Do what I tell you … or the Cucuy will get you!
By now I figured I had said everything I wanted to say regarding the current presidential campaign. But then came the onslaught of emails, Facebook postings, blogs, etc., by Clintonites and Democratic partisans who question the integrity and intelligence of those of us who choose to exercise our inviolable right to self-determination by voting our conscience. [As I noted in prior blogs, I intend to vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein for President.] Hypocritically, many of these Clintonites and Democratic partisans praised Ted Cruz when he told the delegates at the Republican Convention: “Vote your conscience.”
These emails, etc., warn of how “dangerous” Donald Trump is and that what he advocates is “unprecedented.” The point is to scare voters into voting for Clinton not because she’s a good candidate but because Trump is worse.
For sure, Trump is ethically bankrupt. But Clinton is no better. Hillary Clinton is, in my estimation, the most morally and ethically corrupt politician the Democratic Party has had the effrontery to foist on the public in decades. Both Trump and Clinton are inveterate liars, and both are (rightfully) perceived by the majority of American voters as dishonest and untrustworthy. Truly, what is the qualitative difference between a candidate whom 57% of American voters view as dishonest and untrustworthy (Clinton), and one whom 58% of American voters view as dishonest and untrustworthy (Trump)? (http://www.businessinsider.com/poll-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-trustworthy-honest-2015-7)
Per the “lesser of evils” reasoning: We should teach children that if there are two schoolyard bullies, one of whom hits you twice while stealing your lunch money, and the other one hits you once while stealing your lunch money, kids should line up to be bullied by the “one-hitter” because he/she is the “lesser of evils.” And we should beat down and shame any kid who has the audacity to suggest that kids should stand up to bullies and should gravitate toward someone who is kind, friendly, and helpful. I’m not engaging in hyperbole here. This is a perfect analogy of what the “hold-your-nose-and vote-for Clinton” folks are advocating.
The Clinton-Democratic strategy views voters as little children who can be frightened into behaving. When we were kids, parents used this tactic—if you don’t do what you’re told, the Cucuy (Boogeyman) will get you! But we are no longer children and shouldn’t be treated as such.
The so-called “progressive” Left’s Cucuy is Donald Trump. These folks hate critical thinkers. All their postings end the same way: A conscientious vote, a principled vote, and specifically, a vote for the Green Party, is a vote for “dangerous” Trump.
At least stop the “Trump is unprecedented” nonsense…
Those caught in the throes of the “Cucuy” drama breathlessly portray Trump’s proposals to deport Mexicans, prohibit Muslim immigration, force Muslims to register, and isolate Muslims in certain parts of cities, etc., as unprecedented, un-American outrages. Fact is, Trump is merely warming over and serving up tried-and-true Democratic and Republican programs. Democratic and Republican political leftovers, as it were. For, Trump’s proposals have been vigorously promoted and implemented, in various permutations, by Republicans and Democrats alike over the years. Here’s a sampling:
The concept of Manifest Destiny maintained that Americans, i.e., white people, had a divine duty to dominate all the “inferior” peoples of the earth. Manifest Destiny was used to justify the campaign to forcibly assimilate and Christianize American Indians and to slaughter those who resisted.
In the 1800s American politicians blamed Chinese “coolies” for depressed wage levels and enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers. This was the start of eight decades of racist immigration policies towards Asians that began with Chinese exclusion, then Japanese exclusion, and followed by severe restrictions of Filipinos [The 1888 Scott Act and the 1892 Geary Act expanded the provisions of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and in 1902 Congress applied such laws to U.S. territories.]
Between 1929 and 1936, close to two million people of Mexican descent—of which an estimated 1.2 million were U. S. citizens—were forcibly deported to Mexico because politicians purveyed the lie that “needy American families” were without food while Mexicans in cities such as Los Angeles were on public relief. During WW II, Japanese Americans were herded up and imprisoned in government camps for the “crime” of being of Japanese descent.
And the U.S., the “bastion of democracy,” did not allow women to vote until 1920, 144 years after the country was founded. And it wasn’t until 1924 that American Indians were considered United States citizens and granted voting rights (although some states, like New Mexico, did not allow Native Americans to vote until the 1950s and 1960s). And up through the 1960s, the KKK and other Southern Democrat bigots did everything they could—including murder—to prevent black people from voting.
