I have an honest question for you: Do you really think you know more about Hillary’s Clinton’s faults than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Think about that, for a moment, while I show you something.
I’m about to show you two of the most damning videos you could watch if you are against Hillary Clinton being the next president. This first one is a video of Bernie speaking at a rally just under four months ago, where he was responding to claims that Hillary Clinton had referred to him as being unqualified to be president (though she never actually said he was “unqualified” to be president… She just refused to give a yes or no answer when asked if she thought he was qualified), and it marked one of the biggest escalations in rhetoric for the 2016 democratic presidential campaign:
For those of you unable or unwilling to take the 126 seconds to watch this video, here is what he said:
“And she has been saying lately that she thinks that I am ‘not qualified’ to be president. Well, let me, let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton: I don’t believe that she is qualified, if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds. I don’t think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC. I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don’t think you are qualified if you have supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement which has cost us millions of decent paying jobs. I don’t think you are qualified if you’ve supported the Panama free trade agreement, something I very strongly opposed and, which as all of you know, has allowed corporations and wealthy all over the world people to avoid paying their taxes to their countries.”
For me, these are some of the most damaging criticisms of Hillary Clinton that I have heard. I admit that I care very little about the fact that she used her Blackberry to receive emails that were LATER classified while Secretary of State. Benghazi was tragic, but what happened has–multiple times–been proven not to be her fault. And I don’t think she is to blame for the way the DNC is run. But I DO care that she has taken so much money from Wall Street. I care that she seems more hawkish than I would like. I care that she has voted for policies that make it easier for billionaires to dodge their taxes. I care about ALL of those things. Bernie Sanders cares about them too… But he still endorsed her as a candidate. Do you know why? Because he understands that right now, it is either going to be Hillary or Trump.
Here is another absolutely damning video… This one of Elizabeth Warren criticizing Hillary Clinton about voting FOR a bankruptcy bill as a Senator that she convinced her husband to veto as a FLOTUS:
The video is from a 2004 interview with Bill Moyers. It seems to show a principled Hillary Clinton while Bill was in the White House, and how she was later able (or forced) to compromise those principles as a New York Senator. Again, this video is troubling to me. It smacks of a lack of integrity. I want someone who represents the interests of the little guy over the interests of the big banks. Someone like Elizabeth Warren! Someone like Bernie Sanders! And yet BOTH of these people, who have been openly critical of her in the past, have decided to endorse her for President of the United States of America. Why do you think that is? Have they both “sold out?” Are they “in on it” too?
This “everyone is in on it” mentality is KILLING rational discussion in this country.
Listen, do you really think you’ve got more dirt on Hillary Clinton than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren do? Do you think that because you watched that one YouTube video, you now know more than a dude who has been in Washington for 30 years? Do you think that because of that eMail forward you read 20 years ago about people close to the Clinton family dying mysteriously, that you are now–somehow, magically–more informed than SENATOR Elizabeth Warren? I guarantee that THEY KNOW MORE of her garbage than you or I EVER will, and they are still standing up and saying, “I’M WITH HER.” They didn’t suddenly stop caring about these issues. They didn’t accept a giant bag full of money from Goldman Sax. They just understand the reality of the situation… And so should you. And not just the REALITY of the situation (that situation being the fact that one of two people is DEFINITELY going to be president, and neither of those people are going to be named Gary Johnson or Jill Stein), but the GRAVITY of the situation.
THIS. SHIT. IS SERIOUS.
Please consider this quote by Sinclair Lewis from 1935, and think about what was happening in the world in 1935… “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
If you are a person who looks at the the flaming orange dumpster fire of a candidate that is Donald Trump, and you actually see a man who has the temperament and character to lead this nation, then there is probably nothing in the world I could ever say to you to help you see things differently. You’re beyond help… Hell, if you think Trump has the temperament and character to lead an Arby’s franchise, you’re probably beyond help. But if you are a person who is similar–as far as ideology and policy are concerned–to Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren), and you are convinced that Hillary’s shortcomings are too great for her to receive your vote, you are basically giving half a vote to each candidate. And half a vote for Donald Trump is WAY too much. I have a lot of respect for Jill Stein… But Bernie is a better candidate than her, and Bernie couldn’t even manage to win the democratic nomination.
