The People’s Blog

Trump, Clinton

b. traven

The Contrary Perspective has a substantial “Follower” list.  A few ‘trolls,’ a few frequent ‘commenters’ with interesting and often provocative views, and many who read the ‘perspectives’ but keep their own counsel.

Our country is facing an election this year that is both unique in our history and monumental in its potential impact on our democracy and our rule of law. Unique in that we have two candidates from the major parties who close to 60% of the voting public don’t have a high opinion of. We have two other parties , Green and Libertarian, whom the media totally ignores so few people even know they even exist.

The two major parties are essentially using the same playbook to motivate their audiences, FEAR of the other party. In the case of the Trump who has presented no platform for running the country other than the ‘promise to “make American great again.” No constructive details on how that will happen other than he is a great ”deal maker.”

Hillary Clinton, with a clear-cut record of supporting all of our failed military ventures and the overthrow of existing governments in countries not big friends of ours (Honduras and Ukraine for two) combined with an affinity for Wall Street and support for trade policies which have decimated our labor force’s wages uses FEAR of the megalomaniac Trump.

Millions of Americans voted for Bernie Sanders who put forward concrete proposals for fundamental changes in our social and economic system that would benefit our citizens, not the 1% billionaires nor the weapons manufacturers. During his campaign he had said that Clinton was ‘not qualified’ to follow such a program.

Wikileaks has now verified what we all knew that the DNC (Democratic National Committee) funneled money to Clinton’s campaign and used tricks to torpedo Sanders campaign. Clinton has rewarded the architect of that effort, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with the title of Honorary Campaign Head and selected Tim Kaine her VP.  He is as center-right as Clinton and supports continued war making, TPP, and weakening the Consumer Protection Agency and bank regulation.

In spite of all this evidence that Clinton was not an honest candidate, Sanders has come out with a full throated support for Clinton as not just the ‘lesser evil’ but a ‘good’ president.

Each of us now have to decide, do we follow Sanders and vote for Clinton as the ‘lesser evil.’ If not, what to do?


45 thoughts on “The People’s Blog

  1. My vote will not decide the election so I’m voting for Jill Stein. It is a protest vote. A vote for Clinton would be consent to tyranny. The U.S. is not now and never has been a democracy. Democracy is only a buzzword. Don’t fall for it!

  2. We are witnessing the great unraveling, traven. It makes one wonder if our vote truly matters.

    Yet it does, else the candidates and all the PACs wouldn’t be spending all those millions in an attempt to buy our votes.

    So let’s get out there and vote. Vote for a candidate with integrity, someone who stands for what you believe. In my case, that candidate is Jill Stein of the Green Party.

    Hillary is basically a corporate Republican. Donald Trump is simply unqualified, a blowhard who reminds me of Archie Bunker with money and no Edith or “Meathead” to humanize or challenge him.

    All that said, I’m guessing Trump gradually self-destructs before November, and that Hillary breaks “the glass ceiling,” but you never know.

    • “So let’s get out there and vote. Vote for a candidate with integrity, someone who stands for what you believe.”
      Don’t know what the write-in rules are where I am but, given the opportunity, I’ll cast mine for Dr. Hunter
      Stockton Thompson for Prez and Pat Buchanan for V.P. The ghost of an American Original and his good friend from the Nixon days. Our country could benefit from that kind of integrity, unlike the current crop of weirdness being inflicted upon us all…..

  3. I’ll be voting for Jill Stein in November, and my down ballot choices will follow that principle-over-pragmatism approach.

    Regarding Sanders, I believe he was heavily pressured into supporting Hillary. Since he caucuses with Democrats in the U.S. Senate, and they are projected to win back control with this election, his chances of heading any committee or have any meaningful legislative role depended upon his endorsement. I cannot prove it, but it does seem not only plausible but highly probably that such a political transaction occurred.

  4. In 2012 I voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, not because I am a libertarian – I’m on the other side of the political and economic spectrum, but because he said he was going to do three things, three things none of the other two candidates would say: End the Wars Overseas, End the War on Drugs and Legalize Gay Marriage. I live in NC, so Jill Stein and the Green Party were not on the ballot and were not an option for me.

    This year, with Stein and the Green Party hopefully making the NC ballot as a write in candidate, I’ll vote for Stein. Stein is also the first candidate I have given money to (with the exception of a few people who are friends who have run for office). She is who I identify with politically, but, just as importantly for me, if we ever want to have real change and reform in our country we must end the two party system. As long as there are only two parties in this country then every issue will always break down into oversimplified binary discussions and resolutions, without nuance, chronic “us v. them”-isms, while issues with institutional backing: War, Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals/Health Care, the economy, etc, will be co-opted by institutions – note the little disagreement that exists among the Democrats and Republicans on subsidizing war, soy and corn, fossil fuels, Wall Street, drug manufacturers, etc.

    In 2012 I was told I was foolish for throwing away my vote and not voting for the lesser of two evils, or that it wasn’t the right time for a multi-party system, the same excuses shouted by those who will vote, while holding their noses, for either the Democrat or Republican this year, as they have done in previous elections. But compromising on our principles has gotten us a match up between a modern day reincarnation of a Know Nothing and a corporate imperialist. If now is not the time to vote third party and if now is not the time to vote your conscience, then when is?

