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September 26, 2016

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This could pass for this country's obituary. I don't disagree with any of it.

This nation is flirting with a psychopath because it's been relentlessly dumbed down over the decades by cable-TV news, talk radio, and e-mails from our Uncle Charlies. The real question for us here is why the left wants to split its coalition one more time in order to make a statement. If Trump wins, that statement could read like a obituary for any hope that there's a mainstream alternative to madness.

I made a hopeful remark late last winter that said Hillary Clinton would "mop the floor with that fraud". Sadly, it turns out I misjudged not only what ought to be national revulsion with that orange horror of a human being but the left-wing purists who cannot imagine compromising with their own coalition or its centrist candidate. I think this points out the problem with young people who do not read history or appreciate the complexity of the world we live in. Instead, they collapsed the core meaning of center-left politics itself, which involves not utopianism but the idea of progress itself.

There is no majority for progressive values that does not include millions who self-identify as moderate. That's why the party cannot afford to be a church. Coalitions must necessarily accept people who fall outside the precincts of certitude and ideology. The Green Party fills that human need on the left to be right rather than effective. A mainstream political party, however, cannot afford to be so righteous.

For us, the coalition has to be the message. We who are willing to preserve the safety net, fight climate change, expand health-care coverage, take the claims of women and minorities seriously, and maintain fiscal sanity are a near majority. When we split our coalition for the sake of imaginary purity, we also erode the possibility that there is any political solution possible. We are the message. Please, if you want to make a statement, don't do so by sabotaging this coalition and electing Donald Trump.

Jon,

I don't disagree with anything you have written here.

But I do think you should watch the debate.

My two cents.

I never watch political debates. Have many better things to do.

Pero, mi Amiga esta mirando.

Excellent column Jon. Salient points. However I am troubled by your use of the word Treason. I guess if I write in Karl Marx I am guilty of Treason. Does that sound like América? Of course the election of Trump might make us Amerika. Whatever your decesion, don't forget to exercise your right to vote. To vote for who ever you choose.

Cal, a vote for Jill Stein is a vote Trump.

Well, that was a solid and commanding performance by Hillary Clinton. Trump was energetic but he couldn't disguise his virtually complete ignorance on pretty much everything. His body language, smirking, and interrupting made him appear almost deranged. The contrast was so stark that it was, at times, almost painful to watch.

I was nervous going into this debate. I feel much better afterwards.

To take this a step further, is anything but a vote for HRC a vote forTrump? Would this include not voting? I'm with her, I guess, but expect that many will hold their noses and not cast a vote for POTUS.

Dawgzy, if the effect of voting third party or not at all is to elect Trump, then you are responsible.

Thanks, I feel so powerful. BTW I' m planning on voting HRC.

Soleri, I know that.
My point is its not Treason (maybe stupid)to vote for someone besides Hillary.
Donnie lied 16 times per Huffington.

Cal, Rogue's viewpoint, which I share, is that this is not simply an exercise in self-expression, that there is a stark moral choice here to either support or oppose evil. I haven't used the word "treason" myself but given the stakes of this election, I can understand why he might want to use a high-impact word. Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the survival of this republic and possibly the planet, too.

Just to be clear, I would never have made this remark about any major-party candidate prior to this year.

Soleri, Agreed.
I understand the need for strong emphasis
I just have a problem with what treason is?
It gets used indiscriminately against folks like, Ellsberg and Snowden. They may have committed violations of criminal statues but in my book they are not traitors.
Kinda like I have trouble with the word "Patriot".
We need people that point out "evil."
like many on this list.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_whistleblowers

If exercising voting options other than the hand picked hack the Democratic establishment crammed down the nations throat is treason or stupid then how far we have fallen.

Rather than abusing those who refuse to play along year after year hoping for a change maybe it would be more productive to take a breath and examine the system.

If Trump wins the election it won't be because of those who will no longer allow a criminal political system paint them into the corner of shitty choices. The blame for this disaster will lie squarely with those who manipulate the Democratic Party and all those hand wringers who year after year hold their nose and vote for the sorry excuses placed before them by a fatally flawed political system.

A criminal and person dumber than Bush who didn't learn from endless wars or a lunatic? Let's see. Guess I'll stand for trial under AG Talton in the Clintoon regime and vote for Jill Stein.

http://www.unz.com/article/les-deplorables/

Many Bernie supporters warned that Hillary is a weak candidate - and this has turned out correct. For reasons I don't fully understand, many people simply hate her - which is one of the reasons the polls are so tight.

I do agree that a protest vote would not only be childish, but dangerous. Nader gave us W, the worst President in our nation's history.

Hopefully, Nader also gave us a warning

The objectively pro-Trump purists have manifested the heavenly ideal of absolute certitude and purity. As always, only they know the real score. Other people do not matter. Politics to them is about being right and fuck everyone else.

Jill Stein will get around 2% of the vote from these pathological narcissists. Not even Bernie will join their self-pleasuring cult. Karl Rove sends his regards and best wishes.

Captures the national hysteria nicely. The a few deep breaths.

Two important items that you mentioned that I wish more Americans considered (especially outside of election season):

(1) "He's not controllable and the modern presidency has enormous power — power that has not even begun to be pushed to its full dangerous potential."

The President has taken (often without sincere fight from a spineless Congress) powers that do not belong in the hands of the chief executive. The Iraq Resolution being a perfect example -- it is Congress job to declare war. Period. That they've given the President the authority to run pseudo-wars anywhere around the globe (while Congress funds such activities but) so they can go back to their districts and say, "Well I didn't vote for that war -- but I need to fund the troops that the President chose to send over there!" shows how broken Congress is. They cannot take a stance on any issues and only come together for bipartisan support when the issue is a huge handout to the most powerful lobbies. We are at a point now where, by design, Congress cannot effectively check the President.

