Article 43

 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Awakening Part 14 - Hear Our Warning

image: act american

The attempt by the US media to make news rather than report it is my greatest concern. When our well-being is threatened, when our illusions about ourselves are challenged, we tend - some of us at least - to fly into murderous rages. And when the same provocations are applied to nation states, they, too, sometimes fly into murderous rages, egged on often enough by those seeking personal power or profit.
-Carl Sagan’s Warnings

To reestablish the middle class - the offshored jobs have to be brought home, monopolies broken up, regulation restored, and the central bank put under accountable control or abolished.

America’s middle class jobs can be brought home by changing the way corporations are taxed.

The tax rate could be set to cancel out the cost savings of producing offshore.

Monopoly has more than economic effect. When SIX mega-media companies have control of 90 percent of the American media, a dispersed and independent press no longer exists.
- Prescrription for Peace and Prosperity

The ruling elites, who first built a mafia economy and then built a mafia state, will continue under Biden, as they did under Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, to wantonly pillage and loot.

The worse it gets - and it WILL GET WORSE as the pandemic hits us in wave after deadly wave with an estimated 300,000 Americans dead by December and possibly 400,000 by January - the more desperate the nation will become.

The poor, the vulnerable, those who are not white or not Christian, those who are undocumented or who do not mindlessly repeat the cant of a perverted Christian nationalism, will be offered up in a crisis to the god of death, a familiar form of human sacrifice that plagues sick societies.

Once one stage of conflict reaches a crescendo it loses its efficacy. It must be replaced by ever more brutal and deadly confrontations. The intoxication and addiction to greater and greater levels of violence to purge the society of evil led to genocide in Germany and the former Yugoslavia.

These crisis cults are, as Drucker understood, irrational and schizophrenic. They have no coherent ideology. They turn morality upside down. They appeal exclusively to emotions. Burlesque and celebrity culture become politics. Depravity becomes morality. Atrocities and murder become heroism. Crime and fraud become justice. Greed and nepotism become civic virtues. What these cults stand for today, they condemn tomorrow.

when social bonds are shattered, when a population no longer feels it has a place or meaning in a society, personal and collective acts of self-destruction proliferate.
- America in Collapse 6 - Even Beating Trump Won’t Stop the Empire’s Terminal Decline, Chris Hedges, August 11, 2020

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In my opinion - the United States is finished.  As we near the final collapse - civil unreset will get worse.

Lets remind ourselves - Martin Luther King Jr was a pacifist.

Fact Check: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Did Not Support Riots

By Joel B. Pollak
Brietbart
June 7, 2020

CLAIM: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: ”a riot is the language of the unheard.”

VERDICT: True. However, Dr. King remained committed to non-violent protest and opposed to riots.

In the wake of the riots and looting that broke out with protests over THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD in the custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota, police last month, supporters of the cause have cited Dr. Martin Luther Kings quote on riots.

For example, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told Fox News Sunday last week:  “Martin Luther King [Jr.] said many years ago that riot is the way that the unheard get heard.”

Ellison added, however correctly - that” Dr. King didn’t condone it, but he said to the nation - as a person who always protested peacefully - “that don’t just dismiss that and ignore it, and relegate it to just CRIMINALITY AND BAD BEHAVIOR.”

The quote comes from a SPEECH that Dr. King delivered at Grosse Point High School in Michigan in March 1968, just weeks before he was assassinated.

King said that he could not condemn riots “without condemning the intolerable conditions that exist in our society.” But he made clear that he did not support rioting.

The full quote, in context (emphasis added):

Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. Im absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.

The term “militant” has lately been used as a euphemism for “terrorist,” so THE IDEA OF MILITANT NON-VIOLENT ACTION may be difficult to understand today. What Dr. King meant was that even radical change had to be pursued non-violently.

Dr. King’s principle of non-violence drew from Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of “satyagraha,” which relied on non-violence to appeal to the common humanity of the person against whom the protest was directed.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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image: the end is near

We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying.
We Survivors of Authoritarianism Have a Message America Needs to Hear: This is Exactly How it Happens, and ItҒs Happening Here.

By umair haque
Eudamonia
August 29, 2020

Right about now, something terrible is happening in America. Society is one tiny step away from the final collapse of democracy, at the hands of a true authoritarian, and his fanatics. Meanwhile, America’s silent majority is still slumbering at the depth and gravity of the threat.

I know that strikes many of you as somehow wrong. So let me challenge you for a moment. How much experience do you really have with authoritarianism? Any? If you’re a “real” American, you have precisely none.

Take it from us SURVIVORS and scholars of authoritarianism. This is exactly how it happens. The situation - could not - could not be any worse. The odds are now very much against American democracy surviving.

If you don’t believe me, ask a friend. I invite everyone who’se lived under authoritarianism to comment. Those of us how have?

We survivors of authoritarianism have a terrible, terrible foreboding, because we are experiencing something we should never do: deja vu. Our parents fled from collapsing societies to America. And here, now, in a grim and eerie repeat of history, we see the scenes of our childhoods played out all over again. Only now, in the land that we came to. We see the stories our parents recounted to us happening before our eyes, only this time, in the place they brought us to, to escape from all those horrors, abuses, and depredations.

We survivors are experiencing this terrible feeling of deja vu right now as a group, as a class. We talk about it, how eerie and grim this sense of deja vu is. It’s happening all over again! Do you remember this part of your childhood? When the armed men roamed the streets? When the secret police disappeared opponents? When the fascist masses united - and that was enough to destroy democracy for good? We talk about it, believe me but you donגt hear it because we have no real voice. Americas pundits are named Chris and Jake and Tucker. They are not named Eduardo and Ravi and Xiao and Umair. But Chris and Jake and Tucker canҒt help you now. They dont know what the hell theyҒre dealing with. They literally have no idea because they have no experience whatsoever.

The only people who do right now in America are us survivors. Let me remind you, by the way, what happens we speak out: we lose whatever credibility and status we have. The moment I began to warn of this, I lost my column in HBR, my cable news appearances, and so forth. Dont cry for me. Understand me, my friend, know me. If we had a voice, we survivors, we would be warning you as loudly and strongly as we possibly could.

All of us. We would say:

This is not a joke. This is not a drill. When we survivors of authoritarianism experience, as a group, a class, a cohort, something that we never, ever should - the horrific deja vu that the horrors of our childhoods, that our parents knew, are happening, all over again, here, something is much, much more wrong than you know.

Now let me make all the above concrete. I am going to use the example of Kenosha to draw out things that perhaps only we survivors can see - or at least that we see first and easiest. Things that the “real” American is either still playing dumb about, or is still mum about, and both equate to the same thing: silence, which is complicity, in times like these.

When we look at Kenosha, we survivors, and you “real” Americans, do we see the same thing? Do we feel the same gravity, pain, urgency? You will have to tell me. Here is what I see, that Im 100% sure every survivor sees but I doubt “real” Americans fully see yet.

What happened there? A young man was radicalized by the movement that fascist President led. The fascist President spoke of hated minorities as animals and vermin. He led his faithful in chants of hate, moments that built the bond of the tribe between them. Soon enough, that President was speaking of peaceful protesters as anarchists and revolutionaries and seditionaries. And the question that the fascist raises was left hanging in the air. “My people, my flock - what do we do with traitors?”

The answer, to a young man like that, is what it was in Nazi Germany, in the Islamic World, in every fascist collapse since time began. We kill them. So off he went with his rifle - and killed innocent people. Perfectly innocent people.

There is a crucial lesson there. America already has an ISIS, a Taliban, an SS waiting to be born. A group of young men willing to do violence at the drop of a hat, because they’ve been brainwashed into hating. The demagogue has blamed hated minorities and advocates of democracy and peace for those young mens’ stunted life chances, and they believe him. That’s exactly what an ISIS is, what a Taliban is, what an SS is. The only thing left to do by an authoritarian is to formalize it.

But when radicalized young men are killing people they have been taught to hate by demagogues right in the open, on the streets - a society has reached the beginnings of sectarian violence, the kind familiar in the Islamic world, and is at the end of democracy’s road.

How did the states law enforcement respond? In America, they’re simply called “the police.” They let him do it, and then they protected him. The killer was only brought to justice because there was a national outcry after the act was caught on video. If none of that had happened, he probably would never have been. The police were forced to act, in other words.

What do we survivors see in that tiny parable? Crucial institutions have already been captured by the extremist factions who stand against democracy. Do all those cops think of themselves as fascists? Of course they don’t. So what? Mullahs don’t think of themselves as hate preachers, either. What else do you call someone who gives a violent young man with a gun a free pass to kill people, though? Someone who tries to shield him after the murder? A good and decent person?

The police in America might not all think they are fascists. Certainly, not all of them are. But what is certain is that some significant number of them are captured. They are sympathetic to the forces which are now attacking democracy. They prioritize those forces over democracy, freedom, peace, justice.

Let me give you an example. My friend Ben is a London copper. He abhors the violence in America. His jaw is dropped by it. He rejects carrying a gun, or even a taser. Do you see how big the gap, the problem is?

If the police force is captured by the extremists - at least many police forces, it seems, then harder questions are raised. What about the armed forces?

They’re democracy’s last line of protection. What happens when a Trump, a Saddam, a Gaddafi, refuses to leave office? The military must remove them - or if it doesnt, it becomes their plaything. That game of brinksmanship is exactly how Saddam’s and Gaddafi’s capture militaries. By daring them to, and when they don’t bang! - their back is broken.

That’s another thing we survivors see very clearly right now, but “real” Americans might not. The capture of a police force is not just the capture of a police force. It threatens the whole fabric of a democracy. The monopoly on violence that the people’s agents should have is being transferred to the authoritarian. Why else would police forces beat people on the streets? Give hateful young men a free pass to kill people?

It all points to the beginnings of true violence, not just at the hands of the radicals - but aided and abetted by the state. That is the point at which a democracy finishes collapsing - and never comes back. Because once the state is free to do real violence who is going to protest? Speak out? Even criticize?

Let me make that point crystal clear, by continuing my example. What happened next in Kenosha?

Trump threatened to send in “federal agents” and then he did. Which federal agents? The ones he used just a few weeks ago, in Portland. The “Homeland Security” force which has become the precise equivalent of his Irani Republican Guard or SS: a paramilitary which isn’t accountable to the people, any democratic institution, wears no badges, can/t be identified, and is controlled only by the authoritarian, at his discretion and whim.

What did Trumps stormtroopers do in Kenosha? They disappeared people, just like in Portland. They simply picked groups of people, roared up in unmarked cars, and abducted them. To where? To jails. For what reason? For no reason there were no warrants involved, no due process, no Constitutionality whatsoever. People were simply made to vanish. Like in the Soviet Union. Like in Saddam’s Iraq or Gaddafi’s Libya. Like in Nazi Germany.

Again, the"real" American will think I’m exaggerating at this point, so let me say it again. This is what more or less every survivor of authoritarianism thinks, not just me. The only people who don’t think, who still dismiss these comparisons as alarmist are the ones who have never experienced authoritarianism. Those of us who have? We know that abductions by paramilitaries in unmarked cars at the whim of a tyrant are really, really bad.

Why? They point to the complete breakdown of the rule of law. The rule of law only means something when an authoritarian can’t simply disappear people from the streets, ordering his paramilitary to do it, ignoring the constitution, discarding due process with total impunity. But all that is exactly what Trump can do.

He now has the nascent powers of a Gaddafi or a Saddam. No, I’m not kidding. He doesn’t have the full powers, to be sure - but he certainly has the beginnings of them. Maybe he can’t have people tortured in jail yet - but he can have almost anyone he likes in America picked up and disappeared.

So how far away do you think even worse abuses of power are? When a tyrant can have almost anyone in a country they like disappeared, how far away do you really think torture is? Rape? Murder? Im not being hyperbolic. I’m trying to speak to you like an adult. Will you listen?

Let me finish my story of Kenosha, then, before the reality of authoritarianism overwhelms us both.

What happened next?

Nothing.

There was a deafening silence. America’s intellectuals and pundits didn’t say authoritarianism, didn’t say fascism - again. America’s good cops didn’t exactly stand up for democracy. Americas generals didn’t assure the nation they’d intervene. America’s people didn’t wake up.

What happened after an authoritarian showed he had the power to have people disappeared - people who protested the killing of innocents which itself was inspired by the authoritarian, at the hands of a young radicalized man was…

Nothing.

People didn’t pour into the streets of the capitol, by the millions. The nation’s intellectuals and columnists didn’t call for the head of state’s resignation. The opposition didn’t immediately start a global movement to observe these abuses of power.

Nothing happened.

And so the predictable is really what happened.

The authoritarian’s numbers rose in the polls. That is because there is always some significant number of people who respond to violence, brutality, hate. Unless they are reminded, sternly, forcefully, that there is something better. That this is not who we must be. That this is the wrong path.

In America, that is not happening. Not nearly enough to fight authoritarianism, and win. That’s not my opinion: it’s a factual reality. Trump is rising in the polls, and is now at the point where the slightest secret hate vote - all those polite soccer moms who say they’d never vote for him, and then do, in the heat of the voting booth - will give him an outright victory. He won’t even have to contest a loss, as he’s sure to do. He will just win.

And then American democracy will be over.

Because the last and final thing we survivors of democracy know is that truly terrible things are on the way then. Yes, really. Men who can put kids in cages and radicalize younger men to do real violence? They don’t want you to live in peace, freedom, harmony, and goodness. They want you to live in fear, despair, and terror. And they will begin using extreme violence to do it.

A second Trump term? It will involve all of the following. Shock troops on the streets. Disappearances becoming everyday events. Critics and dissidents being tortured in hidden jails. Expression and thought being monitored for any negative portrayal of the fascists. Hated minorities institutionally dehumanized and resegregated. It will involve levels of such horrific violence and brutality that Americans still cannot understand or grasp precisely because they have been lucky enough to have never yet personally experienced them.

So leave it to us. We survivors. We dispossessed ones. The exiles and orphans of modernity. The ones who have never felt like we belonged. The gift we always could have given you was to protect you from this. But even the good Americans never gave us room as true equals in their promised land. That is how America got here. By never letting us in, even though we were here. We could have told you how it happens, and what it means.

