Trump Republicans are now the Lesser Evil

First I want to clarify a few things.
Trump Republicans are still an evil that I won't support.
Secondly, if you identify with the cultural left then the Trump Republicans are still the greater evil.
What I'm talking about here is the Traditional Left that identifies with the working class.

If you are unsure of the difference, here's an example: If you opposed Trump's muslim ban, but still supported bombing those muslim nations, then you aren't part of the Traditional Left. You are part of the woke cultural left that is at home with the professional, managerial class.

The last few days have proven that the Democratic Party leadership is more hostile to the working class Left than Trump Republicans.

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House Democrats have pulled a bill to reauthorize parts of the federal surveillance program known as FISA, a stinging defeat for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s legislative machine provoked by a veto threat from President Donald Trump...
“Clearly, because House Republicans have prioritized politics over our national security, we will no longer have a bipartisan veto-proof majority,” Pelosi wrote.
But the Democratic caucus was facing its own revolt from the left, with about 100 progressives refusing to back legislation they saw as undermining privacy rights of Americans. And last-minute language from senior Democrats close to Pelosi, like House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), further muddied the waters for an uneasy left wing.

Republicans only oppose the bill because Trump opposed it.
Trump only opposed the bill because he's been personally victimized by it.
But that doesn't excuse the Dem leadership, which worked so hard to defeat the progressive agenda.
When it comes to civil rights, Trump Republicans are further to the left than Pelosi, Hoyer, Schiff, and Third-Way Dems.

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Probably the clearest division between the Left and the Democratic leadership concerns our endless wars. That's where Trump has clearly moved further to the left.

The Trump administration is evaluating a range of options for the eventual withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan...
Earlier this year, the United States brokered a peace deal with the Taliban that would usher in a permanent cease-fire and reduce the U.S. military’s footprint from approximately 13,000 to 8,600 by mid-July.

Trump has publicly said he would like to pull American soldiers out of Afghanistan ahead of the timeline, as early as Thanksgiving.
Nearly three-quarters of veterans support a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Trump is also considering withdraw US troops from the Sinai Peninsula, and started to pull troops from Syria.

Obviously this is an immensely popular position on the Traditional Left (the cultural left OTOH can't be bothered).
So what does the Dem leadership think?

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In the few instances in which Trump has sought to de-escalate violence, he has drawn howls from the national security establishment, including Democratic Party leaders. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, dubbed the Syria pullout a “Christmas present to Vladimir Putin.” Now a majority of Senate Democrats have voted to oppose a “precipitous withdrawal” from Syria and Afghanistan...
Again, however, party leaders often impugned the very goal of exiting Syria or Afghanistan anytime soon. Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, cast Trump’s decision as a threat to U.S. national security. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, dismissed the withdrawal plan as “impulsive, irresponsible, and dangerous” for ceding ground to Iran, Syria, Russia, and the Islamic State.

These episodes reveal how deeply some Democrats have imbibed the militarism that has produced decades of forever-and-everywhere war. Not only do many Democrats favor continued war and hostility to no end, but they fetishize military force as the true measure of U.S. engagement in the world.

The ironic result of the 2016 election is that the NeoCons and Never Trumpers, the same people responsible for the 2006 and 2008 Republican defeats, are now setting policy in the Democratic Party, with the same disastrous results.
When it comes to war, the Traditional Left can only support self-defense. If you favor illegally bombing and occupying Syria, then you aren't on the left. Period.

Then there is the vital issue of trade.
Most people forget that it was Reagan that negotiated NAFTA, and the GOP that pushed it through Congress.
Fast-forward a couple decades and look at Obama's legacy.

After years of siding with corporate America to pass various job-killing trade deals over the opposition of congressional Democrats, he announced that it was “nonsense” that anyone should have the view that “Democrats have somehow abandoned the white working class.”

Yet in fact, post-election polling and exit polls confirm that Trump flipped decisive states because he connected with voters’ fury about job-killing trade deals.

Trump’s omnipresent attacks on “rigged” trade deals resonated with communities devastated by mass job offshoring. Polling shows that Americans viewed President Obama’s TPP as a corporate power grab that would cost more jobs, lower wages and raise medicine prices.

Obama negotiated TPP, and Hillary loved it, but guess who was the point man on selling it.

Democratic critics of President Obama's trade agenda got a playful warning from Joe Biden on Thursday, when the vice president announced that he'll be the administration's leading pitchman for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“I know a lot of you don't like TPP, but you're going to have to see me,” Biden told scores of House Democrats gathered in Baltimore for their yearly retreat. “I apologize, because they think we get along with each other, so they're sending me.”

It took three years for Biden to back off on his support for TPP. I doubt that anyone believes him.

Meanwhile Trump killed TPP. Trump also attempted to improve NAFTA (Trump largely failed, but he did more than Clinton and Obama combined). Trump has clumsily attempted to address our horrible trade relationship with China (Trump has mostly failed here too, while restarting a cold war, but he's giving it a real effort).
Trump also tried to stop corporations from exploiting H-1B visas, that are often used to break labor unions (Trump opposed it for reasons of immigration). He failed here too.

Trump is horrible on a lot of issues, but you can't be on the Left and say that trade, war, and civil liberties aren't vitally important to you.
If you are still OK with the Dem leadership, if you think Pelosi and Biden are good on these issues, then you are no progressive, no leftist, you aren't even a moderate.
You are a reactionary right-winger.
If this trend continues, the working class Left should consider switching parties.