Even people who are voting for her will admit that Jill Stein has no realistic shot of winning the presidency, but they are planning on voting for her as an act of protest. Well, your act of protest could very well end up putting a man in the presidency who has suggested killing people’s families to show terrorists we mean business. A man who has suggested making a registry of Muslims in this country. A man who has called for the use of torture like waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” A man who won’t rule out using nuclear weapons in the Middle East or even in Europe. A man who has talked about changing libel laws to make it harder for people to criticize him. A man who has been accused of sexual assault and rape three different times (settling twice). A man who calls himself the “law and order” candidate in a time when law enforcement continues to end Black Lives with impunity, and a man who thinks that allowing young black women to use a privileged person’s microphone is a sign of weakness.
A while ago, I took one of those silly “Who Should You Vote For?” quizzes on Facebook, where you answer a bunch of questions, and then they tell you what the percentages are for how well you line up with each candidate. For me, Bernie Sanders was about 98% (and so was Jill Stein, for that matter). Hillary Clinton was about 94%. I am not pissing away my vote over 4%. Because that’s what you are doing if you vote for someone who doesn’t have a shot to win–Pissing away your vote. You might think I’M the best candidate for president, but I’ve got as much chance of being president as Jill Stein. This blog post might go viral, and there might be a grass roots campaign… “The Boeskool For President!” But I can’t win. And neither can she. Now right now, anyway. With a lot of hard work and organization, maybe she can win in four or eight years. But right now, the race is between two people. The only thing a vote for a third party candidate can do at this point is make it easier for that candidate’s ideological opposite to win the election. And yeah, maybe “That’ll show ’em that they need to take us seriously.” But in the meantime, President Trump is installing policy and SCOTUS Justices that will hurt minorities in this country for decades.
And it’s not because I’m cynical… It’s not because I’ve lost hope… It’s because I’m living in reality. People tried to say that Bernie could never win the nomination… That didn’t stop me from voting for him. But this is an entirely different situation. We haven’t done the ground work, we haven’t put the systems in place to make a win by a third party candidate a possibility. Bernie couldn’t win the primaries… If you think Jill Stein can win the general election, you are living in a dream world.
And a lot of these people who are calling for third party votes have been acting like Trump and Hillary are equally bad. Again… DREAM WORLD. They are not even in the same ballpark… Not even on the same PLANET of bad. She’s a good leader who understands how to navigate a flawed system. She is a leader who is willing to compromise at a time when compromise is looked at as a character flaw. There is no perfect candidate. Even Obama has let me down in so many ways… Drone strikes, and lack of aggressiveness when something substantial could have been done about healthcare, and lack of movement on issues of policy that affect black lives… But it’s about trajectory. Trump’s trajectory is backwards. It’s longing for a time when America was whiter. And manlier. And less welcoming to other religions. As evidenced here, when Daily show correspondents ask Trump supporters the question, “When exactly was America great?”
Look–I get that you believe that the system needs to change. I agree. But that change is going to take work. And time. And SCOTUS Justices that aren’t crackheads. And that change is going to be a whole lot more difficult with an authoritarian, quasi-fascist meathead in charge. In the system we have right now, ALL of a state’s electoral votes go toward the candidate with the most votes–That is not going to change before November. I live in a state with such a thick cloud of racism that Trump will probably make my vote irrelevant, but especially–ESPECIALLY if you live in a swing state, it is absolutely necessary for you to understand what I’ve been writing about. You can call it “standing with Clinton,” or you can call it “Standing against Trump.” Either way… STAND. Even if you look at her as “the lesser of two evils” (which she 100% is), consider the fact that another way of saying “the candidate who is the lesser of two evils” is this: “The candidate who is better.” We need to vote for the candidate who is better. And I agree with Bernie Sanders, I agree with Elizabeth Warren, I agree with Michelle and Barack Obama… That candidate is Hillary Clinton. If you sit this one out… If you vote for a candidate who has no chance to your state’s electoral votes… Even if you write in “Deez Nutz,” and then Donald Trump ends up in charge of our country… It’ll be on you.
