Saturday, June 11, 2016

Political update—is this the best we can do?

Politics is beyond depressing these days.  Yes I know, I am the one who argues that the big problems can only be solved by putting the Producer Classes back to work.  The best that politics can accomplish is to make it possible for the Producers to organize into a major problem-solving mode.  The worst they can do is divert all the community's spare change into their own bank accounts—they certainly can get in the way.

The idea that we can afford to waste another four years diddling while the earth burns is beyond obscene.  We just wasted the last eight years getting almost nothing done and since Hillary promises to be four more years of Obama, there is little hope for improvement.  And Trump is a climate change denier.  The guy owns some expensive Florida beach-front property so the evidence that the climate is changing is set to wash up on his lawn.  And since he does have a few Producer tendencies, he might be open to some enlightenment if he could be convinced that doing something was up his alley, but that is expecting a big conversion.

The good news is that Bernie Sanders has demonstrated just how large an audience there is for a Progressive / Populist message and how possible it is to access them with a combination of the internet and live appearances.  That he got so many votes is miraculous.  Here in Minnesota he won 60-40.  And I am pretty sure that not one person made a pro-Bernie voting decision reading the Minneapolis Tribune or watching WCCO.  Sanders did run some professionally-produced ads on local TV but I am not sure those moved votes either.  Changes in communication technology tend to lead to major social change like the printing press in Germany leading to the Protestant Reformation.  I keep waiting for digital communication to lead to significant social shifts.  The Sanders campaign may be what I have been looking for.

Even so, I look at the disaster that is the neocon / neoliberal loonie Hillary Clinton and feel genuine despair.  How could it come to this?  It wouldn't be so bad if there were plenty of time to solve the big problems rolling towards us with the certainty of gravity and arithmetic.  But there isn't.

Why I am #NeverHillary

Ted Rall | May 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s coronation at the Democratic national convention is likely but not a foregone conclusion. Since the superdelegates won’t vote until July, and neither she nor Bernie Sanders will arrive in Cleveland with the requisite number of pledged delegates to clich the nomination, there is still the possibility that the party bosses will see sense, internalize the polls that show she’s weaker than him against Trump, and push the superdelegates to support the populist senator from Vermont.

But sense is in short supply in American politics, especially this year. So I’m preparing for the worst: Hillary versus Trump.

It’s one hell of a choice. The more I delve into Donald Trump and his past (to research my biography, which comes out in June), the more scared I get. Nevertheless, there is no way I’ll vote for Hillary. I won’t vote for her if she stops shaking down rich right-wing Republicans for donations. I won’t vote for her if she adopts Bernie’s platform. I won’t vote for her if she names Bernie her vice president. I won’t even vote for her if Bernie invites me to spend the summer with him and Jane in Vermont.

#NeverHillary. That’s me.

There are millions of us.

Many progressives are baffled by this stance. Trump is a threat to democracy, decency, peace and the economy. He acts and talks like a nut. Why not suck it up and vote for Hillary? She’s experienced, steady and presentable. Unlike Trump, she understands the issues. Plus: first woman president! That’s 225 years overdue!

Here is my reasoning.

First, a vote is an endorsement. A vote tells a candidate: “I mostly agree with what you have done.”

I agree with nothing she has done. Most egregiously, she voted to invade Iraq. At the time, everyone knew there were no WMDs. She knew. More than a million Iraqis are dead because of that war of choice, a war no one but especially no Democrat should have supported. I will not, cannot, betray those dead. Casting a vote for Hillary says: “I love that a million Iraqis got murdered.” Or, at minimum it says: “I’m cool with it.” Well, I’m not.

For me, that’s enough. What she did was monstrous. She should be in prison for life.

Do you need more? Really?

Here’s more:

Running a close second behind Iraq are Hillary’s vote to invade Afghanistan (another mistake, unjustified, illegal fiasco that left hundreds of thousands of innocents maimed or dead), and encouraging Obama, as secretary of state, to arm and fund crazy Islamist insurgencies in Libya and Syria, reducing two modern countries to failed states. I can’t let those go.

Voting for a politician also tells them: “I agree with what you promise to do.” There is no indication — none, zero, nada — that Hillary wouldn’t continue her every-war-a-good-war philosophy were she to become president. Unlike Trump, she has never questioned the usefulness, legality or ethics of use of force as America’s go-to approach to foreign policy.

I refuse to throw good blood after bad.

She’s sleazy — a cheater and a liar. I can’t forget how she willfully misrepresented her own take on the minimum wage: she wants $12/hour, but since Bernie’s $15/hour is more popular, she claimed she wanted $15/hour too, but it would be up to the states and cities. Pressed, she conceded she’d “like” $15/hour, but wouldn’t lift a finger to make it happen federally. Incredibly, she still does this.

Then there’s her lie about the auto bailout. Factcheckers call her claim that Bernie voted against it untrue; he voted against bailouts for Wall Street, some of which was attached to aid for automobile companies. Despite being called on this whopper, she still uses it on the campaign trail.

The primary fight against Bernie saw Hillary deploy tactics that went way beyond political hardball. Her allies in the Democratic National Committee schemed to deny Bernie media coverage or a decent debate schedule. They rigged the superdelegate process. They made sure votes and caucusgoers weren’t counted and that voter registrations in Bernie strongholds mysteriously disappeared. Can’t let that go.

I am highly sympathetic with the argument that we need, and that women and girls deserve, to see a woman in the White House. We do; they do. If Hillary Clinton were merely a flawed candidate, the woman thing would be enough for me.

But Hillary is not flawed. She is a monster. A mass murderer. A warmonger.

The fact that she wears bright-colored Doctor Evil suits and has a silly laugh and twinkly eyes and is kinda smart can’t change the fact she has never voted against a war, or apologized for voting for one, or promised not to start any new ones. Her resume can’t cover up for her record: zero sponsorships or votes for a major anti-poverty proposal, and only one vote against a job-killing free trade agreement.

I don’t vote for monsters.

Let Hillary or Trump destroy the world without the endorsement that would be my vote. more

1 comment:

  1. I voted for O the first time but soon realized that he was on the take and so I voted for the third party in the last election. If Killory wins the nomination I will vote for Trump for two reasons. First, he is an unknown and we really don't know what he will do, his policies may be better than Killory's. We do have an idea what Killory will do. Second, O has done a lot of damage that no Republican could have done because he is a Democrat. I think that there is a chance that the Democrats may stand up to Trump if he turns out to another Bush or Obama. They won't stand up to Killory.