Vote for What You Believe In, Not for Crumbs

W.J. Astore

As a progressive-leaning person, I’m deeply disappointed by Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.  I’m an independent and have no allegiance to either party.  The Republican Party, dominated by Trump, is a non-starter for me.  The Democratic Party is corporate dominated, a party of the moneyed interests, so I have little interest in it at the national level.

The Progressive Caucus keeps praising Biden instead of pushing him, so they’re part of the problem.  The so-called Squad (AOC and company) never seem to use their combined power for anything meaningful.  A concerted minority can make a difference: look at the Tea Partiers.  But the Squad basically does as they’re told by Nancy Pelosi.

People tell me the Squad is small and their influence is limited by the mathematics of Congress.  But what Congressional hills have they chosen to hold fast and fight on, if any, to effect true change?  United, a squad of progressives could drive policy because Pelosi often needs their votes.  Yet they refuse to come together to drive change that might upset Pelosi/Biden, so how progressive are they, truly?

When you look at the specifics of Democratic actions, they (the actions) disappoint.  A climate change bill saluted and applauded by the oil and gas industry.  Changes in drug pricing that don’t take place until 2025, and only to a short list of drugs.  The complete abandonment of a government-option for health care.  Basically, the Democrats have kowtowed to lobbyists for fossil fuel, big pharma, and private health insurance companies.

In short: nothing has fundamentally changed, exactly what Biden promised to his big donors. He is what he’s always been: a conservative-leaning Democrat who serves the moneyed interests, who supports expanding police forces and prisons, and who believes the best way to promote peace is by supporting massive military budgets and overseas wars.

Even if there’s truth to my critique, my Democratic friends say, you must still vote blue no matter who, because the Republicans are so much worse.  Yet if we continue to vote for Democrats because they give us a few more crumbs than the alternative, all we’ll ever get is crumbs.

A colleague of mine, Matthew Hoh, is running for the Senate as a Green in North Carolina.  The Democratic Party there did everything it could, legal and less-than-legal, to block his access to the ballot.  It took a lawsuit and a federal judge to get his name added to the ballot.

Matthew Hoh, candidate for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina

Matt Hoh is a former Marine and State Department guy who resigned publicly to protest the Afghan War.  He has strong progressive principles and unassailable integrity and supports policies most Americans would loudly applaud.  Again, the Democrats did everything they could to block him from the ballot.

Some people say that a vote for Matt Hoh and third-party candidates like him is a vote for Trump and the Republicans.  For me, that’s total BS.  Candidates like Matt Hoh help us.  They drive an agenda that’s truly for workers, that’s truly for change.  If nothing else, they force corporate-tool Democrats to turn slightly leftward rather than always toward the right.

Perhaps you know the saying about Democrats: fake left, run right.  They fake left in the primary, exciting the “liberal” base, then they run right in the main election and, if they win, they then rule and legislate from the right as well.  The mainstream corporate press terms this “sensible” and “moderate.”

We need more principled leaders like Matt Hoh to drive real change.  If they “help” Trump and the Republicans by “stealing” votes, that’s not their fault: it’s the fault of the Democrats who are reluctant to be seen as truly liberal or progressive and who are basically tools of the moneyed interests.  

If Matt Hoh wins lots of votes in North Carolina (and I hope he does), all credit to the voters for seeing him as he is and for voting for what they believe in.  Indeed, instead of people insisting that Matt Hoh should drop out to help the mainstream Democrat, it’s the mainstream Democrat who should drop out to help Matt Hoh.

I do my best to vote for what I believe in.  Which is why I won’t be voting for Trump, or DeSantis, or Biden (or Harris or Mayor Pete or whomever) in 2024.  I’ll be voting for candidates who in their words and deeds promise us something more than crumbs. Leaders like Matt Hoh.

90 thoughts on “Vote for What You Believe In, Not for Crumbs

  1. As it stands right now at this stage of the game, Bill, the chances of candidates like Matt Hoh being given even a snowball’s chance in Congress to even try to become part of this nation’s next and new generation of Leaders, are slim to none.

    i’d say Your best option at this time in 2024 would be to write-in “None Of These Candidates” on Your ballot.

    Or better, help make “None Of These Candidates” a mandatory option on every ballot of every federal election that year.

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    1. Yes, of course the odds are long. But I’m long past being tired of having my “choice” degenerate to Trump tool versus Corporate Democrat Tool.

      Both Obama and Biden promised to codify Roe v. Wade. Obama said it would be his first priority when he became president. Of course, he did nothing. Biden did nothing. They’d much prefer to fundraise off the issue of abortion.

      We need a new generation of leaders. How we get there is the big question, but I don’t think we get there by voting for Biden and similar clones and cronies. Or for the Party of Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My guess is that as the Bullshit out of DC and Mar-a-Lago rolls on and get deeper and thicker, more and more Americans will grow as fed up with this whole “stinking, rotten system” [as You noted that Dorothy Day once put it] as You are. Or at least that is my hope.

        Like i said: NOTC would be an excellent place to start that look for that new generation.

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      2. Bill, here is what my kids( now in their 40’s LOL) are saying in answer to your big question:

        You will not believe how much influence your local Democratic party has over the elections. Search online for your county’s Democratic Party website, and find a meeting near you. They’ll be happy to see someone new joining the party. Even if they were Hillary supporters, and now Biden enablers, these people will be accommodating, particularly to persuasive speaker with fresh ideas, and at least give you an avenue to influence the direction of the Party.

        My kids are advocates for “think locally, act globally”. And believe that the way to change the Democratic Party into supporting the platform that you oft advocate for in Bracing Views is to get the ear of your local Democratic candidates, or incumbent. Start a revolution from the bottom up – not the bottom down. They believe that the majority, the citizens of their neighborhood, city and state, have more power than the minority of oligarchs and big business. To give up on this believe is extremely cynical they say. And they believe these politicians listen to, and are heavily influenced by, what is being said at these local meetings. And when it comes down to it its “one man – one vote”.

        They point to the Bernie Sanders example. He ran as a Democrat, with his ideas being acceptable to 80% of the American people, and surely even running as a Democrat would have won in a landslide over Trump. Instead a minority of sycophantic insiders in the Democratic Party….well, you know what happened. With more people like you at the local meetings hopefully a less autocratic Democratic Party would have evolved with a platform with which their candidate Bernie drew huge crowds. (while nobody showed up at Hillary’s.)

        I believe that this is a better use of your time than just voting for a third-party candidate, not matter how noble, who will get 3.2% of the votes.

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        1. I think multiple strategies are needed here. If Democratic candidates can be reasoned with, and influenced, let’s do it. But they usually can’t be because “influence” is measured by access and access is measured by money. And here is where millionaires and billionaires wield their “influence.”

          You need candidates who refuse to take huge sums from corporate-driven Super PACs and the like. Most mainstream Democrats are compromised by money, which is why it’s very hard to influence them. They don’t “hear” you until you speak their language, i.e. mega campaign “donations, ” i.e. bribes.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Bill, I guess I am naïve enough to believe in “one man – one vote”.
            Your vote is as good as any millionaires or billionaires.
            The amount of $$$$ you get surely does not mean diddly squat if not enough people vote for you.
            When you meet them at your local Democratic Party meeting you need to tell them….and strongly…
            If you vote against my wish’s I will not vote for you again.
            And if they get that message from enough voters – there is only so many millionaires and billionaires out there! All their campaign” donations” i. e. bribes will not overcome this!
            How’s that for naivety eh?

            Don’t mind me.
            Tomorrow I will have figured out why WA Democratic Senator Patty Murray, the Senator for Boeing, gets elected over and over and over, no matter what she votes for in her multitude of Committees in Congress. And why Bernie Sanders voted for having the F35’s in Vermont against his constituents wishes!

            In a 2014 town hall, Sanders stated: “In the real world, if the plane is built … and if the choice is if that goes to Vermont … South Carolina or Florida, what is your choice as a United States Senator? Do you want it to go to South Carolina? … My view is that given the reality of the damn plane, I’d rather it come to Vermont than to South Carolina. And that’s what the Vermont National Guard wants, and that means hundreds of jobs in my city. That’s it.”

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            1. The only problem with Your plan, Dennis, is that America does not now have a “One Man = One Vote” system of choosing its political leaders. Nor has it ever.

              Since virtually from the beginning, America’s system for choosing its “democratically-elected” representative government has been “One Dollar = One Vote.”

