Saturday, August 13, 2016

Looks Like At Least One DWT Writer Is Not #NeverHillary


I haven't asked the other writers at DWT what they plan to do at the ballot box in November. Personally there's nothing that would ever move me to vote for someone I feel is unfit to be president, so that lets out Trump of Hillary. I would never vote for either of them under any circumstances. I've given up on lesser-of-two evils voting (and not even "at least she's not a psychopath" will work for me). I know there is no such thing as a perfect politician but unless I want to see someone ascend to public office because I believe in his our her intentions and capabilities, I wouldn't vote for them. I'm old enough to grant myself that luxury. Bernie's far from perfect but he's better than anyone else in my memory who's run for president. When the Clinton Machine stole the primary process and prevented him from being the nominee, the presidential election was over for me, other than as a vehicle to send a message to a Democratic Party that has long ago lost it's way and gets worse and worse. Better than the Republicans? Of course... but with party leaders like Rahm Emanuel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chuck Schumer, the Clintons, Steve Israel... that ain't any party I want to be considered part of. I've known Helen for almost half a century. Despite having the same last name, we're not related. We sent to school together. I respect her decision to fight as hard as she can to keep Trump out of the White House, even if it means settling for Hillary. She wrote about why she came to that decision. It's a decision the majority of my friends have made.


A Point Of View: The B.S. Of A "Protest Vote"
-by Helen Klein

I wrote a blog piece about a Clothespin Campaign for Hillary and I stand by it, strongly. This is an opinion piece. While I was a Bernie supporter throughout the campaign season and dissed Hillary left, right and sideways, I will now vote for her, hands down. Trump is a MONSTER and must be stopped. Our choice is between the two of them, and that’s that. No third party candidate has any shot in hell at winning and everyone knows this. I am finding all of this talk about a “protest vote” alarming, as it would give Trump an edge. In a swing state, a protest vote would have some impact, even if small, on helping Trump. However, it is irresponsible for people in blue states to take things for granted and depend on others in their state to vote for Hillary and defeat Trump. He is already carrying on about a “rigged election” so it is also very important for him lose the popular vote by as large a margin as possible. Furthermore, if enough people vote for third party candidates, they are risking a loss in electoral votes for Hillary. This happened with Ralph Nader in New Hampshire in 2000. While the reasons for Gore’s loss were complex, that election was extremely close and we wound up stuck with George Bush and his Iraq War. The latter has exacerbated the current mess in the Middle East and has helped to create ISIS.

Furthermore, it behooves anyone considering voting for a third party candidate to check out the candidate’s platform and history. To diss Hillary without doing so would be irresponsible. Also, the high moral ground would crumble.

For example, a closer look at Johnson is rather disheartening. Have Bernie supporters who are considering him really done their homework? If so, how could they possibly view him as better than Hillary, actually vote for him and risk Trump ascendancy? Many of Johnson’s principles are the antithesis of Bernie’s and far worse than Hillary’s. Some fall right into the hands of the 1% and corporate interests; many are against hallmarks of the progressive movement and would be very detrimental to many Americans.

A Libertarian, Johnson was Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003. While in office, he drastically cut the size of state government, lowered taxes and favored privatization of services like prisons and Medicaid. Johnson wants to end the corporate income tax, introduce a single consumption tax (which would disproportionally affect those with lower incomes) and cut government spending by at least 20 percent. He favors appeal of the Affordable Care Act in exchange for privatized health care based on free market principles. While Johnson does support civil liberties and a woman’s right to abortion, he strongly emphasizes government downsizing and a private laissez-faire economic strategy. Woah!

History can and does repeat itself. Americans need to remember the rise of Hitler and see the parallels. It was not all that long ago and it could happen here. If elected, Trump would grind any semblance of democracy into the ground. His recent statements-- every day there is another awful one-- show that he is fomenting hate, rage, aggression and revenge in his flock, just like Hitler did. The Muslims, Latinos and African Americans are viewed as the cause of all of our problems and have become the targets of anger, instead of the Jews. Would Trump actually attempt to deport people? Unclear, but his fans would demand it. Would he try to shut down the press? You betcha! He cannot and would not tolerate any criticism, which is the purpose of a free press and fundamental to a democracy. Would he bully Republicans in office to go along with him or else? He already has and many are too scared to stand up to him, e.g., Ryan, McCain and McConnell. Would he follow through with threats to destroy anyone against him? Yes, he would and he has. In his new book, The Making of Donald Trump, David Cay Johnston describes Trump’s cruel and spiteful personality, his destructive behavior towards those who had slighted him and his glee in ruining their lives. What kind of a man is this? Would he bomb the hell out of perceived enemies or in retaliation against those not going along with him? Sure he would. Would he do so more than Hillary? Absolutely, without even a pause to think it through. He has no conscience and no compassion. Are there controls on the nuclear button? Apparently no, not really: just the Secretary of Defense, who would be appointed by him and would surely be one of his lackies. Trump would probably take pride in being the first American President to use the atomic bomb since World War II. It would show proof of his omnipotence. He has already asked on several occasions, “Why do we have them if we never use them?” Would he worry about the consequences of such a decision? Doubtful: he is impulsive, lives in the moment and does not think that far ahead. As Commander in Chief, would the military go along with his aggressive directives? Well…probably, but maybe not. Many generals and security advisors have already expressed alarm about a President Trump, even some of the nincompoops who went along with Bush. Perhaps we’d have a mutiny by some of our military leaders. What would that do to our country? And being a super power, our allies would be in total panic mode. They already are. Would Trump collude with Putin, let down NATO and look the other way as Russia planned to invade other countries? Quite likely, as he has already implied this in some of his statements. Again, a parallel with the Hitler-Mussolini alliance. A bromance from hell.

