Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Sanders and Clinton

 “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” - Karl Marx

The lesser evil defeats the more lesser evil in Super Tuesday...or should that be the less evil beats the lesser less evil?

Bernie Sanders talks of “political revolution” as part of his election campaign slogans. But a political revolution is a process of radical change and is born of a mass movement. A political revolution will succeed or fail dependent on the persistence and tenacity of a grassroots struggle which must remain active and grow in intensity beyond the formal process of voting. The scale of change needed requires long term vision and commitment to continuous fighting on a day to day basis regardless of the outcome of the election. The political revolution requires to cultivate the momentum to completely overturn a fraudulent and undemocratic system. Such a transformation is not a return to FDR New Deal style politics. It requires a thorough re-thinking of the meaning of democracy, entire transformation of ‘business as usual’. Will the revolution be delivered by Bernie Sanders? For him ‘political revolution’ is merely a sexy slogan with no meaning or commitment to truly smash the oligarchy and take back democracy. What will Sanders supporters do if he doesn’t win the nomination. The obvious answer is: join forces with the Greens. They offer everything Bernie does plus more. The problem is that the Greens are not now, and never have been, an attraction for American voters who are not interested in “third party” politics. Running as a Democrat, Sanders avoided that fate. Had he not run as a Democrat, he would never have gotten anywhere near to where he now is. Once he is out of the way, his supporters it will fall into line and follow the Hillary camp for lesser evil reasons.

 Running against Trump or any of the other Republican hopefuls, Hillary Clinton would actually be the lesser evil. They have all expressed racism and nativism and views which put them all beyond the pale – whether or not they really believe what they say. But it should also be noted that on many issues – among others, coddling banksters and corporate profiteers, trade policy, overseas interventions, job creation through public works, health care, the provision of social services, and even U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine – Trump’s views, compared to Hillary’s, are not all bad. This does provide yet another reason why even the most fretful lesser evilists should realize that Trump would not be quite as awful as they think. With Hillary Clinton was at his side, as a de facto minister-without-portfolio, Bill Clinton said “the era of big government is over,” and promised to “end welfare as we know it.”  And he did, by signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.  The law bore severely on low income families, disproportionately communities of color.  Clinton took pride also in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which led eventually to an explosion of incarceration, and spawned an industry of private, for-profit prisons.  Once again the law impacted most heavily the black and Latino communities. Hillary Clinton’s corporate America grew in strength and political power as Clinton continues to pander to the wishes of Wall Street.

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