A few days ago Donald Trump made a comment about wanting to be “president for life” and a chill went through me. I had recently said to a friend that Bernie Sanders would be running as a Democrat in 2020 and that he would easily defeat Trump (just as he would have in 2016 without the shenanigans of the “Democratic” Party.) But I quickly added “But I do not think Trump will step down so easily.”
My friend queried me as to what I meant and I explained to him that I felt that Trump admired dictators and had zero respect for the peaceful transfer of power. I told him that I suspect that in 2020 Bernie Sanders will win and Trump will contest the election results and go crazy in the press accusing Socialists of having rigged the election and will use Twitter to rile up his base to civil war and potentially there could be millions of lives lost. I told my friend that I believed that Trump’s goal was to weaken the country’s already weak faith in the press so that he could declare the election results a media lie.
I explained to my friend how Wikileaks had already told Trump to contest the election if he had lost to Hillary Clinton and how their ultimate goal was to destabilize our democracy and to push our country towards and an alt-right fascist agenda. I explained to him how this same movement had succeeded in forcing Brexit and how hackers attempted to sway the French election towards alt-right fascist Marine Le Pen.
“Dude this sounds like the Twilight Zone.” my friend said.
“You’re living in the Twilight Zone.” I assured him.
We do not know if Trump was planning on following Wikileaks suggestion to contest the election, because the Democrats chose to run a pathetic candidate, allowing Trump to backdoor his way into power. But it appears that he was actually planning to contest, due to the fact that he suggested that “the Second Amendment people” could take matters into their own hands if he were to lose to Hillary Clinton.
Why would anyone be shocked if Trump pulled such shenanigans in 2020? From day one his entire presidency has been about disrespecting the very foundations of our country. This is how dictators take over. They stretch the very fabric of the country until it gives way. Trump’s constant attacks on the most vulnerable members of our society erode the foundation of what makes America great. The Trump regime has had this country in constant constitutional crisis since its first day in office and this is not by accident.
Nazi Germany did not happen overnight. It was a progression in the midst of desperate times. Hitler declared himself leader and already had a standing army of civilians ready to do his bidding. Does Trump not already have the same standing army at his disposal with the millions of heavily-armed supporters who are just waiting for the word to act on their patriotic duty? This is a very real possibility. Who will protect you from a heavily armed militia of alt-right rednecks going house to house and rounding up Socialists? The police? Not a chance. Cops love Donald Trump.
Trump’s presidency is a shock event to this country and the very institutions that hold it together. When Trump loses in 2020, I do not expect that he will have any respect for the peaceful exchange of power. I believe he will seek to rally his base to start a civil war in America and Americans will have to choose rather they have the temerity and weaponry to forcibly remove a dictator from the White House.
And you thought revolution only happened on your television.
(WRITER’S NOTE: After writing this I thought more about the title and decided that it was important to remind everyone to be careful taking things at face value (face value…masks…get it?) For example, this title, while catchy, is not 100% accurate. Surgeons wear masks. Nurses wear masks. Fire-fighters wear masks. And Batman, the most bad-ass of all superheroes, wears a mask. So be skeptical of everything you read. Now onward.)
“The extreme always seems to make an impression.” – J.D., from the movie Heathers
We live in an extreme world. Even though great leaders have long espoused the power of moderation, over the long term, as a path towards permanent change, Americans often lack patience and prefer extreme measures to rational ones. The word extreme has been reduced to little more than a marketing tool. Your deodorant offers EXTREME protection. Your toothpaste offers EXTREME whitening. Even your snack foods are EXTREME. Why would anyone waste their time on normal when you can have an extreme? Americans love extremes. They want the immediate outcome promised from extreme actions.
It is interesting to note that when we look at things that are at opposite extremes, we often see that they have more in common than they have differences. For example, a devout atheist and a Christian fundamentalist may seem to be at extreme opposites, but often times share much in common. Both sides are often intolerant of differing views to the point of feeling compelled to constantly lecture those naive enough to believe differently than they do. Both sides often believe that the world would be a better place if everyone shared their views. Both sides believe that they know something that is scientifically unknowable. The list of similarities between opposing extremes is usually greater than the differences. Thus is the nature of extremism.
One extremist group that has been working overtime in the United States since the election of Donald Trump, are the White Nationalists/White Supremecists/Nazi fringe hate groups. While these groups may differentiate themselves in degrees and goals, they still represent roughly the same agenda, which is the exaltation of white people and their culture above other races. Some of these groups are particularly problematic, because they are well-armed and believe in using any means necessary to achieve their agenda.
Seemingly, at the opposite extreme is Antifa (ANTI-FAscist). Like the KKK these extremists hide behind masks and believe in using “any means necessary” to further their agenda.
While I am in absolute agreement with Antifa that fascism must be battled wherever it is found, I also believe that there is a blueprint for fighting White Supremacy that has been employed with great success by people such as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. That path, of course, is not extreme and therefore does not necessarily appeal to people who desire the instant ego-gratification achieved through violence. It is a path that exalts strength of character above physical strength. It is the path chosen by Rosa Parks, Gautama Buddha, Bob Marley and John Lennon. I am speaking, of course, of non-violent resistance.
