Where Have All My Articles Gone?

    Sadly, with the recent closure of the website, Forward Progressives, more than 200 of my published articles, read by several million people since 2013, have vanished into thin air without an archive!   The good news is that many of my articles have been preserved in my books, which you can find at Amazon, Smashwords and Goodreads. Over time, I will begin republishing “the best of the best” under my own name here at Viking Word. Thanks for your…

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TEDx Talk: “To Be Revolutionary, or not To Be Revolutionary”

    TEDx Talk: “To Be Revolutionary, or not To Be Revolutionary” (CLICK HERE FOR FULL PRESENTATION)     On April 2, 2017, I presented a TEDx Talk at TEDxHammondSchool on the subject of political revolution….

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The Ides of April: The Goodness of Taxes, the Orangeness of Tyranny

  Speech presented at the April 15 Trump Tax Rally – Myrtle Beach, hosted by Grand Strand Action Together.   Behold, the Ides of April! Tax Day!   The theme of today’s rally is Taxes & Transparency—two subjects that the majority of politicians dodge like Donald Trump ducking a wind tunnel. Like Sean Spicer zooming away from a New York Times reporter on his turbo-charged Press Corps Podium. Like Ben Carson forevermore avoiding public housing elevators.   Thankfully, our event organizers knew some non-career politicians and bold activists who are always willing to step up to the microphone to tackle any political hot potato.   Boy, it feels wonderful to be reunited with two of my South Carolina Blue Brothers: Pastor Thomas Dixon, your 2016 Democratic Party/Green Party/Working Families Party U.S. Senate Candidate; and Mal Hyman, your 2016 Democratic Party/Green Party/Working Families Party candidate for South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. (And now 2018 candidate, I hear!)   Talk about Transparency. These two gentlemen would sooner do dishes in a Myrtle Beach pancake house to raise campaign…

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Healthcare is a Human Right – May All Governors Give a Damn

  A speech presented at The People’s March on Columbia at the South Carolina State House on President’s Day 2017   Healthcare is a human right. Period.   Ring the bell! Let us celebrate another human rights discovery!   More on this, presently.   …   We speakers have been asked to present messages of exhortation to our newly appointed Chief Executive of State, on behalf of “WE the People.” As such:   To the Honorable Henry Dargan McMaster, 117th Governor of the Fair and August State of South Carolina:   Were I in your shoes—and more than a few folks have asked me to pursue the venerable office you now hold—before the end of my first day in office, I would push the button to Expand Medicaid.   Thus, nearly 300,000 of South Carolina’s poorest of the poor—yes, that’s 300,000 human beings according to Families USA—would soon have healthcare. At the flick of a pen. With all the ease of a Trumpean thumb-thump tweet.   Expanding Medicaid is a simple action you have yet to cross off your Gubernatorial To-Do List during your 28-day tenure. 32 other…

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The Democratic Party Has Failed Us All

Image by John A. Carlos II   To the Esteemed Electoral College Members of the State of South Carolina:   The Democratic Party has failed us all.   Okay, now some pages to explain.   Shortly after the November 8 Election, I was completing a transaction at a Columbia establishment. The middle-aged woman at the counter observed my ‘BJORN/ U.S. CONGRESS’ button, which I still occasionally wore out of habit.   She shook her head, “What was that guy thinking, running for Congress around here? Did he honestly think he could beat Joe Wilson?”   “Ma’am,” I smiled. “What mattered most to me was being the Voice that the Voters deserved. There should never be an empty Democratic Party ballot. And if everyone had voted in their own self-interest, we would have won.”   She shrugged, “Well, I voted for you. Still.”   Funny. This woman voted for me—yet not knowing she was addressing the candidate, she didn’t hesitate to question why I would go through the seeming hell of running for office as a Democrat in one of the most gerrymandered Congressional Districts in the United…

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An Open Statement to South Carolina’s Nine Presidential Electors