Only a catastrophe has a possibility of restoring the sort of democratic republic which Jefferson et al envisioned — heck, it took a bloody insurrection for the colonials to acheive anything like it originally.
Facists certainly have a way of inevitably dooming their nations, but it paradoxically required a Hitler and Nazism to devastate Germany to the place where facism there was, at least for a substantial time, killed and buried.
So, bowing to the party machine by voting for the lesser of the evils, which is essentially what you advocate, is merely prolonging the agony of a system which fatally left the rails of its original design well over a century ago. Allowing it to crash and burn is regrettably the only remedy with any possibility for restoring it.
Subsequent chaos and suffering for at least a generation? Well, almost certainly. But, regrettably — and as our own origin as the US demonstrates — significant governmental/societal change usually can’t occur without someone and their children suffering (I’m a 60-year-old, 36-years-married, father of six children and five grandchildren, for the record, so my own would be at stake.) I don’t want to suffer any more than anyone else does. But it’s unrealistic to expect that the sort of change desired can occur via any other course.
So, it’s on YOU if the system continues to writhe in agony, voter-for-the-lesser-of-evils. If you’re unwilling to let it suffer the consequences of a Trump (assuming for discussion’s sake that he manages to perpetrate all you fear), then you’re merely prolonging the agony of its death.
Spoken like someone whose privilege will ensure that he will almost certainly not bear the brunt of fascism.
I doubt the Jews living in Eastern Europe subscribed to your idea of not “prolonging the agony” by putting an awful leader in place… But look how nice Germany is today! Break a few eggs and all that, right?
“Privileged’ as in “acceptable to fascism”? Nope. My statement about not wanting to suffer any more than anyone else does wasn’t mere hypothetical rhetoric.
For examples…I’m a high-school-grad, blue-collar worker, now on federal disability, who has lived in a severely impoverished county, and far below the US federal poverty level — and with the help of federal welfare — for many decades.
I’m not antitheistic, but I am agnostic/atheistic, and see zero place for allowing Christianity, Islam, or any supernatural faith to even influence never mind establish any US federal or state laws, or enjoying any special status.
While i’m a long-term married, I don’t see marriage as some sacred, sexually-exclusive, absolutely-defined arrangement. I’m pro-homosexual-marriage, and, for that matter, even pro-polygamous marriage between consenting adults. I even advocate the right of an adult to engage in prostitution and other sex work for profit.
At 9/11, I was one of the few openly saying, “The extremist perpetrators died in those planes, this knee-jerk US Bush-reactionarism will accomplish nothing except create enemies and dead soldiers and civilians, and conventional military response will only entangle the US in another Vietnam.”
I’m pro-immigration for all, including Muslims.
I make clear to others that I abhor the gender/orientation discrimination, the religious irrationalism, the nationalism, the racism, the economic inequities, the corporate-favoritism, and the anti-intellectualism common in the US.
I watch with pain as my own six kids struggle to barely survive, never mind “enjoy the American Dream”, and I expressly blame their struggles, in part, on the US government’s assistance to unnessary greed that put stratospheric profits above any obligation to the mass of US citizens whose backs and wallets enabled those very profits.
So, I’m pretty much one of those considered a “subversive, anti-patriotic parasite” by any fascist mindset. I’d be among the first targeted under fascism.
And, nope, I don’t want to break any eggs — I don’t want mine broken any more than those Jews and others deemed “parasites” did who suffered torture and horrors under the Nazis. My eggs would be among the first boot-stomped.