Using violence against White Nationalists elevates their cause. White Nationalist rallies like the one in Virginia last week occur on a regular basis. You don’t hear about them, because there is nothing newsworthy about morons yelling and holding Tiki-torches. The Nazis show up, hoping to elicit a reaction from counter-protesters. When they fail at their goal, they go home feeling further marginalized. The only reason why you are hearing so much about what happened in Charlottesville is because, in this case, the Nazis were able to achieve their goal of finding a counter-force that was willing to use violence. This offers them free media exposure which helps them to recruit others to their cause. It is for this reason that some have speculated that Antifa is actually an alt-right organization designed to help White Nationalists with recruiting.
Antifa members use their own form of hate-speech against those who do not believe in using violence to elevate the White Nationalist movement. They call those who disagree with their tactics “Nazi sympathizers”, a term designed to put peaceful Progressives in the same group as the fascists Antifa claim to be fighting. These tactics weaken non-violent resistance and allow Antifa members to attack peaceful leftists. Similar tactics have been used throughout history to divide movements.
An extreme type of black and white thinking pervades Antifa. Their very name is set up to divide with black and white thinking. If you are against Antifa’s tactics, then you must be pro-fascist, right? Extremist groups often seek to divide by eliminating the gray area of an issue. Extreme black and white thinking is a cornerstone of nearly every personality disorder in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychologists to evaluate mental disorders). One could make the case that Antifa is a cult that preys on people with violent personality disorders. Like any cult they believe that they are doing righteous work. Attempting to debate someone who suffers from extreme black and white thinking is difficult at best and usually resembles the following conversation.
Progressive: I hate Nazis, but I’m not sure that using violence is the best way to go about it?
Antifa: So you are a Nazi-sympathizer?!
Progressive: No. Like I said I hate Nazis but..
Antifa: Pick a side!! You are either FOR Nazis or you are AGAINST them!! Which is it?!
Progressive: I’m against Nazi-ism, but like I was saying..
Antifa: What?! What are you saying?! You’re going to make excuses for Nazis?! Then YOU’RE a Nazi!!
Now you find yourself one step away from being attacked by a violent extremist who believes that they are righteous in attacking you, because they have now labeled you as a fascist. In the Antifa extremist worldview, a fascist is anyone who does not agree 100% with their violent ideology. In their extreme black and white thinking you are either part of their myopic solution or you are part of the problem and Antifa believes fully in solving any and all problems with violence and destruction.
It is easy enough to pick an unpopular stance and name your group after the opposite of that stance. For example we could start a group against hate and call it Antiha (ANTI-HAte). This catchy name would allow us to use “any and all means necessary” to counteract hate. We could even use hate to counteract hate. If anyone opposed our hateful measures we could accuse them of being pro-hate and marginalize their voice. If it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it absolutely is.
Life is not black and white. There’s more than one way to fight Nazi-ism. Breaking windows of local businesses like Antifa did in Seattle or destroying University property as they did at Berkeley does nothing to stop White Nationalism and unfortunately moves us closer to the right-wing police state that the elites have been trying to thrust on us since the Orwellian days of Richard Nixon. Simply put, Antifa’s tactics are counterproductive to our movement. If you are a Republican governor trying to get anti-protest laws passed in your state, having Antifa smashing in the windows of local businesses and starting fires in the streets is a quick and dirty way to scare the locals into agreeing with your Draconian law.
I certainly identify with the anger felt by Antifa and even admit to feeling schadenfreude at the sight of seeing Richard Spencer getting punched in his stupid, racist face. But this punch did nothing to change Spencer’s ideology. In fact, getting punched while expressing his views, however unpopular, made him into a sympathetic character in the eyes of those not particularly schooled on the finer details of Spencer’s creed. Most people had never heard of Spencer before the infamous sucker-punch. Antifa’s attack expanded Spencer’s base greatly and as Spencer is a deceptive and articulate speaker, this new broader base has allowed him to recruit new members to his disgusting cause.
White Nationalists are always seeking to recruit from the millions of white Americans who use the phrase “I’m not racist, but…” Many white Americans do not call themselves racist and would be appalled to be part of a group that openly and blatantly hated any minority group. White Nationalists like Richard Spencer and David Duke know this, so instead they seek to paint themselves as patriotic Americans who are simply trying to preserve American heritage. When a group that is dressed like Isis shows up and engages in violence against these “patriotic” Americans, it allows them to use their sympathetic position to recruit the “I’m not racist, but…” white Americans, who now begin to see themselves as fellow patriots who are simply trying to defend white heritage against an extremist group. In this way, “Antifa is a major gift to the right.” as Noam Chomsky has been pointing out recently.
I cannot stress enough that Antifa is the absolute best recruiting tool that alt-right White Nationalists have at their disposal. Without Antifa, these clowns are exposed for exactly what they are, or they are ignored, which is the very thing they fear the most. The Nazi movement in America is small and fringe. You can equate it roughly to a toddler who has been put in timeout. It will kick and scream and throw anything it can get its hands on in order to try to gain your attention. Antifa is the equivalent of smacking the toddler in the face. Their extreme actions give these Nazis EXACTLY what they are seeking. Listen to the disgraceful words of their White Supremacist President, Donald Trump. Over and over again he says “What about the actions of the alt-left?!” in his attempts to normalize the behavior of these Nazis while simultaneously marginalizing our powerful leftist voice. Antifa pushes us closer to the second civil war the White Nationalists has been courting for decades. Antifa makes the White Nationalist movement sympathetic to those who otherwise would not have aligned themselves with it.
