Home | About | Donate

Real Change in Democracy Comes Not in the Voting Booth But Activism at the Grass-Roots


Real Change in Democracy Comes Not in the Voting Booth But Activism at the Grass-Roots

Ilze Peterson

Many years ago, the late Judy Guay, a low-income woman from Bangor, founded the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods in order to advocate for the neediest in our state.

I remember she said “democracy is not a spectator sport.” But each time I turn on the television, listen to the radio or read the paper, I quickly turn away from “the news” that focuses mainly on the latest outrageous attack by Donald Trump and counterattack by Hillary Clinton. Is this what democracy looks like? If so, count me out.


Is it me, or is there an echo going on with CD . . . another vote-against-your-principles article.

And each one a teaser of a headline, then hooking me in with the build up, only to get gut-punched with another endorsement of the ole status quo.

Gee, thanks, folks!


Hmmm...sez I..that headline is minimizing the power of the vote..like..oh..it's not so important who you vote for so may as well just vote for anybody who is even remotely close to what you believe - then get on to the important work of making them do what you want after they're elected.

I wonder..sez I..if that's another one of them 'hold yer nose and vote for what stinks' pieces that CD is so fond of, with Clinton as the stinker.

And sure enuf, it is.

'Course, the things is, it pretends the power of voters isn't in their vote - and that after you've thrown away that power by voting for the oligarch's candidate, you'll somehow mysteriously be able to influence her after she's elected.

You know, like you were mysteriously able to get Obama to cut back on oil leases, prosecuting whistle-blowers, drone assassinations, invasions of privacy, disastrous trade agreements..

Voting for Clinton won't empower progressives. It will just further convince Clinton and the DNC that we're going to vote for them no matter what they do because we've nowhere else to go. So they can ignore us until the next primary.

A vote for Clinton disempowers progressive voters.

So yeah - if you want to make sure "Real Change in Democracy Comes Not in the Voting Booth", throw away your power and vote for Clinton.

Or vote sane and Green.

Stein 2016


There a lot of articles in the same vein and it like they being mass produced. They tend to speak to issues that the progressive movement finds important, from protecting the Environment to advocacy for peace, from correcting wealth inequality , to social justice issues. No one can really argue against what the person advocates for.

They then make the conclusion that one has to vote for Clinton if these issues important.

Ms Clinton is a champion of NONE of these things. That Sanders supports her does not mean she will suddenly turn her back on the Corporations that support her. As a President she will ACTIVELY work against any Democrats in her party that happen to be progressives because in no way shape or form is she a progressive.

IF there work that has to be done at the grass roots it would be at the local level and at the level of individual candidates running for the Senate or Congress. It is these people that will act as counterweights to whomever is the President be it Clinton or Trump.

At the level of President the ONLY way there can be grass roots level change is voting for someone who is that change and in my opinion that would be Ms Stein over Ms Clinton. When a person who claims to be a progressive voice and speaks to their favorite issue ends by indicating others have to vote Clinton that person is saying in effect that those progressive values are not all that important. A Progressive voter casting their vote for Clinton will surrender the power of their voice to the DNC and the 1 percent.

The advocates for Ms Clinton are very much like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, seducing the potential voter with their song, only to lead them away to the Black Mountain where they will be shut up , their voices unheard.

Advocating a vote for Clinton is just bad advice. I hope you all vote for Ms Stein , the candidate that embraces those values that are important to you.


Dear Ilza, I would like to try and convince you that voting for Clinton is not a good option for you, or any progressive.

First, the Clintons have always governed from the right, and have never been progressive. The Clinton's "triangulation" approach meant out Republican-ing the Republicans. They stole most of their material in their first run through the White House from Newt Gingrich, while pretending to oppose his policies.

Second, they have always passed legislation that Republicans could never get through congress because of Democratic opposition. As soon as it was a Democratic president proposing Republican policies, they were all of a sudden good ideas to Democrats in Congress. So we got the financial modernization act that killed Glass Steagall and set up the financial crash of 2008, we got the telecommunications bill that let the news go all to hell, they passed the law enforcement and prison bills that put more people in jail for minor offenses than any country on earth, they destroyed Welfare and threw millions into desperate poverty.

Third, Clinton is one of the greatest war-hawks in Washington, even more aggressive than many of Obama's aggressive generals. She gave us Libya.

Fourth, Clinton is more beholden to Wall Street than almost anyone else in Washington. How many people in Washington have made that much money from giving talks on Wall Street?

Fifth, Clinton is more secretive and non-transparent than the Obama administration, which is notorious for going after journalists and whistle blowers.

Sixth, Clinton is not trustworthy, she lied about Bernie's agenda, she lied about her email server problem, and she is being far from honest about any potential health issues she may have.

Seven, the Clintons gutted the Democratic party as a party of the people and turned it into the other corporate owned party.

