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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/27/16

Who Should Bernie Voters Support Now? Robert Reich vs. Chris Hedges on Tackling the Neoliberal Order

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I don't actually think Bernie Sanders educated the public. In fact, Bernie Sanders spoke for the first time as a political candidate about the reality the public was experiencing, because even Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, was talking about economic recovery, and everything was wonderful, and people know that it's not. And when you dispossess --

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me -- let me --

CHRIS HEDGES: Let me just finish. Let me finish. When you dispossess that segment, as large as we have -- half the country now lives in virtual poverty -- and you continue to essentially run a government that's been seized by a cabal, in this case, corporate, which uses all of the machinery of government for their own enrichment and their own further empowerment at the expense of the rest of the citizenry, people finally react. And that is how you get fascism. That is what history has told us. And to sit by -- every time, Robert, you speak, you do exactly what Trump does, which is fear, fear, fear, fear, fear. And the fact that we are going to build some kind of --

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me -- let me try to --

CHRIS HEDGES: -- amorphous movement after Hillary Clinton -- it's just not they way it works.

ROBERT REICH: Let me try to inject--let me--let me try to inject--

AMY GOODMAN: Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich?

ROBERT REICH: Let me try to inject some hope in here, in this discussion, rather than fear. I've been traveling around the country for the last two years, trying to talk to tea partiers and conservatives and many people who are probably going to vote for Donald Trump, to try to understand what it is that they are doing and how they view America and why they're acting in ways that are so obviously against their self-interest, both economic self-interest and other self-interest. And here's the interesting thing I found.

This great anti-establishment wave that is occurring both on the left and the right has a great overlap, if you will, and that overlap is a deep contempt for what many people on the right are calling crony capitalism -- in fact, many people on the left have called crony capitalism. And those people on the right, many, many working people, they're not all white. Many of them are. Many of them are working-class. Many of them have suffered from trade and technological displacement and a government that is really turning its back on them, they feel -- and to some extent, they're right. Many of them feel as angry about the current system and about corporate welfare and about big money in politics as many of us on the progressive side do.

Now, if it is possible to have a multiracial, multi-ethnic coalition of the bottom 90 percent that is ready to fight to get big money out of politics, for more equality, for a system that is not rigged against average working people, where there are not going to be all of these redistributions upward from those of us who have paychecks -- and we don't even realize that larger and larger portions of those paychecks are going to big industries, conglomerates, concentrated industries that have great market power, because it's all hidden from view -- well, the more coalition building we can do, from right to left, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, left and right, to build a movement to take back our economy and to take back our democracy, that is --

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Robert Reich -- Robert Reich, I'd just like to interrupt you for a second, because we only have a minute left, and I just wanted to ask Chris one last question. In less than a minute, if you can, regardless of -- you're voting for Jill Stein, other folks are going to vote for Clinton and Trump. Where do you feel this massive movement that has developed over the last few years, this people movement, would have a better opportunity to grow, under a Trump presidency or under a Clinton presidency, assuming that one of those two will eventually be elected?

CHRIS HEDGES: I don't think it makes any difference. The TPP is going to go through, whether it's Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Endless war is going to be continued, whether it's Trump or Clinton. We're not going to get our privacy back, whether it's under Clinton or Trump. The idea that, at this point, the figure in the executive branch exercises that much power, given the power of the war industry and Wall Street, is a myth. The fact is --

ROBERT REICH: Equating -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Even on immigration?

CHRIS HEDGES: What? On immigration? I mean, let's look at Obama's record on immigration. Who's worse?

AMY GOODMAN: We've got 10 seconds.

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