I’m a Bernie Sanders Voter: Here’s Why I’ll Vote Trump

By Eric Zuesse

Sometimes, things in politics are the opposite of the way they seem. The Presidential contest between the ‘liberal’ Hillary Clinton’ and the ‘conservative’ Donald Trump is perhaps the most extreme example of this — for ten reasons that will be documented here.

I have never voted Republican in my life, starting with my first vote in the 1960s. I’ve consistently supported Bernie Sanders for President (even before he entered the contest). The reason for that support is his record in public office, regarding especially these ten key issues, where Sanders’s actions in public office contrast sharply against Hillary Clinton’s actions in public office. (Her policy-words lie often; but her policy-actions never have lied — actions speak the truth.) Trump has no record at all in public office. Even if he’s as bad as he sometimes projects to be, he’s not as bad as Hillary’s policy-record already is. But his clear superiority over her isn’t merely his lack of any record in public office; because, as will be demonstrated here, his words on some of the crucial public-policy issues have been consistently far more progressive than her actions on those same issues have been (and sometimes more progressive than her words on these issues have been) — and, in Donald Trump’s case, words are all that we have to go by, because his record as a businessman displays nothing about his authentic views about public policy, but only about his self-interest. Both of these two candidates are liars, and any intelligent voter knows it by now.

First, here, will be stated these ten key issues, on each of which issues Bernie and Hillary are opposites, and then Trump’s stated position regarding each of the ten will be presented.

At the end will be presented the reason I won’t vote for Jill Stein.

Here are the ten key issues:

1:  Sanders favors “breaking up the big banks.” Hillary Clinton opposes that.

2:  Sanders has fought consistently against Obama’s mega-‘trade’ deals. Hillary consistently favored them.

3:  Sanders favors working with Russia against jihadists in Syria. Hillary opposes that.

4:  Sanders says jihadists are America’s top foe. Hillary says both jihadists and Russia are equally anti-American, equally dangerous to America. Hillary is simply a neoconservative; Sanders isn’t. Her having voted to invade Iraq was no mistake on her part; it was consistent with her entire international outlook, all of which is neoconservative, like invading Libya, Syria, etcetera. Bernie’s vote against invading Iraq was likewise consistent with his international outlook.

5:  Sanders has been consistently opposed to fossil fuels. Hillary has aggressively supported them.

6:  Sanders says that the system is rigged. Hillary says that it’s not.

7:  Sanders says the system is rigged specifically against the poor. Hillary says the problem that keeps people poor is instead individual bigots — against Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc. Not the system itself. She is proud to represent the system. She’s not against it. She’s for it.

8:  Sanders’s political career has been financed by small-dollar donations. Hillary’s has been financed by mega-donations.

9:  Sanders favors every possible means of reducing the influence big-money donations to politicians has over politics. Hillary opposes that idea.

10:  Sanders favors socialized health insurance, like exists in the European nations that spend per-capita half what America does but have higher life-expectancy than America does. Hillary opposes that — she favors the existing profit-based system of health-care, and opposes the European system where basic healthcare is a right, no privilege (that’s based only on ability-to-pay).

I support Sanders not because his rhetoric on these matters is correct in my view, but because his record on them is correct: he has voted in Congress consistently in the ways that his rhetoric has said he believes — and I agree with his record, and thus too with his rhetoric (since it’s the same as his rhetoric). Hillary has instead contradicted herself frequently — and even voted in Congress, and acted as the U.S. Secretary of State — in ways that directly contradict her mealy-mouthed progressive statements. Her record shows that she’s actually the anti-Bernie, the opposite of Bernie. Trump (as I shall document here) is definitely not that (despite his frequent appeals to conservatives for their votes). This article will document the reasons why any reasonable and well-informed progressive will vote for Donald Trump.

Here are the positions of Trump and of Clinton on these ten key issues:

1:  Sanders favors “breaking up the big banks.” Hillary Clinton opposes that.

The real meaning of “breaking up the big banks” is separating investment banks from commercial banks: it has nothing actually to do with a bank’s size. It has to do with a bank’s function. It’s structural, not an issue of mere size (which Bernie’s opponents pretend it to be).

As Morning Consult reported on 18 July 2016, Bernie Sanders required as a precondition in order for him to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, the inclusion in the Democratic Party platform of a recommendation that the FDR-era Glass-Steagall Act, which had separated investment banking (stock-brokerage) from commercial banking (checking and savings accounts), be restored. Bill Clinton had killed Glass-Steagall, and that’s one big reason why Wall Street heavily funds the Clintons. The elimination of Glass-Steagall returned the U.S. in 2000 to the structure that had produced the Great Depression, in which billionaires were gambling with the money of depositors — gambling with depositors’ checking accounts and savings accounts. That ending of Glass-Steagall set the groundwork for building the bubble which ended with the 2008 economic crash. Both Clintons have been against restoring Glass-Steagall, but Sanders forced this into the platform, even though a party’s platform is pure PR, no real policy-statement. This was purely Bernie’s statement, not at all Hillary’s. (In fact, at the very same time she did this merely nominal act, she selected as her VP pick Senator Tim Kaine, who is a longtime agent for Wall Street and international corporations, and who just before she selected him, was the subject of an article by Zach Carter at Huffington Post, on July 20th, headlined “Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP”. Kaine also had provided one of the 60 votes to pass Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, the enabling act for ultimate passage of Obama’s TPP, which will give international corporations unprecedented power if passed. Fast Track needed 60 votes in order to pass, and that’s exactly what it got; each of those 60 votes, including Tim Kaine’s, was essential for it. Hillary supported Fast Track. Clearly, she also will deregulate further the financial firms; what her husband did in 1999 wasn’t bad enough to suit her. With this VP pick, she was stabbing Sanders in the back, right at the start of the Democratic National Convention.)

When Bill Clinton ended Glass-Steagall, it was by his signing a piece of legislation titled the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and all three of those names attached to it were Republicans — this was the fulfillment, the very culmination, of a longtime Republican Party effort to end Glass-Steagall. Bill Clinton was a right-wing Democrat (though not as far-right as Hillary) who, by moving the Democratic Party to the right, forced the Republican Party even farther to the right than it had been, in order for Republican candidates to be able to continue to attract conservative voters. Barack Obama has perfected this strategy (of moving America’s political center toward the right) even further. Hillary Clinton would carry it much farther still. The congressional vote on Gramm-Leach-Bliley occurred near the end of Bill Clinton’s Presidency, by which time, there was almost as high a percentage of congressional Democrats who voted to repeal that Democratic Party (FDR) milestone law as there was of Republicans who voted to repeal it, but only Republicans would attach their names to this far-right bill. Gramm-Leach-Bliley was a sell-out to Wall Street. Hillary Clinton always supported strongly that sell-out; Bernie forced her now to nominally oppose it.

That same Morning Consult article also reported that, “Paul Manafort, campaign chairman of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, told reporters in Cleveland today that the Republican platform will include language calling for the reinstatement of the law that was repealed in 1999.” That was shocking news.

When Donald Trump forced into the Republican platform a restoration of the Democratic Glass-Steagall Act, this was his statement, not something that somebody else forced upon him. He knew that doing this would antagonize Wall Street, but he did it anyway. Trump actually wants to ‘break up the big banks’. He would allow the traditional Republican lower-class voter-base favorites of banning abortions, etc. (he needs those people’s votes in order to win), but he wouldn’t allow Gramm-Leach-Bliley to continue (he apparently doesn’t think he’ll need those people’s money in order to win).

On 9 August 2016, the far-right American Enterprise Institute headlined “How Can Trump Support Deregulation and Glass-Steagall?” and opened by saying, “The Republican platform’s proposal to reinstate Glass-Steagall is hard to understand, even in the confused policy mishmash created by Donald Trump. The best interpretation is that it’s an awkward outreach to the disappointed ‘progressive’ supporters of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The worst is that it calls into question whether Donald Trump really supports financial deregulation. The key problem for those Republicans who are now warily supporting their presidential nominee is that it is not clear where he will lead the party in this election — and the country — if he wins.” That’s precisely true. Conservatives view this with alarm. By contrast, few progressives have yet been equally smart, to even recognize that it exists — the fact that Donald Trump is, perhaps, as much of a closeted progressive, as Hillary Clinton is a closeted fascist (servant of international corporations, their chosen government dictator).

The AEI article continued: “But how can we believe any of this [Trump’s anti-regulatory statements]? More than anything else, the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall suggests that the government, and not private decision-making, should determine the structure of the economy. One can’t believe in the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and still believe in the repeal or significant modification of Dodd-Frank. It’s like saying free markets work, but price controls can help.”

The answer to that is: Trump recognizes “that the government, and not private decision-making, should determine the structure of the economy,” and that this is one of the fundamental reasons government even exists — to establish “the rules of the road” for the economy.

On 28 January 2016, Chris Arnade headlined in Britain’s Guardian, “I worked on Wall Street. I am skeptical Hillary Clinton will rein it in”, and he wrote: “Ask anyone who has spent the last two decades on Wall Street which politicians have worked for them the hardest and most will grudgingly admit it’s the Clintons.” Those millions of dollars didn’t come from Occupy Wall Street — they came from Wall Street.

Any really well-informed progressive knows that Dodd-Frank was largely a sell-out to the mega-corporations, which competitively gain, from the enormously complex Dodd-Frank Act, a huge advantage against the smaller firms, because the more complex a regulatory law is, the more that the required paperwork to comply with it will cripple small firms and so provide added competitive advantage to large firms (for which such paperwork is inevitably a far smaller percentage of their total costs of doing business). Dodd-Frank is a Wall Street monstrosity, and AEI knows it, but they’re appalled that the Republican Presidential nominee stands against the mega-firms that pay AEI’s bills. This is not something that AEI is accustomed to, from a Republican Presidential nominee. After all: the Dodd-Frank Act was Barack Obama’s law he wanted to pass in order to placate Democrats who were demanding restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act. It’s not something that a progressive would support. It was the way to avoid doing what progressives wanted to be done — restoring Glass-Steagall. (Similarly: Obamacare was the way for Obama to avoid pushing a single-payer health insurance plan, such as by opening Medicare to everyone.)

The AEI commentary closed: “The Trump proposal to reinstate Glass-Steagall — only a technical idea of no particular consequence to most American voters — has major implications for the credibility of the candidate in whom so many Republicans have now placed their trust. Like the canary in the coal mine, it’s small but significant.” They know that though the public don’t pay attention to such things (the things that are important), the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall is an enormous threat to the ability of America’s billionaires to gamble with the money in the public’s checking accounts and savings accounts — their ability to take the gambling-profits and to leave the government holding the bag in the event that those aristocrats’ gambles don’t pay off (like the Wall Street bailouts in 2008). They favor ‘socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor’. So does the Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton; and, thus, AEI is part of the Republican Party elite’s move away from Trump, toward Hillary. They’re increasingly recognizing such “canaries in the coal mines,” from Trump. Progressive Democratic voters should recognize it too, before they help elect Wall Street’s favorite candidate by not voting for Trump.

2:  Sanders has fought consistently against Obama’s mega-‘trade’ deals. Hillary consistently favored them.