    One final note. As voters I believe we are not expected to compromise, but rather to vote our principles, convictions and values to elect men and women who will represent those principles, convictions and values. As our elected leaders it is then up to them to compromise to achieve Bismarck’s ideal of politics as the art of the possible.

  5. I’m seriously considering literally putting a clothespin on my nose when I arrive at the polling place to vote for Hillary. I had intended to cast a protest vote–Greens if they successfully petition to get on ballot in my state, or failing that, Libertarian–but I heard something on TV that changed my mind. Though I’m avoiding as much of the ridiculous media coverage of the conventions as I can, while seeking the local 11 PM TV news last week I encountered Gov. Mike Pence’s speech (tail end, at least), as coverage of GOP affair bled over past 11. This guy and his speechwriters are very slick. It hit me right between the eyes that the proto-fascist (“fascist lite”?) rhetoric–they’re the “friends of the everyday, hardworking people,” see?–has a very, very, VERY strong chance of getting these dangerous bozos into the White House. The real issue is the naivete and political unsophistication of my fellow citizens. How much damage could a Trump really do, given that “our” system supposedly is based on checks and balances? I don’t think we want to risk finding out! You can take all the money you can muster and safely lay it on a wager that Trump would seek to appoint anti-women’s-choice, anti-sensible-gun-laws, pro-money-equals-free-speech judges to SCOTUS. The GOP has openly laid out this program!

    I certainly cannot support the Democratic Party in its present pathetic state. If Madam Clinton is the best candidate they could present us, does that not scream that they are simply MORIBUND?!? Where is the new blood? Where are the new ideas? Where are actual solutions offered for the world’s grave problems? Mrs. Clinton, of course, is simply part of the problem. I’ll bet she’s itching to take charge of the assassin drone program. She’s one of the architects of “our” ridiculous designed-to-fail foreign policy, after all. Don’t even get me started on Obama’s absurd gushing praise for her last night!

    So though my position continues to be “A pox on the GOP and the Dems” I will be voting for an Establishment candidate for POTUS for only the third time in my fairly long life. Because damn it, wishing Trump to go away just isn’t as effective as voting for the one viable candidate opposing him on the ballot. “Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Stanley!” said Mr. Hardy to Mr. Laurel.

  6. Sign, seal, deliver and surge everything wrong with American foreign policy with Clinton. Get the worst “trade deal” ever with Clinton. That’s just two big ones for starters.
    As to civil issues at home, I can’t seriously “fear” anything Trump might influence that isn’t already happening to an extent and that Clinton would be no better at managing or influencing. But I can at least hope Trump might give Putin enough space and platform to modify public opinion to an extent that NATO has to back off. I can hope that Trump might veto the TPP. Besides, my sense of betrayal from the Democrats has matched my anathema for the GOP. I’m not playing their game. I’m voting for the integrity of the Jill Stein campaign.

    • I think as bad as Clinton is, the Trump/GOP is even worse. True they both support the neo-con NWO philosophy and both are war mongers. However, there are some Dems who still have a bit of humanisitc sensibility left. It is also a party that is not so monolithic as is the GOP. There are some Dem women in Congress who support women’s issues as well as people of color who do not make apologies for being such. It is these little things that make me chose. If I thought Stein would/could win, she would definitely have my vote, but she cannot. After this election it would be good to support building the Green Pary as well as work even harder for representative govt and Fair Elections.

  7. I’m sure there is no one here who would be fine with President Trump nominating three ultra-right justices to the Supreme Court, to join the other three conservatives in declaring the past century of social progress in this country “unconstitutional,” and return us to the constitutional law rules as they existed before 1929 as stated in Lochner vs New York, which is the conservative goal.

    That is what is at stake. We are in an election as consequential for the governing system of our country as was the German election of 1933. Then, the German Stalinists campaigned against the Social Democrat as a “social fascist,” and claimed a Nazi victory would “speed the revolution.” I’m sure all readers know how that one turned out. That “social fascist,” no matter he was called “corrupt,” and “boring” and “against change,” would have been ten bazillion times better than Hitler and the Nazis even if all the charges against him had been true.

    We can save that century of progress and preserve the opportunity for more progress in the next 50 years, or we can engage in the self-defeat the Left normally engages in, “voting for conscience,” for “political purity,” or whatever other bullshit one wants to call political illiteracy of that magnitude.

    Donald Trump is (perhaps) a stooge for Putin. He is certainly the single most uninformed candidate for the office ever, and is described as “militantly opposed” to finding out the facts of any situation, preferring to go with his gut. We’ve watched that for the past year (and the 40 years before that of his bullshit in NYC). This is a man who would destroy the republic out of ignorance.

    The alternatives are an ignorant fascist riding the machinery of achristo-fascist movement dedicated to the destruction of the republic, or someone who won’t make things worse over the next four years.

    Given the choice between Fascist and Not A Fascist, the choice is clear. Unfortunately, political illiteracy is too often found in the Left. Lefties with “good consciences” voted for Nader in 2000 and their act gave us George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the fucked-up world we live in now. It’s time to listen to Bernie Sanders, grow the fuck up, invest in a clothespin if necessary, and realize this is the most consequential election since 1932 in this country.

