The Electoral Choice from Hell

The prospect of a Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump general election is nightmarish for Americans who see Clinton as a warmonger and Trump as a demagogue, but William Blum sees Trump as the lesser danger.

By William Blum

If the American presidential election winds up with Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, and my passport is confiscated, and I’m somehow FORCED to choose one or the other, or I’m PAID to do so, paid well … I would vote for Trump.

My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I’d call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

And not much better can be expected on domestic issues from this woman who was paid $675,000 by Goldman Sachs – one of the most reactionary, anti-social corporations in this sad world – for three speeches and even more than that in political donations in recent years. Add to that Hillary’s willingness to serve for six years on the board of Walmart while her husband was governor of Arkansas. Can we expect to change corporate behavior by taking their money?

The Los Angeles Times ran an editorial the day after the multiple primary elections of March 1 which began: “Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States,” and then declared: “The reality is that Trump has no experience whatsoever in government.”

When I need to have my car fixed I look for a mechanic with experience with my type of auto. When I have a medical problem I prefer a doctor who specializes in the part of my body that’s ill. But when it comes to politicians, experience means nothing. The only thing that counts is the person’s ideology.

Who would you sooner vote for, a person with 30 years in Congress who doesn’t share your political and social views at all, is even hostile to them, or someone who has never held public office before but is an ideological comrade on every important issue? Clinton’s 12 years in high government positions carries no weight with me.

The Times continued about Trump: “He has shamefully little knowledge of the issues facing the country and the world.”

Again, knowledge is trumped (no pun intended) by ideology. As Secretary of State (January 2009-February 2013), with great access to knowledge, Clinton played a key role in the 2011 destruction of Libya’s modern and secular welfare state, sending it crashing in utter chaos into a failed state, leading to the widespread dispersal throughout North African and Middle East hotspots of the gigantic arsenal of weaponry that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had accumulated. Libya is now a haven for terrorists, from al Qaeda to ISIS, whereas Gaddafi had been a leading foe of terrorists.

What good did Secretary of State Clinton’s knowledge do? It was enough for her to know that Gaddafi’s Libya, for several reasons, would never be a properly obedient client state of Washington. Thus it was that the United States, along with NATO, bombed the people of Libya almost daily for more than six months, giving as an excuse that Gaddafi was about to invade Benghazi, the Libyan center of his opponents, and so the United States was thus saving the people of that city from a massacre.

The American people and the American media of course swallowed this story, though no convincing evidence of the alleged impending massacre has ever been presented. (The nearest thing to an official U.S. government account of the matter – a Congressional Research Service report on events in Libya for the period – makes no mention at all of the threatened massacre.) [“Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy”, updated March 4, 2016]

The Western intervention in Libya was one that the New York Times said Clinton had “championed”, convincing Obama in “what was arguably her moment of greatest influence as secretary of state.”

All the knowledge she was privy to did not keep her from this disastrous mistake in Libya. And the same can be said about her support of placing regime change in Syria ahead of supporting the Syrian government in its struggle against ISIS and other terrorist groups. Even more disastrous was the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq which she as a senator supported. Both policies were of course clear violations of international law and the UN Charter.

Another foreign-policy “success” of Mrs. Clinton, which her swooning followers will ignore, the few that even know about it, is the coup ousting the moderately progressive Manuel Zelaya of Honduras in June, 2009. A tale told many times in Latin America.

The downtrodden masses finally put into power a leader committed to reversing the status quo, determined to try to put an end to up to two centuries of oppression … and before long the military overthrows the democratically-elected government, while the United States – if not the mastermind behind the coup – does nothing to prevent it or to punish the coup regime, as only the United States can punish; meanwhile Washington officials pretend to be very upset over this “affront to democracy”. (See Mark Weisbrot’s  “Top Ten Ways You Can Tell Which Side The United States Government is On With Regard to the Military Coup in Honduras”.)

In her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices, Clinton reveals just how unconcerned she was about restoring Zelaya to his rightful office: “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere … We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

The question of Zelaya was anything but moot. Latin American leaders, the United Nations General Assembly, and other international bodies vehemently demanded his immediate return to office. Washington, however, quickly resumed normal diplomatic relations with the new right-wing police state, and Honduras has since become a major impetus for the child migrants currently pouring into the United States.

The headline from Time magazine’s report on Honduras at the close of that year (December 3, 2009) summed it up as follows: “Obama’s Latin America Policy Looks Like Bush’s”.

And Hillary Clinton looks like a conservative. And has for many years; going back to at least the 1980s, while the wife of the Arkansas governor, when she strongly supported the death-squad torturers known as the Contras, who were the empire’s proxy army in Nicaragua.  [See Roger Morris, former member of the National Security Council, Partners in Power (1996), p.415. For a comprehensive look at Hillary Clinton, see the new book by Diane Johnstone, Queen of Chaos.]

Then, during the 2007 presidential primary, America’s venerable conservative magazine, William Buckley’s National Review, ran an editorial by Bruce Bartlett. Bartlett was a policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan, a treasury official under President George H.W. Bush, and a fellow at two of the leading conservative think-tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute – You get the picture?

Bartlett tells his readers that it’s almost certain that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. So what to do? Support the most conservative Democrat. He writes: “To right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative.”

During the same primary we also heard from America’s leading magazine for the corporate wealthy, Fortune, with a cover featuring a picture of Mrs. Clinton and the headline: “Business Loves Hillary”.

And what do we have in 2016? Fully 116 members of the Republican Party’s national security community, many of them veterans of Bush administrations, have signed an open letter threatening that, if Trump is nominated, they will all desert, and some will defect – to Hillary Clinton!

“Hillary is the lesser evil, by a large margin,” says Eliot Cohen of the Bush II State Department. Cohen helped line up neocons to sign the “Dump-Trump” manifesto. Another signer, foreign-policy ultra-conservative author Robert Kagan, declared: “The only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

The only choice? What’s wrong with Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate? … Oh, I see, not conservative enough.

And Mr. Trump? Much more a critic of U.S. foreign policy than Hillary or Bernie. He speaks of Russia and Vladimir Putin as positive forces and allies, and would be much less likely to go to war against Moscow than Clinton would. He declares that he would be “evenhanded” when it comes to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (as opposed to Clinton’s boundless support of Israel). He’s opposed to calling Senator John McCain a “hero”, because he was captured. (What other politician would dare say a thing like that?)

He calls Iraq “a complete disaster”, condemning not only George W. Bush but the neocons who surrounded him. “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.” He even questions the idea that “Bush kept us safe”, and adds that “Whether you like Saddam or not, he used to kill terrorists.”

Yes, he’s personally obnoxious. I’d have a very hard time being his friend. Who cares?

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report,  http://williamblum.org/ .]

