2016 has been a year of “divide and conquer.”
In 2008, the ruling class – by which I mean the financial industry elites, who control the Democrats, the oil industry elites, who control the Republicans, and the military industrial complex, which controls them both – lost the trust of the American people. Whether or not Barack Obama, who we had all hoped would govern as a progressive, could have knit back together the fabric of our multicultural society is no longer a question. He chose to bail out his friends on Wall Street instead.
The Republicans were the first to pour gasoline on the fire. Having lost both the White House and both houses of Congress, they settled on a “scorched earth” policy, doing everything they could to undermine the legitimacy of our first African American President. In 2009 and 2010 they funded the Tea Parties. In 2011 and 2012 they pushed the “birther” conspiracy theory. In 2013, behind Ted Cruz, they tried to shut down the government altogether. In the end, they only wound up destroying their own party. Nobody should have been surprised when the very white nationalist base they’ve been cultivating since Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” eventually led to the nomination of Donald Trump as their candidate for President. You pour gasoline on a fire, and sooner or later you’re going to get burned.
The Democrats got a later start, but, in the end, they’re just as guilty. If the Republicans cultivated what Marxists call a “false consciousness” – the idea that blacks and immigrants are responsible for Wall Street’s destruction of the economy – the Democrats went out of their way to destroy the alternatives. It was big city, Democratic Party mayors who colluded with the federal government to break up Occupy Wall Street, not the Republicans. In the Summer and Fall of 2015, when the liberal populist Bernie Sanders tried to focus the Presidential election on what black, white and Hispanic people have in common, Democratic Party elites invented the “Berniebro” slur, implying not only that Sanders had too many white male supporters, but that his whole campaign was racist and misogynist. Above all it was Barack Obama. By ignoring the way his “economic recovery” has disproportionately favored the rich and the upper-middle-class, he has allowed the false consciousness of the Tea Parties to permanently take root in the minds of working-class white people. West Virginia, which became a state in 1863 only because its people militantly opposed slavery, for example, and which had supported the Democratic Party ever since the New Deal, is now solidly behind the white nationalist, “divide and conquer” politics of Donald Trump.
The American ruling class, unable to gain the trust of the American people, has decided to destroy the American people.
I cannot vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Both candidates are arrogant, ambitious charlatans who have preyed upon their gullible, easily led supporters to elevate themselves into “false messiahs.” For Trump’s supporters, only “the Donald” can save American from the “globalists,” a thinly veiled appeal to classical antisemitism. For Hillary Clinton’s supporters, not pulling the lever for their candidate means you hate women and black people. If you’re black or a women, or a black woman, it means you hate yourself. For many liberal Democrats, the biggest threat to America is not terrorism or global warming. It’s the white working class. To be more specific, it’s anybody, white, black or Hispanic, who still refuses to forget that George W. Bush lied us into the Iraq War and that Barack Obama, when forced to choose between Goldman Sachs and the American people, chose Goldman Sachs. The Democratic Party has in fact ceased to be a “democratic” party at all. It is, rather, a neoliberal, imperialist political elite determined to coerce us, the American people, into validating their own undemocratic rule.
My recommendation is to vote for anybody but Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump.
I do not like Gary Johnson. While not an openly racist candidate like Trump, he’s basically just another right-wing, corporate Republican.
Nevertheless, if you must chose between Johnson and Trump, choose Johnson.
I am not a big fan of Jill Stein or the Green Party. They seem to lack a core set of beliefs. In the Summer of 2015, they seemed determined, along with Hillary Clinton, to knock Bernie Sanders out of the race before the race even began. When Sanders wound up becoming much more popular than anybody thought was possible, they did a full 180 and made a play for his disillusioned followers. What’s more, Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka have made far too many enforced errors, Baraka’s contribution to a book edited by a well-known antisemite and Holocaust denier only the most egregious. Neither Stein nor Baraka is an anti-semite. Sadly, neither seems to know how to use Google.
Nevertheless, if you must choose between Stein and Gary Johnson, choose Stein.
My choice for President is Gloria La Riva, the candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Do I think you should vote for her? Since she’s only on the ballot in eight states – Vermont, New Mexico, Iowa, Louisiana, Colorado, Washington, New Jersey, and California – you probably can’t. She’s clearly running a “protest campaign” designed not to win, but to raise money and build her own organization. Eugene Puryear, her running mate, only 30-years-old, isn’t even eligible to serve for another five years. Nevertheless, my vote for La Riva and the Party for Socialism and Liberation is not a “no” vote but a “yes” vote. I am voting, not against Clinton or Trump, but for the very clearly radical program outlined in The Party for Socialism and Liberation’s “ten point plan,” the kind of radical program we need to save the world from global warming, nuclear annihilation, and the catastrophic wars that will inevitably result from the way the majority of the world’s resources have been coopted by a tiny minority of the world’s richest people. I am not voting for Gloria La Riva in spite of how she has no chance of winning, but because she has no chance of winning. As journalist and author Chris Hedges once said, “the American political system as it is currently configured does not offer us a chance to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.” We need at least to imagine that there can be something better.
As the young French rebels of May 1968 once said, “be realistic. Demand the impossible.” It’s the only thing that can save us.