Hillary Clinton was instrumental in getting the “Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority” law approved by congressional Democrats, and that’s the enabling law which now makes likely the ability of Obama to get his TPP ‘trade’ treaty with Pacific countries passed into law during the upcoming “lame duck” session of Congress, November 9th through January 3rd. She was a part of it, and she has always acted behind the scenes to push for passage of such treaties, including her own husband’s NAFTA.

Like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump has passionately condemned those treaties, and is urging members of Congress to vote against TPP if and when Obama tries to get it passed into law right after the November 8th elections (which is when members of Congress are maximally willing to do what their funders want and their voters oppose).

Hillary’s 2003 Living History (p. 182) actually bragged about her husband’s having passed NAFTA, and she said: “Creating a free trade zone in North America — the largest free trade zone in the world — would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our country was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization.” This was one of, supposedly, her proudest achievements, which were (p. 231) “Bill’s successes on the budget, the Brady bill and NAFTA.” But Hillary in her 2008 primary campaign against Obama was demanding that he apologise for his campaign flyer’s having said: “Only Barack Obama fought NAFTA and other bad trade deals.” That statement was just a fact. (Only after Obama started his second Presidential term in 2012 did he staff-up for, and start an operation to institute, mega-‘trade’ agreements that are much bigger, and much worse, even than NAFTA. For that purpose, he hired Michael Froman, who had been the Clinton-operative and longtime Obama friend who had personally introduced Obama in 2004 to the top people on Wall Street who had financed the Clintons’ political careers.) 

On 20 March 2008, the day after Hillary finally released her schedule during her White House years, The Nation’s John Nichols blogged “Clinton Lie Kills Her Credibility on Trade Policy”, and he said: “Now that we know from the 11,000 pages of Clinton White House documents released this week that [the] former First Lady was an ardent advocate for NAFTA; … now that we know she was in the thick of the maneuvering to block the efforts of labor, farm, environmental and human rights groups to get a better agreement; … now that we know from official records of her time as First Lady that Clinton was the featured speaker at a closed-door session where 120 women opinion leaders were hectored to pressure their congressional representatives to approve NAFTA; now that we know from ABC News reporting on the session that ‘her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA’ and that ‘there was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time’; … what should we make of Clinton’s campaign claim that she was never comfortable with the militant free-trade agenda that has cost the United States hundreds of thousands of union jobs?”

The next day, Jennifer Parker at Jake Tapper’s “Political Punch” blog, headlined “From the Fact Check Desk: The Clinton Campaign Misrepresents Clinton NAFTA Meeting”, and she reported: “I have now talked to three former Clinton Administration officials whom I trust who tell me that then-First Lady Hillary Clinton opposed the idea of introducing NAFTA before health care, but expressed no reservations in public or private about the substance of NAFTA. Yet the Clinton campaign continues to propagate this myth that she fought NAFTA.” Hillary continued this lie even after it had been repeatedly and soundly exposed to be a lie. Her behavior in this regard was reminiscent of George W. Bush’s statements on WMD in Iraq, and on many other issues.

Only a sucker would believe Hillary’s statements in which she says she has changed her mind and now opposes TPP. She knows that when she helped Obama to win Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, she had the only impact on that matter which she will ever have, and that it’s because of that law, which she helped Obama to pass, that TPP might be approved in Congress even before the next President enters the White House.

Those ‘trade’ deals are actually transfers of national sovereignty to international corporations. TPP, if it passes into law will be the biggest and worst such of them all, even worse than NAFTA — it would virtually end democracy in America.

3:  Sanders favors working with Russia against jihadists in Syria. Hillary opposes that.

Trump says: “The approach of fighting Assad and ISIS simultaneously was madness, and idiocy. They’re fighting each other and yet we’re fighting both of them. You know, we were fighting both of them. I think that our far bigger problem than Assad is ISIS, I’ve always felt that. Assad is, you know I’m not saying Assad is a good man, ’cause he’s not, but our far greater problem is not Assad, it’s ISIS. … I think, you can’t be fighting two people that are fighting each other, and fighting them together. You have to pick one or the other.” Assad is allied with Russia against the Sauds, so the U.S. (in accord with a policy that George Herbert Walker Bush initiated on 24 February 1990 and which has been carried out by all subsequent U.S. Presidents) is determined to overthrow Assad, but Trump is firmly opposed to that policy.

Months before that, Trump had said: “I think Assad is a bad guy, a very bad guy, all right? Lots of people killed. I think we are backing people we have no idea who they are. The rebels, we call them the rebels, the patriotic rebels. We have no idea. A lot of people think, Hugh, that they are ISIS. We have to do one thing at a time. We can’t be fighting ISIS and fighting Assad. Assad is fighting ISIS. He is fighting ISIS. Russia is fighting now ISIS. And Iran is fighting ISIS. We have to do one thing at a time. We can’t go — and I watched Lindsey Graham, he said, I have been here for 10 years fighting. Well, he will be there with that thinking for another 50 years. He won’t be able to solve the problem. We have to get rid of ISIS first. After we get rid of ISIS, we’ll start thinking about it. But we can’t be fighting Assad. And when you’re fighting Assad, you are fighting Russia, you’re fighting — you’re fighting a lot of different groups. But we can’t be fighting everybody at one time.”

In that same debate (15 December 2015) he also said: “In my opinion, we’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems; our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had, we would’ve been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now. We have done a tremendous disservice, not only to Middle East, we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have wiped away, and for what? It’s not like we had victory.

It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized. A total and complete mess. I wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion. I wish it were spent right here in the United States, on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart.”

His thinking about this matter is in the same direction as Bernie Sanders’s but far more fully thought-out, with the connections being made in a prominent way even to domestic spending. If there is anything that is clearly and carefully thought-out in Trump’s policy-positions — and war-peace and the avoidance of precipitating a nuclear war is the very biggest single issue of all — then this issue is it.

Here was the debate-segment about this issue between Bernie and Hillary:

Hillary Clinton, in a debate with Bernie on 19 December 2015, argued for her proposal that the U.S. impose in Syria a “no-fly zone” where Russians were dropping bombs on the imported jihadists who have been trying to overthrow and replace Assad: “I am advocating the no-fly zone both because I think it would help us on the ground to protect Syrians; I’m also advocating it because I think it gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.” She said there that allowing the jihadists to overthrow Assad “would help us on the ground to protect Syrians,” somehow; and, also, that, somehow, shooting down Russia’s planes in Syria (the “no-fly zone”) “gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.”

Bernie Sanders’s response to that was: “I worry too much that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Gadhafi, a terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS. So I think, yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you’ve got to think about what happens the day after. And in my view, what we need to do is put together broad coalitions to understand that we’re not going to have a political vacuum filled by terrorists, that, in fact, we are going to move steadily — and maybe slowly — toward democratic societies, in terms of Assad, a terrible dictator. But I think in Syria the primary focus now must be on destroying ISIS and working over the years to get rid of Assad. That’s the secondary issue.”

4:  Sanders says jihadists are America’s top foe. Hillary says both jihadists and Russia are equally anti-American, equally dangerous to America. Hillary is simply a neoconservative; Sanders isn’t. Her having voted to invade Iraq was no mistake on her part; it was consistent with her entire international outlook, all of which is neoconservative, like invading Libya, Syria, etcetera. Bernie’s vote against invading Iraq was likewise consistent with his international outlook.

Trump has repeatedly said that jihadists are America’s #1 foe. He constantly says that fundamentalist Muslims — jihadists, such as have been sent out and paid by the Sauds to countries around the world to punish and conquer people who don’t share the Sauds’ particular fundamentalist faith — are the biggest danger to American national security. On this basis, Trump says that America’s invasion of Iraq was wrong:

Trump turned the conversation back to Iraq. “Where were the weapons of mass destruction, Brian?” Trump asked Kilmeade. Again, Kilmeade defended the former president: [Former Secretary of State] “Madeleine Albright said they were there, [former President] Bill Clinton said they were there, [former French President] Jacques Chirac said they were there, the Portuguese prime minster said they were there, [former Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak said they were there.” Trump retorted: “Well, they weren’t there, they didn’t find them. They found nothing. Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”

He also said: “Saddam Hussein was a bad guy but he was good at one thing: Killing terrorists. He killed terrorists like nobody, all right? Now it’s Harvard of terrorism. You want to be a terrorist you go to Iraq. But he killed terrorists. O.K., so we destroyed that.” Leaders of the Republican Party condemned him for saying this.

The Intercept headlined on 29 February 2016, “Neoconservatives Declare War on Trump”. On 21 March 2016, the Washington Post bannered, “Trump Questions Need for NATO, Outlines Noninterventionist Foreign Policy”. On 23 March 2016, William Greider headlined in The Nation, “Donald Trump Could Be the Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare”.

This is called by some people ‘non-interventionist’, but actually it’s more correctly called opposition to the continuing take-over of the U.S. government by the military-industrial complex. Trump says: “Right now we’re protecting, we’re basically protecting Japan, and we are, every time North Korea raises its head, you know, we get calls from Japan and we get calls from everybody else, and ‘Do something.’ And there’ll be a point at which we’re just not going to be able to do it anymore. Now, does that [intervention] mean nuclear? It could mean nuclear. It’s a very scary nuclear world. Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation.” On the same basis, he especially wants to ratchet-down, not up (like Clinton does), the U.S. arms-race with Russia, which restoration of the ‘Cold War’ is beneficial to arms-makers and their investors, but not to anyone else. And he’s especially against continuing our existing relationship with the Sauds, the royal family who own Saudi Arabia. He says: “We’re not being reimbursed for the kind of tremendous service that we’re performing by protecting various countries. Now Saudi Arabia’s one of them. I think if Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection, … I don’t think it would be around. It would be, whether it was internal or external, it wouldn’t be around for very long. And they’re a money machine, they’re a monetary machine, and yet they don’t reimburse us the way we should be reimbursed. So that’s a real problem.” The Saud family, the royal owners of their nation, compete against the government of Russia as the leading suppliers of oil to the world. Russia’s main export market was Europe, and the Sauds have wanted to replace Russia’s oil and gas dominance there. The Saud family are also the world’s leading buyer of weaponry. U.S. weapons-makers profit enormously from continuing this relationship — the Sauds buy America’s weapons, and the U.S. joins the Sauds’ wars, which are basically against the allies of Iran and of Russia, the Sauds’ chief competitors. The Sauds helped us end the Soviet Union, by sending Osama bin Laden into Afghanistan etc. and creating Islamic terrorism, both there and subsequently inside Russia, in Chechnia. After King Fahd had a stroke in 1995, Osama bin Laden’s advice was even sought by the Saud Princes to determine which of them should become the next king, and he supplied that advice to them in a letter, which was delivered by a private courier. Since the U.S.-Saudi creation of Islamic terrorism helped end the Soviet Union by 1991, the Sauds have been just a huge drain and embarrassment to America. Only the armaments firms benefit from continuing the campaign, now directed against Russia and its allies (such as were Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and Viktor Yanukovych), instead of against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact (which are gone).

Trump says: “Many people in countries that you think are our allies, are giving ISIS tremendous amounts of money and it’s going through very dark banking channels. And we should have stopped those banking channels long ago and I think we’ve done nothing to stop them, and that money is massive. … And money is coming in from people that we think are our allies.” By “our allies,” he certainly means the Sauds, but he might also be referring to the royal families of Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait, all of whom likewise are competitors against Russia, and share essentially the same fundamentalist-Islamic faith the Sauds do.