              Initially, only White Property Owners had the vote. Eventually, the Property [read Wealth] requirement was eliminated for all White Males; but it took a Civil War and then another century for Blacks to get a vote. And it was 132 years after the U.S. Constitution went into effect that Women ~ White, Black, or Other~ finally got to vote.

              To prove my point about America being a $1 = 1 Vote system: Can You name any federal elections since, say, 1972 ~ Presidential or Congressional ~ that was won by the candidate who spent LESS MONEY than her/his opponent? Has anybody ever been elected to either the White House or Congress that did not spend more to get elected than the loser[s]?

              That’s my next Google Hunt n Gather Expedition after the one about NOTC and reduced Voter Turnout in Nevada.

              And Thank You for sharing that Sanders quote. It is only extremely rarely that one hears of one of the Ruling Political Class Elites speaking such blunt, naked Truth.

              And it demonstrates quite starkly and accurately what America’s system of government and governance is all about: The use of the political and legal power and authority, and, above all, the spending capability of the government ~ federal, state, and/or local ~ by all the various and sundry [and competing] Special and/or Vested Interests who own and operate, script, command and control the politicians, bureaucrats, and political appointees.

              Even the Hero/Leader/Guru of America’s “progressive” democratic socialists [or socialistic democrats, or whatever they like to call themselves] is plugged into the System. And to his credit, he is at least honest about it.

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              1. The “$ 1 = 1 Vote” Hypothesis is that, in American politics, the candidate who spends the most money in and on her/his campaign will win the election in question almost always.

                In the table below, the candidate spending the most money in each Presidential election since 1960 is listed in the “Most $” column, and the winner is in the “Winner” column.

                In the 16 elections since 1960, the candidate spending the most money won 12 times and lost only 4 times, including only twice in the last 14 elections. [Source: http://www.opensecrets.org]

                Year Most $ Winner
                1960 – R D
                1964 – R D
                1968 * R R
                1972 * R R
                1976 – R D
                1980 * R R
                1984 * R R
                1988 * R R
                1992 * D D
                1996 * D D
                2000 * R R
                2004 * R R
                2008 * D D
                2012 * D D
                2016 – D R
                2020 * D D

                Indicates biggest Spender was Winner
                Indicates biggest Spender was Loser

                The next step in validating the Hypothesis will be to do a similar analysis of U.S. Senate and House elections and then State elections.

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                1. Sorry for the crunched up table. Apparently WordPress doesn’t like spaces between single characters and won’t display Windows Word Tables as copied to a Reply.

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        2. “Bernie Sanders . . . running as a Democrat would have won in a landslide over Trump.” INDEED! I’ve been saying that since the middle of 2016. Not many agreed with me. Sigh. 😦

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You certainly weren’t alone- though of course that wasn’t the dominant narrative.

            Though I suspect that Sanders ran as a Dem after coming to the reasonable, if arguable conclusion that a progressive 3rd Party run might increase the risk of a Trump win, I thought he’d win even losing some Dem votes to Clinton (who was obviously the Dem machine’s choice very early in the game). The reason I think that still is that the unaffiliated voters are the largest voter bloc; and between Sanders’ popularity with them, and the fact that Trump & Clinton were the 2 most disliked politicians at the time, Sanders might have taken a majority.
            I also base that conclusion on a number of conversations in which life-long R’s said they’d vote for Sanders if he became the Dem nominee because they couldn’t stand Trump- but in the end, voted for him because they hated Clinton even more. One said, before the primary, “I may not agree with Sanders on everything, but he’s honest…and we need someone like that.
            All water under the bridge, now; I know.

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    2. Why write in “none of these candidates” when there’s a candidate on the ballot running on policies you want? That makes no sense.

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      1. MARIA, you are correct, the “non of these candidates” option may seem to make sense at first, but in practice in Nevada the option has sadly raised more questions than it has answers. While often described as a way for voters to register protest, the option can have unintended consequences.

        The more voters planning to opt for no one it’s anyone’s guess what wrench will be thrown into the system. It is described as a way for voters to register protest, but its detractor’s point out that it has also been the incumbent’s best friend. Advocates regard it as a way to boost voter interest and turnout, but detractors claim Nevada has experienced a decline in turnout since its creation. Furthermore, it has the added danger that candidates with a minority point of view are elected.

        “None Of These Candidates” can’t actually take office, which means the runner-up in these elections usually is elected. So while the option might feel liberating, know that you’re essentially voting for whoever will likely come in second place. There’s also the equally likely possibility that voters will just stay home, an inadvertent consequence that detractor’s say has only grown since the option was implemented. Nevada has experienced a nearly uninterrupted decline in turnout since its creation.

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        1. In Nevada, that is correct that if NOTC wins the election, the runner-up gets the prize.

          The NOTC concept proposed here on BV [https://bracingviews.com/2022/04/10/reforming-americas-elections-the-notc-way/] states:

          Another objection [to NOTC] would be “Well ~ not that it would or could ever possibly happen ~ but what happens if ‘None Of These Candidates’ actually wins an election? Or forces a run-off? Then what?”

          Then come up with a brand new slate of candidates and run the election again, with NOTC remaining a choice. Presumably the fact that NOTC either won the election or forced a run-off would [or at least could] send a very loud and clear message to the RPC that their reign of unbridled power ~ at least when it came to this particular federal election ~ is over. At least for now.

          And do You have any sources for Your assertions about how NOTC has impacted Nevada politics, and particularly, Voter Turn Out? Or do You just happen to know that much about Nevada, its politics, and its Voter Turnouts?

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          1. @JG MOEBUS,
            I can read pro and con NOTC articles on the internet. The same place you get your knowledge about the Nevada NOTC Option from Jeff. Or do you just happen to know that much about Nevada, its politics, and its voter turnouts? I merely decide which sources, authors and articles I want to trust.

            BTW your claim that NOTC either won the election or forced a run-off could send a very loud and clear message to the RPC that their reign of unbridled power is over. That’s just your conjecture surely? Isn’t it just as likely that the people could decide enough of these games and dump the NOTC Option.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. i am simply asking You to share those sources, Dennis. i am unable to find any easily accessed documentation on how Nevada’s Voter Turn Out has changed since NOTC was initiated in the early 70s.

              And if NOTC either won or forced a run-off, it would be a little late to dump the NLOTC Option, wouldn’t it?

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        2. Dennis: Your [or whoever wrote the] statement that “Nevada has experienced a decline in turnout since [NOTC’s] creation” is only partially accurate, and totally wrong since 2000. At least when it comes to Presidential elections. Here are the percentages of Voter Turnout in Nevada for each of those elections since 1960.

          There was a drop in the two elections after NOTC’s implementation in 1972; then an election-to-election rise from 1984 to 1992; then a significant one-time drop in 1996; and it has been rising ever since that time, save for a less than 0.25% decline in 2016.

          In the twelve elections since 1972, there have been 4 instances of declines in election-to-election Voter Turnout, and 8 instances of increases

          2020 43.76%
          2016 36.01%
          2012 36.25%
          2008 35.67%
          2004 34.77%
          2000 28.81%
          1996 26.84%
          1992 36.82%
          1988 31.51%
          1984 30.32%
          1980 29.54%
          1976 29.95%
          1972 33.25%
          1968 33.24%
          1964 32.25%
          1960 36.86%

          Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_elections_in_Nevada on Total Voters; and https://countryeconomy.com/demography/population/usa-states/nevada on Population.

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      2. If there is a candidate running on a platform of policies You agree with, why would You vote for “None Of These Candidates” when You like one of them? That makes even less sense.

        NOTC is for people who have NOBODY on the ballot that they can honestly and sincerely vote FOR: even if it a vote AGAINST somebody or everybody else on the ballot, even it is the proverbial “lesser of two evils,” etc.

        For details on that and more, see the article posted here on Bracing Views last April at https://bracingviews.com/2022/04/10/reforming-americas-elections-the-notc-way/ .

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    1. The “Forward” way is too vague for me. I heard Andrew Yang talk about the party, and he refused to take firm positions on anything. You have to stand for something else you stand for nothing.

      I’d like to see “Forward” succeed, but so far, so (not so) good.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Perhaps you found something you believe in, but count me deeply skeptical about the Forward Party.

      Founded / co-chaired by entrepreneur and gimmicky would-be politician Andrew Yang, it stands for nothing…just a vacuous group whose ‘leader’ is looking to exploit public discontent with the duopoly- not for some grand purpose, but apparently, just for the purpose of self-promotion itself. The Party seems to stand for nothing as evident in empty slogans, i.e. it’s a party “…that reflects the moderate, common-sense majority”. It implies that the reason for system-wide dissatisfaction and dysfunction is because the D’s and R’s represent “the extreme fringes”.

