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The National Agony of This Election


The National Agony of This Election

Ronnie Dugger

The overriding consideration in this national agony of an election is the welfare of all people and life in the world.

Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton should be one of the only two of us that we can elect. But they are. Must we elect one of them? We have to. Third-party votes are leaves on the wind. That is the way we have been rigged by the breakdowns and failures of both the Republican and Democratic parties in this era.


Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton should be one of the only two of us that we can elect. But they are. Must we elect one of them? We have to. Third-party votes are leaves on the wind. That is the way we have been rigged by the breakdowns and failures of both the Republican and Democratic parties in this era.

Two of us? Sorry, Ronnie, I don't claim either. I happen to be a member in good standing of the 99%, not the 1%. In fact, I'm one of those "leaves in the wind" you mention, but, hey, you go right ahead, hold your nose, take the coward's way out, then vote for the monster of your choice. That way you'll always have something to write about, assuming, of course, that the monster of your choice doesn't annihilate us all.

Go Green


People who get that we may be on the brink of unstoppable global warming (James Hansen says it could be just beyond 1C which is just about where we are now) understand what is at stake and the choice which could be more stark. Hillary Clinton like Barack Obama will fight climate change while Donald Trump will deny this scientifically well-established phenomenon is even occurring. Donald Trump is selling a make-believe world. It does not exist. Hillary Clinton accepts that we are faced with a threat that seems almost impossible to avoid and realizes that rapid action globally in necessary. Global warming can become unstoppable because of positive feedback mechanisms such as thawing permafrost releasing large amount of methane over a long period of time. For the first time in human civilization the average temperature of the earth will soon be high enough for this to possibly occur. We don't know where the tipping point is exactly and we certainly do not want to find out the the hard way.


The efforts of Obama to fight climate change have been negligible. Slow incrementalism has failed to curtail issues that have only worsened during his leadership. Hillary says she 'believes in it' and will fight it, but continues to support fracking and war - both of which take us further down the hole.

Both choices 'allowed' by TPTB are over-the-top toxic. Neither cares about anything other than personal power and control. Neither will make the radical changes in policy that are needed to avoid either of the author's top priorities.

The ONLY candidate with credibility on this issue (or war) is Jill Stein. I will be one of the 'leaves in the wind' that attempt to bury a non-workable system. Knowing that she will not be elected this year is irrelevant. It is time, and past time, for significant numbers of people to make it clear that the exceedingly corrupt duopoly that dominates our lives is coming to an end.

Stein/Baraka 2016


Democratic Party and GOP voters are the "leaves in the wind" when you consider that third party voters root themselves based on issues, whereas half of the voters voting D or R are "swing voters", most of whom are impulse voters imitating leaves blowing in the wind. The other half of voters voting D or R are partisans "not to reason why, but to do and die" (Lord Tennyson), comparable to leaves decomposing on the ground whose humanity has decomposed as they nurture the future of two criminal organizations disguised as political parties.


Yes, both candidates are utterly unacceptable. But it takes some advanced cherry-picking of statements and self-delusion to proclaim Clinton less dangerous than Trump when it comes to the possibility of war.


Like most pieces of its type, this one refuses to consider questions of cause-and-effect. If it did, then it would have to confront the reality that we got where we are today substantially due to the mentality espoused in the article.

Ronnie Dugger's logic would be compelling if the world burst into existence last week or if we didn't have a few decades of evidence to suggest that lesser-evilism brings us, predictably, to today's dire situation. To call for a continuation of the conditions that gave us Clinton vs. Trump is deeply irrational, and the next proto-fascist won't be as much of a buffoon.

We need sane narratives. Telling the left that a pro-war oligarch is liberal enough for us peasants, so shut up and obey ... that's not one of them.


Although I have not read it, Duggar authored an LBJ biography, and should therefore understand lesser evilism if he addressed the 1964 election with any trace of objectivity. Lesser evilism was more widely discussed during the 1964 election than any subsequent election until Bill Clinton and Obama came along.


I read to here, "dictator Putin," just under -3-

Another interventionist liberal who wants regime change in Russia?


It is true that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be president. That doesn't mean that peace loving people have to vote for one or the other when there is a sane alternative: Jill Stein of the Green Party. Buying into the author's logic will only perpetuate the two party duopoly that has brought us to this terrible choice between Trump and Clinton. It must end, and the only way -- the only way -- to end it is by strengthening the third party alternatives to two party system.

I will vote Stein/Baraka. My conscience is clear. To strengthen the Green Party's chances in 2020, it is imperative that progressives, former Bernie supporters and all people who reject the vile system that has brought us the evil that the author decries vote on Tuesday for Stein/Baraka!


