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Transcending the Clinton-Sanders Debate: On the Middle East and US Foreign Policy


#1

Transcending the Clinton-Sanders Debate: On the Middle East and US Foreign Policy

Ramzy Baroud

As US liberals and some leftists are pulling up their sleeves in anticipation of a prolonged battle for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, the tussle becomes particularly ugly whenever the candidates’ foreign policy agendas are evoked.


#2

Yet another naive article positing that the events in the Middle East are some kind of spontaneous unfolding of history. No, they've been planned. Read Oded Yinon, Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard, Plan for a New American Century, etc. Honestly, If the actual nature of "history" cannot be openly and accurately presented in venues like CD, then there is cause for more concern than I already have.


#3

US foreign policy needs an overhaul as much as our domestic policy, but as usual, there is no "perfect" candidate running. (Stein may have a better platform but she, or any other alternative party's candidate, cannot become president through the two party system's electoral college, the actual electors of the US president.)

I figure the first priority is to get our domestic house in order, which puts We the People in a better position to address US foreign policy. Sanders' campaign distinguishes itself on the domestic side, and he is a lesser hawk compared to the other Democratic and Republican candidates.

By virtue of increased domestic spending, military spending has to go down, which is another reason I support Sanders. There is no way Sanders can deliver on his platform without cuts to the war budget. Of course, the movement Sanders is calling for must materialize to hold the feet of Congress critters to the fire.


#6

My concerns about accuracy largely lie in the general meme that history unfolds accidentally, rather than purposefully with accidental excursions along the way. It is not specific to this article, but more global in nature.
Take the Pearl Harbor event in the absence of the U.S. blockade of Japan, as it is presented in textbooks. I'd say that omission of the blockade is in fact an inaccuracy in the narrative.


#8

Of the many presidential candidates we have seen this election season not one of them has taken the position that we should disengage (leave) the Middle East. Yet, I believe, a survey would show a majority of Americans would favor this position. We are in the middle of a religious war with no ability to even define what what winning means.


#9

Thanks lobo, I see things very much the same - one must crawl before walking, or walk before running. We have walked into the abyss of big-money corruption of representative government, corporate domination, military waste, frauds and endless war, and environmental disaster for decades - we fiddled while Mother Earth burned and Her creatures were decimated and exploited/poisoned to extinction - in another analogy, one who walks into the forest for years cannot walk out in a day....

Either we support/elect Sanders as a first-step or be consigned to more decades of the same.......business and corruption as usual.....


#11

Except that Stein was on enough State ballots to get enough EC votes to win and will be again ...

Stein's campaign distinguishes itself on both the domestic and foreign policy side .

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_i_support_dr_jill_stein_for_president_20160221

"By virtue of increased domestic spending, military spending has to go down, which is another reason I support Sanders. There is no way Sanders can deliver on his platform without cuts to the war budget"

Actually, that is another reason to support Stein - Sanders has made no commitment to "cut military spending", Stein has, drastically. You are correct - Sanders can't deliver on his domestic program without really whacking the military budget, but he won't - all he has said is that he will take a "hard look" at the Pentagon budget with a view to cutting "waste" (they all say that) even as he has supported enormously wasteful projects like the F-35 ..


#12

You are correct - it doesn't add up. i think Sanders has made his FP position rather "clear and transparent" - and it is a MIC based FP ...

A good, very good, reason to support Stein

http://www.jill2016.com/

"Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament."


#13

Try this:

http://www.jill2016.com/

"Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament."


#14

" ...in another analogy, one who walks into the forest for years cannot walk out in a day...."

Precisely - we have to start running out, lickety split .... no more crawling or incrementalism which is all the D's offer - we don't have time for that ...

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_days_of_revolt_chris_hedges_jill_stein_take_on_politics_20160216

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_days_of_revolt_chris_hedges_and_dr_jill_stein_201602241

So either we support Stein or be consigned to more decades of the same ...


