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writing for godot

None of the Above.

Written by John Zwiebel   
Saturday, 17 June 2017 20:10

Do you recall the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago?  The Vietnam war was taking a toll on the American psyche as those who lived through WWII insisted that their children stand up to Communism just as they had stood against Fascism.  Can you tell me what the Vietnam war was about?  Vietnam is now one of America’s biggest trading partners and Ivanka Trump has some of her clothing line produced in Vietnam.

Richard Nixon won the ’68 election by promoting a “secret plan” to end the war.  In reality, he was committing treason by sabotaging the Paris Peace Talks.  When President Johnson called Everett Dirksen, the Republican Minority leader in the Senate, to notify him of that treason, Dirksen failed to take any action to stop Nixon.

Four years later I had my first chance to vote in a Presidential Election.  Nixon showed himself to be a liar and CSN&Y sang "Four Dead in Ohio. America’s youth were angry and energized, they wanted peace. The moral injury (akin to PTSD but not the same thing) the Vietnam war inflicted on our nation still hasn’t been healed.  It probably won’t be until those who know who Mary Ann Vecchio is are all dead and gone.

George McGovern ran as the Peace Candidate and was nominated as the Democratic Party Presidential Candidate.  However, the Democratic Party establishment decided they would rather Nixon remain President than they lose control of the party. Thomas Eagleton was suggested as the nominee for Vice President when all other establishment Democrats demurred.  Whether or not it was that same establishment that revealed Eagleton’s recurring depression, I cannot say, but I do have my suspicions since Sargent Shriver’s, Eagleton's replacement, main claim to fame was that he was a Kennedy in-law.

Flash Forward to the first election of George W. Bush and Judith Miller lying in the New York Times about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Even though millions around the world protested, Bush still got his war and as many as 600,000 Iraqi's died.

When Air America Radio started broadcasting in 2004 in the wake of George Bush’s lies, there was a brief moment of hope that America might come to its senses.  However, Congressional Democrats and Presidential Candidate John Kerry failed to explain why they voted for the war.  Many voters decided the Democrats had no character and stayed home, allowing Bush to steal a second term in Ohio.  Long after the fact, Clinton justified her vote for the Iraq war by saying Bush lied about it, a trait she is pretty good at herself.  Who didn’t know Bush was lying about Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction”?  Other than Fox News viewers, of course who decided Clinton was the liar.

When Thom Hartman joined Air America, he had a segment called “Brunch with Bernie”.  Senator Sanders, of Vermont, would take calls from anyone across the nation.  His answers were well thought out, articulate, compassionate, and addressed the issues that concerned me.  Hell, Sanders often identified those issues to me!  I listened to him for over five years.  Never once did I think he was mistaken.  Never once did I imagine him to be insincere.

When the 2016 Presidential campaign started in the last half of 2015, I was one of those voices urging Senator Sanders to run.  America's youth was again energized, just as it had been in '72.  Aging McGovern supporters awoke from their stupor and started contributing to his campaign.


However, the Corporatists that make up the Democratic Party Establishment wanted Hillary Clinton as their nominee.


What is a corporatist?  Unfortunately, it is a polluted term that varies in definition depending on who uses it.  In this paper, it is the support of large corporate organizations (run by and for the 1%) to the detriment of the "rest of us" who are not members of that elite economic group.  Corporatists value wealth and power above all; using wealth to obtain power; using power to obtain wealth.  A Corporatist tells you, "It's just Business".  Ask Salvatore Tessio what that means.

Hillary Clinton is a corporatist.  She is well paid by America’s Economic Elite (the 1%).  Fifty, mostly secret, speeches at $250,000 each, goes a long way to assuaging one’s conscience.  As a Corporatist, Clinton is hardly different from Donald Trump in that both believe that what is good for the 1% is good for America.  Even Obamacare still leaves members of the 1% the opportunity to skim off the top of your premiums to enhance their own wealth. The corporatist 1% is in charge and American voters know it.

Corporatists make more money when there is a war going on.  They use the war to justify spending on useless pieces of expensive machinery like the enhanced X-ray machines used by the TSA to "keep us safe" from the terrorists who want to "kill us" because we invaded their country (not because they "hate our freedoms").  As a corporatist, Clinton supports war.

When Clinton was Obama’s Secretary of State she was not opposed to the “Arab Spring” which expanded the havoc in the Middle East.  Her celebration of the murder of Muammar Gaddafi reveals what I consider to be a deep character flaw.  Such “little girl glee” after someone is murdered should haunt us all.

She must be ashamed of her heavy involvement in the military overthrow of the democratically elected government of Honduras since that chapter was removed from the paperback edition of her book “Hard Choices”. Berta Caceres won the 2015 Goldman Environmental award for her work against corporatists.  She blamed Clinton for the Honduran overthrow.

Although both Trump and Clinton are corporatists, there are many issues on which Trump and Clinton differ.  Those issues just aren’t the most important to many voters.  I’m not against “gay rights”, but I'm not gay.  Women should receive equal pay for equal work, but I’m not a woman.  I really don’t care which bathroom someone uses.  I very much support family planning, but I believe the Democrats are insincere in their stand.  Even Nancy Pelosi says the issue of abortion is “fading”. The 1% do not care whether or not the poor have access to family planning.  The rich always have access. Black Lives Matter to me, but then, I’m not Black.  I have contributed to each of these causes.  I support each of these causes, but my fight remains against the corporatists.  It is often a corporatist who finances opposition to these causes.  We should have common cause against a common enemy and not allow that enemy to divide us.