    She’s not my first choice, but she’s a million miles ahead of Donald Trump.

    As to the “integrity of the Jill Stein campaign,” she’s an anti-vaxxer whose political party recommends treating cancer with coffee grounds and apricot pits. Nader is a billion times better than this claque of morons.

    • Oh, brother. Another “Trump is a stooge for Putin” Russophobe dinosaur who has yet to offer a single reason why America’s President shouldn’t treat the Russian people and their several-times elected president with simple respect and good manners, the way President Vladimir Putin treats other world leaders, even the Americans who sling vile slander and libel at him for the sheer sake of showing their vast and willfull ignorance.

      Donald Trump has not said much that I can agree with, but I do agree with him that America should deal with Russia and its President in a grown-up and civil manner. Ditto for China. President Obama and his wanna-be imperial successor really ought to get off the junior high school playground, stop patting themselves on the back, stop tooting their own horns, and simply grow up. Donald Trump has many shortcomings, but his attitude toward Russia and the useless and pointless NATO are not among them.

      And by the way. Historically speaking, the Russians don’t start wars. They end them. Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolph Hitler found that out the hard way. So will You-Know-Her if she seriously thinks — as does Democratic Senator Al Franken, for example — that the U.S. and its vassal poodles will ever separate Crimea from Russia. Talk about naive and delusional stooges!

    • Have to agree with some of what you say but you are way off on Jill Stein. What she stands for is a healthcare system instead of a medical industry. See, this is where your cognitive dissonance interferes with analysis. Not meaning to divert the conversation, I will say emphatically that vaccines always cause damage, have littel to none efficacy and have never been proven either safe of effective. That is what the research and clinical experience demonstrates factually. I prefer that to the knee jerk reaction that automatically puts you in the camp of the very people you criticize–pro-big industry, propaganda/not fact and big money supporters. If I thought Stein had a decent chance to win she would have my vote. Instead I will use the clothespin and vote Clinton because, NWO that she is, it is more important to have a party that can be pressured in office than the totalitarian GOP.

    • To the extent that there is something of a “fascist movement” afoot, I would have to say that it’s a bi-partisan affair; it’s a product of our corporate duopoly and particularly the expansion of executive/state power over the past sixteen years (and the attendant criminality & Constitution busting). After all, a major component of fascism is the merger of corporate & state interests. We have elements of nationalistic fervor, the militarization of police, ubiquitous surveillance, and nearly “unlimited” and unaccountable budgets for “homeland security”. What’s left? Civil liberties? You kid yourself if you think the so-called Democrats are any less inclined to fear monger, speak in authoritarian tones, and generally abuse power (human rights & well-being be damned). Look at Obama. Look at the top of the ticket that you need a clothespin for, go down the ranks of Senators and so on and tell me it’s Trump’s ignorance that is going to kill us. Oh maybe he is just waiting with bated breath to lead the fascist charge. You could be right. But don’t turn your back on Hillary.

      I second Michael Murry’s thoughts on Putin.

      I don’t know what the self-defeating Left is, but I do know that there is nothing bullshit nor self-defeating about the conversation Jill Stein is engaged with. The truth requires integrity. She has that in spades.

      • Gregory Herr–I recognize that we’re walking a thin line here with semantics. But I don’t believe it’s going too far to describe Trump’s rhetoric as fascistic. I’m sure that Madam Clinton will have no problem demonizing “the other” (in the present era, these are “Islamic extremists”) and authorizing dropping more bombs on predominantly Muslim nations, thus ensuring a bottomless well of additional people hating the US and wanting to harm our citizens. (“Mission Accomplished!” indeed.) She will sleep like a baby every night because she has no conscience to be bothered. But Trump’s preposterous spouting about barring Muslims from stepping onto our soil, his followers’ relentless, mindless chanting of “Build the wall! Build the wall!” and his egging on his rally participants to physically assault protesters…these phenomena DO differentiate the candidates. My own surrender to the nauseating necessity of voting for Clinton drives home the wisdom of the old saw, “Never say ‘never’!”

        The Democrats are clearly out of touch with reality. I avoided the BS of the final night of their convention but I was exposed to the CNN summaries, the soundbites, etc. They actually invited Republicans who yearn for “the party of Lincoln” to vote for Hillary. MEMO to Democratic leadership: members of the Modern Republican Party, if they yearn for anything from the Civil War, wax nostalgic for the leadership of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.

  8. I guess I am part of a minority of 2 here. It pains me to vote for Clinton as I am disgusted with her slick b.s. The only saving grace, if there is one, it to ensure a GOP nominee doesn’t get onto the Supreme Court. Obama was a very sad duck but I can only imagine how much pressure he was put under. His failure to do anything substantial to support/protect the Black community was more than pitiful. He increased militarization of the police, promoted drone warfare and the killing of American citizens, betrayed us royally on the labeling of GMO’s and promoted TPP. Clinton will move the neo-con agenda forward yet again. We thought Bush I & II were bad, but Bill Clinton was actually even worse in some ways. Clinton was down with hubby all the way and as Secy of State was even worse. However, the idea of a GOP controlled Congress and White House is the neo-con dream for the final nail in the democracy coffin.

    There was a good debate on Democracy Now! betw Chris Hedges and Robert Reich talking about this very issue.

