By Joshua Tartakovsky
It looks like the US electoral scene will resemble a well-known battle scene from The Gladiator film. It will be Hillary versus Trump, a battle between two diametrically opposing forces. It will be a bloody battle in which all tactics will be used including pulling out a knife from an unexpected area in one’s pocket, hitherto concealed. And it will also be a battle in which one’s own knife will be used against the one who initially wagered it. Hillary will be despised by many Americans because of her pro-corporate position (even though she claims she will help the middle and working class), elitism, double-games, support of big government (that will encumber the lives of ordinary Americans), and rich record of aiding Muslim terrorists. Trump will be despised for his belittling of Latinos, his overt, not politically-correct approach, his rallying of working class white Americans, his opposition to the US policing the world, and his arrogance in thinking he can solve everything on his own without relegating to partners and working with minorities – a lesson for him to adopt; that he must appeal to Latinos. So far he’s been paying the price for not doing so in California. Most of all, he will be seen as a lunatic by those who don’t know better.
Trump is everything but Hillary, and Hillary is everything but Trump. For Hillary supporters, for liberals, for well-meaning progressive white Americans, and for minorities and people of color, Trump is a disgusting fascist. They have a point, if judging by his rhetoric and call for building the “Great Wall.” The problem is that Hillary, though she provides a more sympathetic face, is a genuinely dishonest politician who has played very dirty tricks so far. She claims to be pro-middle class but was on the board of Wal-Mart for six years, serving as the only female member and presenting a humane face (much as today she presents a female face for the military-industrial complex and Goldman Sachs), while Wal-Mart employed people for wages reminiscent of slavery, and prevented them from organizing via trade unions. Anyone who has been to a Wal-Mart can quickly see how badly workers there are being treated. A judge ruled that their actions against workers on strike are illegal. But Hillary did not take any actions in favor of workers’ rights to the best of our knowledge. And we’re talking about Wal-Mart, probably one of the most abysmal employers in the United States, where women workers suffer from widespread discrimination. “I’m always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else,” Hillary said in 1990. One can only imagine that workers’ rights were worse then.
Then we have Hillary receiving a major donation from a Wal-Mart oligarch, revealing that her bad ways have not changed. Furthermore, a foundation in conjunction with the Democratic Party was set up so that Hillary can receive much larger donations than legally allowed for her as a candidate, leaving Bernie in the cold. Essentially, Hillary has the Democratic National Committee in her pocket, and has been playing very unfairly. In the meantime, powerful Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi spoke against Sanders, while trade unions followed Hillary, although she supports NAFTA and free-trade that left Americans bereft of jobs, as Ralph Nader explains. This indicates to what degree many trade unions have abandoned their real purpose and have become corrupt.
Hillary is not really pro-middle class and working-class. She proposed various social points in response to Sanders’ popularity, but is unlikely to implement them. She made dishonest arguments against his healthcare plan, although it is a pragmatic one, which is the response she constantly tries to make regarding her proposals. Open questions still remain on why voters could not vote in Brooklyn. A third of Sanders supporters said they wouldn’t vote for Hillary. And Sanders supporters are being pressured and probably often misled.
The key problem is that while Hillary has been very dishonest and is not good for most Americans, many minorities and white liberals may still vote for her because she is seen as the pragmatic and rational alternative to Trump. Many of those who will vote for her fear change and wish to feel good about themselves as anti-racist, while middle class people accumulate more unpayable credit card debt as Hillary bombs more countries. However, there is a growing chance that there will be a split, and that Sanders supporters will not vote for pro-Goldman Sachs Hillary. The key point here, however, is for Sanders supporters to pressure Bernie from below to ensure he won’t cave in to her pressure and won’t endorse her after she humiliated him and lied too many times to too many Americans. Hillary’s crimes against Bernie need to be exposed and her victory, if it takes place, must be contested at the Convention. Also, the #NeverTrump camp on the Left needs to realize you cannot allow Hillary to get away with what she did since many Americans really do believe in fairness and not in cynical realpolitik. A close look at the issues reveals Hillary is actually not a rational choice or a progressive candidate at all, as Les Leopold argues in his convincing essay “Why Do Progressives Cling to Hillary?”
