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The Politics of Fear


#1

The Politics of Fear

Robert C. Koehler

“This politics of fear has actually delivered everything we were afraid of.”

Well, OK, let’s think about these words of Jill Stein for a moment, as the 2016 presidential race enters, oh Lord, its final month — and the possibility still looms that this country could elect a hybrid of Benito Mussolini and Jim Crow its next, uh, commander in chief.

Politics of fear, indeed! Most of the people I know are going to vote for Hillary Clinton, and I get it. The other guy is the most unapologetic “greater evil” the Democrats have ever been blessed with.


#2

Thanks Mr. Koehler, for this sensible commentary in this insane election year. And, thanks CD for publishing it. It would be great to see many more like this published before Election Day, and after. If folks heard more from the Alternative Parties between elections, they might be more prone to vote for them in elections. Alternative Parties do release statements to the press on a regular basis, after all.

I wonder why Common Dreams didn't find the In These Times article by David Cobb (hotlinked in Koehler's piece) worthy of inclusion on these pages. It's a cogent piece offering solutions, and it articulates a vision that should appeal to the diverse communities that make up the majority of the 99%, and to the many millions of Sanders supporters.

I just made a small donation to underscore my appreciation for this kind of reporting and commentary by CD. Please keep it up.


#3

Koehler is right, of course. But his timing is off. It's late in the game to be trumpeting Jill Stein's third party run. I'm more afraid of either of the duopoly candidates winning than I am of 'throwing away' my vote on a third party candidate. In fact, I'd never thought of Jill Stein as a spoiler.


#6

You took the words right out of my mouth. Here are some more. This election is all Kabuki Theater and part of the drama is all the hand-wringing about who do we vote for in November. We are being played big time! Koehler's referring to Andrew Bacevich's recent article about the threat of nuclear was was very timely. He made the point that there are so many important issues that were "off the table" in the last debate. Global warming is the big one. But nuclear weapons policy is right up there, too, as we face the very real prospect of WWIII no matter which candidate is elected. Why do we continue to maintain the nuclear triad? Why are we "modernizing" it right now instead of phasing it out as we were after the fall of the Soviet Union? What about the latest generation of mini-nukes and how are they being deployed, not just by us but by the Israelis? So many issues that none of these candidates is willing to touch.


#7

"I will vote for the person from whom I hear a completely honest statement on some issue of major importance." At least that seems a reasonable criterion; accept that in reality such a statement is exceedingly unlikely, It depends on the knowledge and belief system of the listener and it could be a well grafted lie in any case....still don't know what to do. And don't yell 'Stein'; voting for her because the other candidates are so terrible is the same motivation as voting for Clinton because Trump is so terrible. The only thing that makes any sense to me is to commit to engaging directly and actively in the political and economic struggle regardless of who is voted into political office. Ultimately, the system that brought us this show has got to go down.


#8

Sorry but I'm not buying it: OMG! We might get "Benito Mussolini and Jim Crow" as our next commander-in-chief! "The other guy is the most unapologetic “greater evil” the Democrats have ever been blessed with!"

That's coupled with this weak consideration of a 3rd party vote: "Is voting Green the way to go? I don’t know, but I definitely do not believe shutting the Green Party’s presidential candidate and platform out of the discussion is the way to go."

Got that? Trump will be a racist fascist dictator. Trump's the biggest "greater evil" the Dems have ever faced. "Is voting Green the way to go?"

This is one of the most cowardly pieces I've seen on CD. It lists the lack of choice voters have, "Hillary’s attempts to rally her base, the tepid “USA! USA!” she invokes as she praises America’s generals and its wars and its moral righteousness", the failure to discuss the impact of our wars, but in the end, it's simply an impotent complaint.

There's no doubt who Koehler will be voting for: The Democratic 'fear' candidate.

"The unspoken message is: This stuff’s for later. We’ll start addressing it in 2020."

Yeah, that's Koehler's message too.

Don't pick your poison, pick your cure: Dr. Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka 2016


#9

After what they did to Bernie and knowing Trump or Hillary will bring us more of the same, I'm not afraid to vote for what I believe in. I believe in the Green party and can feel good about voting for them. No fear here.


#12

I think he's just getting "buyers remorse" early.


#15

"The unspoken message is: This stuff’s for later. We’ll start addressing it in 2020."

And in 2020: "This stuff’s for later. We’ll start addressing it in 2024."

In 2024: "This stuff’s for later. We’ll start addressing it in 2026."

We need to break this cycle sooner than later. Jill Stein 2016.


#16

In the contest between Trump and Clinton, I want Clinton to win, but I would like her win to be tempered by a great show of support for Stein and the progressive policies of Sanders. However, this is hoping for a surgical election and not one designed by sledgehammers. Such is the dilemma. Voting is not activism, but it is also not necessarily inconsequential (though it can be). The disconnection of the present political struggles from the actual issues facing our daily lives and our future possibilities is so vast..... well there it is.


#17

I agree that people need to avoid voting AGAINST some candidate(s). Voting is supposed to be about who you think most accurately reflects your positions on important matters. THAT is why I am voting for Jill, again (voted for her in 2012). There are other perfectly good motivating factors, most notably that if a third party candidate gets 5% of the vote, they will automatically be able to access funds and debate time during the next general election cycle. But it's still not enough -- we need to be casting our votes for those who represent us. And by voting for Hillary because Trump we are really casting votes toward those we want least -- my vote is not 'against Trump,' it is FOR THE GREEN PARTY and for Jill in particular.

Peace!


#25

Michelle Obama calling "staying home a protest vote tantamount to voting third party" is a total lie.

Although most people I know are voting Clinton, i also know many who are voting Trump. Nearly all of these Trump voters don't believe anything Trump says any more than the Clinton voters do, These Trump voters ARE registering a protest vote because they are voting for him in hopes that he will tear down a corrupt system (which most CD readers know won't happen with Trump). the Trump voters are the PROTEST VOTES, not the stay-at- homes or Green Party voters. The stay-at-homes don;t like any of the candidates,,,no protest there. The Green Party voters are simply voting for the candidate who represents them and does not represent the 1% like the Democrats and GOP do.

Perhaps voting Libertarian IS a protest vote considering that Gary Johnson recently admitted to Bloomberg News that he was a spoiler "in a race that needs a spoiler".


#26

"The media consensus is: This stuff’s for later. We’ll start addressing it in 2020."
But if we don't address it now it truly will be exponentially worse by 2020, to the point where we no longer may be able to address it!


#27

Airline C has a terrible crash history. Airline D has a pilot without any flying experience. Both A and B cost a fortune and will fly you somewhere you don't want to go.

Take the Green bus instead. The buses are eco-friendly and, absent a deviation in route due to a plane crash, they'll get you where you want to go. It may take a little longer, but it will cost much less and the ride will be far more pleasant.

Vote Sane: Vote Green.


#28

Both parties and their candidates have the characteristics of fascism covered...

Ain't it the truth!


#29

Waiting until 2020 plays into Clinton's incrementalism that is designed to permanently freeze the progressive agenda.

In his 1963 "I have a dream" speech Martin Luther King condemned what he called "gradualism" (the same as Clinton's incrementalism) for enabling not only a lack of progress but a reversal of progress,


#32

The politics of fear is getting out of control. How many times have I read that Hillary Clinton will start WWIII. Or Hillary Clinton will start a nuclear war with Russia. The Green Party's fear mongering campaign is going full force against Hillary Clinton.,


#33

"They must have missed the democratic convention this year."

Point taken. Thanks.


#34

Agreed.


#35

Apparently, not enough.

Hillary Clinton will start WW III.

Re-read until it sinks in.