That's what we saw on roadside marquee in front of a gun shop in Grimes County today. Kayleen and I took a drive up that-a-way on a mission to deliver hundreds of leftover Natural Awakenings magazines to the regional publisher thereof. (As Patrick Henry would say, "If this be Treason, make the Most of it: Buy you a big-ass Gun!")
One of the cool things about history is that we get our choice of which traitors we admire.
Today was a good opportunity to do make the trip to prairie lands; next weekend wouldn't have worked as well, seeing as we'll be shoulders-deep in the Green Party's Presidential Nominating Convention. Being a delegate to this year's convention involves a lot more email than in years past: We don't have a crew handing us a nifty delegate packet in person. Every email gets me a bit more excited, a bit more confused, and a bit more nervous, hoping that the technology will cooperate and allow us to participate.
Think what you will about that sign at the gun shop: Treason is soooo American. If it's true that the leaders of the Confederate States of America were traitors, it's also true of the rebels who "freed" the North American colonies from Great Britain and its chief sponsor the British East India Company. Call me a traitor if the proverbial shoe fits. If speaking out against the triplet evils of racism, capitalism, and imperialism—and against the corporate state that embodies all three—makes me a traitor, I will wear the label proudly. Just make sure that I get a fair trial before you assemble the firing squad.
Nah. It doesn't make me a traitor by the Constitutional definition, because I have not lent aid or comfort to any declared enemies—unless you count monthly Patreon donations to Abby Martin and Eleanor Goldfield.
Do I admire Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and that whole crowd of former namesakes of public schools? Not particularly: The cause to which they devoted their treason is odious to me. The system against which they were rebelling, industrial capitalism and wage slavery, is just as odious. I can't admire Lee for his reputation as a skilled military strategist because...well, war is a racket, innit?
Do I admire the folks portrayed in the cast of Hamilton, which I joined millions of Americans in watching last night? To a limited degree: While from my 21st-century perspective I can support their desire to escape from the corporate yoke, that whole "I don't like slavery but I'm perfectly willing to keep benefiting from it" posture adopted by the historical Hamilton and Jefferson rubs me wrong. I can still admire their accomplishments that moved humanity forward while disdaining their less noble deeds.
Similarly, I can admire a polished speaker and knowledgeable wonk like Millennial African-Iranian-American Jewish-convert attorney-rabbi Dario Hunter for some political positions he has expressed and winning election to a Rust-Belt-small-city school board. I can like that he represents an alternative to Just Another Old White Dude Presidential Nominee. But that doesn't require me to like the entire Candidate Dario Hunter package.
So about That Convention...
The PNC itself begins at 11 am Central Daylight Time on Saturday 11 July; the current plan calls for the nomination process to end by 7 pm. The whole Detroit 2020 Annual National Meeting (ANM) runs from the 9th through the 12th, including the final discussions of platform amendments and entertainment from YouTube politicomic Ron Placone (whom fans of Jimmy Dore might recognize as the nerdy redheaded sidekick, and whose witty repartée frequently catches Jimmy off-guard and gets him guffawing). In case you haven't seen it, here's Ron's April 2020 interview with Howie Hawkins (52 minutes plus).
Delegates will participate via Zoom and Loomio. Regrettably, I still don't have the coordinates of the Facebook Live feed for non-delegates.
As I have reported, Hawkins has already claimed enough delegates to win the nomination outright, but runner-up Dario Hunter is challenging the allocations of delegates in some states, backed by some Twitter trolls clambering to see Jesse Ventura nominated. I mentioned that GPTX Treasurer Travis Christal has been fuming about the challenge, but not that current co-chair Laura Palmer and multi-term former co-chair katija gruene are adamant that the challenge regarding Texas delegates is a) after the posted deadline for such and b) based on a lack of understanding of the Proportional Approval Voting process.
In intra-GPTX conversations and public Facebook posts, kat has likened Hunter's railing against the GPUS leadership to "COINTELPRO tactics" of "divide and conquer," with the modern variant of tossing identity politics into the mix. Such COINTELPRO-style infiltration would be nothing new to Green Party veterans: been there, been burned by that. Even so, it's always tricky tripping up the infiltrators before their divisive behavior begins, primarily because they are skilled in winning people's confidence. It's what infiltrators do.
Do I think that Hunter is deliberately trying to fragment an already-fractious Green Party? Or do I give him the benefit of the doubt that he perceives unfair treatment and is willing to fight it? Is Hunter a snake in the grass or just naïve? Possibly both? I haven't reached my own verdict yet, but some people I know and trust certainly have, for reasons I'm opting not to explore in detail here.
Speaking strictly for myself, I am both eagerly anticipating and dreading next Saturday's events. Will a pack of Hunter enthusiasts take up valuable convention time and impede the Party's progress? Will the Party leadership allow the challenge to be presented before the first round of voting takes place? If this were not a virtual meeting, would the majority shout them down? Will they figure out a way to shout them down via Zoom?