(2) There is inadequate representation in Congress. In addition to term limits, we need to address the Apportionment Act that has changed our representative to citizen ratio from 1 rep per 30,000 citizens to 1 rep per 720,000 citizens! We do not need to return to 1:30k but, 1 gerrymandered lobbied Congressman per 700k citizens -- the individual has no voice here, they cannot. And the representative can't reach their constituents so, yeah, they take care of whoever will pay for the PR and television ads that get them re-elected.


We talk about how Trump is a consequence of what the GOP has come to embrace but I think we need to realize that the THREAT of what a President Trump could be should also be addressed. Get back to restricting the powers of the President (regardless of which party he is), forcing Congress to do their jobs, and have an electorate that has a shot at being heard and being able to hold their Congressmen accountable. Until then, yeah, we're paralyzed by "the lesser of two evils" which, in the long run, is a death sentence for the middle class.

Amen, Jon.

Soleri made my case well re those of you offended by my statement that "protest votes for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson are just short of treason." The stakes are too high this time for the self-indulgence of purity.

And I fear this will be a recurring crisis even if Hillary wins. Trump is the GOP now. We may see news stories about yet more soul-searching after defeat. But the Republicans will return more extreme, more dangerous, than ever.

Look, if I were young and strong, I would move to Scandinavia. I would prefer to live in a "we" society, not merely a market — and get high-speed trains. If I were all-powerful, I would allow a peaceful breakup of the now unworkable union. No more mooching off the independent blue states by the red ones. Cascadia keeps its nuclear weapons at Bangor, Wash., just to be safe.

But I have to live in the United States as it is. Every bit of progress has been made by imperfect political leaders working with unsavory coalitions. Don't think that the language of the academy regarding gender and race breaking into the mainstream will change this.

In addition, while a president seeking to do harm and use the military has great leeway, he or she is very constrained on the homefront. This was another of my frustrations with Bernie Sanders. Want real change? You have to win the Congress — and the state legislatures and governorships. How would Jill Stein govern with no Green majorities in Congress? Basic civics aren't so basic, apparently.

My day job compelled me to live tweet the debate. My take: Hillary was prepared, poised and presidential. She won. But did she change any minds?

My fellow Millennials also need to understand that Johnson is just as crazy as Trump. He just hums to a slightly different tune.

For one, he wants to ignore Climate Change science. Second, a serious presidential candidate should also know what things like Aleppo are without having them explained to him.

"The stakes are too high this time for the self-indulgence of purity."

Jon, I get that Trump as president would be dangerous to the world but with all due respect, Treason is punishable by death. Are you and Soleri suggesting thats OK? If so please shoot me as I am opposed to hanging.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Voltarie: "Monsieur l’abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire.
Here is one rendering in English:

Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

IMHO: Given Trumps performance to date, he is a loser. He is a legend in his own mind, ONLY.

PS, PURITY: I cant think of a sentence I would use the word Purity In. There is likely no such thing in all the galaxies.

In support of Jon and Soleri:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-am-incredibly-enthusiastic-about-voting-for-hillary_us_57e9be5ce4b095bd8969fdd8?section=&

Jon,

Thanks for the comments although your view of treason and mine are far apart.

Perhaps it would be useful to examine how it is that the likes of Trump is doing so well. In fact, it is looking to me like he has a fair chance of taking the election. While both of these candidates are deeply flawed experts at working the system Trump's advantage is that he has gained his privilege working the system from the private sector side and is willing to call a rigged and corrupt political system what it is, not that he would want to fix it. Trump is a showman. He is giving the rubes what they want to hear. People are angry with the status quo and want change.

You will never hear Clinton say the system is rigged. She is a product and beneficiary of the corrupt system she and her husband have done so much to put in place.

I have spent a lifetime as a blue collar worker. Never have I seen the economy so unfair. Millions cannot find decent employment, housing, daycare, healthcare etc. Trump calls the system rigged. Many agree and see that Clinton won't say so. That is all many need to know.

How I read it is that treason is used more emotionally than literally (pathos vs logos). I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth but that's how I understood it.

Ross, if that is true I those voters and blue collar workers need to review Trump's economic/tax policy. He is rigging it to benefit the wealthy. Clinton's plan would do the opposite.

phxSUNSfan reads it correctly. Plus, I wrote "just short of."


He shouted at her in classic abusive style. I hope every woman in Red America was paying attention.

He WILL rig it to benefit the wealthy.

She HAS rigged it to benefit the wealthy.

PSF, how did you come up with these being OPPOSITE?

Phxsunfan, was obvious it was emotional! But I felt a need to stoke the fire.
But in the end I give a pass to the almost always "logos" Jon Talton. That said this has been a very enjoyable blog. I like it when Soleri gets worked up. His symbolic usage and poetic rythum improve.

Jon, I prefer Uruguay. Ocean and Sand. A few cactus and they seem to elect humble presidents, Vote for Jose Mujica.

ross, electing a Republican president would be disaster for the middle class. Tax rates for the rich would be slashed, Obamacare would be overturned (and 20 million Americans would lose their coverage), women would lose autonomy over their own bodies, the EPA would be sharply circumscribed, allowing unfettered carbon emissions, thus accelerating the climate crisis into a full-blown catastrophe.

Saying the system is rigged and blaming the Democrat is so painfully stupid it makes my head ache just to type these words. Only Democrats fight for fairer taxes, campaign finance reform, a tighter safety net, environmental sanity, and labor protections. Republicans do the opposite. Yet, you're suggesting Trump is an effective critic of the system that has made him obscenely - and unjustifiably - rich. The cognitive dissonance here is overwhelming.

Trump doesn't care about your issues. He says these things precisely because he knows how to yank people's chains. He's a demagogue first and last. He won't build that wall, he won't tear up trade agreements, he won't ban corporations from offshoring jobs. He's a complete and total fraud leveraging faux-populism to convince low-information voters to substitute emotion for reason. He's succeeded all-too well, as your capitulation to this madness shows.

Trump bragged last night about NOT paying taxes. If you're in the working class, you're likely making up the difference. What makes you think Trump gives a fuck about you? Does he have any track record of helping other people? Is he identified with any public causes designed to make life fairer and less cruel? No. Donald Trump is and always has been about Donald Trump. He's a showman like PT Barnum knowing a sucker is born every minute. When struggling people vote Republican, there's probably one overarching reason why: race.