#15

And if either a D or R, any one of them wins the election - those elitist heads will stay on their shoulders ... the most that Sanders might do is give them a haircut :slightly_smiling:


#16

Clearly "we" are dominated by a vast oligarchy dedicated to wealth and vulture capitalism above all - the "little people" used as sources of obscene wealth of the 1%. This reality is maintained by various mechanisms, from the media to corrupt politicians, Congress & WH, the police-state, the MICC, as well as much more, even including a great mass of citizen Kool-Aid drinkers that support and believe the great lies they are told or trained to believe since birth. The question is how to effect change, real change, not just BS window-dressing or phony reform scams.
The ability to create change depends on a mass coalition from many diverse backgrounds, not all people are as savvy or informed as others, some will go so far and no further, so how exactly do we create and effect real change in a nation divided and a corrupted political system dedicated to maintaining their power? Congress is also a great stumbling-block even IF a candidate of great moral compass gets elected - their leadership can almost be ignored and certainly stymied unless Congress is changed as well as Prez - again, a great coalition needed.
In this electoral cycle "we" have two candidates that represent "US" to one degree or another, Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein - let's for the moment disregard the "party" because reviling "party" is a diversion (parties are made-up of people, some corrupt and some genuine). One candidate has national recognition, an energized base challenging the status quo and has voiced strong denunciation of some of the many issues/things that oppress the people, and is creating/building the coalition needed to possibly "win". The other has great integrity and speaks-out on most all critical issues needing fundamental change but in our corrupted system has not the coalition, name recognition, or base strong enough to compete in a corrupt system - ignored by the mass media & system. They are of course Sanders and Stein, the only candidates with even a shred of moral compass and integrity.
I don't think we get to where "we" need to get supporting at this stage the moral candidate so hampered by the corrupt systems that they have almost zero national coalition to even begin "winning" - sadly. While we both revile incrementalism, the way out of the woods cannot begin without a beginning and forging a coalition strong enough to "win" and effect change we both know is critical. Isn't support of a candidate with zero chance (at this point) a form of incrementalism?
I know what Chris Hedges writes and Jill Stein represents are true and moral, but their base/coalition extends not far beyond the already faithful and exchanges like CP and some other relatively minor forums.
There are some that intentionally try to break "our" coalition to destroy the possibility for even modest steps toward real change.The longest journey begins with a single step and if we are to effect ANY real change "we" must win to do so even if all our issues are not spoken of openly, which is probably very wise not to until the time is ripe, by the candidate with momentum and enthusiastic base/coalition. If and when the corruption destroys our progress "we" must make another choice and that is the time to forget the chosen candidate and voice/support the alternative of moral compass. If that seems all BS maybe, but I don't see "our" progress over the past 5 decades as winning much of anything and the oligarchy & war-machine buying their way to increased wealth and power.
You can't bring a knife to a gun fight and expect to win..........


#17

Vote for Stein if you choose. Vote for whomever you want. Use your vote as a protest vote--I often do. I've voted third party many times, but I do it with the knowledge that the electoral college will not allow any candidate other than a Democrat or Republican to win in this or any foreseeable presidential election.

We've got states that vote blue and ones that vote red, and a handful of "swing" states. If Stein takes the swing states, that's nowhere enough electoral votes to become president, so she will have to win a combination of blue and red states to gain the required number of delegates. Just taking the swing states would be a feat of immense proportions in this climate, and not at all likely to happen any time soon, considering Stein won 0.36% of the popular vote in 2012. To think Stein could win enough deeply entrenched states to win the EC in this political environment really takes some chutzpah, Aquifer. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but lack your faith in fair play.

The more likely scenario is that Stein gains enough support to stop either a Dem or Republican from outright winning. At that point Stein loses at the electoral college. If a three way race causes a tie in the EC, then it goes to the House. Unless there are enough Greens elected to the House, Stein will lose.

If this movement Bernie is asking for actually materializes, it could be a boon for the Greens, which in my mind, is the fastest route to the White House. A peoples movement needs a political arm and the Greens are poised to be that arm, with established state parties in most states. When the movement reaches critical mass, it will be ready to elect candidates who support its demands--an opening for a sea change--and the Greens.

In the meantime, if the Greens want to elect a president, its time to start electing Greens, and a lot of them, to the House. (In fact Stein could use some governing experience. Why doesn't she run for the House?)


#18

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#19

I understand what you are saying - but quite frankly I have heard this in one form or another, for 20 years and it always amounts to the same - "It's not time yet, for now we have to settle for what the system has determined is the 'best we can get'". And when i ask,, "when is the time?", i am told "when we get a 'viable' party, that is well organized and has lots of support" that apparently somehow magically materializes without any effort on our part, like a take out meal, or Aphrodite from the head of Zeus. And when i point out that that same system has been doing it's utmost to keep a party from becoming "viable" (though I would dispute the definition of "viable" that seems to be commonplace - "big and lots of support") and getting support, and point out that the same party that is part of the problem routinely produces rhetorically appealing candidates to channel support away from such a third party (using that "mass media" we routinely excoriate yet allow to sway us), i am met with "but this time its different, this one is for real" - but it never is. In other words, all sorts of excuses for not doing what that little voice inside us tells us we need to do, but takes courage and is anything but easy.