      Full Stop! While we know that the GOP has drifted ever farther to the right, in just what way do the Democrats represent any ‘extreme fringe’?

      When pressed in interviews, Yang refuses to talk at ALL about policy positions and principles but continually mouths the “common sense”, ‘centrist’ platitudes. As if hewing to the almost-non-existent (on many issues) ground in the middle between the D’s and the R’s is somehow a formula for doing ANYTHING other than maintaining the status quo.

      The very fact that the Forward Party is created by former D’s and R’s disaffected with the “extremes” tells us just what it’s about. It certainly doesn’t reflect my values, which are admittedly on the progressive side: strongly anti-imperial and anti-war, pro-democracy, pro-public interest (including in the public commons, the environment broadly, public health, economic and social sustainability, etc.). And I don’t think it addresses the concerns that the author here raises.

      I’m all for the development of viable, public-interested 3rd Parties; but there is no lack thereof. On the progressive side, there is the Green Party, the Working Families Party, and a possibly emergent “Movement for a People’s Party”. There are also the Constitution Party, the Libertarians and others. The only real lack is for commitment to one that matches one’s values and interests. In that vein, one should ask themself just what the Party stands for that matches that person’s values and interests. Exactly WHAT will be different?

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      1. Hello Roger, do you disagree me that with the involvement of people like you, with strongly anti-imperial and anti-war, pro-democracy, pro-public interests, could stage a mini-revolution within their local Democratic Party Meetings.

        Everything is in place on a national level for the Democratic Party to be “viable” again – all it takes is the effort and hard work of engaged people at the local level to do it. With new leadership – like that what Bernie Sanders could have supplied.

        And it would take far less effort than starting a “Constitution Party”, or what ever fancy name you give it. Bernie Sanders showed this was at least feasible. And immediate. And at far less risk of putting an untried political Party in power bringing who knows what.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I always think of something else after I have pushed the POST COMMENTS button. Oh dear!

          And if The Democratic Party had of run a popular and charismatic leader like Sanders against Trump, its probably fair to say the party would have picked up more seats in both houses of Congress. Giving them an absolute majority. And providing this new leader did not “do an Obama” on them, the American people would have had a President sitting in the White House signing anti-war, pro-democracy, pro-public interests Bills to his heart’s content.

          While the one or two seats gained in Congress by third-party candidates would have been bench warmers at best. Am I correct in thinking this?

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          1. I felt at the time, and often since, that Sanders, particularly in 2016, was the first real opportunity for serious change of direction. I understood (though was not happy with) his choice to run as a Dem, suspecting that he & his counsel adhered to a calculus that suggested to them that had he run as an Indie / 3rd Party, he might increase the risk of dividing the moderate-to-liberal vote and make a Trump win more likely. It was a reasonable conclusion, though I did not and do not share it, having seen the cross-Party enthusiasm for him, and knowing that Unaffiliated voters had become the largest voter bloc.

            While I believe him to be an honest person, I’m not sure how well he could have stood up to the neocon establishment in both parties, especially when it comes to war. He’s already demonstrated (in the Ukraine funding votes) just how easily turned he is, and he’s given hints of that before like his calling Maduro “a dictator”, etc.

            In any case, there are lots of ways to get drawn into war even when one sincerely wants & campaigns for peace, etc.; or to be brought down if one gets too “out of control”. Look at what the security state establishment did to Trump- all because he wanted to make nice with Russia, Korea, et al. (Perhaps more than anyone has, Trump, for all his defects, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, the existence and power of what is called by some “the Deep State”.

            Still, notwithstanding the likely bipartisan attacks that would come his way, I think he would have had some coat-tails as you suggest. In fact, I think that any 3rd Party progressives, as well as any progressive D’s in Congress would have happily used their votes to back him, perhaps finding the spine that so many of the “Squad” seem to lack. Like WJA, I don’t think that 3rd Party votes are wasted when they are cast for people of solid principle & character.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. Dennis,
          I don’t think it’s impossible to ‘reform’ the Dem. Party. Indeed, for at least a few decades, I urged my activist allies / circles to do exactly that… i.e. to concentrate on a takeover of the local (county) Party. However, the response was always very tepid. For one thing, all institutions tend to have a certain built-in inertia. It’s slow, tedious, often frustrating work to try to work within such structures and the people it attracts; and I failed to persuade anyone that it was worth it. The party (both leadership and the partisans) at the county and state levels are not substantially different from the National, in some ways. There is a tendency to accommodate business interests more than public ones, a “don’t rock the boat too much” attitude, etc. I sensed that most of those to whom I proposed a takeover strategy were aware of that inertia and not willing to commit to trying to change it themselves.

          Now, i think, it is possibly even worse. The nominally progressive types may be on the same page when it comes to environmental issues, climate change, corporate welfare, etc., but silent on imperial meddling, wars, censorship, etc. What I call “identitarian” politics has further helped splinter the liberals even as it has caused even greater divisions between self-described conservatives and liberals.

          I’d been involved somewhat in local party politics though more as an activist, candidate recruiter, organizer, etc… I even ran (quite reluctantly at first) 2x for county commissioner, on the “D” ticket; basically being arm-twisted into running after unsuccessfully trying to find a decent candidate for the seat. The Party barely acknowledged my candidacy and that of another progressive- because they were suspicious of ‘activist’ types- especially environmentalists like us whom the prevailing business interests didn’t like.
          Despite that, both times I came within a fraction of a pctg. point of winning (the 2nd time, it was so close that the winner wasn’t known until 6 wks later), in a county where D’s were only about 28% of registered voters and D’s had only won perhaps two seats in that many decades.

          I say all of this only to give some background on why I’m not personally interested any longer in trying to reform the Party from within.

          As you suggest, it takes focus, hard work & commitment. I just don’t see a critical mass of people with the willingness to give it. I also think at least at a subliminal level, the thoughtful people recognize that the electoral system is now so openly corrupted by private capital that it is an even more Sisyphean task than it was perhaps 20 years ago. (I ran the 2nd time in 2008. My GOP opponent and I raised roughly comparable amounts for our campaigns; but he was able to raise his with less than 1/10 of the number of donors I had. Matters have gotten far worse since Citizens United (2010).

          In fact, Dennis, while I think it still important to vote only for those who will represent one’s values (and so I will at least cast a ballot), and while i’ll try to support (with votes, some donations here and there, etc.) candidates of character and any 3rd Party effort that shares both my values and principles, I’ve become convinced that we no longer have the luxury of time to hope or wait for change primarily through electoral politics.

          Having been deeply involved in that, and also having spent considerable time as a community organizer, organizational leader, etc., and seeing where things are at this dangerous moment, I’ve concluded that likely only a well-organized, strategically planned, disciplined and sustainable / scalable mass grassroots movement, using our only remaining collective powers (that of our ability to ‘perturb’ the economy and economic interests of the powerful), can induce the kinds of change needed to change directions before chaos ensues and chaos determines outcomes. Having a sense of the state of human mass consciousness and of the massive difficulties of organizing such a movement, I will admit, I’m not particularly optimistic. Yet to my mind, it is the most logical path forward.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Roger, I can’t disagree with anything you typed. And I admire you for your efforts in local politics. I agree with you on Sanders. I was certainly not a “Bernie Bros” and did not agree with 100% of his platform. But the way he caved into the “Clintonites” was…well, gutless. Leaving me now agreeing with your point that… I’m not sure how well he could have stood up to the neocon establishment in both parties, especially when it comes to war.

            And as for all the negatives of the current system of Party politics you mention. ALL other parties will be wrestling in the same pig pen getting covered in mud. As poor old Ralph Nadar found out. I can see it now in 15-years time. “The Matthew Hoh Radio Hour” on all obscure AM radio stations. Sorry Matt, I hold you and Ralph in high esteem. You said it right Roger……..the electoral system is now so openly corrupted by private capital that it is an even more Sisyphean task than it was perhaps 20 years ago….which of course applies doubly to third-parties.

            Good luck with the well-organized, strategically planned, disciplined and sustainable/scalable mass grassroots movement, using our only remaining collective powers (that of our ability to ‘perturb’ the economy and economic interests of the powerful) that can induce the kinds of changes needed….You and Chris Hedges both.

            Thanks for your great comments.