Trump is not an anomaly in the Republican party but the culmination of 40+ years of race baiting, bigotry, cruelty, and pandering to the most primitive and detestable elements in American society. I have no idea who you are. Maybe you're real. Or maybe you're simply a troll. Whatever you are, you're trying to split the only force in American life for progressive values. The coalition is all we have. When useful idiots like you try to damage this coalition, I perk up and pay attention.

You are a tool.


See whatI meant !

soleri,

Your name calling reminds me of Trump. Go back and read again what I wrote. I am not singling out the D's as deck-stackers. Both parties are equally opportunistic. Both are out to create conditions they are poised to exploit at the expense of the common well being. Just because I am a critic of both parties don't paint me as a Republican.

Do you really think wealthy D's are doing less to avoid taxes than Trump? Why do you suppose so much of the Clinton Foundation's money is overseas? Have you noticed that the heart and core of the Repub. neo-con establishment is supporting Clinton? Why is that? Birds of a feather?

I would hope you could respond without condescension and labeling. The country is in one hell of a mess and belittling differing opinions isn't going to get us anywhere.

Care to talk?

ross, please. You're either a troll trying to split apart the progressive coalition, or you're utterly delusional. There is no change possible without a viable coalition of progressives, moderates, minorities, and enviros. When you attack the ONLY alternative to Donald Trump, it's clear what you're doing. You want Donald Trump to win. This makes you an asshole.

Why should anyone believe you? Do you have any special insights how to somehow damage the Democrats without helping Republicans? This is not rocket science. Politics in this country is binary. Every low-information Bernie Bro who comes in here promising a revolution if we only do things his way needs to show how and where. What are your examples? Where has your cult succeeded in changing the political paradigm? Extra points if it happened in a complex political unit and not a college town.

I'm sorry if I condescend to people who propagate nonsense. People like you are killing this country. You subscribe to inane conspiracy theories hatched in the fever swamps of the alt-left. You know with absolute certitude that you are right. The left's epistemic closure is every bit as ironclad as that on the right.

WOW solari you sure have the secret of how to change opinions through reason. Tell me more about the progressive coalition you are so proud of. Why would any thinking person imagine that voting out of fear election after election is going to cause any worthwhile change. The corporatists have you and the system by the balls and you just keep on playing the same loosing game. Good luck.

I think Bertran Russell said something like, :Every man wants to be god and few are able to think it's immpossible".

Let the word war rage on! Please check your guns with the Hat and Cloak girl.

It's nice to pretend that all it would take for the American public to rise up and throw out the "corporatists" is a fair hearing and level playing field for our third (and fourth) parties.

However, revolutions are messy, unpredictable things and the vast majority of Americans aren't really the revolutionary type. They are more the couch potato, what's on the TV, type.

So I suppose the question is, which Party is more likely to attempt to rein in the worst excesses of the corporations? The Party of Elizabeth Warren or the Party of Mitch McConnell?

Also, if opinions could be changed through reason, Trump would only have the votes of the certifiably insane. Say 10-15%, tops. And not the 40-45% he currently has. I guess the lesson is that there are many people with whom it just isn't possible to reason.

Oh, they might seem like nice, normal folks on the surface. But scratch off the veneer of polite society and you find a rich vein of crazy, misguided, outdated, just plain wrong, ideas. Ideas that they refuse to give up.

B Franklin,

I agree with your hope for which party has the best hope for redemption. Unfortunately the D's are not the party of Elizabeth Warren, the D's are the party of Clinton. Look back at how Bubba moved the party away from the working class and delivered it to Wall Street. Does anyone really expect a different result from Hillary?

I heard Clinton on the radio today saying she expects the largest voter turn out in years. Really? A large turnout for the two worst offerings ever paraded before the American people for their approval?

If there is any hope for the D's to re grow some spine it will not come from electing Hillary. Voting for either of these two sends the message that you are not ready to demand change. Your vote in this case only gives the winner a degree of cover to claim a mandate. Better to spoil your ballot and send them a message about how you really feel. That is unless you are happy with the choices offered.

IMHO,I believe Trumpism has given the racists and misogynists an excuse to come out of the closet.We had hoped that the disease was limited to a majority of the Republican party,but the latest polls show that it is much more insidious than we feared.Trump's 30 years remark framed her for allowing Bill's peccadillos and the racists remarks were used throughout the Republican primaries.All we had to do was call out the evil,but instead the American voter has embraced it.I have never felt so depressed about our country since Viet Nam and Nixon.

ross, are you old enough to vote? Have you ever lived outside a college town without trust fund money?

I thought naive fools like you became extinct in the 1970s.

Trust fund babies, what a breed.

ross, that progressive coalition is what wins elections. You don't win elections, or has that escaped your attention? So, you comment on internet blogs to bleat your ineffectuality as if it were a clarion call to the virtue of being a loser. The vanity of the political fringes is always amazing to behold.

Let's be clear: you're not that smart, so freelancing your own political movement is rather daft. One reason why we have coalitions/parties is to identify the broader movement we identify with and sign up with that team. So, in America, people who support the idea of social democracy, humanism, environmental stewardship, and social justice coalesce under one banner, usually called the Democratic Party. People who support hierarchy, racial privilege, cultural reaction, and greed will coalesce under the Republican Party banner. This also illustrates a basic split in human consciousness, so politics is almost like a Rorschach test now.

The Greens can't win elections but they can sabotage the progressive coalition out of spite, which they did in 2000. Did you learn anything from that? Probably not. George W Bush was perhaps the worst president in modern American history. He picked two ideological zealots for the Supreme Court, which then overturned Citizens United. He misled the nation to a disastrous war in Iraq, the worst foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. He cut taxes on the rich, greenlighted a housing bubble, presided over an epic crash on Wall Street, and radicalized the Republican Party to a point that no longer has any real moral agency. It's only program over the past seven years has been nihilistic rage at government and empiricism.