In case you haven't noticed (smile) i tend to persist long after most, and almost inevitably, if i get a series of exchanges, when they don't amount to anger and insults by the other party, or even when they do - what comes out, in one form or another, is fear, the politics of fear ...

We seem to be living in an eternal political version of Groundhog Day - but not even at the point where we realize that we have to choose to break out of the cycle before the nightmare can end .. I think the analogy of Plato's cave is on point, but i guess most folks never heard of Plato's cave ..

"If and when the corruption destroys our progress "we" must make another choice and that is the time to forget the chosen candidate and voice/support the alternative of moral compass."

That isn't BS at all - but somehow, no matter how far we sink, we never decide we are at that point - I would argue that we are at that point, that we have been for some time - where our progress has been destroyed - there are all sorts of "statistics", aside from our own personal experiences, to bear that out - and Stein makes that case well and clearly ... but still we shy away from that "moral choice" - again, the politics of fear ....

As far as focusing on "parties" - I tend to agree, i am a registered indy, party politics leaves me cold. i wish we didn't so focus, but when certain parties have time and again proven to be part (a big part) of the problem and not the solution, pointing that out is pertinent, relevant and germane ... and the irony is, outside of election season frenzies, in calmer moments, many, if not most, folks tend to share that assessment - but tend to suspend their disbelief when elections come around, excusing or even defending (as "pragmatic", etc.) behavior they wouldn't otherwise ... And when a candidate chooses to represent a party that has no "moral compass", isn't that "little detail" telling?

"I don't see "our" progress over the past 5 decades as winning much of anything and the oligarchy & war-machine buying their way to increased wealth and power."

i agree - so doesn't that re-enforce the argument that perhaps we are indeed at that point where " 'we' must make another choice and that (it) is the time to forget the chosen candidate and voice/support the alternative of moral compass." I suggest that that "chosen candidate" may well wind up being Sanders, the DP's Plan B in its quest to maintain hegemony ...

So is the argument over whose "moral compass" we must follow? And whether "incrementalism" is the way to go? Because that is all, at best, Sanders has to offer, though i would argue that even that "incrementalism" is a fantasy whereby if we win, we continue to not "win" much of anything, except the empty satisfaction of winning an election, another election where we miss the chance, once again, to get anything of real value. What is the point of getting to the top of the ladder if it is against the wrong wall - Stein offers anything but "incrementalism"

As Einstein says - we cannot solve our problems at the same level of thinking that produced them, or, doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity, or any other of those phrases that amount to the same thing that we continually spout and pay no attention to ..

"You can't bring a knife to a gun fight and expect to win ... "

And is there any way to "win" a gunfight? Isn't the argument made that the only successful "movements" were those who refused to engage in a gunfight? That nonviolence is the key, and what is more "non violent" than a revolution at the polls?


#20

We're on a similar page Aquifer, as I suspect many are - we recognize the abuses, exploitation, usury, corporate/banker greed/theft, military excesses/crimes etc, etc, and critical need for basic and substantial reform/change - preferably immediately. Its the how that confuses and divides people. It IS time now and the best way to effect change/reform/political revolution is the path we should choose - the path to victory. "Sometimes we don't get what we want, but we get what we need"......what can set the stage for much more! I've been active since the Vietnam War along with millions of others and we have yet to pull a revolution out of the hat.......

By "time to forget the chosen candidate and support the alternative", I meant that if Sanders loses the nomination, people shift en masse to Stein. Supporting Stein now rather try to break the DNC stranglehold with Sanders and take-back/take-over the party from corrupt hacks, is self-defeating, IMO.

I would argue that Sanders has pushed a platform that is not "incrementalism" (depending on how you define that) or timid. I suggest he has run as a Democrat to gain political advantage, not as a pawn or shill. Many think the party can be "taken-back", others think a third party is the way - none of those have been really successful and there's nothing to suggest now would be any different.
Sanders has called for "political revolution" including bankers, corporate greed, racism, financial manipulations, campaign finance reform, getting big-money out of politics/elections, rejected the TTP & TTIP, supports environmental action on many fronts, and more but still he is rejected because he is not perfect. Sanders is attacked for perceived collusion with war and the MICC, and IF elected we must change that dimension - many believe a person that represents great change would be morally corrupt to not see it all the way. Sometimes a candidate must know when and what to say and what and when not to - they make those choices not because they are supporting one or another position but because that is the way to build a strong wide base to effect far-ranging change!

