August 26, 2016

The election in brief

Sam Smith  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two of the most corrupt and dishonest major candidates to run for the presidency.

But they are dramatically different in other ways. For example:
· Clinton is a Democrat and supports Democratic programs such as Social Security, Medicare and food stamps. Trump is always looking for ways to damage them.

· Trump has sharply negative views on blacks, immigrants, latinos and women. He is especially critical of undocumented immigrants, making them a major focus of his campaign despite the fact that they are less than 4% of the American population.

· Clinton would nominate dramatically better Supreme Court justices, which she might get to do four times.

· Stephen Moore, a top economic advisor to Trump has said, “Capitalism is a lot more important than democracy. I’m not even a big believer in democracy.”

· Trump’s businesses has been involved in over 4,000 lawsuits.

· Trump is anti-choice for women, saying once of his projected Supreme Court appointments: “I will appoint judges that will be pro-life.”
While Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s politics are excellent a vote for her is essentially a vote taken away from Clinton in her battle with Trump. Many Greens feel they are being personally virtuous by voting for Stein, but in fact they are making it easier to have a bad Supreme Court and cut major progressive programs. This is not virtuous.

The best way to think about this election is that you are choosing a battlefield, not a personality. It will be far easier to get progressive programs started or expanded on a Democratic rather than a Republican battlefield.

A Clinton administration would also be a much better battlefield for the Bernie Sanderista movement that is gearing up to push a whole new politics. Clinton will clearly not like some of its policies but will be a much weaker opponent than Trump.


Boffin said...

One of these candidates is opposed to the neocons and their murderous, destructive agenda. The other is embraced by the neocons. Do you know which is which? Hint: Go look at who Paul Wolfowitz is endorsing!

mc said...

Sorry you're back on the mescaline. Hope the hazmat crews can clean up the spew you just put on your computer. So much pure crap about Hillary, it may take two teams. Don't worry. Won't hear from me again. Off my bookmarks.

Tom Puckett said...

Two of the worst, and both toe the party line. Good, we are all on the same page so far!

Don't be too sure about Clinton nominating better SCOTUS judges - just look who she nominated to head her transition team and who the last president nominated to head the Federal Reserve. The dark side clouds everything ... impossible to see the future is.

But we get on too fast:

Judge Chamberlain Haller: The state of Alabama has it procedure and that procedure at this time is to have an arraignment. It appears to me that you want to skip the arraignment process, go directly to trial, skip that, and get a dismissal. Well, I'm not about to revamp the entire judicial process just because you find yourself in the unique position of defending clients who say they didn't do it! --My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Right now we need to hear from all candidates - Jill Stein is a candidate - to be able to compare their views in order to make an informed choice (voting is making a choice).

I would therefore expect, or rather, hope to see articles in TPR and other publications, pushing for inclusion of third party candidates who are on the ballot in many if not most states in the upcoming debates. And baring that, I would hope for presentations of their platforms and possibly an analysis of those ideas. Instead I'm being given reasons for ignoring other opinions and being told that Clinton is our only choice.

If that is so, then its not a choice, but a dictatorship and that logically leads to the question, why vote at all if the thing is already decided!

Just a reminder from the Narnian Puddleglum, in the face of "choices" like this:

" All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so.

Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones.

Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one.

And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow.

That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.

So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

So, I'm on Jill Stein's side, even if she doesn't have a chance. I'm going to support her party's agenda by contributing money to get her on the ballot in most states and encouraging my friends to do the same.

I'm going to vote for what and whom I agree with, based on the agenda of People, Planet and Peace over profit. Because to do otherwise would be to turn my back on my honor.

All the people (of voting age) affected by the supposed election of either Clinton or Trump also have votes and they need to decide for themselves if the less worse of the two worst will give them what they want, and vote accordingly.

"Go at it boldly, and you'll find unexpected forces closing round you and coming to your aid." -- Basil King

Best, Tom

Anonymous said...

Stunning that anyone at this point would be supporting Clinton, for any reason. She's maybe the most corrupt politician in American history, and is utterly and completely unsuited for the office. Shame on you Sam. Simply no excuse for writing such dishonest nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Sam, your very first point attacking Trump - more lies!

Show me WHERE he has ever spoke out about harming social security or medicare. He has always expressed his belief that we made these commitments and have to honor them.

And he did this throughout the GOP nomination process!

Trump is so clearly better than Hillary on all counts. I have great confidence that he can do some great things taking on the establishment. Look at his own party hacks trying to sabotage him and backing Hillary.