Sure, Trump’s racist stupidities are, charitably, obnoxious, but they are not “unprecedented” or “unheard of.” He’s drawing from American history and the documented actions of Democrats and Republicans.
Democrats and Republicans hate democracy…
The concept of democracy is rooted in the Greek terms “demos” (“the common people”) and “kratos” (“rule, strength”). A very simple and noble concept, which Americans claim to love, promote, and practice. If that were only true.
To scare people into voting for Clinton, the “Cucuy” crowd’s favorite term to describe Trump and his proposals is “fascist/fascism.” In a 2003 essay, Dr. Lawrence Britt identified the key aspects of fascism (suppression of unions, cronyism/corruption, use of scapegoats as a unifying cause, etc.) (“Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism,” Free Inquiry.Com, May 28, 2003). One of the defining characteristics of fascism identified by Britt is the suppression of political opposition, which entails the manipulation of elections by smear campaigns against opposition candidates, the manipulation of the media, the use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and the use of the judiciary to manipulate or control elections.
They claim to be different from each other, but Republicans and Democrats actually have much in common. Both claim to be for the “average” American, but both are awash in Wall Street and special-interest money (several of the Clinton “superdelegates” are Big Pharma lobbyists as are people she appointed to the Democratic Platform Committee). Republicans worship at the NRA altar; an NRA lobbyist recently sponsored a fundraiser for Clinton. Republicans are virulently anti-union; Clinton was paid handsomely by Wal-Mart to fashion the company’s militant anti-union policies, and Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, supported his state’s anti-union right-to-work law. Republicans support right-wing coups in Latin America. So does Clinton—she endorsed the illegal 2009 military coup in Honduras that let loose death squads to murder LGBT, indigenous, and environmental activists who stood up for democracy. And the list goes on.
Another of the things the Republican and Democratic parties have in common is that they both work very hard to suppress opposition, or competition, from third parties—primarily the Libertarian Party on the Republican side, and the Green Party on the Democratic side. The Republican-Democratic militant anti-third party campaigns utilize all the elements noted by Britt. They smear opposition candidates (“they’re unelectable,” “they’re fringe candidates,” etc.). The media refuses to cover them (largely because they buy into the “unelectable-fringe candidate” smears), which renders them virtually invisible to millions of potential voters. State legislatures make it very difficult, sometimes impossible, for third parties to get on the ballot, and courts routinely rule against third parties when these try to level the playing field.
Just this month, for example, a court ruled against the Libertarian and Green parties in their lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission, in which they alleged that their exclusion from the presidential debates is discriminatory. In circular reasoning, the court asserted that the Libertarian and Green parties’ failure to get media coverage is responsible for their lack of statistical support (i.e., they don’t reach 15% support in national polls). The remedy, the court said, is for the Libertarian and Green parties to get more support by getting more media coverage and financial contributions.
Third-party critics self-righteously—and erroneously—accuse third parties of running candidates only for president rather than building a party from the ground up by running for local and state offices. These critics conveniently overlook the fact that state legislatures make it very hard for third party candidates to get on local and state ballots. For example, Oklahoma requires tens of thousands of signatures. Other states have similar draconian requirements, which are put in place specifically to make it difficult, and even impossible, for third parties to obtain ballot status. Excluding third-party candidates from debates assures they will get no media coverage and therefore will not have the opportunity to generate interest, connect with potential voters nor generate poll numbers.
The Republican-Democrat assault on third parties amounts to an insidious assault on democracy itself and to massive voter suppression in that it deprives millions of voters the opportunity to vote for candidates that reflect their ideologies. You can’t get any more fascistic than that.
The Clintonites should promote their candidate by waxing eloquent about how virtuous, how ethical, how principled their candidate is, etc. If you believe in transparency, start a petition demanding that Clinton release the transcripts of her secret $625,000 meetings with Goldman Sachs (where, I believe, she sold us out to Wall Street—why else all the secrecy?). Stop insulting
my intelligence by throwing that “Cucuy” stuff at me—I’m not a child. And if you truly believe in democracy, stop demonizing those of us who actually practice it. c/s
Full disclosure: I was involved in the founding, and ran for City Council as a candidate, of a third party, El Partido de La Raza Unida, or LRU.