Antifa says that they believe in the use of physical violence as to “make racism so unpalatable as to discourage anyone from practicing it.” If only humans were actually wired this way, then I would fully support this use of force. But we know intuitively that violence only causes those on the receiving end to double-down on their belief, while simultaneously recruiting others to feel sympathy for the victim and their cause.
Imagine that you were exercising your First Amendment Right to free speech on the subject of pro-choice, for example. You believe very strongly in a woman’s right to choose and you are peacefully demonstrating, using your voice, when suddenly someone in a black mask comes up and punches you in the face. How hard would the person have to punch you to turn you pro-life? Of course the question is ludicrous. Violence will never change your mind on that subject or any other. All it will do is to cause you to be more locked into your belief than ever. Now you have been assaulted for your belief. Before you were simply a single voice. Now you are a martyr. It will be much easier to recruit people to your side for future rallies. People who normally could not care less about your politics will suddenly want to be by your side. Violence against you has made you more effective at spreading your ideology. It has had the opposite effect of its intention. Enduring a punch is a small price to pay for the ability to effectively spread one’s philosophy. If I were Richard Spencer, I would pay someone to dress up in all black and punch me. My jaw would feel better with a few aspirin, but my message would be heard by millions of people I couldn’t have reached previously.
Let us not dismiss violent resistance entirely. For example, during World War II violence against Nazis was absolutely necessary. But let’s not make ourselves look foolish by comparing hate-mongering idiot, Milo Yiannopoulos, to Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich. To do so would be to give him entirely too much credit. Milo Yiannopoulos was a virtual unknown before Antifa burned the Berkeley campus. Overnight he became a household name. Once again Antifa had the effect of elevating the alt-right cause. Their antics canceled one speech that would have only been heard by a handful of people. But as a result of their violence, millions who had never heard of Milo Yiannopoulos before, became interested in what he had to say and as Milo is a deceptive and persuasive speaker, surely he was able to sway some of this newfound audience over to his garbage ideology. If I were Milo Yiannopoulos, I might even consider hiring people to dress up like Isis and burn down the place where I was suppose to be speaking as a publicity stunt.
As much as I would like personally to slap Milo Yiannopoulos in his little bitch mouth, I simply cannot reward him by turning him into a martyr. Nor can I make the claim that his rhetoric is somehow violent, simply because it leads others to inaccurate viewpoints that can lead to violence. The most proactive thing I could do to counteract hate-speech is to educate others as to their methods, so they will not fall victim to them. If I really want to silence Nazis I can use The First Amendment and apply a variety of different political pressures to the venues that allow them a place to speak, reminding venue operators of the peril they are putting themselves in as hate-speech is not protected under The First Amendment. I can threaten to publicize their position and this will undoubtedly cost them future revenue. This is the strength that the left has long been known for, the strength of creativity and relentless political pressure.
We have these Nazis outnumbered 10,000 to 1. Let’s not help them grow their numbers. If a Nazi puts his hands on you, then knock his stupid-ass back into the dark ages he crawled out of. But don’t allow yourself to be provoked to violence with words.
Because that is EXACTLY the reaction they are looking for.
They should be in the streets shutting down corporate profits.
I have visions of semi-trucks parked across interstates and major cities occupied.
I have visions of the American government trying to figure out how to stop a determined populace that responds to injustice by standing united.
I have visions of corrupt politicians and bankers fleeing America, fearing prison.
I see, in my mind’s eye, a million people marching in unison, demanding justice.
But these visions are ripening on the vine.
We aren’t there yet.
Multinational corporations rig a “Democratic” election to appoint Hillary Clinton, who is nothing more than a figurehead for corporate profits and never-ending war…
People gather around the water cooler to complain.
Racist, white police-officers, sworn to protect and serve, MURDER unarmed black men..
Maybe we take a knee at a sporting event.
Our government poisons the water supply and the food.
Innocent children die.
But hey, football is on.
Americans have been domesticated.
We are afraid.
We are spoiled.
We are pacified.
Injustice has become entertainment.
We are too busy.
We are distracted.
As bad as all this is, when Donald Trump is President, things are going to get worse.
This is Germany 1933.
The police unions have endorsed Donald Trump.
We’ve seen what Trump thinks of protesters.
He encourages violence against them.
He touts the Second Amendment while oppressing the First.
In Trump’s America, protesters will be murdered and he will say..
“They’re disgusting. We’re trying to fix this country and these people hate it. They hate America. They got what was coming to them.”
His followers will cheer for blood in the streets.
Decades of America’s corporate greed and subsequent destruction of opportunity have led to a deep-seated desperation in our blue-collar workforce and Donald Trump has tapped into that.
Trump’s white supremacist supporters are stockpiling weapons, waiting for Martial Law, so they will have permission to kill blacks, gays, Hispanics and liberals.
They call themselves patriots.
Trump gives their movement license.
Trump fuels their fear.
Trump fills them with bravado.
“Make America Great Again” is the same code as “All Lives Matter”.
It is rhetoric that translates to “ban and bomb all Muslims.”
It is hyperbole that says “black people need to know their place.”
It is oration designed to stir the rage of people who were led to believe that it is their birthright to have superiority over others.
When Trump vomits forth hate-speech about deportation forces and punishing women who have abortions, he taps into an angry segment of our population and encourages it to creep out of the darkness.
When Trump makes fun of the handicapped, children on playgrounds follow suit.
When Trump points his tiny finger of blame, people are assaulted.
