After much deliberation, I have decided to write-in Bernie for President, or else vote for Jill Stein the Green Party candidate. I will NOT vote for Hillary Clinton, and many people freak out, telling me that this is a vote for Trump. I tell them that if the price for keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House is putting Trump in it, then I am OK with that.
I was living in Stuttgart in 1983 when Reagan stationed the nuclear-tipped Pershing II’s in West Germany so he could have a pissing contest with the USSR, and we all thought WWIII was right around the corner.
People forget, but this had been a HUGE worry about Reagan: that he was a crazy fascist and would not hesitate to unleash nukes against the “Empire of Evil” – remember the USSR was a big thing back then, and we were all scared – and rightfully so.
On the domestic front Reagan was determined to privatise Social Security and completely do away with Medicare, which he called ”socialised medicine”. He rode into DC on a platform that called for disassembling government almost entirely, eliminating the Dept. of Education among others, and he was surely going to abolish the social “safety net” and put those Cadillac-driving, filet steak-eating “Welfare Queens” back to work.
Well, you know what? The nuclear missiles never flew, and Medicare, Social Security, the Education Dept. are still here. Only one of his major goals was achieved, but not under his Administration: it was a Democratic President named Bill Clinton who 8 years later decided to “end Welfare as we know it”. That was all part of Clinton’s “Third Way” takeover of the Democratic Party whereby he, his wife and other DLC apparatchiks turned the Democratic Party into the Republican Party ca. 1978.
I was there when much was made about the fact that in 1996 Bill Clinton became the first Democratic Presidential candidate to raise more money from Corporate America than did his Republican opponent. That should have been a canary in the coal mine, a flare, a red flag, but we Democrats just shrugged and blithely held our noses and re-elected him, because he could WIN, and winning was everything. We were brainwashed, and we sold our progressive souls in order to make modest gains in the “Culture Wars” against Pat Buchanan and his evil bigoted ilk.
But while we congratulated ourselves on being “liberals” no one was minding the populist progressive store. Clinton’s “New Democrats” just gave up on the Reagan Democrats, the blue collar working people. They became a Party more interested in lawyers, bankers, high tech symbolic analysts – in other words, people with money. Unions became, like blacks and POC, just another constituency taken for granted, ignored and abused until election time, because, in the end, where else could they go?
We Democrats blew it. We sold out. We accepted the Clintonian curse of “pay to play” politics. It became all about the money, Lebowski. The money, and the winning. We Democrats collectively put our hands over our ears, we averted our eyes, we held our noses and voted the way we thought we could WIN. And meanwhile the Democratic Party lost its soul. The racist Crime Bill, the disastrous bank deregulation, the cynical abolition of Aid to Families with Dependent Children – we looked away. This, we told ourselves, was the price of winning. And leading that charge, convincing us of the righteousness and justness of the Third Way, reaping in money at obscene rates to fuel an increasingly rapacious, mammon-driven yet morally dissolute Democratic Party, were the “liberals” from deep red Arkansas, the Clintons.
Yes, my hatred and disdain for the Clintons is strong, but so is my FEAR of them. I lived in Germany for nine years. I have seen and heard Trump’s speeches “in the original German”. I know how a country can get hijacked by a megalomaniac. I have seen how good and decent people can be turned into racists and killers. I understand all too well how a civilized, cultured and God fearing country can be transformed by hatred, xenophobia and racism into a wasteland – both figuratively and literally.
The fact that I know all these things, lived all these things, and I STILL consider Hillary Clinton to be the greater threat, should give you pause. Because it is not enough to simply look back on history. We must look to the future. The disastrous neoliberal policies of Clinton and Blair, the DLC and the Third Way, the so-called “New Labour” and “New Democrats,” have led us to a place where the once-great but now beleaguered middle class is overworked, overtaxed, underpaid and completely disenfranchised.
AND THEY KNOW IT.
Do not think for a moment that Trump is the real threat. Trump is a buffoon, he has the mental capacity, the unjustified arrogance and the immaturity of a 15 year old with a Trust Fund, and he will be the engineer of his own downfall. I do not think Trump will even serve 4 years, as he will tire of the pace. He has already signalled that there will be large parts of the job of POTUS that he does not want to do – I think that once he has become sufficiently famous and assembled enough of other people’s money to launch his next business venture (a media company I am told), Trump will leave the stage.
No, it is the person waiting in the wings, studying Trump, whom we should fear. The one who will know how to capitalise on the massive wealth inequality, the pain and suffering of the working classes, the one who will have an organisational infrastructure behind him – HE is the one we must guard against.
If Hillary Clinton is elected, the neoliberal attack on the middle class will continue; things will NOT improve, and indeed will probably get worse. The ‘weak tea” of neoliberal incrementalism, triangulation and identity politics will only serve to further inflame the working people of America, and we will have a reactionary, xenophobic, racist and violent backlash that will make Trump’s rise seem tame.
That is why I want Trump to win over Clinton. Trump stumbled into his nomination. He is like the dog that caught the car. He will not be a true danger because he will not pursue any sort of coherent agenda. I believe it is the NEXT Trump that we need to worry about, and if we elect Clinton, and vote for more of the same, then the next Trump will be more formidable, more organized and more dangerous than anything we have seen heretofore.
We need a new direction. We need Bernie Sanders, or someone like him, to lead us away from the wealth inequality. materialism and corporatist globalism that has given birth to Trumpism. We need to kill that movement in the crib. But if we elect Clinton we will have 8 years – at least – of neoliberal policies leading to yet more war and a further diminishing of the middle class. The fascistic “baby” we are seeing today will have had plenty of time to grow, and the results will be disastrous for our nation and our planet.