Updated below (on Tuesday, August 9, 2016)
As I have written, once Bernie Sanders no longer was in the race (after the June 7 primaries, in which he lost California and New Jersey [but especially after he lost California]), I’ve had no horse in it — and thus little interest in it.
Although I’m still being bombarded by the ignorant and fear-based claims that all of us must vote for Billary Clinton in order to prevent lesser evil Donald Trump from sitting in the Oval Office, I still plan to vote for Jill Stein on November 8.
I mean, there still is the little thing called the Electoral College, and Billary Clinton is guaranteed all of my state of California’s 55 electoral votes in the winner-takes-all Electoral College (no, we do not pick our president by the popular vote). I’ve covered this fact right out of Civics 101 many times before, but the ignorance-and-fear-based You-must-vote-for-Billary! cacophony continues, so I must repeat myself.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, of course, is coming under harsher attack now that her numbers have gone up (she apparently has inherited a lot of Bernie-or-busters like myself), even though she’ll very most likely never break out of low single digits when the final votes for president are tallied.
(Right now Real Clear Politics gives Stein 4 percent in the average of recent nationwide polls in a four-way race of Trump, Billary, Stein and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and right now RCP gives Billary a 6.5 percent lead over Trump in such a four-way.)
Jill Stein never will be president of the United States of America. I’m confident of that. But I refuse to vote for the supposed lesser of two evils, so I’m voting for Stein, both as a protest vote and because the Green Party much more closely matches my values and beliefs than does the Democratic Party, which under the likes of the center-right, Repugnican Lite Clintons became a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, anti-populist party no later than in the 1990s.
The biggest criticism that I’ve most often seen hurled at Stein (mostly by dutiful Billarybots) is that she has sided with the anti-vaccination nut jobs, which is a shocking! stance for a physician! to take, but from what I can tell from the facts, Stein, indeed a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is pro-vaccination but is overly concerned about not offending the anti-vaxxers and so she apparently has parsed her words when discussing vaccination so as not to offend either camp.
I’m firmly in the pro-vaccination camp (vaccinate your fucking kids, especially if they are around the rest of us!), but this isn’t a huge issue for me. It’s not a deal breaker, especially since from what I can discern Stein never actually has been anti-vaccination. (She has been suspect of the mega-corporations that profit from vaccines, which is reasonable and quite understandable; very often the craven profit motive clouds or even destroys the science.)
After Billary Clinton’s apparently inevitable Democratic coronation — already we have forgotten those WikiLeaked anti-Bernie Democratic National Committee e-mails from upon high that were No Big Deal, even though not only DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but also three other DNC officials, have resigned because of them — I signed up on Billary’s e-mail list to see what her messaging is, and my God (I don’t want to be accused by the DNC weasels of being — gasp! — an atheist!) are Billary’s e-mails to her supporters incredibly dull, uber-pedestrian and utterly uninspiring.
Here is today’s typical Billary fundraising e-mail:
This week, we learned that Donald Trump and the Republicans raised more than $82 million in the month of July.
This is the same man who mocked a disabled reporter and has called women “fat pigs.” The same man who took the stage at the Republican National Convention and told the world that his vision is to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, deport millions of immigrants, and repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaving countless Americans without health care.
He’s unqualified and unfit to lead our country — but the unfortunate reality we must confront is that he still might be able to win if he spends enough to convince voters otherwise.
This team has what it takes to defeat him — I know that. But I need to know you’re with me right now. Will you chip in to get your Team Hillary sticker and make sure that we win in November and build a future for our country that we can be proud of?
This is classic Clintonian triangulation. Rather than tell you anything remotely substantively what Billary actually has done or will do for you, she’ll instead attack Donald Trump, which is like shooting fish in a barrel, a really hard accomplishment.
And, of course, as the Democratic Party has done for many years now, it’s all about the fundraising race, all about money.
And what’s further funny is that there is a big red button right under the e-mail language above that says “Donate $1.” Of course, when you click on “Donate $1,” you then are taken to a fundraising page that starts at $5 and ends at $500. (To be fair, if you truly want to give only that $1 — and I won’t give Billary Clinton one fucking cent — you can click on “Other Amount,” apparently, and donate just that $1, but it’s funny that you’re baited with $1 and then apparently are pressured into giving at least $5. It’s a dick move that The Donald might make, except I see that when you visit his website’s home page, his starting asking price is $10.)