Think about what you're doing. There are some really smart people who read this blog but as the Bernie Bubble showed, a lot of them are also really childish. They think all you need for a "revolution" is their own good intentions and self-righteousness. They tried to initiate a purification ritual in the Democratic Party despite having no loyalty to or even membership in it. They then decided a passive-aggressive campaign against the mainstream nominee would teach all of us a lesson. Here's the lesson I learned from your tribe: it's ALL about you and your vanity. Screw everyone else.

I'm a bore on this subject because I don't see much point in losing elections or throwing them to Republicans. You only win if you can get to 50+1. You have yet to show how the pious left can get beyond 3%. But, once again, in close elections you can preen your narcissism at the expense of genuine progressives (aka: people who live in the real world) and let Republicans win so they might better rape and pillage at everyone's expense. That's your real platform. Fuck the world! I'm right!

True confession: I'm not that smart either. I can't even begin to understand the daunting complexities of public policy let alone figure it out on my own. This is why political parties are so vitally important, including their deep benches in business, academe, think tanks, and foundations. This is how you can craft policy and advance the national project (think of Elizabeth Warren who emerged from this culture to political prominence). You can't do this with your rag-tag team of conspiracy theorists and sanctimonious twits.

Politics that divorces itself from expertise, institutional memory, and pragmatism is a civic disaster. The most obvious example is the current Republican Party, now a relic of a once functional coalition that has descended into the muck of racism, xenophobia, and a cult of personality. The Greens are scarcely any better, catering to chemtrail nutters, anti-vaxxers, and hysterical Luddites.

This nation is having an existential moment of truth right now. Do we elect as president a competent if uninspiring woman, or a psychopathic blowhard who promises to shake things up? Decisions, decisions! No, there is no decision except to grow up and respect reality. That's it. Your program like your rad-left jargon is just garbage. It's not serious and it's not anything an informed citizen would choose. You can type, however, so there's that faint hope you can confound reality and triumph in some small corner of this vast and unthinking maelstrom that is our discourse.

Last three lines of Soleri's post;
Pure exquisite Poetry.

soleri,

Your problem, besides your frequent name calling is your blind faith that the D's are good and the R's are bad. They are both answering to the same master I guess you don't see it yet. Just keep drinking that kool-aid. It keeps you regular.

Worth a mention...

http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2016/09/27/hillary-clinton-endorsement/91198668/

It's impossible to have a conversation with an ignorant child. You don't know enough to understand this. It's easy to understand how you think you have all the answers for this reason. I'm just telling you that politics is much more complicated than you know. Thanks for the discussion.

Jon, the Trump camp makes a very similar party-unity argument to the one you have made. They use it to try to convince those of us in the "NeverTrump" camp about how we're destroying the Supreme Court, risking the future of the country, etc., if we don't vote for Trump.

The implication is that we're being big babies just because we find his positions and statements morally objectionable or his behavior pathologically dangerous.

So, philosophically, if all liberals should vote for Clinton, then your argument would also imply that all conservatives should vote for Trump.

The Trumpers' argument is we have to hold our nose and vote for Trump because of the Supreme Court, etc. That's basically all Ted Cruz's endorsement letter was about.

I do believe in voting every time so I will not be sitting this one out; assuming there are no changes in the field, I'll be voting for Johnson, so maybe that balances things out and we can all give our blessing for Cal to write in Jose Mujica or Karl Marx. :-)

I do personally believe there are lessons learned when third-party voting costs major parties elections. One great example are the original Progressives of the turn of the 20th century.

I have a right to vote my conscience, as does every American.

Mark:

No, you don't.

Cause Soleri says so.

Mark,

Nothing about Trump is conservative. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would be supporting Hillary. So don't be fooled.

Trump's proposed Supreme Court nominees are clearly in the conservative column:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/09/trump-puts-out-new-list-of-potential-supreme-court-nominees.php

http://dailysignal.com/2016/09/23/a-conservative-take-on-trumps-new-supreme-court-nominee-list/

INPHX, just a note: anyone who would vote for Trump is beyond the pale. Go look in the mirror. You are a moral cretin.

IHPHX, the last time I checked, the KKK, assorted other white supremacists, climate change deniers, flat earthers, and a whole passel of homophobes, xenophobes, and misogynists were in the conservative column, too.

Y'all must be very proud of the company you keep.

Soleri:

You were off these blogs for quite some time; I can only assume that the um,... well,... errr,... uhhh, well, let's just say the "facility" perhaps did not have Internet access or that maybe Nurse Ratchet (wisely) revoked your privileges.

In any case, I posted quite some time ago that I'm no fan of Trump and it would be very hard for me to vote for him. My rationale is a little saner than your obvious distaste (not that it's difficult to be saner than you). His temperament and his complete lack of consistency on issues important to conservatives make it difficult for me to support him. And for deficit hawks like me, it gets almost impossible.

i think the difference is that I get it. The millions in this country who have been left behind are looking for change. Not a career politician/ bureaucrat who has a shot at the White House primarily because she picked the right guy to marry who also has more baggage than the 3:10 to Yuma.

My posting of his SCOTUS picks was simply to point out that contrary to Rogue's post, he has SOME conservative traits. There's others (immigration, crime, a few more) but I find him very difficult to brand as a conservative. And the temperament matters- not because he has his finger on the nuclear triggers (that's silly), but because I find it very difficult to believe he can sit down with Congress and and implement solutions. You know, like the last 6 years or so.

You know what I think both sides lament? If Bernie (or someone that far left)ever had a shot, it would be against a candidate as damaged as Trump. And the same on the GOP- I think Rubio, Jeb, Kasich, and maybe even Cruz would be way ahead of a candidate as damaged as HRC.

INPHX, you are a flagrant hypocrite. You're supporting someone who will explode the deficit, restrict trade, kowtow to Russia, deport millions who happen to have unacceptably brown skin along with Spanish accents, and establish a religious test for people who would enter the US and trash talks the most dynamic economy in the world.