But it is not too late to listen to us.

This is your last chance to hear our warning.

It is happening here. Exactly exactly - the way it happened there, to us. In our childhoods, to our parents, in all those distant, strange broken lands. This is how a democracy dies. This is how it all collapses. This is how the fanatics seize power for a generation or more. This is how the fascists win.

Kenosha. Portland. Washington, DC.

This is how it happens. We survivors feel a sense of deja vu right now terrible that most of us cant sleep, can’t focus, can’t breathe, sometimes. I want you to understand how powerful this feeling of deja vu is. It is one of the most frightening things we survivors have experienced. Where will we go now? What will we do now? America never really accepted us, and now, its collapsing. That leaves us in a worse place than anyone else, really. We feel the price of this implosion acutely. That is one reason we try to warn you - but the other one is that we can’t not warn you. Nobody - nobody should live through the horrors we knew as children, as parents, as human beings.

Never again. It’s the vow every survivor makes. That’s why we are trying to warn you. It is happening all over again, here, exactly, exactly, precisely, absolutely - the way that we saw it happen before, and before, and before.

Hear our warning. None of us have the time left now for petty divisions, intellectualizations, the games pundits play, the way I lost my column when I began to warn of all this. I didn’t pay the bigger price - you did.

You don’t have another mistake left to make.

This is it, and you’re blowing it, sleepwalking into collapse, letting the fascists steal your futures.

Do not let it happen here.

Umair
August 2020

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Have the People Finally Awoken?

By Jeff Berwick
Activist Post
August 30, 2020

In THIS VIDEO, Jeff Berwick The Dollar Vigilante - discusses the massive protests taking place in London and Germany against oppressive government lockdowns during the COVID-19 hysteria.

People are waking up in droves to the lies and fear used to control them. Jeff also reads wise quotes from anarchist philosopher Osho that ring true to what were all currently experiencing.

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This is Why it Feels Like the Democrats Are Going to Lose
Take it From Us Survivors This isnגt How You Fight Fascism

By umair haque
Eudamonia
August 31, 2020

Today, Trump defended the extremist who gunned down innocent protesters in Kenosha in an act of textbook political violence. Meanwhile, Joe Biden gave a speech where he didn’t say the word fascism. There’s a tiny lesson in there that maybe only we survivors of authoritarianism can fully yet see.

Every single person I meet lately says the same thing to me. “Biden’s going to lose the election, isn’t he?” They’re asking. Looking for me to disagree. Hoping for a last-minute reprieve.

But I don’t disagree.

Biden is going to lose the election at this rate.

Biden’s a good man. I like him. But he is not fighting this fight the way that it needs to be fought.

Now, “real” Americans will find themselves a little bit - or maybe a lot baffled by what I’m about to write. So let challenge you. How much experience do you have with authoritarianism, with fascism? Any? The “real” American has exactly none. We survivors, on the other hand, do. Here is what we think.

To really fight authoritarians and fascists, you have to do three things - none of which Biden is doing.

It’s not enough to make vague moral appeals to a nation, and say things like “the bad guys are bad guys!!” which is more or less what the Democratic strategy is, and has been. Nobody cares, in such desperate moments as these, about the luxury of morality. People are concerned with self-preservation, first and foremost.

That is how America got here. It entered a classic fascist spiral. The middle class became a minority in 2010. I was able to predict an implosion on the basis of that number alone that’s how damning it is.

What happens when a nation suddenly becomes massively poorer? When 80% live hand-to-mouth, and 75% can’t pay the bills, and the average person dies in debt? Life becomes a bitter, brutal struggle for self-preservation.

And the fascists win. Because they are the apotheosis of the politics of self-preservation. A demagogue comes along, who blames a failing society’s problems on hated minorities. People don’t even have to believe him fully - they merely have to admit the possibility, which grows in their minds. As life becomes ever more desperate, one day, they turn around and snarl in rage, snapping: “Those dirty, filthy subhumans are the reason my life is going nowhere!”

That is how a fascist is born.

That is exactly what happened in America.

That is why morality serves no purpose here. Its just preaching to the choir. But I know that “real” Americans still don’t understand what I mean, so let me give you three vivid illustrations.

What happened in 2016? Its not that it was OK to vote for Trump, unless you lived in the strongholds of the American Idiot. It wasn’t. That’s precisely why what I call a secret hate vote emerged. In a stunning turn of events, America’s white soccer moms handed the Presidency to Trump.

Why was that hate vote secret? Precisely because it was immoral to vote for Trump. All those soccer moms didn’t want anyone to know. Not their friends, husbands, pollsters, kids. That’s why the hate vote was a secret and a surprise. It was deeply immoral as in shameful, embarrassing, humiliating, wrong - to vote for Trump in 2016, even to the soccer mom who decided the election for him.

But they did it anyways.

Morality is not how you fight fascism.

That constituency is crucial all over again. It’s eminently possible that in about 60 days, America’s white ladies will hand Trump another term, which will mean the end of American democracy. Why wouldnt they? Sure, they might feel humiliated and shamed, because Biden’s making them feel that way. That didnt change things last time, and it won’t change them this time. People need a much, much more concrete reason not to back the fascists, in times when self-preservation takes hold. Soccer moms might feel easily think all over again: I’m not telling anybody. They’ll shame me. But Trump is the one who’ll make a better life for my precious kids. They deserve what hes promising them! Supremacy.”

Morality is not how you fight fascism. How do you? Ill come to that.

What happened last time with young people - another crucial constituency? They talked a good game, and they still do. They’ll cancel you for using the wrong pronoun. But they didn’t vote in the most crucial election of a lifetime. And there’s no sign whatsoever that they’re going to vote this time, either.

Why didn’t they vote last time? Morality doesn’t cut it against fascists. Cancel culture is a kind of neo-morality. And young people will send a tweet to cancel someone who doesnt hew to their mores about gender, it’s true. But voting is not just a moral act. It is an act of self-preservation. And young people don’t vote because nobody much has promised them yet a future they really wanted. Or maybe it’s worse than that. BERNIE did, and they still didn’t vote for him.

What that tells us is that young people are traumatized, wounded, experiencing a kind of learned helplessness. They are paralyzed with fear. Growing up now is a terrifying experience. Moral appeals aren’t going to help. Shaming young people? Making them feel even more scared? Its only going to lead to inaction - the same way that it did before. If even Bernie can’t rouse Youths from their Slumber, do you really think Biden has any chance? No way.

Morality doesn’t cut it when it comes to fighting fascism. Young people know deeply know - how badly wrong all this is. They knew it last time, and they knew it all over again when they could have chosen Bernie. They didn’t act, because their lives are nothing but the bitter battle for self-preservation, and that is a deeply degrading and demoralizing experience, to the point of futility and nihilism. Young people need to be woken up, gently, with the hand of a loving parent, who makes them feel safe and worthy and whole again. That is not anything remotely close to what the Dems offer with their lightweight moral battles.

If Biden loses these two constituencies, as he’s looking increasingly likely to do - young people and soccer moms - bang! That’s it. American democracy is over. And it will end much the same way so, so many others have.

Now let me give you another example. How did democracy die in, say, the Islamic world? The silent majority didn’t think that it was particularly moral, good, noble, wonderful, to install Sharia law and whatnot. They just silently let it happen. Because nobody taught them what was to come. Nobody taught them the history of fascism. Nobody taught them what happens when the most violent and stupid men in a society rule it with an iron fist.

What the opposition in the Islamic world did was exactly what the Dems are doing. It made moral appeals. It said: “these are bad dudes! You don’t want to be bad people, do you? Let’s stay a democracy!” And the silent majority was simply baffled, bewildered by all this. Yes, they seemed like bad dudes. Or were they good ones? Because they’d give the children of the pure and true an advantage? Because they’d punish the hated minorities?

Morality doesn’t fight fascism.

What didn’t happen in the Islamic world - at least much, or enough - was intellectuals, the opposition, leaders of all kinds, saying any of the following to people:

This is fascism. Let us tell you what fascism is. How it destroys you in the end. Lets think about what it did across history. How itҒs never once led to prosperity or peace or freedom, only to ruin, for its most ardent supporters. Is that what you really want? To live in poverty, disgrace, violence, brutality, fear? Arent your lives hard enough?

Do you see the difference I’m trying to point out? I know that if you consider yourself a “real” American, its hard to grasp. It seems to slip through your fingers. So let me make it even clearer.

When you are fighting fascists, you have to begin by teaching people about the danger of fascism. Yes, people should know. But should is a big word, and fascists only arise when life has become a thing of panic and despair anyways.

So you have to reinforce the message. Remind people of the dangers of fascism. What it is, what it means, how it happens, that it’s happening here. You have to put the message in a context about history and the future. Fascism ruined all these societies. This is how it destroys a future. Do you want to give the most violent, stupid men in a society the power to jail and torture your kids? Over nothing? Do you understand that hated minorities are just scapegoats, and your real problems areyour own fault? Can you be courageous enough to admit that, and begin making better choices?

At this point, a certain kind of “real” American will jump in, and say, “but you’re telling us to call Trumpists deplorables!” Hell yes, I am. They are a lost cause, anyways. The only way - the only way - that Biden wins is to a) make young people vote, b) defuse the secret hate vote of the white ladies, and c) make minorities vote.

That is exactly the same dilemma Islamic oppositions found themselves in, too. Do we call the mullahs real fascists and risk alienating the fundamentalist masses?

They made the wrong choice. They chose not to offend the hardened fringe, the minority that backed the fascists ח and they lost their democracy.

Why? Because they lost the silent majority. They never mobilized, inspired, encouraged them. And so Islamic nations mostly collapsed, to where they are today gripped by authoritarian-fascism, which nobody much can defeat, even if there is the sham pretense of דdemocracy.

See a lesson there? You should. Trying to please everyone is not a winning game. You cannot appease the fascists, because then you will never teach, inspire, mobilize the silent majority. You must choose. The middle ground is not an option.

If you try to be inoffensive to the fascists, you will lose the silent majority. If, on the other hand, you speak out in a way that can reach the silent majority, you will lose the hardened fringe. WhatԒs the better choice? Shouldnt it be obvious? ItҒs choosing to offend the fascists, and mobilize the silent majority.

That is the only the only way ח out of a fascist implosion.

Let me put that another way. Nobody wants to be known as a fascist. Not even fascists. It is an insult, and if it sticks, you are wounded for life. The way to fight the charge of Joe is radical socialistӔ isnt to debate it, which is to give it legitimacy. It is to say that Donald Trump is a fascist, and those who are following him are leading America down the same path the Nazis did, and the mullahs did.

You’re right to say that its risky. To let it get to this point - the point America has - was a big mistake. There should have been much more of a serious opposition all along. Trump should have been impeached for crimes against humanity, not just bribes. Precisely because the average American remains too scared or stupid to agree with that statement. If he’d had been, it would have been an educational moment for Americans. Wait, crimes against humanity? This isn’t like the Nazis! Oh, shit. Maybe it is. I better get real about this. What if it gets worse?

You see my point, maybe.

Or maybe you don’t, and the cynics are right. We survivors and you “real” Americans are simply on different planets, and we can’t speak to one another at all. If we could though, here is what we survivors would say.

Biden is going to lose at this rate. You cannot fight fascism with lightweight moral appeals, with complaints, with objections. A collapsing society is a place where morality has long gone out the window, a luxury nobody can afford, as life becomes a brutal affair, where terrible choices must be made. So:

You fight fascism by making a simple, tough, serious choice. I am going to offend the fascists. I am going to offend the hardened fringe of lunatics. I have no chance of reaching them anyways. But if I tell the truth, if I begin to educate people, to remind them, in this time of extreme peril, what we are really up against - if I say the word fascism, every day, and put in a historical context, if I teach people what life in authoritarian societies is really like, if I make it all concrete and visceral for them then maybe there is a chance. Then maybe that silent majority wakes up. Maybe all those crucial constituencies in it - middle class wives, minorities, young people will begin to see some sense, feel the urgency in their bones.

But if I donגt do any of that? If I decide to merely be inoffensive to the fascists? I will surely lose. Because they are against me anyways, and its less likely that more people will be for me.

Nobody, sadly, is there to educate Joe Biden about all this. I know that sounds arrogant to you, but it shouldn’t. Hes surrounded by earnest dorks and wonks, young white men who’ve never been in a fistfight much less had to fight fascists. Me? I had my first death threat at the age of 14. Most of us who’ve survived true fascism have similar experiences to recount.

And what we will tell you is this.

The Democrats are not even really in this fight yet. Maybe they don’t know how to fight this fight at all. You don’t fight it this way. You don’t fight a bully by trying to reason with him. You punch him in the nose, in a place where everyone can see it. No, that doesn’t mean violence. It means starting from a place of bitter, desperate, reality, making the choice to be a little offensive, which is the choice to stop playing defense, and go on the offensive.

Trump is calling him a socialist, his backers anarchists, speaking of the need for “law and order” which only his secret police can restore. Meanwhile, Joe Biden still hasnt said the word fascism.

Neither, my friends, did the ones who thought they opposed the mullahs, the dictators, and the tyrants.

The rest was history.

I don’t know if America can learn this lesson. Especially in 60 days. What I can tell you is this. The world thinks it can’t - but certainly hopes it can.

Umair

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 08/30/20 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America
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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Evil Intent

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Stuff below I copied from websites that talk about the intents of secret societies

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This Is What Evil Looks Like

“We will keep their lives short and their minds weak, while pretending to do the opposite. We will use our knowledge of science and technology in subtle ways, so that they never see what is happening. We will use soft metals, aging accelerators and sedatives in food and water as well as in the air. They will be covered in poisons wherever they turn.

The soft metals will make them lose their minds. We will promise to find a cure from our many funds, and yet we will give them more poison. Chemical poisons will be absorbed through the skin of idiots who believe that certain hygiene and beauty products presented by great actors and musicians, will bring eternal youth to their faces and bodies, and through their thirsty and hungry mouths, we will destroy their minds and systems of internal organs. reproduction. However, their children will be born as disabled and deformed and we will hide this information.