Trump is much more explicit about these things than Sanders has been, and Trump has been even so bold as to assert: “I have two problems with NATO. No. 1, it’s obsolete. When NATO was formed many decades ago we were a different country. There was a different threat. Soviet Union was, the Soviet Union, not Russia, which was much bigger than Russia, as you know. And, it was certainly much more powerful than even today’s Russia, although again you go back into the weaponry. But, but – I said, I think NATO is obsolete, and I think that – because I don’t think – right now we don’t have somebody looking at terror, and we should be looking at terror. And you may want to add and subtract from NATO in terms of countries. But we have to be looking at terror, because terror today is the big threat.” Though there was his usual incoherence — NATO is “obsolete” but “you may want to add and subtract from NATO in terms of countries” (instead of to end it) — his statement isn’t nearly as incoherent as, for example, Hillary’s proposing to bring peace to Syria by going to war there against Russia. And he clarified his view further when he went on to say of NATO, that not only are its member-countries wrong for today’s challenges, but that “it was set up to talk about the Soviet Union,” and the big problem today is terrorism, and “I think, probably a new institution maybe would be better for that than using NATO which was not meant for that.” So: he actually knows that it’s got to be ended. A military alliance that’s “obsolete” is dangerous. Perhaps no U.S. Presidential candidate has spoken in such depth about foreign affairs. In this matter, he has delved far beyond the fashionable political platitutudes, to the basic realities, which no politician wants to talk about. Doing this requires guts. He’s correct not only regarding TPP etc., but regarding fundamental military strategy.

On 18 May 2016, the Republican Robert Kagan, scion of (along with the Kristols) the most famous neoconservative family, and also the husband of Victoria Nuland (Hillary’s friend who ran Obama’s coup in Ukraine and installed racist fascists or nazis into control there), headlined in the Washington Post, “This Is How Fascism Comes to America”, and he opened, with his usual sanctimonious pomposity, “The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic.”

Then, the May/June 2016 issue of Politico magazine headlined “The Kremlin’s Candidate”, and Michael Crowley, formerly of The New Republic (the top Democratic Party neoconservative magazine), portrayed Trump in the way that Joseph R. McCarthy had been famous in the old days for portraying people such as Robert La Follette Jr.: as being a traitor. The far-right ‘media-watchdog’ organization, Accuracy In Media (AIM), headlined on 20 April 2016, 25 years after the end of the Soviet Union, “Trump Hires ‘Fixer’ With Soviet Connections”. Hillary Clinton’s shills are all over the newsmedia proclaiming Trump to be Putin’s fool, or Putin’s secret agent, or even to be both at once (which simply exposes how little respect they have for the people who believe their lies).

Trump’s basic message is that the actual Cold War against the Soviet Union and its communism ended in 1991 when the U.S.S.R. and its Warsaw Pact ended, and that until Islamic terrorism arose after that, America really had no enemy after the end of communism — that Islamic jihadists are America’s real enemy, and Mitt Romney was profoundly wrong to allege that “Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe.” Mitt supported the invasion of Iraq, just as did Hillary. Hillary was also the one member of the Obama Administration who most effectively argued for and persuaded President Obama to invade Libya. (Both Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi were friendly toward Russia, which neoconservatives especially and viscerally hate. Thus, there was Hillary’s famous “We came, we saw, he died — ha, ha!!”) Trump says something that Sanders himself has merely hinted at: NATO’s emphasis against Russia — the very basis of NATO — is, after 1991, outdated, and needs to be replaced by an entirely new U.S. defense-strategy, one directed instead against jihadists, no longer against Russia, which isn’t even communist anymore, and doesn’t even have the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact military alliance anymore. He’s looking long-term, and saying that national security against jihadists is a real concern, but that the war against Russia needs to stop and has no reason to continue, and that, to the contrary, the U.S. and Russia have shared interests in eliminating jihadists and jihadism. He says we’ll need to work together in order to end Islamic terrorism, which will mean a profound change in today’s Islamic world — a change that will benefit Moslems even more than anyone else, but that will also benefit us enormously. The idea of fighting both jihadists and Russians makes no sense at all to him: “You can’t be fighting two people. … You have to pick one or the other.” That’s a stronger statement than Sanders’s (“I think in Syria the primary focus now must be on destroying ISIS and working over the years to get rid of Assad. That’s the secondary issue.”), but it’s in exactly the same direction.

Already, the Obama Administration and NATO have pushed the anti-Russian agenda, and are expanding NATO, to such an extent that “The US leadership has done everything it could to push the situation to the brink of disaster.” Beyond that brink is nuclear war. A potential ally in the global war against jihadists is thus instead “without question, our number one geopolitical foe,” and declared by Obama to be the world’s most “aggressive” nation. That’s being said of a nation which wants to be America’s strongest ally, in America’s — and Russia’s — real war: against jihadism.

In addition, the U.S. military are now starting to push for the necessity of going to war as soon as possible against China, so as not to permit the Chinese to arm themselves enough to be able to survive and remain an independent power. Trump has said that as President he will respect China’s independence, though he will negotiate with them a new agreement regarding trade between the two countries. Neoconservatives, by contrast, are only slightly less hostile toward China than they are toward Russia.

5:  Sanders has been consistently opposed to fossil fuels. Hillary has aggressively supported them.

Trump, like all Republican Presidential contenders (except for Ted Cruz), is no longer outright, and with certainty, denying that global warming is a real problem. On 11 February 2016, MSNBC headlined about this, “How Trump and company warmed to climate change”. However, no Republican Presidential candidate can afford to speak about the necessity to end reliance on fossil fuels, which constitute that Party’s chief and most reliable financial support. A Democrat, such as Hillary Clinton, can afford to speak about it, even if, like Clinton, the given candidate is actually also in the bag for fossil fuel companies. The Trump-Clinton rhetorical difference on global warming can’t be evaluated in a vacuum that’s devoid of these funding-realities. During all of Hillary’s time in public office, she has — by her actions though not always by her words — been a reliable supporter of fossil fuels, and fossil-fuels companies have responded with their money. Trump has no policy-record at all, but only rhetoric (pro-fossil-fuels, of course), and even his rhetoric hasn’t been consistently Republican on this quintessentially Republican issue. The biggest organizer of fossil-fuels political donations, the Koch brothers, are directing all of the Presidential-campaign cash to the Clinton campaign, none to Trump.

On 17 July 2015, Paul Blumenthal and Kate Sheppard at Huffington Post bannered, “Hillary Clinton’s Biggest Campaign Bundlers Are Fossil Fuel Lobbyists”  and the sub-head was “Clinton’s top campaign financiers are linked to Big Oil, natural gas and the Keystone pipeline.”

Her record does show that she represents those lobbyists, not the public. As I had reported previously, the Hillary Clinton State Department’s two environmental impact statements on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline were triple-hoaxes that totally and scandalously ignored the proposed pipeline’s impact on climate-change but that did discuss the impact of climate-change on the proposed pipeline (as if anybody even cared about that); neither of the two studies had even one climatologist on the team that prepared the report; and the State Department didn’t do either of the reports themselves, but instead hired two oil-industry contractors that were proposed to the State Department by TransCanada Corporation, which is the company that was proposing to build and own the pipeline. So: those ‘studies’ were rigged to enable the President to approve the Pipeline — which he ultimately decided not  to do.

Furthermore, on 2 May 2013, Steve Horn headlined, “Digging Into TransCanada’s Lobbying History,” and he found that, indeed, Hillary Clinton was surrounded by TransCanada lobbyists while the reports were being prepared by TransCanada’s chosen oil-industry contractors.

Hillary Clinton is also a big champion of fracking. In September 2014, Mariah Blake bannered “How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World,” and reported that, “As part of its expanded energy mandate, the State Department hosted conferences on fracking from Thailand to Botswana. It sent US experts to work alongside foreign officials as they developed shale gas programs.” The energy-companies didn’t pay for those sales-calls by the U.S. Secretary of State; taxpayers did.

Though Clinton verbally endorses the view that global warming is the world’s biggest problem, she doesn’t care about it in her actual actions as a public official. It’s mere rhetoric to her. Trump seems more honest, by saying: “When people talk global warming, I say the global warming that we have to be careful of is the nuclear global warming [blowing up the world]. Single biggest problem that the world has. Power of weaponry today is beyond anything ever thought of, or even, you know, it’s unthinkable, the power. You look at Hiroshima and you can multiply that times many, many times, is what you have today. And to me, it’s the single biggest, it’s the single biggest problem.” Furthermore, that statement was his response to an interviewer’s question, “Would you be willing to have the U.S. be the first to use nuclear weapons in a confrontation with adversaries?” Trump’s response indicated that the nuclear-war issue brought to his mind the issue of global warming: it showed that the mental association in his mind is that these two issues are the two most important issues that a U.S. President must address. He answered the question about nuclear war, by asserting that nuclear war is an even bigger concern for him than is global warming. That’s the correct priority, but it also shows that Trump is no conservative when the issue is global warming. No conservative thinks “global warming” when being asked about nuclear war.

In order for Trump to hold his conservative base, he must include among his nominal ‘economic advisors’ some rabid anti-environmentalists. One of them is the libertarian Stephen Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation, and founder of the Club for Growth. On 10 August 2016, Morning Consult bannered, “Trump Adviser Not Sweating Consequences of Promised Coal Boom”, and Moore criticized Trump for not being sufficiently pro-fracking. Moore even condemned environmentalists by saying “Fracking reduces global warming, you morons!” Of course, that statement of his is false. He then lambasted Barack Obama: “I think he believes totally in this lunatic idea that somehow everything’s going to be underwater in 20 years. … I think Obama is the most fanatical politician I’ve ever met on global warming.” The kicker in the article was this: “Hillary Clinton, however, appears to be ‘less extreme’ than Obama in opposing fossil fuels, Moore said.” Moore, a ‘former’ lobbyist himself, knows that she’s in the fossil-fuels industries’ pockets. Trump, on the other hand, is just a question-mark. Clearly, Trump is seen as the enemy, by the biggest anti-environmentalist political spenders of all: the strongly pro-Hillary Koch brothers.

Furthermore, though the issue of global warming wasn’t raised by the interviewer or anyone else in the September 26th U.S. Presidential nominees’ debate between Hillary and Donald; Trump, and he alone, chose to bring it up during the discussion of nuclear war, when Hillary said there that, “his cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling. That is the number-one threat we face in the world.” He replied: “I agree with her on one thing. The single greatest problem the world has is nuclear armament, nuclear weapons, not global warming, like you think and your — your president thinks. Nuclear is the single greatest threat.” Yet again, he was showing the link that exists in his mind between these two premier issues; he was showing an implicit acknowledgement that though nuclear war is the top threat, global warming — if it is occurring — would be #2. If he becomes President, then not only the scientific consensus that it’s happening and is human-caused would be constantly pressing in upon him to acknowledge this reality publicly, but his ‘yielding to it’ and ‘changing his mind’ (if that’s really what it would be) about it, will be far more effective at reducing the shockingly high percentage of the American public who deny this terrible reality, than would a President Clinton’s acknowledgement that it’s real. It could cause the entire Koch-Exxon-etc. campaign of lies about it to collapse (much as happened with regard to the lies that the tobacco industry so successfully had peddled for so long about smoking). The U.S. would become far more cooperative with the international movement against fossil fuels than this country ever has been.

