October 31, 2016

And now some better news

Sam Smith - While it is easy to see this election only in its obvious depressing terms, there are surprisingly positive things lurking around that could become of significance if Hillary Clinton is elected. This is not due to Clinton, who indeed has most of the faults that have been ascribed to her, but rather to the nature of the battlefield her election creates. There is a strong chance that she will be reacting to forces putting pressure on her of a sort we haven’t seen with such power in decades. This could be a similar environment to what Lyndon Johnson faced in the 1960s, and – as a result – a one time segregationist helped provide the best civil rights legislation in over a century as well as much other positive legislation.

It helps to understand that Clinton doesn’t really exist; she merely reflects what power she finds around her and how best she thinks she should react to it. To a degree mightily obscured by the Trump campaign, if elected she will be surrounded by people who couldn’t win the nomination but who may win the post-election.

Sanders is already having an effect in this manner. As James Downie wrote in the Washingotn Post:
Sanders’s surprisingly successful campaign shifted the policy debate in the United States. He proved what activists have been arguing for years: There is a strong constituency for progressive ideas such as a higher minimum wage, breaking up the big banks and an expansive effort to make college tuition free for millions of Americans. Thanks to Sanders’s efforts, they are part of the most progressive Democratic platform ever.
Clinton can win the election but Sanders and his allies can redefine the political world in which she operates.

There are other factors. Trump’s support in no small part comes from those who, because of their age, are running out of power steam. The difference – often as high as 20 points – between his and Clinton’s supporters is a major hopeful clue to the near future.

There are other hints. I was stunned by news that the ecological organization 350 as well as the American Friends Service Committee had endorsed the platform of Black Lives matter, a sort of fusion activism we haven’t seen in decades. What if – as has been suggested here from time to time – more progressive groups come together to redefine their cause and the future?

So put aside all your justifiable complaints about Clinton and vote for her anyway. If I’m wrong, you will at least save important rights of blacks, latinos, labor and women in Supreme Court decisions. And if I’m right we could be starting an era with as much as, orat least some of, the change as the 1960s.

Remember progress is he result of activism and movements. Politics is merely one of the tools of change these movements use. It doesn’t create change; it just lets it into the system.

Hillary Clinton won’t solve our problems, but if we’re strong enough and mindful enough, she’ll see us coming and open the door.


Anonymous said...

"So put aside all your justifiable complaints about Clinton and vote for her anyway."

Add the words "...if you live in a swing state" to the end of this and this admonition would make a lot more sense.

There's not a single reason to vote for HRC if you live in California, as I do. One more vote for Stein here.

Anonymous said...

"I was stunned by news that the ecological organization 350 as well as the American Friends Service Committee had endorsed the platform of Black Lives matter, a sort of fusion activism we haven’t seen in decades"

And what does that impressive platform say, Sam? “A Vision for Black Lives” explicitly calls for divesting from prisons, policing, a failed war on drugs, fossil fuels, fiscal and trade policies that benefit the rich and deepen inequality, and a military budget in which two-thirds of the Pentagon’s spending goes to private contractors. Those funds allocated instead for investment in education, universal healthcare, housing, living wage jobs, “community-based drug and mental health treatment,” restorative justice, food justice, and green energy. None of which seems to be in the cards under a Hillary Clinton administration---look at her record, she's represented and fought for the interests that stand for the opposite of nearly all of the above. Her's will be a windfall for agribusiness, the military/industrial complex, the privatization of public education, the insurance sector, pharma, and most especially Wall Street. Do you actually think for a second that it'll be otherwise? Give us a break. You're like an abuse victim, unable to recognize the abuse and the abuser for what they are. instead offering up rationale, excuses, and everything else to avoid end the on-going cycle of victimization. No mas, amigo, no mas.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous post. There is a term for this behavior. It's called Stockholm Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

The analogy to LBJ is interesting in that both became president while under felony investigation, when the presidency offered sanctuary from prosecution. LBJ rigged the 1964 election by preempting JFK in a Dallas primary, whereas Hillary defeated Sanders by a kinder gentler conspiracy and cover up. Both LBJ and the Clintons represented the organized crime wing of the Democratic Party. Johnson did not run against his stablemate Nixon and hindered Hubert's chances. In 2020 if a primary challenge threatens the Clintons they could prefer to turn over the oval office to another Bush, a strategic partnership since Iran-Contra days. As the criminal war in Vietnam aroused the country against LBJ, a criminal war in Syria, could prevent Hillary's reelection and popularize pacifist isolationism. As LBJ was a pawn of the generals, the same is expected of Clinton who would not be as independent as Obama as to issue commands that the generals would have to disobey, as in the recent pentagon coup d'etat as a third party ending the cease fire in Syria arranged between the Presidents of the US and Russia. Hillary is unlikely to rise to Kerry's level of diplomacy, just as LBJ ended the thaw in the cold war. The revival of LBJ's identity politics gambit is the key component of the Clinton m.o. as liberals.