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Comments

I find it preferable to the nuclear war with China that Trump keeps playing with.
Talk about shooting down Chinese ships and airplanes is just crazy!

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness
Neither side is acceptable. We are only talking about slightly less evil.

Trump was honestly interested in ending war with North Korea.
The Dems opposed his efforts.

Trump didn't want to escalate tensions with Russia.
The Dems do.

On the other side, Trump nearly started a war with Iran, and is trying to push a coup in Venezuela. A coup that the Dems are good with.

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@gjohnsit

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We are so screwed.

Roy Blakeley's picture

@gjohnsit just different evils. Trump is somewhat better in the middle east, but he has cancelled important treaties like the intermediate range missile treaty and the open skies initiative and he is increasing the militarization of space. The Dems are probably a bit better on those things. Both are criminal.

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@Roy Blakeley calculation is Do you feel comfortable with the erratic, unstable ignoramus Trump having control of our nuclear arsenal or with the merely flawed, imperfect but knowledgable, experienced and mentally stable (if aging) Biden.

Biden of course would never have pulled the US out of those nuclear treaties and agreements with Russia which considers these Trump actions as dangerous and provocative.

In the FP area generally, giving great weight to important arms agreements now being shredded by the unstable Trump, and with deteriorated relations with Russia and China occurring on Trump's watch, there's no question that Biden is the safer option. The left just needs to get more strength and courage in opposing those regime change temptations which the MIC is always pushing.

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@wokkamile Every move Trump attempted to make for better relations with Russia were was met wave after wave of democrats, deep state, and media attacks calling Trump a Russian agent. The Mueller investigation and later impeachment were all about using Russiagate to attack Trump. Even when Trump fired off missiles at Syria his response was described as weak, with most democratic sites developed a conspiracy theory that Putin ordered the strikes to take the heat off Trump.

In effect, media, deep state, neocons, and democrats (along with anti-Trump republicans) destroyed the possiblity of diplomacy with Russia. The same happened with N. Korea.

In terms of a potential crisis leading up to a nuclear war, would you trust Biden or Trump? For example, who would escalate US troops in Syria or the Ukraine? My bet is on the war hawk Biden as he will be pushed and rewarded for any military stand off with Russia.

When I hear Biden speak about Russia and China, he was his elevated bully voice.

I am not going to vote for either men, but in terms of nuclear war, I do not trust either one of them.

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@wokkamile

Do you feel comfortable with the erratic, unstable ignoramus Trump having control of our nuclear arsenal or with the merely flawed, imperfect but knowledgable, experienced and mentally stable (if aging) Biden

is key for me.

I agree with your statement that Trump is erratic, unstable and, in important respects, an ignoramus. I disagree about Biden being mentally stable, but I agree that he is knowlegable and experienced. The problem is that Biden is knowlegable and experienced in the policy of making nuclear weapons more usable, of placing tactical nukes in strategically unstable regions, and of promoting war with Russia.

I don't want any person to be in control of our nuclear arsenal. I don't want anyone to have a nuclear arsenal. So if having a goofball President wakes the American people up to the danger of having an insane war policy, sadly that seems preferable to having a warmonger who makes nuclear war seem reasonable to so many Americans who seem to be asleep.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Linda Wood

but he's now got such advanced brain rot that he's less stable and less knowledgeable than Trump(!)

Wokkamile, please stop trying to sell us on a Fantasy Biden based on who and what Biden used to be. We have to deal with what he is NOW - and what he is NOW isn't fit to be dogcatcher.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@wokkamile are knowledgeable and experienced.
It is what a person knows, and how they act upon that knowledge that really matters.

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@on the cusp @on the cusp a wiser and less hawkish person as VP under Obama, compared with his senate yrs. Definitely less trigger happy and gung ho for more war than SecState Hillary. Not exactly another Scoop Jackson either.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wokkamile The real one looks to me like this:

https://theintercept.com/2020/01/07/joe-biden-iraq-war-history/

I'm sure everything will be cool, though, after he takes out Maduro.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

@Cassiodorus not an endorsement. I have 5 more months to think about it, and here in CA my vote won't matter and my choices are wide open.

I may even decide to write in Lady Gaga. I was thinking Chér, but she has sounded too moderate lately.

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@wokkamile and stop killing people of color, because?
Wokkamile, your support of Biden is very strong and cogent.
It is Biden who makes it useless.
i think your advocacy for Biden is fabulous!
I hope you are being rewarded, in body and mind, of course.!

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@on the cusp be nice if I could be rewarded with more likes here, but alas taking an unpopular minority of one position on some major hot topics doesn't bring me much reward in this small town. So be it.

But I should have thought your legal training would have made you a little more appreciative of the importance of considerng the other side of the story and all the facts. Definitely that recent Tara Reade fiction which collapsed spectacularly, the one so many online progs insisted was true, shows how vital it is not to be narrow-minded, and to consider whether one might be looking at things too rigidly through a partisan lens.

This board doesn't need a 61st voice repeating the same easy, breezy Biden ~ Trump line, although I could become a lot more popular by toeing the line and conforming my views to fit the political fashion in these parts. But, in the immortal words of that great statesman Richard Nixon, That would be wrong!