    BTW–I do agree that we have never really had a democracy here–just some of the trappings of one, but not the real power.

    • b. traven,
      Remember the old saw: “too soon old, too late smart”?
      Had a conversation with you about eight years ago right after “change is a ‘coming” got elected and the next day appointed the fox T. Geitner to watch the chicken coup. Remember I said “its gotta fall”. Sounds like you’ve changed a bit from your stance of “give love a chance” I’ve watched in amazement at this progression to the inevitable end; my conclusion is still the same: the sooner it comes down the better! The charade of the present and the choreographed soap opera of the political process should be offensive to any freethinking and intelligent entity. What we going to do “Archie or Ollie”? A vote is a terrible thing to lose or waste. VOTE YOUR HEARTS FOR THE QUICKEST RESOLUTION to this insanity. The morons cannot save the republic. We let it all slip away RIP!

      • Wow, this is getting intense, and I can’t possibly give feedback to everyone who’s posted thus far. But I have to point out something about filling SCOTUS vacancies. I think there’s a very strong chance GOP will maintain control of the Senate and the House–with HRC’s towering negatives in polls, why should we believe her victory would pull Dems along with her for Congressional seats? Thus the dilemma: how “centrist” (i.e. closet quite conservative) must a Hillary candidate for SCOTUS be to actually make it to the big bench?? Is there anything in the Constitution that would prevent GOP from indefinitely stonewalling on Clinton nominees? Could the Court shrink to perhaps 5 members until GOP regains the White House? A little unsettling food for thought for you. And given how conservative Clinton actually is, does she even know any “progressive” jurists? And this just occurred to me: it could turn out the only thing that derails the Trump juggernaut is GOP evangelical voters writing in Cruz or whomever because in their deepest being they JUST DON’T BELIEVE that The Donald truly loves Jesus!! And I’m being entirely serious here.

  9. This is a most interesting commentary of thoughtful people’s views. I had hoped things would have turned out differently and after their initial shenanigans to suppress the Sanders vote failed the Dem Party would have seen the writing on the wall and kicked DBW off of her Clinton zealotry and allowed democracy to prevail. Unfortunately the Clinton’s wouldn’t allow that.

    Now we are faced with a weak candidate who is swollen with hubris and is not ashamed of publicly allowing nepotism to reign in the convention with her husband and daughter being primed for official position. Even the Republicans repudiated that when Jeb was summarily fired from his favored positon as party leader.

    So I see a meglomania nepotism in Clinton’s preparing her daughter for the tragedy of another Clinton in politics by giving her a speaking roll in the coronation.

    The arguments above reflect what many well meaning Americans are today pondering. It revolves around the questions of whether Trump would be as bad as President as he has shown himself to be vs. the assumption that Clinton would really deliver a ‘liberal’ supreme court.

    In my view both of those views involve unknowables. Here are what I know are knowables. We elected Obama, an educated, self proclaimed liberal thinker and we got Bush on steroids rather than “hope and ‘change”.. Guantanamo is still open. Bad trade policies that hurt American workers have his support, We are escalating troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unconstitutional spying is still going on Police have been militarized and black lives don’t matter. Whistleblowers are still being silenced by administration indictments, Drone and small unit killings have been increased exponentially. The big banks still are virtually unregulated. We are at war with the world and candidate Clinton track record shows she is supportive of all of these policies. If anything, her ambition inclines her to double down on most of these policies. Can you trust her anymore than Trump just because she lies more coherently?

    A vote for any other party or individual is a vote for change in both parties, Democrats and Republicans. Both are corrupted at the core and we need a way out. Good night and good luck.

  10. Apropos of the subject matter: namely, the oft-heard admonishment not to vote for a third-or-fourth party candidate because it just helps one or the other of the binary Property Party factions, I include here something written seventy years ago by someone rather well versed in this kind of false-dichotomy dialectic, used mainly in the service of self-interested partisans and not in any way an appreciation of the unvarnished truth as a desirable objective of democracy. In reading this remarkable treatise on the truth, I would recommend keeping in mind the current foreign policy of the United States in Syria, for example, where “the enemy of my friend’s enemy’s friend is my friend’s enemy’s enemy,” as perhaps the gibberish babbling U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, would “explain things” to the Russians on behalf of his lame-duck Commander-in-Brief, President Barack Obama. Anyway …

    Through a Glass, Rosily
    by George Orwell, Tribune (November 23, 1945),_Rosily

    The recent article by Tribune’s Vienna correspondent[1] provoked a spate of angry letters which, besides calling him a fool and a liar and making other charges of what one might call a routine nature, also carried the very serious implication that he ought to have kept silent even if he knew that he was speaking the truth. He himself made a brief answer in Tribune, but the question involved is so important that it is worth discussing it at greater length.

    Whenever A and B are in opposition to one another, anyone who attacks or criticises A is accused of aiding and abetting B. And it is often true, objectively and on a short-term analysis, that he is making things easier for B. Therefore, say the supporters of A, shut up and don’t criticise: or at least criticise “constructively”, which in practice always means favourably. And from this it is only a short step to arguing that the suppression and distortion of known facts is the highest duty of a journalist.