She is beyond the pale. Corrupt, ill, serious lack of judgment, and callous disregard for anyone she considers beneath her.

I understand your argument, but the truth is, a more truly progressive, non-globalist, non-socialist agenda will benefit more from Trump than Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Tom Puckett states the case beautifully above---couldn't agree more. The disproportion of debate is injurious to the whole concept of democracy. When one investigates the various 'progressive', 'liberal', and 'left' web sites on the internet, it is amazing to see how many have been co-opted either by so-called billionaire philanthropists or out-right Democratic Party entities. There is one commonly known 'progressive' site that recently purged several of the most eloquent Green Party advocates from its blog. They've even gone so far as today hiding a comment as inappropriate for the community for no other reason than posting a link to a petition seeking open presidential debates.
This whole election cycle has been nothing more than a farce, with the general public presented no real choice.
To acquiesce to the manipulation is to surrender to the forces of oligarchy---NO WAY WILL I VOTE FOR CLINTON OR TRUMP.
The most important and likely most meaningful vote of my lifetime will be for DR Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka this November.

Alan Nasser said...

Sam writes "Clinton is a Democrat and supports Democratic programs such as Social Security...” This is factually false. And its falsehood is hugely important. On the no-brainer assumption that Hillary’s positions on these issues is the same as Bills’s, recall: Bill and Newt Gingrich drew up legislation to begin privatizing Social Security, but were foiled by the Lewinsky scandal. Obama appointed as co-chairs of his Committee to reduce the deficit, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, two of DC’s most aggressive opponents of Social Security - they both support privatization. Simpson called people like me who depend on Social Security “greedy geezers.” - And a Democratic playing field will be more likely to promote a “progressive” agenda? The way Bill Clinton and Obama did? - Sam, by your logic, because a Republican will always be worse than a Democrat, you are stuck with voting Democratic forever. You don’t even have to know the Dem’s position, as long as the Republican is worse. And that’s NO MATTER HOW BAD the Dem is. When both candidates are consistently bad, over long stretches of time, you question the system, you don’t ask “Which is worse?” Voting for a third Party will not bring instant success, but who expects instant success when the stakes have to do with the fundamental organization of society?

Anonymous said...

Stein is serious in ideas but not in strategy or leadership. There was a moment in 2000 when Nader could have intruded in the election beyond Perot's constituency which Ventura did in Minnesota. Nader proved a far worse candidate than Perot and Ventura. The winning 35 percent in Ventura's constituency is populist reformist, about restoring the franchise to the electorate. Ventura was a Sandernista this year. Stein is untutored in specific anticorruption antipartisan reform, hasn't read the constitution, and avoids the Perotist strategy. The backlash of the electorate is about restoring the republic. There is no point in rewarding someone so tactically clueless about what would awaken voters to reject corrupt partisanship, as Sanders just got done showing her how to do. Sanders unfortunately ran within the party rather than against it and thereby renounced his 35 percent that would have elected him President. Perhaps similarly for Trump. Stein apparently doesn't know how to access that constituency, and unlike Ventura and Sanders runs, so far, an irrelevant campaign. There is also no question that she would be grossly unqualified to be President but for her constituency, learning nothing from Trump on how to run without credentials or any promise of competency.

Anonymous said...

The Sanders failed strategy is that the battlefield is within the party. This blunder cost him the presidency. But if it is within the party, then the Sandernistas, like the Bush GOP, must oppose the nominee. If Clinton loses then it's not her or Obama's party and all three branches go GOP. This would be teed up for a Sanders revolution in the midterm that would change the party system. Trump and Sanders could work across the aisle. The other scenario is that Hillary wins but would be held hostage by an opposition from a Trump and Sanders Congress. This could be the best scenario since any move to the right domestically or in the ongoing world war, will be denounced by both right and left. The gridlock is broken by Sandernistas in 2018 and she loses the primary in 2020 or loses the general to a reform third party that figures out how to break up the party system.

Anonymous said...

These posts are Great!

Its hard to decide just what to think though.

Should I vote a certain way because I value ideal over a political reality? Of course I should... ideally.

Should I vote against someone / a political party because they show a history of religious intolerance, plutocracy, and Orwellian behavior? Yup, I think so.

Should I vote for a certain candidate because, in a pragmatic way, it gives the best odds for rectifying problems in our current political / economic situation. Sure, why not.

Some things depend upon who has Majority in Congress though.

Or nothing will get done.