            BTW I attended two Democratic Party Meetings in Seattle. To my dismay and despair I found a majority to be do-nothing, hopeless, nitwit, political junkies – getting their rocks off so to speak! ( I accompanied one of our family owned business’s Vic-Presidents. A family member who had failed miserably at all the roles he had been assigned in our company, and we finally allowed him 90% of his time to devote to numerous useless local committees to keep him out of our hair. They all revered him. Go figure?)

            A person like WJA, being a military veteran and a history academic, would be gold mine find for these meetings. He would have them eating out of his hand with the stuff he posts here, and he could open a bunch of peoples eyes and change a lot of minds. The problem you have is that there are only so many WJA’s out there. All the brightest in the US know that politics is about down there with used car sales. Unlike in JFK’s days, it now only attracts the do-nothing, hopeless, nitwit, political junkies – getting their rocks off.

            Take care.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Dennis, your perspective on the people at Party meetings somewhat mirrors my own. Let’s face it, there are too many people who enter politics for less-than-ideal reasons. Indeed, some just ‘wanna be somebody’; others just need to fill time and haven’t taken up knitting or marathon training, etc.

              I entered politics from the outside; as a community activist/ environmental advocate / organizer on issues, etc. Sometimes I’d volunteer for good folks who were campaigning. Eventually, faced too often with godawfully stupid and/or compromised elected officials, I began (with one or two others) to actively recruit potential candidates for City Council, County Commissioner, etc., and try to block the worst ones. In fact, my run for Commissioner came as the result of an almost year-long search for a good candidate to stop another ladder-climber I knew was likely to run. The potential candidates I met with were either okay but uninterested/unable , or else were devastatingly unaware and interested only because they could “be somebody” or because it came with a halfway decent paycheck.

              In the Party, there were a lot of the types there to be part of a club… or a sports team where it was a game of good-guys against the bad-guys and they wanted to win the game just because it was a competition. Winning seats was all that mattered… it mattered not what was done in it, just that it belonged to our team.

              This is by no means to say that there aren’t any really altruistic, bright people who are passionately committed to causes. Some are even committed to the most fundamentally important causes related to democracy. I just find that, just as with politicians generally, there’s a dearth of the latter and too many of the other types.

              Again, though, I haven’t given up entirely on electoral politics. When there is someone really good, they deserve as much support as we can manage. There’s always some hope.

              Liked by 2 people

  2. One can appreciate the frustrations Americans feel with their duopoly political parties. But the sad facts of American politics over the last 100-years is that voting for “viable” 3rd Party candidates is an exercise in cutting off your nose despite your face*. Change can only come from within the two parties.

    Ask Ralph Nadar. Or his endorsers: Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Eddie Vedder, Bill Murray, Pete Seeger, Linda Ronstadt, Paul Newman, Willie Nelson, Noam Chomsky, John B. Anderson, Phil Donahue, David Brower, Patti Smith, Jesse Ventura, Justin Jeffre, Tom Morello, Val Kilmer, Rocky Anderson, James Abourezk, Patti Smith, Jello Biafra, Chris Hedges, Cindy Sheehan, and Sean Penn how much their vote changed anything?

    disadvantage yourself in order to do harm to an adversary.

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    1. “Change can only come from within the two parties.” That’s exactly what they want us to believe.

      Change can come in many ways — and it often comes quickly and unpredictably, especially in times of crisis.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bill, respectfully that “this is a time of crisis” has been trotted out by the blood thirsty vampire media before every Presidential election in your and my lifetimes. The fact is; this is not true. As a historian you know that.

        And you know that all twin engine pilots at a time of crisis are taught the first thing to do is keep your cool. Acting impulsively and shutting down the wrong engine is deadly.

        And I think that at this time the countries one engine still running, no matter how sick, has a lot better chance of saving the country, than a rookie pilot who panics and wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater and start another whole new engine (party). LOL, sorry for the weak analogy.

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        1. Dennis, with all due respect, I have to disagree. The crises are several, convergent, worthy of being called that because of the very short time scales involved, and the existential-threats which they represent. I’m talking here of a few things:

          Rapidly destabilizing climate control system, in which some experts believe we have possibly already seen evidence of having crossed tipping points, which create new positive feedback loops that greatly accelerate the pace of global warming, alteration of the climate stasis ‘machinery’ (for example, the thermohaline current), and which will result in massive population displacements and further geopolitical instabilities.

          The pressing of Washington-centered imperial hegemony, with the neocons in firm control here and in much of the Washington-leaning Europe – and a seeming willingness to gamble on escalation and thermonuclear brinksmanship – putting the continuity of human civilization itself on the gambling table.

          The steady devolution of democracy as its principles are removed, one by one by the neoliberal / neocon (corporate) alliance, effectively eliminating any real representative governance, gradually eliminating the free press, free speech, and worse, getting perhaps a majority of the population to begin accepting these things.

          The economic threat posed by massive debt used to finance war- and the likely impacts of this on citizens within a foreseeable future.

          The 6th Great Mass Extinction event is already considered underway by some biologists- climate change not being its only factor.
          – The ubiquitous presence of serious life-threatening toxics- some through most of the biosphere (such as PFAS) .

          I probably could add others that I see but this is bad enough.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Thank You, Roger. i couldn’t have said it any better.

            You could have added looming food, fuel, and electrical power shortages in the developed world and famine and plagues elsewhere, global inflation that might just go Weimar-style hyper, a new pandemic just waiting for unleashment, and the rise of what is being termed “Domestic” [as opposed to “Global”] Terrorism.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. OK Jeff I’ll play your game. But I’m the optimist in the game; you are the doom and gloomer!

                Looming food shortages – “scare” that has been around since the invention of newsprint. Never happened. There’s been a wave of social media posts recently warning of a looming food shortage in the U.S. Most are just conspiratorial dross. Developments in major producing regions, including Brazil and Argentina for corn, and the U.S., Canada and Australia for wheat just for starters debunk these conspiracies. Progress will inevitably be made from the environmentally disastrous raising of cattle and eating meat to vegetable derived protein. (There’s no guarantee that the world’s population is going to continue to rise at its current rate, points out economist and population researcher David Lam of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “We’re still talking about much slower population growth than we just came through,” he says. “The world population doubled between 1960 and 1999 and we’re never going to do that again. The population is leveling off and it’s going to eventually level off under any scenario”.)

                Fuel shortages – already being mitigated, like todays CA ban on ICE cars after 2035 as an example. Car manufacturers worldwide issuing statements about ending ICE engine car production. Building HSR in countries with long term energy plans – not including the US which to date has no long term energy plan. The fossil fuel depletion issue will be well solved long before the US Federal government gets around to mandating anything.

                Electrical power shortages. A challenge I will grant you. But China only consumes 5,885 KWh per year per capita. Vs the USA’s 12,154! There is a long way to go on increased electrical energy efficiency, and also untapped technological solutions that will become available as more and more electricity by renewable methods become commercially developed. For example Google search Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)

                Famine and plague – see above, and below.

                Global inflation – as you know I am not an economist, but I believe the invisible hand (the unintended greater social benefits and public good brought about by individuals acting in their own self-interests) and modern economic theory and practices will mitigate this. Probably spearheaded by the Chinese as the US theories prove to be wrong. However, even with the theories of yesteryear, a major World depression has been held off for nearly 80-years now. A long time in economic terms.

                A new pandemic – yes, and mitigated by modern medical science, in the same manner AIDS was. Notice I did not say eradicated – but mitigated.

                Domestic terrorism – the favorite subject of dystopian world movie makers for years. How big and militarized again do you complain about the US police force being? LOL Not a worry in our lifetimes.

                You forgot the cost of War – As soon as the worlds hegemon the US goes broke the global arms raise will be mitigated. And I believe major wars consigned to the dustbins of history. I’m sure you are going to disagree with that vehemently!

                Take care

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                1. re FOOD SHORTAGES: So there’s been “a wave of social media posts recently warning of a looming food shortage in the U.S. Most are just conspiratorial dross,” eh? First of all, i’m not talking about just in the U.S. i’m talking all over the Planet.

                  Here’s what the World bank has to say on that: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/agriculture/brief/food-security-update .

                  And here’s what the World Food Program has to say: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/world-food-program-warns-of-a-looming-global-catastrophe .

                  And here’s the U.N.’s take: https://www.npr.org/2022/05/23/1100592132/united-nations-food-shortages .

                  re FUEL AND ELECTRICAL POWER SHORTAGES: Again, I’m not talking about Fuel and Power shortages that could be mitigated sometime down the road, with all sorts of technological innovations and developments. i’m talking about Fuel and Power shortages this Winter, now virtually guaranteed in Europe and very likely in the U.S.

                  re GLOBAL INFLATION: The “Invisible Hand” can not and does not work when it is being nudged this way and that by those Special Interests that own and operate America’s and the World’s governments and control the global and all national economies and financial structures and systems. Think America’s Federal Reserve.

