What I’m trying to say about the 2016 election
What I’m trying to say about the 2016 election is that the neoliberal economic and political system – and really the dominant two-party system all the way back in our country’s history – is/are what have produced Donald Trump. Voting for Hillary Clinton because Trump scares you isn’t going to accomplish much for you or our country, because she represents and supports that system 100%. And it will just generate more Trumps the longer it exists.
What will we be getting with Clinton? Obama on steroids. Obama seems like a gentle, peace-loving guy, but he’s been pretty hawkish with immigrants, the drone program, and military and other policies provoking to China. Expect all that to ramp up with Clinton. Think she’ll incorporate some of Sanders’ thinking into her domestic policy? Think again. She allowed some of it into the Democratic Party platform, but party platforms are no indication of what a president will do. A better indication is where she’s been speaking lately, and who to: big donors, Wall Street types, etc.
Finally, and this is my main point, with Clinton and her continuation of the current undemocratic, inequitable system we’ll get more of Trump or more fascist demagogues like him. Many of our fellow Americans have been deluded by political propaganda, both current lies like how many people are on welfare (only 1% receive the classic form of it) and old myths like “equal opportunity.” They’re hurting economically, and believe others are taking it easy on their tax dollars. Actually, this is true, but it isn’t other poor people; it’s the rich and corporations, receiving many government benefits and paying little or no tax.
What will it take to educate these folks? The Sanders campaign was a good start, or would have been had the media given him fair coverage. What would help now? Building a real movement, including Black Lives Matter and Occupy-type activists, left third parties, and more. In terms of the 2016 election, I believe the thing to do is vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the only person running who supports reasonable and equitable domestic and foreign policies (go to www.gp.org to learn more about its value-based agenda and other candidates, state and local, it’s supporting, and to www.jill2016.com for more on Stein). Obviously, Stein won’t win – for one thing, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is outpacing her in current polls – but votes for her help build the Party and the movement, so it’ll be able to make a better showing next time.
One election isn’t going to make everything all better, and just voting is never enough. But we can start the work of creating a country and a world that works for everyone by voting our values rather than our fears, by thinking long- rather than short-term, and by looking for other activist and respectful consciousness-raising work we can do.