My analogy about the "knife at a gunfight" is rhetorical and not meant to include violence - just a metaphor.

The only choices we have at this point are Sanders and Stein. Supporting one until they no longer represent a moral conviction, then change our support when warranted, seems appropriate now for a wide variety or reasons.


#21

"In the meantime, if the Greens want to elect a president, its time to start electing Greens, and a lot of them, to the House. (In fact Stein could use some governing experience. Why doesn't she run for the House?)"

Aside from the facts that 1) the same arguments against electing a Green to the WH are pretty much the same ones used (successfully, unfortunately) against electing a Green at any level a) "no 'experience" (at the lower ones, it amounts to "why not run for dogcatcher first"), b) they are slapped with "can't win" and/or "spoiler" labels (I attended a debate in which a local Green running for the House actually was allowed to participate - and on the way out i heard at least one person say "I like him, he makes the most sense, but i won't support him because he can't win") - 2) the same powerful "media" forces are used against them, if only by ignoring them ...

Aside from those facts there is the fact that too many, including Sanders, (see http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/21/bernie-out-of-the-closet-sanders-longstanding-deal-with-the-democrats/ ) have come to the conclusion that TINA to the D/R party machines - ignoring all the debilitating "compromises" (excused in the name of "pragmatism") that candidates have to make to stay in the good graces of those parties ("i will support the DP candidate" no matter who, as "I always have"), even when those "compromises" are demonstrated, as was/is the case with O, to be less "compromise" and more "agreement" with the purported "opposition" ...

Aside from all those facts, there is the, what i would argue should be the decisive, one, made quite powerfully by Stein, that we simply don't have time to wait for someone to "work their way up" in a widely admitted corrupted and corrupting political system controlled by D/Rs, but need to fire on all cylinders lickety-split ...

The "experience" one is indeed seductive, but we recognize it as rather bogus or self defeating when we talk about the intelligent, dedicated, hard working, highly educated individual who applies for a job, and is not hired because - no one has hired them yet - even though they have every indication of being a better asset to the company than one who was hired years ago...

If we want "governing" experience, then it would seem that Christie or Bush would be the "best" choices" or, for "executive" experience, Trump

As for EC votes, in your invocation of "Red" and "Blue" states - you seem to be unaware that a good 50% of voters identify with neither party, 29& as Dems, 21% Reps - the times they are indeed a'changing - the battle is for indies - all parties are competing for them, and the duopoly PTB know this - why else find it necessary to handcuff an indy candidate to a chair to keep her out of a Pres debate (Stein in '12)?

The fact that a race might have to be "thrown into the house" because of a third party candidate, let alone a win, would be monumental - you don't think those Congress critters would be coloring their shorts" And isn't that what we need them to do? We would have sent the message that we were in the process of actually doing what we have long threatened to do, but never done before, "throw the bums out" - they would know that their safety was no longer assured by sticking with the machine ... and I posit, you would see a seachange bigger than anything Sanders could (or would want to) produce ... just by that fact -

If that takes chutzpah, then hell, we need more of it - it has nothing to do with faith in fair play, but everything to do with the choices we make ... Think about it, not that long ago Sanders was in the "can't win" column and anyone who thought he could was essentially accused of "chutzpah" - but what changed? Folks decided to pooh-pooh the "can't win" nonsense (and it always is nonsense), develop a bit of chutzpah and support him anyway - and voila! he is now considered in many circles a "can win". it is not a matter of chance, but of choice, our choice and when enough folks make that choice, Stein could, indeed, win - as she says, "it's in our hands"

The "movement" that Sanders is asking for, basically, when all is said and done, is no "movement" at all, a tempest in a teacup, to be conducted "safely" inside the DP tent, or jail (remember, "i will support the DP nominee" ) It is no "boon to the Greens". The people's movement does, indeed, need a political arm, but all it will get from a Sanders DP is a finger (and you know which one) - the Greens are indeed poised to be that arm, but to be that arm they need folks to elect them, that should be rather obvious ..

So will you help the Greens to reach that "critical mass"? Will you show dedication to what should be a basic principle of any "political revolution", the right to be heard, by demanding that Stein be allowed to debate? And telling your candidate to do the same?

http://www.jill2016.com/openthedebatespetiton

http://www.jill2016.com/romney_obama_vs_open_debates


#22

"Supporting one until they no longer represent a moral conviction, then change our support when warranted .."