                  And while there has not been a Global Depression in 80 years: :$100 IN 1930 IS WORTH $1,774.11 TODAY: The U.S. dollar has lost 94% its value since 1930 [Updated: August 10, 2022]

                  “$100 in 1930 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1,774.11 today, an increase of $1,674.11 over 92 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.18% per year between 1930 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 1,674.11%.

                  “This means that TODAY’S PRICES ARE 17.74 TIMES HIGHER THAN AVERAGE PRICES SINCE 1930, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A DOLLAR TODAY ONLY BUYS 5.637% OF WHAT IT COULD BUY BACK THEN.” Source: https://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1930? [EMPHASES added.]

                  re A NEW PANDEMIC: “Mitigated by modern medical science,” eh? You mean like we mitigated COVID-19 and its spawn?

                  re DOMESTIC TERRORISM: “Not a worry in our lifetimes,” eh? Tell that to the victims of all the Mass Shootings in America over these past two years. The level of more destructive Domestic Terrorism to be experienced in this country will depend completely upon what the government determines to be necessary in order to maintain “Law and Order” and a dutifully compliant Citizenry. It worked great after 9/11, and will work even better today, what with Social Media available to help the cause.

                  re THE COST OF WAR: When America gets in real danger of actually, really going broke, a new War is almost guaranteed to happen as a last ditch attempt to stave off total collapse. And when the U.S. disintegrates, there will be even newer Wars to determine who gets to get control of what used to be the United States of America.

                  And if ~ on that basis ~ You believe that “major wars [will be] consigned to the dustbins of history,” Dennis, i’m not going to disagree with You at all, let alone vehemently. But i will offer to sell You some property that i know You would just love.

                  Liked by 1 person

          2. And I agree again Roger. Except the same crisis were “the end of the world” in the past five presidential elections. And they turned out not to be. I proffer that all of these crisis are not going to converge in our lifetimes. And that any of them can be mitigated by an immediate change in the American political system is a very tall order.

            One of the most valuable lessons I learnt being promoted to a Vice President was from my predecessor. He said…..”Dennis, when these huge crisis hit you – don’t try to solve them instantly. Because most of them will solve themselves by tomorrow, and the rest changed into a different crisis”…. Invaluable advice it proved.

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            1. If the items Roger listed as Crises were so “end of the world” in 2020, 2016, 2012, 2008, and 2004, then how come there was virtually NO discussion, debate, platform items, or even passing consideration of them during those campaigns? And which politicians are talking about and running on ways to deal with any of the items i listed in the runup to Election2022?

              In any event, Dennis, i would recommend that You do more than “proffer” that all these Crises don’t “converge in our lifetimes.” i suggest that You desperately HOPE that that convergence doesn’t occur; particularly if You care about Your Daughters and their Families.

              But as one of my Colonels used to put it: “Hope is not a Method.” Maybe that explains all of Obama’s failures, eh?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Your Colonels ” “Hope is not a Method” reminds me of my Director of Operations, John (RIP), who used to go delirious when he asked one of our Foreman what his plan was to achieve a certain goal.

                The Foreman’s “We’ll give ‘er hell John” was invariably responded to (as in screamed, LOL) with “We’ll give ‘er hell IS NOT A PLAN!”

                Liked by 1 person

            2. Dennis, my thought about crisis is that it, and the problems/catastrophes that might result, occurs along a timeline. The ‘end results’ may still be a bit further down the road; but just like the fading brakes on an overloaded truck that is already traveling a bit too fast towards the steep decline, the unkind results are increasingly likely with each passing second … or, day, month, year.

              So different people will recognize that a situation is a crisis at different points along the timeline. Some see where things are going sooner than others. (Think “Radar O’Reilly’ on M.A.S.H. There’s also a pretty good, fairly brief book alluding to ONE aspect of this: “Blink”, by Malcolm Gladwell; though it doesn’t encompass the aspects of cognition related to thought, association and complexity).

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thank You, Roger, for the tip on Gladwell’s BLINK. While checking it out on Amazon, i came across another of his books that looks even more relevant to the situation confronting America and the entire Planet: THE TIPPING POINT: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. [ https://www.amazon.com/Tipping-Point-Little-Things-Difference-ebook/dp/B000OT8GD0 ]

                Wiktionary defines of “tipping point” as:

                The point at which a slow, reversible change becomes irreversible, often with dramatic consequences;
                A point in time when a group rapidly and dramatically changes its behavior by widely adopting a previously rare practice;
                An irreversible change in the cultural, social, economic, political, or, more recently, the Planet’s climate system;
                The point in time at which some new technology becomes mainstream.

                The argument can be made that America in particular, Western Civilization in general, and the entire Planet as a whole are approaching and confronting a number of cultural, social, economic, political, and ecological Tipping Points that, when they happen, have the potential to change Everything.

                And that as it stands right now, those Changes at the national, civilizational, and global levels are not going to be very pleasant for the overwhelming majority of Humans at the individual, family, and community levels. In fact, they have every potential of being disasters and tragedies.

                Liked by 1 person

    2. OFF TOPIC [but not really]: Funny that You should mention Nader, Dennis. He plays a central role in… :

      THE FIRST BIG LIE OF THE 21ST CENTURY: THAT NADER COST GORE THE WHITE HOUSE

      And that first Big Lie of the 21st century was also the Biggest Lie of the 2000 Presidential Election:

      Specifically, that Ralph Nader, the Green Party, and the people who voted for Nader cost Al Gore and the Democrats the election, and are thus directly responsible for all the evil unleashed by the Cheney White House on the planet and on this nation, in general, and on liberals, progressives, and the victims they champion, in particular.

      That Lie is exposed for what it is when one, simple, incontestable, and inconvenient FACT is considered:

      If you took every vote that Nader got in either Tennessee (Gore’s home state) or Arkansas (Clinton’s home state), and gave them to Gore, GORE WOULD HAVE STILL LOST THEM BOTH.

      This would make him the only candidate in history to lose the state of his own party’s incumbent President, and only the second candidate in history (after McGovern in 1972) to lose his own state. If Gore had won either of those two states — his own home state or the state of his boss and titular head of his own Party — Gore would have won the election, regardless of what happened in Florida.

      The Gore challenge to the election results in Florida deserved — and in fact almost looks like it was intended — to fail. Instead of demanding a STATEWIDE recount, the Gore braintrust chose only to demand recounts in those areas they thought they would win. But even more important than that, the Gore folks apparently had neither the balls or brains to challenge the legality of the removal of more than 50,000 overwhelmingly Black voters from the registered voters lists.

      And here’s another simple, incontestable fact: Because liberals, progressives, and radicals did not have the balls to vote their conscience, but instead voted for what they thought was a sure-fire way to win, GORE COST NADER THE ELECTION.

      Because these people voted for one of the biggest thugs, liars, hypocrites, and thieves in Washington DC, they turned their backs on the ONLY true liberal, progressive, and radical in the campaign…the ONLY candidate with a life history consistent with true alleged Democratic, liberal, and progressive values, principles, and ideals.

      And, they got what they voted for. And thus also got what they deserved in Bush The Lesser.

      Written July 2, 2004

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And now for the real facts:

        You missed out the part about the initial vote certification made by Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, a Republican, to stand for Bush, meaning that Bush won Florida’s 25 electoral votes. Florida’s votes gave Bush 271 electoral votes, one more than the 270 required to win the Electoral College. The Florida Supreme Court had then automatically ordered a statewide recount of all undervotes, over 61,000 ballots that the vote tabulation machines had missed. The Bush campaign immediately asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the decision and halt the recount.

        Enter good boy Justice Antonin Scalia, a Republican. Speaking of thugs, liars, hypocrites, and thieves in Washington DC, Scalia was convinced (wink, wink) that all the manual recounts being performed in Florida’s counties were illegitimate, and urged his colleagues to grant the stay. Surprise, surprise… the five conservative justices on the Court granted the stay for Bush.( With reliable old boy Antinon citing “irreparable harm” that could befall Bush, as the recounts would cast “a needless and unjustified cloud over Bush’s legitimacy!” You can’t make this up!) To his unending credit in dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that “counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm.”