50 comments for “The Electoral Choice from Hell

  1. Robert W Motzel
    March 16, 2016 at 00:20

    An Australians point of view. You can do all the coulda, woulda shoulda, about the past and who was right and who was wrong, BUT, my overview (for what it is worth) of what is happening in America at the moment is pretty much the same that seams to be happening world wide. People have had enough of the political entrenched, that have been running the world for hundreds of years. The dominant Global, Political, financial Paradigm that has been running the world, can be put into a clear plastic bag and looked at, to see, that it is rotting and fermenting. It needs to be put in the rubbish bin, if we want to save the planet and all that live on it.
    I was at first was shocked by Donald Trump and his behaviour, but now I think I know why he has become so popular. He is a clean skin in politics, He is not tainted with the intrigue and dirty dealings of past political events.
    Mr Trump is a bit of a loose canon, But I truly think he is the best choice America and the world has at the moment.

    • Wm. Boyce
      March 17, 2016 at 00:48

      “He is a clean skin in politics.”
      But not in business. His bankruptcies, and other shenanigans will be fodder for Democratic party attack ads.

      The thing I’m thinking about is not this election but the next one, or the one after that. An authoritarian candidate, a la Trump, may emerge from Latino or other places. The message will be similar, i.e., our borders are endangered, we need to control immigrants, but the message is control, fascism. In a dying and confused empire, such as we have, many messages may come to control.

  2. Kelly K
    March 14, 2016 at 23:12

    What part of “bomb the hell out of ISIS” and “with the terrorists you have to take out their families, too” do you not understand? Ridiculous to think that Trump would be benign when it comes to foreign policy.

  3. Steve
    March 14, 2016 at 08:01

    Donald Trump’s budget plan alone is enough to prevent me from ever voting for him. Tax breaks heavily weighted towards the wealthy and corporations — that would cost us about $10 trillion over the next decade. And of course offers nothing in the way of explaining how he could possibly ever begin to pay for any of this. Add to that his desire to increase defense spending, we’re talking Reaganomics on steroids. But he is also a climate denier — at a time when we urgently need someone to show leadership on this issue.– and has even spoken about eliminating the EPA. And I shudder to think what the human costs might be should he ever come close to acting out on his immigration fantasies.

    But aside from all this, he’s no prize when it comes to foreign policy either. He opposes the Iran deal. He wants to “bomb the shit out of ISIS” and is once again advocating committing more troops to the Middle East and is openly advocating torture — showing, in the process, total contempt for international law — and disregard for the consequences of involving the U.S.in yet another major military undertaking. Sure, he may not be the neocon Hillary is — but from my POV it’s a bit like “out of the frying pan, into the fire.” We’d just be trading one set of disastrous policies for another — (although, I have to admit, the long term consequences of following the neocon line carries with it greater risk of ultimate disaster.)

    I nominate Hillary, if she got in and followed the neocon line as we might expect based on past performance — and continued with the encirclement and confrontation of Russia — for most likely to get us destroyed from without.

    And Trump, for his senseless, prodigal ways and divisive rhetoric/policies — as most likely to get us destroyed from within.

    Name your poison.

    I myself, think Bernie is the only one in the running who makes economic sense, and while I’d like to see him articulate more clearly what his vision for foreign policy is — he has at least come out against regime change — and we know he’s no neocon. And I would trust him to be restrained by international law — whereas the others, not so much.

    If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, I’d be personally inclined to vote for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. I would say though, that considering the utter and certain disaster a Trump presidency would be, IMHO, that I would consider voting strategically in a contested state — that is, vote the lesser of evils — and cast my vote for Clinton. And just hope that past isn’t always prologue and she may, once in office, stake out a more independent approach to foreign policy. It’s a gamble, but one I’d feel compelled to take. Luckily, I live in a solid Blue state (CA) and I should be spared the agony of making that decision — and should be free to vote my conscience. But a Clinton/Trump contest would truly be “the electoral choice from hell.” And I have to say, at this point I’m not very optimistic about the future of this country or the world. (I’m still hoping Bernie has a shot though — he’s our best hope at this point.)

    One other slight glimmer of hope, if it does turn out we get the choice from hell this time around, and we manage to somehow survive the tpp/corporate rule/neocon onslaught long enough to make it to another election — the next time around the millenials will be an even bigger part of the electorate — and they tend to be more progressive than any other segment of the population.

    • Eddie
      March 14, 2016 at 22:49

      RE: “.. the next time around the millenials will be an even bigger part of the electorate — and they tend to be more progressive than any other segment of the population.”

      I hope you’re right about the millennials. Unfortunately, that sounds a lot what I used to believe in the 1960’s/70’s about us baby-boomers. There was (eventually) SO much anti-militarism and at least lip-service to progressive ideas (a few of which initially came to fruition) back then, but — it seems to me (and some authors I’ve read) — that once that ‘engine of dissent’ the Vietnam War was over, too many (i.e.; not ALL, but enough to elect Reagan twice and the Bushes 3 times) of the boomers gravitated back to moderate/conservative values. In the 1970s I thought we wouldn’t see aggressive wars by the US again, at least in my generation, due to the Vietnam horror. But there’s no need to go into the detail of that disappointment. Too many boomers turned-out to be ok with militarism and war, as long as they or their close circle of family/friends weren’t directly endangered. Even all the 1970’s self-assured stoner-talk about weed being legalized became an Orwellian joke with the ‘War on Drugs’, though it is now slowly starting to be realized only after 100’s of thousands of lives were ruined.

    • Steve
      March 15, 2016 at 05:29

      I think maybe the internet plays a role as to why millennials tend to be progressive. They tend to get their information from sources other than the MSM. And I think maybe you put your finger on another factor when you wrote: “Too many boomers turned-out to be ok with militarism and war, as long as they or their close circle of family/friends weren’t directly endangered.” — well, I think millennials are directly endangered by climate change, economic inequality, declining middle class, over sized influence of money in politics, etc… It’s their future at stake here.

  4. March 14, 2016 at 06:28

    William Blum makes a mistake in attributing to Trump some sort of independent, rational streak. On Putin, Israel etc, I think Trump can not be counted on to do the right thing. Counting on that monster to be honest or to do the right thing is unwise. Trump likes attention. Blum’s, and other lefties, willingness to take him on his astonishing word in regard to those subjects is proof that Trump knows how to get attention.

  5. Eddie
    March 13, 2016 at 18:20

    While Bill Blum makes some interesting points about Trump here, I think an important thing to remember is that — as he says in his opening setup: “…and I’m somehow FORCED to choose one or the other, or I’m PAID to do so, paid well … I would vote for Trump” — he’s talking about conjectural, fantasy scenarios (i.e.; a de facto ‘Sophie’s choice’ or a huge bribe) before he would actually vote for Trump, NOT actually voting for Trump of his own, un-coerced free-will.