So this is all that Billary has to offer us: lazy, self-evident critiques of Donald Trump and money begs. This is just one notch (maybe two) above the rank fascism that Der Fuhrer Trump is offering the nation.
It’s true that Bernie Sanders has asked his supporters to vote for Billary, such as with a commentary he wrote for The Los Angeles Times a few days ago. It reads, in part:
The conventions are over and the general election has officially begun. In the primaries, I received 1,846 pledged delegates, 46 percent of the total. Hillary Clinton received 2,205 pledged delegates, 54 percent. She received 602 super-delegates. I received 48 super-delegates. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and I will vigorously support her. [Wow. What a stirring endorsement! Billary won the math, so go, Billary!]
Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president. His campaign is not based on anything of substance — improving the economy, our education system, healthcare or the environment. It is based on bigotry. He is attempting to win this election by fomenting hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. He has crudely insulted women. And as a leader of the “birther movement,” he tried to undermine the legitimacy of our first African-American president. That is not just my point of view. That’s the perspective of a number of conservative Republicans.
In these difficult times, we need a president who will bring our nation together, not someone who will divide us by race or religion, not someone who lacks an understanding of what our Constitution is about.
On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents.
Clinton understands that Citizens United has undermined our democracy. She will nominate justices who are prepared to overturn that Supreme Court decision, which made it possible for billionaires to buy elections. Her court appointees also would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.
Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority. …
Don’t get me wrong; of course Donald Trump would be a worse president than would Billary. That is saying exactly almost zero. But both Billary and Trump are self-serving, corrupt baby boomers (I know, redundant), and neither is acceptable for the presidency. It’s just that one is worse than the other.
Billary pays lip service to women and their rights, to non-whites, to the LGBT “community,” to immigrants, to Muslims, et. al. — indeed, having jettisoned actual populism (that is, actual concern for the socioeconomic well-being of the American commoner) many years ago, the Democratic Party has become reduced pretty much only to identity politics — but what Billary and Trump both have in common is their fealty to our plutocratic overlords and to the socioeconomic status quo that benefits our plutocratic overlords at our commoners’ continued expense.
(Billionaires for Billary, by the way, include Michael Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, Warren Buffet, and, of course, George Soros, and perhaps Jeff Bezos.)
Billary’s rhetoric is nicer than Trump’s, but under President Billary you’d find that your lot in life has improved no more than it did under eight years of President Hopey-Changey, and that’s because it’s all a fucking ruse. The Repugnican Party and the Democratic Party for decades now have just played good cop/bad cop, and their common enemy is we commoners. We’re fucked either way, by the bad cop or by the “good” cop, but usually by both working in tandem, as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party do against us commoners.
The Coke Party and the Pepsi Party will continue their good cop/bad cop campaign against the American populace as long as they still are able to.
Participating in their bullshit will only perpetuate their bullshit, and so while I understand that politically Bernie Sanders more or less has had to quasi-endorse Billary (I mean, I understand that he intends to remain in the U.S. Senate for a while and would prefer not to be a total pariah there), yes, I’m disappointed that he has joined the chorus singing hymns in defense of the supposed lesser of two evils.
Not to sound too much like Ted Cruz (who is the second coming of Joseph McCarthy), but I still entreaty you to vote your conscience on November 8. (And it’s interesting that the advice to actually vote your conscience sends the Democratic Party hacks into an apoplectic fit as much as it sends the Repugnican Tea Party hacks into an apoplectic fit.)
As I wrote in June: If (like I do) you live in a solidly blue or a solidly red state and it’s already clear that Billary or Trump will win your state and thus all of its electoral votes, and you vote for Billary even though you don’t really want to, hell has a special spot waiting for you.
Because the supposed-lesser-of-two-evils-ism bullshit has to stop, I’m hoping that the polling for Jill Stein and for Gary Johnson (the latter of whom, per RCP, right now has the support of 8.4 percent of poll respondents) not only holds but increases, as the partisan duopoly of the Repugnican Party and the Democratic Party should have been broken up years ago.
