I’ve consistently supported Bernie Sanders for President. The reason is his record in public office, regarding especially ten issues, where his actions in public office contrast sharply against Hillary Clinton’s actions in public office. First here, will be stated these ten key issues, on each of which issues Bernie and Hillary are opposites, and then Trump’s stated position regarding each of them will be presented. At the end will be presented the reason I won’t vote for Jill Stein. Here are the ten key issues:
- Sanders favors “breaking up the big banks.” Hillary Clinton opposes that.
- Sanders has fought consistently against Obama’s mega-‘trade’ deals. Hillary consistently favored them.
- Sanders favors working with Russia against jihadists in Syria. Hillary opposes that.
- Sanders says jihadists are America’s top foe. Hillary says both jihadists and Russia are equally anti-American, equally dangerous to America. Hillary is simply a neoconservative; Sanders isn’t. Her having voted to invade Iraq was no mistake on her part; it was consistent with her entire international outlook, all of which is neoconservative, like invading Libya, Syria, etcetera. Bernie’s vote against invading Iraq was likewise consistent with his international outlook.
- Sanders has been consistently opposed to fossil fuels. Hillary has aggressively supported them.
- Sanders says that the system is rigged. Hillary says that it’s not.
- Sanders says the system is rigged specifically against the poor. Hillary says the problem that keeps people poor is instead individual bigots — against Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc. Not the system itself. She is proud to represent the system. She’s not against it. She’s for it.
- Sanders’s political career has been financed by small-dollar donations. Hillary’s has been financed by mega-donations.
- Sanders favors every possible means of reducing the influence big-money donations to politicians has over politics. Hillary opposes that idea.
- Sanders favors socialized health insurance, like exists in the European nations that spend per-capita half what America does but have higher life-expectancy than America does. Hillary opposes that — she favors the existing profit-based system of health-care, and opposes the European system where basic healthcare is a right, no privilege (that’s based only on ability-to-pay).
I support Sanders not because his rhetoric on these matters is correct, but because his record on them is correct: he has voted in Congress consistently in the ways that his rhetoric has said he believes — and I agree with his rhetoric, and thus too with his record (since it’s the same as his rhetoric). Hillary has instead contradicted herself frequently — and even voted in Congress, and acted as the U.S. Secretary of State — in ways that directly contradict her mealy-mouthed progressive statements. She’s actually the anti-Bernie, the opposite of Bernie. Trump (as I shall document here) is definitely not (despite his frequent appeals to conservatives for their votes).
Here are the positions of Trump and of Clinton on these same ten issues:
1: Sanders favors “breaking up the big banks.” Hillary Clinton opposes that.
The real meaning of “breaking up the big banks” is separating investment banks from commercial banks: it has nothing actually to do with a bank’s size. It has to do with a bank’s function. It’s structural, not an issue of mere size.
As Morning Consult reported on 18 July 2016, Bernie Sanders required as a precondition in order for him to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, the inclusion in the Democratic Party platform of a recommendation that the FDR-era Glass-Steagall Act, which had separated investment banking (stock-brokerage) from commercial banking (checking and savings accounts), be restored. Bill Clinton had killed Glass-Steagall, and that’s one big reason why Wall Street heavily funds the Clintons. The elimination of Glass-Steagall returned the U.S. in 2000 to the structure that had produced the Great Depression, in which billionaires were gambling with the money of depositors — gambling with depositors’ checking accounts and savings accounts. That ending of Glass-Steagall set the groundwork for building the bubble which ended with the 2008 economic crash. Both Clintons have been against restoring Glass-Steagall, but Sanders forced this into the platform, even though a party’s platform is pure PR, no real policy-statement. This was purely Bernie’s statement, not at all Hillary’s. (In fact, at the very same time she did this nominal act, she selected as her VP pick Senator Tim Kaine, who is a longtime agent for Wall Street and international corporations, and who just before she selected him, was the subject of an article by Zach Carter at Huffington Post, on July 20th, headlined “Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP”. Kaine also had provided one of the 60 votes to pass Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, the enabling act for ultimate passage of Obama’s TPP, which will give international corporations unprecedented power. Fast Track needed 60 votes in order to pass, and that’s exactly what it got; each of those 60 votes was essential for it. Hillary supported Fast Track. Clearly, she also will deregulate further the financial firms; what her husband did in 1999 wasn’t bad enough to suit her. With this VP pick, she was stabbing Sanders in the back, right at the start of the Democratic National Convention.)
When Bill Clinton ended Glass-Steagall, it was by his signing a piece of legislation titled the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and all three of those names attached to it were Republicans — this was the fulfillment, the very culmination, of a longtime Republican Party effort to end Glass-Steagall. Bill Clinton was a right-wing Democrat who, by moving the Democratic Party to the right, forced the Republican Party even farther to the right than it had been, in order for Republican candidates to be able to continue to attract conservative voters. Barack Obama has perfected this strategy (of moving America’s political center toward the right) even further. Hillary Clinton would carry it much farther still. The congressional vote on Gramm-Leach-Bliley occurred near the end of Bill Clinton’s Presidency, by which time, there was almost as high a percentage of congressional Democrats who voted to repeal that Democratic Party (FDR) milestone law as there was of Republicans who voted for it, but only Republicans would attach their names to this far-right bill. Gramm-Leach-Bliley was a sell-out to Wall Street. Hillary Clinton always supported strongly that sell-out; Bernie forced her now to nominally oppose it.
That same Morning Consult article also reported that, “Paul Manafort, campaign chairman of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, told reporters in Cleveland today that the Republican platform will include language calling for the reinstatement of the law that was repealed in 1999.”
When Donald Trump forced into the Republican platform a restoration of the Democratic Glass-Steagall Act, this was his statement, not something that somebody else forced upon him. He knew that doing this would antagonize Wall Street, but he did it anyway. Trump actually wants to ‘break up the big banks’. He would allow the traditional Republican lower-class voter-base favorites of banning abortions, etc. (he needs those people’s votes in order to win), but he wouldn’t allow Gramm-Leach-Bliley to continue (he apparently doesn’t think he’ll need those people’s money in order to win).
On 9 August 2016, the far-right American Enterprise Institute headlined “How Can Trump Support Deregulation and Glass-Steagall?” and opened by saying, “The Republican platform’s proposal to reinstate Glass-Steagall is hard to understand, even in the confused policy mishmash created by Donald Trump. The best interpretation is that it’s an awkward outreach to the disappointed ‘progressive’ supporters of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The worst is that it calls into question whether Donald Trump really supports financial deregulation. The key problem for those Republicans who are now warily supporting their presidential nominee is that it is not clear where he will lead the party in this election — and the country — if he wins.” That’s precisely true. Conservatives view this with alarm. By contrast, few progressives have yet been equally smart, to even recognize that it exists — the fact that Donald Trump is, perhaps, as much of a closeted progressive, as Hillary Clinton is a closeted fascist (servant of international corporations, their chosen government dictator).
