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The Presidential Election: 'A 200-Pound Sack of Concrete' vs. 'The Orange Menace'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/10/presidential-election-200-pound-sack-concrete-vs-orange-menace

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Do I want Trump gone, absolutely. Will any progressive change happen under a Biden presidency, absolutely not.
What part of the Biden-Sanders negotiations failure, don’t you understand?
Even changes that were won under the above negotiations, were removed from the platform as soon as they ended.
This is what “Blue no matter who”, gets you, nothing.
And all of the above is under the assumption the dems want to win the election, there is evidence mounting, that they don’t.

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Whatever. Some of us are perfectly willing to do the heavy lifting.

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WHY is the same security state that continues to push neo-McCarthyist red-baiting and endless war, shoving a “200 lb sack of concrete” down our throats?

Yes, Trump is bad.

Almost impossibly, but actually, those lying, profiteering, gas-lighting, war-pig motherfuckers are marginally WORSE.

Sorry Norm, and Noam, and Paul Street, and all you other democracy subverting apologists out there, a vote for Joe-dementia is a vote for an addled puppet put in place by a cabal of elites who really run this country, and you know it.

And your sales pitches just keep sounding more and more desperate and less convincing. Keep lowering the bar, maybe if you wrote a top hit about your WAP, your influence would carry more weight than a 200 lb bag of excuses.

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My point is, without shutting this country down with a general strike, you can lift until your blue in the face, and it will change nothing, The study on the subject by Professors Gilens and Page of Princeton U. proved this point. Below is a short story link and a short vid graphing their collected data.

(h)ttps://ivn.us/2015/05/07/voice-really-doesn’t-matter-princeton-study-confirms/

(h)ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_lg&t=28s
“Corruption Is Legal In The US” / Representus Platform

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Chris Hedges says, “There is no way to vote against Goldman Sachs". Lloyd Bland-fiend, et al., threatened to vote for Trump if Bernie was allowed to become the nominee - their bribes worked. Hedges also says nothing will change under a Biden administration except that we won’t have to endure Trump’s “… narcissistic, divisive, racist rants”. If these statements are true, and our votes matter at all, doesn’t it (sadly) make more sense to vote for the lesser evil (even if it results in an only an infinitesimally easier fight)? And then stay involved, stay in the streets, work for a viable third party, etc. to truly rid ourselves of the corrupt politicians in both parties and the corporate influence that controls them?

Of course, everyone here is correct; corruption in both parties lead us to Trump. I was incensed at the corruption of the Democratic Party, and I was opposed to lesser evil voting in 2016. I am still opposed to it (in an even remotely fair fight), but I’d rather fight an infinitesimally less evil “leader”, if that is my only choice. Apparently even Hedges thinks it’s only possible for one of the corrupt, corporate politicians to win - shouldn’t we base our decision on the “rules”, such as they are, to be in even a slightly better position?

~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euDYgYDXJHg

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Consider your spinal infirmity as duly noted.

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The problem is that most of the people who are hysterical about voting Trump out now and pushing Democrats to the left will spend the next four years patting Biden(/Harris) on the back, making excuses for him, or - at best - sending strongly worded open letters urging Biden to be a decent human being.

No one is coming out and saying it. Left-liberal coalitions routinely dissolve under Democratic administrations. Leftists and progressives routinely get marginalized. Movements die; liberals go to sleep; police killings, wage theft, war and oppression go on, and MSNBC and CNN stop covering it.

Biden is not a “200-pound sack of concrete.” He is not deadweight, under whom nothing of horrible consequence will happen. He is a different flavor of disaster than the Trump disaster. And unless we are prepared to deal with that flavor of disaster, we are just looking at 4 or 8 more years of ecological, social and economic collapse, fractured social movements, corporate consolidation, and right-wing authoritarianism waiting by the end of it. Again.

Part of why I don’t take Solomon seriously anymore is because it’s clear from these screeds that the only thing he wants is to get Biden elected. If all you want is a vote for Biden, then all you say is that under Trump there’s no possibility for anything good and under Biden there is. (A point which, as other posters have already pointed out, is arguable in the absolute.) And that’s exactly what Solomon says. Over and over.

If your goal is bringing about progressive social change then you look at both outcomes in turn and thoroughly evaluate strategies under each one. Keeping in mind that, regarding Biden, we have 40 years of his record and similar Clinton and Obama administrations to compare. How did progressive strategies succeed or fail under those regimes?

I guess if your theory of social change is that we elect candidates and they make everything happen, then you will always be hyper-focused on elections as your only way to have any impact. I wholly disagree with this theory. Howard Zinn had it right. Voting in this sort of corrupted bourgeois representative democracy is one of our weakest tools for effecting change. Social movements, not elected officials, make lasting progressive change. There’s no good reason not to vote, but if that’s all you do, you ain’t doin’ much.