Boeskool, you apparently believe or hope you can make a substantial difference by urging others to vote-against-Trump. And, my point is, you can’t make a substantial difference in the US by working within the political machine that’s embedded itself. The only effect you’d have at best is “prolonging the agony”. You’re wishfully thinking.
I too wish it was possible to affect major change within a crystallized system without serious collateral damages, but history and human nature reveal otherwise. You may blame third-party for Trump being elected, but, in the long run, it will make little difference whether he is or isn’t. The quasi-oligarchical machine will keep humming along with whoever is elected, despite you, happy that you fueled it by your participation in its gears.
I’m completely unwilling to experience any eggs being broken. But, I’m also rational and realistic enough to admit that, unless I — and YOU — are willing to let eggs be broken, the machine cannot be stopped. I’m not irrational enough to think — nor expend energy to persuade others — that voting-for-the-lesser-evil will effect anything more than avoiding breaking eggs.
My suggestion to you is to relax.
In order for massive revolution to come about, you are correct that it does often take major suffering or perhaps an event like the Nazi take over of Germany. But that’s not guaranteed. Just look at North Korea and the suffering there. Look at the current situation in Venezuela where 80% of people cannot buy food. Look at many of the countries in Africa where there are millions of people being slaughtered in full scale genocide because they do not have the ways and means to create change. That’s how much they are suffering. And you’re advocating for suffering up to 60 years to get change here? That’s totally irresponsible because if that kind of suffering were to happen here there would be no more planet.
And let’s be honest with ourselves, while there are a great many of people who suffer here, we do not have 80% of our population looking for food, going so far as to jump the border. We do not have wide spread feminine. Our press might not be the most responsible at covering the news, but we still have freedom of speech. You know why our system doesn’t change? Because we don’t do anything about it. We don’t vote in our local elections. We don’t hold our politicians responsible. We do not run for political office ourselves. And in all honesty, to say we cannot change the system which WE ALLOWED to get to it’s present state, is un-American. It’s irresponsible. It’s a slap in the face to every advocate of change that we’ve had, from Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Harvey Milk, and the list goes on. Your reply is disheartening and sickening.
“ADVOCATING” suffering to effect significant governmental change? Nope, I’m not advocating at all. If you re-read, I expect you’ll see that I’m averse to suffering, for myself and my own children and grandchildren. I definitely am not wanting such a catastrophe. I’m merely saying that, to stop the current oligarchist machine that’s embedded itself, that’s what it will require. Anything less won’t stop it. I don’t enjoy the idea that it will require hardship to stop the machine, and it’s disheartening and sickening to realize that only by enduring suffering could the US citizenry regain control. But then, facing reality is often painful, disheartening, and sickening, isn’t it?
And, neither did I state that any catastrophe that causes suffering is guaranteed to effect desired change. But I did say the only possibility of restoring Jeffersonian principles in the US government is through a catastrophe. Sure, a catastrophe has no promise to succeed, but only a catastrophe has a chance to succeed.
Certainly, “we” can effect change, but, regrettably, as it was in Jefferson’s time and in Lincoln’s time, it requires suffering. Each of us as a citizen is no doubt part of the blame for allowing a quasi-oligarchy to implant itself in government. But, our painless “not-doing-and-so-allowing-oligarchists-to gain-control” can’t be painlessly undone at this point, no more than someone who has long neglected to treat type 2 diabetes and has developed a certain severity of foot damage can avoid amputation. Only “amputation” can restore from an un-American political machinery that merely claims it follow “american principles” to a political process that truly does.
King, Parks, Tubman, and Milk all certainly evidenced that change typically requires at least some suffering, didn’t they? The slap in the face to each of them is to deny it typically REQUIRES suffering to effect societal change.
“The only thing a vote for a third party candidate can do at this point is make it easier for that candidate’s ideological opposite to win the election.”