For Trump supporters, Hillary is the real “Lucifer in the Flesh.” She is an un-feminine, unappealing, heartless, cold, and evil figure, directly from the Book of Revelations. However, Trump’s supporters are largely white Americans who are now becoming a minority in the United States, and who have suffered an incredible amount due to Hillary’s economic policies of off shoring, illegal mass immigration, and the concentration of jobs in large cities. Many rural Americans are confident that a majority of Americans will never vote for Hillary, forgetting that populations have been moving to the cities, both in the US and worldwide, and that this has meant jobs being shifted to finance and technology, resulting in fewer jobs in agriculture and real production. Salaries in cities declined, however, even as jobs grew. The new urban generation does not recognize a farm when it sees one and does not value healthy farm-produced food in its high-stress, nerve-racking way of life, as earning one’s living and paying the bills is a constant struggle as The Atlantic’s recent excellent cover-story exposed. Hillary’s supporters, concentrated in the cities and easily malleable to the media’s support of her as the ‘reasonable’ candidate, may well get her elected. On a side note, the percentage of non-Hispanic whites in the US has only been declining.
In the upcoming Hillary versus Trump battle straight from The Gladiator, the mainstream media is likely to present Trump as a lunatic and a fascist and Hillary as a reasonable choice. Americans will mobilize for each and will be more divided and polarized than ever.
Only 54% of Americans voted in the 2012 elections. This time, each side is likely to try to mobilize as many traditional non-voters as possible. The young tend to vote the least while the elderly vote in large percentages. But the elderly traditionally like to vote for the status-quo, which will mean Hillary. With Sanders out, Trump would have to get the vote of the young, but they may find his ideas too extreme. The less educated usually do not vote, which means that Trump will have to get his less educated supporters out. Minorities turning out en mass against “Trump the racist” can help Hillary a bit, as American whites will come to bitterly realize that they are no longer a majority and that their vote in rural America has little weight. If Hillary is elected, disgruntled, white, working-class Americans may very well take to arms in certain areas, secede, or form autonomous zones.
But will Hillary get elected? This is far from certain. Now more than ever before, it seems that a growing number of Americans in the Democratic Party are disillusioned with the corporate hold over US politics. Many young and idealistic Sanders supporters will not sell their souls by voting for Hillary. 30% of Bernie’s supporters who stand for #BernieOrBust, amount to at least 4 million Americans, and can turn the tide and take away votes from Hillary. This would result in a victory for a Republican candidate, and in a genuine democracy developing in the US with people finally having a third option. As Amanda Girard writes in U.S. Uncut:
While 4 million votes may not sound like a lot for a country with over 300 million people, it’s enough to swing a close election. And even if the 4 million figure seems inflated by optimistic projections, John Kerry lost to George W. Bush by just 3 million votes in 2004, which even by a conservative estimate (25% of 12 million) fits the current size of the national #BernieOrBust movement. And of course, Al Gore actually won the popular vote by just over half a million votes in 2000, but lost the electoral vote due to the close margins.
[…]But should Sanders not win the Democratic nomination in July, the #BernieorBust movement could frame the general election to its benefit, whether Hillary Clinton wins or loses, and build a powerful political movement that could have tremendous impact between 2016 and 2020 — and beyond.
Amanda Girard further explains that since a Hillary administration would be a continuation of an Obama administration with mass spying on Americans, wars abroad, growing poverty, the rule of the 1% and deportation of immigrants, a new political party would reveal the Democratic Party as incapable of dealing with the issues important to Americans and to people of the world.
In the upcoming elections, the corporate media will do all that it can to fear-monger idealistic youth into supporting Hillary as an alternative to Trump, due to pragmatism and realism. After trying to hinder Sanders from winning in every possible way, the Democratic elite must believe that young, progressive Americans can be pressured to vote for Hillary anyway. But they got this wrong. Young Americans are tired of the constant lies and see how they have no prosperous future. With heavy debts on their shoulders for which they will need to enslave their souls for a life time, they are far more progressive and idealistic than the arrogant DNC establishment dares to admit. If many of them abstain in frustration or vote for a third candidate, the Republican candidate may win. Therefore, the media is likely to try to get them out to vote in favor of Hillary. They must know better.
In the upcoming elections, the US will be more polarized than ever. For Hillary supporters it will be an anti-Trump vote and for Trump supporters an anti-Hillary vote. All dirty tricks will be used and knives will be pulled out from hidden places, catching the public by surprise. Sadly, the battles may continue even after the crowds leave after the battle in the arena has ended. The importance of alternative media at this time cannot be overestimated. People in urban areas must be made aware of the plight of rural Americans, and the youth must not be deceived into thinking that it has no choice but to vote for Hillary.
In any case, US will probably never be the same again. Finally, people are discussing the real issues, despite desperate efforts by the Democratic and Republican establishments. Americans have started to wake up, and the goal of those who care should be to encourage critical thinking, to stay true to one’s principles, and not to fall into despair or swallow the false narrative offered by the corporate media which has little concern for the lives of most Americans anyway.