Voting for Bernie

I’ve seen it in a few places, and especially after yesterday’s primary results, that there’s no way Bernie can win the nomination at this point. Hillary has locked up too many party-insider super-delegates, and has too much dark money, to falter at this point in her campaign. She is “too big to fail,” with all that that implies.

At this point I don’t care. I voted for Bernie in the primaries, and I’m voting for him again in November. No matter who the “official” candidates are.

I suppose there will be those who think I’m being foolish, who will tell me we have to rally behind the Democratic candidate no matter what. I’m not buying that argument. I haven’t forgotten the huge disaster that happened as a result of letting the banks do whatever they want (which consisted chiefly of looting gigabucks from the middle class). Nor have I forgotten that it was Bill Clinton, prior to Dubya, who cheerfully signed off on the legislation enabling them to do that.

The fact is that Hillary is and always has been Wall Street’s best friend. Social issues are important, but what’s even more important is to have a free democracy within which to fight for social issues. Gay marriage is good as far as it goes, but if all it brings is the freedom to starve together working overtime at poverty-level wages, maybe we should re-examine our priorities.

The greatest threat to a free democracy—now as ever—is that the unscrupulous few will exploit their freedom and their fellow citizens in order to set up an oligarchic, plutocratic government that enslaves and strangles the lower classes. We need leaders who will fight on our behalf, who will thwart the self-serving elite, and who will expose the secret manipulations that are slowly eroding both our economy and our liberty.

Hillary simply is not that person. She is, in fact, the opposite of that person. I cannot vote for her, and it goes without saying that I can’t vote for any of the Republicans. The only candidate I can conscientiously vote for is Bernie. And if nobody joins me, and America ends up electing someone like Trump, then maybe that’s the president we deserve.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    maybe we should re-examine our priorities

    If everyone on the left could begin to similarly dimly realise that they may have been fighting the wrong battles, we might get somewhere.

  2. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    And if nobody joins me, and America ends up electing someone like Trump

    This is vastly more likely if a lot of people do join you.

  3. Nick Gotts says

    And if nobody joins me, and America ends up electing someone like Trump, then maybe that’s the president we deserve.

    You might like to consider those of us living elsewhere, who don’t get a vote for the “Leader of the Free World”, but nonetheless have to put up with whoever your wacky political system vomits forth. Clinton would be bad enough, but either Trump or Cruz would be truly nightmarish. Some years ago, the French left faced a similar dilemma, when the Presidentail run-off was between the corrupt Jacques Chirac, and Jean-Marie Le Pen. The slogan they came up with: “Vote for the crook, not the fascist.” If they’d all followed your line and written in someone they would actually like to vote for, Le Pen might have won.

    But go ahead – indulge yourself, and fuck everyone who doesn’t share your privileges.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    Ultimately, ironically, the last best hope at this point is as follows:
    1. Trump fails to secure the nomination uncontested
    2. The GOP does precisely what he’s been predicting all along that they’d do in that situation, and stitch him up with backroom deals and deny him the nomination despite his overwhelming majority of support from Rep. voters
    3. He reneges on his promise not to, and runs as an independent.

    In those circumstances, the Dems could relax – the Donald’s supporters would be incensed and the split in Rep. votes would doom them regardless of the opposition. Clinton would certainly win. Sanders could win. Kim Jong Un would win.

    Deliberately splitting the Dem vote when the Rep alternative is as bad as it’s ever been in my lifetime is the absolute worst kind of holier-than-thou cutting-off-of-nose-to-spite-face behaviour.

    • says

      May you live in interesting times is a curse but a hypothetical Drumpf presidency is already less interesting than Dubya’s. Part of the appeal of the guy is that his character has already been played out on TV. It’s as if his presidency will be re-runs. Hey I’ve seen this one, this is the one where Drumpf fires the Secretary of Defense!

      • dianne says

        Nah, the Trump death camps will provide future historians with material for thousands of theses. It will be hella interesting, assuming humanity and society survive well enough for there to be any historians in the future.

        And, yes, Trump will get to death camps. He’s already proposed “special IDs” and whipped up hysteria about the usual suspects. If elected, he’ll trash the economy and since his whole schtick is that he’s a great businessman who can run the country like a business*, he’ll need a scapegoat. Who better than the evil Muslims?

        *Why do people in the US think that businesspeople are competent and politicians are not? When’s the last time Citibank or Chrysler bailed out the US? Yet the stereotype that all would be okay if we could just run the US government like a business persists.

  5. eidolon says

    Electing Trump or Cruz, or who ever the GOP puts forward is not getting America the president we deserve. What it WILL do is ensure that the Supreme court turns a hard right. Roe v. Wade? Gone. Gay marriage – out the window. voter disenfranchisement? All good. Religion trumps all laws? Sure. The ACA will be gone in a nanosecond.

    You need to deal with reality. Hillary is deeply flawed. Anything the GOP puts forward is gonna be worse by an order of magnitude. The consequences of a GOP victory would impact this country for decades. You really think that justifies an attitude of “we deserve this”? You’re talking about real people, real lives here.