    If it does come down to a Clinton/Trump race, we actually do have a progressive/liberal choices, notably Jill Stein of The Greens party and there’s undoubtedly a Socialist Party candidate also. I think too often many of the prog/lib sites I read tend to spend too much time hand-wringing over the obviously negative mainstream candidates (Clinton) or crank/crackpots (Trump) and not enough time mentioning plausible desirable alternatives like Ms Stein. Yeah, she’s not going to win this time, but political party leaders are pragmatic enough that IF they see a sizable vote going to another party, they’ll eventually try to co-opt or capture that vote if the voting is close.

  6. Joe Tedesky
    March 13, 2016 at 01:40

    Eric Zuesse has an article suggesting that the moveon.org protesters are really being funded by George Soros and Hillary Clinton.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/03/credible-account-says-clinton-behind-violent-protests-trump-rallies.html

    As much as this confrontational rally stuff may upset many of us, I can only imagine how much TV advertising exec’s love this open display of political emotion. The best American revolution would be for every American to turn off their TV.

  7. Geoffrey Levens
    March 12, 2016 at 17:09

    This makes sense to a point but his encouraging violence against protestors, which he continues to do and defend even after it has gotten to the point of actual, physical violence and death threats, does not bode well for America under a Trump presidency.

  8. Wm. Boyce
    March 12, 2016 at 14:37

    I’d agree with Mr. Blum’s assessment of HC’s record, but Trump is a charlatan. He may be stating what he thinks about some issues, but he’s a man who will say anything to get elected. His overt racism and scary endorsement of violence at his rallies smack of fascism. I don’t think anyone has any idea of what we’d get with a Trump Administration, and I’d be hard-pressed to believe that he wouldn’t continue the government’s operation on behalf of the 1 percent. Unfortunately, HC is still the lesser of evils.

  9. Mark Thomason
    March 12, 2016 at 14:28

    I agree. Hillary makes Trump look like a lesser evil. We may suspect Trump of many things, but we KNOW what Hillary actually did, and that she’d keep doing it. Wars, trade agreements, Wall Street, globalization used against American workers, no sharing of productivity gains with those doing the producing, she is the perfect storm of bad policy. Trump could hardly do worse, even if we don’t know he’d do any better.

    Hillary supporters often say that Bernie supporters will need to hold their noses and vote Hillary. Actually, they need to hold their noses and vote against Hillary.

  10. Chuck
    March 12, 2016 at 13:23

    People are far too consumed with the U.S. Presidential election. These same people have almost no idea what is going on around them, especially at the state and local levels of government. The presidential election is the “sexy” election of which everyone wants a piece. And it’s nothing more than a diversion. Vote or don’t vote for president. It won’t make a difference. The middle and working classes of this country will continue to be hollowed out. These classes ceased to matter decades ago when neoliberalism took the helm. They are obsolete. No matter who is elected president, unless you exist within the realm of the corporate “big leagues,” life will not change for the better. At this very moment, ALEC is working covertly to restock state and local governments with Republican candidates accommodating to the cause of rewriting state laws. They are working tirelessly to redistrict every state. The simpletons calling shame on MoveOn.org are basically penny wise and pound foolish with their idignation. MoveOn are chumps. They have done relatively little to redirect national ideology in comparison to ALEC. MoveOn has tried their benign online petitions calling for the IRS to investigate ALEC or for certain corporations to stop supporting ALEC. These efforts have had no discernable effect on the activities of ALEC or their corporate sponsors. That well funded organization continues its covert activities with the major effect being the furtherance of a fascist corporatist agenda and the destruction of democracy throughout this land. Meanwhile people use Facebook to organize inconsequential protests at a presidential campaign rally. Yeah. Good luck with that.

    • Abbybwood
      March 12, 2016 at 13:38

      What you are saying about ALEC is very true.

      Why don’t the Democrats have a highly financed ALEC of their own fighting against it??!

    • J'hon Doe II
      March 12, 2016 at 13:51

      The DLC fights against progressive democrats such as Sanders.

      The DLC is in apposition to Trump in many respects.

      Hillary and Trump are opposite-sides-of-the-same-coin.

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/Paracelsus-HZ-Tobias-Stimme.jpg

    • Chuck
      March 12, 2016 at 21:24

      People who think “progressive” is a unified solution misunderstand the history of progressivism in the United States and how that ideology set up the framework for interventionism and the globalization of capitalism in the late 19th early 20th century and continuing in the modern day. In the context of neoliberalism and centre-left interventionists like the former DLC and the New Democrats, Hillary Clinton is right to lay claim to the title of “most progressive candidate” in this presidential election. It is not correct to view that as a positive step for humanity.

    • March 14, 2016 at 06:31

      What is a progressive Democrat? Is that something like a progressive Nazi? Or a progressive mobster? Or a progressive killer?

    • J'hon Doe II
      March 14, 2016 at 14:57

      Just so you know, Arby, “progressives” are the ‘Leftist’ antithesis to Hillary’s DLC (Right Wing-Corporate) faction of the Democratic Party.

      ::

      The Progressive Democrats of America formed out of the presidential campaigns of Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich as well as with outside / independent involvement from peace and justice activists.

      PDA was founded during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Massachusetts by Tim Carpenter, Steve Cobble, Kevin Spidel, Mimi Kennedy, Laura Bonham, Joe Libertelli, Bruce Taub, and about two dozen other former staffers and supporters of the Dennis Kucinich for President Campaign—as well as Joel Segal, and other progressive activists who helped organize delegates and activists concerned with >> the centrist and right leaning trends << in the Democratic Party. Currently PDA consists of "a large group of progressive grassroots activists from across the country who want to support progressive grassroots activities both locally and nationally."

      PDA's mission is to strengthen the voice of progressive ideas inside and outside the Democratic Party by using "inside/outside" and "grassroots fusion" models of working both in the Democratic Party as well as working with other progressive organizations both inside and outside the Party.

      Priorities:
      Ending wars and occupation

      The Progressive Democrats of America opposes wars and occupations. PDA believes that "Since 2001, terrorism and instability have increased wherever the U.S. has intervened militarily. We call on the President and Congress to rethink the false premises of an ever-expanding "global war on terror" in which Western-led alliances of absolute monarchs, corrupt governments and proxy forces fight endlessly proliferating enemies in more and more countries."

      PDA supports, "political and diplomatic initiatives to genuinely promote peace, disarmament and the rule of international law, and to treat terrorism primarily as a crime, not as a pretext for war and global military expansion. Cut the US military budget to its 1998 level and beyond, and bring our troops home to their families. Redirect wasteful military spending to meet real human needs, create jobs and reinvest in America. From nuclear weapons to climate change, the challenges facing the world today are too serious to be sacrificed to the strategic ambitions of any one country, including our own."

