By the time most of you read this, the election will have come and gone — barring, of course, any horrific voter fraud/hanging chad or electoral college upheaval.
For a few weeks, our televisions will probably stop bombarding us with political ads wrought with tit-for-tat finger-pointing and ridiculous claims (by both sides).
We’re all going to be able to catch our breaths and I, for one, am excited about that. But, speaking with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine this month reminded me of what former Boulder-ite and Dead Kennedy frontman Jello Biafra said in a speech before Rage played their epic show at the Denver Coliseum this August during the DNC. Biafra said that after the election the real work begins for all of us. He said that after a new person is elected, then is the time to “shove the poker up their ass and keep it there for the next four years.”
Biafra’s always been great for the sound-bite, but Morello said a very similar thing when I spoke to him this month, albeit in more reserved tones. “It’s possible that this country, whose DNA is inextricably wound with racism, might elect a somewhat progressive African American to the highest office in the land. That’s a huge step toward civilization. Having said that, though, I think that the narrow differences between the candidates on a number of issues are disturbing. We don’t have an anti-war candidate, or a candidate willing to provide universal healthcare, or one who will commit to reversing global warming. I worked for two years as a scheduling secretary for a U.S. senator (Alan Cranston, Democrat – Calif.) and I got to see up close and first hand — and this was a senator who was very progressive on a lot of issues — that he spent 80 percent of the time I was with him asking rich guys for money. Both Democrats and Republicans are bought and sold by major corporations and at the end of the day that’s who they owe their allegiance to. No matter who is elected, it’s the responsibility of us who favor human rights and social and economic justice and ending the war and sane environmental policy to step up after the election. That’s when the real work starts,” Morello said.
And that’s exactly the point. Take some time after the election and catch your breath …. we all deserve it, but then it’s time to get back in and feed the poor, fight the power and rock the fuck out. If we don’t I’m sure the silent majority will be happy to have us wage a war, tax the poor and politely tap our feet to sanitized, pro-government propaganda tunes.
See you at the shows (and the polls).