‘Identity Politics’ is Nothing New

Frankly, I do not like [Ted] Rall’s column. For me, he represents the whiny left who did not succeed in getting Nader elected and, after helping George W. get elected twice, now sit back and smugly carp at those who are trying to get this country working again. Like the far right, they glory in the country’s failures. ( Note: If you’re not going to vote for the best for this country, shut up!) But “identity politics”? [“Carly Fiorina, Identity Politics and the Death of Feminism,” 11/1/15 TPP]

Like many frightened misogynists, he does not understand that women are not organized to wield power over them; we fight to get and maintain power over our own lives and to protect our children--the born ones-- after an eon of church types from the pulpit exhorting men to beat their wives into submission and to keep us ignorant and barefoot so we have to remain dependent on men. Yes, we have many men from all walks of life as allies while we also have among us those I call “sharia wives,” who are the first to demean us and to cast the first stone. Rall’s condescending remarks about women and black voters, based on an article in the New York Times, rankle.

He is correct in his assumption that we (women and black voters) like strong and competent candidates; that’s why we voted for our first black president and will, hopefully, vote for Hillary Clinton. As for the two “identity candidates” he mentions, [Ben] Carson is (reportedly) a good surgeon, but he seems to know nothing about government and would be a hand puppet for the Koch Bros, et al. [Carly] Fiorino, who falls into the category of “sharia wife,” ran Hewlett Packard into the ground, cost 30,000 jobs and walked away with a golden parachute. How in the hell do these people fall into the category of strong and competent? Running a surgery or a big corporation is not comparable to the duties of the most responsible elected position in the world.

Like a right-wing troll, Rall loves to sit back and throw stink bombs; he calls Clinton’s politics “repugnant.” Exactly what does he mean by that? Does he disapprove of the life she has devoted to trying to get health care for the world, or is he outraged about the time she has spent trying to make life livable for the world’s women? I don’t like her ties to Wall Street and big corporations, but that is a factor of the whole Democratic Party. The world is still reeling of the influence of Republican “leadership,” which was exacerbated by the lack of turnout of the left in the last election. Hopefully, the Democratic Party will learn its lesson by “feeling the Bern,” because this dear man is verbalizing the demands of its base like no other candidate ever has. A Clinton victory could mean her ties to the moneyed class would work to our favor. Who thinks a Republican president would slow down their pandering to these people? And who thinks we would have fewer wars or that black lives would ever matter any more than the life of a woman?

As much as I love Bernie Sanders, I am sure that even he knows that he can not carry a national election, but he has raised his voice to speak out for the rest of us and has raised the level of discourse to a statesman-like tone for the first time I have witnessed in my lifetime. The world should be grateful to him, but it doesn't deserve him.

“Identity politics”? We have had nothing but identity politics since our first election; the identity has always been white and male.

Meridian, Texs

Hillary’s Trials

Several weeks ago, when my son and I were in Delta and were driving out of a lane near McDonalds, a big truck pulled out ahead of us and it was pulling a big box trailer, and on the side and back of the trailer were huge pictures of four people, and below those pictures was one word written in large letters, and the word was BENGHAZI.

I don’t know who was driving that truck or where it was going, but having seen the interrogation of Hillary Clinton by a gang of would-be destroyers of her campaign for the presidency, who called themselves congressmen and women, I'm sure the driver of that truck and trailer was up to no good. However, they did me a favor with their inquisition, and now I know Hillary much better than I did before, and if she is chosen as the Democrats’ candidate she has my vote! (And I had been a Bernie supporter, and even sent some money to his campaign.)

But it’s long past the time when we should have sent a woman to the capitol, and she can't possibly do a worse job than some men have done in recent years. And I’m thinking about George W. Bush when I say that; and how he and his compadres Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld got us into a terrible mess in Iraq. And how come the Fox-Newsish sorts aren’t as disturbed about the thousands of Americans who were killed there, and not just the four who were killed in Benghazi, and why aren’t they demanding answers about that?