The poisons will be hidden in everything around them, in what they drink, eat, breathe and wear. We have to be ingenious in distributing the poisons because they can see far. We’ll teach them that poisons are good - with funny pictures and musical tones on TV. Those who are looking for them will be helpful. We’ll enroll them to push our poisons.

They will see that our products are used in film and they will get used to them and will never know their true effect. When they give birth, we will inject poisons into the blood of their children and convince them that we are helping them! We will start earlier, when their minds are young, we will target their children with what children love most, sweet things.

When their teeth decay, we will fill them with metals that will kill their minds and steal their future. When their ability to learn has been affected, we have created drugs that will make them sicker and cause them other illnesses, for which we will create even more drugs. We will make them docile and weak before us, by our power. They will grow depressed, slow and obese, and when they come to us for help, we will give them more poison.

We will focus our attention on money and material goods so that they never connect with their inner self. We will distract them with fornication, external pleasures and video games, so that they are never one with the unity of all. Their minds will belong to us, and they will do as we say. If they refuse, we will find ways to implement technology that alters the mind in their lives.

We will use fear as our weapon.

We will establish their governments and we will establish opposition within them. We will own both sides. We will always hide our goal, but we will continue our plan. They will do the work for us, and we will prosper from their toil.

Our families will never mix with theirs. Our blood must be pure (because it is). We will make them kill each other when they oppose us.

We will keep them separate from unity through dogma and religion. We will control all aspects of their lives and tell them what to think and how. We will guide them kindly and let them believe that they are guiding themselves.

We will instigate animosity among them through our factions. When a light shines among them, we will extinguish it by mockery or death, which suits us best. We will make them tear their hearts apart and kill their own children. We will accomplish this using hatred as our ally, anger as our friend. Hatred will completely blind them and they will never see that in their conflicts we will be their leaders.

They will be busy killing each other. They will bathe in their own blood and kill their neighbors, as long as we see that they are against us.

We will benefit greatly from this, for they will not see us, for they cannot see us. We will continue to prosper from their wars and their deaths. We will repeat this until our ultimate goal is achieved. We will continue to make them live in fear and anger, we will give them images and sounds. We will use all the tools we have to achieve this. The tools will be provided by their work. We will make them hate themselves and their neighbors.

We will always hide the divine truth from them, that we are all one. That he must never know! They must never know that color is an illusion, they must always believe that they are not equal. Drop by drop, drop by drop we will advance our goal. We will take over their lands, resources and wealth to exercise control over them. We will trick them into accepting laws that will steal the little freedom they have. We will set up a money system that will shut them down forever, keeping them and their children in debt.

When we ban them together, we will accuse them of murder and present a different story to the world because we will own all the media. We will use the media to control the flow of information and their feelings in our favor. When they rise up against us, we will crush them like insects, because they are less than that. They will be helpless to do anything about it. “

SOURCE

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The Secret Covenant

An illusion it will be, so large, so vast it will escape their perception.

Those who will see it will be thought of as insane.

We will create separate fronts to prevent them from seeing the connection between us.

We will behave as if we are not connected to keep the illusion alive. Our goal will be accomplished one drop at a time so as to never bring suspicion upon ourselves. This will also prevent them from seeing the changes as they occur.

We will always stand above the relative field of their experience for we know the secrets of the absolute.

We will work together always and will remain bound by blood and secrecy. Death will come to he who speaks.

We will keep their lifespan short and their minds weak while pretending to do the opposite.

We will use our knowledge of science and technology in subtle ways so they will never see what is happening.

We will use soft metals, ageing accelerators and sedatives in food and water, also in the air.

They will be blanketed by poisons everywhere they turn.

The soft metals will cause them to lose their minds. We will promise to find a cure from our many fronts, yet we will feed them more poison.

The poisons will be absorbed through their skin and mouths, they will destroy their minds and reproductive systems.

From all this, their children will be born dead, and we will conceal this information.

The poisons will be hidden in everything that surrounds them, in what they drink, eat, breathe and wear.

We must be ingenious in dispensing the poisons for they can see far.

We will teach them that the poisons are good, with fun images and musical tones.

Those they look up to will help. We will enlist them to push our poisons.

They will see our products being used in film and will grow accustomed to them and will never know
their true effect.

When they give birth we will inject poisons into the blood of their children and convince them it is for their help.

We will start early on, when their minds are young, we will target their children with what children love most, sweet things.

When their teeth decay we will fill them with metals that will kill their mind and steal their future.

When their ability to learn has been affected, we will create medicine that will make them sicker and cause other diseases for which we will create yet more medicine.

We will render them docile and weak before us by our power.

They will grow depressed, slow and obese, and when they come to us for help, we will give them more poison.

We will focus their attention toward money and material goods so they many never connect with their inner self. We will distract them with fornication, external pleasures and games so they may never be one with the oneness of it all.

Their minds will belong to us and they will do as we say. If they refuse we shall find ways to implement mind-altering technology into their lives. We will use fear as our weapon.

We will establish their governments and establish opposites within. We will own both sides.

We will always hide our objective but carry out our plan.

They will perform the labour for us and we shall prosper from their toil.

Our families will never mix with theirs. Our blood must be pure always, for it is the way.

We will make them kill each other when it suits us.

We will keep them separated from the oneness by dogma and religion.

We will control all aspects of their lives and tell them what to think and how.

We will guide them kindly and gently letting them think they are guiding themselves.

We will foment animosity between them through our factions.

When a light shall shine among them, we shall extinguish it by ridicule, or death, whichever suits us best.

We will make them rip each other’s hearts apart and kill their own children.

We will accomplish this by using hate as our ally, anger as our friend.

The hate will blind them totally, and never shall they see that from their conflicts we emerge as their rulers. They will be busy killing each other.

They will bathe in their own blood and kill their neighbours for as long as we see fit.

We will benefit greatly from this, for they will not see us, for they cannot see us.

We will continue to prosper from their wars and their deaths.

We shall repeat this over and over until our ultimate goal is accomplished.

We will continue to make them live in fear and anger though images and sounds.

We will use all the tools we have to accomplish this.

The tools will be provided by their labour.

We will make them hate themselves and their neighbours.

We will always hide the divine truth from them, that we are all one. This they must never know!

They must never know that colour is an illusion, they must always think they are not equal.

Drop by drop, drop by drop we will advance our goal.

We will take over their land, resources and wealth to exercise total control over them.

We will deceive them into accepting laws that will steal the little freedom they will have.

We will establish a money system that will imprison them forever, keeping them and their children in debt.

When they shall band together, we shall accuse them of crimes and present a different story to the world for we shall own all the media.

We will use our media to control the flow of information and their sentiment in our favour.

When they shall rise up against us we will crush them like insects, for they are less than that.

They will be helpless to do anything for they will have no weapons.

We will recruit some of their own to carry out our plans, we will promise them eternal life, but eternal life they will never have for they are not of us.

The recruits will be called “initiates” and will be indoctrinated to believe false rites of passage to higher realms. Members of these groups will think they are one with us never knowing the truth. They must never learn this truth for they will turn against us.

For their work they will be rewarded with earthly things and great titles, but never will they become immortal and join us, never will they receive the light and travel the stars. They will never reach the higher realms, for the killing of their own kind will prevent passage to the realm of enlightenment. This they will never know.

The truth will be hidden in their face, so close they will not be able to focus on it until its too late.

Oh yes, so grand the illusion of freedom will be, that they will never know they are our slaves.

When all is in place, the reality we will have created for them will own them. This reality will be their prison. They will live in self-delusion.

When our goal is accomplished a new era of domination will begin.

Their minds will be bound by their beliefs, the beliefs we have established from time immemorial.

But if they ever find out they are our equal, we shall perish then. This they must never know.

If they ever find out that together they can vanquish us, they will take action.

They must never, ever find out what we have done, for if they do, we shall have no place to run, for it will be easy to see who we are once the veil has fallen. Our actions will have revealed who we are and they will hunt us down and no person shall give us shelter.

This is the secret covenant by which we shall live the rest of our present and future lives, for this reality will transcend many generations and life spans.

This covenant is sealed by blood, our blood. We, the ones who from heaven to earth came.

This covenant must NEVER, EVER be known to exist. It must NEVER, EVER be written or spoken of for if it is, the consciousness it will spawn will release the fury of the PRIME CREATOR upon us and we shall be cast to the depths from whence we came and remain there until the end time of infinity itself.

Issued under the supreme authority of the Jewish Bograh and sanctioned by the Jewish Rothschild Dynasty (Europe) and the Jewish Rockefeller Dynasty (USA)

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 08/27/20 •
Section Dying America
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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Today’s Surprise SPAM

There was a virus in my DAILY WHITE HOUSE NEWS email this morning.

Desktop anti virus says it was HTML/FRAUD.EK and cleaned it.

Like a good netizen, the virus-infected letter was dutifully REPORTED to the third party email company - MAIL CHIMP - along with whatever logs I got.  They now know what OS, email client, and anti virus products I use, along with IPs.

I wonder if they’re a US business, based in the United States, employing Americans born on US soil.

After APPLYING FOR A GOVERNMENT JOB last month, I’m sure you’ll understand why I’m asking if they’re Americans.


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Posted by Elvis on 08/26/20 •
Section Dying America
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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

People of The Lie

image: devil in a suit

What is the chief end of man? --to get rich. In what way?—dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must.”
- Mark Twain, 1871

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
- Edmund Burke

“America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War.”
- John le Carr

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Why waste a vote on Donald Trump or Joe Biden?

By Max Lemuz
Orange County Register
July 18, 2020

I’ve decided to waste my vote in this election, and I’m not going to change my mind.

I’ve been told by Democrats that I’m essentially voting for Donald Trump, and by Republicans that I’m voting for JOE BIDEN.

“A vote for a third party is a vote for the opposition,” they say. This, of course, is implying that I would have voted for their favored candidate otherwise. But this isn’t the case, because if I didn’t vote for a third party, I would not vote at all.

“But this is the chance for your voice to be heard,” they say. This popular counterargument is only true on its face, for when limited to two “viable options,” a vote for either major party doesn’t seem historically significant.

In an election, everyone has their most important issues. Whether its health care, foreign relations or the economy, voters typically appropriate the rhetoric of their preferred candidate and cast their vote based on that rhetoric.

Yet it has become rare to take a step back and examine the similarities of the two major parties and how their rhetoric has translated to actualized policy.

With the mounting economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 virus, it is vital to examine the legacy of both parties when it comes to the economy.

While differences may lie in the rhetoric of Democratic and Republican candidates, the consequences of their policies on the debt and corporate handouts are similar.

Each president since Herbert Hoover (eight Republicans and seven Democrats) and including President Trump has increased the national debt.

Similarly, both parties have time and time again bailed out the same industries: banks, insurance companies, and investment funds, which have only strengthened Wall Street at the cost of localization and the average American.

None of these systemic problems are addressed by either party, year after year, and the buck doesn’t stop there, but trickles to other aspects of our national health.

On May 25, our nation was reminded of the systemic problems with law enforcement and the racial inequities it produces when George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. But Floyd is unfortunately a statistic in a long line of unarmed men and women unjustly killed by police. Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Daniel Shaver, Duncan Lemp, Breonna Taylor and too many more to name span the list of those killed by police due to systemic racism and a culture of escalation.

Under the grasp of the two-party system, we have seen the damage of the War on Drugs and the 1994 crime bill Joe Biden proudly sponsored. The “land of the free” has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with minorities receiving unequal treatment under the law.

Despite varying rhetoric from either side, the consequences have been more than clear. Law enforcement has not been held to account, and by extension, neither has the political system that has upheld it.

There is no space to even delve into the bipartisan erosion of our civil liberties via the PATRIOT Act, the regime change wars that put our veterans lives and well-being at risk and a broken public education system.

Over the last two decades, I have realized (and am willing to bet!) that if the two-party system goes unchallenged, by the end of the next president’s term, our country will have even more debt, continued systemic injustice and a foreign policy that perpetuates war.

Despite the polarized rhetoric from both sides, the overarching consequences of our political history have only clearly shown a benefit to the two-party Democrat-Republican system. Like bees and flowers, bacteria and humans, the two parties are mutually benefitting in their political industrial complex.

Then how will voting for a third-party change anything? This is not only a valid point, but one of the most challenging.

Although a Libertarian vote won’t change the world tomorrow, it’s an opportunity to avoid the complacency that comes with the two-party system.

Our next generation will already be inheriting vast debt and an unjust world, and I owe it to my children to “waste” my vote in order to hopefully give them the choice we do not have.

Max Lemuz is an author and graduate student at California State University, Long Beach.

SOURCE

According to Dr. M. Scott Peck, the ‘People of the Lie; won’t change and are capable of great harm.

Thirty-five years ago, Dr. M. Scott Pecks People of the Lie was published, detailing what the psychiatrist believed was human EVIL AT WORK IN THE WORLD - something different from the SPIRITUAL EVIL espoused by religion but nonetheless vile.

Peck described human evil as a malignant type of “self-righteousness,” leading those “for whom it applies to see others as play things or tools to be manipulated for their own uses or entertainment.”

The following traits consistently appear in individuals Peck has classified as evil (via Wikipedia):

Self-deceiving in an effort to avoid guilt and maintain a self-image of perfection;

Deceiving others as a consequence of their own self-deception;

Projecting his or her own evils onto specific targets (scapegoats) while interacting normally with everyone else;

Hates with the pretense of love, in order to deceive both self and others;

Abusing political (emotional) power imposing one’s will on others using overt or covert coercion;

Maintaining a high degree of respectability, propped up by incessant lying;

Consistent in his or her destructiveness;

Unable to empathize or think from their victims point of view;

Unable to tolerate criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury.

Peck also argued that evil people are often aware of the evil within but are unable to face the intense pain of introspection, or even admit the truth to themselves.

In this way, he saw evil as a choice, an intentional subversion of the conscience as compared to sociopathy or psychopathy.

Peck’s description of human evil tracks closely with malignant narcissism and both track closely with Donald Trump.

How many times have Americans wondered collectively if Trump believes his own lies, or how he can accuse others of the very behaviors he engages in every day?

For Trump, it is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who is indignant, Democrats who are hateful, and most all media who tell incessant lies.

Yet every instance of his own name calling, derogation, lying and abuse are justified and forgiven. The mere hint of criticism will bring about a Twitter-lashing from the president.

