author – activist – faculty – mom
The owning class in the US has always had a big problem: democracy. This is why the only folks originally allowed to vote were landowning white men. However, since most adults are now allowed to vote, regardless of class, race, or gender, the wealthy are vastly outnumbered.
The owning class perpetuates the myth of their inherent superiority. The lie is that they are on top because they deserve it. The truth is that they fight dirty. All the institutions of the society favor them. Their corporations and class interests have a massive lobby and are allowed to pour money into elections in ways that frequently sway the outcome. In contrast, the basic franchise—one person, one vote—flies in the face of their class’ presumption that their interests should always be put first. A key part of their mythology is that wealthy people should always be in leadership. Poor and working class people are presumed to be less intelligent and really unable to make their own decisions. This was the justification for denying the vote to poor whites originally (not to mention women and people of color) because they just weren’t smart enough to decide, and they would be better off if the wealthy told them what was right for them.
Thus, the Republican party has become the party of the rich. They claim to favor “small government.” This simply means that they don’t like regulators and oversight that keep them from running amok. They want freedom to use their financial and institutional power to continue to exploit labor and the environment for their maximum profit, and not to pay their fair share of taxes. In the same way a schoolyard bully would favor “small playground supervision.” When There are kindergarteners to terrify and lunch money to confiscate, they don’t want anyone with authority putting them on time out or taking a cut of the profits.
In the US, the owning class mostly exploits and mistreats white labor (or they lay them off to go offshore). This isn’t true globally, but none of those folks in the global south can vote in US elections. Which is where the Republican Party’s problem lies: how can they get white workers to vote against their class interests? Since the 60s, they have been using racism, then sexism (particularly anti-abortion) and then homophobia and xenophobia. Blame women, queer folks, people of color and immigrants for why poor and working class white people in the US can’t have nice things. Creating alliances with Christian extremists has been critical, because most people in the US are pro-choice and don’t really care if same sex couples get married. This alliance between the wealthy and fundamentalist Christians was working pretty well for decades until it began to spin out of control. Fox News, The Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and now Donald Trump are the inevitable outcomes of an alliance that depends on stoking irrational, hateful, scapegoating and bigoted feelings to confused the masses of white people in the US into betraying themselves. Current political discourse reveals how feelings have been confused for facts. This is the logical result of the Republican party having spent decades convincing these folks that their irrational feelings of white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia are a reliable source of information and a solid basis for decisionmaking.
Enter Donald Trump. He couldn’t have been better written for the part. He’s got all the prejudice and irrationality, as well as the crass, bigoted showmanship to appeal to racist and sexist white men. Plus, he’s a billionaire, so he can also hook into our nation’s classist programming that the rich are inherently superior and should be in leadership.
This party is on the verge of going down. Their underclass was content for a couple of decades to melt into the background while their refined, wealthy political bedfellows took the mic. But now that Donald has revealed their shadow, they won’t settle for being the poor relations who stay out of sight. This fracture in their party cannot be healed. It’s not about what policies the democrats can enact if they have the white house, plus a majority in congress. It’s about what it will do for our movements if the right wing party falls into disarray.
So I appeal today to all the progressive folks who are considering voting for a 3rd party candidate or writing in Bernie Sanders or not voting at all. Vote for Hillary Clinton. I agree with all the principled critiques of her domestic policy history (superpredators), her international policies (she’s hawkish), her ties to Wall Street (shady behind-the-scenes activity), her personal is political (standing by her husband—a confirmed adulterer and alleged sexual predator). But she’s not the goal, she’s the tool, the frying pan that we can use to smack Trump and the Republican Party upside the head. When somebody’s trying to kill you, you don’t worry about the ethics of the frying pan, you swing it as hard as you can. A landslide for her will strike a killing blow to the Republican party. I want to see those suckers destroyed. I want to leave the owning class and the corporations floundering to figure out who will vote for their schoolyard bullying. This could be a new era where the country moves significantly to the left. As I said in a previous post, #ImNotWithHerImVotingForHerTheresADifference. The president isn’t the one who is going to change this country–the people will do it. A Clinton presidency would mostly stay out of the way while we build the movement that can make those changes. In contrast, a Trump presidency would relegate movement building to the back burner. We can count on Trump/Pence to create a series of disasters that would monopolize our activist energy for the next 50 years, not to mention the force of repression, bullying, and silencing that he represents. In that post, I used the metaphor of Hillary as landlady, but I really like the idea of her as frying pan.
Hillary Clinton for President. Not because she’s flawless, but because she’s the weapon that can take down the Republican Party.
Register. Vote. Swing that shit.