Real-Life Draculas and the Significance of The Moment

Submitted by Joshua Lewis, MNIPL Climate Justice Organizer

“Voting as Wrench in the Blood Machine” by Kyle Tran

Our village has existed in the shadow of Dracula’s castle for years, and has been the site of many battles against him. Now, he’s running for mayor. His platform: rather than turning into a giant bat to hunt his victims one-by-one, he will take control of the village’s resources, its watchmen and bureaucratic machinery, creating a system that will more efficiently identify victims and supply him with fresh blood.

Will defeating Dracula at the polls end his reign of terror? No. But what it will do is deprive him of one specific set of tools that he will otherwise use to hurt people. It will allow us to think offensively rather than defensively, because when the forces of darkness are not knocking on our doors, it frees us up to go knock on theirs.

And yes: there is always more work to be done. There is always more horror beyond that which is right in front of us.

And those who study monsters are right: if we only think short-term, we lose.

But those who fight monsters have taught me: short-term and long-term thinking are not mutually exclusive. We use every tool we have access to, every opportunity to shape the terrain of battle, every advantage we can seize. We don’t split up. We don’t leave anyone behind. We don’t wait for some hero to save us, whether a knight in shining armor or an opposition politician. We fight the monsters. And when the sun rises, we do the work of creating a world in which there are no monsters.

We win. For the fallen, for our families, for the fact that dawn is not promised, it is carried—in this blood, still hot, still coursing, defiant, inside us.

Kyle Tran is a Minneapolis-based activist and National Poetry Slam Champion. For more of his galvanizing Halloween-themed “VOETRY” featuring killer robots, zombie apocalypse, a werewolf, and other monsters, check out his Instagram. You can also show him support by buying his new book of artistic and sci-fi concept prose here.

With faith in the urgency of love, I reach out with an invitation to engage in the timely and integral stewardship of our democracy! 

In Kyle Tran’s poem above, the scene is set in a town under the shadow of Dracula’s castle. The blood-thirsty vampire has his eyes on becoming the town mayor and plans on taking advantage of bureaucracy to receive supplies of fresh blood.

Seeing this come across my twitter feed yesterday should surprise me but it doesn’t anymore.

Dracula may not be the mayor in our towns, but he’s got some politicians in his pocket!

Here’s a sample of the monsters that we are up against: 

People who want to deny non-english speakers and people with disabilities a voice in our elections. (Source: huffpost)

Anti-voter forces that are spreading lies and confusion- targeting black and brown communities, to push an agenda that is inherently anti-democratic. (Source: Common Cause)

Law-breaking candidates coordinating with a dark money group funded by big oil, big tobacco and big pharmacy. (Source: Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board)

Xcel (after two consecutive years of record breaking profits) has submitted a revenue increase from the Public Utilities Commission that would raise everyone’s bill by up to 20%. (Fight back here: MNIPL)

What do we do in the face of real-life “Draculas” who wish to take advantage of others and contort our democratic process so that they can feed their bottomless bellies of greed?

We stand together! And with 11 days until the election, we will take advantage of every opportunity that we have to push back against the Draculas and prioritize our families, communities, and the Earth.

We are a people who move with faith and conscience, with an urgency from LOVE, to counter the tactics of those who oppose a fair, safe, and just community for us all.

Find it in your heart’s rhythm to surpass your goals of engagement and contribution. After November 8 there is more work to be done. But from now until the election, we determine what that work will be—either mitigating damage from an anti-democratic cohort that is looking to sequester power for the highest bidder amongst actors motivated by greed, or moving forward with plans to reduce carbon emissions, democratizing the energy grid, and being a lighthouse for the United States to see what is possible when your efforts are charged by belief!

Join us and reach out to find a way to engage that works for you!

I hope to see you soon. Let’s go forward with a graceful urgency blossoming from our love for one another and our Source.