The horror of those days haunts me still. Some of us thought that a terrible danger loomed if the Republican Party took charge. Others hated the Democratic administration so much that they insisted there was no difference between George Bush and Al Gore. That was true when it came to free trade. Six years earlier, the Clinton administration had brought us NAFTA, which Al Gore continued to defend vocally, even as the 1999 protests against the WTO in Seattle were on everyone’s mind (well, at least, on every radical’s mind).
"beginning of experiments in real and direct democracy, though direct democracy probably means an end to the corrupted representative democracy of this nation."
Why wait? We have the technology to quickly switch from (un)representative government to online direct democracy. People need to know this:
"O rancid sector of the far left, please stop your grousing!" Rebecca Solnit Sigh,,, hasn't changed a bit...
Thank you for this piece, however, I wished you would of mentioned Bernie and HIS movement which has reshaped this country and Clinton's feet will be held to the fire.
Republicans have been shouting down our voice since Reagan and I blame the dems for allowing this. If you don't remember history you are bound to repeat it and the dems do not speak up and of course, neither does lamestreet media wherein they have everything on digital tape which would allow them to call out the lies and mis information.
The "supremes" should never have been given the opportunity to determine Gov Jeb Bush of Florida's Sec of State to stop the recount. We have history and facts to counter the lies but they were not used against the Tea Partiers when they came into power and again I blame the dem party for that.
Lamestreet media is too big and in the hands of a few greedy, rich SOB's and needs to be broken up just like the banksters, Citizens United, et all the other gerrymandering and voter suppressions put in place in red states.
I am sorry that Rebecca Solnit did not clarify how she feels about tearing other countries apart and killing civilians in distant places. The article title leads one to think that she cares about disaster unleashed on the world.
Are you freaking kidding me?
Only if TRUMP wins?
If you really think that the United states, much less Hillary Clinton, is responsible for all the violence in the world, you are seriously deluded.
If you really think that that's what I wrote, then you are seriously deluded.
So you don't fear Trump? You clearly seem to be terrified of Hillary. Jill Stein will probably get less than one percent of the vote, so why don't you vote for Trump then? As Michael Moore said; "It will feel Gooood!!! At any rate, since you cut and pasted your comment here from your comment on Znet, I'll be cutting and pasting my response (with some edits) here to save me some time:
You remarks about no action on global warming is absolutely wrong. Please learn about all the programs put in place – from lighting and building efficiency standards, CAFE increases, EV tax credits, wind and solar subsidies and tax credits – and most importantly the Clean Power Plan pursuant to the US signing of the Paris Agreement.
If the Obama administration has done nothing, why are coal power plants closing left and right and why the shrill cries to “stop the war on coal” throughout my region? And no, the competition from natural gas is not the only reason – or the right would not be fighting the Clean Power Plan so savagely.
Trump will totally reverse all of this, leave the Paris Treaty - effectively throwing a Molotov cocktail into any hope of concerted global action to address global warming, and charge full steam ahead in the opposite direction.
And while most of your other points have merit, won’t Trump be worse and likely far worse regarding almost all of them? You DO know that the executive branch under Trump will hardly be just Trump, but far more frightening fascists who will fill his staff and cabinet departments, right? I work for MSHA, and I will not be surprised if my next boss is Bob Murray or Chris Cline. Maybe David Koch will head the EPA and charged with dismantling it. All this can be done at the executive level. No congressional involvement is required - as if the Republican packed congress is not already in full in agreement with 90 percent of Trump's positions anyway.
Will you PLEASE learn something about the organization and functions of the US government?
I also expect the mine operators and business owners to ignore all federal and state regulations with impunity and drive our inspectors or union representatives - even with FBI backup - away with guns becasue they will have the entire executive branch and a sympathetic US congress watching their backs. There will be thousands of Malheurs going on all over the USA.
Sure, the status quo is not that good - but if you are out in a blizzard, and the nearby shelter is a burning house – do you go into the burning house?
It is the election of Trump that will send the US left (if it still exists at all among the shrill, conspiracy-theory laden, fact ignoring, Adam Curtis-watching, working-class-agency robbing, tin foil hat kooks) into total disarray – especially if there is any perception among would-be allies that nutty leftists like you helped elect Trump.
My point is that there are many other more important issues than US foreign policy - yet it is the only issue that the crypto-Trump supporting "Never Hillary" types ever bring up.
First, full disclosure: I voted for Nader/LaDuke in 2000, and worked hard on their campaign. Words can not express how tired I am of the meme that the Bush/Cheney administration is my fault. I was relieved that Ms. Solnit, whose work I admire, did not actually go there.
Still, she went where I could not follow. Not regarding factual history, and not about aspirations.
Re. history, she wrote:
Yes, Gore was a doofus, a wooden figure, a compromiser who ran a lousy campaign, but he’d been passionate about climate change throughout the Clinton administration.
Um, not so much, actually. I, and many others, were bitterly disappointed in the lack of effort, let alone achievement, on the environment by Clinton/Gore. And you don't have to look very hard online to find corroboration. One of the first I found ended with this:
Clinton's critics have come down hard on him for his environmental record, but perhaps worse than the record is what the president's policy means for representative democracy. In his infamous book, Earth in the Balance, Al Gore demanded that political leaders take a stand on the environment, if for no other reason than to represent the voices of those who want to see the world's natural heritage preserved. Before, when the Democrats were out of office, at least liberals could console themselves that someone was speaking out on their behalf. Now no one is.