Trump is sounding the alarm to gather the forces and to round-up all those responsible for your pain and suffering.
He is the ruling-elite telling you to kill your neighbor, because they stole your crumbs.
He is fascism, come to America, wrapped in the flag.
He is paranoia personified.
Bernie Sanders was right when he said that we must do “everything in our power to stop Donald Trump.”
But you can’t ask us to vote for Hillary Clinton, Bernie.
That’s asking too much.
This was the “Democrats” election to lose.
They had two strong candidates and the GOP could not produce a decent opponent.
A year ago most liberals would have agreed that Bernie was the better candidate, but that Hillary was still better than Donald Trump.
But Hillary lied to us.
She took us for granted and she mocked us.
She insulted us and she stripped away our voting rights.
And she cheated.
She cheated in an American election against a good man.
She cheated the American people out of $238,000,000 (the amount that we donated to Bernie Sanders).
She cheated us out of our literal blood, sweat and tears, that we shed while working tirelessly, in an “election” that we never had a chance of winning.
We sacrificed far too much to just forgive and forget.
I remember telling my kids that we couldn’t afford to do certain things, because “Bernie needs our help.”
My children volunteered with me.
We went broke, driving anywhere we could to help canvas.
Speeding tickets, gas, damage to vehicle, oil changes and lost wages.
We spent the last several months trying to recover from these excursions and millions of Americans made the same sacrifices.
The “Democratic” Party’s mistreatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters painted us into a corner.
I am terrified by the looming specter of a Trump presidency, but still I cannot bring myself to support the embodiment of everything I have spent my life fighting against.
If you were just a casual Sanders supporter (was there any such thing?) then perhaps you could just pull your Sanders sign up and replace it with a Clinton sign.
But for those of us who gave our entire lives to this movement, it is not even a serious consideration.
Sorry Bernie, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.
She simply does not deserve my vote.
Hillary and the DNC burned the bridges.
It is unreasonable to expect us to rebuild them.
Maybe if the “Democrats” lose an election that they could have easily won, then they will learn to listen to the people next time.
But I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Perhaps the protests I am looking for will not be held in the streets.
Perhaps the next great protest in the United States will be held in the voting booth, where millions of liberals, that Hillary Clinton took for granted, will stand up in the face of tyranny and choose to vote their conscience instead of caving into the fear that the “Democratic” Party is banking on.
Maybe there is finally enough anger on the left to motivate them to get off their asses and actually build a true third-party for the people.
Maybe liberals will finally start paying attention to down-ballot races and midterm elections and rejecting corporate candidates in favor of true Progressives.
Maybe people will finally learn that voting with their dollars is where the real power lies and they will abstain from buying from the corporations that destroyed our democracy.
When confronted with the “choice” between being shot in the face or poisoned to death, the intelligent choice is to choose neither.
When confronted with the “choice” between someone who threatens to use nuclear weapons or someone who claims to be so ignorant that they did not know that “C” stood for classified, the rational person chooses neither.
When confronted with the “choice” between someone who will appoint alt-right Supreme Court judges or someone who secretly supports TPP, a trade agreement that will put corporate tribunals in charge of our government, the compassionate person says “HELL NO!!!”
Hillary Clinton is pulling a Band-Aid off slowly, whereas Donald Trump is ripping it off fast.
Either way, it’s going to hurt.
Vote for Jill Stein or write in Bernie Sanders.
In an insane election, these are the only sane choices.
Some will say that this is throwing your vote away.
Throwing your vote away is when you vote for someone whom you don’t believe in.
Throwing your vote away is voting for Donald Trump, a hate-monger who’s been spending daddy’s money and filing bankruptcy and charging it to the American tax-payer, while telling the people who are footing his bill that their poverty is the fault of other poor people.
Throwing your vote away is voting for Hillary Clinton, a warmonger who rode her rapist husband’s coattails into politics by representing a state that she wasn’t even a resident of, while supporting fracking and taking millions from the fossil-fuel industry.
With either one of these fools, you are doing more than throwing your vote away.
You are throwing your planet away.
You are throwing your dignity away.
You are throwing innocent lives away.
Neither have any business stepping foot in the White House and I do not and will not recognize their authority.
If you are insulted by your corporate “choice” for President, I suggest you exercise your Constitutional right to open rebellion.
Join with me in pledging to fight whichever one of these criminals is unfortunate enough to take office.
With the latest insanity surrounding Hillary Clinton, involving her collapsing symbolically at a 9/11 memorial, I am reminded of how seriously fed up I have become with her sham of a campaign.
While corporate media focuses on an orange gnome with zero government experience, the rest of us are being force-fed a corporate, warmongering shill and we are supposed to be happy about it, just because she is “not Donald Trump”.
I honestly have tried to find something redeeming in the shit sandwich of her impending Presidency.
I have defended Hillary from time to time.
I agree with the assessment of her supporters, that she is better than Donald Trump, but without an ounce of facetiousness, I can say confidently that my dog, Butch, is a better candidate than Donald Trump.
Butch might relieve himself in the Oval Office, but at least he wouldn’t start a nuclear war.
I asked Butch about building a wall and forcing Mexico to pay for it and he just turned his head to one side, spun around in a circle three times and laid down.
As bad as Trump is, Hillary seems to be working overtime to prove she is nearly as pathetic.
Hiding medical problems from the American people, especially something as serious as neurological disorder, is just too much.