The AEI article continued: “But how can we believe any of this [Trump’s anti-regulatory statements]? More than anything else, the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall suggests that the government, and not private decision-making, should determine the structure of the economy. One can’t believe in the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and still believe in the repeal or significant modification of Dodd-Frank. It’s like saying free markets work, but price controls can help.”
The answer to that is: Trump recognizes “that the government, and not private decision-making, should determine the structure of the economy,” and that this is one of the fundamental reasons government even exists — to establish “the rules of the road” for the economy.
On 28 January 2016, Chris Arnade headlined in Britain’s Guardian, “I worked on Wall Street. I am skeptical Hillary Clinton will rein it in”, and he wrote: “Ask anyone who has spent the last two decades on Wall Street which politicians have worked for them the hardest and most will grudgingly admit it’s the Clintons.” Those millions of dollars didn’t come from Occupy Wall Street.
Any really well-informed progressive knows that Dodd-Frank was largely a sell-out to the mega-corporations, which competitively gain, from the enormously complex Dodd-Frank Act, a huge advantage against the smaller firms, because the more complex a regulatory law is, the more that the required paperwork to comply with it will cripple small firms and so provide added competitive advantage to large firms (for which such paperwork is inevitably a far smaller percentage of their total costs of doing business). Dodd-Frank is a Wall Street monstrosity, and AEI knows it, but they’re appalled that the Republican Presidential nominee stands against the mega-firms that pay AEI’s bills. This is not something that AEI is accustomed to, from a Republican Presidential nominee. After all: the Dodd-Frank Act was Barack Obama’s law he wanted to pass in order to placate Democrats who were demanding restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act. It’s not something that a progressive would support. It was the way to avoid doing what progressives wanted to be done — restoring Glass-Steagall. (Similarly: Obamacare was the way for Obama to avoid pushing a single-payer health insurance plan, such as by opening Medicare to everyone.)
The AEI commentary closed: “The Trump proposal to reinstate Glass-Steagall — only a technical idea of no particular consequence to most American voters — has major implications for the credibility of the candidate in whom so many Republicans have now placed their trust. Like the canary in the coal mine, it’s small but significant.” They know that though the public don’t pay attention to such things (the things that are important), the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall is an enormous threat to the ability of America’s billionaires to gamble with the money in the public’s checking accounts and savings accounts — their ability to take the gambling-profits and to leave the government holding the bag in the event that those gambles don’t pay off (like the Wall Street bailouts in 2008). They favor ‘socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor’. So does the Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton; and, thus, AEI is part of the Republican Party elite’s move away from Trump, toward Hillary. They’re increasingly recognizing such “canaries in the coal mines,” from Trump. Progressive Democratic voters should recognize it too, before they help elect Wall Street’s favorite candidate by not voting for Trump.
2: Sanders has fought consistently against Obama’s mega-‘trade’ deals. Hillary consistently favored them.
Hillary Clinton was instrumental in getting the “Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority” law approved by congressional Democrats, and that’s the enabling law which now makes likely the ability of Obama to get his TPP ‘trade’ treaty with Pacific countries passed into law during the upcoming “lame duck” session of Congress, November 9th through January 3rd. She was a part of it, and she has always acted behind the scenes to push for passage of such treaties, including her own husband’s NAFTA.
Like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump has passionately condemned those treaties, and is urging members of Congress to vote against TPP if and when Obama tries to get it passed into law right after the November 8th elections (which is when members of Congress are maximally willing to do what their funders want and their voters oppose).
Hillary’s 2003 Living History (p. 182) actually bragged about her husband’s having passed NAFTA, and she said: “Creating a free trade zone in North America — the largest free trade zone in the world — would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our country was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization.” This was one of, supposedly, her proudest achievements, which were (p. 231) “Bill’s successes on the budget, the Brady bill and NAFTA.” But Hillary in her 2008 primary campaign against Obama was demanding that he apologise for his campaign flyer’s having said: “Only Barack Obama fought NAFTA and other bad trade deals.” That statement was just a fact. (Only after Obama started his second Presidential term in 2012 did he staff-up for, and start an operation to institute, mega-‘trade’ agreements that are much bigger, and much worse, even than NAFTA. For that purpose, he hired Michael Froman, who had been the Clinton-operative and longtime Obama friend who had personally introduced Obama in 2004 to the top people on Wall Street who had financed the Clintons’ political careers.)
On 20 March 2008, the day after Hillary finally released her schedule during her White House years, The Nation’s John Nichols blogged “Clinton Lie Kills Her Credibility on Trade Policy”, and he said: “Now that we know from the 11,000 pages of Clinton White House documents released this week that [the] former First Lady was an ardent advocate for NAFTA; … now that we know she was in the thick of the maneuvering to block the efforts of labor, farm, environmental and human rights groups to get a better agreement; … now that we know from official records of her time as First Lady that Clinton was the featured speaker at a closed-door session where 120 women opinion leaders were hectored to pressure their congressional representatives to approve NAFTA; now that we know from ABC News reporting on the session that ‘her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA’ and that ‘there was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time’; … what should we make of Clinton’s campaign claim that she was never comfortable with the militant free-trade agenda that has cost the United States hundreds of thousands of union jobs?”
The next day, Jennifer Parker at Jake Tapper’s “Political Punch” blog, headlined “From the Fact Check Desk: The Clinton Campaign Misrepresents Clinton NAFTA Meeting”, and she reported: “I have now talked to three former Clinton Administration officials whom I trust who tell me that then-First Lady Hillary Clinton opposed the idea of introducing NAFTA before health care, but expressed no reservations in public or private about the substance of NAFTA. Yet the Clinton campaign continues to propagate this myth that she fought NAFTA.” Hillary continued this lie even after it had been repeatedly and soundly exposed to be a lie. Her behavior in this regard was reminiscent of George W. Bush’s statements on WMD in Iraq, and on many other issues.
Only a sucker would believe Hillary’s statements in which she says she has changed her mind and now opposes TPP. She knows that when she helped Obama to win Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, she had the only impact on that matter which she will ever have, and that it’s because of that law, which she helped Obama to pass, that TPP will likely be approved in Congress even before the next President enters the White House.
Those ‘trade’ deals are actually transfers of national sovereignty to international corporations. TPP, if it passes into law will be the biggest and worst such of them all, even worse than NAFTA — it would virtually end democracy in America.
3: Sanders favors working with Russia against jihadists in Syria. Hillary opposes that.
Trump says: “The approach of fighting Assad and ISIS simultaneously was madness, and idiocy. They’re fighting each other and yet we’re fighting both of them. You know, we were fighting both of them. I think that our far bigger problem than Assad is ISIS, I’ve always felt that. Assad is, you know I’m not saying Assad is a good man, ’cause he’s not, but our far greater problem is not Assad, it’s ISIS. … I think, you can’t be fighting two people that are fighting each other, and fighting them together. You have to pick one or the other.” Assad is allied with Russia against the Sauds, so the U.S. is determined to overthrow Assad, but Trump is firmly opposed to that policy.