The fossil-fuels industries are smart to be pouring funds into ads against Trump. They’ve been doing that for a long time.

6:  Sanders says that the system is rigged. Hillary says that it’s not.

Trump says, “It’s not just the political system that’s rigged, it’s the whole economy. … Hillary Clinton’s message is old and tired. Her message is that things can’t change. My message is that things have to change.” That’s basically the same message as Sanders was promoting.

7:  Sanders says the system is rigged specifically against the poor. Hillary says the problem that keeps people poor is instead individual bigots — against Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc. Not the system itself. She is proud to represent the system. She’s not against it. She’s for it.

On 18 March 2016, Jason Linkins at Huffington Post bannered “How To Explain Hillary Clinton’s Fundraiser With Failed Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes: Scenes from the wreckage of the Democratic party”, and he reported that, “‘At some point,’ [Thomas] Frank tells the Huffington Post, ‘[the Democrats] decided that they weren’t all that interested in the concerns of working people anymore.’ Rather, Frank says, they became fixated on ‘the concerns of the professional class, people with advanced degrees, people at the very top of our economic society.’” Those are the voters whom Hillary Clinton’s policies aim to please. Trump, like Bernie, is pitching to working people. By making economic regulations so complex that only large corporations can afford the costs of compliance with them, more lawyers are needed, and more accountants are needed. By reducing and blocking taxpayer-funded healthcare, more doctors and more bill-collection agencies and more lobbyists are hired at higher salaries, in order to produce any given quality-level of healthcare.

8:  Sanders’s political career has been financed by small-dollar donations. Hillary’s has been financed by mega-donations.

Trump’s stated positions are basically like Sanders’s: Trump has stated:

“SuperPACs are a disaster. They’re a scam. They cause dishonesty. And you better get rid of them because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people.”

“I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. … And that’s a broken system.”

As regards proposed solutions, Trump’s focus is different from Sanders’s, which proposes both limits on donations, and also total transparency of mega-donations so that the public will accurately know who actually was behind each particular mega-donation. Trump recognizes that the Republicans on the Supreme Court have eliminated the former (size-limits), and that they have also opened up a huge door to increased non-transparency, regarding whom the actual mega-donors to a candidate are. Trump has said:

“[JORGE RAMOS]: But should it be limited legally — TRUMP: I don’t know about the limits. I think the most important thing is transparency. You have to know who you’re dealing with. And right now you don’t. You don’t. And I’m talking about PACs in all fairness. I have good friends who like to put money into PACs. Many friends, I have some enemies too, by the way. But I have many friends. They put money in PACs. And you need transparency. You need to know who is putting up what. So when they start making deals in a year or two years or three years, you know what is happening.”

Hillary Clinton has opposed Sanders’s proposal regarding limiting the size of campaign-contributions, and she has been vague on everything else except “Overturn Citizens United”, which is one of the Republican judges’ decisions (starting with Buckley v. Valeo in 1976) that unleashed mega-donations by declaring that in political campaigns, money is first-amendment-protected “speech,” and that therefore the more money that’s spent advertising any candidate, the more “free speech” there is, and therefore, the better it is. In other words: Clinton has no actual position on money-in-politics (the idea that ‘money is speech’), she has only empty rhetoric, though she’s long been in public office collecting mega-donations. Clinton made it all the way through the primaries against Sanders and never even asserted (as if one can even trust what she says) a coherent position on the matter, other than the bumper-sticker “Overturn Citizens United,” to please liberal fools to vote for her. Meanwhile, the lawyer Glenn Greenwald has pointed out that Hillary was lying, even on the little she says about Citizens United — the one money-in-politics decision she condemns. Greenwald wrote: “The Clinton argument actually goes well beyond the Court’s conservatives: In Citizens United, the right-wing justices merely denied the corrupting effect of independent expenditures (i.e., ones not coordinated with the campaign). But Clinton supporters in 2016 are denying the corrupting effect of direct campaign donations by large banks and corporations and, even worse, huge speaking fees paid to an individual politician shortly before and after that person holds massive political power.” Donald Trump has spoken clearly against all of that — he opposes, in principle, the type of opacity in donations, which the Democratic Party under Clinton encourages; and he also opposes, in principle, the opacity (such as Clinton’s being allowed to hide from the public her 91 paid secret speeches to mega-corporations and to their lobbying organizations). Trump, like Bernie, says the system itself is corrupt and corruptiing. The corruptors don’t like him much more than they liked Bernie.

The Washington Post headlined on 1 March 2016, “GOP Super PAC’s Ad Portrays Donald Trump as a Predatory Huckster”. The next day, Politico reported:

The effort [by Republican mega-donors against Trump] is centered on the recently formed Our Principles PAC, the latest big-money group airing anti-Trump ads, which is run by GOP strategist Katie Packer, deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. The group, initially funded by $3 million from Marlene Ricketts, wife of billionaire T.D. Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, wants to saturate the expensive Florida airwaves ahead of the state’s March 15 primary with hopes of denying Trump a victory that could crush the hopes of home state Sen. Marco Rubio. A conference call on Tuesday to solicit donors for the group included Paul Singer, billionaire founder of hedge fund Elliott Management; Hewlett Packard President and CEO Meg Whitman; and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, one of Joe and Marlene Ricketts’ three sons. Wealthy Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein is also expected to help fund the effort. Jim Francis, a big GOP donor and bundler from Texas, was also on the phone call on Tuesday

These people are now donating to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and were donating to it even during the primaries.

The Washington Post reported that “Money Raised as of June 30” of 2016, produced the following ratios, advantaging Clinton over Trump:

Ratio of Hillary Clinton Campaign $ divided by Donald Trump campaign $ = 3.21

Ratio of Clinton Super PACs $ divided by Trump Super PACs $ = 12.71

18% of Clinton-campaign money came from donations of $200 or less. 27% of Trump-campaign money did. But that 27/18 ratio, of Trump/Clinton small donations, under-represents the true extent to which Trump was being backed by small donations, because Super PACS are almost entirely big-money donations, and an additional $106.8 million of Super PAC money helped Clinton’s campaign, whereas an additional mere $8.4 million of Super PAC money helped Trump’s campaign. Clearly: Clinton attracts the big money; Trump repels it. (He even condemns it.)

With Trump, there is at least the possibility of a President who opposes the existing corrupt-and-corrupting system. With Clinton, there is a long and continuing, thoroughly convincing, record of her participating in, and sustaining, corruption in public office. Her top donors are employed by the companies that benefit the most from complexification of our laws, eliminating simplification, adding counter-productive bureacratization, which crushes everyone but the top 1%.

9:  Sanders favors every possible means of reducing the influence big-money donations to politicians has over politics. Hillary opposes that idea.

Trump during the Republican primaries was so averse to selling the Presidency to his fellow-billionaires, that he ran his campaign, against his competitors, on a virtual shoestring. After the primaries, he needs lots more money to campaign, especially against Hillary’s campaign that’s funded more heavily than any political campaign in history, from almost every special-interest group (and see here the list of closed-to-the-public speeches she’s given to the various lobbying organizations). She’s offering the U.S. government for sale. Trump is thus-far getting very few billionaires to pony up for his campaign. That’s extraordinary: normally, Republican candidates get even more from mega-donations than Democratic candidates do. However, Trump’s being starved by his fellow-billionaires means that he needs to rely even more heavily upon the Republican Party’s grassroots voting base: especially fundamentalist Christians, gun-rights fanatics, and anti-immigrant voters. The more that he can rely upon Bernie’s voters to win, the less he’ll need to rely upon those traditional Republican groups. If Bernie’s voters show up at the polls for him, this will greatly encourage a future President Trump to surprise the nation with how progressive he actually is. But he can’t afford, right now, to make any overt policy-pitches to Bernie’s voters, because that could scare away lots of the Republican voting-base he’ll definitely need in order to win.

Also, Trump, unlike Sanders, is running in the traditional big-money Party, the Republican Party. Though Sanders was able to be viable while categorically refusing any assistance from Super PACs, Trump wasn’t, and isn’t. Trump, if he wins, will pull the Republican Party toward the “peace and justice” left; congressional Democrats will then need to move along with them in that same direction, in order to be able to retain their existing base. By contrast, a Clinton victory would move the Democratic Party to the right, and then congressional Republicans will need to move even farther to the right, in order to retain their existing voting-base. To move America’s center in the direction of progressivism, Trump is the clear choice.

Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ deceiver-in-chief; she is actually the Democratic Party’s Richard Nixon. By contrast, the “huckster” Trump is, if anything, too honest for his own good. Maybe he thinks that he’s a good-enough sheer salesman to be able to do that and still win, but he’ll need a lot more support from Bernie-voters in order to make it happen.

10:  Sanders favors socialized health insurance, like exists in the European nations that spend per-capita half what America does but have higher life-expectancy than America does. Hillary opposes that — she favors the existing profit-based system of health-care, and opposes the European system where basic healthcare is a right, no privilege (that’s based only on ability-to-pay).

Trump says he favors taxpayer-paid healthcare for Americans who cannot afford to pay for the basic healthcare they need:

Donald Trump: By the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private.” But — Scott Pelley: Universal health care? Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now. Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of how? Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably — Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it? Donald Trump: — The government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side.”

Here’s what that “so much money on the other side” might refer to:

The latest OECD data on healthcare costs show that the U.S. spends by far the world’s highest percentage of GDP on healthcare, 16.9 percent; and also show that the average U.S. life expectancy is 78.7 years; by contrast, Canada spends 10.2 percent, and their life expectancy is 81.0 years. The OECD average expenditure is 9.3 percent , and life expectancy is 80.1 years. So: the U.S. spends almost twice as high a percentage of GDP as every other OECD nation, and gets markedly inferior results. This makes the U.S. far less economically competitive than it otherwise would be; but, the healthcare industries finance conservative politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and all Republicans; so, those politicians don’t like single-payer — it would take much of the excess profits out of exploiting the sick, and those excess profits help to fund their campaigns.

The American people’s financial losses produce exceptional financial gains for the investors in healthcare-related stocks, and also inflate the pay for executives in those firms. This helps to fund lots of what conservatives such as Antonin Scalia lovingly call “free speech” — campaign commercials.

Here are the latest available data, and they show that, still, the U.S. is somewhat worse than average, for quality of care, and astronomically higher than any nation on both per-capita healthcare costs, and the percentage of GDP that goes to healthcare costs. For examples: across 45 countries tabulated by the OECD, the U.S. healthcare-expenditure per capita was $8,713 and 16.4% of GDP, whereas the average OECD country paid $3,453 and 8.9% of GDP. France paid $4,124 and 10.9% of GDP, and Japan paid $3,713 and 10.2% of GDP. The U.S. also was tied with Brazil, Chile, and South Africa, for having the highest percentage of healthcare-costs that’s paid privately rather than by the government.

In any case, with our existing healthcare-for-profit, instead of healthcare-as-a-right, system, the U.S. ends up paying lots more than our competing nations, yet getting inferior results. (Apparently, postponing care until one is being rushed into an emergency-room is both atrociously poor care, and extremely expensive care. But it’s the most profitable for the healthcare-industries.)