And it’s funny that although Johnson right now is drawing about twice the support that Stein is drawing, and surely is siphoning at least some of the support that otherwise would go to Billary, Johnson to my knowledge hasn’t come under any serious attack for exercising his constitutional right to run for president, but Stein has; indeed, the Democrats (or at least the Billarybots, who aren’t actual Democrats but who are DINOs) hate actual democracy.
Which is just one more reason why I won’t vote for Billary on November 8, but instead will vote for Jill Stein.
Update (Tuesday, August 9, 2016): The Billary Clinton campaign e-mail creepiness continues. Yesterday I received an e-mail that reads:
We noticed you recently started to make a donation on HillaryClinton.com, but didn’t complete the transaction.
You can complete your donation here. [I have disabled the links in this e-mail.]
Your Supporter Record
Donor Level: Online Supporter
Most Recent Contribution Date: today?!
Total Contributed: $0.00
Suggested Contribution: $1.00
Please complete your donation and join more than 2 million grassroots donors powering this campaign:
As I blogged, I never intended to donate even one cent, but just wanted to see what would happen after I hit the “Donate $1” button, and, as I’d suspected would be the case, the starting asking donation was not $1, but was more. But because I didn’t give any money, I got a follow-up e-mail. Cheesy.
And today I received another Billary campaign e-mail that begins like this:
You did it! By signing up to volunteer, you just took the first step to help bring home a win for Hillary. I know the team in California is going to be pumped to have you on board. …
Except that I never “[signed] up to volunteer” for the Billary campaign. I only signed up to receive the campaign’s e-mails in order to see its messaging and its tactics.
Another e-mail that I received from the Billary campaign today reads, in full (link disabled):
Donald Trump said this at a rally in North Carolina today:
“If she gets to pick her judges, [there’s] nothing you can do folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
This is not normal or acceptable talk from a presidential candidate.
But when decent people stay silent at moments like this, we let it become normal. We all need to stand up right now and show that we don’t tolerate this kind of politics in America — before future candidates get the impression that they would benefit from running this kind of campaign.
Say you oppose Donald Trump and the politics he stands for — chip in $1 right now, get your free official Team Hillary sticker, and let’s stop him:
Deputy Communications Director
Hillary for America
Tell me if I’m missing something here: The e-mail states that, a la “tea party” whackadoodle Sharron Angle circa 2010, Donald Trump publicly has suggested, to paraphrase Angle, that Second-Amendment remedies might be necessary in dealing with Billary Clinton. The New York Times apparently shares my interpretation, as it reported today:
Wilmington, N.C. — Donald J. Trump [today] appeared to raise the possibility that gun rights supporters could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who favor stricter gun control measures to the bench.
At a rally here, Mr. Trump warned that it would be “a horrible day” if Mrs. Clinton were elected and got to appoint a tie-breaking Supreme Court justice.
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
The Trump campaign released a statement insisting opaquely that Mr. Trump had been referring to the “power of unification.”
“Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” said Mr. Trump’s spokesman, Jason Miller. “And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”
… Reacting to Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter, aides to Mrs. Clinton expressed immediate horror, suggesting that even by Mr. Trump’s standards, the comments were jarring.
“This is simple,” Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said in an e-mail. “What Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”
Even those in Mr. Trump’s audience appeared caught by surprise. Video of the rally showed a man seated just over Mr. Trump’s shoulder go slack-jawed and turn to his companion, apparently in disbelief, when Mr. Trump made the remark. …
Yes, it was a serious remark. It was bad enough when crazy cat lady Sharron Angle, running for the U.S. Senate, spoke of “Second-Amendment remedies” (she refused to say exactly what those “remedies” would be, so of course she was talking about the use of gun violence to achieve one’s political goals — which is the dictionary definition of terrorism) but here we have the Repugnican Tea Party’s presidential nominee doing that.
The gravity of fascist Trump’s fascist comment, however, certainly is undercut by blithely and cynically following it with “chip in $1 right now” and “get your free official Team Hillary sticker,” don’t you think?
Our idiocracy — replete with “Second Amendment people” (when cognition goes, so does language, as the two inextricably are bound together) and those who casually cynically try to raise campaign cash from the public utterance of disturbingly fascist statements — is fully in place now, and I sorely miss Bernie Sanders’ campaign e-mails.
P.S. Yes, the “Donate $1” button still takes you to a webpage whose asking starting donation is $5…