Here was the debate-segment about this issue between Bernie and Hillary:
Hillary Clinton, in a debate with Bernie on 19 December 2015, argued for her proposal that the U.S. impose in Syria a “no-fly zone” where Russians were dropping bombs on the imported jihadists who have been trying to overthrow and replace Assad: “I am advocating the no-fly zone both because I think it would help us on the ground to protect Syrians; I’m also advocating it because I think it gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.” She said there that allowing the jihadists to overthrow Assad “would help us on the ground to protect Syrians,” somehow; and, also, that, somehow, shooting down Russia’s planes in Syria (the “no-fly zone”) “gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.”
Bernie Sanders’s response to that was: “I worry too much that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Gadhafi, a terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS. So I think, yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you’ve got to think about what happens the day after. And in my view, what we need to do is put together broad coalitions to understand that we’re not going to have a political vacuum filled by terrorists, that, in fact, we are going to move steadily — and maybe slowly — toward democratic societies, in terms of Assad, a terrible dictator. But I think in Syria the primary focus now must be on destroying ISIS and working over the years to get rid of Assad. That’s the secondary issue.”
4: Sanders says jihadists are America’s top foe. Hillary says both jihadists and Russia are equally anti-American, equally dangerous to America. Hillary is simply a neoconservative; Sanders isn’t. Her having voted to invade Iraq was no mistake on her part; it was consistent with her entire international outlook, all of which is neoconservative, like invading Libya, Syria, etcetera. Bernie’s vote against invading Iraq was likewise consistent with his international outlook.
Trump has repeatedly said that jihadists are America’s #1 foe. He constantly says that fundamentalist Muslims — jihadists, such as have been sent out and paid by the Sauds to countries around the world to punish and conquer people who don’t share the Sauds’ particular fundamentalist faith — are the biggest danger to American national security. On this basis, Trump says that America’s invasion of Iraq was wrong:
Trump turned the conversation back to Iraq. “Where were the weapons of mass destruction, Brian?” Trump asked Kilmeade. Again, Kilmeade defended the former president: [Former Secretary of State] “Madeleine Albright said they were there, [former President] Bill Clinton said they were there, [former French President] Jacques Chirac said they were there, the Portuguese prime minster said they were there, [former Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak said they were there.” Trump retorted: “Well, they weren’t there, they didn’t find them. They found nothing. Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”
He also said: “Saddam Hussein was a bad guy but he was good at one thing: Killing terrorists. He killed terrorists like nobody, all right? Now it’s Harvard of terrorism. You want to be a terrorist you go to Iraq. But he killed terrorists. O.K., so we destroyed that.” Leaders of the Republican Party condemned him for saying this.
The Intercept headlined on 29 February 2016, “Neoconservatives Declare War on Trump”. On 21 March 2016, the Washington Post bannered, “Trump Questions Need for NATO, Outlines Noninterventionist Foreign Policy”. On 23 March 2016, William Greider headlined in The Nation, “Donald Trump Could Be the Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare”.
This is called by some people ‘non-interventionist’, but actually it’s more correctly called opposition to the continuing take-over of the U.S. government by the military-industrial complex. Trump says: “Right now we’re protecting, we’re basically protecting Japan, and we are, every time North Korea raises its head, you know, we get calls from Japan and we get calls from everybody else, and ‘Do something.’ And there’ll be a point at which we’re just not going to be able to do it anymore. Now, does that [intervention] mean nuclear? It could mean nuclear. It’s a very scary nuclear world. Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation.” On the same basis, he especially wants to ratchet-down, not up (like Clinton does), the U.S. arms-race with Russia, which restoration of the ‘Cold War’ is beneficial to arms-makers and their investors, but not to anyone else. And he’s especially against continuing our existing relationship with the Sauds, the royal family who own Saudi Arabia. He says: “We’re not being reimbursed for the kind of tremendous service that we’re performing by protecting various countries. Now Saudi Arabia’s one of them. I think if Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection, … I don’t think it would be around. It would be, whether it was internal or external, it wouldn’t be around for very long. And they’re a money machine, they’re a monetary machine, and yet they don’t reimburse us the way we should be reimbursed. So that’s a real problem.” The Saud family, the royal owners of their nation, compete against the government of Russia as the leading suppliers of oil to the world. Russia’s main export market was Europe, and the Sauds have wanted to replace Russia’s oil and gas dominance there. The Saud family are also the world’s leading buyer of weaponry. U.S. weapons-makers profit enormously from continuing this relationship — the Sauds buy America’s weapons, and the U.S. joins the Sauds’ wars, which are basically against the allies of Iran and of Russia, the Sauds’ chief competitors. The Sauds helped us end the Soviet Union, by sending Osama bin Laden into Afghanistan etc. and creating Islamic terrorism, both there and subsequently inside Russia, in Chechnia. After King Fahd had a stroke in 1995, Osama bin Laden’s advice was even sought by the Saud Princes to determine which of them should become the next king, and he supplied that advice to them in a letter, which was delivered by a private courier. Since the U.S.-Saudi creation of Islamic terrorism helped end the Soviet Union by 1991, the Sauds have been just a huge drain and embarrassment to America. Only the armaments firms benefit from continuing the campaign, now directed against Russia and its allies, instead of against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact.
Trump says: “Many people in countries that you think are our allies, are giving ISIS tremendous amounts of money and it’s going through very dark banking channels. And we should have stopped those banking channels long ago and I think we’ve done nothing to stop them, and that money is massive. … And money is coming in from people that we think are our allies.” By “our allies,” he certainly means the Sauds, but he might also be referring to the royal families of Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait, all of whom likewise are competitors against Russia, and share essentially the same fundamentalist-Islamic faith the Sauds do.
Trump is much more explicit about these things than Sanders has been, and Trump has been even so bold as to assert: “I have two problems with NATO. No. 1, it’s obsolete. When NATO was formed many decades ago we were a different country. There was a different threat. Soviet Union was, the Soviet Union, not Russia, which was much bigger than Russia, as you know. And, it was certainly much more powerful than even today’s Russia, although again you go back into the weaponry. But, but – I said, I think NATO is obsolete, and I think that – because I don’t think – right now we don’t have somebody looking at terror, and we should be looking at terror. And you may want to add and subtract from NATO in terms of countries. But we have to be looking at terror, because terror today is the big threat.” Though there was his usual incoherence — NATO is “obsolete” but “you may want to add and subtract from NATO in terms of countries” (instead of to end it) — his statement isn’t nearly as incoherent as, for example, Hillary’s proposing to bring peace to Syria by going to war there against Russia. And he clarified his view further when he went on to say of NATO, that not only are its member-countries wrong for today’s challenges, but that “it was set up to talk about the Soviet Union,” and the big problem today is terrorism, and “I think, probably a new institution maybe would be better for that than using NATO which was not meant for that.” So: he actually knows that it’s got to be ended. A military alliance that’s “obsolete” is dangerous. Perhaps no U.S. Presidential candidate has spoken in such depth about foreign affairs. In this matter, he has delved far beyond the fashionable political platitutudes, to the basic realities, which no politician wants to talk about. Doing this requires guts. He’s correct not only regarding TPP etc., but regarding fundamental military strategy.
