Tomorrow (Tuesday) is general election day here in New York City and across the waters in NJ. If you can vote, use it to make a point.
I know all the debates about voting not changing anything, and while I tend to agree, I’m not asking you to overthrow capitalism with your vote. It won’t do that. But it is a splendid soapbox from which to shout, and it is a way to ensure the object with which those in power can hit you is as small as possible.
So here are my recommendations:
Vote Against Bloomberg
The 4th richest man in America and the 17th richest in the world, Bloomberg is a billionaire 16 times over. He’s spending over $100 Million to finance a campaign that is illegal under NYC law, after we all voted twice for term limits. Of course he got other politicians to annul this law. I wonder how?
Bloomy has jumped UP the rankings, making billions more during his two mayoral terms. And yet he’s cutting schools, health care, services, and raising only those taxes that hit the working poor hardest.
In short, he’s a scumbag. Tell him what you think by voting for Reverend Billy Tallen for mayor!
You don’t have to worry that Billy will win and be corrupted by power. And Billy has always been the first at every little picket or protest, always offered solidarity, always been there for those fighting power. You owe him one (if not several).
Vote Socialist for NJ Governor
Greg Pason, perennial candidate for the Socialist Party is running for governor. I may be biased. But the media driven acceptable choices are the fat Republican who loves George Bush, or the hairy Democrat who made billions as a unrepentant capitalist merchant banker, or the “independent” who’s really a Republican who just doesn’t hate everyone who’s not straight/white/rich as much as the first guy.
Greg Pason is not going to win. Again, if you think this is a question of revolutionary principles, you’ve gotten ahead of yourself. This is a lifeline to those out there who’ve always been told that capitalism, free markets, and wage labor are the only choices there are. I’ve seen the effect that Greg’s campaigns can have on people across the state. People are so rarely reached by radical newspapers, protests, email lists, or punk rock fanzines. New Jersey law gives an avowed anti-capitalist air time, mailings that go to every home in the state, and a platform bigger than any march you’ve ever put together. Every vote Greg and other anti-capitalist candidates gets lends legitimacy to a future more just society.
And this society has gotten so used to abstention, that despite what you’re told, no power is threatened when you stay home. They just think you’re too fat and happy to shift your ass.
So drag it out: you won’t find a better use for a vote, even abstention.
Vote for Debbie Rose for NY City Council
If you’re lucky enough to live on Staten Island, you have the chance to vote for Debbie Rose for City Council. After decades of grassroots activism, Debbie got out the vote and shocked the Democratic Party machine in the primaries, spanking the right wing Democrat Fred Flintstone look alike Ken Mitchell. Now Debbie is a day away from being the first person of color to be elected from any Staten Island election. Ever.
If that’s not reason enough, Ken Mitichell is storming back, using the Conservative Party ballot line (NYC politicians stand on, sometimes seemingly contradictory, multiple party lines) to try and win back his City Council seat. The same seat he was gifted by the Democratic machine, with which he did zero, except voting against a law that would protect Abortion providers from harassment.
Is Debbie Rose going to change the world? Hardly. But she’s good people, has always been loyal to her working class community and the struggles here against racism, police brutality, pollution and poverty. We need to give her a louder megaphone, and take it away from the idiots who hold it now.
So like I said, votes won’t make a revolution. That’s up to the rest of us. Your vote can make a point. Use it.
- See another leftist set of recommendations at Next Left Notes (nextleftnotes.org)
- Reverend Billy: New York’s Consumerism (huffingtonpost.com)
- Bloomberg Sets Record for His Own Spending on Elections (nytimes.com)
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spending 15000 an hour on reelection bid (telegraph.co.uk)
- On Tuesday Your Vote is Really Going to Count (streetsblog.org)
- New Poll: Anybody But Bloomberg [Polls] (cityfile.com)
- Newark Mayor Backed Bloomberg, Then Got Funds (nytimes.com)