So, again, my Biden comments should be seen for what they are -- merely pointing out relevant facts unmentioned by others bc it doesn't fit the storyline they prefer. All this, in however many posts, does not imply endorsement. Like many out there, I will be taking the next 5 months to deliberate, along with the usual consulting with my pastor/priest/rabbi/imam/spiritual guru/Tony Robbins figure for their wise, and occasionally expensive, counsel. My firm position is always that it's not necessary to decide until it's time to decide.

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@wokkamile Reade has nothing to do with Biden's history of legislation. That is documented, not subject to "interpretation", or credibility. Documents. Read. Not opinions.
If you have the unpopular belief her that Biden is sane and rational, when the other 60 folks think otherwise, that's fine as well. That is subject to interpretation, and opinion. The site is bipartisan, as you know.
Being liked, being popular, is overrated. Unless you are a politician, maybe a preacher...And Jesus Himself was crucified.
Arguing against the content of government documents is way more difficult for the 60 other people here to support, as you are discovering. (Where you came up with that number of participants is interesting. Show us all where that was derived.)
Be that lone voice you want to be.
I know that every single thing you post is reflective of your positive opinion of Biden.
You have no real clue who the other 60 people on the site support, or if they(we) even vote.
We all know you will vote for Biden.

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@on the cusp straw man argument? I've never challenged what's there for all to see in his very mixed senate record, or the Hill hearings and the rest. Much of it, esp working for MBNA those many years and cheerleading for Dubya's Iraq War, I find a bit too Republican.

I was challenging the omission by others here of certain other facts which have been established, as with his opposing the intervention in Libya and the Afghan surge. Also the failure to mention his support for the arms agreements, and extending them, with the Rooskies, which is now again a hot topic bc of the Don's pulling out. The lack of such agreements is going to make the world a more dangerous place, but if Biden supports such sane and rational treaties it's worth noting and the omission is glaring. And his support of such reasonable agreements tends to suggest he may be more sane and rational than you will admit.

Speaking of which, I think I missed the rational, fact-based and unbiased argument here that he isn't sane and rational. From your expert mental health perspective of course. Made some lousy votes, sided with liars and warmongers on occasion, enabled Clarence Thomas 30 yrs ago, yes to all that. Showing signs of cognitive decline? I was the first poster here to note it, back late summer or so. But showing such signs isn't necessarily the same as asserting he's not sane or rational. It does seem to suggest in his case that he isn't communicating as fluidly as before due to memory loss, nominal aphasia, whatever -- this is not my area of expertise.

Perhaps you're confusing Biden with the guy in the WH who advocates injecting oneself with disinfectants or taking a dangerous drug intended for malaria or who deludes himself that he's a stable genius. When Biden starts talking along those lines, then we can have a basis for asserting he doesn't seem sane and rational.

On the 61st, you are taking things a bit too seriously and literally. Relax. It was just a number that seemed right for exaggerated effect as "31st voice" seemed a number too small. Or just maybe I wanted to honor Roger Maris for hitting 61 home runs in 1961, back when people followed baseball. Nothing wrong with that I hope.

And no, on many issues I'm not inclined to waste more electrons here being the 61st voice. I'm too contrarian for one. And have a habit of often looking for what isn't being mentioned, the other side of the story in general. I find it makes for more interesting conversation when not everyone is lining up to agree with each other. But perhaps you are more comfortable with unanimity.

Finally, congratulations on knowing for certain how I will vote. That will save me a lot of time thinking it over in the next 5 months. It is news to me and my other two housemates, who have to put up with me more often than not railing against Biden and his Larry Summers tendencies.

But this is certain: if Joe picks Lady Gaga or the far out Grace Slick as his running mate, I will vote for him.

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@wokkamile The peace mongering Biden is a Russigater who will bring peace and tranquility to the the US and Russia?
And he is on video somewhere saying his race is to beat Joe Biden? Lol!
When I noticed my Mom losing her mind, I spoke to her dr. Sure enough, she was losing her mind. I wasn't a dr. then, nor am I now, but it is sort of personally responsible for a person to mention senility and get someone some help.
If it is ok to say Trump is a nut, then it is ok to say Biden is a nut.
To talk about Biden's undiscussed accomplishments is a needle in a haystack.
Glad to hear you are not committed to voting for him.
I hope you will consider voting green.

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@on the cusp remembering and saying his name. At his age and stage, that's probably a good thing to do.

But "peace and tranquility"? That sounds rather Panglossian. However, for the record, on Russiagate we must also count among its purveyors the presumably sane and rational Bernard Sanders.

As for the Green Pty, I can't bring myself to vote for someone as mentally lame as a guy, one Howie Hawkins, being a supposedly independent thinker free from major political party pressure on the issue, who also fell for the Russiagate nonsense. And I'm normally not in the habit of voting for someone with a rather unimpressive eau-for-24 record in winning election contests. He's certainly no Jill Stein. But give me a call if the Greens happen to nominate Susan Sarandon. Even Michael Moore.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@wokkamile

I was challenging the omission by others here of certain other facts which have been established, as with his opposing the intervention in Libya and the Afghan surge. Also the failure to mention his support for the arms agreements, and extending them, with the Rooskies, which is now again a hot topic bc of the Don's pulling out.

On Libya: Biden later claimed that he was 'right about Libya', but that was simply another case of Joe 'revinventing' his record of support at the time.

Speaking Oct. 21, 2011 in Plymouth, New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden did not confirm the death of former Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, even as rumors of his death were flying. But the vice president was happy to credit the Obama administration with a job well done.