But I guess it’s all just a mystery, and a selective one at that, and we won’t get true answers until the crime committers are long gone and won’t be held accountable in a satisfactory way, because in wartime there seems to be no punishment for being an accessory to mass murders.

Eckert, Colo.

Hillary’s Smarter and Tougher

Gene Lyons was right; Hillary was smarter and tougher than Trey Gowdy when she went before the Benghazi Witch Hunt, where she was given the respect of a mass murderer.

Hillary Clinton was poised, knowledgeable, resilient and a warrior. It was a bravura performance. It was such a historic performance that Americans will be talking about it for years.

However the media still reports that she is a target of a FBI criminal investigation and could wind up in jail, which is lie. But that lie keeps on being repeated because of the power of the rightwing media.

Ironically, Hillary’s biggest enemy in the media is Maureen Dowd of the so called liberal New York Times — who has a psychotic dislike of both Clintons. She has called both Clintons law breakers and after Hillary’s bravura performance at the Benghazi hearings, Dowd said that Hillary likes playing the victim, which is nuts since Hillary has never asked for anyone’s sympathy or pity. However the Times allows the psychotic Dowd to slander the Clintons at will and allows her to lie through her teeth. It is bad enough that Hillary Clinton is attacked by rightwing crackpots but she is also gets abuse from the most prominent columnist on the so-called liberal New York Times, who the Times refuses to rein in.

New York, N.Y.

Nearby Bosses Also Cause Inequality

In “Do Remote Bosses Cause Inequality” (10/15/15 TPP), Froma Harrop suggests physical remoteness of employers from their employees as a cause of current American economic inequality. She presents no data to support this unusual hypothesis.

If remoteness is a cause of low wages and poor working conditions, it must take a back seat to more obvious causes. The two that come to mind are weak worker bargaining power (low levels of unionization) and the offshoring of millions of American jobs (and the threat to offshore) following enactment of “free trade” agreements.

Ms. Harrop implies that workers were better off in the good old days, when (supposedly) owners lived closer to their workers. This ignores our (often violent) labor history, including quite horrific factory conditions. Rights we take for granted today, e.g. the minimum wage and 40-hour work week, were paid for with mass movements spanning decades and workers' lives.

Her hypothesis also ignores two previous periods of staggering inequality: the so-called Gilded Age (last third of the 19th century) and the 1920s. Despite the alleged proximity of employer-employee living quarters, extreme inequality nevertheless developed during both these periods.

University Place, Wash.

See Indians’ Point of View

Re: George Prudent’s “Andrew Jackson’s Sins” in the 11/1/15 TPP Letters: Recommended reading: “An Indigenous People’s History of the United States” [by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, published by Beacon Press in August 2015]. The American Indians’ perspective has been absent from colonial histories for too long. The truth that places settler-colonialism and genocide exactly where they belong as foundation to the existence of the United States. Amazing the parallels to Vietnam and the Middle East.

Ava, Mo.

Pharma Hedge Fund

Daraprim and its ilk, with a price hike from $13.50 to $750 for a pill (Daraprim) that costs $1 to make, are indeed the “smoking guns” demonstrating the harm our government is allowing the pharmaceutical industry to inflict on our country.

But, arguably more significantly, they are the “smoking guns” for hedge funds. In contrast to Wall Street speculators, who are benign tumors, hedge funds are malignant, wreaking damage to our economy like bulls in a china shop while serving no purpose other than greed!

Oh! — and the broken china is people.

Lansing, Mich.


Frank Schneider [in “GOP Pols on Taxpayers’ Dime,” 11/1/15 TPP Letters] attributes “there is no there there” to Walter Mondale, and as much as I respect Fritz, it’s important to attribute the quote to its source, Gertrude Stein, who made the remark in reference to her childhood town of Oakland, Calif.

Minneapolis, Minn.

From The Progressive Populist, December 1, 2015


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