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Hillary Clinton Needs to Wake Up. Trump Is Stealing the Voters She Takes for Granted


#1

Hillary Clinton Needs to Wake Up. Trump Is Stealing the Voters She Takes for Granted

Thomas Frank

The Republican party wants my liberal vote. This was the most shocking wave to wash over my brain last week as I sat in the convention center in Cleveland. It was more startling in its way than the storm of hate that I saw descend on former GOP hero Ted Cruz, stranger than the absence of almost all the party’s recent standard-bearers, weirder than the police-state atmosphere that hovered over the streets of the city.


#3

Hillary needs to wake up? I sincerely hopes that she doesn't and that the war criminal goes down to the defeat she deserves. Exactly why is it viewed as a problem that a major party candidate has adopted progressive attitudes from bring home the troops, to end the ruinous trade agreements, to end the financial elites stranglehold on politics? So you are worried that the candidate who does NOT support these policies may be defeated. Have we arrived in a political insane asylum?


#5

Great discussion today on Democracy Now between an erudite Black scholar who supports Clinton (and his reasons for doing so), and another Black intellectual who does not.

This is an excellent analysis by Thomas Frank.

The interesting thing about linearity's illusion--that of straight lines heading off to "the vanishing point" is that ultimately, what's really true is that all things come full circle.

I suppose that's why if one moves "right" long enough, they'll come full circle and end up in what formerly had served as the Left's camp.

I don't believe Trump about anything; yet as Mr. Frank explains, it was due to the despicable Neo-liberal policies of Democrats like the Clintons (and DLC) that Trump was able to rally support for his speeches against Free Trade and the Endless Make War State.

Actually, I think he and Putin would like each other since both are strongmen types and air signs (as in compatible).


#9

I just wrote a piece echoing much of what Frank says here:

Thanks to the Democratic Party, We May All Get Trumped
By J. Patrick Costello

It is, frankly, amazing, to see the Democratic Convention headline speakers all but ignore the elephant in the room. There it is, hiding in plain sight! Actually, not hiding at all.

Do you see all of those signs against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement? Did any of the first-tier Dem speakers notice the incredible passion generated among the throngs of Bernie supporters? What was his most important rallying cry?

It was that the US is suffering from a historic level of inequality, allowing a corporatist and neo-liberal elite to distort the tax code for their own benefit, effectively “capture” government regulators and game the electoral system. This tiny group of billionaires and millionaires runs roughshod over the other 99% of us, to the point where many mainstream academics and political scientists agree that we now live in an oligarchy.

It should be patently obvious by now that the overriding theme of this Presidential election is “down with the establishment.” Is this not glaringly apparent? And there are very, very good reasons for this.

Pocketbook issues loom extremely large for the electorate when a country has terrible problems with inequality and a grossly inadequate social safety net. A guaranteed minimum income or a combination of other safety-net programs and measures that allow working class people to live decent lives is a requirement for a healthy democracy. Otherwise, the amount of existential insecurity and anger people feel when their incomes and livelihoods are threatened by economic disruption drives them to make drastic, and in the case of Donald Trump, sometimes impulsive and foolhardy political choices.

Of all the established western nations, America is at or near the bottom in terms of income inequality, wealth inequality and quality of the social safety net. The number of our citizens who feel pressured financially, whether they are young students saddled with a preposterous amount of student debt, older people brought to their knees by absolutely outrageous health care costs, or blue-collar middle class people who can’t find decent paying jobs, is staggering. Tens of millions of America’s children are living in poverty, and are faced with food insecurity on nearly a daily basis.

But no one would have a clue about any of this suffering while listening to the speakers at the Democratic convention proclaiming with an almost embarrassing nervous intensity that… The US of A is Still! The Greatest! Country! In the World!, etc, etc.

And guess which party has been in power, more or less, for the past seven and a half years? In many tens of million’s of voter’s eyes, the Democratic Party IS the establishment! And now that it’s been revealed that DNC leaders were working unethically behind the scenes to realize the fait accompli of uber-establishment figure Hillary Clinton’s nomination, the number of expected Democratic voters who are disenchanted, demoralized and uninspired can only grow.

At least (many voters intuitively feel) Trump is (or seems to be) against the establishment! He adroitly expresses the anger so many citizens feel toward the powers that be, as a reflection of the fear and uncertainty they feel in their own lives. He makes them feel as if he is their champion, by channeling their scorn and purposely upending the behavioral norms political elites have historically held to so dearly.

He’s the people’s bomb thrower, their guy flipping the bird to the self-satisfied political elites who are always talking about doing things to help big business, and how anything is possible if we only pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and what a great recovery the economy and the stock markets have made since 2008 (for whom?), or how many poor are now insured under Obamacare, and so on. People today are seeing through political rhetoric easier than they have in a long time, because they have been suffering while hearing the same tired political platitudes, for a very long time. Hot air simply doesn’t work so well today, not like it has in the past.

