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It’s so easy to project all our hopes and dreams about America on the president, which is why this election is so disturbing in a John Carpenter sort of way. What are we to think when one of the candidates is the Orange Bigot Clown of Pussygate? What does this say about the state of the American Dream?

post partisan politics

Like many, I indulge in Netflix to escape reality, but there is reality staring me right back, reflected in freaky fun house distortions. This past Friday, I recalled John Carpenter is a rather interesting director and my husband and I somehow missed the flick, “Escape from LA,” released 20 years ago in 1996. If you like retro-camp (I do), this film is disturbingly prescient. Images of immigrants and the poor being roundly DEPORTED, Muslims picked off, all in the backdrop of LA having been literally blown off the US map (ha!) because it’s hopelessly sinful and full of heathens and (black, of course) criminals.

I love how Amy Goodman on Democracy Now keeps it real by repeatedly airing Michelle Alexander speeches, talking about the new Jim Crow, and how it was the first Clinton administration that passed many of the inhumane laws for the mostly black felons (victims) of the War on Drugs, once they hit the free world again, such as no public assistance, not even food stamps, no vote. And you must x the box on job applications like the x that’s been figuratively whipped and scarred across your back.

I hate Trump so much that for a few weeks there I was feeling better about Hillary (since the first debate), but Michelle Alexander reminded me of the corpse-cold feelings I have about the Clintons in bed with corporate industry.

I hate Trump so much that for a few weeks there I was feeling better about Hillary (since the first debate), but Alexander reminded me of the corpse-cold feelings I have about the Clintons in bed with corporate industry.

We recently finished what is offered by the Netflix House of Cards series, four seasons. It’s such a weird show, as it makes social commentary about our actual politics. Is the presidential race really just a myopic power-grab opera? Is Clare Underwood some prettier, southern gothic version of Hillary?

In Jim Vandehei’s NY Times book review of Maureen Dowd’s “The Year of Voting Dangerously” he says, “This isn’t a race just about characters, or even character. It’s about white people outside urban centers who feel like strangers in their own land; about Hispanics and African Americans facing attacks reminiscent of the 60’s . . . and about the scary fusion of reality and fiction at a time when our world is more interconnected and combustible than ever, and in need of new paradigms.”

We, the people, should offer up these new paradigms, whether we get orange clown or corpse-cold Clinton.

I’m being crude because I wish to disavow myself of projecting my hopes and dreams of my beloved America on the president, the way I did and still do a little bit with President Obama. In the midst of this hullaballoo at the commencement of the Final Four weeks, I pause in reflection of how much I’m going to miss our current President. Lord knows he was as far from perfect as any US president, but in my adult life so far he’s my favorite. I will miss having him at the helm.

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Maybe we loved Obama too much – it lulled us to sleep. It’s time to wake up. For the poor in our country, it has made little difference who is president since the late 60’s, after the Civil Rights gains. The War on Drugs, coined by Nixon when drug use was on the decline, targeted people of color and today, one in eight African American males are disenfranchised, which also means more all-white juries. Plus we are waking up to the plight of poor whites, whose stories resonate with Latino immigrant stories (see My Lesson from White America). These groups are a big portion of America, present and future, and they are the ones on whom I want to project my American dreams.

So I offer up the new paradigm of post-partisan, mass civic engagement, including such as yourself, dear reader, such as myself. Activists who speak up for the poor and disenfranchised. Many a grass-roots activity is afoot, such as fighting against the measure to criminalize homelessness in Pasadena with a new anti-camping ordinance.

It would appear the goal is to incarcerate every undesirable so we don’t have to deign to see them at all, these nuisances of humanity, many of whom are mentally ill.This coming Monday, October 17, Pasadena City Council will have the first reading of the anti-camping ordinance, on which the council will soon vote. It’s important we speak out against it, and GPAHG (Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group) is prepared with talking points for Public Comment. Contact Jill Shook at jill@makinghousinghappen.com if you’d like to take one, or just show up to be part of the resistance. I’ll be taking one of those talking points.

If saying what’s what to City Council is not your cup of tea at this time, join my husband and I this Sunday night, October 16 for a political breath of fresh air, a comedy fund-raiser for excellent “post-partisan” (non-partisan) public-interest group Public Citizen that has spent over forty years fighting for health, safety, and democracy. Steve Skrovan, who graciously invited me, says “they actually fight for the stuff we wish our congressional reps would fight for in DC. I call them the ‘people’s lobbyist.’”

My rep, the honorable Judy Chu, does more than most, but I’m glad to support Public Citizen. The show is from 6:30 – 8:30 PM and features Norm MacDonald (SNL), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show), Fred Stoller (Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond), The Frangela Duo (Sexy Liberal Tour), Jodi Miller (America’s Got Talent), and The Jasons (Ellen DeGeneres, The Kroll Show).

Unlike a lot of these events, this one requires no dressing up, no eating rubber chicken, no silent auction, just laughs and inspiration. And cheap parking!

It will help us laugh instead of cry. Hope you can join us! For tickets go to citizen.org and click on “Stand Up For Main Street.”

Partisan Gridlock v Functioning Democracy

Until next time, Do the Hustle!

Rev. At-Large, aka Hannah Hustlin’ Hope Petrie!
The Justice Hustle