    We never get to vote for the ideal candidate. Bernie says nice stuff that is also absolutely impossible to get made into law. The “revolution” isn’t gonna happen. At the state level, where the rubber meets the road, there is no way there is going to be any revolution. Ya need to put on your big boy pants and get out and work at the local level for change and vote to at least keep the clock from being turned back to 1950. Or 1850.

  6. says

    A lot of people seem to get really scared of those who vote for third party candidates like Ralph Nader. The fact is that people who vote for third party candidates do so precisely because they would have NEVER voted for either of the mainstream candidates. No votes are lost. If you’re scared that anyone not voting for Clinton is an extra vote for Drumpf, your a nutjob and you should not have been pushing for Clinton so hard when even you have to admit that she’s wrong on the immediately important issues. Personally I doubt Drumpf can muster a plurality no matter what he does, so no matter how many people don’t vote for Clinton she’ll still win, and the Democrat establishment learns nothing. That’s the real tragedy.

    • eidolon says

      Basically, you’re hoping someone else will take care of Trump so you can say proudly “I didn’t vote for either one!” I think you are incorrect when you claim those who vote 3rd party would never for for either of the other two. It is just as valid to vote against someone as it is to vote for them. Clearly, the two major candidates are not the same and would have vastly different outcomes. There is a clear choice, even if not ideal.

      As for teaching the Democrat establish something – that so called lesson comes with a very high price tag for women, gays, the sick, and anyone who does not look forward to a “Christian America”.

      • says

        The assertion that not voting for person A is equivalent voting for person B is a pretty stark example of bifurcation fallacy. As I said, we already know what happens when people vote for Ralph Nader. Some of the same people who were disappointed Bush won would still not vote for Clinton. The people who unconditionally pushed for Clinton’s nomination this whole time were in the wrong because her chances of beating Drumpf were always worse than Sanders’ and she’s a worse candidate in general. There is no way to teach institutional Democrats that Clinton is a mistake unless people simply don’t vote for her in spite of the threats coming from Democrats.

        This mindset is that it’s only important to win, but what exactly you win doesn’t matter. You worry, but apparently threat other liberals, about losing fights that either were already lost or actually held firm in spite of Republicans. It’s more important for certain people to get on the same page instead of playing the game the way conservatives do.

        In spite of the threats from these Clinton Democrats, the world will still exist in four years.

    • eidolon says

      Bifurcation is not a fallacy in this case. One of these two individuals WILL be president. I would think the role Nader played would be an object lesson. You keep going on about teaching Democrats a lesson. Who actually pays the cost of that lesson? Not the leaders. Women will. Gays will, and many more. Is that O.K. and they are just collateral damage to your lesson?

      It does matter what is won. The chance to appoint rational people to the Supreme Court for openers. The fights you think are settled are still fights only because the Supreme Court is not yet a rubber stamp for far right doctrine. To think that there is no way the progress of the last couple of decades could all go away is not grounded in reality. Given all three branches of government, there would be nothing at all to stop a massive reset. You are in serious denial if you think the status quo will hold if you get a 6/3 Court.

      This is not a game to be played. Real lives, the rights of more than 1/2 of our population are at risk for decades. You think that the world in the US will exist as it does now if Trump is president, appoints at least 2 members of the SC. Why do you think the GOP is stonewalling appointing a new justice?

      But the Democrats sure will have been taught a lesson, right? You will just love the right of the religion to trump laws.

      • A Lurker from mexico says

        Let’s not forget the path that brought us here. Throughout this primary the Sanders Campaign’s target has been mostly on Hillary Clinton, on her record and on her words. Meanwhile, Clinton’s target has been squarely not on Sanders, but on his followers, call them racists, call them misogynists, pie-in-the sky idiots, entitled children, dismiss their concerns and their causes, slander them on television, pay $1’000,000 to harass them on the internet and threaten them with this hostage gambit “vote for me or else you get the Trump”

        I would ask you to think: Who pays the cost of letting that woman stay in power?

        It’s the rest of the world.

        Irak, Honduras, Lybia, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine. Thousands dead, destabilization, and you ask people to support a person that helped bring that pain? With threats?

        I actually think that the best thing that could happen to the world would be Hillary Clinton getting indicted by the FBI before the nomination, so Sanders can take her place and be a force of good on the world. Failing that, the next best thing would be Trump or Kasich beating her.

      • says

        I argued with Duane Graham on this topic for months and he never once acknowledged why he was obviously wrong even as I pointed out to him that Clinton has said or done the exact opposite of almost everything he wants so I have no hope for any Clinton supporter even if Clinton actually loses. If Clinton loses it will be endless whining and complaining about “Bernie” just as happened with Nader, who by all accounts offered nothing compared to Sanders.

        >Bifurcation is not a fallacy in this case. One of these two individuals WILL be president.