Peck’s characteristics of evil appear in Trump’s hostility toward immigrants, where he calls fellow humans animals and tears children from their parents - and then turns around and blames others for his own policies.

In Trump’s “patriotism” is found self-promotion and aggrandizement, couched in concern for the flag, national anthem and troops. His choice to deride NFL players who kneel as “sons of bitches” who maybe...shouldn’t be in the country flies in the face of the very patriotism he claims to hold so dear.

But derision is a way of life for Trump - he has mocked the disabled, denigrated women, belittled war heroes, and insulted veterans.

Numerous contractors who have worked with Trump claim he stiffed them on payment for services rendered but the president is currently on a rampage against U.S. trade partners for treating the U.S. “like the piggy bank that everybodys robbing.”

Theft is only righteous when Trump is doing the taking.

As is lying. And name calling. And every other imaginable wrong.

Trump embodies Pecks human evil, and anyone still hoping he will “pivot one day” has a long wait in store.

SOURCE

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image biden-harris 2020

Joe Biden and the Battle for the Soul of America
His Speech Gave Us All the Feelings. Now Can He Really Fix a Broken Country?

By Umair Haque
Eudaimonia
August 21, 2020

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man.” So goes the old saying - and there was a vivid demonstration of it last night. America’s at a crossroads a point from which there just might be no turning back. The depths of the abyss beckon. And yet Joe Biden rose to the occasion.

HIS SPEECH at the DNC, accepting the nomination, was a remarkable moment. He spoke, impassioned, of how his decision to run was made when Neo-Nazis marched sneering and shouting through the streets, their twisted faces lit by torchlight. He reminded Americans - literally - that “silence is complicity.” He spoke of how grief has touched his life in many ways, and only tempered the steel of love and grace. He struggled for words at times, the childhood stutterer, obviously swayed by the gravity of the moment. And it was so powerful to see a man putting his many vulnerabilities on open display, right out there, in this age of chest-beating macho demagogues.

My friends, I’m about as hardened a skeptic of the insubstantial gloss and pretty vacancy of American politics that there is. But if you can get through even to me, and move me? I’m betting you hit Americans right down in the gut.

Biden didn’t have to say any of those things. But he did. That’s a measure of a person’s moral courage, goodness, decency, truth. Their humanity.

Joe Biden put his humanity front and center and thatגs crucial. Not just for the sake of some kind of campaign of feelings but because America needs a humanist reformation. Americaגs long been the kind of society that laughs at peoples humanity җ even now, many Americans reading this are rolling their eyes, trained and rewarded only to be bullies and narcissists. So you see how dangerous a gambit this is, to be vulnerable, to be deeply and unashamedly human and what it tells us, too, about Bidenגs resolve.

Let me explain that, in more sophisticated terms, by talking about the deeper challenges that Biden will now face.

Biden then spoke of four crises engulfing America. Smart not least because I recently myself wrote about exactly the same idea (oh, hi Biden speechwriting team! Nice shoes. Come here often?). That’s a powerful way to frame the problem if I do say so myself. America is a collapsing society now: one beset by multiple crises at once, each with the power to rip a nation apart.

So take a moment to really see Joe Biden. He has the hardest job a leader can have, ever, period: turning a collapsing society around, pulling it back from the brink. Would you want that job? I wouldn’t. It takes a certain kind of person to really step up to the gravity of such a moment. Trump, after all, is golfing, as hundreds of thousands die.

Another way a more formal way to say that - is that Joe understands something very, very crucial about how societies die. America right now needs multiple levels of leadership. Intellectual, political, moral, cultural. It has none of those, period, full stop. Its intellectual class has failed. Its political elites are the world’s greatest failures. Its moral and cultural standing in the world and history is ruined and disgraced, and the globe - unfortunately but understandably openly laughs at America, because it chose self-destruction - at the hands of an idiot like Trump, no less.

Like any collapsing society, America doesnt just need a leader җ a competent person to take charge and deliver on a plan. It needs a transformational leader who can offer those multiple levels, political, social, cultural, moral, all at once.

And really deeply transform a society.

That brings me to the next part of Bidenגs speech. He spoke of a battle for America’s soul. And I think that’s exactly right - I seem to recall myself using those words, too, once, but I digress. Thatגs the part which tells us Biden gets that America needs moral leadership first and foremost.

What does that mean? Something like this. The world is astonished, repelled, and flabbergasted by America. Because Americas values - or what they’ve been allowed to become are a) abhorrent b) abnormal c) unnatural and d) they haven’t worked out.

America’s values - or what they’ve been allowed to become - are at this point like something out of a Soviet parody of America. Brutality so legendary that kids are massacred at school, over and over again. Cruelty so extreme that people have to beg each other for pennies to pay for life-saving medications of which thereגs no actual shortage. Selfishness so over-the-top that American life is a stupid game of wake up every day, and try to beat everyone else, in a never-ending contest for things like employment, money, healthcare, and retirement, which people can simply give each other. Narcissism so toxic that Americans almost never, ever even bother to understand why if you cross an invisible line into Canada, life is suddenly vastly better, happier, longer-lived, richer, saner, stabler.

America’s soul is exactly what you might expect of a society where capitalism and supremacy and patriarchy were allowed to rise unchecked. It doesn’t appear to have one left.

You might think that’s a hyperbolic statement - but Im only telling you what the world thinks. Go ahead and ask your friends. They’re right, because nobody else makes the bizarre choices Americans do. No society with the resources and money chooses not to give everyone healthcare, retirement, education, and so on. No society at all chooses to let kids get massacred at school, or to make people simply die because while theres plenty of medicine and even doctors҅theyre not allowed to have enough. No other country in the world has so many dead, and so many infected, of a preventable pandemic. No other country in the world probably would just sit there and watch mass death happen җ and merely bitch about it on Twitter, instead of occupying the capital, and demanding the resignation of the entire government.

Americas soul, in other words, is shrunken and withered to the point that it can barely be seen at all anymore. That’s why the world is baffled and horrified by America. Soul? What soul, the world wonders? Americas a Darwinian country. The strong survive, and the weak perish. The weak are left and made to perish, so that the strong can survive. How else do we explain Amazon growing in value from $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion - while the economy implodes and hundreds of thousands die? What the? To the world, all this is as inexplicable and baffling as the sun spinning around the moon. But mass death, poverty, despair, and fascism as a result of it all is exactly what you’d expect in a society where capitalism’s selfishness, rage, hate, and cruelty has turned the future into a cross between the Hunger Games, Jurassic Park, 1984, and the Book of Revelation.

Biden needs to provide moral leadership of a kind America’s scarcely seen before. He needs to turn a failing capitalist society - the world’s last into a fledgling social democracy. Or at least he needs to convince Americans to. Can he do that?

That brings me to Biden’s next set of challenges. The American hard left’s cynical about that and their take is frankly as sophomoric as you might expect, too. “If Biden doesn’t fix America by 2024, there’ll be a repeat of 2016!” Sure there will - that much is obvious. The deeper question is if the adolescent left can get off its high horse, stop focusing obsessively on pronouns, and work with the grown-ups to actually effect real political change.

That will take, somewhat paradoxically, moral leadership from Biden, and political and intellectual leadership, too. He’ll have to show he’s open to working with the left. And hell have to be smart enough to understand that more American centrism like yesterday isn’t going to cut it.

Let me put that even more sharply. Joes bedeviled by his own political legacy. He’s Obamas neoliberal lieutenant. But we all know, by now, that more neoliberalism isn’t going to fix America. Even that poor schlub, forgotten, abandoned, sitting on his porch somewhere in Topeka, Scranton, St Louis, knows that. Thats why he chose Trump, duh.

We all know neoliberalism - failing, giving the fringe right a vacuum to breed in is what led to this mess. Capitalism implodes into fascism like that: through the poverty and despair and hopelessness neoliberalism leaves in its wake. Joe has to be smart enough to know he canגt just be Obama part two, and leave it at that.

Joe has to be a better President than Barack. Obamas a great mind, and a historic orator, to be sure. But as a President? His legacyҒs mixed. Im sorry to say that, because I admire the man. But facts are uncomfortable things. Under ObamaҒs tenure, the middle class became a minority, incomes shrank, social bonds imploded, and so forth. The economy didnt boom, the stock market did, and while millions of jobs were created, they were largely ғlow wage service work. Hence, the collapsing middle and the imploded working class turned en masse to Trump, for protection from ObamaԒs failing neoliberalism.

So no - not a better orator, a better professor, or even a more inspiring person. But Joe has to be a better President than Barack. President - as in leader, who can orient the nation towards a new trajectory, destiny, fate. Americas at a turning point, remember. Obama didn’t turn it away from the collapse I and many others predicted. Maybe he tried, maybe he didn’t - that’s besides the point. Joe has to turn America around.

That’s a tall order. It’s the hardest job, like I said, that a leader can have. Because it takes leadership at all the levels we’ve discussed. Moral, political, social, cultural. That’s really, really tough. Because you have to be a certain kind of person to do all that - a kind of person that most of us are uncomfortable being. A set of contradictions. Fierce in your vulnerability, strong in your fragility, gentle in your strength, kind in your grief, loving in your anger, wise in the innocence and beauty and wonder you haven’t let all the pain and loss of just being here, alive, take away from you yet.

It’s not easy to be that kind of person. So difficult is it, in fact, that they don’t pop up in history very often. Most of us? We’re defeated, by the slings and arrows, by people, by life, by politics. Left embittered, hardened, fatalistic, cynical. At least on some level, deep inside, which we never really show to anyone else, or we show all too much. And that inner withering is enough to stop us becoming the kind of person that a transformational leader really is, one who retains the innocence of a child, tempered with the wisdom of the elder, the beauty of the little one, tempered with the love of the parent. The undefeated one. The one who, through all the grief and sorrow of life, can still walk beside you, and laugh gently with you, at the absurdity of it all, the unstoppable pain, and yet how love triumphs, for a moment, and that is enough to lend it all meaning, worth, beauty, grace.

Those values are the ones of existentialist humanism. Of European and Canadian social democracy. At least at its best. They stand in stark opposition to America’s death of the soul: it’s nihilism, brutality, cruelty, rage, stupidity.

Joe Biden has to set America on that path. Whether or not Americans know it, want to admit it, understand it. Or even whether Joe Biden does. They are the most successful societies not just in the world, but in all of human history, precisely because those values created great political breakthroughs, like the expansive social contracts healthcare, retirement, pensions, dignity, worth for all ח which Europe and Canada are renowned for today.

Do you see how these things are linked? Values, what beats in the heart, with politics, the marrow that connects us together? How, in the end, decency and civilization, the enactment of love and grace between people, are all there is left to fight for, cherish, share, treasure, give, have, bestow?

I don’t know if Joe Biden is going to be the kind of transformational leader America needs. Nobody does. Ignore the pundits. What I do know, though, is that he could be. Because he began rising to the challenge when he gave that speech, in a way that was remarkable, striking, and wonderful to see. And that, my friends, is something that all of us left who are sane and decent people should admire very much. Because, for now, for this perilous moment? It’s more than enough.

Umair
August 2020

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Trump Is Terrible. Here’s The One Reason I Still Can’t Vote for Biden.
Don’t worry, I’m not voting for Trump. And Biden seems a decent man. But abortion is a deal-breaker for me. And maybe for millions of others, too.

By Matt Lewis, Senior Columnist
The Daily Beast
August 02, 2020, Updated August 04, 2020

This spring, I thrilled my newfound liberal readers by voting for Joe Biden in the Super Tuesday primary. Unfortunately, the honeymoon was short-lived. The praise ended almost immediately, when they read past the headline and discovered my plans to (again) abstain from voting in the general election.

With less than 100 days left, its probably time to more fully explain my rationale. Why is it that I, an outspoken Never Trump conservative well versed in Trump’s failings, am unwilling to pull the lever for Uncle Joe? Two significant reasons have stayed my hand: one is seen, and one is unseen - but both are related.

Let’s start with my visible (if only in an ultrasound) reason: the unborn child. Last year, Biden decided to drop his decades-long support of the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the mothers life is in danger).

For me, Biden’s flip was a deal-breaker, and I said as much at the time.

If you believe (as I do) that the unborn child (call it a fetus if you like, but nobody calls it that if the baby is wanted) has the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as, say, a 1-year-old child does, then this is a weighty moral issue that cannot be easily brushed away or bargained over as a lesser-of-two-evils decision. It’s on par with Trump’s uncompassionate mistreatment of immigrants and refugees, his divisive rhetoric about race, and his willingness to sacrifice vulnerable Americans for the sake of the economy.

There are, of course, other, less incendiary, areas where I disagree with Biden. I’m a conservative, after all. But in the context of trying to replace a horrific president like Donald Trump, none of those other reasons would disqualify him. Let’s take, for instance, Biden’s opposition to fracking (which is complicated and nuanced) or his plans to raise taxes (more than $3 trillion over a decade). I might disagree with his plans in both areas, but they pale in comparison to Trump’s (past and current) atrocities.

Abortion, though, is a moral issue.

What makes this situation even worse is that, for much of Biden’s career, he agreed with me - or at least he did before the Democratic Party moved leftward.

In a 1974 interview, Biden said, “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.” According to NBC News, in 1986, Biden told the Catholic Diocese newspaper that “abortion is wrong from the moment of conception.” And in a 1994 letter, Biden reminded a constituent that on no fewer than 50 occasions, he voted against federal funding for abortions, adding that, Those of us who are opposed to abortions should not be compelled to pay for them. Now, however, Biden thinks that those of us who are opposed to abortions should, in fact, be compelled to pay for them.

Why did he change his position on such a deep and fundamental issue? Because he wants to be president and was pressured by the left. It sounds harsh to say that about a guy who seems generally affable, but I don’t think it’s an unfair or unreasonable conclusion.

Consider this Fortune magazine headline from one day before Biden flip-flopped on abortion: Joe Biden Still Supports the Hyde Amendment - and 2020 Democrats Pounce. The article includes criticism from his rivals as well as from progressive activists. It must have done the trick. And fast.

This brings us to the other (unseen) reason Biden’s newfound abortion stance matters: the notion that Biden is susceptible to being pushed leftward.