What would Reagan do?

Roll over in his grave.

But it's all good because Trump, the least conservative nominee for the GOP in modern times comes with a magic R by his name. That's all that really matters to you. Because you have the principles, morals, and standards of a streetwalker.

Donald Trump is toxic racist. You supported his racist Birther lie because......well.....let's just say toxic types relate well to each other. I have screamed to you about the devolution of the Republican Party for years on this blog. You are the proof. You and your party have finally arrived at the metaphysical low point that is the Trump candidacy. You can't sink any lower.

Wow. Just...wow.

The "millions in this country who have been left behind" were left behind in large part by Republican policies, Republican indifference, and Republican stonewalling.

The fact that many of them have been, and continue to be, fooled by these same Republicans playing up cultural issues, and blaming minorities, women, gays, whatever, for all of our problems, is the only reason that the Republican Party continues to exist.

Trump is the logical culmination of 38 years of Republican hate and fear based policy.

You should revel in that--you've earned it.

Hello INPHX,

Welcome to the club. I was feeling rather superior to the pitiful "moral cretin" label you earned from the bard of the blog a couple posts ago but you are advancing rapidly. You made it clear to streetwalker in only one additional post. You still have a way to go to catch up but don't despair.

I hear what you are saying about the mood of the general public, especially those who have seen their jobs off shored and their mandated 401-K's pillaged by the combined efforts of the political elite of both color codes.

The nation is starving for change and the established power structure offers 2 shit sandwiches. I guess the one wit D on it tastes fine to the bard.

Well gotta run, I need to find my secret decoder ring and check in with Moscow.

Good on you, IMPHX & Ross. Perhaps you can get Solly-Baby to explode tonight.

So, you deny that Trump is a toxic racist?

Or you just don't care?

And you deny that Republican economic policies--going back to Saint Reagan's trickle down voodoo--caused most, if not all, of our systemic economic problems?

And you deny that the Republican Party has managed to play a shell game with abortion, gay rights, religious "freedom", and gun rights to rile up the rubes and distract them from the real damage Republican policies have done, and continue to do?

Hmmm.

Is this willful ignorance or just deep rooted stupidity?

I Googled Solly Baby-it looks like a white mans version of an American Indian baby carrier, worn backwards?

Franklin, did U mean shallow rooted?

When you normalize and mainstream racism like INPHX, Teri Dudas, and root do, it's for a reason. As B Franklin notes, it's the only way a party of grifters and plutocrats can win. As I've already noted, Donald Trump is not an anomaly in this toxic arrangement. He's merely the culmination of 40+ years of Southern Strategy. Divert the white working class with racial grievance while you pick their pockets.

Which side are you on? This is a crossroads election. America is flirting with disaster not because the economy is struggling, or that terrorism is rampant or that everything is going to hell. No. This game is as old as time itself. Frighten the old and uneducated with tribal division. It's the only way the grifters can win now . They'll do anything they can to preserve their economic arrangements, including nominating the most spectacularly unqualified person ever to be president.

At the risk of earning yet another label let me once again state an opinion that many in this country share. The game is rigged and both corporations posing as political parties are in on the fix. Sure corp R is crooked, on the take and out to screw the public out of what ever it can to please the owners, the D's are not far behind and closing fast. Didn't you notice when Bubba took a hard right and out flanked even Reagan? Do I have to spell it out? NAFTA, GAT, welfare reform, the criminalizing of the bulk of young black society. These asults on the poor and working class didn't go down without the support of corp D. Do I need to get into the wars and bombings this country has been waging non stop since WWII at least? Do I need to point out how each party attempts to out do the other on how big their weapons are as the economy circles the drain and innocents around the globe are vaporized? The supreme court? What besides a lack of spine is stopping corp D from using the same tactics corp R uses?

The problem with people like you solari is that you refuse to see that the political corporation you despise is not all that much different from the one you love when it comes down to the matters that count. The problem is systemic.

Pull the cord and the Chatty Cathy(s) spew.

Racism and it's all the GOP's fault. See, that's why Obama is a lousy President. Not because he had absolutely no leadership success in his history. Because of the Southern Strategy.

Somehow you guys missed the misogyny accusation- does anyone need to edit?

And Soleri asks the rhetorical what would Reagan do.

He'd lead. And he'd win.Just like always.

And Soleri shows again his fairly weak reading skills. Did you miss the part where I wrote

"In any case, I posted quite some time ago that I'm no fan of Trump and it would be very hard for me to vote for him. My rationale is a little saner than your obvious distaste (not that it's difficult to be saner than you). His temperament and his complete lack of consistency on issues important to conservatives make it difficult for me to support him. And for deficit hawks like me, it gets almost impossible."


Trey reading before you respond. It helps.

ross, I'm sorry everything is so horrible that the only solution is just to pull the trigger - metaphorically speaking - and let Trump win. Still, for people who not as hysterical as you are, the stakes are much higher. Corporations, of course, have too much power. You don't limit their power by helping Republicans since this is the entire point of their politics - helping the rich and powerful. Democrats have traditionally been a countervailing force to this. It's why Dodd-Frank passed almost exclusively with Democratic support while Republicans were almost unanimously opposed. Now, in a better world, we would have had something even more stringent. Democrats can no longer leverage their support among workers alone since the decline of labor unions. They troll for donations in the only places they can find them, including Wall Street and corporations. But that's the system, thanks with an able assist from our delusional Green Party that decided to help George W Bush defeat Al Gore, leading to Citizens United being overturned.

A revolution is not going to happen, and if it did, it would result in such bloodshed and chaos that a military dictatorship would fill the void. Nor will the Greens and purists levitate the Pentagon and usher in a new Age of Aquarius. This is fantasy. Power politics remains our best strategy. We can't - and won't - win everything we want all at once but we can push back hard against the plutocracy if we band together. This means a mobilized citizenry who will vote for our issues. That necessitates a strong and viable coalition. It means something like the Democratic Party, ineffectual as it often is. There is no other way.