        It’s still bifurcation regardless of whether there are only two *likely* outcomes. Every individual still has more than two choices, the right to refuse to vote or to vote for a hopeless third party candidate and those extra choices affect the outcome just as much as those who vote for the likely candidates and that is the lesson that Nader brought but no one learned, especially you. You left the lesson on the table so you could whine at me about how Clinton is inferior but has to win anyway for “reasons”. If you really wanted to win for the purpose of enacting left wing policy you would not have supported Clinton at all.

        >Who actually pays the cost of that lesson? Not the leaders.

        Clinton would “pay” if she loses as Al Gore did. Losing the election is the worst possible outcome for the candidates. It’s very clear to you that the material victory you seek isn’t riding in with Clinton, so why did you or anyone support her? Just because she was supposed to win, because you don’t want to lose, not for any of the actual moral reasons. All the reasons you give are reasons Sanders would have been a far better choice.

        >Women will. Gays will, and many more. Is that O.K. and they are just collateral damage to your lesson?

        Gays have won practically every challenge. Women on the other hand suffer from their own kind voting against them which is coincidentally why most people vote conservative even white men. Womens’ rights issues are about as bad as they’re going to ever get in the United States. I tried to demonstrate to you that pretending this is the end of the world makes you look like a nut, but you didn’t get it so you’re just a nut who doesn’t listen. The U.S. is never going to become the Republic of Gilead no matter how much a minority of nutcases want it. Their rubber band is about to snap.

        >The chance to appoint rational people to the Supreme Court for openers.

        The supreme court is a Republican obsession, not a Democrat obsession. They do this because they think that they can over-rule the constitution and the law, but it never actually works. Roe v Wade isn’t going anywhere no matter how many judges they have and you admit they’ve had several decades to come up with this goose egg. Please stop trying to make Democrats look as crazy as Republicans.

        >The fights you think are settled are still fights only because the Supreme Court is not yet a rubber stamp for far right doctrine.

        This is not how the courts work. This is how Republicans think the courts work. Clinton supporters all seem to reflect conservative Republican thinking. If you don’t know why Republicans fail at both lawmaking and winning court cases, you may as well just join the Republicans and wallow in ignorance along with them.

        >To think that there is no way the progress of the last couple of decades could all go away is not grounded in reality.

        The progress IS the reality. That’s the thing. What exactly delusional magic do you think Republicans can concoct to unwind things that happened at the very peak of their power, now that their power is in severe decline? If you buy into their magical thinking, again, you should join them and pray.

        >Given all three branches of government, there would be nothing at all to stop a massive reset.

        Why exactly do you support Clinton if THIS is your attitude? I mean, that isn’t even meaningful let alone possible or likely, but Clinton isn’t the symbol of the left except in far right delusions. You can’t stop movement to the right by moving to the right. Clinton supporters are either completely ignorant of her actual demonstrated positions or just crazy drunk on Republican talking points.

        >You are in serious denial if you think the status quo will hold if you get a 6/3 Court.

        The supreme court only has magic powers in Republican delusions. Up until now they’ve had control of the court and haven’t managed to do much of anything at all. The real problem is that Democrats like Clinton allow Republicans to have as much as they’ve gotten through a long term failed strategy of appeasement. Yet somehow you think that Clinton is the one to stop that despite the fact that she has always been a right leaning appeaser and a Republican symbol of the fact that appeasement doesn’t work.

        >This is not a game to be played.

        But you are the one crying and whining and pushing a worthless candidate as if you can win by complaining. If you honestly want to pull things to the left, out of the deep far right it was allowed to go by people like Clinton, you have to choose a candidate who is firmly left, not middle right like Clinton. You’re not only playing around, you’re playing badly and thinking if you put your goal on your opponent’s side and score on it that it’s a victory for your side. What you win is more important than just winning alone. Clinton doesn’t represent a real win for the left if she wins, she just represents not losing but sliding toward the losing side anyway.

        >Real lives, the rights of more than 1/2 of our population are at risk for decades.

        Decades. Exactly! But now all of a sudden this election matters more than any before it? Why? Not because of anything Clinton has ever done. She’s not the champion, she’s the anointed candidate, the winner by default. She fought no battles except to salvage her own reputation. Why does anyone support someone so slimy?

        >Drumpf is president, appoints at least 2 members of the SC.

        It’s the end of the world! Move to Canada! Clinton supporters are way more nuts than Sanders supporters. Not only that Drumpf could win but he would actually appoint court candidates more befitting the people who can’t even beat him.

        >Why do you think the GOP is stonewalling appointing a new justice?

        They’re out of touch morons. They don’t even like Drumpf and their nomination process is in chaos, but somehow they’re going to fill that vacancy at any cost. Some go back and get a shitload of dimes!

        >But the Democrats sure will have been taught a lesson, right?

        You are squirming and whining and complaining at me right now. You’re already being taught. The question is whether you learn from this or not. It sounds like you don’t want to learn. That makes you as bad or worse than any religious person. For you, Clinton has to win only because the person in that position decides what is true or not true. Classic Republican thinking and exactly why Clinton is the wrong person. She should have run for the Republican nomination, she’d beat Drumpf because she’s further right than he is.

        >You will just love the right of the religion to trump laws.

