Monday, April 18, 2016

No dark money here: I just gave $27 to Bernie Sanders, to fight the plutocratic policies of Hillary Clinton and her fellow right-wing candidates for president

(Bernie Sanders in Phoenix, Arizona, 2015. Sanders is the only progressive candidate for president. The rest are either right-leaning, or right-wing extremists. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, used here under the CCA-SA 2.0 Generic License.)

I just contributed $27 to the Bernie Sanders campaign, as I've done several times before. I feel no need to hide my donation, as so many do with their payments to Super PACs. Many (not all) super-wealthy Americans want to contribute large sums of money to politicians like Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, in support of their militaristic and anti-New Deal agendas, but they don't want Americans to know about it. They want to keep the deal secret. These super-wealthy donors don't want us to know that they're working hard to prevent middle and low-income Americans from getting a raise, and from getting relief from suffocating debt. They know that their luxurious, work-free lifestyles depend on the misery of others - and that their best bet to maintain this disgusting status quo is to get someone like Clinton or Cruz elected.    

I contributed $27 to Bernie Sanders because I believe, as he does, that the New Deal was superior to trickle-down economics. I contributed because I believe in democracy, not plutocracy. I contributed because I believe we should be devoting more money to domestic affairs (like replacing the water lines and plumbing fixtures that are poisoning millions of children across the United States), than to the hundreds of military bases across the globe that support our endless military adventures. I contributed because I believe it's wrong to let financial criminals avoid prison time because they're rich, because they can easily pay jail-avoiding fines, and because they have a history of giving cash to politicians (make no mistake about it, what we've witnessed these past many years is essentially a criminal protection racket, similar to when mobsters paid police officers to look the other way in exchange for a piece of the action).

Now, some say, "Oh, Hillary is a progressive!" I don't think so. Not when her infrastructure plan in dwarfed by Sanders' infrastructure plan, not when she hesitates on expanding Social Security, not when she says she won't restore Glass-Steagall to reduce the risk of bank fraud and bank gambling, and not when she votes to make bankruptcy more difficult for struggling Americans. With respect to the latter, what type of person does that? Someone who cares about the downtrodden? Or someone who doesn't give a rat's behind, but simply wants more Wall Street money? (They're the ones who paid her to change her stance on bankruptcy.) And if you think Clinton's bankruptcy vote is an anomaly, think again. As far as I know (and someone can correct me if I'm wrong), she's done nothing (and neither has the Democratic Establishment) to reverse the disastrous 2005 Bush-era bankruptcy "reforms" that have made it so difficult for Americans to escape perpetual debt (perpetual debt that no doubt enriches Clinton and her wealthy friends).    

Some will say, "Well, Clinton is better than Cruz, so you should support her if she's the nominee." I don't buy that anymore. Right-leaning Democrats like President Obama and Hillary Clinton are fueling right-wing extremism. The more they cave to the right, drift to the right, and compromise with the right, the more extreme the political right must become to differentiate themselves from Democrats. For example, Hillary Clinton's militaristic worldview forces Ted Cruz and Donald Trump to become more hawkish - Cruz has advocated for mass carpet bombing--collateral damage notwithstanding--and Trump has said we should target the families of terrorists. If Clinton ever supports indiscriminate carpet bombing, Republicans may have to push for the use of nuclear weapons to show that they're "tougher." In other words, the more we give in to the lesser-of-two-evils argument--"You better vote for Clinton, because the Republican candidate is even worse!"--the more we ensure that both sides become even more evil. It's a race to the bottom - where greed and hatred are virtues, and social responsibility is a sin. We should vote on substance, good judgment, and progressive values, not because one candidate is less hideous than the other. This means Sanders, not Clinton. 

So, yeah. I gave $27 to the Sanders Campaign. And I'll give again, as long as he has a shot to prevent the coronation of Queen Clinton, and the hoard of selfish Wall Street cronies that will line up outside the White House for their appointments and nominations to important government positions in the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Education, and anywhere else where they can protect their class, while punishing the rest of us.

(See Tony Brasunas' great op-ed on the Huffington Post, "There Is a Moderate Republican in This Race, But She's Running as a Democrat," April 18, 2016. And for an interesting take on President Obama's political style--as viewed by Bruce Bartlett, former top adviser to President Reagan--see "Obama is a Republican," The American Conservative," October 21, 2014.)  

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