Well yes, but the problem is, as with O, we only seem willing to decide that after an election (and sometimes not even then) when it is too late ... and then, with the next election cycle, we do this all over again, as we have for the last 20 years or so - the time to make that "moral choice" is now, when it counts, because, as Stein points out, we are running out of time. We pretty much agree that the time to get serious about climate change was decades ago, but we waited and now here we are and soon that ability to influence it will be gone - the same is true for getting serious about our politics ...

"It IS time now and the best way to effect change/reform/political revolution is the path we should choose - the path to victory."

True - but if we let others define what that "path to victory" is - we have put the cart before the horse - and that path may not only not be "the best way to effect change/reform/political revolution", but in fact a distraction to keep us from taking a path that is ...

I know Sanders has called for many things - but what you call critiques of him not being "perfect" are, in fact, examples of where his record either belies, or at least casts serious doubt on, his convictions re those things - and they are ignored or dismissed. Nobody is "perfect", not even Stein (smile),she gets brickbats thrown by the radical left for not wearing a "Down with Capitalism, up with Socialism!" or "Down with Empire!" sticker plastered on her forehead, but they go to the heart of the matter - talk is cheap, what does the record say - if one wants to run on one's record, one can't redact large portions of it and asked to be taken seriously ...

"I suggest he has run as a Democrat to gain political advantage, not as a pawn or shill."

To gain "political advantage" - yup, but political advantage for whom and to what end? For himself, as he has done for most of his career, never attempting to build an indy movement, opposing those, like Nader, who were? For the DP ("I will support the DP nominee" as "I always have", at his victory speech in NH - "this is a great day for the DP!")? Or for us ...

The "using" is on both sides - a mutual scratching of backs between him and the DP - http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/21/bernie-out-of-the-closet-sanders-longstanding-deal-with-the-democrats/

See, I don't think he will, necessarily, be "torpedoed" by the DP PTB, if they perceive that he is more likely to beat the R than Clinton is - because that is the bottom line for the DP - winning, maintaining an edge in the 2 step with the RP, and they feel safe with Sanders, as they did with O, he is this cycle's "Plan B" - he has given plenty of assurances he will not rock their boat (see above). Unless you want to argue, as folks did with O, that he is playing "12 dimensional chess", fooling them all .... but it seems to me, the ones that are more likely being fooled are us ...

"Sometimes a candidate must know when and what to say and what and when not to - they make those choices not because they are supporting one or another position but because that is the way to build a strong wide base to effect far-ranging change!"

Yes, indeed, that is the politics we seem to tolerate and excuse, if not downright support - whatever they need to "build a base" - to win an election, never mind that that base gets thrown under the bus afterward .. So it's OK to say something they don't really support (and that's where a record is useful) and leave out stuff they do ... so long as they are "open and transparent" once in office? - I mean, think about that for a minute - so how are we, then to know, before the election, which is which ...

Look, I am not saying he is a "bad man" - lots of good folks are Ds and even Rs (smile), just that he doesn't merit all the wonderful attributes we have projected on him, just as we did with O - we are so hungry for "change we can believe in" that we lose our critical faculties and hop on board behind the next guy in the donkey cart that comes along, especially if he has a sign around his neck that says "Indy!", though the donkey has a collar that says Dem ..

We need better than that, and we need it now ... Stein wouldn't ride that donkey cart - she prefers to hoof it as long as it takes until - we drive the bus, our bus, to pick her up - time to drive that bus and pick her up ..


#23

We are more in agreement than you might think. My argument is that Stein, or any alternative party's candidate, cannot get elected to the presidency within the current political climate and because of the electoral college. There is no pathway, not without changes to the Constitution or a peoples movement, neither of which has happened. I believe Sanders is calling for an authentic movement, but so far it hasn't materialized.

I'm not arguing that Stein shouldn't run, or debate (I signed the petition), or that folks shouldn't vote for her. I protest vote all the time. Depending on my ballot, she just might get my vote. All I am saying is that the political climate and constitutional structure won't allow an alternative party's candidate to assume the presidency, and folks should know it.

See: Third party candidates face a high hurdle in the electoral college. It is democrocide, but it is how our president gets elected. The system is rigged.

