May 26, 2016

Word: Why Clinton is not as rotten as Trump

Robert Reich

Last week I suggested Bernie supporters do three things: (1) fight like hell for Bernie until he either gets or loses the nomination, (2) if Hillary gets the nomination, fight like hell for her, and (3) regardless of who wins the nomination or the election, continue to build a powerful progressive movement.

Here I want to address those of you who disagree with (2). As I understand your arguments, they fall into four categories:

1. Some of you say that by refusing to fight for Hillary (if she gets the nomination) you’ll show the political establishment you want the changes Bernie has been advocating. The problem with this logic is the “political establishment” is nothing but a bunch of people in comfortable and often privileged positions who will continue doing what they’re doing because they like the status quo, and won’t even be aware you’re not fighting for Hillary – unless, that is, Hillary loses to Trump. Which leads to the next argument.

2. Some of you say there’s no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The problem with this logic is it's wrong. Regardless of what you may think of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is a true menace to this nation and to the world. He’s a narcissistic, xenophobic, hatemonger who, if elected, would legitimize bigotry, appoint Supreme Court justices with terrible values, and have his finger on the nuclear bomb. Need I say more? Which brings us to the third argument.

3. Some of you say a Trump presidency would be so horrible it would galvanize a forceful progressive movement in response. The problem with this argument is twofold. First, Trump could do huge and unalterable damage to America and the world in the meantime. Second, rarely if ever in history has a sharp swing to the right moved the political pendulum further back in the opposite direction. Instead, it tends to move the “center” rightward, as did Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

4. Finally, some of you say that even if Hillary is better than Trump, you’re tired of choosing the “lesser of two evils,” and you’re going to vote your conscience by either writing Bernie’s name in, or voting for the Green Party candidate, or not voting at all. I can’t criticize you for voting your conscience, of course. But your conscience should know that a decision not to vote for Hillary is a de facto decision to help Donald Trump.


Anonymous said...

Bernie Sanders has been a symbol that has brought working class people together. We are ready to stand up for a progressive future and fight against Wall Street Democrats if Bernie wants to make a stand.

If there isn't a fight and Hillary Clinton is the nominee a lot of Bernie supporters will not back Clinton. Back to an apathy - or rather a recognition that the process is rigged beyond repair.

If Trump wins the working class vote by a large margin against Clinton though, it's not because of the Bernie or Bust folks, but it's because Trump is doing more outreach to the working class - even if just in rhetoric - then the elitists at the DNC and in Clinton world.

Anonymous said...

Should Hillary win the race to the War House, hers would be nearly a seamless transition into power with virtually no interruption in the frightening military escalation now taking place under Obama. Demonstrated from her well established record as head of State, it will be a military which Hillary won't have the least amount of hesitancy to employ. The world is at a dangerous brink, a situation due in large measure as a result of aggressive actions taken by the Obama administration at Clinton's urging and full endorsement. We do not believe it is hyperbole to suggest Hillary will lead the nation into World War III.
Trump, on the other hand, will be entering office at a complete disadvantage with this regard. Additionally, the open hostility and vitriol directed towards him will serve as a profound check and balance preventing Trump from inflicting too much damage upon the nation or anywhere else, thus rending Trump the most impotent and therefore true lesser evil.
Mark these words. Eight years this writer wrote on these these very blogs warnings of Barry's potential right-wing proclivities and corporate fealty.
The only moral option this November is Dr Jill Stein.

Walter Wouk said...

A decision not to vote for Clinton is a decision to help the progressive movement.

She is not a progressive, and she is not likely to support the progressive movement if she becomes president -- she'll smother it. The progressive movement cannot benefit from a Clinton presidency.

Conversely, if Clinton loses to Trump the Clinton's influence on the Democratic Party will go into the trash along with the leadership of the DNC -- and that can only benefit the progressive movement.

Dan Lynch said...

Reich's argument has no substance.

SCOTUS? Will SCOTUS end the wars? No. Will SCOTUS fix the economy? No. Will SCOTUS end the police state? Well, they could in theory, but in reality there is zero chance that either party will nominate anti-police state justices, since both parties support the police state.

All politics boils down to "what have you done for me lately?" Hillary is my enemy, not my friend. Trump may be my enemy, too. Without meaningful choices, we're not a real democracy and all this talk about who to vote for is pointless.

Tom Puckett said...

Nicely put set of points. Please consider these as well:

1. The President is but one individual. We have three branches of government and if they work as intended how could they allow any one person to run amok in the manner suggested? Why wouldn't any president doing really bad things be removed in short order?

2. It seems an unproductive exercise to assign pre-blame for a bad candidate prevailing, to people who would vote their conscience for what they see as the best possible candidate, given any slate of starting price candidates. If blame is needed at all, why not blame the misguided, uninformed pinheads who voted for the undesirable candidates?

3. Starting price (a horse racing term) in #2 means those candidates actually on the ballet on election day. We are not there yet and it could be counterproductive to imagine what people should be doing based on what we see now. That exercise, if omitted, might allow another set of choices to be ultimately presented. Let go of the fear and see what happens!

4. Start the blame game at the top with all the current leaders who are backing up the bad candidate (of whichever party!) rather than choosing to back the clear progressive candidate(s) who support the majority of the people. Work also to get rid of the top toady underlings.

Cheers, Tom

Tom Puckett said...

Also, forgot to mention, if this election cycle shows anything, its that we need a binding "None Of The Above" ballot option!

Cheers, Tom

Anonymous said...

Posts like this one are why I hammer Robert Reich whenever possible. Despite the last few years of posing like he's had a populist epiphany (while carefully avoiding Bill Clinton's contributions to gross systemic problems), he's a doctrinaire, obedient liberal to the bitter end. When OWS was on campus a few blocks from his office, it took him six weeks to find his way there. Maybe his wind sock was broken?

Howard Zinn once said being invited into the system is like being invited into a maze. Careerist rats like Reich revel in the mysteries for which the rest of us have no need or time.