Ray Bolger as the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz.” Was he smart enough to be president? Courtesy cinefox.com.
As Chris Matthews puts it, “The Republicans and Democrats are running two scarecrows for presidents,” with more negatives than positives. But I’d like to dig under those two stiff posts out in the corn field — into the nitty-gritty of voter perception.
Donald Trump has blatantly earned his negative judgments from both voters and members of the formal Republican party, from delegates, to Congress Reps to Senators to his many competitors for the nomination.
Even many people who still support him admit a variety of things they don’t like about him which undermine the values of America — opportunity, diversity and equality, as a land of immigrants. Please remember the essence of Emma Lazarus’ great poem emblazoned into the base of the Statue of Liberty.
Plaque photo courtesy schmoop.com
Donald Trump’s only values are the kind that glimmer or stack into green, rectangular piles. If he’s a different kind of politician I would characterize him ultimately as the anti-statesman, the opposite of what we hope every politician aspires to.
So, why some seemingly reasonable people still support Trump remains one of the nitty-gritty questions that’s hard to answer. Some see his rhetoric against America’s emerging oligarchy as a way to right America’s wrongs. But it’s easy talk these days: Trump’s tax plan to buttress the top one per cent does little to change America’s vast income equality gap.
Part of the Trump camp is backing their way in, with a kind of negative “I’d never vote Hillary” value system or obstinancy. This has partly to do with Hillary Clinton’s remarkably high negativity ratings, which is what I would like to address, and I hope some readers will respond to.
Hillary Clinton. coutesy affinitymagazine.us
Starting from what I call the higher ground of this scenario, Clinton needs a large number of Bernie Sanders supporters to gain a more comfortable margin than the average of 7 per cent lead she currently holds nationally over Trump in state polls. But many of those voters apparently will not switch to Hillary, until Sanders formally gives up the ghost and endorses her which, recently on an interview with Chris Hayes on CSNBC, the Vermont senator said he still was not ready to do.
The two campaigns need to get closer on issues important to the Sanders camp. In the Hayes interview, Sanders prioritized an aggressive breakup of Wall Street banks, and fighting for abolition of the death penalty in America. Clinton supports death in rare cases, such for Dylann Roof, the alleged hate-killer of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, S.C., last year.
Bernie also remains vehemently opposed to the TPP trade agreement, which Clinton initially supported but now opposes. So an endorsement from Sanders seems only a matter of time. But as for now, many of his supporters remain in lockstep behind him, for fairly righteous reasons.
Of course, the bottom line is, even if they vote for a third-party candidate, that amounts to a vote for Donald Trump. Because it takes one liberal/Democratic vote away from Hillary Clinton.
Let’s not forget the devastating effect of Ralph Nader’s refusal in 2000 to support Al Gore, who, given his post-election record, would’ve done at least as much as Green Party candidate Nader to improve the environment, and probably more.
Nader did hand the presidency to George W. Bush, though hardly intentionally. More, I think, out of irresponsible, willful hubris. It never should have come down to a decision left to the Supreme Court, who desecrated the democratic will of the people, as Al Gore received the most popular votes: 50,999,897 to Bush’s 50,456,002.
Here’s some info that shows how troubling Nader’s role was in that election:
When Nader, in a letter to environmentalists, attacked Gore for “his role as broker of environmental voters for corporate cash,” and “the prototype for the bankable, Green corporate politician,” and what he called a string of broken promises to the environmental movement, Sierra Club president Carl Pope sent an open letter to Nader, dated 27 October 2000, defending Al Gore’s environmental record and calling Nader’s strategy “irresponsible.” He wrote:
You have also broken your word to your followers who signed the petitions that got you on the ballot in many states. You pledged you would not campaign as a spoiler and would avoid the swing states. Your recent campaign rhetoric and campaign schedule make it clear that you have broken this pledge… Please accept that I, and the overwhelming majority of the environmental movement in this country, genuinely believe that your strategy is flawed, dangerous and reckless.
Perhaps this seems like dirty water under the bridge by now. But it gets me to the question of why leftists or independent moderates are not ready to support Clinton, a candidate who President Obama — twice-elected and at a peak in popularity — has described as perhaps the most qualified candidate who as ever run for president, certainly in recent times.
Sure Republicans will nurse Hillary conspiracy theories-from-nowhere from now till doomsday. But Hillary is not going to be indicted on her e-mail use, according to Chuck Todd, which he reported recently on Meet the Press. That’s the latest, and it’s good enough for me, even though I will watch the FBI investigation to the end.