Trump might have been referring to data such as those. If so, then he was correct about “we’re going to save so much money on the other side.” Hillary’s statements against the European-Canadian-Japanese system — basic healthcare as a right, instead of as a privilege — are false, and she knows it, she simply lies (for money).

Hillary condemns Bernie Sanders’ support of taxpayer-funded health isurance for all (or ‘Medicare for all’ or “single-payer” health insurance). She says, “People who have health emergencies can’t wait for us to have a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass.” (There is no ‘theoretical debate’: many of those other countries do retain a role for private insurance, but not as big a role as ours, and not the same role.) That CBS News story, 29 January 2016, by a reporter who clearly favored Hillary, was headlined “Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will ‘never, ever’ happen”, and that reporter summarized by saying, “The debate over health care underscores the difference between Clinton’s campaign pitch as a pragmatic, effecitve leader and Sander’s pitch as a candidate with vision,” or, in other words, Clinton was saying, and CBS was simply assuming to be true, and not challenging at all: the U.S. must stay with its existing system, which produces lower life-expectancies and twice the cost; Bernie’s belief that we can do what Europe, Japan, etc. have done, is impossible for Americans; our country is too corrupt for that, she’s saying (and CBS reported without questioning or challenging). The CBS news-report continued by approvingly quoting Hillary: “’As someone who has a little bit of experience standing up to the health insurance industry, that spent, you know, many, many millions of dollars attacking me, and probably will so again. … I think it’s important to point out that there are a lot of reasons we have the health care system we have today,’ she said. ‘I know how much money influences the political decision-making. … However, we started a system that had private health insurance.’” That news-report closed by quoting, also approvingly, Hillary’s statement in 1994: “‘If, for whatever reason, the Congress doesn’t pass health care reform, I believe, and I may be totally off base on this, but I believe that by the year 2000 we will have a single payer system,’ she said. ‘I don’t even think it’s a close call politically. I think the momentum for a single payer system will sweep the country. … It will be such a huge popular issue … that even if it’s not successful the first time, it will eventually be.’” Back in 1994, she was citing single-payer as being a threat — never a goal. Wall Street knows where she stands, even if her voters don’t.

Obamacare continues this status-quo, but adds, to it, more federal and state regulations, which make the system even more complex, and thereby further disadvantages small businesses, in their competing against big ones. Hillary Clinton likes Obamacare, and opposes single-payer health insurance. Back in 2008, she said regarding both her own 1993 Hillarycare proposal, and her then-current 2008 campaign proposal: “I never seriously considered a single payer system. … I think that, you know, there’s too many bells and whistles that Americans want that would not be available.” She said, “Talking about single payer really is a conversation ender for most Americans, because then they become very nervous about socialized medicine and all the rest of this.” However, that too was a lie. She reads polls. Just months earlier, on 14-20 December 2007, an Associated Press/Yahoo poll of 1,523 registered voters, including 847 Democrats and 655 Republicans — about the same proportions Democratic and Republican as the U.S. population generally, at that time — asked respondents whether “the United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers,” and also asked them “Do you consider yourself a supporter of a single-payer health care system, that is a national health plan financed by taxpayers in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan”; and 65 percent said yes to the first, and 54 percent said yes to the second. The public wanted single-payer. Hillary had designed her 1993 Hillarycare proposal for the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) industry; and she designed her 2008 position for the drug companies and the private insurance companies. Single-payer would replace those big political contributors, which she doesn’t want to do; she wants their money.

What she had said in 1994 about Hillarycare needing to be passed into law because of the danger that “by the year 2000 we will have a single-payer system,” was being said by her in private to the top people at Lehman Brothers Health Corporation. She knew that single-payer was popular and would become more so. Consequently, when she said to the public, in her 2008 Presidential campaign, that “single payer really is a conversation ender for most Americans,” she was just blatantly lying. Her real masters are clear: it’s not the public. She instead treats the public like suckers. (Trump just has a different way of doing it, and evidently not so clearly a malignant purpose for it.)

Furthermore, she implicitly has condemned the Canadian and other nations’ single-payer healthcare systems by saying, “We don’t have one size fits all; our country is quite diverse. What works in New York City won’t work in Albuquerque.” (In 2015, according to the OECD, in 2015, the U.S. spent 16.9% of its GDP on healthcare, and Canada spent 10.2%. Canada also has higher life-expectancy.) Her presumption was that what works in Canada or some other large single-payer country cannot work here — that local control must trump everything in order to fix what’s wrong with American health care. She was implying that our healthcare system delivers superior healthcare at a lower cost than those single-payer countries’. However, as we’ve shown, that too is a lie: we pay more, and get less, and she knows it; she lies.

This is how the Clinton scam works: most of the Democratic Party voters are either totally ignorant of it, or else in denial about it. They think that because she’s not nominally a “Republican,” she’s less right-wing than Republicans are. That’s the reason why she won the votes of enough Democrats to become the nominee: they are fooled by her public rhetoric, and don’t know about her actual record in public office, which is simply atrocious.

A Washington Post interview published on August 11th, was titled “The Donald Trump interview that should terrify national Republicans”, and the questioners there were shocked at the extent to which Trump’s economic proposals reflected Democratic and not Republican economic policies — far more so than Hillary Clinton’s do. Trump in this interview made the distinction between the U.S. government borrowing money at record all-time-low interest rates such as now, versus when interest rates are high, and he said that in a time like this, the repairing and rebuilding of our infrastructure will repay maximum returns for the future, because of those record-low interest-rates. He was proposing to more than double the amount that Hillary Clinton is proposing to spend to restore America’s crumbling infrastructure up to world-class standards, because doing this now will reduce instead of increase costs long-term. “Roads, tunnels, hospitals. I mean, everything. We have to fix the airports. Our airports are like third world countries.”

The health of the public is America’s human-resources infrastructure (notice that he included there “hospitals”), and Trump — not Hillary — is the candidate who recognizes this fact, and who thinks in this way. It’s something that the great Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the creator of Social Security, and of the Works Progress Administration), recognized and put into practice starting in 1938, and immediately the U.S. economy boomed, from then on. The FDR boom didn’t start on December 7, 1941, with World War II; it started when FDR first came into office in 1933, and really sped up in 1938 going full speed ahead with Keynesianism. (Keynes’s theory wasn’t even published until 1936.) Trump is correct to say (in effect) that now is the time for FDR2 — not another Herbert Hoover (or, since Hillary is corrupt, Warren Harding).

My vote for Trump will be the first Republican vote in my life, and I hope that this will be the only time in my life when the Democratic candidate is so abysmal that I’ll have to do this. It’s not because I like Trump; it’s because he’s vastly better than the Democratic nominee, whom I consider to be by far the worst Democrat ever. To me, choosing between Trump, who has no political record, and Hillary, who has the worst record in public office of any Democrat ever, is easy. On all other ballot lines, I shall, as always, vote Democratic. In fact, that will be the best way to block from getting to President Trump’s desk the Republican bills that he’ll likely be wanting to sign, such as any bill to eliminate the estate-tax. But I don’t expect that Democrats will at all oppose what might be his boldest progressive initiatives, such as, perhaps, a European-style healthcare system. If Democrats would block something like that, they’d then be killing their own Party (and cursing their country), and there aren’t many Democrats who are (like Hillary Clinton would be) corrupt enough to carry things quite that far in the conservative direction, as to persist in sustaining healthcare-by-corruption. (As former President Jimmy Carter says of today’s U.S.: “Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president.”) Perhaps a President Trump would get so many congressional Democrats and Republicans to vote for a single-payer health insurance proposal, that such a piece of legislation could be signed into law much likelier than if a President Sanders (who would be voted against in Congress by virtually every Republican member) were to be pushing for exactly the same type of legislation and getting only some congressional Democrats (and no Republicans then) to vote for it. Indeed, we all might even turn out to be surprised to find that a President Trump will be the most effective progressive President since FDR. If Democrats control Congress, then he might turn out that way, and become widely revered — and the neoconservatives, who are America’s fascists, will then have to become curses upon some other land, perhaps Israel, because they wouldn’t be able, any more, to make life hell for Americans (such as by our invading Iraq and Libya). They’ll then be like the Soviet Union’s die-hard communists were, after communism ended: failed ‘prophets’ without a country.

Hillary Clinton’s constant refrain against Trump is that he’s a racist. However, as the progressive John V. Walsh argued, on 29 December 2015, in a superb essay, “Who Is the Arch Racist: The Donald or Hillary?” the answer to that question is clearly Clinton, not clearly Trump, despite Trump’s frequent use of racist rhetoric in order to hold enough of the Republican base to be able to win the election. Anyone who believes what either of the two candidates asserts is believing a confirmed and persistent liar, but only Hillary is a consistent liar for the biggest-money interests. With Trump, we really don’t know what his policies would be, because he has no record in public office, but with Hillary Clinton, we do — and it’s truly horrific.

John Pilger said, “Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.” (Pilger’s disgust against liars and hypocrites such as Obama, reflects his extraodinarily pure progressivism. Obama has been the most effective — and effectively closeted — Republican President; he has been the ultimate deceiver. For example, Blacks have actually lost wealth under Obama, the most of any ethnic group, yet they constantly support him the most of any ethnic group.) And anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton would be less conservative than Barack Obama has been, is in for a sore disappointment if she becomes the next President. By contrast, a President Donald Trump could well surprise strongly on the upside, because, unlike Hillary, whose record in public office makes clear that she would be horrifying, Trump has no such record at all, and the people who are demonizing him are themselves individuals whose records in public office (or else as journalists) are as despicable as Hillary Clinton’s record is.

Both sides in this election are concentrating on personal attacks against the other, but the ten issues that have been discussed here are vastly more important than, for examples, whether Donald Trump (and/or Bill Clinton) is a rapist (or whether Hillary Clinton hired thugs to make life hell for Bill’s rape-victims), or whether the Trump University scam from which Trump profited, is worse than the Laureate International Universities scam from which Bill and Hillary Clinton profited. At the economic top in America, is unimaginable corruption and rampant psychopathy; and, so, one can reasonably question whether this nation is still a democracy at all, but the scummiest people have funded Hillary Clinton’s career, vastly more than Donald Trump’s. Hillary owes a lot of billionaires a lot of money on their investments in her. Trump does not.

We’re going to be placing this country into the hands of either Hillary Clinton’s enemies, or else Donald Trump’s enemies, and the latter group are by far the worse of the two. Not to vote, in such a situation, or else to vote for a ‘protest’ candidate and so throw one’s vote away (even if the voting-machine will only be programmed to misreport it), is irresponsible. If America is not a democracy, then, still, a voter’s obligation is to do whatever he or she can in order to maximize the chance that it might become one. As between the two viable options here, Clinton is the clear police-state option, but Trump might possibly fight to restore America’s democracy. The choice of Trump over Clinton is easy to make, because, even in the reasonable worst-case scenario, the damage Trump would likely cause the country (and the world) is vastly less than the damage — nuclear war against Russia — that Clinton would likely cause. This is certainly no ‘Tweedledee, Tweedledum’ election. Not even close to that.

The progressive journalist Bill Blum put the case succinctly: “I would vote for Trump. My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I’d call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted.”

By voting for Trump, you add 1 vote to him, and 0 vote to Hillary, and so that’s a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Trump up 1. By voting for Hillary, you add 1 vote to her, and 0 vote to Trump, and so that too is a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Hillary up 1. Either vote is a real vote.