"In this case, America spent $2 billion total and didn’t lose a single life," Biden told an audience at Plymouth State University.

"This is more the prescription for how we deal with the world going forward than we have in the past," he said, arguing that the cost of the operation in Libya was low, both in lives and dollars, compared to other military operations.

As far as Russia goes, Biden actively supported: the violent overthrow of Ukraine's pro Russian President, the inclusion of Ukraine into NATO, the arming of neo-Nazis who then carried out a horrific progrom against Russian speaking Ukrainians, all so he and his son could cash in on carbon theft from the fracking friendly areas near the Russian border.

Given his clear record of anti-Russian activities during Obama's term (not to mention the Dems' hysterical antipathy to Putin and the Kremlin lo these past many years), it's pure centrist spin to think a President Biden would likely improve relations with Moscow. More probably, quite the opposite.

Now about Afghanistan and Arms Control, you are correct that Biden opposed Obama's surge and that his record on strategic weapons agreements is demonstrably better than Trump's. Unfortunately for Biden, opposing a troop surge once upon a time doesn't come close to actually pulling those troops out during an election year.

If Trump makes good on his promise to bring the all boys and girls home from Afghanistan by election day, no amount of nuclear scaremongering about the NPT is going to make a bit of difference to Joe's chances.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

OzoneTom's picture

@gjohnsit

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Cassiodorus's picture

I have a certain sympathy with the "I'm withholding my vote until Biden does X" constituency, but I don't think any of those people, few as they are, are going to get Joe Biden to do anything differently. It's really up to the candidates to spell out the contours of the election, and to screw up so that that small portion of the masses which votes will vote in revulsion for the other guy.

And honestly the core supporters of both candidates are wasting their time pissing people off and prepping themselves for more of the same bourgeois mudslinging once the election is over.

Bill Hicks spoke the truth that still resonates today:

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

@Cassiodorus

I don't think any of those people, few as they are, are going to get Joe Biden to do anything differently

If you are on the left, you have no influence in the presidential race at all.
Biden will never do anything progressives want. Not a single thing.

If you are on the left then you should focus on down ballot races and/or the future.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

A short, efficient, support-rich essay making an excellent case for the unthinkable.

One thing, though:

Trump also attempted to improve NAFTA (Trump largely failed, but he did more than Clinton and Obama combined).

Can you provide some good support for this? It's a strong statement on a huge issue, and just the sort of position that one needs to be prepared for a full blitzkrieg on from Trump's Inverse-Cult-of-Personality (ICoP, for short - that feels like something worth spreading around, given that he's far from the first or only politician to have acquired one; who can ever forget the one the GOP cultivated around the Clintons in the '90s?).

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat
Trump’s New Nafta Pact Looks More Like a Rebranding Than a Revolution

Trump’s NAFTA Rebrand Looks More Like the TPP, Minus the Partnership

New trade deal with Canada, Mexico borrows heavily from pact that Trump abandoned

But the article that really breaks it down is this one

He found that of the 23 chapters common to all three trade deals, the language of TPP and USMCA was more similar in 20. The three chapters in which the USMCA and NAFTA were more textually similar pertained to trade remedies, publication and administration, and temporary entry for businesspeople.

The language in the government procurement chapters of TPP and the USMCA is about 78% similar, compared with less than 40% in NAFTA-USMCA, Alschner found. In the chapters on state-owned enterprises, the textual similarity in TPP-USMCA in almost 60%, compared with less than 20% for NAFTA-USMCA. In key chapters on intellectual property rights, financial services, sanitary and phytosanitary measures technical barriers to trade and competition policy, the language of TPP-USMCA is overwhelmingly more similar than that of NAFTA-USMCA

Meanwhile, the Dems have been telling us for 20 years that it was impossible to renegotiate NAFTA.
As for this...

one needs to be prepared for a full blitzkrieg on from Trump's Inverse-Cult-of-Personality

I'd be more interested if DKos discovered this essay. Their heads would explode from the title alone.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@gjohnsit

I'd be more interested if DKos discovered this essay. Their heads would explode from the title alone.

The Inverse-Cult-of-Personality; it's just like a conventional cult of personality except, shall we say, maltheistic.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

RantingRooster's picture

that perfectly display this dymanic
rightwing_vs_centrist.jpg

GWB as Obama looks on...
Trump as Pelosi looks on...
Republicans as Democrats look on... (#Karens & #DontBeAmy)
The State doing to society as Oligarchs look on...
Corporate Exec's doing to labor as Union leadership looks on...

The meme applies on many levels I reckon...

Drinks

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"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

I think Trump's last minute threat to veto FISA had more to do with it's death than any Dem revolt. Senate vote from memory was like 80/15.

If I had to draw a line between woke left and blue collar working class left I'd draw it at immigration, wages, and all the other pocket book issues that affect working class people. Yes we have no interest in dropping bombs on anyone's head, but most of us don't follow international issues as much as we do health care, wages, etc.

Trump is big on new increased import quotas for H2Bs, a lot of working people think that with tens of millions of newly unemployed we don't need to import workers to drive down wages.

For the working class here being forced to work at meat packing, retail, nursing, nursing assistants in old folks homes, are a big deal. They aren't safe. For woke folk like Markos
he took the free money with PPP. Working class gets unemployment that can be removed at any time and you can be forced to work in a dangerous environment.