I asked you upthread how the pious left can somehow persuade a majority of Americans to vote for them. The sorry truth is that your tribe doesn't have the legions and armies you think you do. That's why you're commenting here and not on some obscure left-wing website. You need organization, volunteers, money, and the ability to compromise. In other words, the very qualities that characterize the Democratic Party.

You can't get to the Promised Land on the wings of unicorns. Your jargon and certitude do not translate to a functional majority for systemic change. Yes, incrementalism is frustrating and slow. Short of violent revolution, there is no other way.

INPHX, you will vote for Trump. That's why you're already WHITEwashing him with his "conservative" SCOTUS picks. It's why Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the vast majority of registered Republicans are voting for him. This is your Faustian bargain exacting its payment in what used to count as conscience.

You've been all over the map this season with nonsense choices for president, from the catatonic Ben Carson, to that shrill virago of corporate failure, Carly Fiorina. You were even suggesting, in your nice ratfucking way, that you might vote for Bernie Sanders. What you won't do is vote for person who is actually qualified to be president. Or do you think Gary Johnson somehow fills that description? A guy who can't even name a single foreign leader.

You're a Republican troll excusing your party's racism with the diehard intensity of a white nationalist. It's why you excuse your - and Trump's - racist Birther lie. You can't even manage an insincere apology for your obvious bigotry. Your Goebbels-like deflections aside, you understand there is no functional Republican majority without appeals to racists. Why else do Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, and Matt Drudge count as your party's intelligentsia? Even George Will changed his party registration! When you lose that dork, the end is nigh (and not a minute too soon if you love this country). What a joke you are.

Soleri:

You display the moral certainty of the KKK.

This is great,
someone run a google poll.
Soleri or Inphx?
no fair for write ins for Ross or Dudas

Solari,

Let me set the record straight. I have voted in every election since I was allowed by law. I became of voting age in 1970. I had been old enough to be sent by a Democratic president and congress to kill or die for democracy in Viet Nam but not old enough to vote for 3 years at that time.
In my entire voting career I have never once voted for a Republican candidate for federal office. I have been a corp D precinct committee officer. I have served as an appointee on a number of county and state advisory and management groups. I have played the game within the system and have earned my right to my opinion.

My opinion is this. You and your dogmatic approach to hating all things R and loving all things D is the problem that will make it near impossible to resolve the morbid sickness our political system suffers from.

Of course corp R is rolling in dirty money. But don't excuse corp D for doing the same exact thing. What do you think the Clinton Foundation is if not a giant machine to hoover up as much cash as it can from every possible source no matter how dirty or bloody.

Why do you think corp D went to so much trouble to insure HRC got the nomination? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the Clinton's are the gate keepers to a huge pile of dirty money? I think it is. Bernie saw and said that and a whole lot of potential corp D voters agerrd and responded. Being forced to show the whip is what has cost corp D dearly. That power play will haunt corp D for generations. Thank you Bernie for exposing the rot at the core of corp D. It is lucky for Clinton that Trump is the corp R offering because I doubt she would have a snowball's chance in hell of beating any of the other corp R hopefuls.

You try to brow beat others into the idea that not voting for Clinton is a vote for Trump. Bull shit! If Clinton can't convince a voter of her worth then she deserves to lose that vote. Not voting for an unpalatable candidate is a right you would deny if you could. Those of us who do not share your paranoid perspective are, to use a few of your words, ignorant children, streetwalkers, cretins, flagrant hypocrites, assholes etc,

Is this how you think Trump will be defeated?

Speaking only about the front-runner, what is the response when Clinton gets into office and continues the status quo? When it's bipartisanship for Wall Street handouts, war contracts, monopolistic mergers, and "evolving" to embrace the TPP?

My biggest 'fear' is that Trump has pulled the Democrats to an inelastic right where candidates like Clinton are heralded as 'progressives'. People point out that Reagan and Goldwater would not have supported Trump -- what does it say that a former Goldwater Girl is now the Democratic standard? That, as hard as progressives railed against former GOP Presidents like Reagan and George W Bush, they're enthusiastic about the opportunity to sweep in someone from much of the same cloth because she is not Trump?

Unless the true progressives are careful, they're going to lose their party to the right as the Tea Party and the Trump Right pull the GOP platform deeper red and the Democratic Party follows the trend in order to pick off the moderates. Give it 12 years and it's possible to see a hard-right GOP and a right-center Democratic Party, one that reminds true progressives that a vote against the right-center candidate is a vote for the hard-right candidate.

Then again, if the Democrats can actually pull a couple presidential nominees from their own ranks, as oppose to anointing whoever is next in line (Kaine will probably want to be President after HC), they may have a shot at staying true to themselves while still looking like the sane party.

Harry Reid is a democrat and the last of the liberal Mormons. As he fades away, He said in the following that the Republicans "OWN FRANKENSTEIN"

WASHINGTON — With Congress set to flee town until after the November elections, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the Senate floor Thursday to mark a milestone of sorts: eight years of obstructing and insulting the nation’s first black president.

“As this Republican Congress heads for yet another un-earned recess, I feel compelled to comment on how Republicans have treated the president of the United States,” Reid said.

“History will look back and note that Republicans in Congress treated President Obama with unprecedented disrespect,” Reid said, arguing that soon after Obama was elected, the GOP set out to make him a one-term president and obstruct anything he did.

Reid checked off a list that included Obama also being the first president to be denied a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee, the first to be denied a hearing on his budget, and the first to be asked to show his birth certificate. Obama faced more than 500 filibusters in the Senate, Reid added.

“No one expected them to agree with everything he did ― but America deserved better than the way Republicans behaved toward President Obama,” Reid said.

The soon-to-retire Democratic leader also argued that the shabby treatment of Obama is part of why the GOP is saddled with Donald Trump as its presidential nominee.

“The only thing Republicans have truly done this year was to prove that they are the party of Trump,” Reid said. “Republicans would have us all believe that Trump just fell out of the sky, and somehow mysteriously became the nominee of their party.