      The End Wars and Occupations Team is part of PDA's "Fund Human Needs / Cut Pentagon Waste platform" and works on the following issues: Complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Diplomacy to prevent war and end sanctions on Iran, End CIA/JSOC operations against Syria and recommit to June 2012 Geneva peace agreement, End drone strikes, and all other "targeted killing" operations, Recommit to peace and to the rule of constitutional and international law, Reduce the record US military budget, bring troops home and reinvest in America."

      PDA launched the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign to emphasize these policy positions.

      Health care is a human right

      Progressive Democrats of America believes, "It is a moral outrage for a country as wealthy as ours to leave 60 million people with no reliable access to health care and tens of millions more with inadequate or overly expensive coverage. In addition, despite spending nearly twice as much as other developed nations on health care, our system performs poorly, because the private U.S. insurance bureaucracy soaks up as much as one-third of all the money and pharmaceutical interests overburden America by avoiding price competition."

      PDA supports establishing an expanded, improved Medicare for All National Healthcare Program, moving toward a single-payer health care system. PDA advocates passage of H.R. 676 the United States National Health Care Act, which would provide enhanced Medicare for all by establishing a streamlined, nonprofit national health program under which care would be publicly financed and privately delivered. PDA also supports H.R. 1200 the American Health Security Act which would enable states to establish their own health care programs to move toward publicly financed systems.

      Economic and social justice

      The Progressive Democrats of America believe "The enormous wealth disparity between the top 1% and the rest of America is an unsustainable economic and social injustice." They are committed to supporing "an economic recovery that employs all those willing and able, that houses all those needing shelter, and that imposes the cost based on the ability to pay." PDA supports an agenda of progressive taxation and fair trade. PDA advocates for "We the People NOT We the Corporations," and calls for "Taxing Wall Street to create jobs and fund human needs." PDA works to advance the following objectives: Living Wage Jobs, Taxing Wall Street (Financial Transaction Tax aka Robin Hood Tax), as well as Affordable Housing, Mortgage Relief and Homeowner Protection.

      PDA has worked to get the United States Congress to roll back President George W. Bush's tax cuts, and to enact progressive taxation policies including H.R. 1579 the Inclusive Prosperity Act which would impose a micro tax on certain speculative securities transactions. PDA also supports full employment legislation including H.R. 1000 the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act which would establish the National Full Employment Trust Fund to create employment opportunities for the unemployed.

      PDA supports Fair Trade (Not 'Free Trade'), which it asserts would protect consumers' and workers' rights as well as the environment, while opposing free trade agreements that it believes tend to let multinational corporations exploit labor worldwide. PDA is opposing renewal of fast track authority that allows the White House to enact trade deals without Congressional amendment or full oversight. This especially as regards the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping agreement which PDA believes would "ave substantial negative impact on millions of people in the 12 nations holding talks, including the United States."

      PDA supports the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to organize unions.

      Clean, fair and transparent elections

      The Progressive Democrats of America support federal legislation including constitutional amendments that would increase fairness and transparency in U.S. elections. PDA asserts that "Big-money interests dominate U.S. politics in ways unknown in other industrialized countries, with social and environmental progress often blocked by officials who cater to big donors to insure re-election funds. Incumbents are unfairly insulated by district gerrymandering and rules, which obstruct independent candidates and parties. In recent years, voters themselves have faced political and even racial obstacles in casting votes and in getting their votes counted."

      PDA seeks a nationwide ban on "all-digital voting systems and internet voting [because] such systems are vulnerable to error and manipulation and defy public verification of results." PDA concludes, "An auditable paper ballot must protect our right to vote."

      PDA supports comprehensive election reform at the state and national level, including: Voter Access/Voter Protection, Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform, Elimination of Electronic Voting Machines/Return to Verifiable Paper Ballots, Mandatory Audits of Election Results, Restoration of Voting Rights to former convicts who've served their time, Public Finance of Elections with Free TV Time for Candidates, and Instant Runoff Elections.

      PDA has endorsed and worked to gain support for the following legislation: H.R. 12 / S. 123 the Voter Empowerment Act, H.R. 280 the Same Day Registration Act, H.R. 281 the Voter Access Protection Act, H.R. 1537 the End Prison Gerrymandering Act i.e. For Census purposes, the place of residence is last address prior to incarceration, and H.J. Res. 44 to establish voting as a Constitutional Right.

      Stop global warming and environmental protection

      The Progressive Democrats of America believes "No issue reveals more clearly the flaws of the U.S. political-economic system than global warming. Greed and corporate power dominate the public good, and impose nearsighted focus on short-term profits instead of serving our long-term needs and the welfare of future generations."

      PDA explains, "Stop Global Warming is part of PDA's Protect the Earth platform. The team works on the following issues: Stopping Climate Change, Supporting a Carbon Tax and Green Energy (solar/wind), while Ending Fracking and Nuclear Power."

      PDA supports the following legislation: S. 1135 the FRAC Act aka Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act "To amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing, and for other purposes.", H.R. 1175 the FRESHER Act aka Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation Act "To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study with respect to stormwater runoff from oil and gas operations,", H.R. 1154 the BREATHE Act aka Bringing Reductions to Energy's Airborne Toxic Health Effects Act "To amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate the exemption for aggregation of emissions from oil and gas sources,", and H.R. 2825 the CLEANER Act aka Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations Act "To require regulation of wastes associated with the exploration, development, or production of crude oil, natural gas, or geothermal energy under the Solid Waste Disposal Act."

      PDA seeks to reduce America's dependence on oil and fossil fuels by raising auto fuel economy and imposing taxation on carbon dioxide while investing in public transportation, energy conservation technologies, and alternative energy development.

      Stop voter suppression/Democracy Restoration Act

      The Progressive Democrats of America is "dedicated to passing the Democracy Restoration Act and ending Voter Suppression. The Democracy Restoration Act will restore voting rights in federal elections to nearly four million Americans who are out of prison and living in the community; ensure that people on probation never lose their right to vote in federal elections; and notify people about their right to vote in federal elections when they are leaving prison, sentenced to probation, or convicted of a misdemeanor. Ending voter suppression will guarantee that every citizen that wants to vote will have the opportunity to cast their ballot for the person of their choice. Voting will again be a right that is not abridged because of age, race, address or economic standing."

      PDA supports legislation including constitutional amendments to protect voting rights, and opposes court decisions, legislation and other efforts to roll back the Voting Rights Act, to impose onerous, unfair burdens and costs on voters.

      End mass criminalization

      The Progressive Democrats of America asserts, "In America one out of every 100 citizens is behind bars and most of them are minorities. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population but holds one-quarter of the world's prisoners. The prison industrial complex has a vested interest in keeping people locked up. A prison record affects the ability to find employment. In Virginia, Florida, Kentucky and Iowa, a felony conviction results in the permanent loss of voting privileges unless individually restored by the governor."