Nate Silver has had a couple essays about the "don't like either of them" cohort. He says in 16 we broke for Trump but this election look to be 80/20 Biden. Nate calls us haters, as in hate them both. I can relate. But then I've been voting for the less worse for 40 some years. I always figured they were all like that.

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@ban nock
Real debates with both candidates giving their views on the same questions. Not phony debates like today's parallel unrelated question news interviews.

1964 - mud slinging fest, yes I saw the ad with the little girl and the nuclear explosion

1968 - Three ring circus, but at least there were three balloted candidates even though at least one was a certified bigot.

Beyond that - either no contest or media run.

EDIT: 1968, I confess to voting for Nixon. He at least said he had a plan to get out of Vietnam. Johnson said "I'm not going to escalate, I'm not going to deescalate". I thought "God! He's going to keep on doing the same shit that isn't working." Humphrey refused to repudiate Johnson, so it was Nixon or Wallace. I think I took the lesser evil.

Don't remember 1952 campaigns. I was only seven. I remember my father and my uncles discussing it like there was a choice. In the end Democrats (including my Dad) voted for Stevenson and Republicans voted for Eisenhower. Policy aside, I think both were men of integrity, or as least as much integrity that a politician can have.

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness
the add with the little girl and the nuclear explosion, it's more than likely that you saw it on the news or in a political science course. The Johnson campaign broadcast it once, then pulled it.

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@FuturePassed and doubt that any news broadcasters ran it during the election. It was talked about in newspapers and TV news, but don't know how extensive that coverage was during the election cycle.

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@Marie Aren't I lucky to have that in my head?

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@FuturePassed
O remember another too. With a kid drinking water and choking from pollution. Both ads same theme. But of course you were right behind me every time I turned on the TV.

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness seen it replayed as it was discussed on one of the 3 network nightly news programs and even shown in its entirety. Unless you were of sufficient age, or somehow involved in the 1964 campaign, it's unlikely you would remember 56 yrs later the precise context where you first saw it.

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@The Voice In the Wilderness While I knew that the "Daisy Girl" commercial only ran once and as that commercial break was not in a top ten rated program, the number of people that saw it wasn't large (and doubt that you were one of those viewers), I didn't know that it was featured in national news broadcasts a week later which is where far more people saw it. It must have disappeared after that as I never saw it even as I read about it. Also, the commercial was only scheduled to air once and contrary to most reports wasn't pulled because it was controversial.

IMHO The Daisy Girl remains a well crafted political ad, but viewers today wouldn't find it scary because they lack the context and with the US space program that mostly came later, countdowns became mentally associated with a good thing.

Sid Myers provides the context

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@Marie audience -- only 3 networks and no cable then, and only some of the big cities had smaller indy stations, so the Big 3 could regularly count on viewing audiences in the tens of millions each night. The more so as this was on a Monday of the Labor Day weekend and the movie being run (David and Bathsheba from 1951) featured major star Gregory Peck. The coverage of the ad on the networks' nightly news shows would have added millions of more viewers.

One ad buy for triple the impact. Quite a bargain. Not to mention all the times the Goldwater camp stupidly decided to double down on it by complaining about the ad's "inappropriate" tone in news interviews. This was right up LBJ's political alley -- make a bold charge and let the other guy deny it. Exactly what the Goldwater camp did for the next two weeks. I'm sure LBJ and his media advisor Bill Moyers had a good chuckle about it in the Oval Office.

While the ad might seem somewhat tame today, it is considered the beginning of negative political advertising, a landmark piece that hit its target like no other.

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@wokkamile posted in my prior comment. The "Daisy Girl" ad was only one of several spots commissioned by LBJ's campaign that were run that September. All based on statements made by Goldwater in speeches or his book. Several of those spots are included in the C Span3 video.

Sid Myers, the ad agency art director, discloses the purchase commission from LBJ and his team. All content in broad categories such as nuclear weapons, social security, etc. and that was the only direction the agency received from the campaign. The campaign aired almost all of the completed spots.

Many campaigns since then have attempted to emulate the "Daisy Girl" ad without success. (Apparently HRC did so in 2016.) Myers points out that they all miss the prime requirements that they have to be true and novel by offering a different perspective preexisting general knowledge. False mudslinging has nothing to do with the LBJ spots.

As that was back in the era of fair broadcasting, there would not have been any expectation that one of the spots would have been run by the network news. Even as most TV and print journalists had favored JFK in 1960 and LBJ in 1964.

(And yes, LBJ did privately approve of the "Daisy Girl" spot.)

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@Marie later, but wonder if the Goldwater camp ever complained to the FCC about the LBJ ad being run on the news shows and therefore they should get equal time to respond or run their own ads for free on the network. Sounds like Goldwater's people were spending more time denying he was irrational or crazy.

(We would know still more about all this if Bill Moyers would publish his memoirs dealing with his time in the Johnson WH, which book has yet to appear though Moyers has talked about it for years.)

Interesting too is that JFK, in the weeks leading up to Dallas as he was beginning to think about 1964 and running against BG, was considering the very advertising group that made the Daisy ad. They had made some clever ads for Volkswagen and the Beetle car -- "Think Small" -- and for Avis -- "We Try Harder" -- which he found clever.

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@FuturePassed "That Was The Week That Was."
After that Goldwater bought up TW3's remaining air time, and the satirically brilliant show died.