That’s not it at all. Voting for a third party will not help that party win, but it will show that there were people who did not support either candidate, and it will aid in helping third parties gain more ground in future elections. If people don’t vote third party because they don’t believe such a vote will win, third party candidates will never gain ground in the US and eventually help in destroying the two party system the US is currently locked in. When one votes for a third party, they are not throwing away their vote. They are not voting for Trump. They are helping to create a future where you have more than just two choices, all while showing their disdain for the candidates presented during this current election. Which in itself is important for showing them that many people are upset with them, which in turn can make them too clean up their act.
I’m not saying that a third party vote is never appropriate. I’m saying that a third party vote is not appropriate in an election where the choice is between status quo and a dangerous demagogue. THIS election.
Think about the election of 2000. There was a similar call for an ideological protest vote for a third party candidate. The votes for Nader did not create a system where the parties cleaned up their act. It did not gain ground for a third party. It gave us President George W. Bush. Rather than choosing between an idealist who stretched the truth or a man who would rush blindly into war we ended up with the later. Nader never stood a chance.
Votes for Nader did not cost Gore the election in 2000, a rigged system by which party politics prevented the truth from being revealed cost Gore the election. Republican cronies pulling strings to put their guy in office (see Katherine Harris) is what cost Gore the election.
So a Democratic vote for a 3rd party candidate in this election is a vote of principle against the B.S. party politics that kept Gore out of office in 2000, and kept Sanders from being our nominee in 2016.
Both things can be true at once, Gil. Thousands of people making “principled votes” for Nader had real world effects. They “sent a message” to the parties… Now we have ISIS as a result of the Iraq War that might not have gotten started with Gore. We took steps AWAY from policy changes that might have worked against climate change.
There are all kind of ways to work toward changing the system… One of those ways was how hoard people worked trying to earn Bernie the nomination. He didn’t win. Now, we work to pick the best candidate who has a chance to win. That’s Clinton.
Compromising principles is part of governing. Uncompromising principles is the stuff of inaction and cynicism. Trump is too dangerous. We don’t “teach them a lesson” by allowing the worse candidate to win. The work of changing the system takes place between the elections. Just like they change rules in the NFL BETWEEN seasons… After the season starts, the rules are set. We have our rules for how this is going to go down… We need to line up behind the better candidate. Or against the one talking about breaking up NATO, killing the families of murderers, changing laws about freedom of the press, working toward putting in SCOTUS Justices who will overturn gay marriage, and do “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” to prisoners of war. My principles are not as important as the freedoms of Muslims, the lives and families of immigrants, and the lessons our kids will learn from electing Trump as a leader.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, seems to me that you did not get that yet. After an authoritarian/ narcissist /psychopath/ fascist like Trump wins the election we already know what happens to the countries that elected them. We can fight Hillary, we can not fight dictators. Just a sanguinary revolution can depose a dictator. We do not want that, do we?
Yeah, I’ll probably be irrelevant, too, living in Texas. But, on the off chance that a whole lot of other people in Texas feel the same way, I’ll still vote for Hillary. And my Texan parents are getting this article, because it looks like they still plan to vote for Drumpf. I think my vote for Hillary might be the biggest disappointment I’ve given them (mostly because they don’t know I’m agnostic).
“But if you are a person who is similar–as far as ideology and policy are concerned–to Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren), …”
I’m similar to those people only if you scale the diagram of the political field to include Drumpf. Kind of like how Dallas is close to Washington, D.C. if you consider China.
Here’s a better solution for democrat viewers who are screaming at mostly registered 3rd party voters for not wanting to vote for the last likely to win candidate on the democratic primary ballot. Pick better people that will gain confidence and support of independent voters. Calling out people who hate the democrat parties failure to pick a great candidate, and settled with a polished turd for a candidate isn’t independent voters faults. It’s the democratic parties fault. I will vote for her because I dread a Trump presidency, but you guys in the democratic party can’t bemoan people for not liking or voting for your sham ofof a nominee. You will get what you voted for, and you should really have thought about this issue BEFORE venal election.
