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A Citizen's Guide to the Upcoming Conventions


A Citizen's Guide to the Upcoming Conventions

Robert Reich

I’ll save you the guesswork. On July 21, Donald Trump will become the Republican nominee for president of the United States. On July 28, Hillary Clinton will become the Democratic nominee.

Trump’s pending coronation is unsettling many Republican leaders – prompting Republican national chairman, Reince Priebus, to warn them that “if we don’t stick together as a party and stop her, then the only alternative is to get comfortable with the phrase President Hillary Clinton.”


Spectacle over substance.

The illusion of the consent of the governed.

Smoke & Mirrors.

Fake vote counts, coin tosses, the lies told often by the corporately-captured mass media.

Potemkin (Village) Democracy meets the Inverted Totalitarian State.

Clever indictment of it all, Mr. Reich. Your cynicism is as well-earned as my own. Staring truth in the "face" will do that to anyone... that's why many still manage to turn away and enjoy the show.


"Trump coronation ?.

Coronation implies preselected by birth or other means. With umpteen viable competitors in the GOP primaries, Trump's nomination will be more of an unenthusiastic nod from the Party bosses who wish they could somehow replace Trump with Paul Ryan....more like an uncoronation.

"Candidates choose themselves" ?

The DNC needs Clinton way more than she needs them. They convinced her to run because nobody comes close to attracting the amount of corporate money a Clinton does.


I still think it's a real but perhaps distant possibility that both Republicans and Democrats will dump their "presumptive" nominees at their conventions. I picture party bigwigs at each standing at the podium saying. "For reasons we don't have time to go into right now, the person who was to be our candidate will not be able to represent our party in this election, Would anyone be willing to volunteer?" Paul Ryan is publicly speaking at various forums I suspect in an effort to look presidential without coming right out and dissing The Donald too soon.

I don't know who the Democrats might have in the possible pinch hitter slot since Biden has expressed no interest and he would be a boring pinch hitter debater against Trump if Trump does stay in the Republican n deck circle. If they had a lick if sense they'd bring in Bernie Sanders to play reluctant debutant, saying "if you really insist I suppose I could put aside my earlier rejection and carry the party's banner." Hillary would then have to somehow be persuaded not to throw a screaming tizzy. Elizabeth Warren seems ready, willing and eager in a denial sort of way California's Jerry Brown used to want it bad enough to run low budget campaigns that worked fairly well but he seems to have accepted that he has reached his Peter Principle level of appropriate incompetence. I would hope Jill Stein isn't being offered a shot at the title with the offer the full might and majesty of the party


They may be quoting the Republican party chairman, but this is precisely what I am also hearing from most Democrats (outside of the DLC charlatans and the paid political trolls).

Because I have given to Bernie Sanders through Act Blue, I seem to be on the email list of many Democratic Party candidates. Now every time one of them sends me a message, I click the "unsubscribe" link and add the message:"I cannot support any Democratic Party candidate as long as Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee."

There resides the dilemma: Whichever of the two major candidates becomes president, we will need a strong opposition party to keep them in check. So a decision on the down ticket races has to be postponed until we have a better idea of who is going to win in November so that we can work to make sure the winning candidate has a strong opposition. It is so sad that our only salvation is more gridlock.

The Democratic Party has abandoned the democratic people.
I am now supporting Jill Stein.


I don't believe Trump's nomination is a done deal. There is one effort to stop him that involves the rules, But if he can be stopped it will probably be by effort to get delegates not to vote on the first ballot so that Trump cannot get enough votes to win. The effort to stop Trump is very well organized. Maybe they can do it. I'm not giving up until the roll call is taken and Trump gets enough votes. Maybe he won't after all.


Many former supporters of Bernie Sanders (like myself) are leaving the Democratic Party, are joining the Green Party, and will vote for Jill Stein this November.

Many Democrats will try to discredit Jill Stein by name-calling her a "spoiler" -- just like they misleadingly and mistakenly whined about Ralph Nader in 2000 (and for 16 more years and counting)!

But the truth is that neither Jill Stein nor Ralph Nader can "spoil" the Democratic Party -- because the Democratic Party is already spoiled! In fact, the Democratic Party is rotten to the core!