A lot of this seems as if it was written in stone some time ago. For the establishment Democrats, admitting that so many things went awry on their and their hero Obama’s watch would be far too painful, would require far too much gut wrenching soul inspection to even contemplate.

Cadres of Democratic party functionaries and bureaucrats have grown up dependent on the established Democratic party machine, building relationships with influential insiders, expecting to be delivered personally to the career promised land of Washington D.C. insider legitimacy. To many of them, the concept of a Trump victory seems impossible. A party in power for seven and a half years can breed a sort of conservatism among the faithful, as well as a skepticism toward party outsiders such as Bernie Sanders. What right does he have to suddenly show up and overturn the applecart?

But this is a huge country. Many citizens couldn’t care less if a small cohort of highly educated, tech-savy cosmopolitan urban dwellers thinks everything is great in today’s America. Given the level of anger and disgust so many millions of people feel toward "the establishment", embracing Hillary and watering down the Sander’s campaign platform proposals could very well be the nails in the coffin of the Democratic Party’s own demise, come November.


#10

Isn't it interesting that the Dem candidate the DNC rejected embraced all that Frank is saying Trump supports without all of Trump's garbage. Could that be the reason that the candidate the DNC rejected out performed every other candidate on both tickets throughout the entire primary season. And, the DNC is going to blame Stein supporters when Clinton looses. Jeez!! What a fool's circus.
.


#12

Hillary doesn't need to wake up at all. She is not worried one little bit that Trump will "steal" voters. She is the master at vote theft and easily rigged the system to steal votes in the primaries to make sure she "won" against Sanders. All these endless discussions of who will win the Presidency on all these sites are meaningless because the fix is in. Clinton and her corporate backed operatives will make sure of it by hacking the Diebold voting machine software wherever and whenever needed in the general election. Trump is no match for her skill at vote theft honed and perfected over many decades.


#14

Trump isn't part of the system but the RNC has been stealing votes for a couple of decades. Of course, the RNC elites are not supporting Trump for the very reasons that Frank points out. So, yes, the fix is probably already in.


#15

exactly


#18

Tom Frank took the words right out of my mouth. His take of events rushing at us is also that of Michael Moore, by the way, and that is that there is sufficient anger and despair in the land to propel Trump into the presidency. The Clintons and their ilk cannot see the root cause of the danger, which is themselves. Or rather, what they have brought about in the past three decades.

If Trump should win, there remain but one counter balancing force built into our republic. Congress has to step up to the plate, and slow any Trump nonsense. Bernie wants us to help elect a progressive Congress. We have to help him do that. It will be slow, agonizing work, and the results uneven. But if Bernie sees the issues clearly enough, and is willing to try at his age, we can do no less.


#22

Grow up, Mr. Frank. That is the stupidest thing I've heard from the Clintonites in hours. We oppose Clinton for the same reasons we oppose Trump. Trump/Clinton have strikingly similar ideologies. We can spend the next few weeks arguing which would be able to launch our final war the fastest.

No, none of us are voting for Trump. Once again, people will vote third party or withhold their votes, and the middle class will pick the next president. People began rejecting the neoliberal Clinton wing part way through Bill Clinton's administration. They rejected it in 2000, rejected it in 2008, and even more reject it in 2016. You might want to confront the party bosses and ask why the chose to run a candidate that they knew was so deeply opposed by so much of the Dem voting base.

.


#23

Sure, if you could find a legitimately progressive candidate, not merely some Democrat who puts on a "bold progressive" button now and then.


#24

Frank's brilliance is admirable. See also his interview here:


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#30

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#39

"Caesarism" is probably a much better word to describe Trump than the ones in common use ...


#42

Debbie may have threatened to go public with Hillary's participation in the DNC corruption that was not covered in the email dump. She certainly knows where the bodies are buried, and Hillary may have decided to buy her silence with a job.

Or, Hillary may just be insanely out of touch, and overconfident, as you say ...


#43

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#44

exactly, the political circus of the Dems and Repubs fighting each other for the Presidency is just a big extravaganza staged to give the peasants ("voters") the illusion of choice. Its the same principal that works so well for professional wrestling. There is no real contest but the masses get to root passionately for their favorite and this offers entertainment and distraction. The staggering amount of money and power at stake for those who control the US Treasury, Military, Supreme Court and the regulatory and law making machinery of the US government is way too valuable to leave to chance. That is why the system is rigged and always has been.


#45

If progressives could get past the hysterical media and DNC demagoguery, they might find some progressive points in Trump’s proposals – maybe not enough to vote for him, but enough to not fear if he wins because you had the courage to vote for a third party candidate.

Trump proposes to:
--roll back NATO spending;
--reduce foreign military bases and foreign defense spending;
--oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the TTIP trade and corporate power grab;
--oppose NAFTA;
--employ American labor and put it back to work on infrastructure;
--reverse the Republican austerity policy—no forced balanced budgets;