This is what Trump has been opportunistically warning against, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Biden is a centrist only in the sense that he has historically positioned himself in the center of the Democratic Party. The thing is, the Democratic Party has shifted leftward on multiple issues, which means that (on paper, at least) Joe Biden would be (as Bernie Sanders said) “the most progressive president since FDR.”

Regardless, even the most energetic and competent of presidents will nominate countless judges, officials, and bureaucrats who will implement policy. Most of these nominees and hires, I suspect, will be younger and more progressive than Joe Biden. Just as there was immense pressure for Biden to flip on Hyde, he will face significant pressure from the likes of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and House Democrats to move leftward on everything else. But even if he doesn’t move leftward, the people he will necessarily delegate responsibility to are already there.

Again, though, this is only a second-order concern that is related to his support of abortion.

As I have said hundreds of times, there is no way I could vote for Donald Trump. But now I hope you at least understand why I feel the same way about Joe Biden - who is admittedly a more decent human being.

And I suspect there are a fair number of like-minded people in America who simply cannot bring themselves to vote for a pro-choice politician. In 2016, many of them held their noses and voted for Trump. Will they do the same in 2020 - or will they (like me) simply sit this one out, thus depriving Trump of votes a Republican should normally garner?

If the polls are to be believed, conscientious objectors like me won’t be decisive. This time. Unless the race tightens.

Regardless, if Democrats want to woo us into their coalition - if they want to corner the market on compassion for the vulnerable - they would do well to consider that there are millions of Americans who care so deeply about this issue. Indeed, it is a litmus test.

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How Bad Will a Second Trump Term Be? Even Worse Than You Think.
You Know itll Be Bad. But How Bad? Catastrophe Like Americans Have Never Experienced.

By umair haque
Eudamonia
September 5, 2020

How bad would a second Trump term be? I’m sure at this point you’ve asked yourself the question - and entertained some pretty dark intimations. Your worst fears aren’t nearly grim enough. A second Trump term would be absolutely catastrophic to the point of ruin for America. It would be rock bottom at a whole new level.

Let me begin with America’s immediate twin crises, and zoom out to the bigger picture. America’s being wracked by two interlinked crises, both of which have already reached catastrophic proportions: Covid and the economic ruin its igniting.

That’s not a natural outcome: its a result of Trump’s fatal negligence, indifference, and recklessness. He encouraged the virus to spread at precisely the moment it should have been contained, he minimised its danger while it was exploding - telling people to drink bleach no less - and to this day there is no coherent national strategy for fighting Covid. The result?

Somewhere just under half a million people are projected to die by the end of the year. Half a million.

Those numbers are baked in: they’re going to happen regardless, because Trump won’t leave office until then. They’re the best case scenario.

That one goes like this: Biden takes power, and not being a complete moron, heҒs ready to put in place a national strategy to fight Covid. Numbers peak from there. But you can expect just as many to die on the way down as on the way up, so Americas total Covid death toll is somewhere around a million people.

If Trump stays in power? CovidҒs eventual death toll is north of a million Americans.

How far north? First let me pause to put that in perspective. How much is a million people? The mind struggles to process a number of that magnitude. Its about ten Hiroshimas. If Trump stays in power, he will dropped the equivalent of ten nuclear bombs on America. HeҒs already dropped about five. Trumps tenure will be the equivalent of America launching a nuclear war Ғ against itself.

No, thats not hyperbole ג its a fact. The question is why anyone at all would disbelieve these numbers. One answer is that theyגre horrific, but its not a very good answer. A better one, a truer one, is that Americans either play dumb or theyҒre indifferent. So let me try to say it again, even more strongly. Trump staying in power means the equivalent of nuclear winter in America, a death toll at the level of multiple nuclear bombs going off. Trump staying in power is the equivalent of America fighting and losing җ a nuclear war.

And yet thats just the beginning. In a second Trump term, how far north of the one million mark ג remember, thats now the best case scenario for Covid ג would deaths rise? Trump not only doesnt have a national strategy, heגs not interested in having one. America will never have a national strategy under Trump, which means that if theres another Trump term, Covid will just go permanent, become a kind of new flu which Americans suffer but most of the rest of the world doesnҒt. How much death are we then talking? Well, Americas going to hit about 500K in 9 months, which is about 666K over a year.

Hmm, maybe he really is the Antichrist. (I’m kidding.) That death rate, continuing over four years, since Trump will never be able to contain Corona, since hes both uninterested and incompetent? That’s 3 million people or thereabouts. Now were talking death at the level of a large-scale nuclear war. That’s half a major city, dead.

Go ahead and do the math yourself. Its easy enough. If you’re skeptical, let me remind you, America’s already at 200K dead - and its only been six months of Covid. The death rate has stabilised at about 1,000 people per day. We are talking horrific, unbelievable numbers of deaths, so I don’t blame you for finding it hard to process. But if you want to understand the stakes of another Trump term - you’d better find it in you to grasp the horror of the numbers.

What kind of effect does that have on the economy? Well, America’s already spiralling into something very much like a Greater Depression. Sure, the economic statistics such as they are don’t quite tell the story but they haven’t told the story of American life falling apart for decades now. Sure, Apple and Amazon, Gates and Bezos and Zuck and so forth, all became mega richer. The stock market boomed. So what? Its been about 25 weeks of about a million people or more filing for unemployment. That’s half a year.

As a result, there’s an emerging shock front of bankruptcies, which is causing short-term unemployment to go long-term. Meanwhile, what jobs are on offer are mostly “ow wage service work. But while driving an Uber or working in an Amazon warehouse might - just might - provide a tiny temporary income for a desperate family, it’s not even enough to put steady food on the table, let alone provide healthcare, education, retirement, and so on. Americas middle class was collapsing - that began in 2010 or so. Now? It’s imploding, thanks to Covid allowed to simply wreck people’s lives.

In a second Trump term, you can expect the Covid Depression to go nuclear, too. Trump has no inclination to provide Americans the support they need to weather this historic crisis. Not only does he not understand why governments must support people in tough times to stave off depressions - like his cronies in the GOP, hes ideologically opposed to it. Hence, Americans are now going without any support, which is causing a massive eviction crisis and debt crisis both.

Where are all those millions of unemployed who can’t pay the rent or their mortgage going to go? What about their kids? Nobody appears to care very much in America about these questions. But they should. This is what depressions look like. Millions homeless, unable to feed their families, with no futures in sight, not enough jobs, incomes, savings to go around.

In a second Trump term, all of that would become endemic. It would be normal even more normal than it is now җ for American families to live in shocking levels of poverty. In homeless shelters, in their cars, on the streets. For kids to grow up without decent food, education, housing. For society to simply become an arena where the strong survive, and the weak perish which is what every good fascist really wants.

Americaחs been on the way to becoming a poor society for decades now. You can mark the turning point in the 70s, when wages stagnated, in the 90s, when savings did, or in the 2010s, when the middle class finally fell apart. In a second Trump term, though, America would finish the job of becoming a poor country for the 90%, everyone thatҗs not Bezos or Buffett or their minions.

Let me make that concrete. Pre-Covid, 80% of Americans lived paycheck to paycheck. But those paychecks werent enough to pay the bills: 75% of Americans struggled to pay for basics, like water, food, energy, and healthcare together. Hence, just a tiny fraction of Americans Ғ around 25% could raise a thousand dollars for an emergency. Hence, the average American died in debt ח something American shrug at, but shouldnt: nobody but a peasant or serf should die in debt, it means youגve never saved, owned, or earned a thing across a lifetime.

How much worse can an economy like that even get? The answer, unfortunately, is: a lot worse. Americans in a second Trump term would begin understanding what real poverty is. Right now, most Americans struggle to afford basics. In a second Trump term, they would simply go without. True poverty as in a lack of decent food, water, sanitation, energy, resources, basics җ would become a new normal. That is the difference between relative poverty I have less than you ח and absolute poverty: I have less than I need to survive.

Americas been making the transition to absolute poverty for about a decade now, and in a second Trump term, Americans would learn the hard way what it really is to be poor.

They simply wouldnגt have the luxuries they are used to, or the necessities, either. Not only because theyd have grown too poor to afford them anymore, most of their income going to service Ғdebt.

But also because many of those basics simply wouldnӔt be available in society anymore. Energy grid? Sorry, it doesnt work reliably anymore. Water? Go ahead and drink it at your own risk. Schools? They barely function.

America’s underinvested in its basic systems for decades now, which is why they’re mostly falling apart, on the brink of failure. In a second Trump term, those basic systems will begin to fail, starved of even the basic investment they need to go on functioning. And that;s because, in turn, Trumps extremists, his army of American Idiots are opposed to everything from public healthcare to public schools.

So imagine this. A nation that’s descended into real poverty. Which doesn’t have the money to pay the bills for basics anymore. And every year, those basics get more and more expensive. Now the water system is owned by a Trump crony, who charges you three times as much as you used to pay. Now the banking system is too, and your money seems to mysteriously dwindle, sapped away by fees. Now the healthcare system Ғ what there is of it is, and if you want that life-saving medication, you must pay whatever you have.

That kind of nation is a place of true desperation, of agony, of ruin. People’s living standards begin to crater. They live shorter lives, poorer lives, unhappier ones.

And as they grow poorer, something happens that accompanies poverty: social bonds disintegrate. Thats how Americans came to mistrust one another Ғ they grew poorer, and social cohesion fell apart, because as you grow poor, you must fight for subsistence against everyone else, and neighbours who were once friends regard one another as rivals, adversaries, and then enemies.

In a second Trump term, we can expect Americas stunning disintegration as a society to quicken. Itגs true that Trump will go on emboldening everyone from Neo-Nazis to white supremacists. But its truer that in a society growing poorer, social cohesion cannot ever really be regained, fixed, healed, grow. Friendship is the luxury of stability and prosperity. Social cohesion comes from economic development and growth, and in a Trumpist America, hate would flourish not just because Trump himself would encourage and incite it, but because the conditions for it would ripen, like oil spilled under a match.

Put all that together, and what does America look like, in a second Trump term? ItҒs a place where mass death never stops happening. Just rolls on and on, into the millions, at the hands of a pandemic that in much of the rest of the world is becoming a distant memory. Its a place where poverty never stops growing. And so despair and anxiety and unhappiness never do, too: suicide and depression all go on skyrocketing. Life expectancies fall, as CovidҒs toll grows, and as Americas notoriously broken healthcare system canҒt provide, anyways.

And as poverty and despair spiral, so hate does, too. Instead of pulling together have we ever? җ Americans retreat into old divisions, groups, tribes, made of old hatreds. And pulled apart, the conditions are easy for authoritarianism to take hold, and keep it.

I havent discussed that part ג do I need to? Let me do so briefly. What can you expect politically? For Trump to take the gloves off. For his administration to act like Saddams, Gaddafiגs, or Putins. You can expect leading critics and opponents to be jailed after show trials Ғ and thats if theyגre lucky. The unlucky ones just get assassinated, poisoned, gunned down. You can expect disappearance by secret police like Kenosha and Portland and Chicago җ to become commonplace, everyday events, which nobody is safe from, which happen at the authoritarian regimes whim, for everything from mere criticism to disagreement to them just not liking you. You can expect beatings and gassings by Trumpגs shock troopers to be features of daily life and thatҗs when there is resistance. You can expect, in short, everything true authoritarianism and fascism are known for.

First they came for this hated minority, and I didnt speak up, then for that hated minority, and I didnҒt speak up. That part of Americas authoritarian-fascist collapse is now over. The next part is what will begin in a second Trump term. The part where they come for you, finally. The Ғreal American.

Protest on the side of the hated Mexicans, all those hated refugees? Maybe youӔre charged with a felony, maybe youre jailed for a decade, maybe youҒre ruined. Make too much noise? Maybe they just disappear you for a while, and teach you a lesson. Dont shut up? Maybe they take you away and torture you for a while.

I know that “real” Americans will think I’m exaggerating. Let us survivors assure you: “real” Americans have no idea what the hell to expect because they have never lived it. They have no experience with authoritarianism whatsoever. We do. And what we can tell you is that this is how it happens.

The next part of this is how it happens is all the above: authoritarians begin to abuse a society with true violence, even among the realԓ members, not just its hated minorities. The very same abuses of power are directed against people who’ve been foolish enough to think themselves immune, protected, safe, by reason of purity or blood or race or creed.

Do you know who’s safe in a collapsed society? No one. Nobody, and I mean nobody, except the ruling dynasty, is safe. In America, that’d be the Trumps. Everyone else is at their mercy. They can hurt and violate and destroy you in any and every way they see fit, whether financially, legally, socially, economically, or physically.

That is the part “real” Americans still don’t really grasp, because they have never been that unsafe in their society - only hated minorities have. But every American will learn, during a second Trump term, the hard way what it is to feel unsafe, insecure, terrorized, like blacks and Latinos and native Americans have long known. What it is to risk being beaten or jailed or gassed or violated, simply for saying the wrong thing, at the wrong time, walking down the wrong street, acting like - someone living in a free society.

Those are the stakes of a second Trump term. Let me sum them up. Freedom. Prosperity. Truth. Happiness. Justice. Reality. Democracy. None of that is exaggeration. The end of America is closer than you think, and worse than you can possibly imagine.

So take it from those of us who’ve survived the horrors of a nation’s implosion, of social collapse, of authoritarianism, and lived to tell the tale.

Another Trump term will be much, much worse than Americans can yet imagine. The orders of magnitude we are talking of death, disease, poverty, despair, violence, ruin, hate - are simply beyond their capacity to really understand, which is why nobody in America is really discussing them.

If Americans understood the stakes, they would be pointing them out to each other. But they don’t, not in hard terms, which is no such discussion is happening at all. And that’s because Americans have no experience of living in the kind of a society another Trump term would produce. It is simply beyond their imagining. But they need to imagine it now, if they’re to prevent it.

Let us survivors gently teach “real” Americans WHAT WE HAVE LIVED, then - but they haven’t. Another Trump term will be the end. The end. Of everything you once cherished, and you’ll barely have time to remember, because you’ll be busy living in fear, terror, panic, and regret.

