Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Can Democrats ever trust their "Leaders"
Bernie's decision to endorse Hillary Clinton should remind people that grassroots education and efforts will do far more to bring about real reform than any one candidate although it will be much more likely if we manage to elect a candidate that is at least trying to do a good job, which will never include either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the highest negative poll numbers in history, with good reason; and I strongly suspect they have even less support than the media implies, especially Hillary, who can't gather large enthusiastic crowds like either Trump or Sanders. However Trump can't completely fake his large rallies which should raise major concerns about how he was able to convince all these people that he represents their best interests.
He's not even a good scam artist, assuming his target audience has a reasonable amount of critical thinking skills.
The fact that Hillary Clinton isn't beating him by an unprecedented landslide already in the polls is a clear indication of how horrendous she is as a candidate!
This demonstrates that a shocking percentage of the public responds far more to appeals to emotions than they do to rational arguments; and the political establishment has been studying how to manipulate those emotions for decades.
It also demonstrates that a Democracy can't work unless the majority of the public have the education critical thinking skills and access to accurate to look out for their own best interests. If more isn't done to teach the public to think rationally we''l fall for the same scam every damn time and it gets worse every four years.
Bernie Sanders has done far more to promote a grassroots movement than any of the pseudo-progressives that the media provide a modest amount of coverage for before electing a corporate democrat, and that is something that a politician selling out would never do since his grassroots movement appears to be going on even with the endorsement.
However Hillary Clinton opposed almost all of her progressives positions until it became clear that she would need to reach out to progressives for the primary, and she's demonstrated in the past that she will flip once in power. There have been so many examples where she has taken one position in public and another in private that it is hard to keep up with, although many people have tried including me in numerous past posts with incredibly long lists of examples.
By recommending that we accept the lesser of two evils as our only options Bernie is trying to help elect one of the two most corrupt candidates ever to run for president, the other is Donald Trump and it is hard to tell which is worse, although at least with Trump he isn't doing as good a job pretending to be progressive.
The fact that a large number of his supporters aren't going along with this indicates that they have far better critical thinking skills than the supporters of Donald Trump. This a close look at the records of the candidates that the media is willing to cover shows that he's the only one that is even remotely close to representing the people, unless you count Jill Stein, who the media hardly covers at all.
However thanks to alternative media outlets she's getting enough coverage to slowly get support and force the media to give her a minimum amount of coverage.
The media practically never covers real grassroots candidates at all, virtually rigging elections so that the only "Viable" candidates are ones that represent corporate interests while consulting with campaign advisors and pollsters to convince the public that they're looking out for their best interests without actually doing so.
There's been an incredibly long history of so-called progressives or liberals running for president then either collapsing because of their own efforts or betraying progressives causes. Every open election in the past thirty years they've always run a progressive who later showed that he wasn't so progressive although in most cases they didn't even win. Often they seem to have run incredibly bad campaigns that might make some people wonder if they aren't taking a dive.
The most recent one, Barack Obama in 2008, may have been the first one to actually win the White House; but then he proved that he wasn't progressive at all catering to corporate interests over and over again. The media and his political advisors presented him as a rising star from the grassroots and an enormous number of people believed them including record breaking numbers of African Americans and young people that turned out to vote for him.
He promised not to hire any lobbyists in his cabinet, to oppose free trade when it didn't protect jobs or workers rights to support GMO labeling, oppose military actions around the world based on lies, and he even said that as president, if necessary, he would put on a "Comfortable Pair of shoes and march with protesters to protect workers rights.
He broke every one of these promises and many more.
The recent controversy about Malia Trump's plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech overlooks the reminder that she put emphasis on the fact that keeping promises matters a lot and that is why they told us to vote for Obama in 2008 but after he broke all these promises it should be clear that all traditional candidates are compulsive liars. At least Obama did a much better job pretending to represent the public. Neither Hillary or Trump even do that!
