(this was written before the election).
This type of left-wing blog makes me angry. Jonathan Cook is very knowledgeable on Israel and antisemitism, and should be read (followed) for that, but to me this blog on Hillary is not on the money. For progressives the election was over when Bernie was squeezed out. Jill Stein could be an alternative to Bernie but in my view one should vote for her only in states where Hillary has no chance. A vote for Jill Stein in a close contest is a vote for Trump. The others ….
I start with the following assessment, and it is only that – I don’t know for sure. Hillary represents Wall Street (despite what Michael Moore says in Trumpland). Under Hillary I would expect a continuation of Wall Street policies as with Obama – war for profit, drones etc.
Under Trump I see no difference on wars for profit, drones etc. He is Republican, where do we see with Republicans a reduction in wars for profits and drones? Why would Trump stand up against Wall Street?
In terms of foreign policy I would see no difference. I would expect Trump to take a backseat on foreign policy letting Wall Street and the MIC do what it wants. From this point of view Jonathan Cook’s personal interest is correct – there is no difference in terms of his campaigning interest – justice for Palestine. I think Jonathan’s argument that Trump is an isolationist does not have traction because it is rhetoric. Where does this rhetoric translate into foreign policy? Hillary does not advocate foreign interventionism except when she attends CFR, I assess Trump would not advocate it either but that it would just happen anyway. Trump’s isolationism is about supporting fascism, and not concerned with foreign policy. However Trump is jingoist, that will allow for “war for profit” manipulation as the US must “defend” itself.
So the difference lies in domestic policy. Trump is sexist and racist and encourages sexism and racism, Hillary is token liberal paying lipservice to both – again an assessment. How will these affect domestic US society? The moronic right wing – the US fascists will take credibility from a Trump government, and there will be an increase in such assaults. These atrocious white fascists (Supremacists/KKK) will have an increasing voice in US society, and there will be an increase in violence – as can be seen with Trump’s rallies. As Jonathan says “destroying the politics of respect, and civil discourse, could quickly result in the normalisation of political violence and intimidation.”
Jonathan dismisses decorum as an issue. Hillary of course is more experienced as a debater, and Trump says what he wants. The question here is truth. Trump is no respecter of truth, and appears not to care whether anything he says is truthful. We do not know whether Hillary is truthful, my view is that she is truthful only when it suits her, but she does not lie to smear. Hillary was forced to lower her standards to participate in the debate, could she have remained with a higher detachment during the smears that Trump threw out? I don’t think so.
Consider the sex smears. Has Trump said anything meaningful against Hillary? Absolutely not. The sexual smears have been directed against Bill, what has that got to do with Hillary? It is just smearing without any integrity.
The Clinton foundation will have been involved in promoting imperialism as are all these US foundations, using charity laws to promote the interests of the 1%. The Trump foundation promotes Trump.
I think the disguise of the Clintons, typical of Obama and all mainstream politicians, is marginally better than Trump but only just. What happens if we support the smear approach of Trump? Everything is up for grabs – just because he pretends to open up all the diplomatic disguises of Wall Street politics.
But what he is doing is lurching the debate to the right? What matters is a progressive government – represented by Bernie at the moment? It is possible that Trump’s right wing violence will lead to a greater left wing consciousness but such a consciousness would be forced to express itself through violence. Under Clinton such a dialogue could still be held in a peaceful way. With the Bernie contest she voiced more progressive policies because she had to. When Trump has moved everything to the right there can only be a debate of extremes, and as the Trump extreme is happy to extoll violence the left will be forced to do the same.
When you have issue-based campaigning – such as Palestine, you have to consider when and how foreign policy will change. Of course with US insularity foreign policy is the last to change but it can only change with a generalised progressive agenda, move the debate to the left and maybe some of that progression will make a change to foreign policy. When the debate is controlled by the fascist, foreign policy can never liberalise; Israel as an ally for the US will be cemented. This cannot help Jonathan’s campaigning interest – Palestine.
Jonathan’s summative position is striving for people to vote out of conviction. I ask
“when would the 1% ever allow candidates with compassionate conviction to stand?” Trump has a form of conviction – self-aggrandisement through politics.
A conviction vote can never happen. Electoral democracy can never be meaningful, that seems to be the fallacy of Jonathan’s blog, he seeks a meaningful vote. As he quite righty pointed out, the genuine democracy of Bernie was manipulated out of the arena. Conviction voting is never going to change that. Democracy can only happen through genuine grass roots democracy that hopefully will have an impact on the controlled electoral process. If the grass roots democracy moves the agenda leftwards, then maybe the candidates such as Bernie or Elizabeth Warren will emerge with more chance. Over my awareness since the 70s there has never been left-wing candidates with any chance like Bernie or Liz Warren or Corbyn. This is positive and a Trump government will stifle such by his promotion of fascism. It is naïve to think that conviction voting can ever be anything other than Trot extremism, for progressives voting must be tactical.
Not only was I angry to read this blog, I was disappointed with some of the naivety. It made me respect the wisdom I gained from the training of the experienced with my short stay in the Communist party. Where does Jonathan learn from the wisdom of the elder?
And perhaps most important although Jonathan won’t see this as important, a candidate should at least avow morality – lipservice, sila. It shows how low the western ceiling is that sila has no traction.