Despite that, I thought we would be more likely to agree about our hopes:
Today, my dream includes all fossil fuel left in the ground, the end of the American empire, our 800 overseas bases shut down, and total nuclear disarmament globally. When that’s done, I want an end to patriarchy and capitalism and racism and a beginning of experiments in real and direct democracy, though direct democracy probably means an end to the corrupted representative democracy of this nation.
All stuff I want too, but for the life of me I can't see the logical connection between these dreams and a vote for Clinton.
I'm comfortable with the idea of voting for what I actually want, and weary of smarter people explaining to me how I'm wrong.
I'm voting for Jill Stein because she and I share these goals: ending the forever wars, a Green New Deal to end fossil fuel use by 2030, and a bailout of students struggling under enormous loans.
With Trump/Hillary, human life on this planet is doomed. Here's film maker Josh Fox, discussing the "fuels of death" that both Trump and Hillary will continue to promote, inevitably destroying our environment. We have already warmed the earth by at least 1 degree. Unless we make radical changes NOW, it will be game over for our grandchildren. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJbv3UiIK4o
I think the radical Left always fears a center left government more than a right wing government. That is because I believe that radical left is anti-capitalist and pro-socialist. A center left government makes capitalism acceptable to most because it some of the problems associated with capitalism such a pollution and low wages. The problem that a center left government has in the US now is that it needs to work with the center right to get things done but there is no center right anymore. So no matter how good a center left president is and center left Congress it can't accomplish much. The right is no longer working for the best interests of the US but only for a radical right wing agenda. For government to work again the right has to move back toward the center. That is how government worked before Reagan came on the scene and then the Gingrich revolution and later the Tea Party and now the Alt-right. There does not seem to anything right now pushing Republicans toward the center so we are probably in for years of dysfunctional government at the federal level and in many states,
I'd like to know, how we could possible avoid it with the two candidates we have the "choice" of.
We can at best mitigate total disaster some, by voting in a few more progressives into the Senate now and int the congress in 2018 and hope, that they can restrain either the irrational fool or the warmonger who will be holding the rudder.
Agree with your Solid Conclusion.
I watched in disbelief as George W. beat Al Gore in 2000.
I watched in utter disbelief when George W. won reelection four years later.
If Alexis de Tocqueville was correct in his book "Democracy in America", that 'in a democracy the people get the government they deserve', it all makes sense, all of a sudden.
Especially if one delves into the history of the United States, and even further back, to the arrival of Columbus in 1492.
What is America?, (2008), by Canadian author Ronald Wright, is the closest I've come to understanding how JFK could have been taken out by the powers that be, how Smedley Butler could have been taken in as Marine Commandant even before Kennedy, and onwards to Al Gore's defeat and now this surreal political landscape, which resembles a nightmare coming to life for the foreseeable future.
"Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem, by Carol Delaney, gives the rest of the story - supplies context - a religious undertaking on the part of Columbus himself, if not everyone.
Is this religious aspect not a very large part of what drives the united States - in fact, a belief in fantasy?
Here is a link to the Columbus book:
Why all this history?
Because there is nothing we can do to stop what is happening to us.
On Tuesday we will all, every person on Earth, take a big step closer to nuclear war and the breakdown of civilization worldwide.
It's like a juggernaut that no one knows how to unplug, de-rail, stop, destroy.
In DeCaprio's utterly captivating documentary, "Before the Flood", his last words to the United Nations were, that if we just busied ourselves congratulating each other on the progress made so far:
Thousands of years of climate mayhem are in the cards unless we get our act together.
We will not get our act together, that is now clear as the proverbial bell.
The existential threats, of which climate change and nuclear holocaust are just two, are now the subject of an entire institution, recently started by Lord Martin Rees, astronomer Royal and former top dog of the Royal Society, the oldest Academy of Science on the planet.
Lord Rees gave us a one in two chance of making it to the year 2100 in a book he wrote in 2004.
And still we dwell on matters of little or no importance, beaten to a pulp by moral injury and fear, 'the only real darkness'.
Trump apparently doesn't read - well, how many Americans don't read?
JFK read all the time - we blew him away.
OK - welcome to the present day - either Trump or Clinton will be a nice match for Rome's Nero.
If that was your point, you should have made it clearly and without the juvenile insults so characteristic of the Cult of Hillary Infallibility.
Didn't like that crack? Then don't start it.
In the unlikely event Trump wins, lay blame where it belongs--on the DNC and Democratic Party elites who destroyed Bernie's candidacy, not the progressives who supported him.
I suspect most readers and commentators here supported Bernie in the primaries. This is how we're being treated now, as infantile children told to behave and obey the party line, imagine what lies in store for Bernie and Warren!
Encourage every receptive ear to vote Stein/Baraka!!!
Including the list of POTUS actions and accomplishments during Dubya's third and fourth terms (2009-2017) in this article would have begged the question...If Gore and Dubya were so different, why were Obama and Dubya not ? After 8 years of accusing Dubya's base of voting against their own interests, based on faith and not evidence, our local dyed-in-the-wool Democrats have ignored evidence, enabling Obama to act against their own interests...totally based on faith.
Agreed that Obama did advance the LGBTQ agenda more than all of his 42 predecessors combined...but only because that demographic not only costs Wall Street nothing, its a profit center for them.
Well, CD was doing so well. I suppose it was only a matter of time before form reverted and it was back to the traditional pimping of the corporatist.
So George Bush was a disaster (he was) yet there is no indication that she even understands what's happened over the last 8 years with the Democrat in charge. Or maybe that's all the fault of the Russians, too?
Oh well. I duly note that I've been warned to be really, really scared of Trump. Got it.