Prior to his election his record was far more progressive than Hillary Clinton, which is why he won. Now that Hillary won the nomination with an enormous amount of help from the media and voter suppression we're supposed to believe she's a progressive just because Bernie Sanders endorsed her and contradicted himself on many issues in the process?
For many of us that looked at her record it isn't going to happen and it is clear that this raises doubts about whether Bernie Sanders has been working with the establishment for too long and is starting to believe some of their own propaganda about accepting the assumption that we can never challenge the two party system.
He still has a much better record representing the public consistently and it is only after and enormous amount of pressure that began before the campaign that he accepted the lesser of two evil arguments and endorsed Hillary. The media has been pressuring him to promise to endorse the winner since he began when George Stephanopoulos and other pundits persistently demanded that he endorse the duopoly before providing him any coverage and still presented Hillary Clinton as the inevitable nominee.
Perhaps he couldn't have even gotten as much coverage as he did if he didn't make that promise.
But he also made a promise to the public to pursue revolutionary reform which Hillary Clinton will never do unless she thinks she has absolutely not choice!
Clearly, sometimes even Bernie Sanders needs to be convinced to support the grassroots and political reform with all this pressure from the corrupt establishment.
However grassroots efforts alone won't bring about the reform we need if we have to fight tooth and nail to get the president to stop corrupting the system. This is what has been going on for seven years with Barack Obama; who didn't address many if any of the concerns brought about by Occupy Wall Street or any of the other protest movements that he supported during his campaign. He opposed the Keystone pipeline during his campaign but then hedged until there was an enormous amount of protest to back him up; he still supports TPP and privatization of the education system and use of drone strikes despite enormous protests.
Neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are even doing a good job pretending to support the interest of the public, nor do their records indicate that either one of them will be as willing to back down even a little when faced with enormous amounts of protests.
Furthermore with their enormous negative poll numbers and grassroots oppositions we shouldn't believe that they're our only choice. This could be the best chance since Abraham Lincoln to elect an third party candidate or to overturn the presumptive nominee in a convention.
In any other political year this would probably be an absurd out of the question idea but this political year has been full of one absurd out of the question thing after another, including these incredibly corrupt candidates becoming the presumptive nominees.
There is virtually guaranteed to be enormous marches in support of Bernie Sanders much bigger than those supporting the nominee.
I don't think this has ever happened before.
This will be disastrous for the Democratic Party for the country to see that their nominee can't get this kind of support and it may also draw attention, at least in the alternative media to enormous reports of the voter suppression that enabled her to win the delegates she needs.
Or it may draw attention to many of the news stories that the media hasn't been covering adequately which could easily cause a melt down of Hillary Clinton's campaign if the public knew about them.
Hillary Clinton has been involved in record number of scandals that should have caused her campaign to collapse years ago; and they would have if there had been reasonable coverage of them. In this insane campaign it may still be possible for that to happen.
But if it does it will only happen with an enormous amount of grassroots pressure which is building up even if the media doesn't report it.
This could still potentially convince the delegates to support Bernie at the convention. If so it will be due to the grassroots efforts that he gets the nomination not his promises to party leaders.
However in the event this happens there should be enough evidence that indicates that even Bernie Sanders needs to be accountable to the grassroots, and as much as I think he has done far more than any other establishment candidate he may need an concessional reminder, along with grassroots pressure on the congress to get the reform he's been fighting for.
If not then supporting either Trump or Clinton will essentially be rubber stamping the corporate duopoly allowing them to rig elections by rigging the coverage and limiting our choices to two parties that are incredibly corrupt.
In the long run we'll have to reform the entire election and media system enabling the public to control the interview process and to hear from all candidates without requiring them to collect enormous amounts of donations from corporations before getting any coverage. In the short run if Bernie Sanders can't get elected then there are only a couple possibilities with name recognition including Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, either of which would be far better than Trump or Clinton but Johnson isn't inclined to provide the investment in restoring our infrastructure or protecting the environment.