Contrary to liberal apologists, our fate will not be determined based upon what happens Nov. 3, or however many weeks after Nov. 3 it takes to count (or not count) ballots. Life will go on.

Are we prepared for it?

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**BINGO! The only thing I would add, is Bernie’s name.

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To think that the changes needed can be accomplished via POLITICAL means is DELUSIONAL!!

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This has been said. Bernie and many others have said it. That’s why Bernie and others keep saying people have to remain involved and active - not only by voting, but especially in social movements and activism. People can’t rely on any politician to be elected and then assume all will be fine - ever.

I cite Hedges, again, because he seems to be one of the writers that people who are angry with Bernie (for his supposed weakness and capitulation to the Democratic Party) frequently cite for agreement. Hedges doesn’t think the movements that are happening will stop. He believes people are more “sophisticated” and are no longer “being gaslighted” by the likes of Nancy Pelosi, et al., and their false progressive rhetoric and shallow gestures. See video link in my post above.

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Life went on in Nazi Germany as well. Are you prepared for it?

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Bernie has said it in part. I don’t know about many others. Bernie doesn’t talk about the difficulty of coalition building. The reality is that the political terrain will change, and exhorting people to stay involved and active doesn’t begin to address how to adapt to that change. No one is going to argue with Solomon’s “hold Biden’s feet to the fire” - what they actually do and whether it will be effective is another question.

In other words, more specificity is required, because we’ve been down this road before, and look where we’ve ended up.

I disagree with Hedges. Biden/Harris is not Trump without the white supremacist rants. Biden is a whole other animal. He isn’t infinitesimally better than Trump. In some ways his administration could be better, in other ways worse. The fact that Hedges talks about this like it is an arithmetic problem of greater vs. lesser and not a political strategy problem should tip people off.

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I agree Biden is different, in some ways, than Trump, but even a “different” evil, it may be slightly more effectively fought. I think Hedges is correct in implying, if not outwardly saying, that we are effectively stuck with choosing between the two of them. Based on what I see in my job and outside of my job, things are more difficult since Trump. He loves to sow discord and hate socially; that makes everything more difficult. EPA and other regulatory agencies we have been, to varying degrees, able to depend on (though never enough in the case of EPA, or DOL, in my opinion) have become weaker more quickly and continue to be weakened under Trump. And I don’t think we need to or can wait for more specificity - who is going to give it to us anyway? We know they’re all corrupt, so we begin in a better place, but I believe life will be more difficult under 4 more years of Trump; otherwise, I’d be voting Green again.

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For Iraqis, Palestinians, Libyans, detained and deported immigrants, victims of violent cops, climate refugees, migrant workers, etc., the conditions of Nazi Germany have long been a reality. Thanks in part, if not entirely to politicians like Biden. It does those folks no good for affluent American liberals to continue to moralize about how the (D) is the best we can do.

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and how, is precisely what I think we need to be talking about.

I’m not waiting or suggesting that we wait for guidance. For me this isn’t about deciding whether or how to vote. I’m saying that by not being more strategic we risk repeating the failures that got us here.

(D) is most definitely NOT the best we can do, but the republican party is pretty close to the worst. There are only two possible outcomes here, Biden or Trump. As bad as Biden is, he will still preserve the institutions that, if properly staffed, can serve to protect us from the panoply of problems the administrative agencies were designed to address. He will stop the far-right takeover of the courts. Trump is destroying the foundations of our democracy and is reversing every progressive initiative of the last 150 years. When he is done there will be nothing left re environment, civil rights, labor rights, women’s rights, freedom from religious domination, etc, etc, etc, – there will be nothing left to save. I am not FOR Biden. I am FOR preserving the very foundations of this country, even if the immediate result is eminently unpalatable. It seems that many on the left actually want to oversee the destruction of the structures of our government with Trump as the instrument to do so. Personally, I do not believe that killing the patient is the best way to revive her.

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So I guess you missed the entire thrust of my original post which is not about the election but what we do besides voting and after the election.

Look, you can do everything humanly possible to get Biden elected and Trump may still be president. Biden may win the election and Trump might still be president. It happened in 2000. Why wouldn’t it happen again? Will you be waiting then, for the Democrats to lead the charge to uphold “the foundations of our democracy”? Hoping the courts will sort it out, like they did in 2000? Or will you just give up, because it’s ‘Nazi Germany’ time - this time even for the relatively affluent?

Life will go on, whatever the election outcome. We should be prepared.

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“Dump Trump, then we’ll take on Biden”

We may be able to move Biden to the left when he no longer needs corporate money because he’s not running again, but Biden won’t control the Democrats in Congress the way Trump has been able to control the Republicans; and the Democrats, euphemistically called “moderates”, will still be pandering to the plutocracy for their survival money.

The plutocrats will not permit those Democrats that they fund to vote for any significant progressive change.

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We most certainly have not “hit bottom” with Trump. There will be worse, and worse again, until we overthrow the corporationists.

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