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@jim p during a commercial break on the NBC Monday Night Movie - Sept 7, 1964 - the movie was a rerun that first aired a year earlier.

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@Marie and pretty sure it was during TW3 but it's possible I've conflated two early adolescent memories.

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@The Voice In the Wilderness You thought he hadn't earned being labeled "Tricky Dicky?" I wasn't old enough to vote in '68, but I knew that LBJ had initiated the peace talk negotiations (of course none of us knew that Dicky had thwarted those negotiations in October 1968), HHH had once been a decent person, and Nixon was a rabid anti-communist. His "secret plan" was to end it by winning it.

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@Marie
"Gee, I'll vote for the guy who has no plan and will be in Vietnam for a century, instead of the guy who says he has a plan but isn't trustworthy." Any hope is better than no hope.

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness @The Voice In the Wilderness the greater evil in Nixon, but you were young and there was limited information available at that time, though, imo, what was available was enough to make a better decision.

Humphrey was the candidate with an announced plan with some specifics -- at least as of late Sept 1968 when he made his nationally broadcast speech on VN, which called for a bombing halt and a cease fire to precede negotiations, and a timetable to begin withdrawing US troops in the year after successful talks. Any of these points was far more than Nixon had announced, which was nothing but an empty promise either to escalate to win or end the war by pulling out -- a promise kept deliberately vague.

Imo, Nixon intended a plan (probably conjured up largely after taking office) to get him successfully past re-elect in 1972 by not so much winning the war but by not losing the war as US ground combat activity would be phased out, and the awful body count that brought, would end.

Btw, Humphrey's speech caused some consternation with his boss Lyndon, who was always hypersensitive to any underling's action which he could construe as disloyal. Johnson wasn't pleased with Humphrey's speech, even as HHH carefully calculated how much distance he could create between himself and his boss, and believed what he offered was about as far as he could go without LBJ reacting harshly by working aggressively to thwart his VP's campaign.

Btw2 and a little known fact: In early 1965, upon becoming Johnson's VP and as he learned that LBJ was about to begin escalation, Humphrey sent his boss a 5-pg unsolicited memo outlining the dangers of escalation and arguing in favor of political-economic reform in SVN and decreased US-assisted military actions as the SVN Army would take more responsibility. LBJ was furious, and thereafter cut Humphrey out of all WH discussions on the war. He also arranged to have his VP's phone tapped, which fact became public only in the 1990s.

This was the kind of extremely difficult boss Humphrey had to try to delicately deal with. Had he become president, there's no doubt in my mind he would have begun a sustained drawdown of US troops, and ultimately ended US military involvement much faster than did occur. He never did believe in the war, in my view, but was forced by circumstances to have to publicly pose as a war advocate for his boss, the price he had to pay to get back into Johnson's good graces.

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lotlizard's picture

@wokkamile  
administration and the Democratic party, on whose watch (1) young protesters had been brutalized at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on orders of Democratic city machine mayor Richard Daley and (2) even worse, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the real legitimate presidential candidate RFK had been assassinated within months of each other (with the FBI and, in the case of RFK, the Secret Service playing a fatally two-faced, or at least mysteriously ineffective, role).

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@lotlizard is so. There was much about HHH not to recommend him, as he found himself the face of the establishment that was prosecuting a brutal war and bringing brutal oppression in the streets of Chicago. Iirc, Humphrey endorsed the police action after the convention was over, or immediately thereafter, and I think that had much to do with his need to stay on good terms with Mayor Daley. Only later on did he allow as how maybe the police went too far. Not exactly a profile in courage.

On MLK, there are plenty of questions about possible FBI involvement in his assassination, but I'll leave that for another time except to note that by Apr '67 and MLK's anti-VN War speech, LBJ considered him an enemy of his administration.

Re RFK, there was no secret service protection of presidential candidates as of June 1968 -- Kennedy had only his private small group of 2 bodyguards, namely two ex athletes, and so was very vulnerable. I believe there was a federal law passed after his assassination to permit secret service protection for major candidates, which is the law we have today.

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@The Voice In the Wilderness You fell for a non-existent "secret plan" just as tens of millions fell for the fictional WMD. But even at a relatively young age, I had an advantage on matters related to Nixon because information on who he was was more accessible to Californians. At an even younger age, I had been influenced by MLK, Jr and watched the live broadcast of the March on Washington. As a twenty year old, I did my own research on Vietnam -- materials that had been accessible to any curious mind by 1968. If not for the warmongering egomaniacs in DC, there was nothing complex about ending what the Vietnamese call The American War. There was a fully functioning government in Hanoi that had broad support in the artificial division of the north and south. Other than the dregs of the French colonialist Vietnamese, the people in that country were nationalists and had had enough of the invaders/occupiers -- France, Japan, France, and the US.

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@Marie
You may have seen classmates go ff to the meat grinder as I did, but you personally (because of your gender) didn't have to worry that YOU might wind up jumping out of a Huey.

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness didn't return from the 'meat grinder' in 1969. Had the peace negotiations proceeded without interference under LBJ and HHH, the odds were better that Billy and Jimmy would have made it back alive.

The "you're not X; so, you weren't vulnerable" is a disgusting argument. That's like saying since I'm not an AA male, I have no need to be concerned with police brutality towards AA men. Or the generally less lethal police brutality towards AA women because I'm white.