Hear, hear. And that responsibility rests mainly on Hillary’s shoulders. I think she, as a politician, should have spotted that she was the best thing Drumpf could have asked for and stepped aside. But what’s done is done, so here I am an anti-establishment libertarian voting for a corrupt establishment Democrat.
Ahhh, thank you Chris. If third party anti-establishment voters want a say, then please go out and make it happen long before the 11th hour. Do something in your daily life to change our two party system instead of bemoaning the choices, rushing in a candidate and taking the easy way out. Please take a look at these candidates’ ideas and words before you rush to vote in protest. I ask, where is your righteous moral high ground voting for who you believe in when you may not truly believe in the third party candidates 100% either? Please take a look at their ideas. Place the same value you put on the two party system candidates, as you do on the third.
Like it or not, as of now we truly have a two party system. Within that system, we have the most qualified person to ever run for president. Ever. Take a look.
As a Bernie supporter, I realize our country is not ready for his progressive ideas, YET. But all is not lost and it’s just getting started. We made a huge impact on policy. Libertarians and independents, go out and do the same, day by day, month by month and year by year but not with protest votes when Trump could be our president.
Ben Sasse, Republican Senator from Nebraska, recently made a useful point: there are strategic voters, and there are conscience voters. My sense is that those two groups are largely talking past each other.
I have been a conscience voter (1968, 1980). Now I’m a strategic voter. Not for myself. I’m old, I’m white, I’m heterosexual, and I’m comfortable financially. I can ride out a Trump presidency. But I have younger, poorer, gayer, and blacker friends who are in a more precarious position. I’m going to cast my vote as much for them as for myself. I want Clinton to win, and win big. I want every racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious minority person to wake up on the morning after the election and know that the vast majority of American voters have their back.
My support for Clinton is not a lesser evil vote, because I don’t view Hillary Clinton as evil. Having said that, I will also say this. If I DID see Clinton as a lesser evil, I would still vote for her. I believe that lessening the amount of evil in the world is a good way to use my vote.
I agree with what Tony Kushner, author of Angels In America, said to Mother Jones in a 2003 interview: “Listen, here’s the thing about politics: It’s not an expression of your moral purity and your ethics and your probity and your fond dreams of some utopian future. Progressive people constantly fail to get this…. The country doesn’t elect great leaders. It elects fucked-up people who for reasons of ego want to run the world.”
Don’t forget that Sanders encouraged the spread of this insane belief with his insinuations, disingenuous, manipulative statement. Hillary is probably not corrupt except that….Perhaps Hillary doesn’t lie but I understand why people don’t trust her… And the list goes on. Sanders, Trump, those who say she lies or is corrupt or is untrustworthy mostly have no clue that they are repeating a piece of Republican propaganda started by William Safire with the headline “A blizzard of lies” after the first thorough investigation found that she had done no wrong. People who are unable to read, learn, and think about the whys and wherefores of their beliefs should just go back to shutting up and burying their heads in the ground. They’re not only worthless. They are destructive, cruel, and selfish.
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So, I shouldn’t vote Johnson because Johnson can’t win because nobody is voting for Johnson because he can’t win so I shouldn’t vote for Johnson because he can’t win since nobody is voting for Johnson? Seems legit.
Trump’s campaign is flat lining because he’s a vapid demagogue. Hillary is unethical. I’m voting my conscience. No, a Trump win will not be my fault. I’m not voting against anybody; I’m voting for Johnson. Welcome to our Constitutional Republic.
You know that polls are a form of science, right James? I’m not saying Johnson can’t win ever. I’m saying that he 100% won’t win this year. So one of two people will win, and those two people are named Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A presidential vote for Johnson will have the same effect on the presidency as a vote for DJ Jazzy Jeff or Deez Nutz. Or staying at home. Sorry dude.
Fuck your immoral horseshit and fuck your two parties.
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