Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Election Position : The Trump Clinton Yardstick.

So today's Sign of the Presidential Apocalypse was coming across a facebook argument about whether Trump or Clinton is the more racist. That's where we are-- we're ready to elect a racist as President and all that's left is to quibble over how much of which style of racism.

I am fifty-nine years old, and have read and studied history most of my adult life. I'm prepared to call this as the worst pair of Presidential candidates in the nation's history. The worst. Mind you, I don't really care about Clinton's e-mail misbehavior, and I really don't care about the manufactured Benghazi anguish. But I do care that she is so completely bought and paid for by Big Money. I really care that she represents the Democrats' continued abandonment of any and all traditional constituencies. And Trump is an astonishing dumpster fire, a fraud and scam artist who appeals strictly to the basest and worst in humanity. Our country is uglier because of his candidacy.

Neither is an acceptable choice for President, a fact tacitly acknowledged by the vast amount of campaigning based on slamming the opposition. The weird irony of these two terrible candidates is that neither one would have a hope in hell against any other candidate.

This is beyond "hold your nose and vote." I held my nose and voted for Obama II vs. Romney. This is way, way worse. It's trying to figure out which apocalypse would be more survivable.

There are so many things at stake here, but one is the survival of each party. A Clinton victory will mean the end of the Democratic Party. It will be read as "proof" that they should go all in on neo-liberalism, that the only party constituents who matter are the ones who can write big fat checks. A Trump victory will mean the death of the GOP as anything but a slobbering rant-fest for racist constitution-rejecting dopes. Yes-- as I read it, if you want your party to survive this election, you should vote for the other party's candidate.

In the education world, we have to have to have to come to grips with the fact that whatever happens, we are screwed (again). There is not a speck, not a sliced-thin scintilla of evidence to suggest that Clinton will do anything except continue straight down the same road that Bush and Obama took us. And there's no telling what Trump will do about education, but it's a safe bet that it will be huge, it will be business oriented, and that it will involve blustery hair-brained ignorance.

It is probably time for education advocates to just drop out of this race. Maybe if Clinton agrees to meet with Diane Ravitch and listen I might perk up for a second or two, but mostly I think it's time for us to step back from this clusterfarfle of an lection and start working on how to continue fighting for public education under the next destructive administration.

We can lay some of that groundwork by paying attention downticket, and this is where the Clinton and Trump candidacies can be marginally useful as yardsticks. If you are supporting Trump, making claims for his business acumen, his tell-it-like-it-is-ness, then I absolutely will not vote for you. If you endorse Trump for any responsible position at all, you are either an opportunist or a fool, and either way I don't want you in elected office. Ditto for Clinton. If you are trying to ride her coattails or applaud her judgment or, God help me, claiming she's for the little people in this country, then you also have some sort of impairment that disqualifies you for public office.

Clinton and Trump are trainwrecks as Presidential candidates, but that makes them a good measure of other politicians' judgment. Too many people from both parties have made it clear that they would vote for a paper bag full of dog poop if it just had the "right" party designation stamped on the outside. That's not okay. Especially not now.

I don't know what's going to happen ion November, but whatever it is, the result will be a White House occupied by the most-despised, least-acceptable President we have ever elected. That means we had better have some functional grownups in Congress. I can't stand to pay attention to the Presidential race, but I can't afford to ignore the other races going on.

17 comments:

  1. I thought it couldn't get any lower than the Bush/Kerry contest. This year....well the Lesser Of Two Evils is still incredibly evil. So I will no longer Hold My Nose. If you no longer r are willing to just Lay Back And Enjoy It, then know there is a real alternative.

    http://youtu.be/LGD8gJt7weU

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  2. Thank you for this. It's the most honest assessment I've read on this election in the context of education advocacy. I've been on the #nevertrump / #neverclinton wagon since the beginning. Neither would ever deserve my vote, whatever that's worth. I hope people consider Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. At the very least a vote for her leaves a clean conscience.

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  3. Could not agree more with Robert - done with the lesser of "two weasels!" I'm going Green this time (and last election, too).

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  4. Obviously I can understand having serious problems with HRC viz. education policy, but where the hell is "bought and paid for by Big Money" coming from? Because of the Wall Street speeches? I realize that hard facts are anathema in this election, but why don't we look at her actual voting record? The US Chamber of Commerce, the largest business interest there is, gave her a final cumulative score of %46, which is hardly a ringing endorsement. Or why not page through this very long list of Clinton ratings. Does this look like the voting pattern of a thrall to corporate America?

