The Moral & Spiritual Case for Dr. Jill Stein

After enduring two major party conventions and weeks of campaigning, the choice seems clear: do we want a President who will persecute undocumented immigrants and people of color here at home, or a President who will drop bombs on civilians in the Middle East, and escalate tensions with a nuclear armed Russia abroad? In other words, do we want a disastrous domestic policy that destroys lives, or a disastrous foreign policy that destroys lives? This false choice presents quite a quandary for those of us seeking a candidate who represents our moral and spiritual values.

Armchair Firebrand draws a stark distinction between deeply held religious beliefs and deeply held spiritual beliefs. The former often implies an almost cult-like devotion to a dogmatic set of rules, while the latter generally applies to much broader principles regarding the nature of existence, the human condition, and the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity. Additionally, religion is often associated with an opposition to science, while spirituality generally embraces science, and explores its boundaries.

Armchair Firebrand values human life as precious above all else. Therefore, Armchair Firebrand makes no distinction between American lives, Palestinian lives, or Russian lives. To this publication, killing civilians abroad in the name of an endless “war on terror” that serves only the interests of the military-industrial complex, is worse than promoting an insanely restrictive immigration policy, which would seem to have very little chance of being implemented for a host of constitutionalsocioeconomic, and political reasons.

That’s no kind of choice. Armchair Firebrand fundamentally rejects a system that attempts to box the American People into such an absurd choice. Thus, Armchair Firebrand proudly endorses Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein as the only candidate who represents this publication’s moral, political and spiritual values.

For instance, Dr. Stein is the only candidate in the Presidential race who stands for an aggressive response to climate change by getting us off fossil fuel by 2030. Dr. Stein also advocates strongly for a Green New Deal jobs program providing 20 million good jobs to replace and repair our crumbling infrastructure. Moreover, Dr. Stein believes in universal healthcare as a right, not a privilege, and in making public colleges and universities tuition free. These bold stances reflect the moral and spiritual values for which Armchair Firebrand stands.

Armchair Firebrand strongly believes that voting for a candidate who represents one’s values and interests is the very essence of democracy. Dr. Stein represents Armchair Firebrand’s values and interests. Therefore, she has earned this publication’s strong endorsement.

 

 

Tyranny in Tehran

At last weekend’s inaugural Tea Party Convention, there was much bloviating about “oppressed” Americans “suffering” under the Obama Administration’s “tyranny.” Judge Roy More, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, even delivered a rousing sermon comparing our President to King George III, the British ruler overthrown in the American Revolution.

Nothing better illustrates the utter absurdity of these delusions than contrasting the Tea Party with an actual, grassroots, democratic movement created to confront real, rather than imagined, tyranny.

Last June, protesters took to Tehran’s streets, showing their support for Mir Hussein Moussavi, an opposition candidate in Iran’s disputed presidential election. Allegedly, forces loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad engaged in widespread fraud at the polls, costing Moussavi his shot at the presidency.

Violent clashes ensued between demonstrators and the regime-sponsored Basij militia. Eventually, one of the Basiji opened fire on the crowd, killing an unarmed, 26 year-old woman named Neda Agha-Soltan. Instead of dispersing the masses, however, Agha-Soltan’s brutal killing galvanized them. Suddenly, the “Green Movement” was born.

More demonstrations followed, with the most recent spate of violence occurring late last year, during Shi’a Islam’s Ashura holiday. These clashes cost at least eight Iranians their lives, including Moussavi’s nephew, who was shot to death by security forces.

Today marks the 31st anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Tensions are running high in Tehran and the government’s well-coordinated clampdown is already underway. Over the last few days, security officials have rounded up dozens of journalists, photographers and students as well as women’s and children’s rights advocates.

Moussavi himself compared this suppression to the worst abuses committed under the hated Shah, who was deposed by the 1979 revolution: “Stifling the media, filling the prisons, and brutally killing people who peacefully demand their rights in the streets indicate the roots of tyranny and dictatorship remain from the monarchist era.”

Despite these draconian measures, the Green Movement’s defiant legions remain undaunted. Daily Beast contributor Jason Shams defines the group’s motto as, “Each Iranian is a media outlet.” And they practice what they preach.

As Shams observes, “the computer students are all over the place with their backpacks filled with flash drives and proxy programs, always a step ahead of the bearded dinosaurs and their dying ideologies.”

Moreover, while Americans generally use Facebook and Twitter to pour over the excruciating minutae of modern life, the Greens employ these social networking websites to disseminate information, plan operations and mobilize their organization.

Armed with camera phones, laptops and an iron will, these courageous individuals communicate their message to the world even without the journalists imprisoned by Ahmadinejad’s repressive regime.

Censorship, harassment, intimidation, coercion, mass arrests, public beatings and de-facto executions by government-sponsored death squads. These are the harsh realities of living under tyranny. If the Tea Party movement’s petulant populists want to witness its horrors first-hand, I implore them to purchase a one-way ticket to Tehran. I suspect they’ll be in for a rude awakening.