On 18 May 2016, the Republican Robert Kagan, scion of (along with the Kristols) the most famous neoconservative family, and also the husband of Victoria Nuland (Hillary’s friend who ran Obama’s coup in Ukraine and installed racist fascists or nazis into control there), headlined in the Washington Post, “This Is How Fascism Comes to America”, and he opened, with his usual sanctimonious pomposity, “The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic.”
Then, the May/June 2016 issue of Politico magazine headlined “The Kremlin’s Candidate”, and Michael Crowley, formerly of The New Republic (the top Democratic Party neoconservative magazine), portrayed Trump in the way that Joseph R. McCarthy had been famous in the old days for portraying people such as Robert La Follette Jr.: as being a traitor. The far-right ‘media-watchdog’ organization, Accuracy In Media (AIM), headlined on 20 April 2016, 25 years after the end of the Soviet Union, “Trump Hires ‘Fixer’ With Soviet Connections”. Hillary Clinton’s shills are all over the newsmedia proclaiming Trump to be Putin’s fool, or Putin’s secret agent, or even to be both at once (which simply exposes how little respect they have for the people who believe their lies).
Trump’s basic message is that the actual Cold War against the Soviet Union and its communism ended in 1991 when the U.S.S.R. and its Warsaw Pact ended, and that until Islamic terrorism arose after that, America really had no enemy after the end of communism — that Islamic jihadists are America’s real enemy, and Mitt Romney was profoundly wrong to allege that “Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe.” Mitt supported the invasion of Iraq, just as did Hillary. Hillary was also the one member of the Obama Administration who most effectively argued for and persuaded President Obama to invade Libya. (Both Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi were friendly toward Russia, which neoconservatives especially and viscerally hate. Thus, there was Hillary’s famous “We came, we saw, he died — ha, ha!!”) Trump says something that Sanders himself has merely hinted at: NATO’s emphasis against Russia — the very basis of NATO — is, after 1991, outdated, and needs to be replaced by an entirely new U.S. defense-strategy, one directed instead against jihadists, no longer against Russia, which isn’t even communist anymore, and doesn’t even have the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact military alliance anymore. He’s looking long-term, and saying that national security against jihadists is a real concern, but that the war against Russia needs to stop and has no reason to continue, and that, to the contrary, the U.S. and Russia have shared interests in eliminating jihadists and jihadism. He says we’ll need to work together in order to end Islamic terrorism, which will mean a profound change in today’s Islamic world — a change that will benefit Moslems even more than anyone else, but that will also benefit us enormously. The idea of fighting both jihadists and Russians makes no sense at all to him: “You can’t be fighting two people. … You have to pick one or the other.” That’s a stronger statement than Sanders’s (“I think in Syria the primary focus now must be on destroying ISIS and working over the years to get rid of Assad. That’s the secondary issue.”), but it’s in exactly the same direction.
Already, the Obama Administration and NATO have pushed the anti-Russian agenda, and are expanding NATO, to such an extent that “The US leadership has done everything it could to push the situation to the brink of disaster.” Beyond that brink is nuclear war. A potential ally in the global war against jihadists is thus instead “without question, our number one geopolitical foe,” and declared by Obama to be the world’s most “aggressive” nation. That’s being said of a nation which wants to be America’s strongest ally, in America’s — and Russia’s — real war: against jihadism.
In addition, the U.S. military are now starting to push for the necessity of going to war as soon as possible against China, so as not to permit the Chinese to arm themselves enough to be able to survive and remain an independent power. Trump has said that as President he will respect China’s independence, though he will negotiate with them a new agreement regarding trade between the two countries. Neoconservatives, by contrast, are only slightly less hostile toward China than they are toward Russia.
5: Sanders has been consistently opposed to fossil fuels. Hillary has aggressively supported them.
Trump, like all Republican Presidential contenders (except for Ted Cruz), is no longer outright, and with certainty, denying that global warming is a real problem. On 11 February 2016, MSNBC headlined about this, “How Trump and company warmed to climate change”. However, no Republican Presidential candidate can afford to speak about the necessity to end reliance on fossil fuels, which constitute that Party’s chief and most reliable financial support. A Democrat, such as Hillary Clinton, can afford to speak about it, even if, like Clinton, the given candidate is actually also in the bag for fossil fuel companies. The Trump-Clinton rhetorical difference on global warming can’t be evaluated in a vacuum that’s devoid of these funding-realities. During all of Hillary’s time in public office, she has — by her actions though not always by her words — been a reliable supporter of fossil fuels, and fossil-fuels companies have responded with their money. Trump has no policy-record at all, but only rhetoric (pro-fossil-fuels, of course), and even his rhetoric hasn’t been consistently Republican on this quintessentially Republican issue. The biggest organizer of fossil-fuels political donations, the Koch brothers, are directing all of the Presidential-campaign cash to the Clinton campaign, none to Trump.
On 17 July 2015, Paul Blumenthal and Kate Sheppard at Huffington Post bannered, “Hillary Clinton’s Biggest Campaign Bundlers Are Fossil Fuel Lobbyists” and the sub-head was “Clinton’s top campaign financiers are linked to Big Oil, natural gas and the Keystone pipeline.”
Her record does show that she represents those lobbyists, not the public. As I had reported previously, the Hillary Clinton State Department’s two environmental impact statements on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline were triple-hoaxes that totally and scandalously ignored the proposed pipeline’s impact on climate-change but that did discuss the impact of climate-change on the proposed pipeline (as if anybody even cared about that); neither of the two studies had even one climatologist on the team that prepared the report; and the State Department didn’t do either of the reports themselves, but instead hired two oil-industry contractors that were proposed to the State Department by TransCanada Corporation, which is the company that was proposing to build and own the pipeline. So: those ‘studies’ were rigged to enable the President to approve the Pipeline — which he ultimately decided not to do.
Furthermore, on 2 May 2013, Steve Horn headlined, “Digging Into TransCanada’s Lobbying History,” and he found that, indeed, Hillary Clinton was surrounded by TransCanada lobbyists while the reports were being prepared by TransCanada’s chosen oil-industry contractors.
Hillary Clinton is also a big champion of fracking. In September 2014, Mariah Blake bannered “How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World,” and reported that, “As part of its expanded energy mandate, the State Department hosted conferences on fracking from Thailand to Botswana. It sent US experts to work alongside foreign officials as they developed shale gas programs.” The energy-companies didn’t pay for those sales-calls by the U.S. Secretary of State; taxpayers did.