    Now, if one divides the world into A and B and assumes that A represents progress and B reaction, it is just arguable that no fact detrimental to A ought ever to be revealed. But before making this claim one ought to realise where it leads. What do we mean by reaction? I suppose it would be agreed that Nazi Germany represented reaction in its worst form or one of its worst. Well, the people in this country who gave most ammunition to the Nazi propagandists during the war are exactly the ones who tell us that it is “objectively” pro-Fascist to criticise the USSR. I am not referring to the Communists during their anti-war phase: I am referring to the Left as a whole. By and large, the Nazi radio got more material from the British left-wing press than from that of the Right. And it could hardly be otherwise, for it is chiefly in the left-wing press that serious criticism of British institutions is to be found. Every revelation about slums or social inequality, every attack on the leaders of the Tory Party, every denunciation of British imperialism, was a gift for Goebbels. And not necessarily a worthless gift, for German propaganda about “British plutocracy” had considerable effect in neutral countries, especially in the earlier part of the war.

    Here are two examples of the kind of source from which the Axis propagandists were liable to take their material. The Japanese, in one of their English-speaking magazines in China, serialised Briffault’s Decline and Fall of the British Empire. Briffault, if not actually a Communist, was vehemently pro-Soviet, and the book incidentally contained some cracks at the Japanese themselves; but from the Japanese point of view this didn’t matter, since the main tendency of the book was anti-British. About the same time the German radio broadcast shortened versions of books which they considered damaging to British prestige. Among others they broadcast E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India. And so far as I know they didn’t even have to resort to dishonest quotation. Just because the book was essentially truthful, it could be made to serve the purposes of Fascist propaganda. According to Blake,

    A truth that’s told with bad intent
    Beats all the lies you can invent,

    and anyone who has seen his own statements coming back at him on the Axis radio will feel the force of this. Indeed, anyone who has ever written in defence of unpopular causes or been the witness of events which are likely to cause controversy, knows the fearful temptation to distort or suppress the facts, simply because any honest statement will contain revelations which can be made use of by unscrupulous opponents. But what one has to consider are the long-term effects. In the long run, can the cause of progress be served by lies, or can it not? The readers who attacked Tribune’s Vienna correspondent so violently accused him of untruthfulness, but they also seemed to imply that the facts he brought forward ought not to be published even if true. 100, 000 rape cases in Vienna are not a good advertisement for the Soviet regime: therefore, even if they have happened, don’t mention them. Anglo-Russian relations are more likely to prosper if inconvenient facts are kept dark.

    The trouble is that if you lie to people, their reaction is all the more violent when the truth leaks out, as it is apt to do in the end. Here is an example of untruthful propaganda coming home to roost. Many English people of goodwill draw from the left-wing press an unduly favourable picture of the Indian Congress Party. They not only believe it to be in the right (as it is), but are also apt to imagine that it is a sort of left-wing organisation with democratic and internationalist aims. Such people, if they are suddenly confronted with an actual, flesh-and-blood Indian Nationalist, are liable to recoil into the attitudes of a Blimp. I have seen this happen a number of times. And it is the same with pro-Soviet propaganda. Those who have swallowed it whole are always in danger of a sudden revulsion in which they may reject the whole idea of Socialism. In this and other ways I should say that the net effect of Communist and near-Communist propaganda has been simply to retard the cause of Socialism, though it may have temporarily aided Russian foreign policy.

    There are always the most excellent, high-minded reasons for concealing the truth, and these reasons are brought forward in almost the same words by supporters of the most diverse causes. I have had writings of my own kept out of print because it was feared that the Russians would not like them, and I have had others kept out of print because they attacked British imperialism and might be quoted by anti-British Americans. We are told now that any frank criticism of the Stalin regime will “increase Russian suspicions”, but it is only seven years since we were being told (in some cases by the same newspapers) that frank criticism of the Nazi regime would increase Hitler’s suspicions. As late as 1941, some of the Catholic papers declared that the presence of Labour Ministers in the British Government increased Franco’s suspicions and made him incline more towards the Axis. Looking back, it is possible to see that if only the British and American peoples had grasped in 1933 or thereabouts what Hitler stood for, war might have been averted. Similarly, the first step towards decent Anglo-Russian relations is the dropping of illusions. In principle most people would agree to this: but the dropping of illusions means the publication of facts, and facts are apt to be unpleasant.

    The whole argument that one mustn’t speak plainly because it “plays into the hands of” this or that sinister influence is dishonest, in the sense that people only use it when it suits them. As I have pointed out, those who are most concerned about playing into the hands of the Tories were least concerned about playing into the hands of the Nazis. The Catholics who said “Don’t offend Franco because it helps Hitler” had been more or less consciously helping Hitler for years beforehand. Beneath this argument there always lies the intention to do propaganda for some single sectional interest, and to browbeat critics into silence by telling them that they are “objectively” reactionary. It is a tempting manœuvre, and I have used it myself more than once, but it is dishonest. I think one is less likely to use it if one remembers that the advantages of a lie are always short-lived. So often it seems a positive duty to suppress or colour the facts! And yet genuine progress can only happen through increasing enlightenment, which means the continuous destruction of myths.