    The "Shillary" thing is the emotional argument of a group of people who are profoundly ignorant of American politics. You want to go after HRC for education bullshit? Go for it. But don't latch on to a bunch of mindless ad hominem memes. It doesn't suit you.

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    1. Andrew, look at her contributors. Learn about her long (decades) association with Eli Broad.

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    2. Last year Hillary had some harsh words for charter schools. Eli Broad threatened to cut her funding. Guess what she did. lol

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  5. I've lived 59 years and you know what? Despite the quadrennial rampage of Chicken Little, the sky has not yet fallen. I will vote my conscience. Trump or Clinton? No way. I'm not throwing away my vote. I am answering to my conscience. When all is said and done, and November 9 arrives, what do I say to the person in the mirror?

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  6. "A Clinton victory will mean the end of the Democratic Party. It will be read as "proof" that they should go all in on neo-liberalism, that the only party constituents who matter are the ones who can write big fat checks."

    I think that's going to happen either way. The Ds got their behinds handed to them in 2010 because so many lefties were so upset with Obama's continuation of Bush's policies. The lesson the Ds seem to have learned from that election was that they should have gone further right. If Hillary loses to Trump it will be "evidence" (to the Ds anyway) that the nation wants to go further right. If she wins, it will be "evidence" that going right was the right thing to do.

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    1. The D's got their asses handed to them in 2010 because they are profoundly stupid. Not that your reasoning is not accurate, but the coup de gras was delivered by aggressive gerrymandering by the Republican Party. They will own the House for a generation because the Dems responded with crickets.

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  7. I'm a bit puzzled by the judgment that Hillary Clinton will be a really horrible president because of her policy positions. How are they significantly different than those of Barack Obama? They aren't different on education. His education policies and personnel were horrible. They aren't different when it comes to banks and having Wall Street insiders as policy makers. They don't seem much different on foreign policy. Which policy positions make Obama OK but Clinton unacceptable? Or are they both bad?

    I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary, and I voted for Mr. Obama in the primaries and general election. I think that Mr. Obama's presidency has been disappointing in many ways, but I would vote for him over Mr. Trump immediately. I see a Hillary Clinton presidency as largely a continuation of Mr. Obama's policies.

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    1. Not everyone fell for the Obama bait and switch either…

      I voted for the Honorable Dr. Cynthia McKinney in 2008, Dr. Jill Stein in 2012, and will vote for Dr. Stein again in this upcoming election. I support feminism, not imperialism and neoliberalism.

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    2. Hillary will be a bad president precisely because her policies will follow Obama's. Obama has been terrible for a lot of people in this country. Bailing out banks while ordinary Americans go homeless. Cutting heating oil subsidies in the middle of one of the coldest winters. His invasion of Libya and his droning and special ops in at least half a dozen other Muslim countries. His education policies. His anti-unionism. His favoring of the TPP (which will likely pass in the lame duck session, and if not then, then Hillary will take care of it). While promising hope and change, Obama has slowly delivered this country to the big banks and the military-industrial complex (and the education-industrial complex, and the prison-industrial complex, and....). Hillary will be more of the same and worse. Hillary doesn't even bother promising hope and change. Obama: Yes we can! (but we won't). Hillary: No we can't! Trump: Yes we Klan!

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    3. The main way I see Clinton as worse than Obama is foreign policy. According to emails, Clinton convinced Obama to intervene in Libya over his reluctance. She has advocated for covert or overt regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Honduras, and Ukraine. She wanted to create a no-fly zone in Syria when the generals said that was crazy because the Russians controlled the airspace. Recently she's even talked about putting boots on the ground in Syria. She didn't seem to like the Iran accord and is BFF's with Netanyahu. Her foreign policy scares me to death.

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  8. Meanwhile, children are growing up and learning from the adults in their lives, including public figures. We are all old enough to go on with life, heart sick and devastated, but what about young people? Where do they go from here? Where do they place their trust? Should they trust anyone? Put that in the context of the testing culture of school, what do they have to believe in? My heart breaks for all the young people. They have been abused and left in the dust.

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    1. Seconded 100%. The message to children used to be "you can be anything you want to be." Now the predominant message is "you are worthless except as a tool for powerful people to exploit to make themselves more wealthy and powerful" (see the testing industry, charter schools, student loans, and on and on). We see daily examples of the how the powerful are not willing to restrain their greed even if it means the end of life on Earth. It is hard raising a hopeful, happy child in this environment.

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