Umair
September 2020

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The 2020 Biden Dilemma

image: biden harris 2020

[N]ominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat Trump. It will allow Trump to muddy the water, to once again pretend he is the one “draining the swamp,” running against Washington culture. Trump and the Cambridge Analytica of 2020 will campaign, as they did in 2016, on a message of radical nihilism: everybody lies, everybody is corrupt, nothing matters, there is no truth.
- Middle Class Joe, The Guardian, January 20, 2020

I think one of the worst possible things for our country’s future happened last month - Bernie Sanders pulled out of the 2020 presidential election, and Joe Biden - the same Joe Biden I WROTE TO eight years ago asking for help for the LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED - propped up as the 2020 democratic nominee. 

Right now it’s looking like the election will be Trump vs Biden, meaning the American People loose either way.

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The Moral and Strategic Calculus of Voting for Joe Biden to Defeat Trump or Not

By Jeremy Scahill
The Intercept
April 20 2020

Donald Trump ran for president in 2016 on an often ad-libbed and reactionary campaign of hate, greed, xenophobia, misogyny, and racism. He clearly viewed the fact that a black man had ascended to the presidency as AN ABOMINATION and rightly assessed that there were a lot of racists in this country who saw the eight years the Obama’s spent living in the White House as a crime against the real, white America. Trump already had a brand, realized early on the power of being an outsider in U.S. presidential elections, and focused on some KEY ECONOMIC ISSUES, including trade, that would play well with people dissatisfied with the two party systemגs regular offerings. And he focused on hate.

To directly call Trump fascistic is not incorrect, but it also may give him too much credit. He has largely been an incompetent authoritarian, albeit one whose key policies have caused massive suffering and death. What we have seen throughout his career and his three and a half years in power is that Trump is primarily concerned with making money for himself, his family, and HIS CRONIES. Literally everything this man does is a racket.

His foreign policy has been hawkish and reckless, but aside from his often insane rhetoric and public threats to annihilate various countries, it has not represented a radical departure from that of his predecessors. He acts like an unstable buffoon on the international stage, and he burns bridges with traditional U.S. allies, governments, and international bodies across the globe. Trump openly embraces VILE AUTHORITANS> and mocks democratic leaders and institutions. All of this is certainly dangerous and unsettling, though some of it is disproportionately offensive to establishment foreign policy elites. Trumps predecessor started his own share of wars, did some regime change, ratcheted up an existing war, downsized another, and greatly expanded the use of weaponized drones and so-called targeted killings. But Barack Obama delivered these policies with an intelligently crafted, though at times absurd, justification wrapped in the notion of inventing a “smarter” way to wage war. Liberals ate it up. Obama’s policies killed a lot of innocent people.

The few times Trump has signaled his openness to pursue a less militaristic approach to long-existing crises, such as the war in Afghanistan or the conflict with North Korea, he has been ridiculed by leading Democrats and liberal pundits. In terms of Trump’s military pursuits, he has proven less murderous than George W. Bush and more of a war criminal than Jimmy Carter. So far. That can certainly change with a second term.

Perhaps the gravest threat posed by the unstable narcissist in the White House is that of the use of a first strike nuclear weapon. It has never been beyond the pale to imagine an apocalyptic nuclear scenario that begins with a tweet from a foreign leader Trump hates. The fact that we can even imagine this is nothing to wag a stick at.

Trump’s monumentally incompetent handling of the coronavirus pandemic hammers home some of the greatest dangers posed by his presidency. It has highlighted the extent to which he is motivated not by any sense of duty or concern for his fellow citizens, but by money and his popularity among a fairly small circle of corporations, television hosts, and special interests. That Trump uses the daily platform of what are supposed to be public health briefings by professionals to pontificate ignorantly, babble incoherently, or to score points politically underscores how little he actually cares about the U.S. public and our lives. Instead, he is obsessed with the stock market as an imagined extension of his own ego. It is the sign of a deeply sick individual that he would effectively make aid conditional on how nice governors are to him. Trump encourages group protests against Democratic governors during a pandemic with scores of people refusing to wear protective gear, while his administration has insisted on testing visitors for coronavirus before meeting with the president or vice president. All of this costs lives, as sure as any military operation.

Perhaps the most devastating dimension of Trumps time in office, on a policy level, is how the Republican establishment brilliantly exploited Trump as a Trojan horse for its extreme agenda. It is unlikely that any of the GOP’s preferred candidates could have beaten Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump dragged the Republican Party kicking and screaming back into executive power. For them, he was a messiah they chided and scorned when he first appeared, but now they prostrate themselves before him every minute of every day.

The real terror of the past three and a half years boils down to this: the consolidation of power by some of the most vile figures and interests in the Republican party.

The public still does not know the full story of how Mike Pence ended up on the ticket as Trump’s running mate, but when it was announced, it was clear that the professional Republicans and the extremist evangelical lobby had their inside man. With Mitch McConnell running the Senate and Pence babysitting the president, Trump could focus on barking for the crowds in between golf outings and Twitter rants while the political hitmen in Washington dust off every extreme right-wing initiative they’ve cooked up for decades and which they work day and night to methodically ram through. Trump has had his signature moments, but much of his policy has been outsourced to craftier and more sophisticated policymakers.

Trump is famously not a fan of reading detailed briefings, but give him a few nuggets of oversimplified policy talking points to pepper throughout his rants, and hes going to be your gaudy QVC host pitching the crappy product to his base. The bonus is that none of it actually has to be true, it just needs to be acceptable to the right people and truthfully exposed or documented by journalists whom he can then dismiss as the fake news media.

More broadly, the real terror of the past three and a half years boils down to this: The consolidation of power by some of the most vile figures and interests in the Republican party. This includes the scores of federal JUDGES named to the bench, the shaping of the Supreme Court, the radical drive toward deregulation, and the canceling of even the most minimal commitments the U.S. has made to try to confront climate change. What the Republicans have managed to accomplish on a policy level in Trump’s time in office is profound and terrifying.

Out in full view, Trump has presided over the separation of families and the locking up of immigrant children in cages, empowering ICE agents to act as storm troopers. He has intervened to protect war criminals from accountability, threatened to kill the families of suspected terrorists, sought to ban and in some ways has succeeded in banning - Muslims from entering the country. His threat to fill Guantanamo prison back up still looms, especially in the era of the coronavirus pandemic. Is it so hard to imagine it becoming a disease-ridden black hole for migrants seeking refuge?

Trump’s economic policies have enriched corporations and special interest groups beyond their imaginations, while sawing off the already inadequate social programs in this country. We still have no idea of the extent to which Trump and his family are financially benefiting from his presidency. He talks about women in disgusting ways, including attempting to publicly humiliate the women he is accused of raping and assaulting. And the sick reality is that a significant number of people in the U.S. clearly like these things even if they wonҒt openly admit it, though a disturbing number of them do feel emboldened to admire it. Trump has offered up an IPO on ignorance and hatred as a source of pride, and a lot of people enthusiastically bought in.

Trumps rise to power is, in many ways, the logical product of the U.S. as a failed state. Trump says the quiet parts about the system out loud.

Donald TrumpҒs presidency is not an aberration of U.S. history in substance. His rise to power and the policies he has implemented are, in many ways, the logical product of the U.S. as a failed state, politically and functionally. Trump says the quiet parts about the system out loud, but his agenda is firmly rooted in the bloody history of this republic. And his rise was made possible by the failed two-party system and the corporate dominance of electoral politics in the U.S. Also, lets not pretend that congressional Democrats have not enabled Trump by regularly voting for his obscene military budgets and sweeping surveillance powers while simultaneously calling him the most dangerous president in history.

What would happen if Trump wins the election in November? In practical terms, it would be a nightmare. Trump would emerge emboldened beyond imagination. What minuscule restraints that currently exist would be wiped out entirely. He would almost certainly be in a position to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with yet another atrocious extremist. An ability to further stack the court will have a multigenerational impact on a legion of issues; among them are voting rights, civil liberties, corporate power, workers’ rights, civil rights, women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, executive power, and the climate. No one should minimize the dangers of Trump remaining in office. And his reign will hit the most vulnerable the hardest, much like the coronavirus, and the terrors will ricochet for many years to come. Trump encourages and emboldens racists and bigots and embraces far-right ideology and action. Four more years of this will be deadly.

It is in contemplating all of the above that the emergence of Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s presumptive choice to take on Trump is a deeply disturbing and risky response to the threats we face. It is easy to underestimate Bidens chance of winning in November. Biden is a terrible candidate in many ways, but it is possible that ғIm not TrumpҔ combined with Biden having been Obamas vice president will appeal to enough of the population to win not only the popular vote (a virtual certainty) but the Electoral College җ especially if the party keeps him under wraps until the final stretch, as appears to be the strategy. Still, that seems to be a dangerous gamble given what is at stake.

There is also another factor that must not be ignored: Republicans are masters of voter suppression and disenfranchisement. That, combined with Trumps core belief that corruption isnҒt corrupt if he does it places an ominous cloud over the elections integrity before it even occurs. And we know that the pandemic will cast a long enough shadow over normal life that there will be plenty of opportunities for irregularities.

Biden has an abominable public policy record on a wide range of issues. He has a penchant for lying җ about his role in the civil rights movement and about being arrested in apartheid South Africa. He continues to lie and mislead about his support for the war in Iraq, the most consequential foreign policy decision of the post-Vietnam era. He has been accused by eight women of misconduct, including one allegation of very serious sexual assault by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade. Bidens cognitive health and mental acuity is, to say the least, questionable, particularly when you compare his current performance with videos from just a few years ago. He frequently rambles without a clear point, forgets what office he is running for, and has to rely on teleprompters and notes to make it through interviews and speeches without saying something embarrassing. In numerous interactions with voters, Biden has poked their chests in an aggressive manner; told an immigrant rights activist to ғvote for Trump; called voters childish names; and threatened a union worker in Detroit, telling the man to stop objecting to Biden pointing his finger in his face unless the worker ԓwant[s] to go outside with me. LetԒs not even discuss the tale of his showdown with a rusty razor-wielding Corn PopӔ at the pool. Trumps temperament is frightening, but Biden isnҒt exactly a cool head who exudes competence or confidence.

Liberals may poo poo the whole Hunter Biden-Burisma-Ukraine-China attacks from Trump, but this is going to be a problem in the general election. On many of the key issues where Democrats could attack Trump, Biden is going to be virtually incapacitated by his own skeletons. What Sen. Elizabeth Warren did to Mike Bloomberg at a February debate would be impossible for Biden to do to Trump. You have more allegations of sexual assault than I do, Donald,Ӕ is not a good line. Your sons have profited off the presidency more than my son did off my vice presidencyӔ also not a winning zinger. And donגt think for a moment that Trump wont hammer away on BidenҒs Iraq War vote and his trade policies. The Democratic primary is not the general election.

It’s always worth remembering that Biden was picked in 2008 to make Obama less threatening to moderates - so we can’t even bank on a return to OBAMA’S brand of neoliberalism.

There is no point to going through and listing all of the terrible aspects of Biden’s career, his policy record, his mental stamina, or his substantial failures to make himself visible or consistently cogent since securing the presumptive nomination. All of this is going to be put on display for the next six months. The Democratic Party and the voters in the roughly 50 percent of primaries that were held have committed our fate to Biden’s candidacy. Obama and other senior party leaders, major news organizations, and a lot of money deployed to attack Sen. Bernie Sanders also played a role in manufacturing this reality. Sanders ending his campaign and vowing to support Biden leaves people with two viable candidates on the ballot. Barring a health crisis or death of one of these older men, the only two candidates with enough public support to win the presidency will be Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

What we get with Trump is as clear as it is terrifying. What we get with Biden, in his current form, is less apparent. Biden will have a team of competent (for better and worse) technocrats and, in all likelihood, an incredibly influential vice president and an unelected chief of staff running the show. Biden’s administration will also include appointments aimed at throwing some bones to progressives and likely other Cabinet appointments that recognize the growing influence of progressive ideas. It will, without a doubt, also be riddled with a disproportionate number of hawkish, corporatist Democratic apparatchiks. It will be an administration that does the bidding of Wall Street, believes in bloated war budgets, and will put a friendlier face on the worst excesses of empire. It’s always worth remembering that Biden was picked in 2008 to make Obama less threatening to moderates so we can’t even bank on a return to Obama’s brand of neoliberalism. But there will be policy areas where some victories may be possible for a well-organized and militant left willing to take Biden on. Such a dynamic wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world and would be better for more people than a second Trump term in virtually every tangible way.

Biden isn’t great on many issues that motivate young voters. His health care plan keeps the profit-driven system intact, and it will result in millions of Americans remaining uninsured. His policy to confront massive student and consumer debt is anemic. Biden’s climate plan is uninspiring and generally milquetoast when weighed against the severity of the crisis the planet faces, though this is an area in which he might be susceptible to pressure from activists. Some of his foreign policy positions are downright disturbing, if not explicitly right-wing. The latest Biden campaign ad is a fearmongering attack on China and an effort to outbid Trumps xenophobic rhetoric. Biden’s long record indicates that he could prove more inclined to authorize military interventions than Trump, who has been quite belligerent himself, without following through on most of his threats. Biden is almost certainly going to start and continue wars, impose deadly economic sanctions, and support or enact regime change efforts.

There is an abundance of justification to oppose a Biden presidency. And principled people are right to ring loud alarms over Bidens record, policies, and some of his personal conduct. At the same time, it is not honest to imply there would be no difference between a Biden and Trump administration.

The Obama-Biden administrationҒs immigration policy has now been dwarfed in awfulness by Trump, but in its own right it operated as a cruel, mass deportation machine that also separated families. During the campaign, Biden has responded to extraordinary activist pressure and eventually began to carefully distance himself from the record of the deporter in chief,Ӕ as Obama was labeled by immigrant rights activists. When pressed on the mass deportations under Obama, Biden acknowledged that deporting people without criminal records was a big mistake.Ӕ At a Democratic debate, Biden was asked whether he would resume Obamas torrid pace of deportations. ғAbsolutely not, he said, adding that he was vice president, not president, drawing a rebuke from Juliԡn Castro, who observed accurately that Biden was content to bathe in the glow of his former Obama boss while looking to sidestep responsibility for his more unpopular policies. At the same time, Bidens campaign has made a sweeping series of pledges that he could implement as president that would potentially protect millions of vulnerable people. On immigration, the alternative to that is four more years of Trump adviser Stephen Miller, an extremist nut who shouldnҒt be allowed within 100 feet of a consequential decision-making process.

