Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Thursday, March 24, 2016

How Can a 'Peacenik' Vote for Clinton?

In many states during this so-called primary season - where both mainstream political parties play their corporate shell game - the stories about voter suppression are growing by the week.

During the latest round in the Arizona primary it was more than evident that the chest-thumping exceptional democracy can't, or doesn't intend to, organize fair elections. States like Florida, my old stomping grounds for 30 years, once again get a prize for maximum voter denial.

My favorite story from the recent Florida primary was when a voter entered a polling station in Polk County (rural central Florida redneck place where I used to do farmworker union organizing). The person was told that the Democrats were not on the ballot that day - only Republicans.  The voter keep insisting until finally the worker at the polls relented and went into a back room to 'discover' that indeed there were Democratic party ballots.  This kind of suppression not only helps the Republicans but also Hillary Clinton as a larger primary voter turnout works against her medieval candidacy.

Here in Maine, like most other places around the country, there is already growing debate within the 'peace movement' community about what to do after Clinton wins the nomination.  Should peaceniks vote for Hillary who guarantees more military spending and more wars?  Even Trump is at times sounding like a non-interventionist compared to Clinton. Some peaceniks actually maintain that they must support the candidate that neo-cons like Robert Kagan are supporting - Hillary Clinton.  I can't figure it.

Here is the Washington Post reporting on their recent meeting with Trump:

Donald Trump outlined an unabashedly noninterventionist approach to world affairs Monday, telling The Washington Post's editorial board that he questions the need for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has formed the backbone of Western security policies since the Cold War.

Speaking ahead of a major address on foreign policy later Monday in front of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Trump said he advocates a light footprint in the world. In spite of unrest abroad, especially in the Middle East, Trump said the United States must look inward and steer its resources toward rebuilding domestic infrastructure.

"Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war with Russia," said Trump.

Trump said that U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington. "We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore," Trump said, adding later, "NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money."

Trump sounded a similar note in discussing the U.S. presence in the Pacific. He questioned the value of massive military investments in Asia and wondered aloud whether the United States still was capable of being an effective peacekeeping force there.

This is obviously one key reason Jeb Bush has endorsed Ted Cruz over Trump.  On some level Trump is upsetting the imperial war project.  Hell, Bernie Sanders ain't saying half of the stuff that Trump told the Post.  Clinton is saying none of this!

How about one more semi-endorsement from the depths of hell?  Bush's war hungry V-P Dick Cheney has pointed his dark light on Clinton.  He told the UK's The Telegraph this:

Former US vice president Dick Cheney has praised Hillary Clinton as one of the more competent members of President Barack Obama's administration, saying it would be "interesting to speculate" on how she would perform as president.

I'm not suggesting that I, or anyone else, should vote for Trump.  But I will say that for peaceniks to say they have to vote for Hillary just to keep Trump out of office is more than strange.  They both are corporate pirates.

How can a self-respecting political activist who has given their life toward working for peace, turn around and vote for Hillary Clinton?  Honduras, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Palestine and more.  We know where she stands and it is bad news.

I want to support a positive, alternative, transformative vision of the future.  Neither Republicans or Democrats offer that.  I will vote for the Green Party's candidate Jill Stein who is real and tells the truth about what must be done now if we hope to survive on this planet.  Build it and they will come.....


Blogger Zinn Reader said...

Hear, hear - am in agreement with Bruce! Go Green - support Dr. Jill Stein and her efforts to call out the War Machine which is used to support and reinforce the American Empire though the use of U.S. military, NATO Forces, and the Israeli regime.

3/24/16, 2:29 PM  
Blogger Jacqui Deveneau said...

Thank you Bruce. I have never been able to understand how good people could vote for a corporate candidate that continues the "for profit wars" [same corporations own both Parties, they don't switch out they just keep it going as we saw when Obama took over after Bush] People have to understand it is not longer about the Dems or Reps and all about the corporations. There are many good people in both Parties but they can not stop the corporations until they stop voting Dem or Rep.corporate own candidates One should be more afraid of causing death for millions around the world and killing the planet, more then they should be afraid of Trump or any Rep candidate. And with less then 50% of the registered voters in the Dem or Rep Parties the other 50% plus all those unregistered can certainly vote in a Third Party candidate. But more then any thing you should have the right to vote for the person you want not the person you are afraid of. Greens have run in all elections and Dems have won many times so voting Green is not going to give you a Rep it is going to give you a clean conscious that you never voted for any corporate candidate that has killed people around the world and is killing the planet. It is all a lie to keep you voting for their candidates because there are a lot more of us then them!!!

3/24/16, 3:28 PM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

One friend here in Maine told me today that she has been working the phones for Bernie Sanders calling potential voters in states across the US. Before the Arizona primary she called a woman and they were reviewing where she would go to vote. As it turned out her voting place was 90 miles away in a different part of Arizona. My friend, a hard core Democrat, told me, "I'm starting to think you are right when you say it is the system."

3/24/16, 6:57 PM  
Blogger stan levin said...

Mrs Clinton continues to display a proclivity towards war and for whatever her reasons ongoing support for the weapons of war industries ...
As a man of peace my thinking and her thinking are at polar opposites ....
In the event she becomes the Democratic nominee for POTUS I will go Green.
Stan Levin
VFP Chapter 91

3/24/16, 11:02 PM  
Blogger Lisa Savage said...

No one with D or R after their name is going to break from their corporate masters. "The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories [than the previous administration]. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.
A mini nuclear bomb is planned. [emphasis mine] It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear]weapon more thinkable.” -- John Pilger

3/25/16, 4:14 PM  
Blogger elroyo said...

How can a peacenik vote for the Bern? How will the Bern change anything occurring in the Middle East, yes including Israel and the Palestine? There is the double the Bern speak.

The tale of the two Berns.
At a March 1988 news conference endorsing Jesse Jackson’s candidacy for president, Bernie Sanders blasted Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinian protesters as “an absolute disgrace.”
“The sight of Israeli soldiers breaking the arms and legs of Arabs is reprehensible. The idea of Israel closing down towns and sealing them off is unacceptable,” the then mayor of Burlington, Vermont, said to a gaggle of reporters.
Sanders was referring to the television images that shocked the world in those early months of the first intifada, of Israeli soldiers methodically breaking the limbs of Palestinian youths on the orders of then defense minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Fast forward to August 2014 and the Vermont senator struck a very different tone, angrily shouting at his constituents as they challenged his defense of Israel’s killing rampage in the Gaza Strip that summer.
“You have a situation where Hamas is sending missiles into Israel … from populated areas,” Sanders said, deploying standard Israeli government talking points.
When a member of the audience called out a question on whether Palestinians “have a right to resist,” Sanders shouted back, “Shut up! You don’t have the microphone!” and threatened to call in the police.
“Are you going to arrest people?” the constituent shouted back.
Sanders quickly diverted the conversation to the brutality of ISIS or Islamic State.

And there is his no comment thus far how he would lessen the deep turmoil in the rest of the Middle East. Turmoil brought forth from direct US action. So expecting the situation to a calming effect without direct US actions is silly.

3/25/16, 6:10 PM  

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