Politics
Monday, 11 July 2016 19:55

The Lesser of Two Evils?

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Lesser of Two Evils?
Try Lesser of Twenty-one Evils

You hear people complaining all the time about our election system.

People complain that there isn’t enough choice, that we need more political parties, that it sucks that we have to choose the lesser of two evils. They complain about all the problems with voting and caucuses and procedures and then complain that reform is needed immediately (never mind that laws take time to pass and be put into use).

Then the day after the election , when they didn’t get their way, they complain about a corrupt system, never lift a finger to change it, and go back to sleep for the next four years. They wake up with amnesia about the previous cycle, again surprised at caucuses and superdelegates like it’s a new thing. Again indignant at the corrupt and confusing system, again asleep, again amnesia.

The fact is, this last election cycle was anything BUT the choice of the lesser of two evils. There were 16 candidates from the right and five candidates from the left. The candidates presented on the right were so unqualified that they quickly became known as the “clown car” and were basically laughed out of the race by the American people; each candidate seemingly more unsuitable than the one before, until the right distilled itself into the personification of oblivious simple-mindedness, racism, and narcissism: Donald J. Trump. The right decided it would be best to put a small-handed conman who never worked a day in his life, had everything handed to him, dodges taxes, hires illegal aliens, and uses eminent domain to grab people’s land for his commercial developments; somebody completely unqualified, into the highest office. This is really no surprise, since this is the party that gave us Sarah Palin as a Vice Presidential nominee. The fact that they value such dimwits really does speak volumes.

The conservative part of the country chose the lesser of 16 evils. At least the lesser in their perspective.

On the other hand, we have the left. They put up five pretty good candidates. Two weren’t really presidential material, but the remaining three were thoughtful, progressive (to varying degrees), and had clear visions for how to take the country forward in a way that benefits the most people, rather than the right’s cynical views that only the elite deserve to have a decent life. Most of us on the left would have been happy to have any of the three candidates (O’Malley, Clinton, Sanders). In the end, the left chose Hillary, but not until after she was tempered with Bernie’s push to the left and O’Malley’s common sense approach. Hillary has been pushed so far left, that even SNL mocked her in one of its ‘cold open’ skits where she morphs into Bernie during her campaign ad trying to attract millenials.

 

 

I would argue that on the left we have one of the best of three “goods” (or whatever the opposite of lesser of three evils is). I was hoping for Bernie but I’ll happily take O’Malley or Clinton.

I just don’t see it as the lesser of two evils, but the reduction of qualified candidates down to the two most popular from the two major parties.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 22:15

What Does it Mean to be Progressive?

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What does it mean to be a Progressive?

Well, it means something different to everybody who calls themselves "Progressive", but there are some core values that Progressives generally agree on.

"Progressives in the 21st century continue in this tradition of democracy building and open transparency of corporate and political power. Progressive values are rooted in the American traditions of equality, fairness, due process, and democratic decision making at the deepest level possible. Progressives recognize that institutional power, both public and private, has created inequalities of race, class and gender, and that democratic governmental regulation is needed to make necessary social justice corrections for humanity worldwide. Progressives believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Bill of Rights, open access to corporate and governmental information, democratic media and individual human freedom. Progressives believe that human freedom includes the freedom from hunger, homelessness, unemployment, environmental pollution, discrimination based on physical attributes and long imprisonment for non-violent crimes.

Progressives encourage socio-economic/political systems that maximize individual participation, self-actualization, loving interpersonal relationships and healthy environments.

Progressives are a diversified bunch, who come from all political parties with a full range of human characteristics.

More importantly, progressives seek personal life styles that reflect their core values. Simplicity is highly valued through a life of slower natural foods, sustainable consumption, efficient living spaces, and a daily consciousness of striving for human betterment through social action.

Social action based on progressive values is possible locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. It is action emerging from real internalized values that lead people to self-actualization and right livelihood. One step at a time can lead us to a progressive future.
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-- Peter Phillips, PhD

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 21:42

Bernie or Bust? Think About What You Are Doing!

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Recently a Bernie-or-Bust meme made its way around Facebook circles explaining how Bernie-or-Bust supporters are only for Bernie and would never support Clinton in million years and it is not up for discussion; they are voting for Bernie and will hand this country over to Trump if they do not get their way.

Not looking for an argument, not against us, just letting you know they are willing to hand the country to TRUMP if their tantrums are not effective. Yeah that will really teach us, and advance the progressive platform. Grow up, life is not fair and throwing a tantrum or making threats is not going to make it fair or accomplish anything.

I do not see any threatening letters from Clinton supporters saying they will put Trump in charge to get revenge if they do not get their way. Maybe somebody could provide some - because I see many many many of these threatening temper tantrum letters from Bernie supporters.
Also - people need to realize that these 2 have a nearly identical voting records, the major difference is one has a super-pac (just like Obama).

How much do you think Trump is going to raise minimum wage?

How much do you think Trump is going to help with student debt?

What do you think a Trump healthcare system is going to look like? Something progressive?

How far do you think Trump will advance women's issues?

How much do you expect Trump will advance ANY progress policies?

I would argue that Hillary will be much more likely to advance these progressive policies - she has morphed so much into Sanders that even SNL made skits about it. Go to www.isidewith.com and you will see the differences between the two are negligible.
Throwing temper tantrums and making threats at election time does nothing but advance the opposition. Every vote withheld or diverted from the Democratic candidate is one more vote the Republicans will win by - it is that simple. No amount of temper tantrums, sore loser, or poor sportsmanship, or threats is going to change that.

I want Sanders. I am still hoping for a miracle, but it looks like folks want a female president more than they want a democratic socialist. Bernie waited too long to get in the race and suffered from a lack of name recognition... I cannot blame Hillary for that.
If we think the process is corrupt, then we need to work on fixing it for NEXT TIME - it is too late to do anything about it now other than work within the existing system and try to reduce gaming and shenanigans. The processes take time to change because laws have to be changed and that takes time - exerting huge effort on a pointless activity is only going to cause more frustration. Everything has a time and place, and immediately before the election is not the time to try to change everything.

The best thing we can do is get out the vote and #VoteBlueNoMatterWho