    Meanwhile there is a curious backhanded tribute to the values of liberalism in the fact that the opponents of free speech write letters to Tribune at all. “Don’t criticise,” such people are in effect saying: “don’t reveal inconvenient facts. Don’t play into the hands of the enemy!” Yet they themselves are attacking Tribune’s policy with all the violence at their command. Does it not occur to them that if the principles they advocate were put into practice, their letters would never get printed?

    ↑ When Tribune’s Vienna correspondent had reported the appalling conditions in the city and, quite truthfully, described the monstrous behaviour of some of the Russian occupying troops, several readers protested against what they called “this slander” on the Red army.

    • Of course, Orwell himself stated “All propaganda is lies, even if it tells the truth.” As a former socialist, he was deeply wounded by Stalin’s self-serving deformed approach to “building socialism,” and his brutal methods of dealing with well-meaning oppositionists. (Those who upheld Lenin and tried to point out that socialism CAN’T be built in a single country, surrounded by hostile capitalist regimes.) Frankly, I cannot believe that Red Army troops committed anywhere near 100,000 rapes in Vienna! Talk about a classic propaganda ploy!! “‘Communist Barbarians!!’ Scream it from the rooftops, everybody!” And how did that Anglo-Russian cuddling turn out, hmmm? “Anti-British Americans”? The only ones I can think of would have been the isolationists who hesitated to offer Yankee blood to be shed to preserve the British Crown. Some of them I’m sure were sincere, some sympathizers with Mussolini and Hitler (hello, Henry Ford!).

      In today’s world, with so many sectarian divisions and crazy cults, it is indeed dangerous to try to play the game of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Personally I admire the IRA’s willingness to accept arms from Germany during WW II. But before someone denounces me as a bloodthirsty armchair revolutionary, allow me to remind you that the US was an official ally of the USSR until August 1945 and that the US even gave limited aid to Mao’s, Ho Chi Minh’s and Kim Il Sung’s anti-Japanese guerilla efforts. How quickly these “alliances” can end, eh? Yesterday’s “ally” becomes today’s perpetrator of 100,000 rapes. And Trump and Clinton BOTH really do CARE about ordinary working stiffs! Oh, now I’ve done it. Excuse me while I collapse in the corner in spasms of laughter…

  11. I don’t really think it makes much difference which of the two bozos gets elected, although I expect it will be Clinton. All of the research I can find tells me that this planet has already reached the tipping point on global warming, and we are already experiencing self reinforcing feedback loops.

    Not only is each year hotter than the last, the trend is accelerating. The Arctic is a disaster, sea ice is nearly gone, and the methane releases this year have been massive.

    Of course Trump is a global warming denier, and Clinton is a believer, sort of. Global warming is about number 327 on Clinton’s to do list. So, I will vote for Jill Stein knowing that it will only be a token.

    The Syrian and Sub-saharan exodus is, at least partly, driven by massive crop failures. Get ready for migrations, and militant reactions, involving millions. The four horsemen are about to be unleashed.

    We will not get true change we can believe in until there is a massive crisis that sparks a real revolution.

    • Dan Mason–I fully agree that we already crossed the Rubicon in terms of making this planet uninhabitable in the not so distant future. And Madam Clinton, indeed, is no threat to the fossil fuels industry. But Clinton–thus far, at least–has not put out a slogan as stupid and deliberately pro-death as “Trump Digs Coal”!! Global climate change really is the most critical issue facing humankind as far as I’m concerned. It won’t matter a damn whether we live in a so-called democracy, a so-called republic or a fascist dictatorship when we can no longer live at all, thanks to an overheated, thoroughly poisoned planet. As Lord Keynes so wisely observed, “In the long run…we’re all dead.” On an individual basis, there’s no escaping this reality. But now the brilliance of humanity…no, make that the failure of the great mass of humanity to rise in revolt against the self-appointed elite…has brought within view a future where, collectively, we’ll be prematurely deceased. It’s not going to be a pretty picture at all.

  12. It seems quite clear Jill Stein’s worldview and proposals would be much more beneficial for the American people and humanity than Clinton, Trump or Johnson. Could one’s decision be any easier?

    • Have read most of the comments here and the gist is that people are pushing for a personal moral decision. This is the height of individualism (not individuality) and is the essence of the American pathology. People are born into a community/State/Nation. That makes them political simply by reason of their birth as a human being who needs community to live. What this means is that decisions have to be made within a broad poltical context, not just a personal choice without context. In this election, Jill Stein should be the best choice for the country, but given the structural biases built into the system, she will never be elected, at least not at this juncture of history. What we do have is man running who exhibits the worst of human nature and promotes it as the essence of his ideology. He is a fascist, pure and simple and indicates his total unwillingness to work with anyone else, even his own political party. He is the new version of fascism–both the corporate elite and the political wannabe head of state all roled into one. I cannot stand or trust Clinton but with her that is some room to lobby with the Party at large.

      How far down does this country have to go before people will get it together to organize and mount a strong response? There is a critical point when there cannot be any return or control and then what? We may not had a Clinton to contend with if the press was not part of the 1%. But more so, it is the lack of willingness to call out the Dems/Clinton for what they are really doing. It is the refusal to strip the blinders from a set of beliefs and mythology and call out the racist nature of this country at home and abroad. We militarized the world and went after people of color for daring to live on land rich with resources and go to kill them off. At home Black people were enslaved as less than human and an entire economy was based on the abuse of their labor. When not needed they are used as cannon fodder or enslaved for profit, still and again in private prisons. This needs to be looked at square on. Right now we need to ensure we at least still have the opportunity to make this call out. Under a Trump, the reactionary forces will gallop on our heads.