“But that is not how it is,” Reid said. “Trump is no anomaly. He is the monster that Republicans built. He is their Frankenstein’s monster. They own him.”

OK Ross is in the google poll.
Ross, What Jon and Soleri have been saying for two years now is the country can’t afford to have any of the GOP candidates as president. At least that’s my take. And now they are saying the country will or should break apart if Trump is elected. As I have posted I have been a Bernie supporter all along. However despite all the rhetoric, name calling, prose and poetry on this blog, I have to agree that a vote outside the two candidates, while a right, is probably not logical. Where I differ on who to vote for is that I believe that both candidates will be a complete disaster for the US. So I must decide which disaster to vote for. It will not be John Birch or Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or Albert Camus. But only I will know how I make my mark come November (but Putin). Nothing that has been posted here offends me, some things I disagree with but take no offense. This particular blog has been the reason I visit here, so let’s keep it up. “Make my Day”.
Cal lash from the Great Sonoran desert, what’s left of it.

Cal:

The duty of an elected official is to protect the interest of his or her constituents.

Not to bow down for the President.

As someone once said, elections have consequences. And starting with the 2010 mid terms, a lot of America said no thanks to Obama and his minions.

Didn't Reid used to be majority leader?

U R Absolutely Right.
I just thought it was factually interesting?

How about cute, try this.

The latest Republican to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over GOP nominee Donald Trump is a longtime friend of Clinton’s opponent in the primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Tony Pomerleau, a prominent Republican businessman and developer in Sanders’ hometown of Burlington, Vermont, endorsed Clinton in a charmingly brief letter to the Clinton campaign that was provided to The Huffington Post.

“I am a loyal Republican born in 1917 and the first time a woman could vote was in 1919,” the letter reads. “I will be most happy to cast my vote to the first woman president of the United States of America. I am a loyal friend of Bernie Sanders and in Vermont they call us the ‘Odd Couple.’”

I dont watch political debates but from what I understand the following has not come up.
And maybe it should have been the most important issue to be debated.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/carbon-dioxide-400ppm-permanent_us_57eb7636e4b082aad9b7e9ab?section=&

INPHX, how about this:
As many New York Times readers have noticed, Kakutani’s synopsis of Volker Ullrich’s Hitler: Ascent 1889–1939 instead makes it impossible not to draw your own chilling parallels between the rise of the Nazi dictator and the current ascendancy of Trump.

More to the point:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/books/hitler-ascent-volker-ullrich.html?_r=2&referer=https://t.co/hI2dLByHXH">https://t.co/hI2dLByHXH">http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/books/hitler-ascent-volker-ullrich.html?_r=2&referer=https://t.co/hI2dLByHXH

If you want a muscular liberal to be president, you absolutely need to do a few things. One is to get your friends in the white working class to stop voting Republican. Another, is to get some of our natural allies to start voting in much greater numbers: single women, Latinos, and Millenials. One more is to get everyone to vote in off-year elections. You also need to elect your people to state legislatures, school boards, and other low-profile offices. The right's coup started at the local level. One more thing: you can't be expected to know everything, so do yourself a favor: never vote Republican. Never. Obviously, some Republicans are better choices than a specific Democrat. But unless they get busted across the chops, they'll never reform. And America will remain paralyzed.

I know this isn't sexy. It's not like being a hipster at a Bernie rally where you get to preen your superiority by spouting jargon like "neo-liberal". But if you're truly serious (and most of you aren't), it will simply be a long slow slog as you wait for all the elderly racists like INPHX to die off. I'm an old man myself, so I don't have to worry that much about the future. All I can do is keep screaming at people to stop sabotaging their own coalition. You're not going to win by being a priggish judge about your own side. You want better candidates? Do something. Otherwise, just shut the hell up. Helping Republicans does no one any good except the Koch brothers, polluters, plutocrats, and all the racists and bigots who hide out in that cesspool. Ross, I hope you're listening.

Cal:

Thanks- but not going to waste my time with comparisons of Hitler and Trump.

Just more hyperbole bullshit pseudo science/history/psychology from a side that ought to know better.

Almost as odd as suggesting that a vote for any Presidential candidate is "just short of treason"

"Just more hyperbole bullshit pseudo science/history/psychology from a side that ought to know better."

MAYBE? MAYBE NOT!

Cal:

Maybe you're right.

Maybe they just don't know any better.

They?

Or did U mean THOU?

"Phoenix is a Dante-esque hellscape enjoyed only by octogenarians and the mentally insane".
I think he meant "The Valley of the Sun".
from the article:

Why D, Stu will not vote for Narcissist Trump.

https://medium.com/@purepolka/make-trump-great-again-72a9b11df017#.i5nmdrljb

It's wrong to compare Trump to Hitler.

Let's compare him to George W. Bush instead.

Donald J. Trump doesn't have the charm or attention span of George W. Bush.

They're tied in rhetorical skills. Both have only a passing acquaintance with the English language.

General knowledge I'm afraid I'd have to go with W. He's no Gary Johnson, though.

Practical skills? That's a tough one. Trump is pretty good at bankruptcy. In fact, he wrote the book. W could fly his own plane--when he wasn't AWOL.

So, it's neck and neck. Of course we know how Simple W's Presidency turned out...and, at this point, we can only imagine Trump's.

"It's wrong to compare Trump to Hitler."
says who?

Does Trump really want to Lose?
https://medium.com/@davepell/hes-trying-to-lose-9f0c174fb9aa#.gan0aoxar

Fate of the World, Tired of politics how about a perspective on your, life:
https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/was-earth-born-with-life-already-on-it-62b527cb8d09#.mna62xx08

Cal, I think you're being kind of rough on Hitler.

Oh, okay.