      The End Mass Criminalization Issue Team works on the following related issues, including: Mass Incarceration, Prison Industrial Complex/Privatization of Prisons, School to Prison Pipeline, Restoration of Voting Rights, Voter Suppression by Incarceration, Stop and Frisk, Harm Reduction, Criminalization of Poverty, Mandatory Minimum Sentences, Criminal Justice System, War on Drugs, Solitary Confinement.

    • Frances
      March 16, 2016 at 00:08

      Chuck,
      You are so correct.

  11. J'hon Doe II
    March 12, 2016 at 13:19

    ( this all remind you of Our Donald? )

    This militant medic, whom his opponents accused of being “the Luther of physicians”, engaged in a life-long battle against academic doctors who learnt their medicine from dusty tomes rather than practical experience. Paracelsus had nothing but bile for these men: “Nor one of you will survive, even in the most distant corner where even the dogs will not piss. I shall be monarch and mine will be the monarchy . . . the stubble on my chin knows more than you and all your scribes.” His book of medical alchemy, Archidoxa (“Arch-Wisdom”), is a “physician’s cookbook of remedies”. In it he moves towards modern chemotherapy, using chemicals to treat illness rather than attempting to rebalance the body’s humours according to ancient and defunct Galenic principles. He was, says Ball, “the most influential proponent of the idea” and helped to direct the future course of medical science.

    For Paracelsus, alchemy was not merely about the creation of gold, but was a medical and mystical philosophy that explained the functioning of the body (the transformation of food into flesh, blood and excrement) as well as the more general principles that revealed the mysteries of the earth. “Alchemy becomes so powerful and so beautiful in Paracelsus’s hands,” writes Ball, “because it is a part of a greater system: a magical vision of the universe distilled in the overheated alembic of a feverishly imaginative mind.” Paracelsus saw the “great art of transformation” – alchemy – as the key to understanding man and nature. It was “a reflection of the natural art that makes a flower grow, that stores up metals in the earth, and brings wind and rain. By taking alchemy out of the smoky laboratory and setting it free in wild nature, Paracelsus stakes his claim to genius.”

    Ball’s Paracelsus is a complex amalgam of contradictions: “a humble braggart, a puerile sage, invincible loser, courageous coward, pious heretic, honest charlatan, fuelled by profound love and by spiteful hate, dining with princes and sleeping in the ditch, both personifying and challenging the madness of his world”. He was an intellectual vagabond: a pacifist who always carried a great broadsword by his side, even in bed, and a footloose intellectual who travelled from Ireland to Moscow, and from Algiers to Uppsala. His writings were often “verbose, undisciplined and ungrammatical”. Yet writers from Blake to Borges have been captivated by his words, and he has become “a cipher for arcane and occult knowledge”. Paracelsus even crops up in the Harry Potter books. According to Ball, “legend marks his every step”. Some people said Satan gave him a white horse which he stabled in Transylvania; others claimed he possessed the secret of eternal life and carried with him the Philosopher’s Stone which could turn base metal into gold. “His work begins and ends in magic”, concludes Ball who, unlike previous biographers, resists the temptation to depict him as a proto-scientist: “Paracelsus did not do science.” The real man and his philosophy are more complex and much more interesting than this.

    Many of the facts of Paracelsus’s extraordinary, protean life are hidden in the fog of legend and myth. Ball does an excellent job of filling in the gaps and recreating this strange and wonderful age, with its wandering wizards like Agrippa von Nettesheim (“the archetypal Renaissance magus”) and its magical worldview. Today Paracelsianism is “a kaleidoscopic mixture, sometimes beautiful, sometimes grotesque or terrifying or inchoate, always profoundly human”. It is a deeply personal, idiosyncratic vision of life and the universe, a vision that only truly made sense to Paracelsus himself. Ball succeeds in convincing us that, despite his arcane ideas, his vision of the “strangeness and the beauty of the magical universe” remains both inspiring and important. As Paracelsus himself wrote, “it is a divine gift to investigate in the light of Nature”.

    · PD Smith’s illustrated biography of Einstein is published by Haus

  12. Marilyn Potter
    March 12, 2016 at 12:39

    I totally agree and also would choose Trump over Hillary. I would hope this is widely read because ours is a poorly informed, under-informed electorate and the media silence on Hillary’s history is deafening.

    • J'hon Doe II
      March 12, 2016 at 13:08

      A LITERARY PORTRAIT OF DONALD TRUMP… Please Enjoy
      .

      The Devil’s Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science
      by Philip Ball
      435pp, Heinemann, £20

      One day in 1527, Paracelsus let it be known that he would reveal the greatest secret of medicine to the inhabitants of Basle. The esteemed doctors and academics of the university, dressed in their rich robes and fur hats, gathered to hear his words of wisdom. Secretly they hoped the roving physician and alchemist would make a fool of himself; already they could feel the warm glow of Schadenfreude. When Paracelsus appeared he was dressed, as usual, not in the costly clothes of a respected academic, but “in the plain smock of an artisan, stained and smeared with the residues of the chemistry laboratory”. In his hands he bore the great secret – a dish which he held aloft for all the learned company to see. It contained “steaming human excrement”. As the outraged audience hurried away in disgust, Paracelsus’s words echoed after them: “If you will not hear the mysteries of putrefactive fermentation, you are unworthy of the name of physicians!” He did indeed believe that the essential truth of alchemy was expressed in the axiom “decay is the beginning of all birth”. Confronting his enemies with “a bowl of shit” carried a less esoteric but equally eloquent message.

      This memorable anecdote is told by Philip Ball in his wonderfully rich biography, and it is revealing of both Paracelsus’s character and his ideas. His stay in Basle had started out well. Many students had attended his unofficial courses. He told them that doctors didn’t need “eloquence or knowledge of language and books”, but “profound knowledge of Nature and her works”. His own wisdom was, he told them, based “upon the foundation of experience, the supreme teacher of all things”. But wherever he lived, it was not long before this fiery iconoclast began ruffling feathers. According to Carl Jung, “Paracelsus was a little too sure that he had his enemy in front of him, and did not notice that it was lodged in his own bosom”. This profound thinker was wholly lacking in tact or prudence. So often, as Ball says, he seemed like “a man running headlong towards a precipice”.

      To his enemies, Paracelsus was the “forest-ass of Einsiedeln”. Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim was born in 1493 in Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and died in Salzburg in 1541. Afterwards the rumour persisted that he had risen from the dead. His father had been a physician from Swabia in Germany. Theophrastus’s experiences at universities such as Freiburg and Heidelberg taught him that he was not born to live in an ivory tower. How is it, he asked, that “the higher colleges managed to produce so many high asses”? His assumed name means beyond (para) Celsus. Aurelius Cornelius Celsus was the Roman writer who collected the medical knowledge of his day in De re medicina, which had been rediscovered by the humanists in 1428. Indeed, medicine in the early Renaissance had advanced little since Roman times. For instance, physicians did not think it necessary to examine patients, relying instead on a urine sample for diagnosis. “All they can do is to gaze at piss,” said Paracelsus scornfully. He accused them of “villainy and knavery” and said that if people realised how they were being deceived, medics would be stoned in the street. They, in turn, accused him of drunkenness, and it’s true that Paracelsus did prefer to expound his wisdom in taverns than in university lecture halls.