        The religious right has had control of the Republican party since the early 1990’s. This is the tail end of their reign. It’s over for them. Drumpf isn’t even a religious man. He doesn’t even know how to fake it. You’re talking like it’s a decade or two ago. Get in the present!

  7. A Lurker from mexico says

    I think the whole notion of “Lesser of two evils” goes right against the conclusion you guys have reached, I mean. What is really so scary about Trump anyways?

    Is he gonna start a war like this one?

    Mass deportations like these?

    Maybe he’ll use code language to justify state violence on minorities…

    Nick Gotts, you seem to make the argument that Hillary Clinton would be better for foreign nations than a Trump, Cruz or Kasich and I don’t think we actually know that. Going by her record alone she’s very much worse than the Republicans.
    What have the three stooges done that is comparable to the bloodshed in Irak, Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia or Honduras?
    Or her unquestioning support for far-right genocidal maniac Benjamin Netanyahu? For the Saudis?

    sonofrojblake, back when she was first lady she spoke strongly against the Bankruptcy Bill next to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. After several donations from Donald Trump and the likes of him for her campaign to become Senator of New York, she switched and voted in favor of that bill, which, by the way, was hugely beneficial to Trump.

    The way in which she is beholden to her corporate donors can very reasonably make many people view a Trump Clinton choice as a non-desicion. “Here you have the puppet and the puppeteer, pick one”

    No matter what you choose, your nose gets cut off.

    In any case there might be a possible strategy in having Trump. You know that the Democrats and a big chunk of the Republicans in congress will oppose him, so there is a limit to the damage he can make.

    Clinton will get absolute support from the Democrats, and likely a moderate support from some Republicans, there are no limits to the wars she can start, the regime changes she will impose and the laws she will propose to favor corporations and their interests above the people.

    • StevoR says

      @ ^ A Lurker from mexico :

      ..what is really so scary about Trump anyways?

      He’s pretty much openly a fascist demagogue who has exploited and whipped up the very worst and least tolerant sentiments of a lot of people and is openly calling for violence and exclusion. He’s also an unpredictable megalomaniacal narcissist with a hazy grip on reality and a very thin skin. These strike me as unsuitable traits for someone to be in control of the world’s largest superpower commanding the world’s largest military and having the world’s largest nuclear stockpile and arguably the most powerful nation on our planet which influences much of my own distant nations future and esp. foreign policy. That’s why I think Trump as POTUS is a very scary prospect indeed.

      Going by her (Hillary Clinton’s – ed.) record alone she’s very much worse than the Republicans. What have the three stooges done that is comparable to the bloodshed in Irak, Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia or Honduras?

      I strongly disagree that Hillary Clinton is worse than the Republicans would be / have been (cough Bush II, cough) or that the conflicts you list are her fault. I think these disparate issues have multiple causative factors and complications and very little of what happened in any of them can or should be entirely blamed on Hillary Clinton as other actors in all these issues are considerably more culpable.

      Or her unquestioning support for far-right genocidal maniac Benjamin Netanyahu? For the Saudis?

      I question the veracity of your assertion here and I consider your description of Netanyahu to be Over The Top. I’ll concede that Netanyahu is very right wing of course and that he is certainly an unpopular character here with a lot of faults.

      In any case there might be a possible strategy in having Trump. You know that the Democrats and a big chunk of the Republicans in congress will oppose him, so there is a limit to the damage he can make.

      Yes, perhaps but even with those probable congressional limitations, there’s still going to be a lot of real damage that will have ongoing negative impacts on the world and on real people’s lives so I think it’s not worth risking. There’s the selection of US Supreme Court Justices and global impacts e.g. wars and global economic impacts among factors to consider here. Please think long and hard about what could well happen in a worst case Trump Presidency scenario before voting y’all.

      • says

        “…global impacts e.g. wars and global economic impacts among factors to consider…”
        That’s precisely what I’m talking about, she pushed for the TPP until it became politically inconvenient for the democratic primary, that trade deal will finish paving the road for multinational corporations to finish wreaking the local businesses and economies of the mostly third-world countries involved with it.

        She’s been consistently in favor of the interests of such corporations for a long time now, as they are her main campaign donors.

        Talking about war, she has been very stubborn in trying to get a No-Fly zone over Libya, which begs the question: What will she do if Putin inevitably disrespects such No-Fly zone?
        If she shoots a russian airplane over Libya she’ll pretty much kickstart World War 3.
        If she does nothing, well, what is even the point of indulging in such expense and send ground troops (having a no fly zone necessarily implies this) if the measure will not be upheld anyway?

        I’m not saying that Hillary Clinton is alone to blame for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It took the entire (majority Democrat) senate to do so, which does wonders to figure out why exactly it is that a lot of people don’t really trust the Democratic party anymore. In any case what is she ever responsible for? I’ve heard her followers excuse her for everything.

        Apparently she’s not responsible for her actions as Secretary of State (anything wrong there is Obama’s fault, Libya too).
        She’s not responsible for her votes as Senator (that would be Bush, besides, everyone else was doing it).
        She’s not responsible for her words and stated opinions as First Lady and anything since (She’s evolved, you see. So the Superpredators thing, and the whole “marriage is a sacred institution” is irrelevant now).