        This meant the defeat of Al Gore, who won 267 electoral votes (but received 266, as a “faithless elector” from the District of Columbia abstained from voting.) So the Supreme Court decided who was going to be the President. Not because liberals, progressives, and radicals did not have the balls to vote their conscience. And it certainly it was not decided by Nadar’s participation. Thanks to good old boy Antonin the American citizens well never know who legitimately won the vote.

        WIKI- Bush v. Gore prompted many strong reactions from scholars, pundits and others regarding the Court’s decision, with a majority of publications in law reviews being critical. An analysis in The Georgetown Law Journal found that 78 scholarly articles were published about the case between 2001 and 2004, with 35 criticizing the decision and 11 defending it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They may be “real” facts, Dennis; but they are irrelevant.

          Again: If Gore had won either his own State, Tennessee, or Clinton’s Arkansas, he would have had the Electoral Votes needed to win the election. Regardless of what went on in Florida or at SCOTUS. If he had won either Home States, the final result in Florida would have had no impact whatsoever on the final result of the election.

          What does it tell You that the voters of Tennessee rejected their own Senator to be President? It tells me that maybe the folks in The Volunteer State knew something about Gore that the rest of all the Americans who voted for him didn’t.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. And Jeff, while my old brain is thinking about this, isn’t this the same judge who “decided” all Americans have a right to own guns – which was surely not the intent of the founding fathers? And the same court who “decided” not all American women should have the right to have….oh, never mind!

              Is it any wonder the American citizens are becoming more and more disenchanted with the mob in the Washington Beltway? All three of these “decisions” being discussed here, especially the later two, being put to a legitimate national referendum, would have surely been overturned.

              A world looks on shaking its head in amazement about what America calls democracy. And an America trying to force this democracy on others at the point of a gun in an era of gunboat democracy. When invariably is what happens is the grandiose schemes of policymakers and human rights activists go horribly wrong in the field.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Can You quote any Founding Father who declared himself against The Right To Keep and Bear Arms? Or who were against the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Constitution?

                Here are some quotes from the many who declared themselves unconditionally committed to that Right being part of the Constitution:
                https://ammo.com/articles/founding-fathers-quotes-second-amendment-guns-keep-and-bear-arms .

                And here’s another perspective on that subject: “According to the Founders, all federal gun restrictions are unconstitutional,” at
                https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/545847-according-to-the-founders-all-federal-gun-restrictions-are/

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                1. @JG MOEBUS

                  Jeff, if your intent is reopen the can of worms of the intent of 2A – spare us please. We all know what the founding fathers intent was. Not every Joe Blow was to have the rights to have a gun. Only those in a militia had the right to bear arms. A “militia” being akin to todays National Guard.

                  If you disagree – spare us. We have all heard the anti-gun control rant at least a 1,000 times. Move on folks – noting to see here.

                  Like

            2. Sorry, but i’d be inclined to say that the voters of Tennessee and Arkansas decided who the President was going to be. Again, if Gore had won either of those two States, Scalia and the rest of SCOTUS would have never gotten involved in the matter.

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                1. Hmmm. i wonder if You would be so quick to denounce SCOTUS as just another partisan agency if it had given the election to Gore and not Bush.

                  i’m reminded of the outrage expressed in 2016 when Hillary won the Popular but not the Electoral vote. Of all those folks denouncing the Electoral College system as unfair, many of them were at least honest enough to admit that, if the situation was reversed ~ if Trump took the Popular vote and Clinton the Electoral ~ they probably wouldn’t be quite so upset with how things had turned out.

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                2. Partisan is partisan, Jeff. The side doesn’t matter.

                  I didn’t vote for Bush or Gore. Neither candidate inspired me.

                  But I remember the “hanging chads” and I remember thinking there was no rush to settle the election. There’s almost three months between the election in early November and inauguration in late January, so I figured we’d just count the votes in Florida and see what happens.

                  Then SCOTUS intervened and stopped it all, ruling along partisan lines for Bush. And this was supposed to be how “democracy” works.

                  Well, we all know democracy is a sham, but 2000 sure made it obvious.

                  Liked by 3 people

                3. Bill, partisanship in American politics is certainly nothing new, is it? In fact, that could serve as a very accurate definition and description of the heart and soul of American politics from this nation’s beginnings.

                  It started back when the Federalists and Anti-Federalists locked horns over the Constitution, and hasn’t abated since. That’s where the first American political parties came from.

                  And that was a major cause of deep concern for at least some ~ but not all ~ of the Founding Fathers. See “The Founding Fathers Feared Political Factions Would Tear the Nation Apart” at https://www.history.com/news/founding-fathers-political-parties-opinion .

                  To anybody paying any kind of attention at all, the sham that is American “democracy” was very obvious long before 2000.

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  3. I have also decided to vote for the best candidate instead of the least bad option, ie the Democratic option. It is my understanding that a third party will receive federal funding for future elections if the third-party candidate receives 5% of the vote in an election. From General Election Funding (https://transition.fec.gov/info/chtwo.htm) “Minor party candidates and new party candidates may qualify for partial general election funding, based on their party’s electoral performance. Minor party candidates (nominees of parties whose Presidential candidates received between 5 and 25 percent of the vote in the preceding election) may receive public funds based on the ratio of their party’s vote in the preceding Presidential election to the average of the two major party candidates in that election. New party candidates (nominees of parties that are neither major parties nor minor parties) may receive public funds after the election if they receive 5 percent or more of the vote. The amount is based on the ratio of the new party candidate’s vote to the average vote of the two major party candidates in that election.” Also in California, one rule for ballot access is as follows: “Once a political party qualifies( for the ballot), it must retain 1/15 of 1 percent (0.06 percent) of the state’s total registration of voters in order to maintain its status as an officially recognized political party. Also, a party’s candidate for statewide office must earn at least 2 percent of the entire vote in an election, or the party must maintain 0.33 percent of statewide registration in a gubernatorial election year.” Therefore, to get candidates with views that are NOT mainstream, I now think it is worthwhile to vote for whom you want. (https://ballotpedia.org/Ballot_access_requirements_for_political_parties_in_California)

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  4. HELEN, yes, but its questionable researching the records of third-party candidates in the US in the last 100-years that this 5% threshold will be ever reached. Am I correct on that you think?

    And will these third-parties get enough Federal Funding to make any difference? How much will they have to get to even make a dent in the huge coffers of the Democratic and Republican parties? And how are Americans going to feel about government interference in picking winners and losers? Is that a valid question?

    Like

    1. Lets hope that we do not get a repeat of this ugliness eh WENT2THEBRIDGE:

      NBC News shot down 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s claim that his microphone was turned off at some points during the Thursday debate.

      Yang, a tech expert entrepreneur, only got about 3-minutes of speaking time during the two hour debate airing on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Yang told supporters at a post-debate event that, “I just started talking, being like, ‘Hey, I want to add something there,’ and my mic was, like, not on.”

      Yang also said in a tweet that his microphone was turned off when he was not speaking.

      NBC strenuously denied Yang’s claim. “At no point during the debate was any candidate’s microphone turned off or muted,” the network said in a statement.

      Like

      1. Indeed, we can only hope there are no dirty tricks against Matt in the debate arena.

        This is dinky old Maine so I managed to get into four televised debates (two of them nationwide on c-span as I was challenging Sen. Susan Collins in 2020). But the 5th debate shut me out entirely at the behest of their corporate overlords, Hearst Communications. There’s a great political cartoon about that here: https://mobile.twitter.com/ForestTaber/status/1321276244453924866

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s funny you mention “dirty tricks.” The Democratic reaction to Matt Hoh in NC very much reminded me of Nixon and his dirty tricks.

          The Democrats like to pose as the party of fairness and open-mindedness compared to the Republicans, but of course in North Carolina they did everything they could, fair and unfair, to block Hoh from the ballot.

          Whether Hoh is allowed to debate, and gets close to a fair amount of speaking time, remains to be seen. It seems there’s only one debate currently proposed, with only the Democratic candidate committed to it. The Republican candidate may not even debate. And something tells me that, if there’s a debate, only the Republican and Democratic candidates will appear, with the Libertarian and Green not invited.

          https://myfox8.com/news/north-carolina/democrat-beasley-announces-north-carolina-senate-debate-but-republican-budd-bides-time/

          Liked by 2 people

  5. @JG MOEBUS

    While we are on the subject of US electoral voting:
    Thanks for bringing up the anachronistic Electoral College Jeff.
    A system that is way past its sell-buy-date.
    It arguably may have served a purpose 150-years ago, but not anymore.
    A so-called democratic country that has a voting system that does not honour the majority vote can hardly call itself a democracy. That the candidate that wins the popular vote is not ALWAYS the winner is anathema to democracy.