      So I would say, forget the emotional choice and think politically.

      • You talk about “mounting a strong response” and critical points of no return and being able to “lobby with the [Democratic] Party at large”. You want people to think “politically” and not make an “emotional choice”.

        The Jill Stein conversation and political movement (which, by the way, calls out the Democrats as you strongly suggest needs doing). IS the strong response you say we require. By dismissing this movement as unelectable you are in essence giving up. The “critical point” is now….or you can just keep saying never. We have no Idea in this age of communication (young people are hip to what the MSM is) how impactful Stein’s campaign could become. The communication has only just begun. I’d rather fight the fight for real than attempt to bang my head against the wall of the “Party at large”. We see how well that works for the Sanders wing ( reduced to a feather).

        Clinton exhibits the worst of human nature and promotes it as “strength”. I’m not going to reiterate here the case for my view that Clinton’s grab of power will push the world past a few “critical points”. I understand what Trump brings and doesn’t bring to the table. But I try not to let my response to his unencumbered mouth get too emotional. You could be right that it’s his “fascism” that is the real imminent danger here that must be defeated. My political contextual understanding
        has led me to the conclusion that Clinton represents an existential threat. So from my point of view, Jill Stein is the only candidate who represents a responsible way forward. I’m not going to tell the young people to pick from poison and hope for incremental “change”. The situation is too serious for that.

      • Gregory–I would ammend my comment to say that mounting a political response could easily be working to support a 3rd party such as the Greens. However, voting for Jill now is not that effort. I have already stated at least twice my distruct for Clinton, but Trump is even worse and Jill hasn’t a chance in hell to be elected. So why waste your vote–it seems only vanity at this stage. I think we need to work on FAIR Elections. Are you familiar with that movement? It has been going on for some time now and is making some headway in various places. It needs more attention nationally and more organizing. We also need to include changing to a representative govt instead of this 2 party fiasco.

      • tamarque–I’m compelled to reply to you before finishing reading the other comments in my email queue. I absolutely agree with your analysis of US society but of course no Establishment party is about to undertake the honest assessment you wish for, a public hanging on the line of this nation’s dirty linen if you will. Progressives right now are trying desperately to push Madam Clinton “so far to the left” as to clearly oppose the TPP!! I’m not sure all the linemen in the NFL have sufficient collective strength to achieve such a feat!

        On this electoral note, I just read an email from a progressive organization raising the alarm about Paul Ryan’s latest ghastly proposal to overhaul the tax system. The message referenced Sen. Schumer of NY as the “presumptive Senate Majority Leader”!! (This gentleman used to be fairly progressive, now a major hawk on foreign policy and “national security.”) So I feel compelled to repeat this warning: anyone counting on a Clinton victory providing a coattail to pull other Dems to control of the House and Senate may be headed for a crushing disappointment.

      • Greglaxer–Let me clarify. I don’t think Clinton can be counted on for anything other than the pro-Wall St/Banks and warmongering she has always done. While supporting a woman’s right to chose, she has sold out women and people of color throughout her career. I find her to be bright, charming, and a heavy fighter for her own personal power. What I would hope the message is among left leaning/progressive people comes from the betrayal by the Obama tenure. People were so enamored with their success as electing him they totally ignored his instant appointment of the worse of the neo-cons back into office. They were manipulated by the Obama leadership team into impotent position of followers who became totally impotent. Most of the liberals went with the position “give him a chance,’ even while we watched him sell us out over and over again. The line that I remember, however, was Obama warning people that if they wanted him to create change, they would need to keep his toes to the fire. This of course never happened.–quite the contrary. The lesson is clear that the people, the base, need to keep their own organization and tend to their own agenda. Certainly not count on the powers in office to do right by the people. Sanders has talked somewhat of creating an independent organization and to build from that. While not sure I feel confident that Sanders would be a good leader in that endeavor, he was right that the people need their own organization to lobby, protest and pressure.

        And FYI, Schumer is my Senator and I never saw him as progressive. He is totally embroiled in the Isreali lobby and all policies that promote that country. It is rare he votes in a manner that satisfies me. Recently he did vote against the Dark Act, for which I was happy. However, he writes that he supports our food system as the safest in the world. What a total fantasy!

  13. Something to think about: an interview with Jill Stein

    And an excerpt on the “progressive” Democratic Party Platform

    “The platform is notably meaningless and nonbinding. And they couldn’t even pretend to stop fracking, they couldn’t pretend to stand up for Palestinian human rights, they couldn’t pretend to support health care as a human right. They gave some lip service to breaking up the banks and they couldn’t pretend to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership when even their candidate is pretending to oppose it. This is not meaningful progress; this is how they sabotaged a breakaway movement. This is what the Democratic Party has been doing ever since George McGovern won the nomination in 1972.”

    • Very true–no argument with this. However, I till think that Trump would be even worse and there is no way that Stein would get enough votes to make a difference other than to get Trump elected.