Other than not having needed to formulate a plan to avoid being drafted and getting better informed at a younger age, not likely that I would have done anything different if I'd been a man. I would have taken that freaking college deferment and felt guilty about doing so. Would have opposed the war for the benefit and protection of others, including the Vietnamese. May have applied for CO status at the end of my deferment because via the lottery I would then have been drafted. Or maybe I would have emigrated to Canada. Or maybe I would have done the time without being sent to the 'meat grinder' (might have risked being court martialed for insubordination) and been haunted by the experience as so many I've known were.

As you avoided the 'meat grinder,' what was YOUR plan, other than voting for a fake "secret plan to end the war?"

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@Marie @Marie
I just stuck it out. I did go to work for the US Navy after graduation. I had three job offers.

1. A defense contractor in Louisiana. He wanted me to be a support engineer to the production line. I hated the work and this was the lowest paying offer.

2. The AEC (Atomic Energy Commission, now the NRC, wanted to hire me, train me at Langely(!), for a year to be a nuclear plant inspector. This was the highest paying offer. Both my degrees are in Physics. But they said they would transfer me around the country every four years and neither I nor my fiance wanted that.

3. The US Navy offered me a GS-7 job with automatic progression to GS-12 to do circuit analysis for reliability prediction and numerical analysis of electronic component and assembly failures. This was the job I took. After about four months, my number came up and I was ordered to report for a pre-induction physical. I showed it to my boss (an ex-Nike battery sergeant). He went to see our commanding Officer, a four stripe Captain.
The Captain said he thought everyone should serve. My boss pestered him and got him to admit that he didn't have a policy from Washington. So my boss, the Captain and the Administrative Officer (a civilian GS-14) called the Rear Admiral in charge of our installation in Washington (actually Hyattsville Maryland). The Admiral said (I am told, I wasn't present), "Are you nuts! You would let the army grab one of our engineers when we have so much trouble hiring them! Get him a deferment!" So the Admin officer wrote my draft board a glowing letter implying that the whole war effort would fall apart without me and the Draft Board granted me an occupational deferment. I didn't ask for it, but I sure took it.

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We are so screwed.

travelerxxx's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

I didn't ask for it, but I sure took it.

And I don't blame you. Something mildly similar happened to me. After high school, I should have been 1A. My lottery number was either 28 or 30 (I always forget which, as my best friend was also 28 or 30. He probably can't remember, either.) Anyway, after being bussed to Kansas City with others my age and forced to take a "pre-induction physical," I awaited my draft card.

Said draft card was not long in coming. Not long after the physical by the military doctors, I received a nice letter from the Selective Service System. In fact, it actually was nice. Enclosed was my draft card, all made out just especially for me. Correct name, address, age, everything. Thing is, it didn't say "1A." Not at all. It said (making this up, cause I can't remember exactly) "4M Ineligible" or some such thing that I'd never heard of. Oddly enough, my buddy (Mr. 28 or 30), who happened to live across the alley from me, had some crazy classification on his card, too!

Believe me, we didn't run right down to the local recruitment station to let them know. Both of us thought the best thing was to just sit tight. We figured they'd find their mistake soon enough. Sure enough, they did. One day, my mailbox had another letter from the wonderful folks at the SSS. I thought, "Okay, they got me." Except they didn't. Upon opening the SSS letter, and checking the enclosed new draft card, I was once again surprised at the classification. This time it was "3H" or something, and I'd never heard of it. No one I talked to had ever heard of it. I kept mum and went on with life.

Perhaps six months later, another missive from the SSS arrived. I figured the third time was the charm, but no. Once again, it had some strange classification. About this time, it was announced that the draft was to end. Some of the guys in my age group had been picked up, but not many. Very few. In any event, the draft was stopped and all the men in my age group sighed collectively.

I did finally get a correct draft card, but I was into my late twenties when I did. These days, I can't even remember what it classified me as, and I don't have it. I threw it in the trash the day I got it.

So, I didn't ask for them to screw up my draft status, but I was happy to take that mistake and run with it.

Sidenote: They never did send another card to my buddy and he remained in his mystery classification.

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@The Voice In the Wilderness
Based on your previous comments I'd like to think it's unworthy of you as well.

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@FuturePassed
But it is much easier to judge when the cannon isn't pointed at you.
I have conversed electronically with Marie for many years and had no intention of insulting her. Just stating a fact. The military gender situation is vastly different now than it was in the 1960's. In fact, my granddaughter-in-law is an Iraq combat veteran. BTW, she doesn't think that is a status to aspire to either.

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We are so screwed.

@ban nock Trump did have an advantage in that he wasn't running against an incumbent P or his VP, and also his opponent was the very disliked Hillary. Also not hard to detect some misogyny involved in the animus against her among many voters.

This time however, Biden, not burdened with misogyny animus issues, is the one running against incumbent Trump, and is not nearly as disliked as Hillary. Many indy/swing voters tend to prefer just voting on the basis of Change, and so Biden is likely to get the lion's share of these voters.

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Shahryar's picture

or if she's really as evil as she'd have to be, to keep pushing it.

But then she's the person who complained about protestors in front of her exclusive SF pad, saying, roughly, "if they were homeless I could have them hauled off".

Wish I could find the quote. It's from 2007. Here's an article...but no quote from her.

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Protesters-continue-vigil-outside...