    And of course people will always argue in advance for something they think will be to their advantage.
    And be happy if it does, and pissed off and change their mind if it doesn’t! Its human nature.

    The Electoral College is one of the main reasons the US is ranked as a Flawed Democracy in the Democracy Index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research division of the Economist Group, a UK-based private company which publishes the weekly newspaper The Economist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eliminating the Electoral College is simple, Dennis. It just ain’t as easy as, say, an Executive Order or an AUMF [Authorization to Use Military Force].

      All that is required is a Constitutional Amendment ~ from a proposal by Congress or from a new Constitutional Convention ~ that 38 States accept and ratify.

      And, contrary to popular belief, the Constitution did not establish a “Democracy”; it established a Republic. How does the US rank on the EIU’s Republic Index?

      But far more importantly: How would You feel about the Electoral College if the results of Election2016 had been completely reversed? If Trump had won the popular vote and Clinton the Electoral vote? Would You be so vehemently opposed to the system then?

      Shortly after the 2016 election, i asked the same question to a bunch of die-hard Trump Haters. impassioned Clinton Lovers, and Democrats who only voted for Clinton because they didn’t want Trump to be President.

      What do You think their response was?

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    2. Always a chuckle when a country replete with kings and queens, earls, dukes, princes and princesses and a House of Lords lectures the rest of the world on the true meaning of democracy.

      Like

  6. “In 2019, a team of economic researchers from the University of Texas released a shocking finding. Republicans, they predicted, would win nearly one in six presidential races where the GOP lost the popular vote by three points. Thus, there was a significant likelihood that Republicans would capture the White House even when a clear majority of the public preferred to elect a Democrat.

    As it turns out, this 2019 study wasn’t nearly pessimistic enough about the Democratic Party’s chances of prevailing in the Electoral College.

    On Sunday, David Shor, one of the Democratic Party’s leading data analysts, shared a chart showing that the GOP’s advantage in the Electoral College grew significantly between 2016, when Republican Donald Trump became president despite losing the popular vote, and 2020.

    The bottom line is that Trump received a four-point boost from the Electoral College in 2020 — or, as Shor puts it, Democrats needed to win 52 percent of the national electorate in order to have an even chance of winning the presidency. (Trump received about a three-point boost from the Electoral College in 2016, when he lost the national popular vote by 2.1 points.)”

    https://www.vox.com/2021/1/11/22224700/electoral-college-joe-biden-donald-trump-bias-four-points-one-chart

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally agree with you about voting for the candidate you actually like rather than a democrat that only offers crumbs. I certainly agree with you about the “squad”, so thank you for saying what you did, because I thought I was the only one who was feeling that the group of progressives in the House have not done as much as they could have – particularly when in total what they say they are for is what the majority of voters want, but each one seems to have her own pulpit and I don’t see them pulling together enough. I hope you will send them this essay that you wrote and if you want to include the comments I think that might be a plus, so they can see that others agree that they need to pull together more, and fight for the important things.
    Your friend Matthew Hoh looks like a good guy. I looked at his web site and read his list of things he wants to get done, so I donated. I’ll be hoping in November that he makes it, but sad to say that the odds aren’t good. My father was born in the N. C. mountains (a VERY long time ago) and I have a vast number of relatives there, most of whom are sweet god fearing southern baptists who are determindly racist even though they don’t think they are. But miracles happen and we can hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When will the American People get fed up with the Bullshit that is passed off as Leadership and Management by their government?

    MORE BILLIONS TO UKRAINE AS AMERICA FALLS APART by Ron Paul

    There is a video clip making the rounds showing President Biden speaking at a recent NATO summit about the seven billion dollars the US government had – at that time – provided to Ukraine. Attached to that is another clip showing the horrific state of several US major cities, including in Pennsylvania, California, and Ohio. The video of American cities is shocking: endless landscapes of filth, trash, homelessness, open fires on the street, drug-addicted zombies. It doesn’t look like the America most of us remember.

    Watching Biden bragging about sending billions of dollars to corrupt leaders overseas with American cities looking like bombed-out Iraq or Libya is US foreign policy in a nutshell. The Washington elites tell the rest of America that they must “promote democracy” in some far-off land. Anyone who objects is considered in league with the appointed enemy of the day. Once it was Saddam, then Assad and Gaddafi. Now it’s Putin. The game is the same, only the names are changed.

    What is seldom asked, is what is in this deal for those Americans who suffer to pay for our interventionist foreign policy. Do they really think a working American in Ohio or Pennsylvania is better off or safer because we are supposedly protecting Ukraine’s borders? I think most Americans would wonder why they aren’t bothering to protect our own borders.

    Continued at http://www.campaignforliberty.org/billions-ukraine-america-falls-apart

    Liked by 1 person

  9. FREE SPEECH DOESN’T MATTER IF PROPAGANDISTS DETERMINE WHAT PEOPLE SAY by Caitlin Johnstone

    None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

    None are more hopelessly ignorant than those who falsely believe they’re informed.

    None are more hopelessly propagandized than those who don’t know they are propagandized.

    Living in a liberal western democracy means having the freedom to criticize the tyranny of your government, but instead spending your time criticizing the tyranny of foreign governments who your government doesn’t like.

    Free speech in a liberal western democracy means you have the freedom to say whatever you want about the abuses of your government, and the press has the freedom to hammer you with propaganda to ensure that you never do.

    In a liberal western democracy you are free to criticize your government, but instead you are propagandized into criticizing the impotent puppets who get rotated in and out of office while YOUR GOVERNMENT CONTINUES DOING ALL THE SAME EVIL THINGS REGARDLESS OF WHO GETS ELECTED.

    In liberal western democracies you are free to call the president “Drumpf” or “Brandon”, but YOU ARE NOT FREE TO KNOW WHO’S ACTUALLY CALLING THE SHOTS IN YOUR COUNTRY UNDERNEATH THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT.

    Continued at https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/free-speech-doesnt-matter-if-propagandists [EMPHASES added.]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Amid growing fears about political violence in the US, a senior Republican senator predicted “riots in the streets” if Donald Trump is prosecuted for mishandling classified information.

    Any case against Trump is likely to be built around his call to Georgia’s secretary of state to demand he ‘find’ enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory.

    Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, made his remarks about the ex-president while speaking to Fox News’s Sunday Night in America, hosted by Trey Gowdy, a former Republican congressman from the same state.

    Graham said: “Most Republicans, including me, believe when it comes to Trump, there is no law. It’s all about getting him. There’s a double standard when it comes to Trump.”

    Alleging a failure by the FBI to investigate Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, Graham added: “I’ll say this, if there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information, after the Clinton debacle … there’ll be riots in the streets.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/29/lindsey-graham-riots-trump-prosecuted-records

    Like

    1. It’s a shame Graham doesn’t have the balls to go to Georgia and testify under oath about what he knows about this whole soap opera.

      Or isn’t FORCED to go under what used to be called a “Rule of Law.”

      And if there are going to be “riots in the streets” if anything happens to POTUS Maxximmuss XLV, Graham would no doubt know.

      Like

  11. From the same Guardian article…..

    He continued: “How can you tell a conservative Republican that the system works when it comes to Trump? … If they try to prosecute President Trump for mishandling classified information after Hillary Clinton set up a server in her basement, there will literally will be riots in the streets. I worry about our country.”

    Like

  12. While you’re trying to decide who to vote for in the US, American Politicians are still sleepwalking toward the Nuclear Abyss.
    It’s US Politicians, more than from any other Nation, who has to pull back from the Destructive Path this World is on. and American Powers Brokers WANT MORE WAR.

    ‘Reinforcing Failure in Ukraine’
    The longer the war with Russia lasts the more likely it becomes that the damage to Ukraine will be irreparable.
    By Douglas Macgregor

    August 29, 2022: Information Clearing House — “AC” – In an open letter entitled “U.S. must arm Ukraine now, before it’s too late” 20 notable American advocates for the war against Russia in Ukraine argue that the conflict has reached a decisive moment. To win, the authors insist, Ukrainian forces need an abundance of new equipment, including the constant resupply of ammunition and spare parts for artillery platforms, short- and medium-range air defense systems to counter Russian air and missile strikes, and ATACMS munitions fired by HIMARS with the 300km range necessary to strike Russian military targets anywhere in Ukraine or Crimea.

