Friday, July 29, 2016

Here's why it's Hillary

Like a whole lot of Republicans, I've got a problem or two with Hillary Clinton. But, unlike Republicans, they have nothing to do with her personal email server or Benghazi.

I'm a Bernie guy. My issues with Mrs. Clinton have to do with her shameful compliance when the chips were down in 2002. She voted "aye" to the lies. She cut Junior loose on Iraq. I haven't forgotten.

But you better believe I'm going to vote for her.

And, although in itself it is incentive enough, the fact that her opponent is a mob orator, an avatar of the ugliest parts of America, is not the only reason I'm going to give her my vote. I'm going to vote for Hillary, not just against Donald Trump.

Here's why: Bernie Sanders and his supporters won a great victory this primary season. Although they could not carry the nomination, that awoke something. The groundswell of support the Sanders campaign received surprised everyone. Sanders ran a fully-funded campaign, receiving donations from some 7 million people! Even with an average donation of $27, that's a lot of money. But more importantly, Sanders won the votes of young people by overwhelming numbers, outpacing Trump and Hillary combined!

Folks, we're at the dawn of a new era. The Sanders campaign, progressive politics, is the future of the Democratic party. Access to health care, racial and religious tolerance, justice both economic and social, affordable education: there is a great groundswell of support for these ideas.

Hillary, the consummate politician, can smell what's in the wind. Just as her husband did, when he mastered the art of political triangulation halfway through his first term, Hillary will position herself to be at the front of this new movement.

And as for the caricature that Fox News and the Republicans created? Well, they've been doing a multi-million dollar hit job on the woman for 25 years now. One can hardly be surprised that many people believe she is Jezebel incarnate.

She has her warts, like all politicians. But I believe she's a competent, even an exceptional, administrator. She will surround herself with competent people. And, far from fighting progress at every turn, she will encourage it.

So, yes, Hillary. Hillary 2016!

Friday, July 01, 2016

In the end, it will be the racism that kills the GOP

Just the first of many racist comments by the presumptive GOP nominee
Even though, as of this writing, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton appears to be walloping her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, in the polls I expect that between now and November, there will be enough fluctuation in the numbers to have liberal hearts palpitating like those of frightened rabbits.

Nonetheless, I believe, ultimately, the GOP will crash and burn this fall. In an historic fashion. Because history teaches that any cause that has  racism and hatred at the core of its philosophy is doomed to betray itself.

Example 1: The Third Reich

In the summer of 1941, the German Wehrmacht was rolling across the steppes of the Ukraine, swallowing whole divisions of Red Army troops. The Ukrainians, who had only recently been overrun and oppressed by Russia, at first welcomed the Germans as liberators.

Kiev or bust!
But they soon learned the error of their ways.

As bigwig Nazi and lead administrator of occupied Ukraine Erich Koch said: "[Gernans] are a master race that must remember that the lowliest German worker is racially and biologically a thousand times more valuable than the population here."

Well, the Nazis acted on that sentiment. During the occupation, whole villages were lined up and shot. Men, women, children. Those who weren't killed outright were enslaved and worked to death. If you've got the stomach for it, you can read more here.

Soon, Ukrainians began forming partisan paramilitary groups to fight the German occupiers. No longer were the Germans liberators, but brutal oppressors. Rather than a welcoming populace, they faced a desperate, no-tomorrow resistance that contributed mightily to their defeat.

The Nazi creed was infested with the cancer of racism. Even as they drove for Moscow, that cancer was eating away at them.

Example 2: Confederate States of America

Or consider the case of the Confederacy during the War Between the States:

In 1862, the Confederate States of America were at the height of their success. They had successfully stymied Union advances into Confederate territory. Their morale was high and bungling Union generals seemed impotent against the military mystique of Robert. E. Lee and his lieutenants.

Confederates fought to preserve their "property rights"
Things looked so rosy for Jeff Davis and his gang that Britain and France, ever wary of the growing power of the United States, considered official recognition of the Confederacy as a nation, which would have been a tremendous boon to the "Cause."

But what stayed the foreign interventionists' hand was the institutional racism of slavery. Britain had abolished slavery in 1833; France in 1794. Slavery was so abhorrent to the British and French populations at large that their governments dared not recognize the CSA.

The inherent racism of the Confederacy closed off the life line of international recognition that they so desperately needed. Although it took another 3 years for them to recognize it, their cause was doomed from the start.

GOP today

Which brings us back around to Donald Trump and today's GOP.

Let's not get carried away here. The GOP's evil is but a pale shadow of the Confederacy's, and not at all comparable to that of the Nazis. Nonetheless, with modern-day racists flocking to the Trump banner , one must accept that Trump's message resonates with them.

"[Trump] has sparked an insurgency," frothed Don Black, founder of Stormfront, a white nationalist group.

Making friends all over the world.
With every racist pronouncement that Donald Trump makes, he wins ardent support from a certain element in this country. But at the same time, he drives away people who might agree with his trade policies (such as they are) or who are attracted to his thumb-your-nose-at-authority rhetoric, but who are absolutely repelled by his demagoguery against Muslims, Mexicans, and women.

Just as the Nazis and the Confederacy enjoyed early success in their horrific efforts, despite any successes the Trump movement may have as we progress toward November, the malignancy of racism dooms it.