Selling Hitler,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-hitler-book-my-new-order_us_57ed36c9e4b082aad9b9a2d3?section=&

This is what happens when narcissist-ism takes over your brain.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/usa-today-endorsement-

trump_us_57eda6a2e4b082aad9ba81ae
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/donald-trump-dallas-morning-

news_us_57cebaf3e4b078581f13d342
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-cincinnati-enquirer_us_57e55796e4b08d73b830ea6e

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/arizona-republic-hillary-clinton-endorsement_us_57eb284fe4b024a52d2b7437

Wonderful comments. Ross gets an A+

I did watch the debate . . . like a slow motion car crash. Looked like "2 sh*t sandwiches" to me, too. I don't plan to vote for either one of them.

I guess refusing to vote for HRC puts me in the "self-pleasuring cult." OOoooo! It makes me tingle and shiver just a little! All the excitement . . . let me know when the ol' treason bus rolls into town.

Rogue: "Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would be supporting Hillary." Yeah, well, that's sorta my point: HRC is a Republocrat through and through.

It occurs to me that the problem with some people "getting what they deserve", i.e. a Trump presidency, is all the damage that it would do to the rest of us. I think they call it collateral damage.

God knows, from the standpoint of pure entertainment, I 'd like to see the mayhem unleashed on those clueless Libertarians, feckless Bernie Bros, and all those other disaffected "low information" Angry White voters who worship the Orange Sun God.

Cuz Il Trumpo doesn't give a damn about the working class, the poor, the economically left behind, all those millions that INPHX is fond of referring to. All Donald J. Trump cares about, all he has ever cared about, is feeding his insatiable ego. His every action confirms that daily.

I suppose that sort of thing can be fun to watch from a distance. Maybe on a coarse, reality TV show, aimed at the lowest common denominator. Something you can quickly change the channel from.

But imagining it happening to our country should give a sentient person pause.

sj, "a self-pleasuring cult" describes people who don't read history, who don't honor the necessary complexity of civic and economic reality, and don't know enough to understand just how ignorant they are. You know, Bernie Bros, jargon-deploying airheads who think they've got everything figured out because they can regurgitate words like "neo-liberal". This is an election of keen interest to people who are not so smug to assume that their narcissistic self-regard is more important than the lives of other people. Do everyone a favor and go play with your poop.

There are two things that you can just about count on the looney left to bring up when debating issues:

1. Racism where there is none, and I think I've gone into this enough.

2. The whole "serious" deal, as witnessed by Soleri's most recent post. See, you can't possibly know anything about history, economics, reality, nuance, civics, or, quite honestly anything else and not be a devout member of the progressive cult.

Soleri:

Oh, my! The very first time I had the temerity to comment on this blog site, you called me a troll!

Now, you've advised me to "go play with [my] poop." Was that more of the Soleri poetry and wise commentary?

Oh, c'mon! Some of us just don't agree with you. Surely you can handle some push-back without the middle school bile.

sj, I have no problem with you posting, or for that matter, any troll. But this is a rough sport. You spout right-wing propaganda from a left-wing position. So does Ross (see: Clinton Foundation garbage). You're also adhering to a Total Explanation theory of politics that is a) oversimplified, b) uninformed, and c) helpful to the very people who have made this situation so dire.

You think this is all a game where it doesn't matter if Trump wins because purists like you are so hip you can dismiss all the obvious differences between a competent liberal and a racist demagogue. Your sangfroid is unnerving and obscene. Tilting this election to a hard-right winger didn't work out well in 2000 and it will be doubly disastrous this year. Please: grow up. It's not all about you and how you figured everything out through the magic of jargon. Doubt is your friend here. If nothing else, take a cue from Bernie. He says voting third party is not a moral option anymore. Too much is at stake for such vanity.

Heather Parton writes about the rise of bigotry in the modern Republican Party and its triumph under Donald Trump:

http://www.salon.com/2016/09/30/hate-unleashed-for-decades-the-gop-kept-right-wing-bigots-under-control-trump-has-snapped-the-tether/

INPHX cannot fathom why anyone would think he's a racist, let alone Donald Trump, or much of the Republican Party. But what about Trump's racist Birther lie that INPHX defended? Hmmm? He's oddly silent about that even though I'm always bringing it up. He disappears the aura of racism with a wave of his hand and rhetorical devices like "neener, neener, neener.". Maybe that's because right-wing narratives depend on selective amnesia.Southern Strategy? Never heard of it! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Hmmm. Well, Soleri, I must confess that I am not familiar with your Total Explanation theory. Link?

That's really the first time anyone has accused me of being a right-winger. I just don't agree with you, or your incrementalist world-view.

As for blog comments being a "rough sport," it occurs to me if one uses the word poop in a comment, it can't be a really world-class, tough-minded political commentary.

"Looney troll poop"? Then there are words like purity, that resemble no one I know. And
"Rough sport", Thats the American way, political football from the Roman gladiators. No softball pitchers allowed on the blog. Makes one want to move to Norway.
Sorting thru all the rough talk here, (reminds me of a cop thing, "Rough men ride through the nite to keep you safe") I support the position that its a logical position to NOT vote for a third party or write in. Even though I fit into the definition of an overly emotional "purist".

To understand Soleri, you should know he grew up in a sorta bipolar world. He comes from a family of intellectual curiosity and brilliance but his surroundings out side the homestead were populated by many ignorant poor kids that were more interested in food, a pair of Levis and a t-shirt and playing marbles and tether ball at SUNNYSLOPE schools. Hence language peppered by street language is not surprising and quite frankly coming from the streets of Slope I rather enjoy the rough but excellent rhythmic poetry.
Since Soleri posted a piece from Salon, I give him one back from Salon.

TO WIN:

"A Democratic operative I’ve known since the Bill Clinton administration told me “now that she’s won the nomination, Hillary is moving to the middle.
Does Hillary Clinton understand that the biggest divide in American politics is no longer between the right and the left, but between the anti-establishment and the establishment?"
I worry she doesn’t — at least not yet.

http://www.salon.com/2016/07/25/hillary_doesnt_get_it_she_doesnt_need_to_move_toward_the_middle_she_needs_to_move_toward_the_anti_establishment_partner/

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