        The republicans will oppose her in exactly the places you don’t want opposed (LGBT rights, Women’s rights) and back her along with the democrats in exactly the places you’d want someone to oppose her (War, corporate interests, for-profit prisons, regime changes).

        She’s a neo-liberal interventionist war-hawk with good PR who’ll adopt and abandon any and all positions based on who’s donating to her campaign or her foundation at the time.

        By the way it’s very likely that the only reason Donald Trump is even a “problem” nowadays is that he donated heavily to her campaign for Senator of New York

        and she switched her position on the Bankruptcy Bill

        he probably would have just faded into irrelevance if the bankruptcy laws had not been skewed and filled with loopholes in favor of the oligarchy. Trump and others like him paid Clinton and others like her to set up a system that allowed him to be where he’s at right now.

        If anything I’d say he’s an empty threat when it comes down to it. She’s been very effective at getting her neoliberal agenda done. In any case, what good is Gay marriage to you if only to live together in poverty? What good are abortion rights if you can’t afford to get the most basic healthcare? What good is it that she won’t shit-talk blacks and latinos (anymore), but send them to die in her wars?

  8. Jake Harban says

    If Sanders isn’t on the ballot, and there’s no indication of a nationwide campaign to write him in, it’s probably better to vote Green than to write in Sanders.

    Whatever you do, don’t listen to the usual DINO apologists in the comment threads. Yes, Trump is the most evil Republican we’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t really mean much. In 1984, Reagan was the most evil Republican we’d ever seen. In 2000, we were asked to vote for a Democrat that was just as evil as Reagan in order to prevent a victory by even more evil Bush. Now in 2016, we’re being asked to vote for a Democrat that’s just as evil as Bush in order to prevent a victory by Republican Trump who is more evil still. At this rate, a candidate as odious as Trump will be running as a Democrat in 2024 or 2028, and people like eidolon will be insisting we must vote for them because the only alternative is a Republican who is even worse.

    You cannot stop the Democratic Party’s constant slide to the extreme right by explicitly endorsing it at the ballot box.

    Oh and to eidolon in particular: Speaking as a member of the disabled (which is pretty close to “the sick”), allow me to inform you that there is no difference between Clinton and Trump. Both want to slash the social safety net that’s already insufficient for me to rely on. While there is some hope that my disability is temporary, mitigating it would require medical intervention which I cannot afford and both Clinton and Trump oppose health care reform so neither will make it affordable. That Trump will eliminate the ACA while Clinton would preserve the status quo is actually a point in Trump’s favor; the ACA is a vile law that quashed the organized push for health care reform without actually providing any, and the elimination of the ACA is likely to rekindle that movement.

    • dianne says

      the ACA is a vile law that quashed the organized push for health care reform without actually providing any

      Why do you think the ACA is no better than nothing? Anecdotally, I’ve seen a number of patients get put on it and, well, survive illnesses that were going to kill them if they didn’t get help, which they wouldn’t have without the ACA provided insurance. Could it be better? Oh, fuck yes! But no better laws were being proposed and none were likely to get through any time soon. I’m fond of Bernie’s “Medicare for all” plan. Medicare’s actually pretty good insurance from the patient viewpoint and from the provider viewpoint it has the charm of having only one set of irrational and ridiculous rules to learn instead of several dozen as with private insurance. But it’s not happening any time soon. No, not even if Sanders somehow pulls off not just the nomination but the general election. He wouldn’t be able to get it through. And I’d rather not have the thing that we do have, the ACA, taken away by a Trump or Cruz presidency.

      As an added bonus in the medical field, both Trump and Cruz have spoken about how unnecessary the FDA is because industry can regulate itself. How do you feel about having no control on what big pharma can claim about its drugs? While actually completely shutting down a government office is not as simple as either of them thinks, Cruz has seriously proposed that Congress should be able to override FDA decisions. How would you feel about big pharma being able to bypass the FDA by bribing Congress? I’m sure it will work out splendidly.

  9. marie says

    You say you are voting for Bernie in November. Are you sure he will be on the ballot in your state? Last I heard, he was not planning to run as an Independent, but plans can change. Keep in mind, he will be barred from appearing on the ballots in South Dakota and Texas due to what are called “sore loser” laws.

    Or are you planning to cast a write-in vote? If so, have you checked the rules governing write-in voting in your state? In case you haven’t, I’ll summarize. If you live in Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, or South Dakota, you can’t cast a write-in vote at all. If you live in Oregon, Iowa, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, NJ, Rhode Island, Vermont or New Hampshire, you can cast a write-in vote for whomever you choose. If you live in one of the other states, write-in votes will only count if the person you are voting for has filed the appropriate paperwork, and in North Carolina, obtained the correct number of signatures on a petition. Otherwise, you can cast a vote for whomever you choose, but if that person hasn’t filed paperwork, your vote will not be counted.

