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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 11/13/20

JOHN KIRIAKOU: The Depressing State of US Politics

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Donald Trump supporters demonstrating
Donald Trump supporters demonstrating
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The politics of the past month have been overwhelming. I've had enough of the disaster that has been Donald Trump over the past four years. I've had enough of the Democratic National Committee's demonization of the progressive movement. I've had it that nobody takes third parties seriously. I'm sick of politics. I've always been something of a political animal. But this latest election has just been too much. It has pushed me over the edge.

There's a lot wrong. Foremost is the hypocrisy of the Republican Party. For example, Trump's margin of victory in battleground states in 2016 was far smaller than Joe Biden's margin in those states in 2020. Yet, Trump has pulled out all the stops to delegitimize Biden's election, apparently with no memory of his or his underlings' actions from 2016.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who right now is alleging pro-Democratic voter fraud at every opportunity, said in 2016:

"You have people trying to delegitimize the president-elect of the United States right now. You have people out there that are calling for recounts that are unsubstantiated based on no evidence."

That's rich. Rudy Giuliani, the president's shameless lawyer, who at one time was actually a serious person, and who is currently leading the charge alleging voter fraud, called protestors against Trump's election in 2016 "a bunch of spoiled crybabies." I get that politics is a tough game. But this bald-faced hypocrisy is too much.

"Twitter for Conservatives"

Another point of craziness -- and I acknowledge this is just anecdotal -- is what appears to be a mass move of conservatives away from Facebook and Twitter to Parler, which describe itself as "a microblogging and social networking service." Users call it "Twitter for conservatives."

It promotes itself as a place online to "speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being 'deplatformed' for your views. Engage with real people, not bots."

Certainly there is a handful of respected conservative voices with large followings on Parler. But they're the exception. Instead, Parler is known, according to Wikipedia, as a bastion of anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny and Saudi nationalism. The site was virtually unheard of just a year ago, when it had some 100,000 users.

After Twitter began flagging some of Trump's tweets as untruthful, there was an exodus of pro-Trumpers to Parler. The site now has more than 6.8 million unique daily users. Check it out. They spend the day reinforcing their hatred and biases. It's ugly. And it's only going to get worse.

No Place for Progressives

The other downer is the realization that there won't be many seats at the table for progressives in a Biden administration. (Former Obama chief-of- staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 comment that "liberals are f*cking retards" still rings in my ears. Emanuel is now a Biden adviser.)

In These Times reported this week that Biden already is naming neoliberal war-lovers to his national security transition team. Of the 23 people who comprise Biden's Defense Department transition team, for example, eight are employees of think tanks that are funded by the country's preeminent defense contractors, including Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing.

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John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle (more...)

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