Though Clinton verbally endorses the view that global warming is the world’s biggest problem, she doesn’t care about it in her actual actions as a public official. It’s mere rhetoric to her. Trump seems more honest, by saying: “When people talk global warming, I say the global warming that we have to be careful of is the nuclear global warming [blowing up the world]. Single biggest problem that the world has. Power of weaponry today is beyond anything ever thought of, or even, you know, it’s unthinkable, the power. You look at Hiroshima and you can multiply that times many, many times, is what you have today. And to me, it’s the single biggest, it’s the single biggest problem.” Furthermore, that statement was his response to an interviewer’s question, “Would you be willing to have the U.S. be the first to use nuclear weapons in a confrontation with adversaries?” Trump’s response indicated that the nuclear-war issue brought to his mind the issue of global warming: it showed that the mental association in his mind is that these two issues are the two most important issues that a U.S. President must address. He answered the question about nuclear war, by asserting that nuclear war is an even bigger concern for him than is global warming. That’s the correct priority, but it also shows that Trump is no conservative when the issue is global warming. No conservative thinks “global warming” when being asked about nuclear war.
In order for Trump to hold his conservative base, he must include among his nominal ‘economic advisors’ some rabid anti-environmentalists. One of them is the libertarian Stephen Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation, and founder of the Club for Growth. On 10 August 2016, Morning Consult bannered, “Trump Adviser Not Sweating Consequences of Promised Coal Boom”, and Moore criticized Trump for not being sufficiently pro-fracking. Moore even condemned environmentalists by saying “Fracking reduces global warming, you morons!” Of course, that statement of his is false. He then lambasted Barack Obama: “I think he believes totally in this lunatic idea that somehow everything’s going to be underwater in 20 years. … I think Obama is the most fanatical politician I’ve ever met on global warming.” The kicker in the article was this: “Hillary Clinton, however, appears to be ‘less extreme’ than Obama in opposing fossil fuels, Moore said.” Moore, a ‘former’ lobbyist himself, knows that she’s in the fossil-fuels industries’ pockets. Trump, on the other hand, is just a question-mark. Clearly, Trump is seen as the enemy, by the biggest anti-environmentalist political spenders of all: the strongly pro-Hillary Koch brothers.
6: Sanders says that the system is rigged. Hillary says that it’s not.
Trump says, “It’s not just the political system that’s rigged, it’s the whole economy. … Hillary Clinton’s message is old and tired. Her message is that things can’t change. My message is that things have to change.” That’s basically the same message as Sanders was promoting.
7: Sanders says the system is rigged specifically against the poor. Hillary says the problem that keeps people poor is instead individual bigots — against Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc. Not the system itself. She is proud to represent the system. She’s not against it. She’s for it.
On 18 March 2016, Jason Linkins at Huffington Post bannered “How To Explain Hillary Clinton’s Fundraiser With Failed Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes: Scenes from the wreckage of the Democratic party”, and he reported that, “‘At some point,’ [Thomas] Frank tells the Huffington Post, ‘[the Democrats] decided that they weren’t all that interested in the concerns of working people anymore.’ Rather, Frank says, they became fixated on ‘the concerns of the professional class, people with advanced degrees, people at the very top of our economic society.’” Those are the voters whom Hillary Clinton’s policies aim to please. Trump, like Bernie, is pitching to working people. By making economic regulations so complex that only large corporations can afford the costs of compliance with them, more lawyers are needed, and more accountants are needed. By reducing and blocking taxpayer-funded healthcare, more doctors and more bill-collection agencies and more lobbyists are hired at higher salaries, in order to produce any given quality-level of healthcare.
8: Sanders’s political career has been financed by small-dollar donations. Hillary’s has been financed by mega-donations.
Trump’s stated positions are basically like Sanders’s: Trump has stated:
“I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. … And that’s a broken system.”
As regards proposed solutions, Trump’s focus is different from Sanders’s, which proposes both limits on donations, and also total transparency of mega-donations so that the public will accurately know who actually was behind each particular mega-donation. Trump recognizes that the Republicans on the Supreme Court have eliminated the former (size-limits), and that they have also opened up a huge door to increased non-transparency, regarding whom the actual mega-donors to a candidate are. Trump has said:
“[JORGE RAMOS]: But should it be limited legally — TRUMP: I don’t know about the limits. I think the most important thing is transparency. You have to know who you’re dealing with. And right now you don’t. You don’t. And I’m talking about PACs in all fairness. I have good friends who like to put money into PACs. Many friends, I have some enemies too, by the way. But I have many friends. They put money in PACs. And you need transparency. You need to know who is putting up what. So when they start making deals in a year or two years or three years, you know what is happening.”
Hillary Clinton has opposed Sanders’s proposal regarding limiting the size of campaign-contributions, and she has been vague on everything else except “Overturn Citizens United”, which is one of the Republican judges’ decisions (starting with Buckley v. Valeo in 1976) that unleashed mega-donations by declaring that in political campaigns, money is first-amendment-protected “speech,” and that therefore the more money that’s spent advertising any candidate, the more “free speech” there is, and therefore, the better it is. In other words: Clinton has no actual position on money-in-politics (the idea that ‘money is speech’), she has only empty rhetoric, though she’s long been in public office collecting mega-donations. Clinton made it all the way through the primaries against Sanders and never even asserted (as if one can even trust what she says) a coherent position on the matter, other than the bumper-sticker “Overturn Citizens United,” to please liberal fools to vote for her. Meanwhile, the lawyer Glenn Greenwald has pointed out that Hillary was lying, even on the little she says about Citizens United — the one money-in-politics decision she condemns. Greenwald wrote: “The Clinton argument actually goes well beyond the Court’s conservatives: In Citizens United, the right-wing justices merely denied the corrupting effect of independent expenditures (i.e., ones not coordinated with the campaign). But Clinton supporters in 2016 are denying the corrupting effect of direct campaign donations by large banks and corporations and, even worse, huge speaking fees paid to an individual politician shortly before and after that person holds massive political power.” Donald Trump has spoken clearly against all of that — he opposes, in principle, the type of opacity in donations, which the Democratic Party under Clinton encourages; and he also opposes, in principle, the opacity (such as Clinton’s being allowed to hide from the public her 91 paid secret speeches to mega-corporations and to their lobbying organizations). Trump, like Bernie, says the system itself is corrupt and corruptiing. The corruptors don’t like him much more than they liked Bernie.
The Washington Post headlined on 1 March 2016, “GOP Super PAC’s Ad Portrays Donald Trump as a Predatory Huckster”. The next day, Politico reported:
The effort [by Republican mega-donors against Trump] is centered on the recently formed Our Principles PAC, the latest big-money group airing anti-Trump ads, which is run by GOP strategist Katie Packer, deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012.
The group, initially funded by $3 million from Marlene Ricketts, wife of billionaire T.D. Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, wants to saturate the expensive Florida airwaves ahead of the state’s March 15 primary with hopes of denying Trump a victory that could crush the hopes of home state Sen. Marco Rubio.
A conference call on Tuesday to solicit donors for the group included Paul Singer, billionaire founder of hedge fund Elliott Management; Hewlett Packard President and CEO Meg Whitman; and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, one of Joe and Marlene Ricketts’ three sons. Wealthy Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein is also expected to help fund the effort. Jim Francis, a big GOP donor and bundler from Texas, was also on the phone call on Tuesday.
