#NJRR Live With Brian Powers

Hosted ByBrian Powers

#NJRR Live: WTF Just Happened?: A Recap Of Bourgeoisie Elections

Welcome back to #NJRR Live!

Good evening, everybody! Thank you for joining us for tonight’s special election-week episode of #NJRR Live. We come to you live every Wednesday at 8:00 PM EST on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, or anywhere else you get your streams! Tonight we are joined by a panel of political activists and comrades to have a discussion about the drawn-out episode of political theatre that is taking place all around us in this country.

Electoral Shenanigans

For the past 72 hours, our country has been wrapped up in a bourgeoisie show of electoral shenanigans. Brian has been hearing the phrase “our great democracy” repeatedly throughout this voting season, particularly on election day. It makes him sick every time because it is an utter lie. We do not live in a democracy; we live in a republic where we elect corrupt officials with no intention to represent the people into office. This year has been a perfect example of that. 

2020 has been downright terrible in many ways, but Brian finds it important to make time to talk about some good news on #NJRR Live. Mississippi finally took the Confederate flag off of their state flag. Alabama, meanwhile, just removed a requirement in their State Constitution for colored children to be segregated. These are both steps in the right direction that should have been taken long ago. 

If you’re worried about the Republican Party gaining power, that battle is over. It’s looking like the House is going to maintain its numbers, and the Senate is not going to be flipped. The President is going to be a conservative and State Houses are turning more Republican.

#NJRR Live Welcomes Trahern Crews 

Over the past few months, New Jersey Revolution Radio has been networking outside of New Jersey in order to be able to host comrades with fresh perspectives and new information. This is how we met tonight’s co-host, Trahern Crews. Trahern has been an activist with the BLM movement in Minnesota since 2015. Before that, he got involved with the Green Party by becoming a campaign manager. In 2015, he ran for the St. Paul City Council, endorsed by the Green Party. His activism focuses on issues such as racial justice, housing, transit, criminal justice and prison reform, and more. He was nominated to be co-chair of the Green Party and that is where he is now. 

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Trahern is the lead organizer for BLM Minnesota. The St. Paul police department is the deadliest in all of Minnesota. As Minnesota has become a national center for racial issues, Trahern has been fighting institutionalized racism at every turn. He notes that it has been crucial to come together with fellow activists to find strength and power in these trying times. As activists, it is important to maintain self-care. 

Police Reform?

Brian asks where the police departments are at when it comes to reforming as promised. Trahern tells us that, sadly, it has not been going as smoothly as some had hoped. Instead of defunding, some departments have expanded their policing. For example, about a month ago, the mayor of Minneapolis actually hired more police officers. In order for any effective reform to take place, Trahern notes, there needs to be more robust outreach to communities that have been impacted by policing.

We now welcome comrade Christian Perez to #NJRR Live! Christian is a political science professor and our resident conspiracy theory expert. Today he brings us his take on the election. According to Christian, this is a loss, even in victory. The vote should have been a landslide and it wasn’t. It’s human to be disappointed, but if you’re surprised, you probably haven’t been paying attention. If you’re saying “but this isn’t our country!”, you’re wrong. Everything that has happened thus far in America has been leading us up to exactly where we are today.

Morons In Power

An Islamophobic crossfit gym owner who supports the QAnon theory just beat a neurosurgeon out for Geogia’s 14th Congressional District. QAnon is a conspiracy theory that piggybacks off off of anti-semitic tales of blood drinking from the Middle Ages and anti-communist sentiment from the 1960s. This conspiracy alleges that high-ranking Democrats, Hollywood celebrities, political bearuocrats and more, are kidnapping children and taking them to torture camps where they steal their life force by drinking their blood. It is horrifying to think that someone who genuinely believes a theory so baseless and moronic now holds significant political power in our country.

Left wing media sources blast snippets of Donald Trump making a fool of himself while firing up rally crowds. Many of his comments are utterly brainless and rage-inducing. However, the truth is that Donald Trump may be a racist, fascist pig, but he knows how to speak to people about the issues they care about. 

On his campaign trail, Trump makes specific and actionable promises for his presidency that appeal to his target audiences. For example, Brian noticed that when Trump was rallying in rural states such as Maine, he focused rhetoric on gun, property, and farming rights. This campaigning is effective, as evidenced by the fact that proportionately, more Republicans voted for Trump in 2020 (93%) than in 2016 (90%).