      His written works, most of which were only published posthumously, could be “paranoid, repetitive, vain and self-aggrandising”. But beneath the bluster and posturing were genuine insights. Giordano Bruno said of him: “Seeing how much this inebriate knew, what should I think he might have discovered had he been sober?” Paracelsus turned his back on Aristotle and Galen and embraced experience as his mentor. He taught that “every land is a leaf of the Codex of Nature, and he who would explore her must tread her books with his feet”. Paracelsus brought “a new, questing spirit” to natural philosophy. He investigated the plague at considerable risk to himself, devised a “chemical diagnosis of madness” and, although celibate, wrote about “the diseases of women” at a time when medics turned a blind eye to their suffering. “If a woman die in childbed,” wrote his contemporary, Luther, “that does no harm. It is what they were made for.”

  13. Cicily Corbett
    March 12, 2016 at 11:41

    Amen.

  14. Abbybwood
    March 12, 2016 at 11:31

    Here is another group that called for a protest at Chicago’s Trump rally yesterday:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1060752830629598/

    And I notice that John Oliver’s “Drumpf”? meme from his hate-filled tirade toward Trump from a week or two ago has caught on.

    If all this isn’t nipped in the bud by ALL the candidates, it will be one of the longest, hottest summers in U.S. history.

    The candidates need to engage their supporters to fight a peaceful campaign using our words in civil discourse so we don’t have to start the body counts instead.

  15. J'hon Doe II
    March 12, 2016 at 09:45

    Who gained most from the riot in Chicago? — Donald Trump!
    This is a public relations Bonanza for his campaign… .

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 12, 2016 at 11:03

      You got that right. My neighbor (whom I love) is sticking by his guy Trump, and swearing against these basement dwellers for interrupting the Donald’s scheduled event. All that this counter rally accomplished, was that it makes the Trump people circle their wagons a little tighter to ward off the cry baby lefties. So, you are right on J’hon Doe II, Trump just got a bump. If people want to protest Donald Trump, then just turn off their TV. That will show him.

    • Abbybwood
      March 12, 2016 at 11:24

      Howz about just not voting for the guy?

      Pick your candidate and go volunteer for him/her. Send donations to the maximum level you can afford. Slap a sticker on your car. Put a yard sign on your front lawn.

      But what Moveon.org did (in the name of Bernie Sanders) was undemocratic and dangerous.

      Regardless of what Donald Trump is “saying” at his rallies or the tone he uses or even the language, the way you defeat a candidate like that is to show your disdain with intelligence and class.

      All the Moveon.org supporters would have gained much more respect and done much more toward their cause of trying to see Sanders win the Democrat nomination if they got thousands of their members to go to any Trump rally and hold simple signs and just all stand with their backs to the event silently with their spokesman denouncing Trump’s positions and policies.

      Instead they boneheadedly decided to put people’s lives at risk and possibly the lives of children. This is inexcusable. If Trump does get a “bump” from this it’s no wonder!

      Shame on Moveon.org.

      And shame on them for endorsing a war criminal and pathological liar for president in July when Sanders “loses” the nomination (especially if the “Super Delegates” are brought into play to win it for her).

      We need to move on from Moveon.org.

    • KB Gloria
      March 16, 2016 at 10:05

      This is not an accurate description of protester/MoveOn action in Chicago–Trump has been encouraging attacks with inciteful language for quite a while now, and at a rally in St. Louis he called for “consequences” rather than “politically correct” handling of protesters. He is attempting to victimize himself for whatever reason–a fairly typical conservative tactic form what I have seen since W.

  16. Anthony Shaker
    March 12, 2016 at 08:39

    I agree with the assessment of Trump.

    As far as the political establishment (both Republican and Democrat) is concerned, Donald Trump is a wild card. No one really controls him, so they fear him. As outlandish as he sounds, this may be the only way to break the Neocons’ grip on power. His foreign policy is not predesigned, and his ridicule of what their reign has brought Americans unsettles them.

    All this puts Clinton in a bad light. She is 100% establishment, and worse: she is the establishment lusting for revenge at a moment in history when the United States has no chance of remaining the world’s policeman for long. The US trying to make a comeback at everyone else’s expense could spell disaster for everyone. it may well push the globe to the brink.

    In a word, Clinton is a walking disaster; whereas Trump is only a product of the walking disaster that America has become, with its failed domestic policiesm constant bellicosity around the world, and rampage around the Middle East.

    • Anthony Shaker
      March 13, 2016 at 10:02

      This opinion piece appeared just this morning in The New York Times:

      “The Neocons vs. Donald Trump,” By JACOB HEILBRUNN (MARCH 10, 2016)
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/opinion/sunday/the-neocons-vs-donald-trump.html?emc=edit_th_20160313&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=7831283&_r=1

      Apparently Neocons Republicans are prepared to support Hillary Clinton if Trump is voted GOP chief. That should teach every concerned American something about where the foreign loyalties of Neocons lie. The Neocons’ beef with Trump is in foreign policy. Neoncons are not that interested in domestic policy except when it affects the political alliances in Congress, at the state level, and anywhere else they have infiltrated. For decades, they have been forging these alliances with the single purpose of pushing for the most bellicose, Israel-centered policies in American history. They really do fear Trump.

      Hillary Clinton would be a good savior. She could continue the neocon fair tale, which incidentally has the potential of utterly removing the United States as a credible world power. They may succeed where the Communist Menace (the old Cold War Era bogey man) failed.

      I distinctly dislike “right-wing” demagogues, but why is it that “left-wing” demagogues keep pushing us toward war. Democrats have been playing this role for decades. And overseas new left-wing failures like France’s Socialist Hollandes and Greece’s “Socialist” Tspiris keep hatching.

    • tjoe
      March 15, 2016 at 17:26

      Who got us into the Iraq war?

      A List of prominent Jewish Neocons and their role in getting the U.S. into Iraq

      http://hugequestions.com/Eric/TFC/FromOthers/list-of-neocons-for-Iraq-war.htm
      Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Michael Ledeen, Scooter Libby, Charles Krauthammer, Stephen Bryen, David Frum, Robert Kagan, David Wurmser, Dov Zakheim, Henry Kissenger, Norman Podhoretz, John Podhoretz, Elliot Abrams, Frederick Kagan, Donald Kagan, Alan Dershowtiz, Daniel Pipes, Eliot Cohen, Bill Kristol, Irving Kristol, Max Boot, James Schlesinger, Marc Grossman, Joshua Bolten

      Now cross reference that with the following:

      Open Letter on Donald Trump from GOP National Security Leaders

      http://www.voltairenet.org/article190578.html

      The fine print…..”The statement above was coordinated by Dr. Eliot A. Cohen, former Counselor of the Department of State (2007–8) and Bryan McGrath, Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group, a defense consultancy.”

