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Flowers and Zeese | US Democracy Crisis Creates Illegitimate Political System

  • The media problem should not be underestimated. As John Stauber points out “We are completely enveloped by the corporate propaganda system from the moment of our birth on, and it allows the oligarchy to control our minds and lives from cradle to grave, in seamless invisible fashion, via marketing, advertising and public relations, reinforced by the news media.  Few are able to admit and see this . . .”
  • Related: Trump Isn't the Campaign Media's First Mistake

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance  /  Rise Up Times 

https://www.popularresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/1oli1-e1465050789981.jpgPhoto: From Alamy

June 5, 2016 | Two years ago we wrote that the task of the movement is to build national consensus. We have shown in previous articles that national consensus is being reached on many issues, but the government is not responding to the public consensus. We have also reported on research that shows the US is really an oligarchy operating in the worst democracy in the western world.

The government’s lack of responsiveness to the people and elected officials who fail to represent the people’s views are resulting in a crisis of democracy. This week the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs reported on that crisis. They found the legitimacy of US government has disappeared:

“Nine in 10 Americans lack confidence in the country’s political system, and among a normally polarized electorate, there are few partisan differences in the public’s lack of faith in the political parties, the nominating process, and the branches of government.”

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are participants in Popular Resistance <PopularResistance.org>, an online daily news and information service for people who want to play a role in improving the country, creating economic and social justice as well as to protect the environment. They also co-direct It’s Our Economy and are co-hosts of Clearing the FOG, shown on UStream TV and heard on radio.

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Trump Isn't the Campaign Media's First Mistake, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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  • We've been getting this story wrong for ages, and Trump is the consequence.
  • Related: Amy Goodman on How the Media Is Ruining the 2016 Election by Focusing on ‘Trump-Land’

 

The Hillary Clinton/Neocon Merger

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  • Between the mainstream media’s demonization of Donald Trump and the neocons jumping ship to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, a Clinton victory might prove grimly inevitable, but that will guarantee more neocon wars.
  • Related: This Is Our Neoliberal Nightmare: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Why the Market and the Wealthy Win Every Time

Graham E. Fuller, Consortium News

https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Hillary-Clinton-300x300.jpg Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

May 14, 2016 | In this crazy year — actually a non-stop circus for 18 months — the press has engaged in an orgy of vitriol and bloodletting against the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency with a hysteria I have never seen in my life against any mainstream party candidate. And the Donald probably deserves a great deal of it.

Yes, we can all see now how Trump is engaged in shredding, maybe even remaking the Republican party — creative destruction. That, in the view of many including myself, is basically a good thing, given how far off the rails of reality the party has drifted.

Graham E. Fuller: ex-CIA official 

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This Is Our Neoliberal Nightmare: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Why the Market and the Wealthy Win Every Time, Anis Shivani, Salon / AlterNet 

  • The rage driving our politics stems from cruelty of capitalism. So why do we vote for those who worship the market?
  • Related: Bernie Sanders is a socialist? Some on the far left say sellout is more like it

 

The Return of Lesser Evilism

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  • With Trump on the other side, Democrats can be lazier than ever this election.
  • Related: Political Lesser Evilism, Revisite
  • Related: How the Left Can Stop Trump

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/2016/article/ralph-nader-bernie-sanders-lesser-evilism-20160620/245785/medium_rect/1466453000/720x405-Bernie-Sanders.jpg "Dissenting voices like this year's version of Nader, Bernie Sanders, are inevitably pitched as quixotic egotists who don't have the guts to do what it takes to win." Alex Wong/Getty

June 20, 2016 | Jonathan Chait of New York magazine wrote a column about Ralph Nader this morning that uses some interesting language. Noting that it's now been 16 years since Nader ran for president and garnered enough dissenting votes to help elect George W. Bush, he wrote (emphasis mine):

"That is enough time for Nader to confess his role in enabling one of the most disastrous presidencies in American history, or at least to come up with a better explanation for his decision. Instead, Nader has repeated his same litany of evasions, most recently in an interview with Jeremy Hobson on WBUR, where he dismissed all criticisms of his 2000 campaign as 'fact deprived.'"

Nader refuses to confess! What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? Fetch the comfy chair!