    I am not sure all the information given here is current. (I found Mississippi on both the list of states allowing unrestricted write-ins and the list of states banning them, so things change, obviously.) So check the laws in your state or territory.

  10. StevoR says

    The problem is the United States does NOT have a preferential voting system where you list candidates in preferred order so that for example if you can vote 1.Nader, 2. Al Gore and 3. Dubya Bush and get Gore rather than Bush when Nader is eliminated as lacking enough support. IOW. You can vote 1. Best, 2. Better and then 3. Worst and get better not the best or the worst.

    But the USA doesn’t have that system. You’ve got a system where instead you can only vote for one person -no preferences. You can vote Better rather than Best if you know that Best will not get in and avoid the Worst. Or you can vote Bets anyhow and Better loses and you end up with Worst. Specifically here you can vote for Hillary Clinton and get a good President if not the exact ideal one you want. Or you can vote Bernie Sanders and, since he won’t be able to win – not being the Democratic party nominee -, you’ll get the Republican probably Trump, possibly Cruz or another one.

    In saying you’ll vote for Sanders you are de facto saying you’ll vote Republican.

    Electoral reform in the USA would be a very good thing in my Aussie view. But until its been done, that’s the stark reality.

    I think a Republican presidency would be a disaster for the planet as well as the USA so I really hope you please, pretty please with a pale blue dot on top reconsider here and vote for the Democratic party nominee later this year rather than effectively voting Republican which, again, is what a Sanders vote now truly means.

    I also hope Sanders has the sense to realise this and advise his followers accordingly or he’s going to be remembered as another Ralph Nader (specifically Nader 2000) who sent the US lurching ever further rightwards to, well, who knows where exactly but somewhere that will hurt and even kill a lot of individual human lives needlessly.

    How different would things be now had Gore been unequivocally elected POTUS in 2000 instead of Dubya Bush?

  11. lorn says

    I get annoyed when otherwise reasonable people cite Hilary Clinton’s negative ratings. What were you expecting after, what 25, perhaps 35, years of slander, mud slinging, and accusations. It smacks of a simplistic where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire logic where the rumormongers win simply by deluging the attention of the American people with so many accusations and baseless confirmations of accusations which are really just reiterations of the original that people assume some of them must be right.

    It is so often seen that there is a name for it, the Clinton Rules. It is the rule that every accusation, no matter how outlandish of improbable, has to be take n seriously until such time as the the accusation is unequivocally proved wrong. At which time it goes from being assumed right to ‘Just another nagging question mark’.×488.jpg

    Of course, even the progressives try to avoid that tendency. They go for Clinton Rules Light: loudly and repeatedly report all rumors and accusations, no matter how baseless they may be, but blame it on a need for “fairness” to “both sides”.

    The bottom line here is that the rumors never, ever die. And nobody ever pays any price for the lies when they are shown to be lies. Clintons get far harsher coverage than any other politicians of any stripe or affiliation.

    That said the most remarkable thing about Hillary is that although covered in mud, and bloodied she still stands up straight and gives it a good shot. Yes, it has made her sometime too cagey and careful with her words which makes her seem shifty and calculating. She has been burned too many times not to anticipate the twisting of her every word. When she is tired she can get defensive. It doesn’t sound good. She is a bit mouth worn around the edges, but still unbowed, even after 25 years of abuse. She comes by her scars, faults, quirks and somewhat less than utopian vision honestly.

    Yes, the GOP, and all the rest of the right-wing noise machine is going to unload everything they have at her. They have gone ‘up to eleven’ so many times they have worn out the joke. If anyone withing the Democratic party can take the heat, it is Hillary. She is a tough old bird. When things get rough, and they surely will, the good money is one the proven survivors, even it they are no longer shiny and sweet.

    A bit of musical inspiration for the upcoming media shit storm and blood sport. May we all come through it with honor and conscience intact. :

  12. sonofrojblake says

    At this rate, a candidate as odious as Trump will be running as a Democrat in 2024

    Don’t discount the possibility that that candidate’s name will be Trump…

  13. Nick Gotts says

    Nick Gotts, you seem to make the argument that Hillary Clinton would be better for foreign nations than a Trump, Cruz or Kasich and I don’t think we actually know that. Going by her record alone she’s very much worse than the Republicans. What have the three stooges done that is comparable to the bloodshed in Irak, Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia or Honduras? Or her unquestioning support for far-right genocidal maniac Benjamin Netanyahu? For the Saudis? – A Lurker From Mexico

    You may have noticed that I said Clinton would be bad enough; but in most areas where they differ on foreign and military policy, Trump and Cruz would be worse (Kasich is irrelevant, as there is effectively zero possibility he will be the nominee). It’s true both Trump and Cruz criticise extended occupations in the Middle East, but as both are serial liars, and given their other policy declarations, this means nothing: both have made it clear they would unconditionally support Israel (as does Clinton), but in addition, both repudiate the agreement with Iran. Since this would not achieve the results they want (basically, Iran capitulating completely on all fronts), the logic of their position might well lead them into an invasion. Both promise to increase military spending. Cruz has said he would “carpet bomb” ISIS-controlled areas, while Trump (who has of course adopted half a dozen different positions) now says he would consider deploying American ground troops against them. Most important, both are climate change denialists – absolutely and utterly wrong on the most important issue the world faces – with the possible exception of avoiding nuclear war. In relation to that, Trump is a malignant, emotionally labile narcissist. It is easy to envisage him getting into a confrontation with Putin (who is also a malignant narcissist, although a cooler character), from which neither’s ego will let them back down. Incidentally, it’s also conceivable he could end up invading Mexico, when it refuses to pay for his wall, or to knuckle under to economic pressure.