Is it unreasonable to ask that our candidates release their current medical records and have a psychiatric evaluation at least bi-annually?
Shouldn’t that be absolutely mandatory for anyone seeking to be in charge of the world’s most powerful military?
What difference does it make, right?
What fucking difference does it make?
I understand that Hillary is the choice of the establishment.
I know they have billions of dollars on the line.
I know they invested hundreds of millions to get her appointed into a position of power so that they could recoup their money 100 fold.
I know how this whole sham works, but seriously corporate America, do you have to make it so obvious?
For nearly a year she has hidden from the very people she is supposed to represent.
If only Hillary had chosen a decent running mate, then I would possibly feel confident, as it seems highly unlikely that she would even be able to complete her term.
But Tim Kaine?!
Uh, just no.
I am all for our country FINALLY having a female President, but at what cost?
Your campaign has become insulting to our intelligence.
Never mind that you have shown zero ability to be a decent leader.
Never mind that you can barely stand up unassisted.
Never mind that we are in desperate need of true leadership in our country’s most dire hour.
As much as we fear the idea of Donald Trump being President, you HAVE to let the people who vote for you keep their dignity.
When you repeatedly insult us, you make that impossible.
You honestly expect us to believe that you didn’t know “C” stood for classified?
You want us to buy into the lie that you are “looking into” releasing your Wall Street transcripts for 224 days now?
And I’m sick of hearing about Trump, every time I ask a legitimate question regarding one of Clinton’s glaring flaws.
If I ask about the Wall Street transcripts then I want to talk about YOUR WALL STREET TRANSCRIPTS!!!
Saying “Trump did not release his tax returns.” is not a suitable response.
My kids know that blaming their siblings for their wrongdoings is unacceptable.
Should I expect less from my President than I do from my children?
Given Trump as the alternative, I was willing to forgive a lot.
But Hillary, you simply ask too much.
For someone who so rarely speaks publicly, you certainly seem to put your foot in your mouth a lot.
Hillary, we do not “bring people to heel.”
We do not laugh at murder and say “We Came. We Saw. He died.”
We do not, under ANY circumstances, speak of political assassination as a way of winning a nomination.
We do not “land under Bosnian sniper-fire”, trivializing the heroes who actually have to face this real-life death from above.
Considering that the orange menace was my alternative, I was honestly willing to move on, if you were just willing to take some damned accountability and learn from your mistakes, but this campaign you took the dishonesty to a new level.
You can lie to the FBI and Congress and apparently they will give you a pass, but the American people WILL NOT!!
It would have been nice if you would have used this last 18 months to do something redeeming, so at the very least I could lie to myself and say that you had learned some valuable lessons and were trying now.
But you don’t try.
You take us for granted and we are beyond tired of your lies.
We are Charlie Brown and you are Lucy and we are done trying to kick the football.
We are done trusting you, only to land flat on our backs.
This has gone far enough.
You are clearly incapable of handling even the simplest task without mucking it up beyond all recognition.
You cannot appoint people to high-positions in our government in exchange for donations.
You cannot set up a charitable foundation and then donate the money to YOURSELF!!
As I pissed away my precious time looking at memes I did not understand and kittens I could not pet, I was interrupted by a loud
I looked up to see a police officer towering over me.
“You aren’t allowed to have that in here!!”
He was pointing at my tablet.
I contemplated my next maneuver.
Who was this pathetic little man in front of me?
Without that badge and gun, I bet he wouldn’t be so brave?
Understanding the rules of society and my lack of power in the situation, I contemplated my choices.
I really needed to get those forms.
I drove all the way down here.
And now this bully was throwing a monkey wrench in my day.
There were several hours of people in the queue ahead of me and I had neglected to bring a book.
If I had to put my tablet away, I would just have to stare into space the entire time.
There was only one intelligent choice.
“I’m sorry.” I said “I didn’t know.” and closed my tablet without a trace of attitude.
He walked away feeling like a big man.
Without anything to distract me, I was forced to watch the other people waiting.
I wondered about their lives.
A man, about my age, walked in and pulled a number.
He had a tattoo of a razor-blade across his Adam’s apple.
He sat down and pulled out his phone.
The officer had a chance to feel worthwhile again.
He walked briskly from the corner until his crotch was even with the razor-blade man’s face.
“You can’t have that in here!!”
The man looked up.
There was no processing options.
He knew exactly what to do.
“Oh, Super-Cop, eh?!!” he said, standing up.
Then he added
“I don’t need this shit!!” and then “Fuck you!!” halfheartedly under his breath as he walked away.
The cop stared daggers in the man’s back and fingered his taser.
The cop thought better of it.
The razor-blade man escaped unharmed.
Eventually my number was called.
I had my meeting and all went well.
Because I went to the meeting my son will be able to get the medicine he needs to stay alive.
I wondered about what I would say to my son, had I chosen to rebel against the power-mad cop.
I contemplated a world in which some men have dominance over others and how to navigate such an unfair existence.
I thought about Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the turmoil our country as been in, as a result of our Schizophrenic presidential election.
I thought about my friends who supported Bernie Sanders in such an extreme way, that adjusting to the reality of a Hillary Clinton presidency has them angry and depressed.
I wondered if the same energy required to force real change in our government would doom that energy to implode if the leadership went missing.
I remembered when my friend said “Bernie or Bust is basically the Tea Party of the Left.”
I remembered being annoyed and saying..
