Its 1:26 pm
warm/Memorial Day/never forget
Welcome to 8 Questions with…….
Today’s interview is a little different in a couple of ways. Today’s guest,Blaine Kelley,is my first politicallt active guest. Now I usually find the folks I talk with via Facebook or a third party. But Blaine is also my first Twitter guest,he and I have been friends on that platform for around three years now.
And yes,Blaine is one of the most active voices against Donald Trump and his fascist regime. He posts different news articles,gets out in the street and encourages everyone to excercise their right to vote no matter how hard the Republicans are trying to deny and suppress that right.
I have found Blaine to be a warm and generous man who loves his family and his country. He is willing to discuss just about anything as well….in fact he and I have had some really nice chats about life in general. What I respect most about Blaine is that he will be friends with just anyone based on face value,he doesn’t judge anyone and lets their actions speak for themselves. In today’s world,that is rapidly becoming a rare trait.
I know by posting this interview that I am showing where I stand in today’s world and while I plan to interview other activists,my blog is not a political one nor will it become one. Simply because I think politics are dead and good people like Blaine Kelley are fighting for the life and the future of this country.
So I hope you will really read the answers to the 8 Questions (plus a couple more) that I asked Blaine Kelley……
Please introduce yourself and share a little bit of your background with us.
Hello- My name is Blaine Kelley. I am from central California. I have always lived here and have no desire to live elsewhere. I went to school at Pepperdine University where I studied Economics and Literature. I Attended Law School at Southern Cal. I worked as a civil attorney for over a decade until I burned out on the grind. My mother was suffering from cancer and I spent several years attending to her while she battled it. I began to feel the need to go back to work so I invested in a construction corporation and became a board member and the VP of operations. I continued this for a decade finally selling my shares and entering the corporate consulting world.
How are you and your family coping with the Covid-19 lockdown?
During this time I met my spouse and we relocated from San Diego to The Bay Area. When Covid-19 struck I had been following the science for several months. I was not surprised at the lightening speed of the spread in the US. I was prepared. We have been sheltering In place longer than most of the country and it shows on the infection growth curve for California. I feel very lucky for this. We have two children, 10 and 14, whom I have taken the responsibility of educating during the pandemic. Many of you know this is quite a challenge. Beyond this the “lockdown’ has presented many obstacles: Being isolated from friends and family is a challenge the video calling only partially overcomes. Further it is a daily challenge to stay physically mentally and physically fit without access to the “normal” outlets that keep me and my family on an even keel.
When did you become politically active and what was the issue that peaked your interest?
I am 50 and became interested in politics during high school. The Iran Contra Affair was interesting because my best friends neighbor was arrested for weapons trafficking. We lived in a small beach community so this was A BIG DEAL. My family was always involved in political activities. My grandfather was a contemporary of Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta. He marched with the farmworkers from Delano to Sacramento. It wasn’t uncommon to visit them and dine with famous social and political figures. The strong pro-union sentiment is something I still support and am proud of to this day. Political corruption has always been one of my main areas of interest when thinking about the political perspective. Weather local or national, corruption has been and will be, the single biggest danger to the democratic ideal most Americans cherish.
What is “the Resistance”?
The Resistance to me is merely a group of citizens who are fed up with the corruption that is choking our Democracy right now. We see the questionable validity of our election process, and more importantly, the disastrous results that political apathy and general ignorance have delivered upon us all. Within my circle of allies you will find individuals from across the political spectrum. What we have in common is a passionate love of our Country and a steadfast belief in the Rule Of Law. Without fair and balanced laws society will not function as envisioned by the founders, the citizenry, and the our allies across the world who, by necessity, need the United States to be the Beacon of Justice for the World.
Do you feel only having two political parties have led us down this path in which we have a fascist president? What three things would you reform if you could do so?
I have little experience with anything other than the two party system. Accordingly, my thoughts on a parliamentary system are not favorable. I think 90-95 percent of Americans all want the same thing but want to take a different route across town to reach the destination. Accordingly, more parties won’t solve this issue but more imput and cooperation will.
Do you feel a corporate owned press does more damage then good and why/why not?
The so called free press is partially at fault for the current fiasco we have in Washington. We have ZERO requirements that “the press” report Facts, Truth, or anything advising the consumer that opinion is being presented as NEWS. This is an epic failure of Congress and the Courts. It is difficult to determine if the big three (MSNBC.CNN.FOX) are mostly responsible for the authoritarian crisis we currently face. What is clear, Ratings (income) are the primary goal of all media in the United States. This is problematic as the echo chamber effect is fully our current reality. Obviously this is not the way to unite all citizens for any common good. Divide and conquer is a successful strategy that has been effective for thousands of years.
How can we recover our country or have we gone past that point?
I definitely think we can save our county and political system. We have not yet lost all respect and understanding for and of the Rule Of Law. We are close as normalization of authoritian actions is “normalized” by Fox news and to a lessor extent by the other two daily. We also see most Members of the GOP doing the same in furtherance of personal and professional necessity. The margin is razor thin for the upcoming election. If America is to be saved some wholesale changes must be made if the Authoritian corporate machine is defeated in November. Among these are Citizens United, wholesale voter repression/suppression ,and term limits to nave a few.
How do you explain what is happening to your kids?
10 and 14 have a basic understanding of the problems we face. I explain how (corny but deal) Truth and Justice are integral to the American Way. I define Justice as; those who fail to follow the laws of man, as passed by our court or, made by our lawmakers, are punished according to those same laws. That clearly is not happening!
Do you feel the revisionist policies in our schools have played a part of the rise in fascism here?
I don’t consider revisionist content in schools the major problem but rather the wholesale elimination of content the culprit. Ignorance of the designed mechanisms of the political and legal worlds is the biggest educational failure I see. This has led to a loss of respect for both The Law And The Political Process. Loss of respect has led to apathy.
How do you encourage people and which people encourage you?
I try to encourage others to do one simple thing….VOTE. By explaining that the ability to vote is a privilege I hope to inspire others to become more aware of their ability to affect other lives in a positive way. I tend to barrage people with facts……sometime too many. Lately I have just pushed the idea that if you vote you rightfully have a say in the outcome. People that inspire me are those who understand that wisdom is important yet easy to acquire. It isn’t all about IQ but about paying attention and digesting what you see in a meaningful way.
Do you feel we as a society have become much to reactionary because we feel powerless to do anything?
No on the contrary we are way too fucking apathetic. Many will passively sit by and watch while tragedy occurs RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. Two examples: Last year my Spouse and I were at the store and witnessed a man hitting his wife! I ran up and, along with another, grabbed the man separating him from the woman. There were at least 15 other bystanders doing NOTHING. Four months ago I was driving and a woman was running in traffic. She was screaming….. She was being chased by a man. I pulled over and inserted myself between her and the man allowing her to get in her car and escape. Taking personal responsibility to make my city a better place for all is what everyone needs to do. We have to get out of our personal bubble and take some responsibility to make life better for everyone. Liberty and freedom are not going to last for any of us unless all of us work together.