Friday, August 12, 2016

“We are told that our only viable option is Clinton. Get behind her or risk the future of the nation, they say. Political hokum”—Eddie S. Glaude

“…Perhaps the most persuasive reason to vote for Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump. Trump is worse. I know that. The prospects of a Trump presidency—what would be a deadly combination of arrogance and ignorance—ought to frighten anyone. It frightens me.

“But my daddy, a gruff man who has lived all of his life on the coast of Mississippi, taught me that fear should never be the primary motivation of my actions. It clouds your thinking, and all too often sends you running to either safe ground when something more daring is required, or smack into the danger itself. (I learned a similar lesson after reading William Faulkner’s ‘The Bear’ in Go Down Moses.)

“The real danger goes beyond the demagoguery of Trump and the racist bile of some of his supporters. The danger is that the way we live our lives as Americans, no matter our optimism about the future, is no longer sustainable.

“We can’t continue to live with the current level of income inequality. Hard working people are working longer hours for less pay. And politicians and their benefactors continue to argue for trade policies that have decimated the working class in this country.

“We can’t continue to lock up black and brown people or watch them killed in cold blood by people sworn to protect us or fail to publicly educate all of our children. We can’t continue to bomb people around the world into oblivion.

“We can’t even approximate a robust idea of the public good when filthy rich people believe that the only role of government is to facilitate the transfer of public dollars into private hands, and the function of politicians is to make us believe that it is in our best interest that we allow such a thing to happen.

“In the end, Donald Trump is just an exaggerated indication of the rot that is at the heart of this country. That fact of Trump alone, and the democratic anguish that goes with it, cannot be the only rationale to support Hillary Clinton. Something more substantive is required of us—of her.

“Many, despite what I’ve written, will still vote for Clinton. I do not fault them—especially if they live in a hotly contested state like Ohio or Florida. Vote for Clinton to keep Trump out of office. I completely understand that. But I can’t vote for her.

“I will vote down ballot, focusing my attention on congressional, state, and local elections. And I will leave the presidential ballot blank. I have to turn my back on the Democratic Party that repeatedly turns its back on the most vulnerable in this country, because the Party believes they have nowhere else to go.

“That false belief betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of this period of democratic awakening.

“We find ourselves in a peculiar moment in American history, crystallized by profound grief and the hard, pressing work of imagining a future under siege by the callousness and greed of the present.

“A renewed democratic faith in each other is required to change our course. Thin imaginations will seal our fate. But, I see that faith blossoming throughout the country (even with all the tears and anguish). The Sanders’ campaign was just one bloom. Everyday people are standing in democratic opposition, shouting with Melville’s Bartleby Scrivener, ‘I prefer not to…’”

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., is the chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University and the author of Democracy in Black


  1. The aforementioned article is an important perspective to consider; however, two of the most important issues, among many others to consider as well, are the appointments of Supreme Court Justices and the possibility of more wars.

  2. Differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump:

    “What cannot be ignored is that Hillary Clinton has supported a war machine that has resulted in the death of millions, while also supporting a neoliberal economy that has produced massive amounts of suffering and created a mass incarceration state. Yet, all of that is forgotten as the mainstream press focuses on stories about Clinton's emails and the details of her electoral run for the presidency. It is crucial to note that Clinton hides her crimes in the discourse of freedom and appeals to democracy while Trump overtly disdains such a discourse. In the end, state and domestic violence saturate American society and the only time this fact gets noticed is when the beatings and murders of Black men are caught on camera and spread through social media…

    “Much of the American public appears to have forgotten that totalitarian and white supremacist societies are too often legitimated by a supplicant mainstream media, cowardly politicians, right-wing and liberal pundits, academics and other cultural workers who either overlook or support the hateful bigotry of demagogues, such as Trump. What is also forgotten by many is the racist legacy of policies implemented by the Democratic Party that have resulted in a punitive culture of criminalization, incarceration and shooting of untold numbers of Black people.

    “Rather than engage in the masochistic practice of supporting Trump's nativism, ignorance and bigotry, and his warlike fantasies of what it will take to make America great again, white workers who have been driven to despair by the ravaging policies of the financial elite and their shameless political and corporate allies should be in the streets protesting -- not only against what is called establishment politics, but also the rise of an unvarnished neo-Nazi demagogue…

    “Does it matter that Trump supports violence with a wink of the eye and is unapologetic about his huge following of neo-Nazis who are enthusiastic about waging a war against Black and Brown people? How is it possible to forget that, overall, Trump is a demagogue, misogynist, racist and bigot who is unequivocally dangerous to the promises and ideals of a democracy? Apparently, it is possible. Yes, the fascists and Nazis were also efficient, particularly in the end when it came to building a war machine and committing acts of genocide. So much for pragmatism without a conscience..."--Henry A. Giroux.

  3. “Trump is a real danger to the species, the country and the world in general. His views on war and climate change -- along with the promise of violence against his enemies and his unapologetic racism, bigotry and hatred of constitutional rights -- pose some of the greatest dangers to democracy and freedom the US has ever faced.

    “As Adam Gopnik says in an excellent article in The New Yorker, democracies do not simply commit suicide, they are killed by murderers, by people like Trump. Most expressions of support for Trump vastly underestimate the immediate danger Trump poses to the world and minorities of class, race and ethnicity. In contrast, while Hillary Clinton is a warmonger, a cheerleader for neoliberalism and a high-ranking member of the Democratic Party establishment, she is not threatening to take an immediate set of actions that would throw people of color, immigrants and working-class people under the bus.