“If you mean that we are pulling the Democratic Party to the left the way The Tea Party pulled the Republicans to the right, then sure.”
“That’s exactly what I mean.” he said “The Democratic Party has moved to the right as well. The Bernie Sanders campaign is about overpowering the movement of the Koch Brothers and the 1%. It’s directly opposite. Your movement is strong, because it is radical, but never lose sight that the ultimate goal is to move the party back to the left.”
He was right.
The Democratic Party is broken.
It’s neoliberal centrism no longer represents our values.
It’s so controlled by corporate interests, that it often neglects to represent the people.
So those who are justifiably angry at the Democratic Party have some choices to make and they have to make them fast.
November is looming.
435 House seats and 34 Senate seats are up for grabs.
The chance to usher in a new Progressive age in America is at hand.
And Bernie Sanders army of supporters are in complete control of our country’s destiny.
But the Bernie people are angry and they should be.
They were mistreated.
They were silenced.
The election deck was stacked against them and what makes matters worse is that they are 100% correct about the flaws of Hillary Clinton.
They are right to criticize her hawkish war record.
They are right to demand her Wall Street transcripts.
They are right not to trust her, when she has repeatedly lied to them.
Many are angry that Sanders did not join with Jill Stein and get revenge on the Democrats for short-changing him.
But developing a third-party is a lot more than just running a President.
If you are serious about developing the Green Party, phone-banking, donating and canvassing are not enough.
If you are serious about developing the Green Party, then you need to make sure that there are Green Party candidates running for the important offices in your area.
And if there are not, then you need to run yourself.
If by some incredible set of circumstances, Jill Stein were able to win the Presidency, what would she be able to accomplish without a sympathetic House and Senate?
Do you have Green Party candidates running for Congress in your district?
Most districts do not.
So what’s the strategy?
How do we continue our Progressive momentum without supporting a candidate who represents everything we stand against?
We must decide and fast.
Because allowing Republicans to control Congress will absolutely destroy everything we have worked for.
What are the maneuvers that will optimize the progress we have made to this point?
Time for Independents and Greens to make some tough choices.
We only have two months to decide the fate of the world.
So am I telling you that you should vote for Hillary Clinton?
You can do whatever you want.
It’s your vote.
I will be voting for Dr Jill Stein, even though I do not believe she has a legitimate shot to win.
I am voting for her, because I want to see more options on my ballot going forward.
I do not want another choice between a warmonger and a reality TV star.
I am voting for Jill Stein because Hillary Clinton and the DNC burned all their bridges with me.
I am voting for Jill Stein because she is the candidate who most closely represents my values.
I understand why Sanders endorsed Clinton.
He accepted the fact that the system was rigged against him, so he traded his 13 million votes towards a Progressive agenda, knowing that if we did our jobs in November, Clinton would be locked into supporting our positions or she would accomplish absolutely nothing during her one-term presidency.
Sure she is a liar, but she will not be a very effective one with a Congress full of Progressives.
As much as I hate that Clinton and the corrupt DNC’s cheating will be rewarded with the presidency, I will not compound this problem, by allowing her to run amok and do whatever she pleases.
Instead we need to insure that she works for us.
There are ways to force her to keep her word.
If you agree that Hillary is untrustworthy, then you must also agree that it is incumbent upon us to make sure we are pulling the strings that control her.
It is entirely possible to support Jill Stein and the Green Party, while promoting down-ballot candidates that further the values Sanders and his supporters worked so incredibly hard for.
If you want to vote for Jill, then you should.
Vote for Jill Stein to send a message to the DNC and Hillary Clinton that we do not approve of the way we have been treated.
Vote for Jill Stein because she has good policies.
Vote for Jill Stein because part of bringing the Democrats to the left is giving them competition from the left.
But how do Progressives vote in the down-ballot races where there aren’t any Green or Independent candidates to choose from?
Are we so angry with the DNC that we are going to refuse to vote entirely, thereby allowing the Republicans to keep control of Congress?
Because if we do that, we will lose everything we fought for and Bernie traded in his 13 million votes for nothing.
It seems to me that the most logical way to vote for these open seats is to vote in the way that binds Hillary Clinton to Progressive policies, while taking away her ability to repeat her hawkish patterns.
If we have Progressives in the House and Senate then we have complete control over her.
We can stop her from passing TPP.
We can stop her from declaring war.
We can even block her Supreme Court nominees if need be.
I am sorry that I cannot stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president.
We all did everything we could.
Many of us went to Philadelphia to protest this heinous corruption.
I was hoping that we could get enough people there to shut down the city and for one night we actually did, but in the end there simply weren’t enough of us.
If you want to start occupying major cities and demand a Hillary Clinton indictment, then I am right there with you.
But if you aren’t willing to do that, then you are going to have to control the other branches of government and that means voting Progressives into every office.
If your area doesn’t have any true Progressives running, then you will have to make a decision on whether to vote for the most Progressive candidate or to simply run yourself.
We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to start any more wars.
We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to give tax breaks to her wealthy friends.
We will support Progressive candidates, regardless of what party they are affiliated with, because that is the only way to keep a reign on her.
Not voting is not an option.
We’ve come too far..
And this election is simply too important to throw away.
I heard about you and Jane buying a new home on the beach and I couldn’t stop smiling, thinking about you out there chillin, grandkids running around, toes in the sand, drinking a Heady Topper or two, or three, or four, reflecting over the past year and a half.