The real world of electoral politics is the foundation of democracy, without which it can’t function at all. Fantasy votes are not votes that can even possibly participate in democracy. For example: by voting instead for Jill Stein, you add 0 vote to each of the two real-world contestants, just the same as you would be doing by staying home on Election Day.

Regarding the question of whether voting for Jill Stein is at all rational:

The U.S. Presidency is determined in the Electoral College, in which each state’s entire delegation votes the given state’s Election-Day choice, winner-take-all for all of that state’s electors.

Neither Nader nor Perot won even one state, neither of them came even close to winning even a single state.

Jill Stein definitely won’t win even one state.

Voting for her is nothing but a sucker-punch on the ballot there.

When Nader ran, and received 2.74% of the nationwide vote at his peak in 2000, he was on the ballot in 49 states, yet still he won not even a single state. Instead, because he drew off more than enough Gore voters in both New Hampshire and Florida so as to throw NH to Bush and to cause FL to be so close that the outcome there was decided by the 5-4 Republican-majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, Nader made George W. Bush President. If Nader hadn’t been on the FL ballot and drawn 97,488 votes there, Gore would have won FL decisively; Bush’s ‘537 vote win’ couldn’t even possibly have occurred, because Gore’s winning margin there would have precluded any recount at all. (Gore would have won FL by around ten thousand votes.) There would have been no invasion of Iraq. The problem of global warming wouldn’t have been shunted off to the side, as it was by Bush.

Furthermore, Nader also threw NH to Bush, and Gore would have won the Presidency even if only one of those two states, NH and FL, hadn’t been thrown to Bush by Nader. Bush needed both of those two states in order to eke out his 271-266-vote win of the Electoral College, and that’s what Nader’s participation in the contest handed Bush — both states. Nader sucked away enough voter-fools, most of them to the left of center, so as to move the electoral result (the electoral advantage) far to the right of center.

In a Presidential system such as the U.S. (though not in a parliamentary system), only fools vote third-party. These people are either so ignorant they can’t count, or so stupid they think that to ‘register a protest’ is somehow more patriotic than to register a vote that might make an actual difference in the resulting winner, the resulting President.

The stakes in the current election are actually huge: the Tweedledee Tweedledom argument certainly doesn’t apply here (neither did it apply in 2000) to excuse a voter from really participating in the ultimate outcome. It’s our duty to vote only for candidates who might possibly win, even if the electoral system is rigged (such as it is in Iran, to eliminate from having even a real chance to win the Presidency, all candidates who are so good they’d pose a threat to the behind-the-scenes dictators). If the electoral system is rigged, voting is the only way to protest, that has even a possibility of being effective (unless a violent revolution might improve matters, which seems unlikely here). To be a fool is never good. It harms everyone. It’s certainly not an ethical choice, if anyone actually chooses it. (Of course, if the person is too stupid to be said to ‘choose’ it, then one can’t blame the person, but merely feel sorry for his unintended victims.)

The only realistic choice that is offered is either Clinton or else Trump. Even if it’s a choice between two bad candidates, one of them is far worse than is the other. With Trump as President, there is a realistic possibility of getting a reasonably good President, someone who won enough independents and fooled enough Republicans, to enable him to win the Republican Party’s nomination. With Clinton as President, there’s a realistic possibility of nuclear war with Russia, but a virtual certaintly that this nation will be ruled behind-the-scenes, by-and-for America’s international corporations. That is the real choice we have, if we have any at all. Fantasists have the freedom to stay with their fictions, but realists are obliged not to. Realism is a prerequisite to progressivism. Trump is the clear, and the only reasonable, choice for progressives in this election.

Our choice, Bernie, didn’t make it to the finals. (Hillary and her big-money people beat him — sometimes cheated him.) We are stunningly fortunate that the voters in the other Party’s primaries ended up giving us (for once) a realistic chance to have, as the next U.S. President, a person who is at least no worse than, and is on many of the most important issues far better than, the atrocity (Hillary) that is being offered to us by the Democratic Party. How often does the Republican Party provide the better candidate? In the opinion of this Bernie-supporter, such a thing has never happened since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Donald Trump might not be another Abraham Lincoln, but he might be another Franklin Delano Roosevelt — the greatest progressive of them all. Thank you, Donald Trump, for having given us this opportunity — the realistic possibility to salvage, for America, a progressive future. It couldn’t have happened without you — if it does happen, at all.

On September 16th, the conservative Ramesh Ponnuru headlined an op-ed at Bloomberg News, “Trump Throws Out the Republican Litmus Tests”, and he wrote about what The Week magazine titled “The End of Republican Dogma?” Ponnuru said:

“Over the span of two days, the Republican nominee for president has proposed new child-care subsidies, new mandatory benefits to be provided by business, the removal of millions of families from the income-tax rolls, and an increase in tax rates on single people making from $112,500 to $190,000 a year. Oh, and he put in a good word for Medicaid too, leaving the impression with many people that he favors expanding it. … None of these positions seem to be costing him any of his supporters, just as his opposition to entitlement reform and free trade did not keep him from winning the Republican nomination. … He has exercised more [ideological] freedom than Republican politicians dreamed they had. For years, they have been complaining that purists had imposed a series of litmus tests that kept their party from winning elections or governing well. … That stranglehold now appears to be broken.”

Trump is rapidly moving America’s political center in the opposite direction from the direction that Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, did, which was toward conservatism, away from progressivism: those conservative Democratic Presidents and (now) would-be President, have moved America’s political center considerably toward the right (the international-corporate agenda). A President Trump would reverse the political direction that this country has been heading in ever since 1993.

If we progressives don’t help Trump to do that, we shall be throwing away the only such opportunity that the U.S. oligarchy (slipped-up and) allowed us to have. A President Hillary Clinton would have the support of almost all congressional Democrats no matter how right-wing her proposals are, and her big-money financial backers will buy enough congressional Republicans to make her the most effective most conservative Democratic President in decades if not centuries. The prospect is chilling.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Beverly Larkwood

    Thank you very much for this mammoth effort in elaborating on the many serious flaws in Killary Clinton that make her not electable. Sadly, I am afraid to say, the Deep State will make sure they get what they spent so much money on so their policies can continue unabated.

    • diogenes

      It is on record — established by statistical studies comparing exit polls and “officially” tabulated vote results, which differ drastically across the board wherever there is or isn’t a paper trail — in studies by professors at Stanford, at Berkeley and at the University of Copenhagen, that traitor Hillary’s Democratic Party traitors rigged over 20 Democratic primaries. It is to be expected that whether Trump wins or loses, he will, in the official count, lose. American democracy has been killed by the oligarchs whose headquarters is on Wall Street. Noting will change except for the worse until enough Americans understand this to change it. Zuesse’s entire spiel amounts to another smokescreen to prevent this understanding from emerging.

      • Carl_Herman

        Yeah: it’s not an “election” when there’s nothing physical to count from electronic “voting” machines.

        One will not “vote” but participate in ongoing election fraud. I recommend calling it what it is: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/08/three-essential-us-stands-not-president-upon-election-independent-debate-rogue-state-dictator-upon-ele.html

        • John Whitehead nails it here in this he produced.

          Aug 24, 2016 If Voting Made Any Difference, They Wouldn’t Let Us Do It

          Don’t be fooled into thinking that the only road to reform is through the ballot box. Whether you vote or don’t vote doesn’t really matter. What matters is what else you’re doing to push back against government incompetence, abuse, corruption, graft, fraud and cronyism. After all, argues John W. Whitehead, there is more to citizenship than the act of voting for someone who, once elected, will march in lockstep with the dictates of the powers-that-be.


      • Bingo.

      • Eric Zuesse

        I never write any “smokescreen.” And one theme in most of my articles is that the U.S. is an aristocracy not a democracy. And, of course, what Carl Herman says right below is exactly true. In the swing states, the U.S. aristocracy will almost certainly have rigged the electronic voting machines enough to turn a real Trump victory (if that’s what the voters had voted for) into a fake Clinton ‘win’. We can’t do anything about that, but still have the obligation to make as difficult as possible the aristocracy’s getting their choice.

        • “And one theme in most of my articles is that the U.S. is an aristocracy not a democracy.”

          Your apologia for Gore suggests that you are not quite in tune with your “theme” – god only knows why…

          • Eric Zuesse

            Blame the data, not me.

          • Not so much blaming you as blaming the analysis; you know: lies, damn lies and…

          • diogenes

            Zuesse’s tune shifts with the wind. Or something. He started out on Washingtonsblog telling us all about Bernie the Savior. In response to his first article to this effect I pointed out to him exactly how it would play out — go back and look — and it did. Zuesse is either not old enough or not smart enough to have seen through the game. Or maybe there’s another factor at play here. Who knows? Who cares?

        • diogenes

          Don’t kid yourself and don’t kid us. Nobody’s going to make it “difficult” for America’s Wall Street oligarchs to do exactly what they please in the general election just like the did in the primaries and just like they’ve done in every election throughout our lives. Voting for Trump is just voting for one evil rather than another. Voting Green is at least not endorsing this criminal fraud and treasonous attack on America. Unfortunately, in 2000 I had the distinct impression that Nader’s vote did not get accurately reported in California — and doubtless elsewhere also — so we can’t expect the Green vote to be accurately reported either. But reported or not, I still won’t be voting for either of the traitor candidates.

  • RPDC

    A commendable effort, and I fully agree with the reasoning and conclusion. I will vote Stein because I inhabit the antithesis of a “swing state,” but I am otherwise strongly supporting Trump.

    The unspoken conclusion of this article is that Trump is the most successful third-party candidate in the nation’s history. If he wins, the GOP Establishment dies, the DNC Establishment dies, and Progressives can spend the next four years using Trump as a rallying cry to take over the DNC and prepare for 2020.

    The sad reality is that the Third Way Dems have to lose before their iron grip on the DNC will loosen. And Zeusse is absolutely correct that there will never be a better time for that to happen, than when we have the most conservative DNC candidate in history, and the most progressive GOP candidate in history, at least with respect to the big issues of War, Trade & Wall Street.

    • wunsacon

      >> I am otherwise strongly supporting Trump.
      >> Trump is … [a] third-party candidate

      NO, he is not. He supports many of the same policies. He’s surrounded by many of the same people.

      Yes, I marginally prefer him. But, I’ll be shocked if he does anything actually “good”.

  • cstahnke

    Great presentation–a bit long but heartfelt. Trump is definitely the lesser of two evils but his temperament bothers me. I don’t care about the usual “racist/sexist” taunt leveled against him by HRC supporters (the entire mainstream media) but Trump is very far from ready to deal with the Presidency and that level of power. He has to have a posse on his side within the Deep State and he seems to lack real support which is why the entire mainstream right, left and center oppose him since most of the media represent real factions within the Deep State.

