Posts Tagged: 2016 election


4
Nov 16

Third Party Choices–Smothered Voices

I say this as someone who voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary: People who feel that voting for Hillary Clinton next month is “voting for the lesser of evils” (it’s not the lesser of evils, she isn’t evil)…people who think that it’s important to make a statement by voting for a third party candidate who (in this case) cannot possibly win, thus taking a vote away from the only person who in this situation can stop a neo-fascist demagogue, are people who care about their emotions than they care about the poor–the poor, the working class, will be hurt if *any* Republican gets into office, including Trump who’s against an increase in minimum wage, against food stamps.

They’re people who care about their hurt feelings more than they care about the environment, the biosphere–which will be irretrievably damaged if another Republican gets into the White House, especially if that Republican is Donald “climate change isn’t real” Trump.

They don’t care about women and children who will die in the planned carpet bombing of the Middle East Trump trumpets about.

They don’t care about Democracy, which will be definitively undermined if Trump gets control of the Supreme Court.

They care about taking a stand that will make them feel distinctive more than they care about women who will be hurt by the inevitable erosion in women’s rights when Trump is elected.

They only care that their particular, personal schemata, their philosophy of “if it’s not everything I want it’s nothing” doesn’t take precedence. They fantasize, perhaps, that “Trump’s election will bring about a leftist revolution”–something they actually know isn’t true.

Their decision is completely emotional. It’s anger. It’s not reason. And they don’t care who gets hurt.


29
Jul 16

The Big Lie of Our Time May Elect Trump

One of the great problems of our time is a particular big lie. The lie is that there is “a liberal media”. Of course there are some outlets that are more liberal than others, just as Fox News and many online sites are hyper conservative. But on the whole, the media is reactive; on the whole it simply presents national discourse. It’s not liberal, it’s not conservative. Occasionally something is suppressed, but not much. Mostly it’s just the media. American media *on the whole* is too chaotic, too protean, to be liberal or conservative. But tonight…it may not matter.

In the last few days, at the Democratic convention, there was much that was moving. A Muslim father whose Muslim son gave his life to protect other American soldiers. Michelle Obama’s outpouring of sincerity. People again and again pointing out how Trump has hurt the small businesses he subcontracted, how he has shown that nothing is important to Trump but Trump. Obama’s great speech, Hillary Clinton’s strong, rational speech–but the problem is, the speeches won’t be heard by the general populace, not as they might have been in an earlier era. They won’t be heard, because someone–Karl Rove, and others–convinced many blue collar struggling voters, that there is a “liberal media” that lies.

They don’t listen because they don’t hear–they have trained themselves not to hear. They do not step outside the anti-liberal echo chamber. They do not listen to the other side. And *you cannot argue with a person who refuses to listen to your argument.* They don’t hear about the times Trump demeaned women–and bragged about seducing married women–and wrecked businesses for the sake of his own. They do not receive the information. They are told that “the liberal media” is spreading it, so they stop up their ears. And that big lie might be enough to elect a neo-fascist demagogue to be President of the United States in 2017.

The only way out is to register more voters. To get the vote out. That’s our real hope.


20
Oct 15

THEY SAY BERNIE SANDERS WANTS THE IMPOSSIBLE. BUT–What if …

Bernie Sanders has plans for better safety nets, healthcare, and democratic-socialist regulations to level the playing field and modify the marketplace–and all those plans are being attacked, by Democrats as well as Republicans, as too expensive, or as just plain impossible to pull off. The claims of expense are exaggerated, but the *issue* of expense is fair in a general way. However, Sanders offers a solution:

Eliminate corporate tax loopholes, he says; reduce spending on the military, increase taxes on the top ten percent…and that’ll pay for all of it. And I think it really will cover the expense of a fairer society, if you go far enough in improving revenue with reform.

But — eliminating corporate welfare and increasing taxes on the top ten per cent “just can’t be done”, people say…because of Congress. He’d never get the necessary laws passed and he couldn’t do much of it by executive order.

And yet, he *could* get it passed…if in the coming elections for Senate and the House we get the vote out; if we persuade more Democrats and Independents to vote in every election. And if we register more people to vote…and then launch a massive campaign to get those newly registered people to *show up* to vote on those elections. Far more people tend to show up to vote for President than for their Senator or Congressperson. That lapse in voting needs to be eliminated. We have to value voting, in the Democratic party; independents, Greens–we all need to value voting again. Our attitude toward voting needs to change if Americans genuinely want a fairer society.


12
Aug 15

Want a Real Change? Would You Like to See Sanders Elected? Then…

Want a real change, and see Sanders as that chance? Good. But talk is cheap; besides supporting him with (even small) donations, show up to VOTE. Amazing the numbers of people who talk politics who later don’t vote. They claim there’s no meaning in it voting. They’re wrong.

If enough people had shown up for Gore at the voting booths in 2000, we would’ve had enough votes to overcome the voter suppression happening in Florida, the vote wouldn’t have gone to the Supreme Court, Gore would have been elected handily, and we wouldn’t have had an Iraq war–Gore absolutely would not have got us into Iraq. Indeed, we might well not have had the 9/11 attack which, I believe, could have been stopped except for the incompetence of Condie Rice and the Bush administration in general. They weren’t paying attention to the signs. A Gore administration would have been more pro active, would have stopped it–the indicators were there.

And Gore was very much concerned about global warming/climate change long before 2000. Remember “An Inconvenient Truth”? He would have done something about it back when it would have been a great help.

Make sure you’re registered to vote; ask your friends to register to vote. That’s what Sanders supporters need to do: get the vote out.

Then you’ll see change.


16
Dec 14

Can an Independent be Elected President?

If a sufficiently potent Independent politician were to run for President, he or she could win, as an Independent. (Bernie Sanders is great but I’m not sure he’s charismatic enough and he’s rather elderly for a Presidential candidate.) People grind their teeth over our supposed two party system but in fact there are lots of political parties, and there’s Independent. There is no “Independent Party” as such; there’s American Independent Party but that’s a thankfully obscure far-right theocratic bozo pack of fantasists.

Perhaps an Independent Party or a Progressive Party should be started. There’s already a progressive party of sorts, the Green Party, but it has fumbled so much and has been so fixated on rigid rhetoric that it has lost credibility except in very small elections.

It would about getting enough support for a truly impressive candidate. The Democratic Party leadership would oppose supporting an Independent no matter how admirable. But if I thought there was an Independent along the lines of Sanders who had a decent chance of winning, I’d vote for them. Normally I’m a hidebound Democrat, because that fits with the idea of pragmatic progressivism (the art of the possible?) which I have embraced. But I think lots of Democrats would defect to a really inspiring Independent. And the category is taken fairly seriously.

A new Progressive Party could at first support progressive candidates in the Democratic party, or declared Independents. It would be like caucusing in campaigns. Then it could build up its status, and support, and field its own party’s candidates.

One problem with this is the electoral college which seems to support the two party system. But it can be worked around–or changed. A really Independent progressive party would generate such hope it might bring a sweeping flood of changes with it.