I'm all for proportional representation, an end to the two-party system and the Electoral College, but we are very much stuck with it until the people rise up in the streets. Both the Green Party and Bernie Sanders already know that voting doesn't create systemic change (the system won't allow it)--it's getting others to understand that's the hard part.

Thanks for the thoughtful exchange.


#24

More and more states are dumping that "winner takes all EC votes" - and i would argue that a greater popular vote showing for a third party without concomitant capture of EC votes would do more to spark that "people ris(ing) up in the streets" than anything else i can imagine - right now folks feel justified in ignoring them because they don't get that "popular vote" - but they don't get that "popular vote" because - as i said, folks "perceive" they "can't win" and of course they can't if folks don't support them - a circular argument, a self-fulfilling prophecy. But what we are hearing more and more from Sanders supporters is - "if he doesn't win, i won't support the DP" - even though, it will be argued, by doing that they are "helping the R's". Sanders supporters who do that apparently have dumped the argument that any D is better than a R - and good for them for doing so - We have to take it one, I would argue the logical, step further and argue that if one is willing to "risk a Rep victory" by not voting, then why not "risk it" in support of a really good candidate, one that many admit is, in fact, the best, instead? The answer was not to chicken out, which folks did re Nader in '04, but to vote in greater numbers for him then and still greater in '08, and greater for Stein in '12 and ... if we had done that we would have a very different political landscape now - I would argue a much better one - it is not too late, though it will be soon, to go down that better path ..

From your article:
"The fear of vote-wasting is the main psychological burden imposed by the electoral college’s deflation of third–party efforts. As election day approaches, third–party candidates often see their support fade, because voters don’t want to squander their ballot on someone who won’t win."

" .. third–party candidates often see their support fade ..." - by being convinced that they are "wasting their vote". I would argue that the only truly "wasted" vote is one for a duopoly candidate - because if "their side" wins, what have they won? More of the same ... cemented by a "politics of fear"

i agree the hurdles are enormous, but they are only "prohibitive" if we decide they are ..

We are stuck with it - until we dump the 2 parties that are sticking us with it - just about all the examples in your article were, IMO, indications that the D/Rs would have no intention of "unsticking" us, as it works to cement their control ...

I agree that we need more indies, Greens, at all levels (here's a good one for Senate - http://www.flowersforsenate.org/

But to get there the first thing we have to do is dump the defeatist attitude of accepting what we are told we are "allowed" and "not allowed" to do ... and to hit, as Stein says, on all cylinders ...

We keep being told that "we won't be allowed" to do this or that but that apparently hasn't stopped folks from supporting what they perceive to be a "socialist" in a system that "won't allow" a socialist to win. What "political revolution" is worth it's salt that doesn't say "horsepucky" to what we are "allowed" to do!

If Sanders doesn't care about the power of the vote, then why is he running as a Dem - to raise the issues? Not necessary - the issues have been already raised, at kitchen tables, around water coolers, at food banks, etc. - he wants any "solution" to those issues contained within the parameters "allowed" by the DP and he is being given the DP bullhorn to trumpet them (this "rivalry" between him and Clinton is a family squabble - the DP will back the one who they think can beat the Rep) But when you pause to consider the fact that we are in the pickles we are in, "in spite of" (I would argue, in large part, because of) the fact that the last 16 of 24 years have been under D admin, with a "i feel your pain" and a "yes we can" popular candidate at the helm, sticking within those parameters should give us more than pause ...

Voting can do a hell of a lot - TPTB know the potential of the vote, they know what we could do with that vote if we ever decided to, and it scares the bejeebers out of them, so they don't want us to know it, which is why they spend so much money on making sure that we believe there is TINA to the D/Rs, that 3rd parties "can't win" - as Walker (Alice, not Scott - smile) said, the best way to keep folks from not using their power is to convince them they don't have any ..

The biggest barriers to "systemic change" are the duopoly that instituted and perpetuates that "system" and the perception that we can't unseat it - so let's come out of Plato's cave and damn the drones, full speed ahead - the only thing we have to fear, as they say, is fear itself ...

Have you seen these?
http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_days_of_revolt_chris_hedges_jill_stein_take_on_politics_20160216

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_days_of_revolt_chris_hedges_and_dr_jill_stein_201602241

Thanx for signing those petitions! And thanx for continuing the discussion - you have raised a lot of good points that we have to consider, but i would argue we can, and indeed must, overcome, if we but "screw our courage to the sticking place" as Stein, i believe, is doing - but it is true, especially in a democracy, as tattered and threadbare as it is, that no one can do it alone