    • A Lurker from mexico says

      “It is easy to envisage him (Trump) getting into a confrontation with Putin”

      Like creating a no-fly zone over long-time russian ally Lybia?

      What would she do if malignant narcissist Putin inevitably violates said no-fly zone? Wage war on Russia?

      If she is such a climate change advocate why did she spend years selling fracking to the world?

      I’ll grant you that there is a higher chance of Trump invading Mexico (probably not as high as you think) mostly because: Why would Hillary invade Mexico? She’s already writing our laws.

      The problem in this conversation is that you are inferring what shit the republicans might do, while I’m talking about the shit Hillary Clinton has already done. The only difference you can reasonably draw between the two sides is that president Clinton would have the support of all democrats and most republicans in exactly the wrong causes (war and corporate interests), while president Trump (Cruz is as irrelevant as Kasich at this point) would have almost exactly the same amount of people in opposition to him. Which would be a point in favor of him, not her.

      Truly, the best possible scenario would be Clinton getting indicted before the democratic convention and Sanders getting the presidency. But that is probably not gonna happen. The head of the FBI is a conservative republican and if there is an indictment at all it will come after the candidates are chosen, not before.

      What we have left is picking the second best possible scenario, and from what I’ve seen, it’s not a Clinton presidency.

      • StevoR says

        For Whatever Its Worth : I think a Hillary Clinton Presidency is the best possible scenario – I think we can now rule out a Sanders presidency as totally unrealistic. The maths and political realities say the latter just won’t be happening. (I could be mistaken obviously but from all I’ve read and heard on this.) I hope and expect Hillary Rodham Clinton will become the next POTUS. (80 % probability in my view.)

        I think a third slightly less horrendous Republican nominee arising from a brokered Repub convention – Kasich, Ryan, whoever – is the second best possible scenario although it seems an increasingly unlikely one to eventuate, (maybe a 5 – 10 % chance?) I’d still give that more chance of happening than a Sander’s nomination for the Democratic party. (0.05% at max!)

        The very worst scenario I think is either a Trump (15% chance) or even worse a Cruz (5% chance -possibly over-generous odds but such a nightmare thought) Presidency although I think both men face huge obstacles and are unlikely to win a general election but the consequences for our world if either suceeds seem to be exceptionally dire.

        Therefore I’d like to see everyone do their utmost to stop both Trump and Cruz from coming any closer to taking power. I think it is time for Sanders and his supporters to face political reality, end their campaign against Hillary Clinton and thereby enable the US Democratic party and rational and good people to focus solely on keeping the Republicans out of power for at least the next Presidential term. Please.

      • sonofrojblake says

        Question: are you consistently misspelling Libya and Iraq
        (a) deliberately to make some sort of point, in which case, what is it? OR
        (b) accidentally because you don’t know any better, in which case: LIBYA and IRAQ.

        Just curious.

      • says

        sonofrojblake, english is my second language, it’s spelled Irak in spanish, I revert to the way I spell normally when the english word and the spanish word are too similar. It’s Libia in spanish, but I remember you guys spell it with a Y, I just forget where you put it.

  14. Nick Gotts says

    A point our host does not mention: Sanders has made it clear that he will support Clinton if she is the nominee (which , barring death, serious illness or criminal indictment, she will be). So Deacon Duncan will be voting for Sanders, when Sanders has called for him to vote for Clinton. What sort of sense does that make?

  15. dianne says

    There is at least one bright, shining line distinction between both Democrats and both remaining Republicans: Both Democrats have As from Planned Parenthood, both Republicans Fs. So when you say that you can’t tell any difference between the Democrat running and the Republican running, what you’re saying is that you don’t consider ovary and uterus bearing people of enough importance to even notice the difference in how each candidate considers them, much less to vote based on that distinction. Not really a surprising view from a man, but it still disturbs me to find that view so often among “leftist” men.

  16. Kreator says

    I’m with Nick Gotts @#3 & 13. America may or may not deserve Trump, but the rest of the world certainly does not. Clinton is a warmonger alright, but I think her opponents will be even more hawkish if elected, promises notwithstanding.

  17. Dunc says

    One thing I never see mentioned in these debates: it depends on whether you live in a swing state. If you don’t, then you should vote your conscience in the hope that it will shift the Overton window a bit. If you do, then you may need to be more pragmatic and tactical.

    dianne, @15: Yeah, that’s a pretty fucking big deal. The differences on many issues may be small, but there certainly are some really important issues where there are very significant differences. “Lie back and think of The Movement, baby!”