The Washington Post reported that “Money Raised as of June 30” of 2016, produced the following ratios, advantaging Clinton over Trump:
Ratio of Hillary Clinton Campaign $ divided by Donald Trump campaign $ = 3.21
Ratio of Clinton Super PACs $ divided by Trump Super PACs $ = 12.71
18% of Clinton-campaign money came from donations of $200 or less. 27% of Trump-campaign money did. But that 27/18 ratio, of Trump/Clinton small donations, under-represents the true extent to which Trump was being backed by small donations, because Super PACS are almost entirely big-money donations, and an additional $106.8 million of Super PAC money helped Clinton’s campaign, whereas an additional mere $8.4 million of Super PAC money helped Trump’s campaign. Clearly: Clinton attracts the big money; Trump repels it. (He even condemns it.)
With Trump, there is at least the possibility of a President who opposes the existing corrupt-and-corrupting system. With Clinton, there is a long and continuing, thoroughly convincing, record of her participating in, and sustaining, corruption in public office. Her top donors are employed by the companies that benefit the most from complexification of our laws, eliminating simplification, adding counter-productive bureacratization, which crushes everyone but the top 1%.
9: Sanders favors every possible means of reducing the influence big-money donations to politicians has over politics. Hillary opposes that idea.
Trump during the Republican primaries was so averse to selling the Presidency to his fellow-billionaires, that he ran his campaign, against his competitors, on a virtual shoestring. After the primaries, he needs lots more money to campaign, especially against Hillary’s campaign that’s funded more heavily than any political campaign in history, from almost every special-interest group (and see here the list of closed-to-the-public speeches she’s given to the various lobbying organizations). She’s offering the U.S. government for sale. Trump is thus-far getting very few billionaires to pony up for his campaign. That’s extraordinary: normally, Republican candidates get even more from mega-donations than Democratic candidates do. However, Trump’s being starved by his fellow-billionaires means that he needs to rely even more heavily upon the Republican Party’s grassroots voting base: especially fundamentalist Christians, gun-rights fanatics, and anti-immigrant voters. The more that he can rely upon Bernie’s voters to win, the less he’ll need to rely upon those traditional Republican groups. If Bernie’s voters show up at the polls for him, this will greatly encourage a future President Trump to surprise the nation with how progressive he actually is. But he can’t afford, right now, to make any overt policy-pitches to Bernie’s voters, because that could scare away lots of the Republican voting-base he’ll definitely need in order to win.
Also, Trump, unlike Sanders, is running in the traditional big-money Party, the Republican Party. Though Sanders was able to be viable while categorically refusing any assistance from Super PACs, Trump wasn’t, and isn’t. Trump, if he wins, will pull the Republican Party toward the “peace and justice” left; congressional Democrats will then need to move along with them in that same direction, in order to be able to retain their existing base. By contrast, a Clinton victory would move the Democratic Party to the right, and then congressional Republicans will need to move even farther to the right, in order to retain their existing voting-base. To move America’s center in the direction of progressivism, Trump is the clear choice.
Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ deceiver-in-chief; she is actually the Democratic Party’s Richard Nixon. By contrast, the “huckster” Trump is, if anything, too honest for his own good. Maybe he thinks that he’s a good-enough sheer salesman to be able to do that and still win, but he’ll need a lot more support from Bernie-voters in order to make it happen.
10: Sanders favors socialized health insurance, like exists in the European nations that spend per-capita half what America does but have higher life-expectancy than America does. Hillary opposes that — she favors the existing profit-based system of health-care, and opposes the European system where basic healthcare is a right, no privilege (that’s based only on ability-to-pay).
Trump says he favors taxpayer-paid healthcare for Americans who cannot afford to pay for the basic healthcare they need:
“Donald Trump: By the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private.” But — Scott Pelley: Universal health care? Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now. Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of how? Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably — Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it? Donald Trump: — The government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side.”
Here’s what that “so much money on the other side” might refer to, as I reported on 1 March 2013:
The latest OECD data on healthcare costs show that the U.S. spends by far the world’s highest percentage of GDP on healthcare, 17.7 percent; and also show that the average U.S. life expectancy is 78.7 years; by contrast, Canada spends 11.2 percent, and their life expectancy is 81.0 years. The OECD average expenditure is 9.3 percent , and life expectancy is 80.0 years. So: the U.S. spends twice as high a percentage of GDP as every other OECD nation, and gets markedly inferior results. This makes the U.S. far less economically competitive than it otherwise would be; but, the healthcare industries finance conservative politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and all Republicans; so, those politicians don’t like single-payer — it would take much of the excess profits out of exploiting the sick, and those excess profits help to fund their campaigns.
The American people’s financial losses produce exceptional financial gains for the investors in healthcare-related stocks, and also inflate the pay for executives in those firms. This helps to fund lots of what conservatives such as Antonin Scalia lovingly call “free speech” — campaign commercials.
Here are the latest available data, and they show that, still, the U.S. is somewhat worse than average, for quality of care, and astronomically higher than any nation on both per-capita healthcare costs, and the percentage of GDP that goes to healthcare costs. For examples: across 45 countries tabulated by the OECD, the U.S. healthcare-expenditure per capita was $8,713 and 16.4% of GDP, whereas the average OECD country paid $3,453 and 8.9% of GDP. France paid $4,124 and 10.9% of GDP, and Japan paid $3,713 and 10.2% of GDP. The U.S. also was tied with Brazil, Chile, and South Africa, for having the highest percentage of healthcare-costs that’s paid privately rather than by the government.
In any case, with our existing healthcare-for-profit, instead of healthcare-as-a-right, system, the U.S. ends up paying lots more than our competing nations, yet getting inferior results. (Apparently, postponing care until one is being rushed into an emergency-room is both atrociously poor care, and extremely expensive care. But it’s the most profitable for the healthcare-industries.)
Trump might have been referring to data such as those. If so, then he was correct about “we’re going to save so much money on the other side.” Hillary’s statements against the European-Canadian-Japanese system — basic healthcare as a right, instead of as a privilege — are false, and she knows it, she simply lies (for money).
Hillary condemns Bernie Sanders’ support of taxpayer-funded health isurance for all (or ‘Medicare for all’ or “single-payer” health insurance). She says, “People who have health emergencies can’t wait for us to have a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass.” (There is no ‘theoretical debate’: many of those other countries do retain a role for private insurance, but not as big a role as ours, and not the same role.) That CBS News story, 29 January 2016, by a reporter who clearly favored Hillary, was headlined “Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will ‘never, ever’ happen”, and that reporter summarized by saying, “The debate over health care underscores the difference between Clinton’s campaign pitch as a pragmatic, effecitve leader and Sander’s pitch as a candidate with vision,” or, in other words, Clinton was saying, and CBS was simply assuming to be true, and not challenging at all: the U.S. must stay with its existing system, which produces lower life-expectancies and twice the cost; Bernie’s belief that we can do what Europe, Japan, etc. have done, is impossible for Americans; our country is too corrupt for that, she’s saying (and CBS reported without questioning or challenging). The CBS news-report continued by approvingly quoting Hillary: “’As someone who has a little bit of experience standing up to the health insurance industry, that spent, you know, many, many millions of dollars attacking me, and probably will so again. … I think it’s important to point out that there are a lot of reasons we have the health care system we have today,’ she said. ‘I know how much money influences the political decision-making. … However, we started a system that had private health insurance.’” That news-report closed by quoting, also approvingly, Hillary’s statement in 1994: “‘If, for whatever reason, the Congress doesn’t pass health care reform, I believe, and I may be totally off base on this, but I believe that by the year 2000 we will have a single payer system,’ she said. ‘I don’t even think it’s a close call politically. I think the momentum for a single payer system will sweep the country. … It will be such a huge popular issue … that even if it’s not successful the first time, it will eventually be.’” Back in 1994, she was citing single-payer as being a threat — never a goal. Wall Street knows where she stands, even if her voters don’t.
