Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Demand that the Clinton Campaign address the concept of endless war and the grotesque, trillion-dollar military budget"--Robert Koehler

“…The paradox faced this year by reluctant Hillary supporters is that, in voting for her out of intense (and understandable) aversion to Trump, they’re giving, once again, a free pass to the military-industrial status quo. Voting idealistically — for the Green Party’s Jill Stein, say — is seen overwhelmingly as a mistake: the equivalent of a vote for Trump.

“Yeah, OK, I get it, but I don’t believe it. It feels like being locked in a jail cell. To concede that voting is sheerly a cynical, hold-your-nose activity, divorced from real values — to concede that the best choice we ever get is the lesser evil — is the slow death knell of democracy.

“As I see it, the only solution is to reach beyond the candidates. Vote for whomever, but realize that the job of building the future — a future founded on compassion, not violence and domination — is everyone’s job. If the right leader hasn’t yet stood up, or has been knocked down, stand up yourself.

“If nothing else, demand that the Clinton campaign, and your local reps, address the concept of endless war and the grotesque, trillion-dollar military budget. A movement is building; a force is rising. Look for it. Join it”—Robert Koehler, Reaching Beyond the Candidates.


  1. "What matters is the countless small deeds of unknown people who lay the basis for the significant events that enter history" -Howard Zinn.

  2. “‘…Clinton and the political movement she represents are simply despised by a great many leftists, with much justification,’ summarizes The Week's Ryan Cooper. ‘Democrats have been promoting milquetoast domestic policy, and capitulating to or participating in belligerent militarism, for an entire generation.’

    “Cooper actually understates the case: With their championing of welfare reform, NAFTA, and the omnibus crime bill in the 1990's, along with their continued support for interventionist wars abroad and pro-business ‘trade’ agreements, Democrats have moved rightward along with the Republicans, who, as Noam Chomsky often observes, have gone completely off the political spectrum.

    “But one need not look back in time to find reasons to reject Clintonism: In 2016, Hillary is actively courting the favor of conservative billionaires and, according to recent reports, the contemptible Henry Kissinger, who she touts as a personal friend. Despite purporting to be in favor of campaign finance reform, she has accepted millions in donations from Wall Street and hedge funds. And, having also received a significant sum of campaign cash from the insurance industry, she has turned her back on what was previously a key plank of the Democratic agenda, single-payer health care.

    “Her decision to choose a running mate who has in the past been hostile to labor and whose most notable claim to fame is his ability to woo corporate donors is just icing.

    “Clinton's record, in short, betrays a series of rightward sprints on matters of extreme consequence, sprints that were often accompanied by the crass, reactionary, and hostile rhetoric that has come to characterize the anti-poor, fanatically pro-business Republican Party. And though in 2016 Clinton has put forward a new image, the substance of her politics remains fundamentally unaltered.

    “In many ways, though, it is unfair, and unproductive, to focus solely on Hillary Clinton; many of these critiques, after all, can apply to the Democratic Party as a whole, which has flippantly abandoned any explicit working class agenda in favor of stale, top-down incrementalism that is compatible with the views of its donor base.

    “‘Look at prominent Democrats like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker, or Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,’ writes Fredrik deBoer. ‘Each has, to one degree or another, criticized unions, pushed for lower corporate taxes and undermined public schools. Like Clinton, each enjoys cozy relationships with economic elites. And these aren’t random minor-league politicians, but the kind of prominent leaders who help define the party.'

    “One figure not mentioned in the piece quoted above is Chuck Schumer, who essentially summarized the prevailing outlook of the Democratic Party when he remarked to the Washington Post, ‘For every blue-collar Democrat we will lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two or three moderate Republicans in the suburbs of Philadelphia.’

    “Having long ago done away with efforts to broaden their appeal among the working class by putting forward an ambitious agenda and rejecting the status quo, Democrats' principle concern these days is how best to publicly square a progressive exterior with an interior dominated by the wealthy...”—Jake Jackson, “Leftist Against Clintonism: It’s not just about the lies, it’s about the record.”