We have a very serious and consequential election to decide.
So what is it about Hillary Clinton for all those Hillary haters and doubters? It seems to come down to the oh-so-subjective factor of trust.
And here is where progressive and liberal males ought to give her a break, especially because virtually any of the wildest theories about her profit-mongering and corruption seem to vanish into thin air the closer you look at them.
What people respond to are the insinuations. And I observe such progressive males with great dismay because, of course, Hillary is hardly perfect and, yes, she’s took money from Wall Street firms corporations to speak but, to me, that means she’s smart enough to work the system, profoundly flawed as it is, because you can’t get elected without huge money in that system. I trust she’ll work to overturn Citizens United as she promises to. It goes against the progressive principles she’s held for decades.
In general, she strives very hard to keep a tidy ship, despite the incessant bombs lobbed at her, so it’s no surprise she can get into perceived trouble when she gets self-protective and choosy about her explanations of countless activities. But none of that proves anything nefarious. So without proof, what do we have to stand on? As Daily Kos put it recently, “Clinton is the most investigated woman in history — and the most exonerated.”
That makes her arguably the most persecuted woman in history. The Benghazi hearings were her trial under fire, and she single-handedly dismantled the countless and redundant counter-examinations with grace, courage and determination. It was an amazing demonstration of her grit and intelligence, as well. Imagine Trump squirming and whining under similar circumstances.
Here’s a problem: A recent salon.com analysis of voter attitudes asserted that it’s increasingly evident that many progressive men seem guilty of a sexist attitude towards the woman who might be the first female president in US history.
The analysis doesn’t have a lot of evidential proof, aside from a profusion of circumstantial evidence. Like the gang of “Bernie Bros,” for one example. And I’m beginning to wonder about Bernie himself, who’s increasingly quixotic, as high-minded as he talks, being now out of the real race.
So I wonder, what their problem is with her, really? They always assume the worst of her. Could this come down to an excess of old-fashioned American guy arrogance which often feeds its admirable can-do attitude as well?
Well, just consider what the final effect of this self-righteous choosiness is. Some women are especially peeved at Donald Trump’s assertion that Hillary Clinton “enabled” her husband’s sexual indiscretions. What on earth did they and Trump” enablers” expect the then-First Lady to do publicly? Condemn and pillage her husband publically when women make salacious accusations? Even when Bill Clinton finally confessed to something, wasn’t that enough? Can’t we also suspect that the motives of the women involved were far less than pure, envisioning the president as easy pickings for their wiles?
Of course, it was sordid then, but what really does that have to do with today, and Hillary Clinton’s extraordinary capabilities as a politician and stateswoman?
If you go as far as to blame her for marrying the guy, well some marriage counselors might concur, but remember, she established her personal vision of her political career before she ever met Bill Clinton. That vision, as it’s played out over her own career, is what she should be judged on and everything that she has accomplished on her own merits since.
Yet, still people regularly conflate Bill Clinton’s policies with Hillary. What do they think Hillary Clinton will do? Is she some kind of intellectual zombie from the 1990’s, A Bubba lapdog?
A…Barry lapdog? The media hasn’t helped.
Cartoon courtesy thepeoplescube.com
I post the image for rhetorical irony. Either notion about Clinton is obnoxiously sexist. Plus, such thinking forgets the alternative.
And remember, the whole world is watching this election, with great angst and dismay.
Here lies a glaring reminder of how far behind we are so many other advanced democratic nations in electing a female leader. Not that it’s a race, but what do you say when the nation that proclaims itself the greatest democracy of all may fail yet again to elect a woman, such a capable woman?
The Huffington Post reports: “There have been over 70 female prime ministers and presidents in the world since Sri Lanka elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1960. The length of their tenure has varied immensely, as have the powers that they have held. Some women were in office only days or held largely ceremonial roles, while others played a defining role in their country’s history.”
Among the most famous women leaders of nations (in chronological order) are Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel, President Isabel Peron of Argentina, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of The United Kingdom; President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines, President Mary Robinson of Ireland; Prime Minister Hana Suchocka of Poland, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, and President Park Geun-hyem of South Korea.
It’s time for a brilliant and determined woman to come in and clean up the remaining mess from the Recession — wrought by the Bush years — and get to work on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, which will begin to create many of the dearly-needed jobs we clamor for.