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@Shahryar than believe a legitimate Trump win over HRC. Of course it's convenient and self-serving for her to believe that Putin/Russia hacked the DNC and handed it off to Wikileaks in an effort to downplay the rot in the Democratic party that the documents exposed. She's a Dem Party animal and not a deep or particularly logical thinker.

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lotlizard's picture

@Shahryar  
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/09/AR200710...

“Look,” she said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. “I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things — Buddhas? I don’t know what they were — couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk.” Unsmilingly, she continued: “If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have ‘Impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First Amendment.”

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@lotlizard for her.
I wouldn't be sad if she chokes on her ice cream.

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travelerxxx's picture

@on the cusp

If she does bite the dust due to overindulgence of ice cream (I was going to say "brain freeze," but there's no way...), then I'd like to have that nifty refrigerator she's got. I could trade that for a really nice car.

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@travelerxxx I am having a guest next week, want to show him around, might just hook up with you and your wife.
That is making a HUGE assumption that we will not be otherwise occupied.

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@lotlizard
Going after a politician's home smacks of intimidation and threat. The office is one thing. that's a place of business and politics is her business. Threatening people's families and homes is not politics. it's Michael Corleone business.

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We are so screwed.

lotlizard's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness  
while their and other officials’ homes are being surrounded and vandalized by people protesting George Floyd’s death …

Progressives / the Left seem to be mostly okay with that or even enthusiastic, regarding such intimidation as an understandable and justifiable part of, or prelude to, the kind of popular uprising many have been expecting and/or hoping for … A lot of Antifa actions are also clearly intended to intimidate …

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11736597/lines-of-riot-police-protect-home...

In Pelosi’s case, in 2007 a bit of “uprising” finally did indeed spill over, directed at a politician whose party ran on reining in the Bush-Cheney wars of aggression and then was continuing to enable them; no low-level law enforcement employee but the Speaker of the House, gatekeeper on impeachment, and #3 in the line of succession …

I see your point though, mobs are fickle, nowadays you don’t even have to be a celebrity, any one of us could find ourselves suddenly singled out and doxxed for something we said or did that someone didn’t like, and hit with a s–tstorm by the “cancel culture” …

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@lotlizard @lotlizard

DELETED I don't want to be banned again.

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We are so screwed.

Shahryar's picture

@lotlizard

how embarrassing that San Francisco, city of beatniks and hippies, has her as its representative.

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@Shahryar

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We are so screwed.

Pluto's Republic's picture

...make way for those who are.

::

Destroy the deeply corrupt Party that betrayed your life.

Vote AGAINST all candidates aligned with this Party, in every single race.

Every soul must learn this lesson, however painful. Reform is not possible.

Continue until you wipe all remnants of this Party off the face of the Earth.

End this compromised atrocity and its mental enslavement of the People — once and for all.

Free the Left! Let its voice be heard around the world.

Thank you for not indulging in passive-voting.

Disobey authority. Save yourselves! Use your votes only to vote AGAINST the Democratic Party.

Ruin the elections for everyone. Cut off one leg of the Duopoly and then kick the last leg out from under it.

Sound a warning for the world. Expose this Empire for the corrupt farce that it is.

Be brave. No one can stop you.

Let the Evil consume itself until there is none left.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Cassiodorus's picture

@Pluto's Republic They have Zoom meetings every two weeks.

https://peoplesparty.org/

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

With the great depression and FDR the Dems gained a super majority in Congress. Yet they were always to the right of FDR, in part because there were so many Blue Dog Dems. They finally got their revenge by replacing Wallace with Truman in FDR's last term. The rest is history, the use of nuclear weapons on civilian populations and then the Cold War. History is in large part due to the Democrat Party.

During the War in Vietnam Johnson stood above all else in expanding the war and making it truly inhumane. His strategy was that the North and the Vietcong must have a breaking point, amd he was going to find it, whatever it took. In many areas any adult male was fair game to kill. He was truly evil. He then brought us Nixon, by virtue of not allowing Humphrey to campaign on an anti-war position.

I was part of the anti-war protest in the late 1960s. We were called the New Left and were very Progressive in our overall philosophy. We also protested against the Establishment and the Military and Racism and for Women's Liberation. We despised the Democrat Party. They made us nauseous. To us, they were a bunch of warmongering hypocrites. Nothing has changed today.

The difference today is that I see the real possibility of a new populist party that can draw from Democrats and Republicans. We need to destroy the Democrat Party and replace it with a real populist party that listens to the needs of the people, not the monied establishment. To be clear, I mean to go all the way to decimate the Democrat and replace it with a real party that implements the will of the people, like M4A, no more wars, social justice and political justice. We have 75 years of proof that the modern Democrat Party is irredeemably evil. A third party has to be for real, not just to influence the Democrats. Voters can tell the difference right away.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

and agree with the restrictions Republicans around the country are putting on the rights of women to control their own bodies?

Can you be on the left and support the wholesale destruction of the minimal environmental protection measures we have managed to put in place? Do you like the idea of turning protected lands into fracking sites?

The notion that the Democratic Party can be destroyed and an emerging liberal party will arise out of the ashes and co-opt working class Republicans to transform the country seems extremely optimistic at best. How much time will it take to create the new party and get it on ballots around the country? How many obstacles will Republicans create to impede the effort?

Do you really want to see the Republican Party unchained?

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Cassiodorus's picture

@FuturePassed but is someone putting chains on the Republican Party? Seems to me they have the blessings of the Democrats, who want in on their money connections.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh