting; especially infuriating to those of us working hard, and successfully, to expand voter participation in vote by mail.

What’s a concerned citizen to do? Abandon vote-by-mail organizing? Double down on it? I’m going with the latter, specifically facilitating Florida voters to get vote by mail (VBM) ballots. When the concern about sabotage of this effort was raised, Richard Segan and Peter Grey of Swing Left Greater Boston had this response:

“There are no guarantees in this election and there are all sorts of scenarios that would have seemed bizarre only a few years ago that may play out. What if Trump refuses to leave the WH, what if the Electoral College is not allowed to convene, what if there is overwhelming evidence of Russian hacking of the voter count, what if he tries to postpone the election in light of a surge in COVID-19?

…The DNC has a team working on many of these scenarios and more. There is a huge voter protection plan underway to try to counter issues like delays or heightened challenges, but it could be a very difficult election. Personally, I still think VBM is a good strategy. In FL, they will be able to track which voters have opted to VBM and whether or not they’ve mailed in their ballot. This will allow for follow-up in the weeks and days before the election. If polling stations are closed because of a planned strategy to suppress the vote or because local officials cannot staff polling locations, many voters will not vote if they don’t have VBM.

I would encourage people not to be daunted by the many uncertainties we face. In particular, I urge people to focus on whatever stimulates them the most at any given time.

I like to fantasize about a few lower-ranked military personnel saying ‘Now just come along with us, sir.’”

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THE GOLF RESORT PUTSCH

By Seth Wilpan

The opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do not reflect opinions or positions held by Indivisible Northampton.

Most of the pundits and politicians I hear from are flabbergasted by the actions of the Trump administration.

How could they be so incompetent in dealing with the pandemic and stand behind policies that are unpopular with their own constituencies? Trump doesn’t want to admit he’s wrong they say. Trump is using his federal enforcement henchman, they say, to stage confrontations that make him look tough, which will appeal to his supporters.  As for the Post Office, to their credit, no one any longer acknowledges the fig leaf of conservative principle to explain its dismantling.

It’s time to apply Occam’s razor and acknowledge the simpler explanation of how the pieces fit together. Trump and his cronies are planning to take over the country in November. The government’s inaction on the pandemic is tantamount to genocide, serving to kill off a good portion of Trump’s natural opposition keep the survivors too fearful to risk voting in person. (Oh, you think that’s a bridge too far, that the U.S. government is incapable of genocide?)

The Post Office will have been sufficiently crippled that vote-by-mail will be disrupted, providing a basis for claiming that the election results are illegitimate. Rampant economic privation and homelessness will create unrest which will simultaneously be stirred up and quelled by Trumps private brown-shirted polizei. That will provide the cover to declare a national emergency.  Barr will cook up some kind of document to legitimize the putsch, and the Supreme Court will do what it has been hired to do.

While not everyone acknowledges the depth of the plot, everyone knows there’s a good possibility that Trump will not willingly transfer power to a new administration. Some democratic members of Congress have raised an alarm, but in reality there’s nothing they can do to stop it. They can’t pass any laws through the Republican senate, and even if they could, who would enforce them? The people may rise up, but our leader’s private militia will already be in place to gun them down. The only way out I can see is if the military steps in to enforce the transfer of power. I’m not holding my breath.

This November’s vote may be our last to preserve what vestiges of democracy remain in this republic. Massive voter turnout is important not just for the sake of a decisive result. It’s important that plenty of people have a stake in their vote being counted and would be upset if their vote is ignored.

Otherwise, we’d better start preparing for a new order in America. An America in which the depredations of the powerful against the weak are even more extreme, in which writing such as this will guarantee a prison term. Think East Germany.