Obamacare continues this status-quo, but adds, to it, more federal and state regulations, which make the system even more complex, and thereby further disadvantages small businesses, in their competing against big ones. Hillary Clinton likes Obamacare, and opposes single-payer health insurance. Back in 2008, she said regarding both her own 1993 Hillarycare proposal, and her then-current 2008 campaign proposal: “I never seriously considered a single payer system. … I think that, you know, there’s too many bells and whistles that Americans want that would not be available.” She said, “Talking about single payer really is a conversation ender for most Americans, because then they become very nervous about socialized medicine and all the rest of this.” However, that too was a lie. She reads polls. Just months earlier, on 14-20 December 2007, an Associated Press/Yahoo poll of 1,523 registered voters, including 847 Democrats and 655 Republicans — about the same proportions Democratic and Republican as the U.S. population generally, at that time — asked respondents whether “the United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers,” and also asked them “Do you consider yourself a supporter of a single-payer health care system, that is a national health plan financed by taxpayers in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan”; and 65 percent said yes to the first, and 54 percent said yes to the second. The public wanted single-payer. Hillary had designed her 1993 Hillarycare proposal for the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) industry; and she designed her 2008 position for the drug companies and the private insurance companies. Single-payer would replace those big political contributors, which she doesn’t want to do; she wants their money.
What she had said in 1994 about Hillarycare needing to be passed into law because of the danger that “by the year 2000 we will have a single-payer system,” was being said by her in private to the top people at Lehman Brothers Health Corporation. She knew that single-payer was popular and would become more so. Consequently, when she said to the public, in her 2008 Presidential campaign, that “single payer really is a conversation ender for most Americans,” she was just blatantly lying. Her real masters are clear: it’s not the public. She instead treats the public like suckers. (Trump just has a different way of doing it, and evidently not so clearly a malignant purpose for it.)
Furthermore, she implicitly has condemned the Canadian and other nations’ single-payer healthcare systems by saying, “We don’t have one size fits all; our country is quite diverse. What works in New York City won’t work in Albuquerque.” Her presumption was that what works in Canada or some other large single-payer country cannot work here — that local control must trump everything in order to fix what’s wrong with American health care. She was implying that our healthcare system delivers superior healthcare at a lower cost than those single-payer countries’. However, as we’ve shown, that too is a lie: we pay more, and get less, and she knows it.
This is how the Clinton scam works: most of the Democratic Party voters are either totally ignorant of it, or else in denial about it. They think that because she’s not nominally a “Republican,” she’s less right-wing than Republicans are. That’s the reason why she won the votes of enough Democrats to become the nominee: they are fooled by her public rhetoric, and don’t know about her actual record in public office, which is simply atrocious.
A Washington Post interview published on August 11th, was titled “The Donald Trump interview that should terrify national Republicans”, and the questioners there were shocked at the extent to which Trump’s economic proposals reflected Democratic and not Republican economic policies — far more so than Hillary Clinton’s do. Trump in this interview made the distinction between the U.S. government borrowing money at record all-time-low interest rates such as now, versus when interest rates are high, and he said that in a time like this, the repairing and rebuilding of our infrastructure will repay maximum returns for the future, because of those record-low interest-rates. He was proposing to more than double the amount that Hillary Clinton is proposing to spend to restore America’s crumbling infrastructure up to world-class standards, because doing this now will reduce instead of increase costs long-term. “Roads, tunnels, hospitals. I mean, everything. We have to fix the airports. Our airports are like third world countries.”
The health of the public is America’s human-resources infrastructure (notice that he included there “hospitals”), and Trump — not Hillary — is the candidate who recognizes this fact, and who thinks in this way. It’s something that the great Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the creator of Social Security, and of the Works Progress Administration), recognized and put into practice starting in 1938, and immediately the U.S. economy boomed, from then on. The FDR boom didn’t start on December 7, 1941, with World War II; it started when FDR first came into office in 1933, and really sped up in 1938 going full speed ahead with Keynesianism. (Keynes’s theory wasn’t even published until 1936.) Trump is correct to say (in effect) that now is the time for FDR2 — not another Herbert Hoover (or, since Hillary is corrupt, Warren Harding).
My vote for Trump will be the first Republican vote in my life, and I hope that this will be the only time in my life when the Democratic candidate is so abysmal that I’ll have to do this. It’s not because I like Trump; it’s because he’s vastly better than the Democratic nominee, whom I consider to be by far the worst Democrat ever. To me, choosing between Trump, who has no political record, and Hillary, who has the worst record in public office of any Democrat ever, is easy. On all other ballot lines, I shall, as always, vote Democratic. In fact, that will be the best way to block from getting to President Trump’s desk the Republican bills that he’ll likely be wanting to sign, such as eliminating the estate-tax. But I don’t expect that Democrats will at all oppose what might be his boldest progressive initiatives, such as, perhaps, a European-style healthcare system. If Democrats would block something like that, they’d then be killing their own Party (and cursing their country), and there aren’t many Democrats who are (like Hillary Clinton would be) corrupt enough to carry things quite that far in the conservative direction, as to persist in sustaining healthcare-by-corruption. Perhaps a President Trump would get so many congressional Democrats and Republicans to vote for a single-payer health insurance proposal, that such a piece of legislation could be signed into law much likelier than if a President Sanders (who would be voted against in Congress by virtually every Republican member) were to be pushing for exactly the same type of legislation and getting only some congressional Democrats (and no Republicans then) to vote for it. Indeed, we all might even turn out to be surprised to find that a President Trump will be the most effective progressive President since FDR. If Democrats control Congress, then he might turn out that way, and become widely revered — and the neoconservatives, who are America’s fascists, will then have to become curses upon some other land, perhaps Israel, because they wouldn’t be able, any more, to make life hell for Americans (such as by our invading Iraq and Libya). They’ll then be like the Soviet Union’s die-hard communists were, after communism ended: failed ‘prophets’ without a country.
Hillary Clinton’s constant refrain against Trump is that he’s a racist. However, as the progressive John V. Walsh argued, on 29 December 2015, in a superb essay, “Who Is the Arch Racist: The Donald or Hillary?” the answer to that question is clearly Clinton, not clearly Trump, despite Trump’s frequent use of racist rhetoric in order to hold enough of the Republican base to be able to win the election. Anyone who believes what either of the two candidates asserts is believing a confirmed and persistent liar, but only Hillary is a consistent liar for the biggest-money interests. With Trump, we really don’t know what his policies would be, because he has no record in public office, but with Hillary Clinton, we do — and it’s truly horrific.