The proof of this fact is overwhelming and numerous: the many rigged and stolen state primary elections, the rigged platform committee rejections of Bernie's proposals, the TPP and TTIP, the failure to fight global warming significantly for decades, the failure to reduce nuclear weapons (and Obama's recent call to increase nuclear weapons!), the many illegal and endless wars, the failure to pass Single Payer/Improved Medicare-for-All, the failure to overturn Citizen United and get secret big money out of politics, the failure to impeach the four anti-democratic Supremes, the unconstitutional and illegal Patriot Act and the NDAA, the persecution of numerous whistleblowers (like Snowden and Manning), the failure to prosecute any Wall street banksters -- and on and on.

The decline of Democratic Party members and the increase in Green party members will "split" the Democratic Party -- and let Republicans win more elections until the GP becomes big and strong. But necessary "separations" and "transitions" often require short-term losses, sacrifices, and pain in order to achieve healthier, happier new states of being -- individually or collectively.

The hard truth is that the U.S. people -- and progressives in particular -- need, want, and demand a new political party that truly represents us! And the Democratic Party doesn't (and never will) represent the common people or progressives -- because the DP Dips are corrupt and criminal corporate capitalists, imperialists, and militarists!!!

Therefore, the U.S. people and progressives MUST leave (and split) the Democratic Party -- even if Repugs win elections temporarily during the transition. That is the price we must pay to enable the Green Party (or a Socialist Party) to REPLACE the corrupt, un-democratic DP Dips!


You are full of ca-ca!

Bush was elected twice? In what universe, you lying moron?

Bush was INSTALLED by the Supreme Court Justices who ABORTED a fair and actual vote count in Florida back in 2000. (Nor was that the ONLY anomaly.)

And in 2004, as was exposed by Bev Harris, Harvey Wasserman, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr... that very close election had Ohio as a major deal maker or deal breaker.

Also Ohio's state's governor said--on record--that he would deliver Ohio to Bush and indeed the reports of MANY touch screen voting machines going to Bush, and other major vote count anomalies (and PROOF that these machines--under private proprietary control--could be programmed to produce the outcomes desired by the computer programmers) suggest anything BUT a fair election result.

But, of course, to prop up your "blame the sheeple" DAILY AD NAUSEUM Talking Point, you'll grasp at straws. After all, you have no proven respect for truth based on your robot-like repetition of this false meme...

You are entitled to your own opinion; but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Anyone paying attention just observed the nomination effectively stolen from Sanders due to similar vote count obstructions, machinations, and other dishonest means.

And anyone who reads this site--as your unfortunate daily presence would suggest--HAS to understand what the results of the Page and Gilens Study means: That citizens have ZERO influence over policy today.

You live in an Inverted Totalitarian System which maintains the appendages of a Free Society. However, the truth is, all systems' metrics are calibrated to produce outcomes that sustain the Status Quo and its 1% largest stakeholders: the Donor Caste.


Apart from the above paragraph, I agree with your comment.

The reason I take issue with it is this idea that humanity has the luxury of another 4 years to pretend that climate chaos is not the ultimate threat to our times while the two parties under thrall to the MIC (that Ike warned about) go about the world in search of enemies to waste phenomenal amounts of blood and treasure upon.

Trump is the quintessential "With me or against me" candidate. His idea of patriotism is that of a child with a GI Joe doll. And the fact that he mocks climate change is a HUGE setback, even a death sentence for humanity.

I abhor Mrs. Clinton and still hope that some strange set of events, even Divine Intervention, block her from obtaining the Oval Office. However, to pretend that such an outcome--in the image and likeness of Trump--would not be a HORROR for this planet is ludicrous.

If this was the issue 20 years ago (or the quality of the political contest), I would agree... but anyone watching the severity of storms, droughts, newly awakening (long dormant) volcanoes, the rapidity with which hurricanes and cyclones organize themselves over HOT water... added to the perils that one ecosystem's collapse feeds upon another creating Tipping Points that computer models are yet to predict, no less fathom... could not possibly refer to Trump's dismissal of these facts of life as merely "short term losses."