Jill Stein has far more in common with Bernie Sanders than Gary Johnson and an enormous number of Bernie's supporters are switching to him already. As far fetched as some people might think this is it could either hep convince the ?Democrats to nominate Bernie or give her the first real chance of beating these two incredibly corrupt and incompetent candidates.
Some have argued that this is a lost cause as well and that it can do far more to set the ground for future campaigns, which could be true. However that has already begun, although the media hasn't been reporting on it. As I reported previously in The media isn’t reporting it but Grass Roots candidates are winning some local elections there are some communities that are electing independents or at least progressives that are actually responsive to the public within the traditional parties at the local level where grassroots educate themselves. One of them. Gayle McLaughlin, is no longer mayor due to term limits but the grassroots movement in Richmond is still keeping them honest and there are more including Kshama Sawant and possibly many more that haven't been widely reported.
This opens up at least two possibilities; that enormous support for either Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders could help grow this movement and get them elected as well or at least grow the movement and let the candidate that wins know that the public isn't falling for this scam any more if they keep getting more extreme.
But in order for this to work in addition to good candidates we need grassroots pressure to keep them honest.
Another reason why grassroots efforts are as important if not more important than the candidate we elect is that the method of small contributions that both Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein are relying on to challenge the system may be much better than allowing the corporation to completely control the debate; but it runs the risk of committing to a finance system that is still flawed.
As I explained in several posts including Invest in Activism, AND Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Grassroots in the long run we need an election process that enables the public to control the interview process so that we can hear from all candidates and we also need media reform. In Saving Project Vote Smart and improving it or replacing it I explained that we should require all candidates to fill out an application that the public can use to compare each of them and know where they stand on the issues.
Unfortunately even though both Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders have filled out these applications in the past unlike either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton they have declined to update it this year. Both Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders are far better at sincere reform than either Trump or Clinton but this is one more examples of why even they need to be held accountable to those of us who help them get elected. Even if they don't win they could do a lot to inform the public about ways to improve the election process by supporting this along with expanded and open debates that invite all eligible candidates for any office including the presidency.
Both Stein and Sanders have been far more inclined to support this; but unfortunately like a lot of other politicians at least Sanders has done it more when it suited his campaign declining to engage with Jill Stein on several occasions when she invited him to.
Unless there is an enormous outage we'll get one of these two incredibly corrupt candidates which has led to many seemingly farfetched conspiracy theories; however even though the most bizarre ones are unlikely the behavior of the media and political establishment indicates that something absurd is going on and behind the irrational or humorous conspiracy theories is and enormous amount of corruption which won't change; and there is still a possibility of a more rational conspiracy theory. But that can't be uncovered unless there is an enormous pressure to get the truth out along with careful scrutiny to fact check them.
At least Jill ?Stein has been calling for Truth Commissions but if we can get this through it will have to be under a more credible candidate like Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders. There is no way we can trust either Trump or Clinton to oversee this while they continue to be involved in epidemic scams.
Bernie Sanders escalated a grassroots movement that was in the process for years if not decades. We can't let it end if we want to bring about the reform we need just because he endorsed Hillary Clinton. This raises some doubts about hims but hopefully it is due to pressure. He may still be the best chance to get a sincere candidate in office either by running as the Democratic Nominee but if we give up then we will never get the reform we need until after they may do more damage than we can repair.
On top of that with atrocious record on foreign policy really has costed an enormous number of people their lives even if some people like Pat Smith may have exaggerated or misrepresented her record for political reasons. She's still supported enormous arms sales which routinely wind up in the hands of people we fight against or tyrants that incite more war and invasions based on lies either as Senator supporting the Iraq war or as Secretary of State supporting many more disasters that created a breeding ground for terrorism. She has preserved a policy that maintains a permanent state of war and despite some of Donald Trump's legitimate criticism of this his plans are just as extreme.
It will be a disaster with either of these tow at a time when we need major reform that only Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein are willing to bring about.