Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Are you sick of hearing about the Presidential election yet?  Well, we've made it through one primary so far.  The results of that were what?  Inconclusive, right?  Forty-nine more to go.

One of the obvious downsides of the interminable U.S. Presidential election is that it sucks the air out of the political process.  People become wholly focused on the results of the top of the ticket, they are sapped of the energy needed to look deeper into the process, and they end up hoping the person they select as President will take care of business without the need for any further real involvement by the electorate.  So, how as that worked out for you?

Bernie Sanders' call for a political revolution addresses the above.  What he is pointing out is that it is necessary not only to elect him President of the United States, but also to support his agenda to a depth which extends down into Congress, state and local governments.  Because, let's face it, a very large part of that massive governmental structure is under the control of a Party that works against the interests of the people who have voted them into office.  Have you heard Hillary Clinton make a case for that kind of change?

Clinton is making a lot of policy pronoucements and promises that look good to an energized progressive base.  What also speaks loudly is her omission of details of any new ideas for reforming the process down at the grass roots level.  What she is proposing by inference is that she will rely on the same old Democratic Party machine which has abdicated its responsibility to progressive principles and engaged in the same corrupt campaign finance machinations that power the Republican Party.

Some perspective on all of the above is available today in an article by Ryan Cooper, "The Case Against Hillary Clinton", which is a brief review of a book, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency, by Doug Henwood.   Cooper summarizes the key points of the brief against Clinton as President including her right-of-Obama militarism, her ethically questionable involvement with husband Bill's foundation, and her ties to the financial elites including her six years on the board of Walmart.

It is likely true that Clinton would not appoint right-wing zealots and incompetents to the Supreme Court, and she likely wouldn't turn against the progess made over the years in regard to women's rights and a lot of other causes dear to progressive hearts.  She could even conceivably (if improbably) preside over a period of financial growth as was the case during Bill's terms in office.  What also seems inescapable is the conclusion that another Clinton Presidency would keep the country moving in the same direction toward ever-greater income and wealth inequality while paying lip service to liberal ideals.

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