I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I decided to stop being a detached observer of politics and instead decided to dive head first into the 2008 elections by becoming an unpaid and overworked volunteer for the Barack Obama campaign. The amount of work I put into getting that fraud elected blows my mind when I think about it in hindsight. I traveled to at least 16 states to knock on doors, register voters and harangue disinterested people into voting for a man who is faker than Donald Trump’s hair plugs.
The full details of what I did for the Obama campaign—including writing a speech idea that I forwarded to my fraternity brother and Barack’s neighbor that ended up being incorporated into Obama’s South Carolina primary victory speech—would take a book to truly capture. Not only did I labor slavishly for a man who would end up turning hundreds of thousands of homeowners into indentured servants of shelters by the millions, I forked over thousands of dollars to organize events, give away t-shirts and contributing to his campaign while I ate Raman noodles to save money that I was wasting on a con artist.
I am not the only one with these types of stories; I was invited to Chicago in December of 2008 for a brainstorming session on ways to transform Obama for America into Organizing for America. I met other community organizers during that event who told me the same stories of sleepless nights, sore elbow from knocking on doors and being driven into exhaustion by the time election day arrived. That year would mark the first time that I spiraled into deep depression and anxiety after I drove myself into the abyss making sure that the first black president would reside in the White House only to end up occupying my sofa stricken by debilitating depression.
The trip to Chicago was therapeutic in a way; meeting other people who were in the same boat as me mentally and spiritually after spilling their souls into the campaign let me know that I was not alone. Trading war stories with “veterans” of the brutal 2008 campaign put a smile on my face that had gone without one since for more than four months. In hindsight, when I reflect upon that year and the way I turned myself into Obama’s toady, I realize that what I did was far from an outlier and is in fact the norm in America. Even if the average person who is fixated on a politician and addicted to politics might not go to the lengths I did in 2008, too many nonetheless are perfectly willing to part with their dollars to donate to politicians while they struggle to pay their rent.
I shake my head in utter disbelief when I think about the way Obama was able to manipulate his supporters to flood his campaign with “small dollar donations” every time there was damaging news about him that emerged. In sales, the hardest thing to do is to get someone to give the first dollar. After that, they are invested financially and are willing to empty their savings in order to avoid admitting that they were duped—cognitive dissonance is a hella drug! Bernie Sanders repeated the same sham in 2016 and 2020 to great effect, only to leave his loyalists stranded to become the Democrats number one bootlicker in the Senate.
Jimmy Dore gives Senator Sanders well deserved criticism. Tragic that Sanders became a sheepdog for the corrupt political party that holds him in contempt.
— Eugene Marangoni (@EugeneMarangoni) March 22, 2021
Which belatedly brings me to this point: why are we willing to shatter our backs to help the rich and powerful—to the point of “donating” to millionaires and billionaires—while we refuse to lift a finger to help those who are like us and are struggling to make it. I’m not just talking about helping homeless people with a buck or two here, I am also talking about empowering amazing artists, dancers, singers, writers and entrepreneurs by patronizing their endeavors, purchasing their products and promoting their brands to our family, friends and associates.
It is on the last front that I am truly exasperated at the dearth of encouragement I witness from so many people who could otherwise make a fundamental difference in an uber-talented yet unknown creator who shines her gems in shadows. We possess one of the most powerful weapons ever created by mankind yet we use social media to echo the establishment instead of empowering our community and propelling people who live like us, struggle like us and hope like us towards success. So busy are we gazing at stars in the sky that we miss diamonds at our feet all the time.
The Ghion Journal averages about 1200 visitors a day to our website and countless number of people swear I should be read by a wider audience, yet when you search on Twitter and Facebook, the ratio of people who read my work versus the number of people who share it on social media is paltry at best. I’ve been told innumerable times in the past 5 years alone that I should be writing on the New York Times or Rolling Stones Magazine, but why do I have to go mainstream in order for my work to be recognized by the wider public?
This same phenomenon happens over and over again to brilliant independent journalists, writers and content creators, we complain about mainstream media’s corruption and desperately desire an alternative to their garbage but we are not willing to do the barest of work—like sharing on social media or telling people face to face about the many options we have before us—to build our own platforms and elevate gifted friends and strangers alike.
Instead of bemoaning the state of our society and the powerlessness we feel as a people, I want to pivot and show you how a hundred people working together are just as powerful as a millionaire who weaponizes his cash. To demonstrate this latent potential we have that can move mountains, I searched on YouTube for a cover song that was uploaded recently and has only a handful of listeners. I found one that I loved as soon as I heard her voice; her name is Eaccy Tsen and she did a cover of Beyonce’s song “Listen”. Apropos, I want you to listen to Eaccy’s rendition for a minute.
As of the time this article was being written, Eaccy’s video only had 119 views; which makes sense up to a point because it was just uploaded today. However, if Eaccy was famous or promoted by establishment gatekeepers, the minute her video dropped it would have gained tens of thousands, if not millions, of views. So I am asking you to take part in a campaign to promote Eaccy’s video for two reasons: 1) she is talented and deserves the spotlight and 2) to show what can happen when we work collectively to support one of our own instead of waiting for them to be “discovered”.
I hope by doing this, the message will sink in for more and more people to actively empower talented people like Eaccy and to also support independent media so that we can forcefully challenge media narratives, push back against the establishment and launch the careers of brilliant artists who are currently busting their butts as Starbucks baristas. Let’s drive this point home by using #EmpowerOurOwn and posting that video above on the various social media sites you are on. Instead of giving our hard earned bucks to corporations, donating to millionaire politicians and echoing the establishment, let us use social media for a purpose to empower people who are struggling just like us. #EmpowerOurOwn Click To Tweet
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