    My own analysis mirrors your own and has come to me gradually. My plan was to not vote for either candidate since they both seemed to flawed to support in any way. But I’ve been rooting for Trump because no matter how much of a buffoon he is I think he just could deconstruct a good deal of the power structure even if he is a complete disaster. For me, the Federal Government in Washington is way past the point of being a net-negative influence on our society–the more it can be deconstructed and weakened the better as far as I’m concerned. The final straw for me was the absurd kinds of attacks on Trump over the usual trivial issues that Trump seems to also relish, sadly. But such is the state of the electorate. No matter what anyone’s decision is this year voting for a possible WWIII (there are people in her circle who believe a nuclear war is winnable) is definitely off the table. Most of the people I like will vote for HRC and nothing I say makes any difference because Trump is a racist. The “left” has been completely taken over by identity politics which has now put me solidly on the right for that and other reasons. BTW, I take a less friendly approach to Sanders–he’s a good guy but his support for Clinton is appalling and, frankly, unforgivable. On the other hand maybe Clinton is just a cynical money-grubbing politician who means nothing she says or stands by anything she has done–I sincerely hope that is the case if and when she gets into office. It is the ideologue in her and the, to my eyes, maniacal glint in her eyes that trouble me the most.

    • diogenes

      The “American media” don’t “support” anybody. They do what they’re told. Period. A hired liar is a hired liar is a hired liar. End of story.

      • cstahnke

        I don’t agree. They are in alliance with those forces–there is no central authority but a network of people who have similar goals and values. The media are an enthusiastic and willing part of the Deep State. This is the strength of the Deep State–they are part of a network not a hierarchy.

        • wunsacon

          After upvoting you and diogenes, despite you disagreeing with each other, I realize I should explain my own “compromise” between both your statements.

          That is: How about “a central authority that (a) selects people with similar goals for top jobs and (b) lets everything else trickle down from there”?

  • Westcoastliberal

    Well said and as a former Bernie supporter, spot on. I’ll be joining you in voting for Trump, better or worse…certainly can’t be worse than the terror 4 or 8 years of Hitlery would bring us.

    • wunsacon

      Bernie supporters should vote for Jill Stein. Trump and Hillary represent the same interests and nearly identical policies, albeit with different rhetoric.

  • kimyo

    q: why is soros funding the initiative to Enlarge [the U.S.] electorate by at least 10 million voters?

    q: why does every single zuesse piece on the election strive to get BOTH team blue and team red into the voting booth?

    a: to maintain the illusion of electoral representation.

    • Dorothytflores1

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj196d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash196DigitalTimeGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj196d:….,…….

      • Eric Zuesse

        Spammer, go to hell!

  • paul

    What a despicable rant.

    It’s hard to even know what to say in response when those who might support Jill Stein or who might want to promote a third party approach to election politics are repeatedly labeled “fools” and otherwise insulted and dismissed – and of course it doesn’t help that the person doing the insulting is reiterating patently false arguments. The bullying that people like you, Zuesse, have been rabidly doing since 2000 – and really for decades – is precisely why we are where we are in the world.

    We are facing an evil choice between WW3 and/or a global police state that looks to be ‘a boot stomping on the pscho-numbed human face forever’, with almost no chance left for redemption in any form. Bullies like you refused to countenance any alternative approach decade after decade after decade, and with particular rabidity after 2000. Least worsting is a defensible short term strategy. By morphing into an infinite strategy it became THE problem, indefensible but surrounded by phalanxes of verbally jack booted bullies stomping out any tendril of third party hope.

    Why do so many continue to believe your lies Zuesse? Nader is at fault for Gore’s seemingly deliberately anemic campaign and even more anemic recount struggle in Florida, where the election hinged on a blatantly fallacious early call by the media triggered by a blatantly rigged ‘counting error’ of some seventy thousand votes as I recall?!!!

    The election was rigged, blatantly rigged, for Gore to ‘lose’ and Bush to ‘win’. I think you know this.

    Even if Nader was a spoiler, what we need is not an attack on third party politics, but an honest and constructive critique of third party politics, an honest attempt to figure out how we can make them work. It has never been more obvious than it is now that third party is the way to go, that the population is crying out for a genuine alternative – and not just in America.

    I guess the more clear that is, the more the bullies go out on the warpath against real hope for humanity. Bullies in the service of the establishment sometimes take on sophisticated disguises, don’t they?

    • Eric Zuesse

      Nader WAS a spoiler, and that’s what he intended to be. (And “Gore’s seemingly deliberately anemic campaign and even more anemic recount struggle in Florida” are your obtuseness, not reality at all: he ran as good a campaign as he could under the circumstances and won by over 500,000 votes nationwide, and the ‘election’ really was stolen from him by Bush’s team including Ralph Nader and the five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court. There wouldn’t even have been any Supreme Court participation if Nader hadn’t been campaigning for George W. Bush to win — Florida would have been a clear win for Gore, who also would have won NH. And Gore would have been a vastly better President than Bush was.)

      • Gore didn’t even win his home state. Gore kept going to the right, when if he’d gone left he would have done better. Blaming Nader proves the OP’s point. Nader is a symptom of the system’s failure, not its cause. Yes, W “won” in a rigged farce, but that wouldn’t have happened if Gore had run a serious campaign.

        Now I think the point is moot, as the machines will be programmed to give our votes to HRC, or Trump, as TPTB decide best suits them.

        • Eric Zuesse

          He wasn’t aiming to win those conservative states, no more than Bush was aiming to win Massachusetts; but that’s irrelevant anyway. Gore would have been a very good President, and there wouldn’t have been any 9/11, and certainly no invasion of Iraq, and certainly no anti-anti-global-warming campaign from the White House, if Gore had been President, as the American public had voted for him to be. Ralph Nader was essential to Bush’s ‘win’.

      • Gore, the aristocrat, was even more of a neolibera-neocon than Bubba. The invasion of Iraq was baked by them(the deep state) into the presidency of either of the two legacy parties’ candidates.

        “The assertion that Nader’s marginal vote hurt Gore is not borne out by polling data. When exit pollers asked voters how they would have voted in a two-way race, Bush actually won by a point. That was better than he did with Nader in the race.”


        “I think they’re wrong on all counts. The assertion that Nader’s marginal vote hurt Gore is not borne out by polling data. When exit pollers asked voters how they would have voted in a two-way race, Bush actually won by a point. That was better than he did with Nader in the race.”- Al From – http://web.archive.org/web/200

        Al effin’ From, Eric! And: neoliberal/neoconservative duopoly, Empire and hegemony! Now, think again!

        Liberal Myths: Would Al Gore Have Invaded Iraq?
        by DAVID BAROUH – http://www.counterpunch.org/20

        And here a brief portrait of Al Gore: The Origins of the Neoliberal War on the Poor
        by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR – ALEXANDER COCKBURN – http://www.counterpunch.org/20

        Al Gore, the Origins of a Hypocrite
        by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR – http://www.counterpunch.org/20

        • Eric Zuesse

          My article at
          provides the exact references to the exit-poll analyses that were done of the 2000 Presidential election, and here that passage is:

          “All polling studies that were done, for both the 2000 and the 2004 U.S. Presidential elections, indicated that Nader drained at least 2 to 5 times as many voters from the Democratic candidate as he did from the Republican Bush. (This isn’t even considering throw-away Nader voters who would have stayed home and not voted if Nader had not been in the race; they didn’t count in these calculations at all.) Nader’s 97,488 Florida votes contained vastly more than enough to have overcome the official Jeb Bush / Katherine Harris / count, of a 537-vote Florida ‘victory’ for G.W. Bush. In their 24 April 2006 detailed statistical analysis of the 2000 Florida vote, “Did Ralph Nader Spoil a Gore Presidency?” (available on the internet), Michael C. Herron of Dartmouth and Jeffrey B. Lewis of UCLA stated flatly, “We find that … Nader was a spoiler for Gore.” David Paul Kuhn, CBSNews.com Chief Political Writer, headlined on 27 July 2004, “Nader to Crash Dems Party?” and he wrote: “In 2000, Voter News Service exit polling showed that 47 percent of Nader’s Florida supporters would have voted for Gore, and 21 percent for Mr. Bush, easily covering the margin of Gore’s loss.” Nationwide, Harvard’s Barry C. Burden, in his 2001 paper at the American Political Science Association, “Did Ralph Nader Elect George W. Bush?” (also on the internet) presented “Table 3: Self-Reported Effects of Removing Minor Party Candidates,” showing that in the VNS exit polls, 47.7% of Nader’s voters said they would have voted instead for Gore, 21.9% said they would have voted instead for Bush, and 30.5% said they wouldn’t have voted in the Presidential race, if Nader were had not been on the ballot. (This same table also showed that the far tinier nationwide vote for Patrick Buchanan would have split almost evenly between Bush and Gore if Buchanan hadn’t been in the race: Buchanan was not a decisive factor in the outcome.) The Florida sub-sample of Nader voters was actually too small to draw such precise figures, but Herron and Lewis concluded that approximately 60% of Florida’s Nader voters would have been Gore voters if the 2000 race hadn’t included Nader. Clearly, Ralph Nader drew far more votes from Gore than he did from Bush, and on this account alone was an enormous Republican asset in 2000.”

          • Again, Al From whose preferred candidate, Al Gore couldn’t even win his own state, lost to another aristocrat and a neoliberal-neocon shyster for the duopoly just like himself, in spite of your blinkered Dem party goggles.

            It’s the duopoly and the deep state controls it, Eric! Don’t be naive and stop playing the shrinking violet in the face of truths: Gore was and is (alongside his partner Blood) a market fundamentalist neoliberal neocon par excellence!

          • Eric Zuesse

            Even both of the scholarly studies that I cited there prove it, despite the reluctance of the authors of both studies to acknowledge the fact. For example: Burden’s study is at http://rangevoting.org/Burden.pdf. Burden writes trying not to blame Nader. On his page 11 “Table 6: Where Buchanan Cost Bush Electoral Votes”, Burden shows that in Wisconsin, the Bush-Gore difference was 5,708 votes and that the votes for Buchanan were 12,825 votes. On page 12, Burden says: “As Table 6 shows, Gore beat Bush by a small number of votes in each of these four states. In all four the Bush-Gore margin accounted for less than half a percent of the total votes cast (the same threshold below which Florida law requires a recount). Yet together these four states hold 30 electoral votes, five more than in Florida. Also in each of these states, Buchanan won more votes than the difference between Bush and Gore. Had Buchanan not been on the ballot, it seems likely that Gore would have lost these states and Bush would have been elected regardless of the Florida outcome.”
            But that’s sheer nonsense. For example, as Burden’s Table 6 shows, Wisconsin had the largest number of electoral-college votes of those four states, 11 out of the 30-vote total for those four states in the Electoral College. So: Wisconsin is crucial to Burden’s pathetic attempt to equate what Buchanan supposedly did to Bush with what Nader unquestionably did to Gore. However, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2000 shows the following figures regarding Wisconsin’s votes: 3.62% of Wisconsin’s voters chose Nader; only 0.44% chose Buchanan. Gore beat Bush there by 0.21%, which was 5,708 votes. But Nader won 94,070 votes, whereas Buchanan won only 11,471 votes. Yet Burden had the gaul to include Wisconsin among the four states where, supposedly: “had Pat Buchanan not been running, it is at least plausible that Florida would have not been subject to great public scrutiny and that Bush would have been elected easily with as many as 301 electoral votes. Bush ought to be at least as angry at Pat Buchanan – a former Republican who cost him an undisputed victory – as the Democrats are at Ralph Nader for taking Florida out of their hands.” That’s a lie. Gore won Wisconsin by 5,708 votes; Nader won 94,070 votes there, and Buchanan won 11,471 votes there; but Burden is asserting that Buchanan’s having been on the ballot there cost Bush Wisconsin (and “an undisputed victory”) — even though Gore actually won Wisconsin despite (instead of due to) the candidacies of both Nader and Buchanan. There is actually no way in which Buchanan’s vote could even possibly have caused Bush to lose even a single state in the Electoral College; but there’s no doubt at all that Nader caused Gore to lose two states in the Electoral College: the 25 EC votes of Florida, plus the 4 EC votes of New Hampshire. Scholars don’t want to admit it, but their analyses prove it; and they grudgingly admit that Nader did, in fact, cause Bush to win both Florida and New Hampshire. They just wish it weren’t in the numbers; they wish that they didn’t have to acknowledge this fact.