    • Andrew Nichols
      March 13, 2016 at 23:35

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. At the moment I liken the USA to a dying star. Such bodies incinerate all in the vicinity then implode into a Black hole destroying everything. The massive debt of the USA, it’s uber patriotism mixed with an increasingly belligerent even murderous geostrategy lashing out against anyone that gets in its way is a toxic destabilising brew that wont end well. Sanders with all his faults is probably the only chance for the world to avoid catastrophe.

  17. Peter Loeb
    March 12, 2016 at 07:02

    NEVER!!!!

    As I wrote in comment to Lawrence Davidson’s article of March 10
    (today’s Consortium), it is much too early to know what Trump would
    do if elected President. I know (unfortunately) what Hillary Clinton
    would do.

    Because of his racism and violence-provoking shows (Trump’s
    campaign), I could never support him for President.

    What I can do is once a new US President has been elected
    (and a new Congress), to continue criticism as appropriate.

    At this point, both would be disasters as President from
    my perspective.

    —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  18. Abbybwood
    March 12, 2016 at 02:19

    Regarding the fiasco tonight (Friday) in Chicago at a Trump rally (that had to be cancelled due to the threats of violence), there is no one to blame except Bernie Sanders.

    Regardless of “what” Trump has “said” regarding “some” Mexicans coming into the United States illegally then committing rapes and murders, or that “there should be a temporary pause” in allowing Muslims into the United States until it is clear they can be fully vetted as to their intentions (San Bernardino) etc. Trump is currently the leading candidate running for president in the Republican party. He has every right to hold rallies and give whatever speeches he likes. He is trying to win votes for his policies and agenda. His policy and agenda may be abhorrent to Democrats (and obviously to Establishment Republicans/Neocons), but the fact remains that he still has a right to continue his campaign without threats of violence and agitators attending his rallies for the sole purpose of disrupting and causing potential riots, mayhem and even injuries and death!

    Moveon.org has admitted to their supporters via emails that they organized the protests there and that includes hundreds of their “agitators” who gained entrance to the event and clearly caused a riot where there was plenty of shouting and screaming and shoving and acting out “against racism” etc.

    Moveon.org overwhelmingly endorsed Bernie Sanders for president and now it is ALL ON SANDERS to denounce Moveon.org for possibly inciting violence that may have easily ended in the death of one or more of those involved on either side of the equation.

    I am currently a Sanders supporter, but if he does NOT denounce the actions of Moveon.org I will easily change my support to Donald Trump as any of Trump’s arch Neocon running mates, nor the arch Neocon hawk Hillary Clinton are options.

    Sanders is already skating on thin ice with his promised endorsement of a known war criminal and pathological liar who is currently in danger of being charged with espionage. Yes, espionage. When one studies her email fiasco and starts connecting the “legal dots”, that is the picture that starts to emerge.

    The FBI, State Department and Justice Department may not have the courage of their supposed convictions to bring criminal charges against her, but believe me, out of the hundreds involved in the current investigation there will be ONE person to come forward and whistle blow the truth to the American people.

    The ice is also thinning regarding Sanders reticence to call Hillary Clinton out on her multiple war crimes and abject refusal to release the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs, not to mention the continuous lying she does right in his face during debates. There is even photographic evidence (and witnesses) to Hillary Clinton “cheating” at the last debate according to DNC rules by meeting with her campaign staff during a break in the debate. But Sanders won’t say a word.

    Seriously folks. I am a reasonable American and I try very hard to pay attention to current events and particularly political events.

    I hope Sanders has the guts to step forward and call out Moveon.org. The organization that will surely endorse a war criminal and pathological liar if Sanders does not win the nomination by the July Democrat convention in Philadelphia.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 12, 2016 at 02:48

      Abbybwood, if what you say about moveon.org is true, then I agree with you. I like you am a Sanders supporter. I like you also wish he would take his gloves off, but would he hold up against Hillary’s corporate media punditry class? I sometimes wonder if Bernie is stepping his way through a mine field, and picking his way through very carefully to avoid getting himself blown up. Although, getting back to your point about Bernie denouncing moveon.org creating such a disturbance at this Trump rally, makes perfect sense, and it would be the right thing for Sanders to do if he did scold his masses.

    • Abbybwood
      March 12, 2016 at 03:20

      Of course HuffPo, MSDNC and the Clinton News Network are completely blaming Trump for all this.

      It will be very interesting to watch the various news cycles tomorrow to see how badly Moveon.org gets called out for their undemocratic actions.

      I think it is fine and dandy to “protest” an event. Go there, take your signs, say what you will, but to go INTO the event for the sole purpose of inciting a riot where children are attending and actual injuries or death could occur due to the agitation and provocation, that is where I draw the line.

      My feeling is that if Moveon.org wanted to protest the WORST candidate in the race, they would be going to all the Clinton events with their signs/verbal assaults! She has actually already committed the war crimes and lies!

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 12, 2016 at 10:54

      I went on moveon.org, and although moveon is calling out to protest against Trump rallies, I didn’t see anything requesting people to directly protest this particular Chicago rally. You will need to go to moveon.org site for yourself, and read how they are phrasing their complaint about these Trump events. What moveon is saying is wrong from a first amendment point of view, and moveon should think twice before making the plead they are making towards their readership. I know this, there is a procedure for counter rallies (such as when the KKK comes to a town), and that is to keep each rally separated by some safe distance. Again, if moveon did suggest, or organize this counter protest, then shame on moveon. I surely hope that Bernie picks up on this, and further goes on to denounce this kind of support. Such a counter rally protest will not look good for the candidates name who is invoked.

    • Yawnzee
      March 12, 2016 at 19:10

      Trump has every right to hold his rallies and say what he pleases. Just as those who find what he’s saying revolting have every right to show up and express their disdain towards him and his message. He is spewing hateful rhetoric. Hate promotes violence, so it should come as no surprise when there is violence between Trump supporters and those they have been told to hate.

      You made an exceptionally poor attempt at masquerading as a supporter of one particular candidate. It is blatantly clear who you support. Just state your opinions and cast your vote, stop trying to be manipulative.

    • Ctt
      March 13, 2016 at 10:36

      Regarding protestors at Trump events, you only have to look at Elliott Abrams, back room guy in the rubio/Bush camp. Paid provacatours with Bernie signs stirring up a crowd of angy urban poor. Any echos of third world regime change. The interview with Rubio on GPS this morning was very telling, comparing this to what you see in Latin Am., how certain he is that he will win FL, a Bush controlled voter fraud state, and predicting that someone is about to get hurt. Anyone remember Robert Kennedy! Divide the anti-establishment into two angry groups and neutralize the revolution. Sanders is the force to be reckoned with and the Clinton/Bush cartel sharpens their knives.