Even though I dedicated my entire life to getting you elected, there was always this small part of me that wanted you to just go home and relax.
I worried about you.
You were working so hard that I feared that you would burn yourself out.
So the thought of you relaxing makes me extremely happy.
A few months ago, you asked me to vote for Hillary Clinton and because I hold you in such high esteem, I actually considered it.
I read the articles you wrote about it and I agree with you on many points.
It’s true, that if Donald Trump were to become president, America would be in for some hard times.
I read your book and I remember the sleepless nights you had agonizing over endorsing Bill Clinton, while the raccoon stirred in your attic.
I remember that you ultimately endorsed him, because you knew that Bob Dole would cut Social Security, but then you seemed to have some regret over it once NAFTA was enacted.
I know a lot of fair-weather people turned on you after the Hillary endorsement, but not me.
I totally get it.
You were in a really tough position and I admire you for doing what you felt was best.
But I can’t bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton.
The time for lesser-evilism is over.
Times are desperate.
“Enough is enough.” right?
“Millions of people standing together.” right?
“Political revolution.” right?
I have imaginary conversations with you all the time.
We are sitting on the beach, waves calmly crashing into the shore.
Killer Mike is on his way over with a blunt behind his ear.
Mike and I are going to walk on down the beach and build up an appetite, before we start grilling out.
We will invite you to walk with us, but you will stay back and get the fire started.
In our conversations, you tell me why it is important to vote for Hillary and I tell you why I struggle with this idea.
You talk to me about the importance of Supreme Court judges and I agree with you completely, but I have to counter with Hillary Clinton’s support for TPP.
You and I both know that Clinton is the Trojan horse for this horrible trade agreement.
You and I both know that she is lying about opposing it.
You and I both saw the secret emails where she urged Congress to pass it.
And we both know that TPP is so powerful that it would take away much of the Supreme Court’s power anyway.
You tell me that a Trump presidency would mean losing all the progress we have made over the last decade and I mostly agree with you, but then I remind you that the Democrats will always run on the lesser of two evils ideology and that we have to take a stand against it at some point and that we are running out of time.
We could compare and contrast all day, but all it would do is remind us that the choice between Trump and Clinton is no choice at all.
If this election has taught us anything, it’s that America is locked into a corporate duopoly, where the people are not being represented by their government and that this has to change.
Had we made our stand in 2012, the Green Party would have been a prominent party now.
You wouldn’t have had to run on the Democratic ticket and they would not have been allowed to abuse you the way that they did.
We cannot continue down this path any longer, my friend.
When you see what NAFTA did to cities like Flint and Detroit, do you still feel that endorsing Bill Clinton was right for America?
When you see how his crime bill decimated hundreds of thousands of black families, do you still feel that endorsing him ended up being the best move?
When you see how his repeal of Glass-Steagall lead to millions of Americans losing their homes and ultimately lead to a Wall Street bailout that the American people will be paying for, for the rest of their lives, do you still feel like lesser-evilism actually helped our country?
Would Bob Dole have been any worse?
Or would he have been equally bad for America, but just in different ways?
I know you see this, my brilliant friend.
The Republicans move to the right and the Democrats move in lockstep with them.
They always scream from the rooftops
“We aren’t as evil as the Republicans”
And Americans line up to buy the same lies every four years..
Because the alternative, on the surface at least, is so much worse.
As a result of this never-ending compromise, Americans are left feeling betrayed by the repeated broken promises of hope and this ultimately leads to a voter apathy so great, that the people barely have a voice at this point.
Is that really what you want to endorse?
The Bernie Sanders that I fell in love with was a man who stared into the face of evil and refused to blink.
The Bernie Sanders who inspired me was a man who said that people who suppress voting are “political cowards”.
The Bernie Sanders who got me off my ass and out knocking on doors was a man who stood opposite of Hillary Clinton and the multinational corporations she represents.
You said “Enough is enough”, Bernie..
And we listened.
Don’t ask us to vote out of fear, when you told us to stand together to fight against the 1%.
Don’t ask us to vote for everything you have rebelled against for the past fifty years.
According to five different aids present for the conversation “Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party”.
While I am one to usually dismiss conspiracy theories out of hand, I recalled at the time wondering why Bill Clinton would be advising his friend Donald Trump to run for president as a Republican.
I also wondered why this was not getting more mainstream media coverage, but at the time, Trump was not considered to be a serious contender, so I laughed it off.
But a few weeks later Donald Trump did indeed announce his candidacy and much to the surprise of many, he was running as a Republican, despite an already overcrowded field.
Trump came out blazing, with a counterintuitive approach that marginalized millions of potential voters and left many scratching their heads.
As he continued to make comments slandering women, Hispanics, blacks and even the handicapped, millions speculated wildly on what his goals could possibly be.
After all, it is hard to win an election while alienating so much of the country’s population.
Still Trump’s poll numbers continued to rise.
I thought back to the conversation with Bill Clinton and while I was unwilling to speculate publicly, I did muse to a friend…
“Could he be mocking the GOP? He seems like a caricature of how the media depicts Republicans. He’s paranoid, misinformed, xenophobic and full of mean-spirited opinions. I don’t take his campaign seriously. I think he is trying to promote something.”
Then suddenly, Trump started talking about breaking off from the GOP and making a third party run.
Why would he break off when he was the front-runner?
If he did this, he would split the conservative vote and guarantee a win for the Democrats.