          • “Even both of the scholarly studies that I cited there prove it, despite the reluctance of the authors of both studies to acknowledge the fact.”

            The sources you cite are committed to maintaining the status quo. You regurgitate the chit-chat of the empire’ courtier class’ professional pundit-propagandists. You turn yourself into this mindset laden cohort’s usefully pliable – authoritarian-cum-authoritarian submissive b*tch:

            The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

            And so here you are: “studying….”

      • SocraticGadfly

        You’re also an idiot if you think Gore lost because of Nader rather than being Gore.


    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” — George Orwell. The final countdown has begun to the 2016 presidential election, and you can expect to be treated to an earful of carefully crafted sound bites and political spin.


  • Sep 28, 2016 Fascist Trump Versus Communist Killary Battle on a Sinking Ship


    • wunsacon

      Nitpick: Has Hillary been proposing banning private property? If not, then Hillary is not communist but fascist.

      • Here is another, and by the way I do not drink the faux two party kool-aid!


        J.D. HEYES– Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton embodies all that is wrong with American politics today, as she has proven time and again. One example unearthed just recently involves her policy reversal regarding a dangerous chemical, after the company that manufactures it became a benefactor of the Clintons’ charities.


      • diogenes

        Calling Ms. Clinton a “communist” is such a total abuse of language (the meaning of words) and reality (obvious facts) that anyone who does so brands him or herself as either an idiot or a deceitful liar. Hitherto, I took Lincoln for neither one, but this makes me wonder.

        • Here is another example. If all wars are Bankers wars what does this say to you?

          Jul 24, 2016 Hillary Clinton: A Threat to All Humanity

          The world looks on in horror as Hillary Clinton heads to Philadelphia to be nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidency. Yet still the leading lights of the so-called “progressive” movement argue that it is the left’s duty to vote for this neocon warmonger. But the consequences of this strategy may well lead directly to nuclear war.


          • I think that the objection is to the notion that the Dem party – even it’s most putatively progressive members have any interest whatsoever with communism.

            Both political parties promote fascism and militarism, especially at the political center where neo-libs and neo-cons interact with each other in their skivvies.

          • Yep, we have one War party of, for, and by the Bankster’s is my missing point here. Nothing has changed since the House and Senate flipped many years ago. To believe anything from them is just plain insanity.

            April 29, 2009 Timeline Of Senate Democrats’ Refusal To Make Budget Plans Public

            The last time the Democrat-led Senate adopted a budget resolution. Also the last time the Majority brought a budget plan to the floor.

            April 22, 2010 – The Budget Committee completes action on a mark-up and reports a budget out of committee, but the Democrat majority chooses to keep its own plan from being offered on the Senate floor. This is the last time the Majority conducted a legally required markup.

            May 17, 2011 – Despite missing the statutory deadline for a budget to be passed out of the Budget Committee, Chairman Conrad delays the unveiling of his budget for FY 2012, announcing that “I’ll say something later — not today, probably… There are a lot of conversations under way.”


            May 20, 2011 Harry Reid: ‘Foolish’ for Democrats to offer budget plan

            Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it would be “foolish” for Democrats to propose their own federal budget for 2012, despite continued attacks from Republicans that the party is ducking its responsibility to put forward a solution to the nation’s deficit problems.


      • I did not create the video, but you are more than welcome to go into the show notes and discuss this contention with the creator and source.

        • wunsacon

          Glad that I inferred correctly that you were simply copying the title from the video. But, better to put it in quotes, to make it clear that it’s not you, Lincoln, choosing to refer to HRC as “communist”.

          Then again, I doubt the value of watching a video produced by someone who refers to HRC as “communist”. Next time, would you mind either telling us “the content is better than the stupid title suggests” or else don’t share a video with such a glaring mistake in the title?

  • David Schultz

    Your obviously not going to win a lot a friends out there Eric. The proggies want Trump to self destruct and the Trumpsters want him mean and conservative. Nobody wants to hear that “Trump wont be than bad. Or Trump is Republican Lite”. Even if Trump spent most of his life on the liberal fringes of the Republican Party, hob nobbin’ with Jessie Jackson on black empowerment, everybody has selective amnesia. It is like everyone on the planet forgot about Trump’s most wild claim that supper rich should be taxed 14.25% on assets. That was ASSETS!!!!, something so socialist that Bernie would blush. I don’t agree with Trump on a lot of things but I expect him to stir things up with congress breaking the traditional deadlock going both left and right. Sometimes at the same time. I see that as an improvement.

    • Eric Zuesse

      Yes, I recollect his saying “assets” there — and that is indeed a radically leftist proposal, but I don’t trust his intention behind the statement, any more than I trust the intention behind his saying that estate-taxes should be eliminated (which of course is aiming to please the right wing). Bottom-line: he has no policy-record, and Hillary has a terrifying policy-record. Furthermore: Hillary is deep in debt to the aristocrats and her policies show it, but Trump isn’t and his policy-proposals terrify them. I’d choose Dan Quayle over Adolf Hitler. I choose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. In both instances, the choice for me is (or would be) an easy one to make. During the primaries, I supported Bernie because he’s good; and now I support Trump because he’s not as horrific as Hillary is.

      • diogenes

        So should we vote for the shit in the plain brown wrapper or the unwrapped shit. Or neither. Zuesse says vote for the wrapped shit. Beg to differ.

      • David Schultz

        I’ve always seen Trump as the last of the Rockefeller Republicans. The lost half of the Republican Party and frankly “Not that bad, if you have to have a Republican.” What scares people most is that he could be successful. Repatriating the foreign cash, slowing down the immigrant influx and raising some tariffs would all be good for the US economy. The biggest problem is that the left is in shambles and will be unable to press Trump on a transaction tax. Although Trump could generate growth with a Reaganesque plan, we desperately need some mechanism to keep unproductive leaches like Buffett and Styers from sucking up all the profits. Trump might be willing to sign a bill but the left will need to do the heavy lifting on it. Unfortunately they will be chasing bogus Hillary campaign rhetoric for another ten months.

  • wunsacon

    Eric, is this a joke? Trump is surrounded by the same maniacs.

    Everyone needs to take this with them into the voting booth: “Do no harm”.

    Jill won’t win a single state this election. I doubt she will win a single state next election. It doesn’t matter. Everyone needs to stop voting for evil and start voting for good.

    C’mon, Eric…please do not vote for the RNC/DNC monopoly.

    • cettel

      Symbolic ‘voting’ such as for Stein is self-delusional, because in the actual election, the only real ‘meaning’ a vote has is its favoring one of the possible winners against another of the possible winners. Any ‘vote’ for an impossible winner is no more meaningful than is no vote in that election at all.

      Politics is almost never a choice between goods, but instead a choice between bads. I shall always participate. I shall not be a non-participant — regardless of how bad the options are.

  • diogenes

    If I had ever entertained the idea, Trump’s comment reported today, that military service members who commit suicide “aren’t strong” and “can’t take it” would have lost me right there. But I already know who his backers are and who his advisers are and so does Zuesse. So I end up wondering about Zuesse.

  • November 21st, 2015 Fascists Running America Endorse Nazism

    America didn’t eliminate the scourge of fascism in WW II. It shifted its headquarters from Berlin and Tokyo to Washington.


  • ClubToTheHead

    I’m going to vote for Stein.

    I voted for Sanders when he spoke truthfully on the issues,
    before he succumbed to the Democratic Party’s corruption that destroyed his
    candidacy. The issues he raised were there before he raised them and they are
    still there now that he has gone silent and compliant to the corrupt.

    I think we and the world are screwed if either Trump or
    Hillary wins, and I will bet what’s left of my life that the next president
    will come from this Tyrannic Duo.

    There is no upside. That’s why I think this election is the
    least important of any other before in my life.

    So, too bad for us who are not them.

    But I really had hopes of Trump and Clinton getting each
    other so dirty in a mud wrestling match, so that they could both destroy each other’s
    credibility and both be delegitimized before the electorate. What is it going
    to take for people to walk away from these corrupt bozos?

    There is nothing I’d like more than to see the Duopoly drag
    each other down into a pit that neither can climb out of.

    So, Go Trump. Destroy Hillary. Go Hillary. Destroy
    Trump. I’m cheering for both of you.

    Needless to say, I want Trump to bring what he’s got to
    Hillary more effectively in the next debates. I am truly neutral in respect to
    both of them.

    The bell is about to ring for the next round

    So get up off the mat, Trump, and let’s see you give Hillary
    a lickin’.

  • dayanmao

    Actually well thought out till the author went with the Nader blaming. Too bad, I couldn’t finish the article. Voting one’s conscience is not ‘pie in the sky’ or whatever other term one would use to describe it. This is the exact reverse of the democratic ‘you owe us’ vote, the LTE of which caused us to be where we are today.

    Certainly Trump is far less offensive than Hillary. But, Stein would be on the ballots in all 50 states if our corrupt ‘election’ system wasn’t (corrupt). She certainly polls high enough to be included in the debates, but don’t expect that to be reported.

  • SocraticGadfly

    You’re a fucking idiot if you refuse to vote Green, let alone write this.

  • David Schultz

    The Republicans are coming home to Trump. Hillary will lose and Trump does not need my vote to send her packing. I will vote for Jill Stein not because I’m an environmentalist. Not because I believe in social welfare or egalitarianism, do I vote. I’m voting for Jill Stein because the political party I used to belong to has been hijacked by the most corrupt and vile influences imaginable. There must be a sanction, a punishment and consequences when people act in such unethical nature and others help white wash those transgressions.

    • Eric Zuesse

      Well, you remarkably turned out to be right: Hillary did lose, though everyone but you and few others were predicting she’d win and maybe in a landslide.

      Am I happy that he won? It’s mixed, but yes. His appointment of people like Betsy DeVos is horrific, but Hillary’s no-fly zone over Syria would be vastly worse.

      • David Schultz

        There was an advantage. Like Micheal Moore, I travel through the rust belt often. The two major tracking polls LA Times and Investors Business Daily were always correct. Note that many polls changed their methodology after Trump showed giant leads post convention. That is when Real Clear Average started moving differently from the tracking polls. At that point the fix was in. I won $1500 at Predict betting on Trump at 3:1 odds. The funning thing is I voted against my bet having voted Jill Stein in a state that flipped.

        Trump cabinet sucks but what can we expect from a Republican administration. For me this is all meaningless unless Trump can be used as a leverage to reform the left. So far they seem recalcitrant and such that the Democrats are playing chicken with the voters.