Breaking The Wheel

Fans of HBO’s hit drama Game of Thrones are surely familiar with Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen: The Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, and rightful ruler of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men. Lately, however, the Dragon Queen may have taken on a larger historical significance. To me, she seems to represent the restless spirit of the emerging progressive movement sparked by Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.

Earlier this season, Danaerys engaged in a strategy session with one of her advisers, the diminutive but formidable Tyrion Lannister. As they discuss the possibility of ruling without the rich, the Dragon Queen describes the Great Houses of Westeros as “spokes on a wheel” crushing those on the ground beneath them. The Khaleesi ends the conversation by declaring defiantly, “I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel.”

For twenty of the last 35 years, we have been ruled by either a Bush or a Clinton.  To me, neither House performed  well enough to deserve another term. And the conventional wisdom was that the 2016 election would be another showdown between these two decrepit Houses, before a certain orange-hued billionaire buffoon bloviated his way to the Republican nomination.

Thus, our two major parties also seem like spokes on a wheel, crushing the American People beneath them. This is especially true given the grim economic realities their failed leadership has brought us.

All evidence indicates that most Americans hunger for an alternative to the stale, two party status quo. In a 5/18 Data Targeting poll, 55% of Americans said they favor an independent challenger to Clinton and Trump. And according to a June ABC News/Washington Post poll, 70% of Americans view Donald Trump unfavorably and 55% view Hillary Clinton unfavorably.

The Democrat Party has made it clear they have no interest in embracing the grassroots, progressive movement Bernie Sanders ignited. Thus, it seems essential to seize this historic moment by channeling the passion and energy the Sanders campaign generated into a viable progressive third party.

Put simply, we are not interested in stopping the wheel by electing an Establishment Democrat for the third consecutive time. We want to break the wheel by relegating the two-party paradigm to the dustbin of history.

This year, Game of Thrones’ season finale ended with the Dragon Queen sailing across the Narrow Sea with her army of freed slaves, bent on liberating her homeland from a corrupt, repressive monarchy that fails to meet the People’s basic needs. Perhaps, this image will prove to be a harbinger of things to come, a peaceful political revolution resulting in real reform.

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.