  Presented at the Democracy Spring and Electoral College Petition “Stop Trump / Defend Democracy” Event at the South Carolina State House on December 19, 2016   To the Esteemed Electoral College Members of the State of South Carolina:   —South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore —Brenda Bedenbaugh —Bill Conley —Moye Graham —Terry Hardesty —Glenn McCall —Jerry Rovner —Shery Lanford Smith —Jim Ulmer   I address you with all due respect and formality, as you are presented with an extraordinary responsibility at a point in history that will be judged invariably for centuries to come. I am convinced that the Fate of our Republic rests in your individual and collective determination.   On December 19, should you select the name Donald Trump as our next President, everything you hold dear about the Institution of the United States of America, the generations-long desire by all concerned citizens to Perfect our Union, will, with certainty, come to a grinding halt.   A Trump Administration will plunge our nation into an abject decline—and will threaten centuries of effort to build…

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There’s a Better Way: Infrastructure Investment Paves the Way for Prosperity

  This time last year, the rain fell. And fell. And fell.   The floodgates burst, and South Carolina found itself facing an historic 1,000-Year Flood catastrophe—and the consequences of a decade-plus of Infrastructure neglect under Congressman Joe Wilson.   The world watched, as many parts of South Carolina’s Second Congressional District became flood-ravaged lakes following breaches to dam after dam.   According to the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, 17 of 51 statewide dam failures occurred in SC District 2.   17 of 51. With a .333 batting average, you could win a Major League Baseball batting trophy.   Instead, South Carolina’s Infrastructure should be sent to the minors. The stark reality is that one-third of these dam failures occurred in Congressman Wilson’s own District backyard—on his watch. An unchecked watch that has lasted 7 terms and 15 years.   During the past decade of that tenure, Congressman Wilson voted against the Water Resources Development Act, which provided funding for specific South Carolina projects to prevent “flood damage reduction.”…

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There’s a Better Way: We Sing the Body Rainbow!

  A speech presented at the 2016 Famously Hot South Carolina Pride festival during Arik Bjorn’s 2016 campaign for U.S. Congress.   Our nation’s great poet once proclaimed: “I sing the body electric!”   I am confident that my fellow-bearded Walt Whitman would join me today in exclaiming, “We sing the body rainbow!”   The baton of hate and bigotry can easily be passed from one generation to the next. Here is the tale of how I dropped that baton, with the help of others, to become an unabashed Ally.   When I was a teenager, my father sat me down on the couch one day and strongly discouraged my sprouting desire to attend college. No, “strongly discouraged” isn’t quite right—“forbade” is more apt.   He said that studying philosophy was wrong because men like Plato and Aristotle were just a bunch of “bundles of sticks.” Only, he didn’t say “bundles of sticks.” He used a far more vulgar term, with which I will not defile this stage.   As the LGBTQ community and its Allies know full well, hate and bigotry wallow in the muck and mire of ignorance.   In the aftermath of…

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Fight Trump and Joe “You Lie!” Wilson While You Still Have Time

  When South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison spoke at this year’s historic 140th Galivants Ferry Stump—the oldest and most famous Democratic Party stump event in the United States—he went to the political woodshed for a quote that could not be a clearer sign of the times to all Democrats from sea to shining sea.   Chair Harrison is a man of pointed intellect. He would only invoke the words of Nazi concentration camp survivor Martin Niemöller with considerable intention:   First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.   The moment I heard Chair Harrison utter Niemöller’s words, my December 2015 “Open Letter” about Donald Trump came to mind. My article was written on the heels of Trump’s racist remarks delivered from a retired aircraft carrier in South Carolina. During his address, Trump infamously called…

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There’s a Better Way: Remarks to the 2016 South Carolina Democratic Party Convention

  Good afternoon. My name is Arik Bjorn.   When you find yourself preaching to the choir, sometimes you just have to sing your heart out. Let’s belt a bit, shall we?   When the dust of Campaign 2016 settles, I will be your next U.S. Congressman for South Carolina’s Second Congressional District.   I have been told multiple times that my campaign—which to my mind is our campaign—must be herculean to succeed. Truly, it is David versus Goliath.   People often forget that, with his slingshot, David was not a disadvantaged warrior. He was in fact an expert positioned to win. As such, the stones in my pouch are the true principles of the Democratic Party—the building blocks of Civilization.   With these stones, I am positioned to win. We all are positioned to win. For these stones have always felled giants and barbarians when thrown with precision and force. In the coming weeks, I will not hesitate to sling these stones. Philistines, take heed.   I am the only real Democrat running for South Carolina’s Second Congressional District. As many of you know, my JUNE 14 PRIMARY opponent ran as a Tea…

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