I thought again about Bill Clinton’s encouragement of Trump.
He sure is “playing a large role in the Republican Party” I thought “He is destroying any chance they have of winning the election.”
Still, I dismissed the theory, as I dismiss all such theories, as possible, but unlikely and difficult to prove.
When people mentioned it to me, I told them that I had thought of it, but that I didn’t think Trump was even trying to win the nomination.
I pointed to the fact that he not only did not have a ground game, but that he did not even know what the term meant.
“If he was trying to be a patsy for Hillary, wouldn’t he have to actually win the nomination?” I asked one friend.
My friend countered by saying that Trump did not need a ground game, because he was the official candidate of Fox News and that they would hand him the nomination on a silver platter by giving him around the clock coverage.
“Besides, if he actually ran a strong ground game, he may become too strong.” my friend reasoned “The goal is for him to win the nomination, then tank the whole campaign.”
I can honestly say that around this time I did start to take the claim a little more seriously, but I was still a long way off from being willing to take a hit to my credibility by speaking about this publicly.
I certainly didn’t want to get into a conversation with my friend about how Fox News co-owner, Rupert Murdoch, was a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and had donated money to her campaign in 2016, but I had to admit that Fox’s embrace of Trump didn’t make much sense, considering that Trump was polling poorly against Clinton at the time.
In fact he ranked fourth against her in head to head polling for nearly the entire campaign.
If Murdoch actually wanted Clinton to lose, wouldn’t he have been more likely to promote Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or John Kasich?
All three candidates scored markedly better in head to head matchups against Clinton, especially Kasich, a moderate from the swing state of Ohio, who was defeating Hillary by more than 15 points in projected matchups.
Alwaleed bin Talal, dislikes Trump immensely and has even called for him to step down as a presidential candidate.
So why are these two billionaires, donating to Hillary Clinton while promoting Donald Trump?
This is a question worth answering.
This is the smoking gun.
The point where I started to turn the corner from sane rationalist to election conspiracy theorist, was when one of my friends from New York commented on how strange Trump was acting.
“I know people who have rented from Trump.” she said “A few black people and one Hispanic lady and they have always described him as kind and amenable. I wonder what happened to him to turn him into such a bigot.”
Anecdotal evidence is all but worthless, but in this case it’s true, Trump has long been outspoken against racism. In fact, in 2000 he turned down an opportunity to run for president, because he did not want to be even loosely associated with Pat Buchanan, who had just received an endorsement from David Duke, whom Trump called “a bigot, a racist, a problem.”
And then there was the fact that Trump had been a donor to the Democratic Party for decades, until the sudden switch to attack Barack Obama regarding his place of birth, after a bitter primary between Obama and Clinton.
Some will say that Trump’s attacks on Obama are evidence of his racist views, but Trump has a history of being a Democrat who supports equality, so his recent Nazi-esque behavior certainly seems at odds with his past record.
In fact, Trump’s entire family are loyal Democrats.
It is rare that people radically change ideologies so late in life.
When you include the fact that Trump went from being a proponent of universal healthcare, to suddenly being against it, we are left to wonder if perhaps The Donald had suffered a massive head injury late in 2015.
What else could explain the sudden change of his entire political philosophy seemingly overnight?
I thought back to the conversation with Bill Clinton.
“Oh my dog!!!” I thought “I’m a conspiracy theorist!!!”
But what would be Trump’s motivation?
What could the Clinton’s possibly use to lure him into making a complete jackass out of himself when he is worth $3.2 billion dollars?
I will answer that question with a better question;
Why does Donald Trump refuse to release his tax returns?
Could it be that his tax returns would show money coming from curious sources, leading to an investigation, that would ultimately prove that he is running a false flag campaign for his friends, the Clintons?
Could I be completely insane?
All of these options seem equally likely at this point.
I would suggest that people view my arguments with skepticism, but I would also suggest that you look for patterns in the media to see if there might be some validity to what I am saying.
While not necessarily causal, you will notice that every time something negative comes out about Hillary Clinton (Wikileaks anyone?), Trump jumps up front and center with some insane comment that pulls all the media attention to him.
For example, the day that a a federal judge granted a Freedom of Information Act request that exposed that Hillary Clinton was offering political favors in exchange for donations while she was Secratary of State, Donald Trump called for Clinton’s assassination and the entire corporate media focused on Trump’s comments and ignored this huge scandal that would have surely caused her to lose ground in the polls.
It is interesting that Trump’s comments rarely focus on issues.
Clinton is an easy target to attack on the issues, as she is literally caught in one form of scandal or another nearly every week, but Trump usually refrains from attacking her obvious treachery.
Instead he attacks her on her husband’s infidelity or makes comments about her failing health.
These comments have the desired effect of making Clinton into a sympathetic character, which causes people to rally around her and defend her.
If Trump were to speak on the issues, he would have the opportunity to educate the masses regarding her corruption and could potentially win the election, but by making personal, ugly attacks, he instead illicits sympathy for her and actually recruits voters on her behalf.
It is not as if accusing the “Democratic” Party of rigging an election is beyond the bounds of reason, considering that Wikileaks recently published thousands of emails, showing that they did exactly that to Bernie Sanders.
While I cannot prove that Donald Trump is working to insure a Hillary Clinton presidency, the preponderance of evidence is staggering and definitely should cause even the most anti-conspiritorial person to put this election under a microscope.