As with most people, politics has become an unavoidable topic at any gathering. Some liberals I know, including Jews, insist they will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances and will vote for either Stein or Johnson as a protest vote. I must say, Trump is smart for not including Jews in his blame game, although he has made some blunders in this regard. Of course, his son-in-law is Jewish. Being Jewish myself, it is unfathomable that Jews are not horrified enough by Trump’s ethnic cleansing schemes to vote for Hillary. When I noted to one friend that I had read that Johnson, a Libertarian, would abolish Social Security, his response was that that Johnson would have no ability to do so. So my friend aims to vote for someone who has a ridiculous platform he does not even support and who has no chance whatsoever of winning, all to show his protest against Hillary. And he is Jewish.

It is important to reiterate the gist of the first point in Chomsky’s article, as described in the Clothespin Campaign. Your vote is a responsibility. It is not about you personally or about taking the high moral ground. It is about the consequences of your vote on other people and the potential harm it would do. Yes, Hillary’s foreign policies and hawkishness would do harm abroad and this is extremely concerning. But she is not all bad, as Trump is. She is complex; he is a horror show full circle. Domestically, she is ethnically inclusive and is supportive of women’s rights and LGBTQ. Trump vilifies everyone in this country but white males. Trump is far more dangerous-- he is dangerous across the board in every way imaginable. To equate them as equally bad is to ignore the pervasive horrors of Trump: the narcissist, the bully, the master of hate and revenge who cares only about himself. He does not listen or take advice from anyone but himself. The superficiality of his knowledge and his lack of concern about it are astounding. He would rule like a dictator with an iron fist. Maybe his supporters want a dictator to solve all of their problems (he won’t and they are being fooled), but most Americans (hopefully) do not.

The left can fight Hillary and her policies once she is in the Oval Office. If Trump gets in, we are lost. #NeverTrump:
Goal Thermometer

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At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Dameocrat said...

Will you feel good about yourself, when you stop this perceived new Hitler, but the establishment corrals voters again with another new Hitler in 4 to 8 years, while we fail to curtail global warming and the middle class declines more, or we start a nuclear war with Russia because of Hillary's militarism? Like it or not voters just don't control all that much, aside from their own votes, and many people do learn lessons that create worse problems than the ones they are trying to prevent. Israelis are holding the entire Palestinian nation in Prison, to prevent their perceived Hitlers. Lack of choice created Trump and you want to lock this process into place by being hair on fire.

At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I won't feel good about things if and when Hillary gets in and starts to do harm. As a whole, I agree with you. I was a full throttle Bernie supporter. I dislike Hillary and the establishment and as you do, I have serious concerns, especially about her hawkishness and financial ties.

But your alternative suggestion is...??? It is her or Trump. Awful, I know, but there it is. I would feel worse about myself if Trump actually gets in and I did not do what I could to stop him. I only wish there was a reasonable alternative - I would take it in a New York minute.


At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one vote. There are 50 states. My one vote will not be the vote that allows Trump to win. If Republicans won't cast their votes for the more traditional conservative, then shouldn't they be blamed? Liberals have Stein as their one candidate. The conservatives have 3 choices. If they can't defeat Trump it is their fault.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Dameocrat said...

I don't he can get his agenda passed. He'll be less effective than Hillary will be. If he wins, we're more likely to get a new house and possibly a new Senate in 2 years, furthermore in four the greens will be serious contenders. My solution is to tuff it out. It is not a position I take of privilege. I am disabled.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Bill Michtom said...

Two items:

The Secretary of Defense has to be approved by the Senate, remember?

Anyone who thinks a libertarian is anything but a disaster shouldn't be able to vote. On top of their horrifically oppressive economic policies, they have a long ugly association with racism and anti-Semitism. Tell your Jewish friends that.


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