Unlike the substantive issues for not supporting Clinton, the list of Republican allegations against Clinton, including Benghazi and her “emails”, is very long.  I give none of them credence.  For the most part, they are manufactured truths that have very little foundation.

Like the Republicans, Clinton does not refrain from “making stuff up” in her attacks on anyone who does not completely support her, including Bernie Sanders.  Former Republican David Brock, who was so instrumental in bringing attention to the the Whitewater Scandal, switched “sides” and founded Correct the Record, a propaganda organization to to carry out "hits" on their opponents such as the misleading and completely false Bernie Bros label.  I am not a misogynist, but Brock has labeled me one. During the Michigan Primary one of Clinton's more bald-faced lies was the claim that Sanders did not support the auto bailout.  Politifact had to twist itself into knots to declare this to be only half true and not a lie.

I guess though that I am an “old white man”, another argument sometimes used to oppose those who did not support Clinton.  I hardly understand how one can use that argument without confessing absolute ignorance of the real issues.  How can it be that electing a woman President is the "most important" issue if that woman stands for much of what you oppose?  I am an “old white man” and I’ve been lumped into a group that is hated and feared because most corporatists, having no moral compass, are “old white men”.  But it is also true that some members of any religious, ethnic, sexual, age, racial or national group are corporatists who, like Frank Underwood, seek positions of power solely to benefit themselves.  If I wanted to play the “victim card”, I would define a term equivalent to misogyny for those who hate “old white men”.  But that is just as stupid as those who wonder “what is wrong with the millennials,” speaking of an entire generation as if they are all the same and not individuals.

I believe that any job that needs to be done, deserves a living wage, but I also know that there are some people who are totally incapable of performing a job for which I’d be willing to pay $15/hour.  This raises the question of what do you do with those people who aren’t capable?  This question is ignored by both the Republicans and the Democrats.  Remember it was Bill Clinton who ended "welfare as we know it" after Reagan's corporatist lie about Welfare Queens showed him it would win elections.

I believe that one should be rewarded for being better at a job than anyone else.  But there are limits to this.  President Obama was paid $400,000 for a one hour speech to a large, exclusive bank, an amount 10 Kauai residents would be lucky to make in a year.  How is this moral?  How is it moral for those same financiers to use technology to skim a portion of every trade on the stock market as detailed in the book Flash Boys?  Those banksters are better at something than anyone else -- fraud.  Hillary Clinton has no answer for these questions.  She just takes their money.

I have been bullied and vilified and called selfish and told that Trump’s win is my fault and not Clinton’s. I voted for McGovern in ’72, and I voted for the Democratic Nominee in every Presidential election — until 2016, when, like 45% of the 2016 eligible voters, I chose “none of the above”.  In Hawaii’s Presidential Preference Poll, Bernie Sanders received 70% of the vote.  However 8 of 10 Hawaii Super Delegates to the Democratic National Convention voted for Clinton.  How much more clearly can the argument be made that “my vote doesn’t count”?

I remain a Democrat since I do not see a viable alternative. (The Greens are way too small with uninspiring candidates.) I support those Democrats who address the issues I care about such as: Tulsi Gabbard, Jason Kander, Keith Ellison, and those who support "The People's Budget".

I will never again vote for a corporatist.  Bring on Chris Hayes making fun of Susan Sarandon but understand that I consider those angry folks who yell and call voters stupid (as the Daily KOS did) to be equivalent to a serial abuser blaming the victim for their failures.  Get help.

Just like Bill Maher who think’s he is so much smarter than the rest of us that we should submit to his wishes, the corporatist Democratic Establishment does not care about the issues or goals of the "rest of us".

The establishment needs to acknowledge the "moral injury" inflicted on America.  We are all Americans.  We are responsible for what America does.  When a 500lb bomb is dropped on an Afghan wedding party, it is a moral injury.  The millions that died in Iraq because George Bush wanted to be a "War President", is a moral injury.  Obama's not-so-secret war in Yemen where a drone strike killed an American Citizen, is a moral injury.   These "moral injuries" accumulate, harming everyone so that it is ever so easy to hate anyone who isn't a "Real American" just like you.

Demands that I vote for someone opposed to my moral values is a bit selfish.  Clinton campaigned on, “Trump bad, I’m not Trump!”, which was true, but after forty years of choosing the “lesser of two evils”, I finally recognize that it was still a vote for evil.

If the Democrats want my vote, support my issues.  Put the banksters in jail and stop the waste of money on expansion of the American Empire.

So, with the 2016 election we find ourselves back where we were in 1968.  The Old wondering how the promise ever got so ugly and The Young rejecting the world they have inherited.  Will 2020 be a repeat of 1972?

Yell at me all you want, I will no longer submit.  I was cheated out of the future I was promised.  I will not consent to the theft of that future from coming generations. your social media marketing partner


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0 # Joy Lamar 2017-06-20 23:12
They yell at me too and yet they don't understand what happened. They don't understand how the super delegates stole democracy from the democrats in the primary. This is a well written informative piece. Thank you for taking the time. If only those who need to learn would read, but that I fear is why they remain as "those who need to learn." With our media busy dumbing us down it takes an effort to be informed. Thank you Mr. Zwiebel for making this effort.
0 # 2017-06-21 01:32
J. Zwiebel explains well the frustrations in the past election for any progressively minded individual. I believe this reflects the clear and unfortunate fact that the democratic party will continue to alienate previously solid democrats unless they actually start reflecting the true wishes of it's members.... Thanks for articulating how many of us feel Mr. Zwiebel!

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