oes Hillary Clinton understand that the biggest divide in American politics is no longer between the right and the left, but between the anti-establishment and the establishment?
I worry she doesn’t – at least not yet.
A Democratic operative I’ve known since the Bill Clinton administration told me “now that she’s won the nomination, Hillary is moving to the middle. She’s going after moderate swing voters.”
Presumably that’s why she tapped Tim Kaine to be her vice president. Kaine is as vanilla middle as you can get.
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Hillary, what the hell were you, or your advisors thinking? Or were you thinking at all? It’s not like you’ve never had to apologize, or say “it was a mistake” before. If this was a mistake it’s a giant one.
by Ken Carman
I’m not all that convinced just some mistake. Sure seems an intentional obscene gesture to me.
Some of us who voted Bernie have been in a very difficult position. At times I’m sure purists have claimed I was a Hillary supporter in bad true believer clothing because I don’t think buying into every stupid, or half assed, Hillary conspiracy theory is wise. I don’t believe villain-ization serves Democrats well, or Bernie well. Who it does serve is a party that has continued to skew into more torture, less personal rights: except for those with a lot of money or part of big corporations whose interest is to oppress small ones. Read more
Written by Robert Warden
It has been a long time (for me) since I have written a blog post. There are reasons for that which I cannot elaborate on here, aside from having a very busy summer teaching session. However, I now look up and see that the Republican convention has taken place, and the surreal image of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump invades my consciousness.
It occurs to me that what we are seeing now is the circling of the wagons stage of political decline. Mobs of angry independent voters are gathering outside the beltway. Donald Trump? Isn’t he an outsider? Well, not really. I wouldn’t call any billionnaire (or person who can look legitimate in claiming to be one) an outsider — not in a corporate-capitalist society. Clearly, Republican insiders are horrified by his nomination, although they rolled over for him in the end. However, he represents the values of the corporate, white male dominated mindset better than probably any other public figure can. His candidacy certainly was the creation of Koch money, Teatards and an unwittingly compliant corporate media, but Trump represents the potential for total corporate dominance over the institutions of society, including our political ones. Trump’s candidacy is a dirty trick played upon the gullible. He claims to stand for political reform from the outside, while advancing oligarchy from the inside, as the few but powerful financial elite circle their wagons and hope to evade an onslaught of anger and demands for democratic reforms to help the average citizen, by the disenfranchised many. Read more
What about the option to vote for an ideologically attractive but electorally marginal candidate? This option may be attractive for someone who desires to keep his hands clean by not lending support to candidates he finds morally reprehensible. That’s a noble reason for action. Moral integrity is an important character trait.
But the search for a clean conscience may result in immoral behavior. If our vote is part of a set of votes that will contribute to the defeat of the realistically electable “lesser evil,” therefore electing the “more evil” candidate, then we force society to pay a high price for our clean conscience. Sometimes, our concern for feeling morally impeccable should give way to a concern for what type of society we can help to create for the sake of all, including ourselves.
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There’s a caveat I must begin with. “Cult” isn’t necessarily bad. For the times, Jesus was the leader of what would have been considered a “cult.” That “cult” was wrongfully considered by Roman and Jewish authorities to be dangerous.
But I do believe our two party-based system has become too cult-like in the worst ways…
Compared to, let’s say, the Gnostic gospels, there’s a fairly recent alternative view of the events leading up to the crucifixion. Jesus was supposed to survive after being treated with healing herbs. In one thousands of years old Gnostic gospel Judas was a hero: doing what Jesus wanted, what needed to be done. Of course, after that, Jesus would return and offer up God’s wrath like some vengeful waitress at the Final Judgement Cafe. Locusts and brimstone would be available in the Serves You Right souvenir shop.
by Ken Carman
Politics and religion were pretty much inseparable back then, though the Romans tried to keep them somewhat separate by cruelly punishing believers perceived to be challenging Roman rule. The cult-ish concept that made sacrificing even the truest of believers for the cause remains, and has become part of politics.
I suppose some political cults we have today might be relatively tame, but I do consider the very concept of political movements turned cult rotten to the core: one that can undermine and destroy a free; truly representative, society. Sometimes a society has so many forceful special interests, demanding movements, that over reaction becomes the standard. For example: much like those who challenged Rome, or those who deposed Julius Caesar, we go beyond destroying the leader, but also family members and those politically incorrect souls who don’t go out of their way to demonize them. This has become common sport… destroying at all costs: even the common good. Anything that president proposes is also opposed, demonized. If we were Pompeii Republicans and Dems would be found at each others throats in the ashes rather than considering a common held desire to evacuate when proposed by only one side.
People back then didn’t know better when it came to such predicable disasters and problems. We do, but so often would rather go down in flames than give a centimeter.
I know in the days of Limbaugh and Surandon this may seem “quaint,” but having a system where politicians had to appeal to a wider base than “us vs. them” might help, I suppose.
Are you becoming part of a political cult rather than a movement, or a party? The following 10 suggestions might help you tell the difference. Apologies if sometimes it’s a tad too Jeff Foxworthy-ish… Read more