    Meanwhile, the initial flood of equipment and ammunition from Washington’s European Allies into Ukraine has been reduced to a trickle. Daniel Fiott, a European defense analyst at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, complained, “Ukraine needs hardware, not hot air.” Equally important, refugee fatigue is setting in across Europe…………………………………………………………………
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57206.htm

    ‘Geopolitical tectonic plates shifting, six months on’
    By Pepe Escobar

    August 29, 2022: Information Clearing House — Six months after the start of the Special Military Operation (SMO) by Russia in Ukraine, the geopolitical tectonic plates of the 21st century have been dislocated at astonishing speed and depth – with immense historical repercussions already at hand. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, this is the way the (new) world begins, not with a whimper but a bang.

    The vile assassination of Darya Dugina – de facto terrorism at the gates of Moscow – may have fatefully coincided with the six-month intersection point, but that won’t change the dynamics of the current, work-in-progress historical drive. The FSB may have cracked the case in a little over 24 hours, designating the perpetrator as a neo-Nazi Azov operative instrumentalized by the SBU, itself a mere tool of the CIA/MI6 combo de facto ruling Kiev.

    The Azov operative is just a patsy. The FSB will never reveal in public the intel it has amassed on those that issued the orders – and how they will be dealt with.

    One Ilya Ponomaryov, an anti-Kremlin minor character granted Ukrainian citizenship, boasted he was in contact with the outfit that prepared the hit on the Dugin family. No one took him seriously.

    What’s manifestly serious is how oligarchy-connected organized crime factions in Russia would have a motive to eliminate Dugin as a Christian Orthodox nationalist philosopher who, according to them, may have influenced the Kremlin’s pivot to Asia (he didn’t)……………………………………………………………..
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57209.htm

    Like

    1. The 1st section is factual. Sections 2-5 is only wishful speculation by US War Mongers writing from their Personal bias.

      The knockout blow Western sanctions were expected to deliver to Russia has not materialized so far, according to the Economist. As this magazine’s writers remind us, the IMF now expects Russia’s GDP to shrink by 6% in 2022, much less than the 15% drop many expected earlier, while Russia’s current-account surplus is projected to be second only to China. The biggest flaw of the Western sanctions regime is that embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of the world’s GDP. The effect of the West’s punitive measures against Russia has also been mitigated by Russia’s chokehold on gas and the time lag factor, according to the Economist. That Russia actually earned more money from oil exports this year than in 2021 has also helped the Kremlin weather sanctions.
      Is Putin really obsessed with Odesa? Roger Cohen’s story on the front-page of the New York Times declares just that. Graham Allison, however, begs to disagree. In his first fact and analysis check for RM, Allison gives six reasons why he rejects Cohen’s proposition. First, Cohen offers no specific evidence to support his central claim about Putin’s personal obsession for Odesa, according to Allison. Second, Allison’s review of Putin’s own statements on Ukraine and of experts’ analyses of the Russian leader finds no sign of any fixation or even special interest in Odesa. Third, it is Kyiv that is unquestionably the most valuable target in Putin’s eyes. Fourth, for Putin, the first and even more essential prize was Crimea in general and Sevastopol in particular. Fifth, Odesa is not the “grain port to the world,” as Cohen claims. Last, but not least, Ukrainian access to the sea does not hinge on Odesa.
      Sanctions cannot alter Putin’s determination to subjugate Ukraine, Fiona Hill and Angela Stent acknowledge in their take on “the world Putin wants.” “Putin seems uninterested in a compromise that would leave Ukraine as a sovereign, independent state—whatever its borders. … The goal is not negotiation, but Ukrainian capitulation,” they write in FA. Moreover, Putin’s claims may stretch beyond Ukraine, into Europe and Eurasia, they write. According to Marlene Laruelle, however, the Kremlin is not interested in reintegrating either Central Asia or most of the South Caucasus. “Instead, the quest is a blend of responding to … challenges posed by the West and recreating a mythified Russia in which historical junctures and territorial discontinuities would be erased or repaired,” she argues.
      A frustrated Putin has sidelined Shoigu, according to Russia’s Important Stories news outlet. Putin has begun to bypass Shoigu to issue direct orders to commanders of groupings of Russian forces in Ukraine after his defense minister failed to keep his promise to attain military objectives with the standing army at its peacetime levels, Istories wrote on Aug. 23. Without mobilization, which his generals urge, but which Putin continues to oppose, the shortage of personnel has become “catastrophic,” with war now projected to drag on for a year and a half or more, according to Istories’ sources.
      Have the Chinese become the decisive power for keeping Russia in the war? Phillips O’Brien has claimed just that in an interview with FT, as the PLA’s army, air force and navy prepare to participate in the same Russian wargame for the first time. “Russia couldn’t fight without China right now,” this University of St. Andrews professor claimed in an interview with FT’s Gideon Rachman.

      https://www.russiamatters.org/news

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  13. And it just keeps getting deeper and deeper and deeper…. :

    WE’RE BEING TRAINED TO WORRY ABOUT ‘RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA’ WHILE DROWNING IN US PROPAGANDA [Excerpts] by Caitlin Johnstone

    One of the weirdest, most insane things happening today is the way the entire western world is being trained to freak out about “Russian propaganda” — which barely exists in the west — while ignoring the fact that we are spending every day marinating in billions of dollars worth of US empire propaganda…

    …THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RUSSIAN STATE MEDIA AND US STATE MEDIA IS THAT RUSSIAN STATE MEDIA IS HONEST ABOUT WHAT IT IS…

    …What’s funny about all this is that by constantly warning of the dangers of Russian propaganda, imperial spinmeisters are admitting that they know it’s possible to manipulate public thought at mass scale using media. They’re just lying about who’s doing it to us…

    …In reality, they’re not worried about Russian propaganda. “RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA” IS JUST A SPOOKY STORY WE ARE TOLD TO KEEP US FROM NOTICING THAT OUR CIVILIZATION IS SATURATED IN US PROPAGANDA.

    Full article at https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/were-being-trained-to-worry-about [EMPHASES added.]

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Caitlin Johnstone is cranking out soon great stuff lately Jeff….

    “US claims to be in Syria to fight ISIS, but it rarely fights ISIS,” journalist Aaron Maté tweeted of the exchange. “It’s actually there to deny Syria its own oil and wheat, and to occasionally attack Syrians and their allies who defeated US-backed sectarian death squads in the dirty war.”

    What he says is completely true. The US is an occupying force who is there without the permission of the Syrian government, without having been attacked by Syria, and without any valid claim to be defending itself from anyone in Syria. The “Iran-backed” militias in Syria are operating with the full authorization of the Syrian government. The US has quite literally invaded a nation on the other side of the world, killed the people in that nation who don’t want them there, and then claimed self-defense in doing so.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57203.htm

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Defense officials are worried that U.S. weapons transfers to Ukraine are reducing the Pentagon’s military readiness, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    “It is not at the level we would like to go into combat,” a defense official said, adding that current stockpiles of artillery ammunition are “uncomfortably low.” And, given that it can take years to purchase new weapons from weapons makers, this shortfall could last well into the future.

    The news shows just how dramatically American weapons stocks have fallen in recent months in order to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion. It also highlights the massive financial windfall that arms manufacturers will receive in the coming months and years as taxpayers fund a boost in weapons production.

    The Pentagon has pledged to send nearly $13 billion in arms since the war began. Around $8 billion of those transfers have been drawn directly from DoD stockpiles, while the other weapons packages will come from new contracts with arms makers.

    The discomfort at the Pentagon may help explain why DoD has shifted away from sending 155 mm artillery shells, opting instead to ship 105 mm rounds to Ukraine in a recent drawdown.

    The Wall Street Journal notes that defense industry leaders have expressed concerns that defense officials are not moving fast enough if they want to quickly replenish their stocks. As the head of Lockheed Martin said in July, DoD will have to “shift gears” in order to return weapons stores to pre-war levels.

    Despite their frustrations, there’s little doubt that defense giants will be the biggest winners from the billions that the United States has invested in Kyiv’s defense. And these gains could last well beyond the war in Ukraine: According to the Wall Street Journal, the Army has already asked Congress for $500 million per year in order to enhance its ammo factories.

    https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/08/29/pentagon-stockpiles-uncomfortably-low-due-to-ukraine-arms-transfers-dod/

    Like

  16. I have been a member of the Greens for over 20 years but I can’t support people like Jill Stein (Howie Hawkins is OK), Margaret Kimberley, Medea Benjamin, Ajamu Baraka or Crypto fascists like Cynthia McKinney who indirectly support Russian fascism and Eurasian white supremacy. These people have to go…

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