Sunday, July 31, 2016

On supporting Clinton

Kshama Sawant vs. Rebecca Traister on Clinton, Democratic Party and Possibility of a Female President (Democracy Now)

     This video offers an enlightening debate between Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large for New York Magazine (covering Clinton), and Kshama Sawant, a Socialist city councilmember in Seattle. Though these women hold similar Leftist positions about American politics, they disagree about support of Hillary Clinton.
KSHAMA SAWANT:…At the end of the day, ... I don't think the debate is about [Hillary Clinton’s] speech skills and all of that. It's more the fact that she is a dogged representative of Wall Street and Wall Street interests, and her entire party, the Democratic Party, and the establishment that controls it, is a representative of Wall Street interests. And yes, there are differences between Republicans and Democrats, but that is one thing they agree on, that they are primarily advocates for Wall Street. And Hillary Clinton is well on her way to be the international emissary for the fracking industry, which is so dangerous, so much so that she has refused to ... even accept that this is going to be a huge problem in terms of climate change.
. . .
REBECCA TRAISTER: Well, there are a lot of parts of what you just said. I'm in agreement with you about parts of it. ...I am also interested in getting money out of politics. I don't think that's the only issue that's at stake here. ... I'm glad that you and her other critics are making these points very, very loudly. ... I don't think that ... what you see as her role as an emissary of Wall Street is where these questions end, and that voting for [Green Party Presidential candidate] Jill Stein is a solution that works, either in terms of feminism or in terms of addressing the issues that you care so passionately about. Jill Stein is not going to win the presidency. And the person who would win the presidency, if Hillary Clinton is stopped—and I understand the impulse to stop her—is Donald Trump. And so, when it comes to issues of fracking, of Wall Street, of paid leave, of subsidized child care, of protecting what social programs we have in place now and shoring up social programs in the future and not seeing them destroyed, in terms of immigration reform, I think there are all those issues on the table. I am not sure that the feminist choice is supporting a woman who ... offers very little threat of actually winning.
. . .
KSHAMA SAWANT:...I think that when people are worried about Trump, it's absolutely legitimate. I am horrified. I find Trump's agenda of misogyny, bigotry, hatred and anti-immigrant hysteria absolutely stomach-turning. But if we are to actually defeat the phenomenon of Trump, then we have to look at ... the Trump phenomenon, not as something that happened just out of nowhere, out of thin air, but understand that the Trump phenomenon is a product of the fact that both the establishment parties, Republicans and Democrat, have moved to the right over the last several decades. And similarly, when the tea party in the Republican right made gains in 2010, that was not because Americans suddenly woke up and went right-wing. That was because millions of people were dejected and angry at Obama's corporate bailouts, and they were so disappointed and betrayed. ... And the reason Trump finds an echo is not because millions of people are racist. It's because millions of people are looking for an alternative. They're grasping for an alternative to corporate politics.
. . .
REBECCA TRAISTER: Well, I want to—I'm curious about this. So, do you think that encouraging people to vote for Jill Stein is going to defeat Trump? I mean, what do you actually envision happening, if ... the idea is more of us should be voting for Jill Stein because we're dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton?
. . .
KSHAMA SAWANT: Well, those of us who are talking about building an independent party for the 99 percent, we take the question of the presidential elections absolutely seriously. ...I am not saying that it is meaningless. But here's the question I would like to ask: If the Democratic Party establishment, the Democratic National Committee ... had as its first priority to defeat Trump[,] ... if that was their topmost priority, then why did they not do everything in their power to promote the one candidate who, through many, many polls, was indicated to have been a really prominent, a very powerful voice against Trump and having the real possibility of winning against Trump? And, obviously, I'm talking about Bernie Sanders. Instead, what the Democratic National Committee has done is use every dirty trick in the book to stymie his campaign....

Is This the Future of Bernie's Revolution? (Mother Jones)
A small, progressive political party is in Philadelphia looking to capitalize on his movement.
In Philadelphia, a vocal minority of Sanders supporters refused to back Clinton or to embrace the pragmatism that the [Working Families Party]'s leaders are now preaching. But the WFP thinks it presents one of the most viable ways forward for a movement that, without guidance and infrastructure, could quickly lose steam as it moves past Sanders' candidacy and on to the many issues he championed. Party officials believe they can offer the tools and training to continue to campaign for progressive candidates and pull the Democrats to the left. And for the WFP itself, the Sanders revolution represents a huge political movement that could lend substantial heft to the party's heretofore modest undertakings. If, that is, the WFP can successfully pitch itself to Sanders fans as the right vehicle for their movement.

SAWANT interview: If you're short on time, I recommend starting at about the 19 minute mark.

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Traitor? Idiot? Both?