We are not actually being asked to vote for Biden as the candidate, because the Biden we see is a shell of his former self. We are being asked to vote for a spin-off of the Obama show.

Biden has pledged to immediately lift the Muslim travel ban, as well as other racist immigration and asylum policies Trump has put in place. It is also worth noting that toward the end of the Obama administration, under pressure from Black Lives Matter activists, Obama placed a dozen city police forces under Department of Justice consent decrees in response to police killings and other abuses. Trump cannot be pressured by BLM, but Biden can.

Biden has a troubling record on Iran, including his support for deadly sanctions, but he has emphatically said he would reenter the Iran nuclear agreement, which is also no small matter. Similarly, Biden has been politically forced to denounce the genocidal Saudi war against Yemen, despite the fact that it was initiated under the Obama-Biden administration. He has also had to publicly accept that viewing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as an unsavory murderer is now widely held by many Democrats, including centrist figures. Remarkably, Biden has vowed to turn Saudi Arabia into a pariah. That’s an incredible statement given the long bipartisan love affair with the kingdom’s despots and raises all sorts of questions about what that would mean if Biden is elected.

Among the wild cards of a Biden administration will be the issue of whether he has the actual mental stamina to govern, or if he is going to be frequently disoriented and infrequently seen or heard. Setting aside the protestations of people who pretend they dont see exactly what everyone else does when Biden speaks in public, we are not actually being asked to vote for Biden as the candidate, because the Biden we see is a shell of his former self. We are being asked to vote for a spin-off of the Obama show, a cast of familiar characters and a few exciting new additions who would take charge of the executive branch, without the popular star of the original show among the visible cast. The fact that the Democrats have forced through a candidate that many people donҒt believe is fully functional and will rely on the strength of the team assembled around him is a pretty grim statement about the state of democracy in the U.S. If Biden is the best the Democrats have to offer in the face of Trump, the system is rotten.

So what should people who want Trump gone but cannot stand Biden do? First of all, no one should be shamed for letting their conscience dictate their vote or decision not to vote. (Full disclosure: I always vote.) Our system is dominated by corporate influence, big money, and the skewed rules of a default duopoly, and it actively fights to prevent third parties from receiving federal matching funds, joining debates, or gaining ballot access. There is no mandatory voting in the U.S., roughly 40 percent of Americans do not belong to either major political party, and people have a right to register their dissatisfaction with the entire system by not voting. In an atmosphere where tens of millions of U.S. citizens choose not to vote, shaming the minuscule number of people who vote for the Green Party is a disgrace. There are hundreds of thousands of voters whose principled belief is that breaking the two-party stranglehold on U.S. democracy is the only path to meaningful systemic change. Votes for Jill Stein or Howie Hawkins are not being taken away from corporate Democrats. Those votes belong to the people who cast them and they have a right to vote however they choose, and the candidates they support have a right to run for office.

It is also an understandable and morally principled decision to say, I believe Tara Reade was sexually assaulted by Joe Biden, and I will not vote for a rapist.ԓ It is an understandable and morally principled position to say, I will not vote for anyone who supported the war against Iraq.ԓ None of these peoples votes belong to Biden or Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party or Twitter mobs - and they are not votes for Trump.

In an atmosphere where tens of millions of U.S. citizens choose not to vote, shaming the minuscule number of people who vote for the Green Party is a disgrace.

Ultimately, however, given the abomination of our two-party system, progressive voters are forced to make not just a moral but a strategic choice with their votes. Recognizing that Biden is a terrible candidate and being honest about that but voting for him in an effort to prevent Trump from further consolidating his agenda is a strategically sound position. This is ultimately what the majority of Sanders supporters will do, just as they did in 2016. It certainly has a better chance of improving the country and the world than enthusiastically pledging to vote for Biden while closing your ears to everything that is wrong about him and his record. Voters in swing states, where voting for a candidate other than Biden or not voting at all may help tip the balance to Trump, face a more consequential moral and strategic choice than people in New York or California. In 2004, the Green Party candidate told his supporters to vote their conscience in swing states, including if they believed they needed to hold their nose and vote for John Kerry to defeat Bush.

If you believe that progressives or leftists should be bending the kneeԓ for Biden by promising right this second that they will vote for him in six months and that they will never utter an inconvenient fact about him or express their anger with their meager Election Day options, please show them all of your work fighting for Medicare for All, for ending the carceral state, for serious radical action on climate change, your work opposing the most dangerous aspects of the Obama-Biden administration, including on issues of war, immigration, and, yes, health care.

Many of the social and political movements that backed Sanders were populated by people in the crosshairs of the Trump administration. It was an incredibly diverse coalition of supporters and drew millions of primary voters in 2016 and 2020. Its backbone was young voters, including young African Americans, Latinos, students, immigrants, and independents. These groups and many of Sanderss supporters have spent nearly four years fighting Trump nonstop. Many of them organized against ObamaԒs troubling policies before that. That should be commended not scorned. You want to label these people Trump supporters because they are intensely disturbed by the corporatist candidate you have chosen to take on Trump? Show them your work on the issues they care about, explain what Bidens policies are on those issues and make the most convincing case you can for why they should vote for him. Better yet, explain to them how you are fighting to make BidenҒs platform one that even minimally pretends to want their votes.

In the bigger picture, Sanders organized the most significant challenge to the Democratic Partys centrist and center-right establishment since Jesse Jackson ran twice for president in the 1980s. Unlike Ralph NaderҒs independent runs for president, Sanders attempted to deliver sweeping change within the Democratic Partys own framework. He fought against an extremely hostile corporate media environment and some pretty vile smear campaigns, where he was compared to the coronavirus, his supporters were called brown shirts, and his primary victories described as akin to the Nazi invasion of France on liberal TV networks. Despite the powerful chorus of red-baiting and lies, Sanders still came extremely close to pulling off a victory.

Biden was usually the frontrunner and always the favorite, even though he came close to being defeated by Sanders early on. The establishment fiercely defended its territory in an effort capped off by the last-minute secret diplomacy from Obama ahead of Super Tuesday to pressure other candidates and the party to coalesce around Biden. Ultimately, the partyҒs primary voters, at the crucial moment, threw their weight behind a name they know and who served as vice president of an administration they trusted. These voters should not be collectively shamed either. Most of them are not party cogs, but people genuinely scared of what four more years of Trump will mean for their survival, particularly older African American voters.

The traditional, moderate, and right-wing forces within the Democratic Party united and won the primary battle. Sanders may have surrendered too early, but there is little value to debating that right now or wasting energy attacking Sanders.

Most people on the left who oppose Biden but also view Trump as the gravest danger are going to vote against Trump by voting for Biden. But those who disagree with that strategy do not support Trump.

The war for the future of the Democratic Party is intensifying. There is a possibility of a fracture or at least more clearly defined factions within the party. There will be serious discussions around forming a new party that isn’t the Green Party, but rather an outgrowth of the “Not Me, Us” framework of the Sanders campaign and the growing popularity of groups like the Justice Democrats, the Sunrise Movement, prison abolitionists, immigrant rights groups, and Democratic Socialists of America. It would be a great thing for this country to have a democratic socialist party grow, one that runs serious political campaigns. We have already seen early stage efforts at this with mixed results. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez understands the need to engage in strategic partnerships with establishment Democrats to achieve meaningful policy change and strengthen the areas of common ground. But there will need to be a lot more like-minded politicians elected for the strategy to succeed. This primary has shaken the Democratic establishment to its core, and that is a good thing and should be built on.

But none of that is going to happen before November.

Some Sanders supporters who are deeply concerned by the candidacy of Biden have said he can have their vote but not their soul. For many people that will be their strategic rationale. For others, it will be a question of individual or collective morality in the face of TrumpӔs horrors. Leftist voters in swing states shoulder a greater moral burden than the rest of us, and many will decide to vote against Trump by pulling the lever for Biden.

There are also very vocal opponents of Biden who are fed up and are flat out going to refuse to vote for him. They recognize that the opposite of Trump is not Biden. They want a society where free health care is a right and wars are ended, where everyone has housing and work that pays livable wages, where you don’t amass a mountain of debt to get an education, and one that treats immigrants and workers with dignity and defends a woman’s absolute right to choose. They want the racist justice system dismantled and ICE to be abolished. They believe we are in a climate emergency and that Biden is a part of the problem. Mainstream Democrats tell them they want much of that too and electing Biden is a strategic step in that direction or that President Biden will be more susceptible to progressive pressure. They reject that. They don’t believe that forcing a choice between two bad candidates is right, even if one is admittedly worse. Electing Biden might solve some problems, but it also could result in a strengthening of the far right in the U.S. and could produce a worse threat than Trump in 2024.> A Biden administration, they believe, will undoubtedly be a massive corporate-friendly juggernaut that wages military and economic wars and, for them, voting in the affirmative for that is a bridge too far. And many of these people hold the Democratic Party responsible for Trump because of the terrible campaign it ran in 2016, so trying to convince them to buy into the same strategy twice is a losing battle. They are tired of being Democrats’ cheap dates treated with contempt, offered few and paltry concessions, and expected to go along. As a strategic matter, at this juncture, they regard supporting Biden as tantamount to telling Democrats to continue to take them for granted.

If Democrats want to try to win them over, they should use the next six months to show them you take their concerns about 2016 seriously and map out the ways this campaign is different. Most people on the left who oppose Biden but also view Trump as the gravest danger are going to vote against Trump by voting for Biden. But those who disagree with that strategy do not support Trump. For them, “He’s not Trump” is not a gamble worth taking. The onus is on the Biden campaign and its supporters to make their case to every eligible voter in this country and earn their votes. No one should be taken for granted.

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Joe Biden is a Trojan Horse: Inside is the Democrats New Right Wing Coalition

By Russell Dobular
Due Dissidence
July 29, 2020

In spite of what you might have heard, Democrats aren’t stupid. Nor are they spineless, cowardly, incapable of messaging, or any of the other things offered as explanations for their decades-long failure to win most elections in most places, or to secure meaningful policy reforms for their voters. In the now famous words of Marco Rubio, spoken during his campaign-ending broken robot moment on the 2016 debate stage, “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barrack Obama doesn’t know what hes doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

Yes, he does.  And so does the rest of the Democratic Party. If you understand the Democrats as a party whose first priority is to win elections and then serve their voters once in office, then you have to look for far-fetched explanations for their actions, which often appear to be completely at odds with those objectives. What party eager to win over the middle of the country would repeatedly vote to make a wealthy San Francisco doyenne like Nancy Pelosi their Speaker? She’s a walking advertisement for the image of Democrats as a party of out of touch elites, more concerned with arcane speech codes than labor laws. But if you understand the Democrats as a party primarily concerned with raking in big bucks from wealthy donors, while drawing enough superficial distinctions with their opponents to maintain their identity as a separate party, then everything they do is pretty frikkin brilliant. Like forcing Joe Biden on their voters.

Let’s be absolutely clear: Bernie Sanders would undoubtedly have been the partys nominee this year without the interference of its leadership. A lot of ink has been spilled about the failings of Bernie 2020, and some of those points are valid, but let’s not forget that Sanders won the first three states in the primary calendar, all while facing unprecedented hostility from the corporate media and party elites, so clearly he did a lot of things right. No other candidate has ever won the first two states without going on to secure the nomination, much less all three.

But no other candidate so universally feared and loathed by the money people and the consultant class has ever gotten so close to the big prize. Close enough that they were willing to drop all pretense of neutrality and fairness to ensure on the eve of Super Tuesday that instead of facing a fractured field of milquetoast moderates, Sanders would be going mano a mano with only Joe Biden, a man who voters had completely rejected in humiliating fashion right up until South Carolina. Remember, this was before we understood exactly how bad the coronavirus was going to be, or how badly Trump and the GOP would botch their response. No modern Democrat has ever won without high youth voter turnout, and there’s no way they didn’t understand that crushing the candidate of young voters was going to suppress their vote. Nor has any modern Democrat ever won without a high share of the Latino vote, and yet they chose to publicly and openly conspire against the candidate who was the clear choice of Latino voters.

All this in order to run a notoriously thin-skinned politician in the obvious throes of cognitive decline against the worlds most infamous bully. Without coronavirus, Biden was a sure loser and thereҒs no way the partys decision makers and strategists didnҒt understand that. No, they arent that stupid. If you consider that the battle theyҒre fighting is only secondarily against the GOP, and primarily against the left wing of their own party, what they did was actually very smart.

These folks can read a poll as well as anyone, and they understand that in the normal course of things their days are numbered. For years, Democrats have talked up their coalition of the ascendant; the new, young, diverse, and thoroughly blue no matter who electorate that was going to someday hand them majorities as far as the eye could see.  But now that its on the verge of arriving, it doesnҒt look quite like what they were expecting. Turns out that rising electorate wants policies that will actually allow them to rise in more than a symbolic sense and isnt quite as satisfied by platitudes and kente cloth as the old white liberal coalition was. They want universal health care, they want higher wages, they want student loan forgiveness, they want free college; in other words, they want the people they vote for to do something for them beyond diversifying their office staff. The problem for Democrats is that all the things they want them to do are a direct threat to the grift theyҒve been running since the day Bill Clinton formally announced the death of the partys animating FDR spirit by proudly informing the public that Ғthe days of big government are over. The Reaganite small government ethos that’s ruled both parties ever since, simply cannot be reconciled with the demands of voters whose first priority is economic justice.  So what do you do when your base sees through the hollowness of your politics and demands that you do better? Find a different base.  And thats where Joe Biden comes in.