Democrats Failing

Meanwhile, the Democrats make arbitrary promises with lofty language that does not appeal to people. Additionally, Joe Biden is about as low-energy and uninspiring as they come. Even the ones that are supposed to be revolutionary are letting us down. Nancy Pelosi blew off the Green New Deal, not knowing its proper name, even as her state burns down, and she is still called a communist. The Republicans may not have the sharpest competition but they still fight to win. They have been engaged in voter suppression for a generation now and they will continue doing what they need in order to hold power in America. 

We welcome young ecosocialist Matthew Skolar to #NJRR Live. Matthew is a young ecosocialist, meaning he is a member of the official Youth Caucus of the Green Party of the United States. Brian welcomes Matthew to the panel by asking his opinion on the recent legalization of cannabis in New Jersey. 

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Let’s Talk Weed!

Matthew says that it’s good that cannabis is finally legal in our state, as it always should have been. However, the legislation is lacking. The proposition should have done more to release inmates that have been incarcerated for prior cannabis-related offenses. Christian suggests that there should be additional legislation that releases people who were arrested for weed “crimes” from jail and reimburses them for fines they have paid the courts. There are people whose lives have been disrupted or even upended because of the unfair cannabis prohibition laws that were a reality in New Jersey for far too long. Those people will probably never see their justice, unfortunately, but something needs to be done to try.

Matthew also has fears about the way that the bill is set up. For example, he is concerned that the legal market is poised to quickly become corporate and communities that should be benefiting economically from legalization will be neglected. This law will give corporate dealers the opportunity to profit off of cannabis sales rather than allowing the market to grow naturally. It’s ridiculous that we are now going to be seeing primarily white-owned businesses profiting in a market that was previously run largely by people of color. Brian suggests putting direct pressure on legislators in order to facilitate policy that might resolve some of these issues.

Ranked-Choice Voting

Brian asks another question of the panel: Are we really communicating to people by pushing ranked-choice voting? Christian is for ranked-choice voting. He sees how it could help reduce voters’ guilt and get a more accurate picture of people’s preferences by opening up an area for third parties. Matthew reports that The Green Party will be looking to pursue a ranked-choice system in New Jersey. Trahern points out that the Green Party will likely not be able to take advantage of the ranked-choice system in the next election because, even though they mean well, Greens generally do not organize effectively. 

Trahern fears that the Green Party candidate may not even make it to the ballot in certain states again during the next Presidential election. In this election, Howie Hawkins was only on half of the ballots, and it shows: according to projections, Howie has less than half of a percent of the national vote. According to Matthew, Howie got just a third of the votes that Madeline Hoffman is projected to have secured. Matthew recounts that as he worked on Hoffman’s campaign, there were a number of issues, several of which involved poor communication with the national Green Party campaign.

15 Ten Years From Now

Matthew and Brian recount what it was like to be involved with the organization 15 Now. As corrupt people found their way into the organization’s leadership, 15 Now became 15 Ten Years From Now. They don’t really give a fuck about the minimum wage. They’ll sell out the people who they are supposed to protect in order to make politicians look good. Brian testifies that you can’t trust anybody in New Jersey politics. People need to stop playing nice with politicians. That is exactly what we were always supposed to be against. Instead, we need to go out and actually organize. 

Wrapping Up

This past Monday, Christian recorded Episode 1 of Season 2 of The Section 24/7 Show, a South Jersey/Philadelphia-based podcast where history, politics, and conspiracy are discussed. Christian also has his own podcast, Modernity and Absurdity, which is dedicated to conspiracy theories. If you have any queries for Christian, you can email him at Perezpodcast@gmail.com.

Matthew encourages anyone who is interested to get involved with the young ecosocialists. The young ecosocialists welcome everyone. They have a strong message and a powerful voice and they will continue to make it heard through grassroots organizing.

Even though we discuss elections on #NJRR Live, that is not what this show is about. Although elections are a matter of fact in this country, so are art and activism. At New Jersey Revolution Radio, we aim to make sure that you never forget that. So much of this country’s effort and time goes into the election process. If you’re tired of contributing to a broken system, why not contribute to something else for a change? If you care about art and activism, please consider donating to us. As this election season finally passes over the coming weeks, we will be covering lots of exciting topics on New Jersey Revolution Radio. As for #NJRR Live, we’ll see you next week at 8:00 PM EST!

-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio

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