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

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http://inthesetimes.com/images/made/images/stangler_GettyImages-492372478_master_850_593.jpgPolitical Lesser Evilism, Revisited, Richard Moser, Counterpunch

  • Do We Vote for the “Lesser of Two Evils” or to “Recapture the Revolutionary Spirit.”
  • “The future of the deep structural changes we seek will not be found in the decaying political machines.” 
  • Related: Series | 2014 Mid-term Election Guide, Part 8: Ralph Nader explains how voting for the ‘least worst’ candidate corrupts democracy

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How the Left Can Stop Trump, Cole Stangler, In These Times

The Right failed. It’s up to us now.

 

 

Warning -- the sheepdog sellout begins: Sanders seeks company for his party-platform capitulation dance; don't join him.

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  • Now that Americans know that we live in a banana republic where elections are not only bought, as we already knew, but are also stolen under our noses, we need to pay priority attention to the issue of elections. In the absence of democracy, as Sanders himself knows, there is no hope whatsoever to achieve the diversionary reforms he wants to store safely away in a corrupt and undemocratic Party's platform where popular policies go to die. Sanders' retreat to the cowardly safety of the platform diversion has made him irrelevant to the priority task of demanding democratic elections, for which the people will now need to organize themselves.
  • Related: Sanders calls for supporters to back Clinton, “transform” Democratic Party

Rob Hager, OpEdNews

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Bernie%20Sanders%2C%20Clinton%20Sheep%20Dog.jpg 6/27/2016 | "[O]ur very praise of unanimity, therefore, is to be considered as a danger to liberty... if in matters of controversy, the sense of any ... party is invariably pursued, the cause of freedom is already betrayed" - Adam Ferguson (1767) p. 482-83

At least 12 million Sanders supporters have been watching to see where Bernie Sanders will invest the considerable political capital, not to mention the money which paid for it, that they have entrusted to him. John Stauber and Binoy Kampmark, among others, analyzed Sanders' opportunity to address his followers on this subject in Sanders' important post-primaries Burlington speech in order to predict his intentions. Stauber, like many, saw that speech as a clear move toward Sanders' pending capitulation to become a Clinton supporter. Sanders could have used his end-of-primaries speech to mobilize his supporters behind a competent strategy to negotiate for real concessions going forward, if not to explain an even more aggressive Convention-floor-fight strategy over DNC Rules to continue his pursuit of the nomination.

Having failed his supporters' expectations, but at least arguably left ambiguities about his ultimate intentions whether to fight or to capitulate, Sanders was soon given another opportunity by the Bezos Post to address both his supporters and the DNC in answer to the question "what does Sanders want?" That open-ended question could easily be understood as calling for a considered explanation of a very specific set of demands that would comprise a coherent Convention strategy. To either defeat or support Clinton's flawed candidacy, Sanders would need to gain important strategic concessions from the corrupt Democratic Party. Without demands there are no victories.

Rob Hager is a public-interest litigator who filed a Supreme Court amicus brief n the 2012 Montana sequel to the Citizens United case, American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, and has worked as an international consultant on legal development and anti-corruption issues.

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Sanders calls for supporters to back Clinton, “transform” Democratic Party, Tom Hall, World Socialist Website 

  • No small number of people will begin to see through Sanders’ increasingly shopworn facade and view his pivot towards an open embrace of the Clinton campaign with contempt.
  • Related: Bernie Blew It: He Sold Out Instead of Confronting Clinton
  • Related: This Is Our Neoliberal Nightmare: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Why the Market and the Wealthy Win Every Time

How the Left Can Stop Trump

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The Right failed. It’s up to us now.

Cole Stangler, In These Times

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http://inthesetimes.com/images/made/images/stangler_GettyImages-492372478_master_850_593.jpg Demonstrators hold up a piñata of Trump and signs supporting a $15 minimum wage during a protest on Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (Courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images) 

June 13, 2016 | Salvador Seda has voted for the Democrat in every presidential election since he first registered in 1963. More than half a century later, the retiree and resident of Cleveland’s working-class Puritas-Longmead neighborhood is ending his streak.

“I’m going to vote for Donald Trump,” Seda told a canvasser from Showing Up for Racial Justice Action (SURJ Action) who had knocked on his door. “He might not know much about politics, but he’s a businessman. … In Washington, they have politicians that have been senators for 40 and 50 years. It’s time that these people get out and let some young blood in.”

Cole Stangler writes about labor and the environment. His reporting has also appeared in the Nation, VICE, the New Republic and International Business Times. 

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