The Biden campaign is a Trojan horse in the truest sense: it’s an empty vessel through which the Dems are attempting to substitute a portion of the GOP’s base for a portion of their own. The Democrats gearing their message towards white, professional class suburban voters is nothing new. They’ve been doing it for at least 30 years, first winning over the socially liberal/economically conservative “Rockefeller Republicans” in order to make up for their losses with union voters in the wake of NAFTA. Now they’re attempting with this election to win over the even more conservative"moderate Republicans” of this generation by running the kind of candidate who would promise in the midst of a pandemic and an ongoing populist uprising to veto Medicare for All, and not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400K a year. They’re not worried about handing over control of the party to Republicans in the process, because a Democratic Party dominated by moderate Republicans doesn’t look very different from what we have now - there’s hardly a shade of difference between your average liberal and your average “Never Trumper” ideologically.

The rising left, however, is an existential threat to the party’s modern make-up, ideology, and standard operating procedures. If they lose to Trump while trying to make the shift, something that was almost guaranteed at the time they decided to force Biden down the country’s collective throat, that’s really not a problem. Trump is great for fundraising and his sheer awfulness takes the onus off the Dems to be much better. Just being a little better than Trump is all they really need to be for as long as he’s in office. Seen from that perspective, Biden is a win-win. They either crush the left by assembling a new, even more conservative coalition, or they once again scapegoat the left for their losses and spend another four years pretending the country didn’t go to shit until 1/20/17. So if you’re a deeply corrupt member of the fake-left half of the country’s ruling elite, wheres the downside? It’s nothing but upside for everyone except the voters.

There’s only one flaw in this plan.  It doesn’t take into account the dangers of breaking the social contract so severely that the population becomes ungovernable.  Only a fool would believe that we can continue on our current course of spiraling wealth inequality combined with a collapsing quality of life, now severely exacerbated by a global pandemic, without a reckoning. Unfortunately, in keeping with their French, Chinese and Russian predecessors, our leaders are those fools. History shows us that those most in danger of getting on the wrong end of a Peoples Tribunal, are always the last to see it coming. With Trump we get there a little faster, with Biden a little slower (maybe), but the American economic and political system as currently constituted is clearly unsustainable.

Vote your conscience in November in light of these realities (personally, I’m writing in Dave Chapelle), but know that the real battle is going to start the day after the voting ends.

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25 Reasons Not to Vote for Joe Biden

By Matthew John
Age of Awareness
March 8, 2020

1. He supported states’ rights to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Early in his career, Senator Joe Biden VOTED TO ALLOW STATES TO OVERTURN THE LANDMARK 1973 ABORTION LEGISLATION ROE VS WADE. The 1981 bill, which thankfully never passed, was referred to by the National Abortion Rights Action League as “the most devastating attack yet on abortion rights.”

2. He supported the Hyde Amendment.

On the topic of abortion legislation, Biden also long supported the HYDE AMENDMENT, a 1976 bill that prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion services. He only recently reversed his position on this matter, though he made “no apologies” for the last position.

3. He supported racial segregation.

The fact that Joe Biden was involved in anti-busing legislation in the 1970s has been receiving more attention as the candidate endures heightened scrutiny. Janell Ross of NBC News explained additional details of this unsavory history IN A PIECE headlined, “Joe Biden didn’t just compromise with segregationists. He fought for their cause in schools, experts say.”

4. He played a central role in drafting the 1994 crime bill.

The implementation of the VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT resulted in what we now call “mass incarceration” a phenomenon that has had a vastly disproportionate impact on minority communities. Though then-president Bill Clinton later admitted, “I signed a bill that made the problem worse,” Biden continued to take pride in the legislation (as well as credit for producing it) for years to come, even referring to it as the “1994 Biden Crime Bill in 2015.”

5. He lied about his involvement in the civil rights movement.

Journalist and activist Shaun King has compiled EXHAUSTIVE SOURCE MATERIAL on this issue. In short, there is no verifiable evidence that Joe Biden ever participated in the civil rights movement. But Biden has LIED ABOUT OTHER TOPICS as well, so I’m willing to be generous and include all his lies within this one entry - even his whopper about BEING ARRESTED IN SOUTH AFRICA.

6. He participated in the humiliation of Anita Hill.

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1991 confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas, Joe Biden played a key role in this disgraceful historic episode of sexism and humiliation. In her testimony, Hill articulated the instances of sexual harassment that were perpetrated against her by Thomas. As Li Zhou explained in Vox:

“In response to her allegations, the 14 all-white, all-male members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled her relentlessly, with several Republicans openly seeking to discredit her and EVEN ACCUSING HER OF EROTOMANIA.” [...] BIDEN ALLOWED THOMAS TO TESTIFY BEFORE AND AFTER HILL DID, and did not call upon three women who could have testified about their own experiences with Thomas and office culture.”

In short, Biden did not step in to defend Hill during this onslaught, and even personally participated in asking inappropriate questions. He later apologized, saying, “As the committee chairman, I take responsibility that she did not get treated well.”

7. He has been accused of inappropriate behavior by 8 women.

Speaking of sexual harassment, ”EIGHT WOMEN HAVE ALLEGED THAT BIDEN EITHER TOUCHED THEM INAPPROPRIATELY OR VIOLATED THEIR PERSONAL SPACE IN WAYS THAT MADE THEM UNCOMFORTABLE.” In what some critics referred to as a “non-apology,” Biden said he would try to do better. However, he also later SAID, “I’m not sorry for anything Ive ever done.”

8. He supported the Iraq War.

Not only did Biden vote in favor of the 2002 Iraq War Resolution - he also PLAYED A LEADING ROLE in inspiring congressional support for the invasion, which was infamously justified using fabricated intelligence. According to Vox, “in the months leading up to the vote authorizing war, [Biden] organized a series of Senate hearings, in close coordination with the White House, during which he echoed the administrations talking points about weapons of mass destruction.” This disastrous military intervention eventually resulted in HUNDREDS THOUSANDS OF DEATHS, cost American taxpayers more than $2 TRILLION, and led to the formation of ISIS.

9. He once called Dick Cheney a “decent man.”

Okay, I know Im getting into anecdotal territory here, but Dick Cheney was a really bad hombre. As George W. Bush’s vice president, Cheney was known as one of the primary architects of the aforementioned Iraq War and a leading proponent of TORTURE. If you’d like to learn more about this hideous American supervillian, check out Adam McKay’s 2018 film VICE.

10. He has consistently advocated for Social Security cuts.

A recent fact-check by The Intercept found that Biden has ADVOCATED CUTTING SOCIAL SECURITY FOR THE LAST 40 YEARS. He even bragged about it on the Senate floor in 1995, saying:

“When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.”

11. He once referred to Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

These COMMENTS WERE MADE IN 2007. Pretty cringeworthy stuff, Uncle Joe. There’s not much more to say about this, but based on the aesthetics of this piece, I do feel as though this entry should be longer. I guess one way to think about this particular phrasing used by Biden is to juxtapose it with the following entry. In that context, reducing the first Black president to a condescending stereotype could be seen as a decent compliment, considering who its coming from.

12. He participated in the demonization of the Black community.

In the 1990s, the Clinton administration continued the Reagan-era paranoia regarding violent crime with, among other policies, the aforementioned crime bill. As WE NOW KNOW in hindsight, this obsession was simply thinly-veiled racism targeting the Black community in the wake of civil rights legislation. In short, it was white backlash. Biden wholeheartedly utilized the vitriolic rhetoric of that era, including the infamous term - PREDATOR - a dehumanizing and racist dog whistle.

13. He opposes Medicare for All.

It should be unacceptable that, in the richest country on Earth, MORE THAN 30,000 PEOPLE die every year due to lack of access to healthcare. However, Joe Biden has used RIGHT-WING TALKING POINTS to oppose the only comprehensive LEGISLATION that would insure every American citizen unconditionally.

14. He met with a Ukrainian neo-Nazi.

I know, I know. All politicians - in the service of diplomacy - need to meet with some unsavory characters, you might say. But this is a little different. Im not being hyperbolic here. Biden literally shook hands with Ukrainian Social-National Party co-founder Oleh Tyanhbok, a Sieg Heil-sporting ANTI-SEMITE. The Social-National Party was described by Tel-Aviv University as “an extremist, right-wing, nationalist organization which emphasizes its identification with the ideology of German National Socialism.”

It should be absolutely unacceptable to pal around with fascists, especially in the era of Trumpian white nationalism and right-wing terrorism. If you’re going to have a pleasant interaction with a prominent individual, at least do a quick Google search first to make sure they’re not a Nazi.

15. He voted for the Patriot Act.

The USA PATRIOT Act was an authoritarian piece of legislation that was hastily jammed through Congress in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It infringed upon BASIC CIVIL LIBERTIES, erected a domestic mass surveillance apparatus, and disproportionately targeted the AMERICAN MUSLIM COMMUNITY and anti-war activists. Due to the nationalistic fervor surrounding 9/11, most congresspeople voted in support of this law, but SOME REFUSED. Not only did Biden support this legislation, he also HELPED WRITE its predecessor.

16. He opposes marijuana legalization.

It should be clear by now that the War on Drugs is INHERENTLY racist and needs to be put to an end. Marijuana prohibition is not only a major focus of this failed policy, but it also has a notoriously RACIST HISTORY of its own. These decades of prohibition have only ensured the ubiquity of the black market, empowered drug lords, put users in unnecessary danger, and locked people up for victimless crimes. During thousands of years of recorded human use, the cannabis plant has a death toll somewhere between ZERO and ONE. And according to polls, TWO-THIRDS of Americans support full legalization. Get with the times, Joe.

17. He helped make sure student loan debt could not be discharged in bankruptcy.

As a senator, Joe Biden pushed for bankruptcy reform legislation several times in the early 2000s. Finally, in 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) was passed. This law, at least in theory, was supported to prevent Americans from abusing Chapter 7 bankruptcy (although a University of North Carolina law professor later said that these abuses “didn’t necessarily exist in the first place"). However, one detrimental effect the law had in practice was that it prevented borrowers from discharging their student loan debt through bankruptcy, essentially creating the modern $1.5 trillion student debt crisis as we know it. And, as you may have guessed, JOE BIDEN WAS ONE OF THE MAIN DEMOCRATIC ADVOCATES FOR THIS LEGISLATION.

18. He has “no empathy” for millennials.

In a 2018 CONVERSATION with a reporter for the LA Times, Joe Biden had some harsh words for millennials:

“The younger generation now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. No, no, I have no empathy for it. Give me a break. Because here’s the deal guys, we decided we were gonna change the world. And we did.

You certainly did change the world, Joe. You made it worse.

This stunning combination of gaslighting and victim-blaming is the ultimate boomerism, especially considering the fact that Biden himself was so intimately involved in crafting the NEOLIBERAL legislation that royally screwed over the millennial generation.

19. He has engaged in blatant plagiarism.

Knowing the extent of Bide’s tendency to lie, it should be no surprise that he has conducted himself in an untrustworthy manner in other ways as well. A primary example is the plagiarism Biden engaged in during his 1988 presidential campaign. As Business Insider EXPLAINED, “Incidents of plagiarism both on the campaign trail and during his time at the Syracuse University College of Law became some of the final issues that dogged Biden before he ultimately suspended his floundering campaign.”

20. He voted to repeal Glass-Steagall.

The Clinton administrations 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act was one of the primary legislative events that set the stage for the 2008 financial crisis. In the United States, this global catastrophe RESULTED IN about 8.7 million Americans losing their jobs and as many as 10 million losing their homes. As economist Joseph Stiglitz EXPLAINED:

“In November 1999, Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act the culmination of a $300 million lobbying effort by the banking and financial-services industries...”

“Glass-Steagall had long separated commercial banks (which lend money) and investment banks (which organize the sale of bonds and equities); it had been enacted in the aftermath of the Great Depression and was meant to curb the excesses of that era, including grave conflicts of interest.”

“When repeal of Glass-Steagall brought investment and commercial banks together, the investment-bank culture came out on top. There was a demand for the kind of high returns that could be obtained only through high leverage and big risktaking.”

21. He voted for NAFTA.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into effect on January 1, 1994, resulted in the further destruction of labor unions and the loss of about a million American jobs as multinational corporations raked in profits. As Lori Wallach EXPLAINED in HuffPost:

“Such outcomes include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada and the related loss of 1 million net U.S. jobs under NAFTA, growing income inequality, displacement of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and a doubling of desperate immigration from Mexico, and more than $360 million paid to corporations after investor-state tribunal attacks on, and rollbacks of, domestic public interest policies.”

22. He is beholden to corporate interests.

So far in this listicle, what do numbers 10, 13, 17, 20, and 21 have in common? These political stances Joe Biden has taken throughout his career overwhelmingly benefited corporations at the expense of the working class. A concise illustration of this outlook took place at a fundraising event last year, when Biden told Wall Street donors that “nothing would fundamentally change for them under a Biden presidency. In THIS Guardian op-ed, Zephyr Teachout explained how Biden’s corporate campaign contributions profoundly influence his policy positions.

23. Like Trump, he bullies people who disagree with him.

Late last year at an IOWA CAMPAIGN EVENT, Biden was asked by a male audience member about his son Hunters former job with a Ukrainian energy company. Biden disputed certain aspects of the man’s line of inquiry, but instead of simply correcting the record, Biden blurted out, “You’re a damn liar.” The former vice president then began focusing on the man’s weight, calling him sedentary and even challenging him to a push-up contest. Toward the end of the exchange, Biden says, “Look, fat” before stopping himself.

In this exchange and OTHERS LIKE IT, Biden demonstrates that he is short-tempered and THIN-SKINNED - terrible traits for political leaders to have, as we all know from the last four years.

24. He entertained the idea of a Republican running mate.

This point is sort of a culmination of this entire listicle; it says a lot about Biden’s POLITICAL HISTORY. Aside from the moral and strategic problems with this, Joe Biden just has awful political instincts that fetishize “compromise” to the point of completely ignoring the needs of the American people. For shame, Joe.

25. He is experiencing cognitive challenges.

We must acknowledge Biden’s glaring COGNITIVE ISSUES, as uncomfortable as it might be. Thats why this topic is set apart from the rest; it has nothing to do with ideology, voting records, honesty, policy, or even gaffes. This is essentially a question of whether or not Joe Biden is currently “fit for office.” As you’ll know if you’ve seen any recent debates or events featuring Biden, he can often be observed slurring his speech and forgetting basic details (such as where he is, Obama’s name, etc.).

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Posted by Elvis on 08/25/20 •
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