John Pilger said, “Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.” (Pilger’s disgust against liars and hypocrites such as Obama, reflects his extraodinarily pure progressivism. Obama has been the most effective — and effectively closeted — Republican President; he has been the ultimate deceiver. For example, Blacks have actually lost wealth under Obama, the most of any ethnic group, yet they constantly support him the most of any ethnic group.) And anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton would be less conservative than Barack Obama has been, is in for a sore disappointment if she becomes the next President. By contrast, a President Donald Trump could well surprise strongly on the upside, because, unlike Hillary, whose record in public office makes clear that she would be horrifying, Trump has no such record at all, and the people who are demonizing him are themselves individuals whose records in public office (or else as journalists) are as despicable as Hillary Clinton’s record is.
Both sides in this election are concentrating on personal attacks against the other, but the ten issues that have been discussed here are vastly more important than, for examples, whether Donald Trump (and/or Bill Clinton) is a rapist (or whether Hillary Clinton hired thugs to make life hell for Bill’s rape-victims), or whether the Trump University scam from which Trump profited, is worse than the Laureate International Universities scam from which Bill and Hillary Clinton profited. At the economic top in America, is unimaginable corruption and rampant psychopathy; and, so, one can reasonably question whether this nation is still a democracy at all, but the scummiest people have funded Hillary Clinton’s career, vastly more than Donald Trump’s. Hillary owes a lot of billionaires a lot of money on their investments in her. Trump does not.
We’re going to be placing this country into the hands of either Hillary Clinton’s enemies, or else Donald Trump’s enemies, and the latter group are by far the worse of the two. Not to vote, in such a situation, or else to vote for a ‘protest’ candidate and so throw one’s vote away (even if the voting-machine will only be programmed to misreport it), is irresponsible. If America is not a democracy, then, still, a voter’s obligation is to do whatever he or she can in order to maximize the chance that it might become one. As between the two viable options here, Clinton is the clear police-state option, but Trump might possibly fight to restore America’s democracy. The choice of Trump over Clinton is easy to make, because, even in the reasonable worst-case scenario, the damage Trump would likely cause the country (and the world) is vastly less than the damage — nuclear war against Russia — that Clinton would likely cause. This is certainly no ‘Tweedledee, Tweedledum’ election. Not even close to that.
The progressive journalist Bill Blum put the case succinctly: “I would vote for Trump. My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I’d call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted.”
By voting for Trump, you add 1 vote to him, and 0 vote to Hillary, and so that’s a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Trump up 1. By voting for Hillary, you add 1 vote to her, and 0 vote to Trump, and so that too is a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Hillary up 1. Either vote is a real vote.
The real world of electoral politics is the foundation of democracy, without which it can’t function at all. Fantasy votes are not votes that can even possibly participate in democracy. For example: by voting instead for Jill Stein, you add 0 vote to each of the two real-world contestants, just the same as you would be doing by staying home on Election Day.
Regarding the question of whether voting for Jill Stein is at all rational:
The U.S. Presidency is determined in the Electoral College, in which each state’s entire delegation votes the given state’s Election-Day choice, winner-take-all for all of that state’s electors.
Neither Nader nor Perot won even one state, neither of them came even close to winning even a single state.
Jill Stein definitely won’t win even one state.
The Green Party is on the ballot in only 22 states. Voting for her even in the states where she is on the ballot is ludicrous. It’s a sucker-punch on the ballot there.
When Nader ran, and received 2.74% of the nationwide vote at his peak in 2000, he was on the ballot in 49 states, yet still he won not even a single state. Instead, because he drew off more than enough Gore voters in both New Hampshire and Florida so as to throw NH to Bush and to cause FL to be so close that the outcome there was decided by the 5-4 Republican-majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, Nader made George W. Bush President. If Nader hadn’t been on the FL ballot and drawn 97,488 votes there, Gore would have won FL decisively; Bush’s ‘537 vote win’ couldn’t even possibly have occurred, because Gore’s winning margin there would have precluded any recount at all. (Gore would have won FL by around ten thousand votes.) There would have been no invasion of Iraq. The problem of global warming wouldn’t have been shunted off to the side, as it was by Bush.
Furthermore, Nader also threw NH to Bush, and Gore would have won the Presidency even if only one of those two states, NH and FL, hadn’t been thrown to Bush by Nader. Bush needed both of those two states in order to eke out his 271-266-vote win of the Electoral College, and that’s what Nader’s participation in the contest handed Bush — both states. Nader sucked away enough voter-fools, most of them to the left of center, so as to move the electoral result (the electoral advantage) far to the right of center.
In a Presidential system such as the U.S., only fools vote third-party. These people are either so ignorant they can’t count, or so stupid they think that to ‘register a protest’ is somehow more patriotic than to register a vote that might make an actual difference in the resulting winner, the resulting President.
The stakes in the current election are actually huge: the Tweedledee Tweedledom argument certainly doesn’t apply here (neither did it apply in 2000) to excuse a voter from really participating in the ultimate outcome. It’s our duty to vote only for candidates who might possibly win, even if the electoral system is rigged. If the electoral system is rigged, this is the only way to protest, which has even a possibility of being effective (unless a violent revolution might improve matters, which seems unlikely here). To be a fool is never good. It harms everyone. It’s certainly not an ethical choice, if anyone actually chooses it. (Of course, if the person is too stupid to be said to ‘choose’ it, then one can’t blame the person, but merely feel sorry for them and for their victims.)
The only realistic choice that is offered is either Clinton or else Trump. Even if it’s a choice between two bad candidates, one of them is far worse than the other is. With Trump as President, there is a realistic possibility of getting a reasonably good President, someone who won enough independents and fooled enough Republicans, to enable him to win the Republican Party’s nomination. With Clinton as President, there’s a realistic possibility of nuclear war with Russia, but a virtual certaintly that the nation will be ruled behind-the-scenes, by-and-for America’s international corporations. That is the real choice we have, if we have any at all. Fantasists have the freedom to stay with their fictions, but realists are obliged not to. Realism is a prerequisite to progressivism. Trump is the clear, and the only reasonable, choice in this election.
Our choice, Bernie, didn’t make it to the finals. We are stunningly fortunate that the voters in the other Party’s primaries ended up giving us a realistic chance to have, as the next U.S. President, a person who is at least no worse than, and is on many of the most important issues far better than, the atrocity (Hillary) that is being offered to us by the Democratic Party. How often does the Republican Party provide the better candidate? In the opinion of this Bernie-supporter, such a thing has never happened since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Donald Trump might not be another Abraham Lincoln, but he might be another Franklin Delano Roosevelt — the greatest progressive of them all. Thank you, Donald Trump, for having given us this opportunity — the realistic possibility to salvage, for America, a progressive future.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.