    • CM Brown
      March 13, 2016 at 13:54

      Some good information from Politico Magazine about Friday’s protest from a reporter who was there–apparently, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) students organized to protest their University hosting Trump. These protesters were inside as well as out on the street protesting.
      http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/donald-trump-chicago-protest-213728

    • Thirdeye
      March 15, 2016 at 19:50

      I’m in the same boat as you. Sanders’ failure to call out the provocateurs who try to stifle free speech in his name is a failure of leadership. The kerfuffle about ex-Klansman David Duke supporting Trump is trivial by comparison. It’s not like Duke is sending white supremacists to disrupt Sanders or Clinton rallies. Nobody on the racist Right is stooping to the level of what Black Lives Matter and MoveOn.org are doing. If they were, we would surely be hearing no end of it through the MSM.

      Both Sanders and Trump are making a big mistake in not reaching out to each other’s supporters. They have the commonality of being opposed to oligarchic control of the political system and the economic policies that enrich a tiny elite at the expense of virtually everyone else. Trump’s opposition is a little more robust than Sanders’ because he is not paralyzed by interest groups within his own party in confronting one of the most important issues of economic exploitation, the semi-official open border policy. For that Trump gets smeared as “racist” when working class blacks and Hispanics are among those most damaged by what Trump is advocating against. If Trump would start going after Hillary’s record as a warmonger and tool of the financial class that is sucking the blood out of American workers, that would be a great thing. It might even help Sanders’ chances.

  19. Joe Tedesky
    March 12, 2016 at 01:52

    Although I am not quite ready to vote for Trump, I will never cast a ballot for Hillary. Bill and Hillary stole the Democratic party’s once socialized platforms intended to help the little people, and traded them in for their profitable support of big business. Hillary gives me the impression that her primary goal is, is to show the good ole boys back at the CFR how she will be the one to conquer the world. George W. Bush may have had something to prove by overshadowing his dad when it came to his invading Iraq, but will we vote in yet another president who may have insecurity issues enough to start more wars in order to substantiate her hedonistic position amongst her peers? If interested to learn more by all means read Diania Johnstone’s ‘Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton’. Lastly, to keep it simple for now vote for Bernie Sanders in the primaries and keep Hillary out…when the general election comes about do what you must, but keep Hillary out!

    • Kiza
      March 13, 2016 at 07:32

      Talking about silver, I read in a Philip Giraldi piece that Clintons, when leaving the White House after the Bill’s two terms, took with them the White House silverware, which came as a bit of shock to the White House service staff and security. No-one objected, of course, but who knows what would disappear after a Hillary mandate, or God forbid, two. Carpets, chandeliers …

  20. Paul
    March 11, 2016 at 21:58

    Well argued. If you care about people in other nations, very hard to see how you can vote for Clinton. If you care about Americans, hard to see how you can vote for either candidate. But if you add the two considerations up, it looks like Mr. Blum’s logic works. Depressingly enough.

    • Grekko
      March 14, 2016 at 06:08

      Hey, the world is depressing. It should be enough that the ship of state might be slowed down by Trump. I’m not expecting miracles (he still has to deal with Congress), but his foreign policy appears sound. When you are hurdling towards the abyss, I’d think that slowing down is a good start. Those who follow him can turn this behemoth safely after it has been slowed. I don’t believe that 100 years of history can be turned on a dime.

  21. marion
    March 11, 2016 at 18:25

    I agree with both comments and the article.

    If it came down to Hillary vs a Devil, , I would not vote for Hillary the liar and, warmonger,

    . If Trump was the Devil I’d vote Trump

  22. Oleg
    March 11, 2016 at 18:01

    I am a total outsider here but I think Trump could learn and adjust if he is elected, while Clinton would not.

    • Vivek Jain
      March 18, 2016 at 05:37

      Not only are you a “total outsider” you have no idea how power or politics work.

      Do you have any idea of how softminded and brainwashed the public has been? The public doesn’t realize that there is a ruling class, that the two parties and the WH and the Beltway media serve that ruling class, or that the ruling class wants WW3. The public is kept in the dark about the most important fact: it is social movements, not voting, which are responsible for the modest protections and improvements in living and working conditions (which too many in the US take for granted).

      The conscience of a people is its power.
      – Dryden

  23. Bart Gruzalski
    March 11, 2016 at 18:00

    The devil you know–Hillary Clinton–is a warmongering interventionist who supports the military-banking-complex.

    At least Trump has said some good thinks that are much to the left of Hillary and even good common sense. OF course
    the neocons won’t like him. They are supporting Hillary.

    • Vivek Jain
      March 18, 2016 at 05:33

      Hey, dummy. The average civilian does not exercise her/his political power by casting ballots. Civilians need to un-enshrine voting as a “duty” and to learn to see voting and the “election” to be what it is: an act of self-disempowerment for the working class. Elections and campaigns are mechanisms by which the ruling class fools just enough of the public to give the ruling class the legitimacy and false cover of public sanction that the ruling class seeks. Elections are mechanisms by which the ruling class perpetuates itself and advances its fascist agenda. Over the years, how have elections affected public power? The anti-democratic, ruling class operatives who are installed in office have assaulted the rights of people here and abroad. Presidents aren’t public servants. They’re the foremost, highest profile guardians of the ruling class, which wants to (and needs to) devour and oppress you and everyone you know.

      Social movements are the only means by which ordinary people can improve our living and working conditions. Elections are designed to deplete valuable time, energy, resources (including psychological energy) that should otherwise be focused on destroying the Empire and overthrowing capitalism.

      So again, it’s not a choice at all. The ruling class is foisting its operatives on us. The right wing Democrats are fearmongering with the bogeyman of Donald Trump, and downplaying the fact that the Democratic Barack Obama has advanced fascism to an unprecedented stage in the US — seizing more and more illegal power, exercising illegitimately the power to murder anyone anywhere for undisclosed secret reasons — in order to scare civilians in the US to participate in the fraud of the Election and thus become active participants in our own disempowerment.

      It is no accident that the fake-Left Sanders doesn’t make war resistance a topmost priority. It’s no oversight that he doesn’t call for tax resistance, to starve the Beast of its necessary revenue stream. It’s no glitch that Sanders’ positions on foreign policy is an endorsement for the big lie (that the US wages wars to “fight terror” [when in fact what the US ruling class is doing is seeking world domination but hiding this agenda from the public through the false posturing about ‘national security’]).

      “The result of having our history dominated by presidents and generals, and other ‘important’ people, is to create a passive citizenry; not knowing its own powers, always waiting for some savior on high, God or the next president, to bring peace and justice.”
      – Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

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