      My question is how does a movement for 3rd party candidates get built. No one here rises to that question other than to vote for someone that most people don’t even know exists. I have watched rd party candidates try to get on the ballot for years. Lenore Fulani actually made it onto all 50 states ballots and still no one knew anything about her and i know how much work it took to get her name on the ballots. And no one here even responds to the Fair Election organizing that has been on going for a number of years now.

    • Bill A.–We lefties have been saying for a long time that the “two-party system” is a bad joke, that they’re simply the two sides of one rotten coin. However, this election’s candidates truly can (and I think must) be differentiated. There has been no shortage of hideous GOP presidential candidates in my lifetime, but none that so openly made HATE the central theme of his campaign. Strom Thurmond fished for the Democratic nomination in 1948, if memory serves (I was a newborn at the time), and George Wallace ran as an independent several times. Those two, of course, built their political careers on the idea of “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” I have made quite clear my outright revulsion for Hillary Clinton, yet I am forced to recognize that “She’s not Trump!” And this finally overcame my desire to cast a protest vote come November.

      • Reasonable and defensible, Greg. Your vote is your vote. I’m sure your decision will be thoughtful and considered.

  14. The key factor in arguing for the staus quo (i.e. Clinton ) is the question of appointments to the supreme court. It is not a done deal that a Clinton presidency would bring liberal appointments. .
    The lack of enthusiasm for Clinton amongst Democratic voters will likely result in her not bringing along enough ‘pull through’ of down ballot Democrats to secure majorities in both houses of congress ..which would give her a clear path for .selection of liberals. For example, in Florida DWS and he DNC is doing to Alan Grayson, a fighting liberal Democrat, exactly what they did to Bernie Sanders. Funding and supporting a right wing primary candidate when they should be neutral. Given Clinton’s predilection for “triangulation” there is no reason to count on her selecting a liberal rather than a center rignt appointment to placate the Republicans.These are realistic assessments based on past performance not emotion.

  15. Electoral reform is essential to any hopes of social progress through political means. We not only have to abolish the Electoral College, we have to insist upon free public service airtime and accountable paper trails as well as overturning Citizens United and other reforms. So I applaud Fair Election efforts. Too bad the California thing in June hadn’t felt the impact.

    It certainly seems fair to me for anyone to come to the political calculation that Clinton is preferable to Trump. It’s not an empty argument, but I don’t abide by it and in fact have reasons for considering the “preferability”, if you can call it that, of Trump. I”m really tired of these calculations. but suppose in the long run that it might be better to have the pushback, both from the public and Congress, be against a Republican administration. The Democrats might have to remake themselves into an opposition party. Maybe Trump can be corralled in ways that Clinton definitely will not be.

    Vain calculations aside, I just want to make one more important point:
    My vote is mine. It is an expression of MY voice. I am voting for Jill Stein because she represents MY voice. One man’s waste is another man’s treasure.
    All my presidential votes (whether for the winner, loser, or also-ran), have been “wasted”, in a sense, because (aside from the satisfaction of seeing Papa Bush get pissed) I got something very different from what I thought I was voting for.

  16. When I’m feeling cranky (perhaps now?), it seems to me the major party “choice” is either the rightest corporate warmonger or the batshit crazy populist. Yes, they’re not equivalent, but neither are they appealing. So I choose neither.

    • Bill A.–I suggest you put populist in quot. marks, or refer to Trump as a pseudo-populist. By dictionary standards, you may be accurate, but why needlessly slander a category of politicians mostly containing good guys? That said, I find myself a bit taken aback that you’re taking a position on this election to the left of mine! I guess the very real plausibility of a Trump win in November has made a centrist-pragmatist of me! What IS this nation coming to?!?

      • Greg: I’ve always been to the left of you. You just never noticed! :-)

        Seriously, I’m all for prudent national defense. But ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, our “leaders” have embraced imprudent national offense, seeking “full-spectrum dominance” in the name of “keeping us safe.” Hillary the Hawk will only enable this madness. Trump? Who knows with this guy? Perhaps he’ll be too busy denouncing Gold Star Mothers to start a war, or perhaps he’ll respond to a nasty tweet with nukes.

        So I can’t in good conscience vote for either major party candidate, even though I understand those who argue that Hillary is the saner choice. She has a clear and consistent track record, that’s for sure.

  17. “How dare the Russians rig our elections by showing us our own documents that show how we rig our elections!” I’ve been following this so I know the way the press ran with it reached a level of absurd assininity not generally fathomable. Glad you found a way to word it so I could laugh a bit.

    As to You-Know-Her…. first I want her to fear losing. I want the fear to be palpable to the extent that others can readily sense it. Then she can lose.

  18. Well, I’m probably going to vote for “the lesser of two evils”. If Jill Stein had a chance to win, I’d vote for her. I believe that the Presidential debates should include both Jill Stein and the Libertarian candidate (then I might actually listen to the debates) And then a lot of Americans might actually think of voting for one of the other candidates . But the way American Presidential Elections – specifically – and Politics in general are manipulated we only have a choice of “the lesser of two evils” We just about have to vote for the one we hate the least or we are, in effect giving our vote for the one we hate the most! Sad commentary on American democracy. Becky Larry

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