    “Instead, if she wins the election, she should be viewed as part of a corrupt financial and political system that should be overthrown. While posing danger on a number of economic, political and foreign fronts, Clinton would also expose by her actions and policies the mythological nature of the idea that democracy and capitalism are the same thing. Hopefully, all those young people who followed the dead-end of a Bernie Sanders movement -- and the false suggestion that a political revolution can be achieved by reforming the Democratic Party -- would seize on this contradiction. Sanders revitalized the discourse about inequality, injustice and the need to break down the financial monopolies, but he failed in choosing a political avenue in which such real and systemic change can come about..."--Henry A. Giroux.

  4. From Merle Taber:

    I also have to say I love his piece. He stated his case succinctly and eloquently. I believe most of what he says. But my conclusion is different. What I believe is that the country could benefit if Trump gets bludgeoned at the polls. It's with Hillary in office we will have to start reconfiguring this place. Trump won't hear anyone's voice but his own paranoid, hate-ridden one. Hillary may hear, may heed the warnings. The next four years are critical. We don't need the toxic complications brought on by a Trump presidency.


  5. "...For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year.

    “One is glaringly not qualified. So before you do anything with your well-earned degree [from Stanford], you must do everything you can to defeat the retrograde forces that have invaded our democratic process, divided our house, to fight against, no matter your political persuasion, the dictatorial tendencies of the candidate with zero experience in the much maligned but subtle art of governance; who is against lots of things, but doesn’t seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements; a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment; who insults veterans, threatens a free press, mocks the handicapped, denigrates women, immigrants and all Muslims; a man who took more than a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan; an infantile, bullying man who, depending on his mood, is willing to discard old and established alliances, treaties and long-standing relationships..."--Ken Burns, from His Commencement Speech to Stanford University Graduates.

  6. ROBERT REICH: …I think political strategy is not to elect Donald Trump, to elect Hillary Clinton, and, for four years, to develop an alternative, another Bernie Sanders-type candidate with an independent party, outside the Democratic Party, that will take on Hillary Clinton, assuming that she is elected and that she runs for re-election, and that also develops the infrastructure of a third party that is a true, new progressive party…

    CHRIS HEDGES: …Of course, I find Trump a vile and disturbing and disgusting figure, but I don’t believe that voting for the Democratic establishment—and remember that this—the two insurgencies, both within the Republican Party and the—were against figures like Hillary Clinton, who spoke in that traditional feel-your-pain language of liberalism, while assiduously serving corporate power and selling out working men and women. And they see through the con, they see through the game…

    ROBERT REICH: …Now, if it is possible to have a multiracial, multi-ethnic coalition of the bottom 90 percent that is ready to fight to get big money out of politics, for more equality, for a system that is not rigged against average working people, where there are not going to be all of these re-distributions upward from those of us who have paychecks—and we don’t even realize that larger and larger portions of those paychecks are going to big industries, conglomerates, concentrated industries that have great market power, because it’s all hidden from view—well, the more coalition building we can do, from right to left, multi-ethnic, multiracial, left and right, to build a movement to take back our economy and to take back our democracy…

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Robert Reich, I’d just like to interrupt you for a second, because we only have a minute left, and I just wanted to ask Chris one last question. In less than a minute, if you can, regardless of—you’re voting for Jill Stein, other folks are going to vote for Clinton and Trump. Where do you feel this massive movement that has developed over the last few years, this people movement, would have a better opportunity to grow, under a Trump presidency or under a Clinton presidency, assuming that one of those two will eventually be elected?

    CHRIS HEDGES: I don’t think it makes any difference. The TPP is going to go through, whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Endless war is going to be continued, whether it’s Trump or Clinton. We’re not going to get our privacy back, whether it’s under Clinton or Trump. The idea that, at this point, the figure in the executive branch exercises that much power, given the power of the war industry and Wall Street, is a myth… (from an interview on Democracy Now, July 26th).

  7. From Gerry Galloway:

    A rock and a hard place. Trump is an existential threat to what's left of The Republic. That leaves me with no alternative. Her rhetoric has been veering left. I know that her actions could turn on a dime, but it still gives me some hope for a kinder gentler Hillary.

  8. A comment posted by Nancy Rose Steinbock of Venice, Italy on an article entitled: Donald Trunp Is Making America Meaner by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times:

    “Trump has capitalized on the age of incivility and made it his latest brand. We need to stop writing about this man, not mention his name and begin to instead focus on writing essays and articles that discuss historical events and their outcomes. Naming him is not the same as shaming him. Basically, he is a Mafia-styled businessman who schemed, cheated and gold-plated his name to prominence as his personality and style have morally polluted everything that he has touched.

    “His business acumen has not significantly changed the world in any meaningful way, say for example, as the Waltons, Jeff Besos, Warren Buffet, Google or Apple and on. We might not always like the business practices of some of them, decry unfair working conditions and labor practices, but they have made significant inroads into how we buy, communicate and research. And, at some meaningful level, we can hold them accountable, seek, legislate and in some way, effect change. Trump has an addiction to seeing his name -- anywhere. He is competing with ‘one billion burgers sold, mentality. Stop feeding him.”