Texas progressive pragmatism doesn't seem to be selling well, judging by the comments. And, it shouldn't, considering it ends up in HillBillary, Texas as usual. For people watching this present debacle with a historical perspective of Texas' politics and culture; well, please remember what Molly said about her home. " All politics in Texas is conservative ( philosophically and as generally practiced ) " and " the political fight in America is not between the left and right, it is between the ups and the downs ". Both Trump and Clinton represent a clear and present danger to the planet. Fighting over energy and land acquisition militarily, concedes the argument to the current captured agencies of our present economic/political status quo. Big Oil & Gas wins that deal, yet again. See Syria, Libya, Iraq and the insular Washington consensus on more $$$ for a hugely bloated Police and Security State. The 99s may not fair well in a nuclear war but it will do very poorly living in a fossil fuel fist fight race to the bottom of a dry well hole, too. Trump & Clinton and their money backers are going to leave us where Molly warned all smart people and countries not to go, " the first rule of holes is, when you're in one, quit digging ( your own grave ) ". Molly was the smartest observer of all things Texan. I think she'd be telling us that Texas is not a good place to discuss nuclear war; 50-60% of Texans may well say " hell yes ", and go grab their guns.


The real goal for Duggar and other interventionists is not even regime change in Russia, just restarting the cold war with Russia,

Since WWII the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) has had a proportionally larger influence on Texas compared to most other states. The MIMIC misses the revenue the 1945-1991 cold war provided. Restarting the cold war will enhance MIMIC revenue, further expanding the Texas economy.


The Author has written Biographies of LBJ and Reagan, also writes for the NYT and Washington Post and now is telling us that Hillary is a "...mentally well person..." (Who just happens to think that Wars of Aggression culminating in the anal bayonetting of a Non Aggressive, Victim Country's leader is something to giggle over as she oversees the Destabilization and Destruction of a Sovereign Nation.)


My state is going for Trump. That is not going to change before Tuesday. Therefore, my voting for Hillary would accomplish nothing-even were I inclined to do so, which I am certainly not. However, my voting for Jill Stein might help the Green Party get federal funding. So my "leaf blowing in the wind" accomplishes much more being used for a third party vote. This wasn't actually meant as a reply to you, Howling, though I definitely agree with that you said!


You must be kidding about all-of-the-above-oil-pipeline-loving Obama fighting climate change. He has done practically nothing of real consequence to alleviate climate change and HRC will assuredly be the same. Yeah, we know that Trump is a total douche bag, what's new. Just correcting the false statements about Obama and HRC. The Greens and Jill Stein are the only ones with real solutions to climate change but they are but "leaves in the wind". Too bad for planet Earth.


I would rather be a leaf blowing in the wind than one of the cow pies drying in the Texas sun as it votes for the duopoly.


Is this the kind of articles that people will write about HRC after she becomes president? http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/09/obama-climate-hypocrite-alaska


I see the usual plethora of comments to the effect that "Voting lesser of two evils has never held evil at bay". This may or may not be true, since we cannot validate it meaningfully. The lesser evil has won sometimes, and we've no idea how much better or worse the other choice would have been. Sometimes the greater evil has won and we still have no idea if the evil perpetrated would have been greater or less with the other candidate.

What we do know is the last time a 3rd part candidate won an presidential election was NEVER.

Now, I voted for the uninspiring Jill Stein because I live in California which is theoretically safe from Trump, and because California rarely matters in National politics because the projections are already being made if not announced before our polls close.

Otherwise I am for the lesser evil. Talk to folks in other countries, ask them who they would vote for in our shoes? Most will say the Hillz...anything but the orange clown running as a Republican.

And ya know what? It doesnt make me a lesser person, it doesnt erase the "P" next to my name for Progressive, and it doesnt make me a Hillary supporter.

I believe there is a difference between one evil and another, and that distinctions about degree are necessary. Sometimes it is Sophie's Choice...chose the path not offered and get nothing for your efforts.If given the choice of burning at the stake or drowning, I will choose drowning, doesnt make me a fan of death by water.

People have to make their own choices here, based on the best their intellect and information can guide them to.

I am just fucking sick of the hate...levelled against 3rd partiers who refuse to choose....and that levelled against those that fear the worser of two evils enough to bet on the lesser.

I have voted 3rd party in most races in most elections, where possible, since 1974, when I came of age. I believe in doing so. I was heartsore when Bill Maher and Mike Moore got on their knees on tv to beg Ralph Nader not to run in 2004...found it disgusting. Almost as disgusting as I find the hate coming from those who will not consider anyone with a D or R next to their name against those of us who may choose differently.

I know, we are all frustrated, probably scared, and we feel very strongly the things that we feel. It is hard not to sound hateful even when one is merely adamant. But come Wednesday we are all going to have to work together and kepp the evil that wins from further destroying whatever it is we want to love about this country.


In an unprecedented move, the international scientific blog "Real Climate" - which normally discusses the minutiae of the atmospheric physics and statistical mathematics of climate science and is more intended for the scientist than the layman, has issued his statement:


(Hint: the international authors recommend voting for Hillary)


As an advocate for strategic voting to prevent Trump's election so that we at least have a semblance of a sane democratic terrain in which to do our organizing, I, and others like Michael Albert, Noam Chomsky and just about every other senior intellectual on the left have faced huge amounts of hostility and hate from the "never Hillary" faction. Just look at the up-vote count of such hostile posts here, and just about every other "left" oriented news site and blog over the past 9 months to see that.

And yes, becasue I am an advocate for strategic voting in a normally "safe" state, I have voted for either Nader or the Green party candidate in every presidential election since 1996 except for 2004. This year will be another exception. Trump and the fascists he will sweep into the White House are like nothing the US has ever faced.