The shit IS hitting the fan and Trump pretends it's all fine. The only thing that counts is his capacity for deal-making... with the whole world viewed as little more than a casino. And you think THAT mindset won't do Wall St. just fine and unleash the corporate conquistadors on what's left of the Natural World?


Hi Siouxrose11,

I'm not sure why you are disagreeing with me -- because I think that either Trump or Clinton would be extremely dangerous and destructive -- and the thought of either Trump or Clinton being President for the next 4 or 8 years is very frightening to me.

Are you implying that Trump is the greater evil, so progressives should vote for Clinton? That's not the impression I've gotten from your many comments on CD. But please tell me your position on this dilemma.

What I am saying is that I personally cannot vote for Clinton or Trump, and that I will vote for Jill Stein -- and that I think that if the polls are right in saying that 25% to 50% of former Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton (and that many of those will instead vote for Jill Stein) -- that logically that means that the Democratic Party will be split -- and Trump will likely win as a result. Do you think this is not true?

Please do not think that I am happy or complacent about the prospect of Trump becoming President. I'm not!

Please do not think that I am happy or complacent about the prospect of Clinton becoming President. I'm not!

If you've read my many comments on global warming and nuclear war, you'd know that you should not chastise me as if I were complacent on these dangers -- for I am not!

I'm simply stating the logical inference that if millions of progressives vote for Jill Stein, it will split the Democratic Party.

But what choice do we have if we want to build the Green Party to surpass the Democratic Party?
Please tell me: what alternative do you propose?


The tens of millions of Murkins voting have the same choices that we Green Party supporters have. If enough of them vote Green we will not need to be saddled with any Clinton or any Trump. No skin off either of their noses, they will both be given the opportunity to spend more time with their money.

Murkins who failed to vote for Nader the four times he ran spoiled our opportunity to have a government of the 99%. Their claim that Stein is a spoiler is 180 degrees from the truth that Murkins voting blue or red are the spoilers and they need to start voting Green.


You are absolutely correct and the above statement is right on the mark. I believe, however, that if it is Hillary v Trump it will be Trump the winner. Many of us will never, ever vote for Hillary. We will vote Jill Stein in order to get the Green Party accepted as a viable Party and accepted in future debates. When Bernie endorsed Hillary I went immediately and changed my registration from Dem to Independent. So Debbie W Schultz, you and your corrupt cronies most likely elected Trump and that will mean the end of the party of corrupt jackasses!


Right on. I, too have given upteen times to Bernie's
campaign; and, I too are getting the same requests! You answer is just the push I needed. Thanks for putting this out there. Not only that but I intend to call the campaigns that are soliciting me and personally tell them the same thing. This revolution is only beginning.


I predict this to be the beginning of the end of the Democratic Party. If the Green Party would just change its name from Green to "People's Progressive Party" it would be more marketable and be truer to its platform which is about way more than "green" issues. Think about it.


Same for the Democrat's Convention. What is it that you don't understand? Never, Ever, hillary!


I still have a photo I captured in 1995(?) of Bill Clinton at a White House news conference wearing one of the worst black eyes I have ever seen. I bring this up because SOMEBODY violently assaulted a sitting US President (surely a felony), and was apparently never brought to justice. Now that same somebody, after years of giving the USA a black eye in its foreign policy, wants so much to BE the President that she told nonstop lies about her ethical opponent and, at the very least, turned a blind eye to her campaign staff tricking numerous primary elections in her favor. We all know a bit about her email scandal, and how she is either dumber than a box of rocks or flat out "Screw the USA" in her attitude. We are learning a bit about John Ashe's throat slashing on June 22, this year (another 'suicide'?), just days before he was to testify against the Clinton Foundation in a bribery scheme. A pill that big just won't go down our little throats.

So, my question is, with this sort of resume, how can she possibly govern with the smell of all those skeletons boiling up out of her closet? One can steal an election with the help of Mr. Diebold's Creative Counting machines, but actually BEING the president requires cooperation from The People. She would have to have an army of thugs to beat us all back into line. Some people, still angry about her election theft, might not step quietly back into line for her thugs. What then? Has anybody at the DNC thought this whole thing through? There might be an easier way to keep a Democrat in the White House. Put on your thinking caps, DNC!