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  • Shelly Albaum

Clinton or Trump? You Can Choose For Me; I Don't Care.


I voted for CHANGE in 2008, and you could have counted me among the more patient people. Some things take a while; some things take a LONG while; it's a chess game, etc.

But call me flabbergasted by Barack Obama's record. Not the record of all the things that the Republicans blocked or sabotaged, but of all the things he did not even go on record for, of all the things he could have done without Republican consent but did not. For example:

1. We are told in the presidential debates that the President has the power RIGHT NOW to break up the big banks -- Hillary cites that, in the same sentence that she claims Barack harvested record campaign sums from the big banks and was allegedly unaffected. Obama chose not to break up the big banks, even though they are bigger now than they were when they were too big to fail.

2. We are told in the presidential debates that Goldman Sachs was fined $5B, but nobody went to jail. The choice not to prosecute banksters amounts to authorizing criminal fraud as long as the DOJ gets a cut of the profits. Obama chose not to prosecute banksters.

3. Obama chose to end torture, but not to prosecute war crimes. We are told that torture is wrong because it is condemned by the Geneva conventions. However, the failure to prosecute war criminals is ALSO condemned by the Geneva conventions. Therefore, Obama is just as plainly in violation of international human rights law as Bush was.

4. Speaking of war crimes, Obama's drone war has resulted in atrocities upon civilians NO DIFFERENT from what occurred as a result of the terrorist bombings in Boston, France, and Belgium. Same carnage (or more). Only we are the terrorists, instead of ISIS. Obama's foreign policy is largely a continuation of the Bush policy.

5. Similarly, Obama's strong support of the PATRIOT Act, in violation of his campaign promises, is an outrageous extension of a policy that we were TOLD was snuck through under exigent "shock doctrine" circumstances. But Obama reaffirmed the PATRIOT Act it in cold blood.

6. Speaking of civil rights, Obama's aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers who report illegal activity, and further pursuit of journalists, is an astonishing abuse of government power. But Obama is as harsh on whistleblowers as anyone we've seen.

7. The Trans Pacific Partnership -- TPP -- is an awful deal for the American people, and Obama has teamed up with the GOP to defeat his own party and ram it through.

8. I'm only going to mention in passing Obama's other sins-of-wimpiness, but there are a multitude -- failure to advance the minimum wage when he could have, failure to advance labor union legislation (e.g., EFCA, card-check), a too-small stimulus, failure to give us public option in health care, his deportation madness, filling the Department of Education with corporate reformers, failure to lead on Marriage Equality, failure to lead on Marijuana Reform, failure to end the prison industrial state, his Wall Street economic team, his offering of the least progressive possible Supreme Court nominee (Merrick Garland), extension of the Bush tax cuts, no relief for home mortgages, Guantanamo still open, no attempt to limit outrageous bank fees and interest rates, failure to intervene in Don Siegelman case, Blackwater, failure of leadership in catastrophic mid-term elections, continued TSA security theater, militarization of police forces, shabby treatment of Post Office, failure to investigate election fraud or electronic voting machines, etc.

The argument against me is that Hillary is better than Trump, which may be so.

My position is that corporate control of our political system and our economy is what I fear most. I am not interested in a kinder, gentler oligarchy spending eight more years sweet-talking us while they further entrench their economic, political, and police-state advantages.

My position is that whether a fascist takes control of our government in eight months or 8 years only matters if we are executing a plan to stop fascism and restore democracy.

We know that Hillary Clinton will be exactly as beholden to big corporate interests as Obama has been. She makes no secret of this. Clinton does not support a $12 minimum wage instead of a $15 minimum wage because of subtle economic math; it is a message to corporate America: "I see you; I hear you; I will compromise where you want me to."

Similarly, Hillary makes no secret that she won't actually change our policy toward banks. She says, "I'll break up the big banks...IF WARRANTED, I'll jail bank executives...IF APPROPRIATE." We already know that it is warranted and appropriate. There isn't going to be any more evidence, and so Clinton is not going to do it.

So under Clinton, corporations will continue to have their way with our government and every federal agency. They'll continue to help themselves at the trough of infinite defense expenditures. Jobs will continue to go overseas, the American standard of living will continue its descent toward third world status, and the 99% will be thrown some bones on social policy:

* Maybe LGBT individuals will get additional rights (e.g., housing, jobs)

* Maybe a little more money will get allocated to public schools (only to be siphoned off by corporate parasites like textbook publishers and Channel 1)

* Maybe cable TV prices will come down a bit

* Lots of nice little things might happen; we're easy to distract

But the thing I fear is corporate control of government, the shadow government, unbridled economic power, and the police state. Hillary is a path toward those things. Trump is a different path toward those things.

I won't choose either path. If those are the only choices we can have, then you may choose for me; I don't care.

#Bernie #Hillary #Clinton #Trump #Revolution

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