No peace; no vote.
This was a post I made on a list serve after I was attacked for "being a Democrat" as a letter signed by 100 or so peace activists calling for a demonstration in Washington D.C.--- which I support--- was being discussed, take it for whatever you think it is worth--- the Huffington Post and the Campaign for America's Future and some other Century Foundation funded organizations have been censoring my comments by deleting them:
I think there is confusion here.
The source of the confusion has to do with not understanding the difference between "criticizing" the Democrats and holding the Democrats "accountable."
There is a big difference even though on the surface this might seem like splitting hairs.
Criticism is used to "convince" someone to do things differently.
"Accountability" is used to "coerce" some action.
I don't think the peace movement understands the distinction between "criticism" and "accountability."
No amount of "criticism" is going to "convince" Barack Obama and the Democrats to halt the escalation of the war and killing in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq.
Does anyone really believe Obama, Congress people and Senators will be swayed by "criticism?"
They are going to have to be "coerced" through "accountability."
Pesonally, I think the peace movement has the exact same problem the labor movement has even though most people--- including peace activists--- do not want to acknowledge the problem.
The "leaders" of the peace movement are tied in one way or another to the Democratic Party or at least they are convinced their "credibility" is tied to not doing anything that offends Barack Obama and the Democrats.
Calling for using "accountability" to enforce and coerce Democratic Party politicians to act for peace instead of expanding and escalating wars is definitely considered a "no, no" because what is it you have to do to enforce "accountability?"
You have to pledge not to vote for Obama and these Democrats who vote for these wars in various ways.
Out of the more than "100 leading peace activists" calling for these mobilizations against the war... not one single one of them have called for the kind of "accountability" along the lines of:
No peace; no votes.
They do not have to "criticize" Obama or any Democrats in an offensive manner.
But, why would they not simply be urging the tens of millions of people who are fed up with these wars to actively do something anyone 18 or over can do to oppose these wars.
We all know that very few people take the plunge from thinking these wars are wrong to marching through the streets... their activity level is someplace between their thinking process and taking to the streets.
In my opinion there is a direct correlation between more and more people thinking these dirty wars are wrong, and fewer and fewer people willing to take to the streets and this is because these "leaders" of the peace movement have not suggested that those presently in the streets go back into their communities in a way that convinces their friends and neighbors to become involved in the struggles for peace by helping people take a step forward in becoming involved... people will not take a flying leap from thinking to doing.
We are missing a step... the anti-Vietnam war movement was very successful in bringing more and more people out into the streets because the call for accountability at the ballot box was always a part of the peace movement. First you get people to take the easiest step--- associated with the ballot box, then they learn they need to reinforce that step by stepping into the streets.
Now, for some reason "leaders" of the peace movement have refused to place accountability on the table--- and I believe the reason is the foundation money financing peace organizations are connected to the Democratic Party and the leaders of these peace organizations understand very thoroughly where their pay-checks come from. So if they begin calling for "accountability" at the ballot box by saying:
No peace; no votes... they will not have their jobs for long. Often this is enforced through tax-exempt status which prohibits partisan political activity.
Calling on people not to vote for specified candidates because they promote war--- like Barack Obama--- is deemed partisan political activity... we saw the trouble Julian Bond got the NAACP into when he called for members to exercise accountability when it came to Bush and the Republicans.
Now, I think most grassroots and rank-and-file peace activists in communities and places of employment-- - except those believing they have some kind of "responsibility" to protect Democrats--- will agree with me that "accountability" is a needed and required tactic especially as we move towards the 2010 elections where we can serve notice on any Democrat who votes to escalate and continue these dirty wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq that in accordance with our strategy aimed at bringing about "Peace Now!" we are going to include in our tactics, "No peace, no votes," in the same way we encourage people to demonstrate in the streets or write a letter to the President or their Senator or member of Congress.
We need to be asking these "leaders" of the peace movement why they urge people to do everything and anything for peace except use their vote as a means to coerce these politicians to do what is right and just.
I think the vast majority of the people in this country understand that they have a right to get peace rather than stupid, dirty, imperialist wars for domination and occupation in return for their votes; and politicians, in a democracy, are supposed to be accountable to the people, not the other way around.
Barack Obama and the Democrats making these wars have no one but themselves to blame should they lose elections because they escalated the war in Afghanistan rather than stopping it.
Leaders of the peace movement also need to be held "accountable;" their job is to mobilize people to the maximum so we can stop these wars, not to protect Barack Obama's or any other Democrat's worthless political butt... and, let's be clear, when any politician acts in any way to promote war instead of peace, no matter Democrat, Republican, Green, Independent, Socialist or Communist they are worthless politicians and no matter what their stand on any other issue they should get the boot by voters holding them accountable.
We have a worthless labor "leadership" in this country which has learned to pander and grovel to the Democrats for piddly jobs at poverty wages by learning to keep their mouths shut when it comes to these dirty wars... not once have I heard any "leader" of the AFL-CIO or Change To Win tell Obama and the Democrats that their warmongering policies are killing American jobs and further depressing the economy causing the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs... common sense, not a Harvard business degree, tells us the government can't spend trillions of dollars to fight wars with the objective of occupying countries which will cost trillions more and still expect the government to create jobs here at home. Yet, every major labor "leader" in this country--- including Anna Berger, Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard--- was face-to-face with Obama this past week and not a one of them stated any opposition to his announcement of escalating the war in Afghanistan--- if any did, I haven't heard it... of course, like the leaders of the peace movement who are following in the path of these labor leaders... no one told Obama that he was going to be losing the labor vote because of his wars.
We need to put "accountability" in front of the American people--- with or without the "leaders" who should be leading on this issue, but aren't:
No peace; no votes.
There is no weapon in our arsenal of tactics more powerful than enforcing "accountability" at the ballot box and it is the one tactic as part of a strategy for winning peace that is missing. I don't think it is missing by oversight or by accident.
I would suggest that if you want new leaders in the peace movement you look around... but, start by looking in the mirror if you think "accountability" is a tactic that has been overlooked.
Maybe as your first step as a leader you could consider writing a letter to the editor explaining why Barack Obama will never again get your vote.
I would rather have a peace-loving George McGovern lose an election than get stuck with a warmongering Barack Obama.
I don't think this country has ever had a more dishonest president than Barack Obama considering what he led people to believe he stood for to get elected and what he actually is doing to win Wall Street's confidence in him.
Of course, the other side of the coin comes from those in the peace movement who have refused to raise the issue of "accountability" through "No peace; no vote;" they are the ultra-leftists who are so super-revolutionary they think participating in elections is selling out.
This is not about "criticism;" it is about "accountability." The two usually go together and Barack Obama and the Democrats are deserving of both... especially accountability.
Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
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