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"Places To Go" For Progressive Voters

By       Message Bill Willers     Permalink
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Rahm Emanuel, when President Obama's Chief of Staff, reportedly told the President not to worry about progressives because, he said, "they have no place to go". This may have been the kind of advice the President received that was like a green light for him to perpetuate and expand the US Empire's war machine, to serve up the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to see to the protection of the criminals of Wall Street from whom he, Obama, had received more cash than any politician ever.

With progressives wallowing in impotence, Obama felt free to appoint as Attorney General Eric Holder, lately of the firm of Covington and Burling [to which he has returned], making him what Matt Taibbi called "the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had". During their tenure in the Justice Department, Holder and his Assistant Attorney General, Lanny Breuer (also of Covington and Burling, where his website bio reads "He specializes in helping clients navigate financial fraud investigations"), gave Wall Street criminals to understand they were as free as birds to continue as before, to actually expand ... and, oh yes, to groom the presumptive first-woman president with a long series of speeches, the contents of which are not for the public's eyes, at $225,000 a pop.

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Maybe the most jaw-dropping appointment by Obama was that of Cass Sunstein. Sunstein, recall, was the lead author of an Orwellian article, titled "Conspiracy Theories", in which he proposes that when citizen groups disagree with official accounts of events, "government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups". That Sunstein is considered a stellar legal expert in constitutional law is grotesquely ironic enough, but when you learn that Obama chose this champion of "cognitive infiltration" of the public to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (a proper translation might read "Propaganda Bureau"), you wonder if a kind of alternative universe functions in Washington.

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Hillary Clinton when once asked about how progressives might vote, given her own history, countered with "Well, I can't believe they would want to see a Republican win". That smacked strongly of the Rahm Emanuel's "they have no place to go". Well, it may ultimately be a shock for her and her party's bureaucracy and corporate/Wall Street connections that a huge proportion of Sanders supporters are more than mere "supporters". Virtually every one I know (plenty) has taken an (sometimes profanity-laced) oath never to vote for Hillary Clinton, as she is the living embodiment of everything Republican President Eisenhower meant when he warned of a "military-industrial complex". She's that plus a massive dose of Wall Street financial crime.

If Sanders fails to win the Democratic nomination, more Sanders supporters than the DNC can imagine will be voting for Trump. Some media folks, suspecting this, have said it will be from spite. Not necessarily. The plus for Trump is that, whereas her rot is of record, Trump is largely an unknown entity. Despite his arrogance and crude behavior, he is protective of both Social Security and Medicare, those "entitlements" so in the GOP crosshairs. Although from the business sector, he is critical of excessive corporate profiteering, particularly in the sphere of military contracting, and he shows no signs of being a puppet of any foreign nation or its money-drenched US-based support groups (wink, nod).

Also, more progressives are considering the Green Party now. Chris Hedges recently published a piece on Truthdig giving his reason for supporting Jill Stein for President. Say what you will about third parties, four years ago the two-party stranglehold was so afraid of Stein's physical proximity to the "Republicrats" that it had police arrest her and take her to a US "black site" for awhile. The point is, there are now "places to go" for progressives struggling for something other than the corporate/military/Wall Street nightmare and willing to gamble. Maybe some places are anything but ideal, but I for one look forward to a shocked Democratic Party, one way or another.

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Bill Willers is emeritus professor of biology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh now living in Middleton, WI. He is founder of Superior Wilderness Action Network (SWAN) and editor of Learning to Listen to the Land and Unmanaged Landscapes, both from (more...)
 

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