Voting for someone like that as a "strategic move" to counter Donald Trump is a morally bankrupt position. Unlike Clinton, Donald Trump will not be able to get anything passed through Congress. You can't be a progressive who values everything that the Clintons don't stand for, and still say it is OK to vote for them. If you want to be able to say that you did the right thing on Election Day, you should vote your conscience and cast your ballot for Jill Stein. Anything else is just a vote to reward the DNC and the Clintons for their atrocious behavior.


I'm not sure. Things may have to get worse before they get better. Many of us have had enough of the steadily worsening status quo, are tired of broken promises and are ready for a revolution where anything can happen.


Synopsis: voting doesn't matter that much, so vote for Hillary.

The sheepdoggers are getting increasingly creative this go-round. Can't wait to see what they come up with four years down the road.


Hmmm... cognoscenti dissonance much?


Elections have consequences. Sometimes those consequences are profound and sometimes less so. And it is a dangerous world so people should learn as much as they can about the candidates. Climate change has reached the point that many scientists now consider the situation an emergency. There is an unpredictable dictator in North Korea with nuclear weapons and missiles that might be able to reach the US. Obviously there is ISIS, Al-Qaeda, etc. And the list goes on.



I jjust came from a viewing of "Snowden," Oliver Stone's latest history-recording of what actually happened regarding this HERO, not the propaganda promoted by the Deep State in its clumsy efforts to revoke democracy. I urge everyone to take the time to see this important film, which has a deep resonance for the DAP protests.

We must all pay close attention to Obama's shilling for the TPP, the DAP, and what the NSA/CIA con men have been doing at the bidding of COPORATIONS & the MICC. If we want to keep our democracy, or at this point, RECLAIM IT, we'd all better wake up & do more than post our thoughts here.

We'd all damn well better call the WH comment line to oppose the TPP, the DAP, the merger of Monsanto & Bayer, the rigging of the Democratic primaries, THE poisoning of Miami to TRY to control ZIKA; egregious, horrendous amounts being poured by BigPharma into trying to stop pro medical/recreational MJ in AZ & other states, the murder of Monarchs & bees [what will we eat when all the bees, which pollinate our crops, eat?????and on and on and on.

Give whatever monies u can to non -profts fighting for us all; march in the streets if/when you can, make calls, write letters, SHOUT FROM THE GD ROOFTOPS BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY ALMOST TOO LATE.

Look at the absolute garbage the two-party political state has offered as candidates. Nobody with a sentient brain wants to vote for either candidate, right?

Snowden, Manning, Assange, Sterling, Drake, et.al. deserve statues in our public squares for their heroism and service, instead of statues of warmongers on horseback!

Before November 8th--RIGHT NOW, PEOPLE, donate, march, call, write. Do whatever u can--and more.

In addition to "Snowden," y'all really must see Moore's latest doc, "Where to Invade Next," and see, w/humor, what a sorry ass state our once-vaunted democracy has sunk to. Germany has excellent healthcare; France servies gourmet meals to schoolchildren; Slovenia provides free university to all; Norway has reformed prisons to truly rehabilitate lawbreakers back into society; Portugal has sane drug laws unlike the failed War on Drugs here; Tunisia & Iceland truly honor their women & have incorporated feminist values into their governments/societies; Italy grans all its citizens enough vacation time to enjoy their lives, not merely slave at their jobs. What is happening in the so0-called exceptional US of A?

Most are poorly served by our "disease," not "health" care.
Our schools serve slop to teachers & studients alike & give them barely enough time to choke it down;
Our prison recidivism rate, unlike enlightened Norway's, is shockingly high;
the War on Drugs is a miserable failure;
Most have precious little time away from work-certainly none for important family events like births and deaths and illnesses;
More than 60% of our tax dollars feed the always ravenous beast, the MICC w/endless wars;
the NRA has crippled any Congressional attempts to inhibit mass murders;
Government agencies like the EPA et.al. seem to have been completely corrupted by BigMoney;
ditto even our Presidents as Bush shilled for the disastrous blunder, the Iraq War and now Obama shills for the TPP......
OMG, I've put all of you either to sleep or in a coma.


The writer at least implies that endless war and endless funding of the MIC is a bad thing, yet she advocates a vote for the war hawk. The writer de-emphasizes the efficacy of voting, yet she mysteriously advocates a vote for Clinton as an expression of progressive policy.

If Ilze Peterson truly wishes to decry the bread and circuses, she should not lend her efforts to same.


I've stated this before: The message that all these articles puts out is designed for US. These are reasons WE should vote for Clinton.

Has it occurred to anyone that they themselves have different reasons to vote for her? They are not in financial dire straits; they are not seeing their family members killed in drone wars; they don't live in poor communities with poisoned tap water and the latest fracking or climate change-caused disaster.

They are doing quite fine. They liked some of Bernie's ideas, maybe from an aesthetic or abstract perspective, but they are not the ones who have so much to lose by electing another Democrat.

If they were, they would see how idiotic their message is. How insane a person would have to be to think that someone in the pockets of the international criminals, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars could ever, with any amount of chanting or sign-waving, give a crap about actual people or the planet.


She is right about grassroots being fundamentally important.
That is where we know we can make change.