  18. sonofrojblake says

    Can’t you only identify swing states in retrospect?

    Anecdote: a public poll was held in the UK in 1999 by one of our major TV channels to nominate the greatest TV moment of the 20th century. Top of the list was the Apollo 11 moon landing. Second was coverage of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Fourth was Princess Diana’s funeral. Beating that epoch-making day of national breast-beating and garment-rending was… the announcement of an election result. One, specific seat in particular from the then-most-recent election in 1997. The serving Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Portillo, a man widely tipped as a future Conservative leader and possible Prime Minister, lost what was surely a safe seat to openly gay 30 year old Stephen Twigg, the UK’s first out MP. It was the biggest upset of an upsetting night for the Conservatives.

    Does that kind of thing not happen in the US?

  19. Nick Gotts says

    What we have left is picking the second best possible scenario, and from what I’ve seen, it’s not a Clinton presidency. – A Lurker from Mexico

    What you are deliberately ignoring is what you must have heard – what both Trump and Cruz say they would do. Moreover, you won’t get Trump or Cruz alone – for either of them to win, would almost certainly involve a further shift to the far right in Congress, and in the Supreme Court.

    Thousands of woman get killed there every year since the coup, but who gives a shit? As usual, Hillary Clinton’s feminism stops at the border. It disturbs me that so many “leftists” in general find this to be a minor flaw or worse, a desirable quality on her.

    Maybe if you care about women so much you’d do well to remember that at least half of the people in the middle east and down here in latin america are women too, and they won’t see any benefit from the Clinton feminism, but they have been feeling the pain and fear of her imperialism.

    That would be a valid point if it were not clear to anyone who listens to them that either Trump or Cruz would be at least as bad and probably worse. For a start, both would be fully in support of the atrocious abortion laws in many Latin American states. And if you really think either would not fully support any right-wing dictator who holds or comes to power in Latin America, you’re a fool.

    • says

      “What you are deliberately ignoring is what… …both Trump and Cruz say they would do.”

      I believe that the words of known liars are not as reliable evidence as ACTIONS. And it’s getting seriously annoying, the way people are being insulted and berated for expressing the same opinion that Deacon Duncan expressed above.

      So you know Hillary Clinton is a war hawk, you know she supports dictatorships around the world, you know she’ll put corporate interests above the welfare of the people and you should damn well figure out already that she will throw whatever social cause you support under the bus if it ever becomes inconvenient for her.
      You just assume Trump will be worse because he… told you so? And you trust him cause he’s so… honest? Ok…

      And yet, when people express their intention of putting a stop to this horrible nonsense, they get a shitstorm thrown at them. They get told that by voting for Bernie Sanders, they’re personally responsible for President Trump and whatever bullshit he pulls in the future. Well, following that logic anyone defending Clinton shall be even more responsible for every war she wages, every disastrous regime change she orchestrates and every person her neoliberalism hurts and kills.

      “a further shift to the far right…”
      Looking just at this primary race I’ve seen Democrats, the de facto liberals of America, characterize social welfare programs as “lazy bums asking for handouts”, dismiss facts in favor of narrative like “Hawaii is a white state”, place party loyalty above the merits of a candidate “Vote blue no matter who”.

      View warmongering as a positive trait in a politician, as “A Muscular Foreign Policy”.

      Maybe I’ve been misled on this but, weren’t those the Republican attitudes?
      Couldn’t the fact that Democratic party has adopted this line of thinking maybe have something to do with why people are not really running en masse to vote for them in the mid-terms and such?
      Do you think that having yet another Clinton, Republican on everything but a few token issues, is gonna do anything to solve that problem?
      Failing that why would you rather use the “Vote for my guy or else you get the Trump” threat?
      Where do you think that’s gonna take you?

      If anything the best case scenario would be for a majority of people to do as Deacon Duncan and vote for Bernie Sanders regardless.

      It’s the least likely scenario, but the only one where you don’t get a republican president.

  20. says

    After reading what you posted today I went back to reread this post. Keep in mind the following comes from a Canadian. Adjust your interpretation of my post accordingly.

    I think you shouldn’t be focusing on the president. At the very least, not starting next year. At best, starting in 2009.

    What you need to do is make a viable third party. We can call it the Nine-Nine Party. I’m not sure if it makes sense to start with congress or the house. But choose one, concentrate money, volunteers and organizational structures in one area, and build out a growing coalition. First get one person elected (maybe in an uncontested seat). Then two. Then four. Be strategic in choosing your districts and/or states.

    Depending on where you live you might not even vote for the party until it puts resources into your state/district. This may take years. Or you can have paper candidates (maybe yourself) running in those states.

    Then you don’t have to defend against those talking about handing the presidency to the Republicans. I’m not convinced the presidency is as important as controlling the legislature anyway. The executive branch only has so much power. The legislative branch is what long-term rules the nation. That’s where you make lasting change. And structural change. Having a large enough Nine-Nine Party lets you work with one party or the other to get various plans implemented. I think that’s key.

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