Voters Need to Do Our Jobs

Ralph Nader’s article, “Congress: AWOL and Out of Control” (9/15/16 TPP), was particularly enlightening. I now see that our members of Congress don’t have time to do their jobs passing laws and representing us because they’re too busy on the phone (while “on the job”) raising money to keep them on the job they never have time to do, or on extended paid vacations. Does that about sum it up? Hmmmm. Gives new meaning to the term “malpractice.” But we’re the reason they get away with this: only about 52% of eligible voters bother to vote in a presidential election, and only 36% in the off years. It’s we the voters who are obviously not doing our job. They won’t do their job until we do ours! We’ve got to get out the vote!

Nancy Churchill
Oregon, Ill.

Let’s Have Solutions

Hal Crowther provided another excellent, cogent, literary, and entertaining column in a recent edition (Summer of Our Discontent, 9/1/16 TPP). His clever and blunt skewering of Trump made me chuckle. Then he turned to Ms Clinton and I mused: I thought I had seen every version of “vote-for-the-lesser-evil” that there could be. But I was wrong. Mr. Crowther gave us still another; richer, more colorful than most, but still the same chant: Whatever you think of her, the other one’s worse! In the fantasy world of choices that are limited to two, lesser evilism might make sense. But we do not live in such a world. Our choices are as varied as the diversity of the people who live here. TPP would do a great service to present that diversity to us more robustly. It would be great to see articles by and about people developing, implementing, and theorizing about alternatives to the social, economic, and political status quo. Maybe articles about ranked choice voting, worker-owned businesses, community-based social action (such as the Jackson-Kush Project), and Black Lives Matter could be included, even on a monthly basis. Big changes are afoot; the whole world is in revolution. The time has come for us to be working in peace and justice on the world we want.

Ken Eidel
South Pasadena, Fla.

NRA Wasn’t Always Of, By and For the Gun Manufacturers

G.M. Chandu’s heartfelt letter about the Second Amendment in the 9/1/16 TPP (“Fix the Second Amendment”) contains an inaccuracy about the founding of the National Rifle Association that is worth considering.

I was surprised, myself, to learn in an article in th August issue of Vanity Fair (“Whose NRA Is It?”) that the NRA was formed in the 1870s buy a group of Civil War veterans in New York City who enjoyed sharpening their marksmanship skills by target shooting together. This was an era when even city dwellers often hunted their own food on neighboring farmlands.

I have since passed the magazine on to a friend, but I do recall that as more gun owners joined, the NRA used membership dues to secure a lease on some city-owned land on Long Island, and set up a shooting range for its members. (I bet their targets weren’t shaped like people!)

The article went on to trace the takeover by the gun manufacturers and ended with the encouraging news that many rank-and-file NRA members have become disgusted with their leaders’ political antics and are drawing away from the organization.

Betty Crowder
Honeydew, Calif.

Hillary is Unacceptable

I was a Bernie Sanders supporter. When he did not take the fight to the convention floor, Sanders betrayed his supporters. He did not keep his word. I was skeptical of the mainstream Democratic Party consulting firm. I was skeptical of the lack of bringing Hillary’s record to light. Yet like many I clung to hope. The lesson is, there will not be any real change at the top from within the Democratic Party.

There is a lack of reality from many progressives in considering Hillary Clinton acceptable. Her vote for the Iraq “war,” her support for illegal regime changes in Honduras and Ukraine, her support for corporate rule from Wall Street to Walmart, tied with her husband’s support for NAFTA and the WTO, her support for worldwide fracking while Secretary of State, her crafting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and subsequent campaign lies saying she’s against it; her unconditional support for Israel and neocon foreign policy, etc. It is a desperate time when The Progressive Populist recommends casting a vote for such a person.

Madeleine Albright, speaking at the Democratic convention, is a criminal complicit in mass murder. Her famous quote that 500,000 dead Iraqi children was worth it – due to US sanctions while she was Secretary of State under Bill Clinton – didn’t include in that count anyone over the age of 5. Hillary has no problem with Albright, or with Henry Kissinger, or with any of the evil deeds our government has done as the empire of the day.

There is a strategy that progressive leaders could promote that would achieve the ends we want. Instant runoff/rank choice voting would eliminate the “spoiler effect” and give third parties a chance. Yet the Democratic Party will do nothing in this regard. Progressive pundits never mention this integral piece of strategy. I will not hesitate to vote for Jill Stein in November. Her recent CNN town hall where advocacy was voiced for closing all US foreign military bases was a breath of fresh air in contrast to warmongers Clinton and Trump.

Progressive leadership is not taking the long view when settling for a candidate such as Clinton, who has a terrible record. Enough is enough; support the best candidate on the ballot and work to ensure access to debates, ballot access, etc.

As bad as the Republicans are, many elected Democrats have supported the same bad policies. Obama is promoting the TPP. It is a con game year after year.

Bernard Dalsey
Whitewater, Wis.

Pool of Possible Voters Could Turn Green

A cool breeze swept through our living rooms the other night when the Green Party candidate for President, Jill Stein laid out the Green “New Deal.” After suffering for years with the rancid smell of corporate party politics, we had for one brief moment a glimpse into a future that is now within our grasp. 

According to the New York Times the major party pool of voters is 60 million. Thirty million voted for the winners in this year’s contest while the other 30 million voted for someone else. Also, there are another 88 million habitual non-voters, and 73 million who did not vote in the primaries, but are likely to vote in the general election. This represents a 191 million pool of possible voters against 30 million who may only in part continue to support the 1%.

The Green New Deal will bring great jobs and a shot in the arm to an ailing environment. Consequently, the children yet born, and their children, and their children’s children will either bless or curse this generation’s pool of possible voters.

Janis Percefull
Hot Springs, Ark.

Schultz is Too Defensive of Women

This letter refers to Bob Smet’s letter in the 9/1/16 issue, “Lost respect for Connie Schultz,” regarding Connie Schultz’s only rationale for voting for Hillary Clinton is because she’s a female.

Following are some excerpts from Schultz’s columns showing how absurd and inconsistent she is in defending women regardless of the abhorrence of their actions and words, based solely on gender.

9/1/11 — In the first paragraph, Schultz writes about Michelle Bachmann being anti-choice and anti-gay marriage. This would have been an important subject to write about. Instead, Schultz wrote that she was offended because Chris Wallace called Bachmann “a flake.” This is what troubled her? One would think that Bachmann being anti-choice would case Schultz to call her a lot worse than a flake. Her being anti-gay marriage should have caused Schultz to be outraged. Bachmann referred to members of Congress who don’t share her beliefs as anti-American, who don’t care about the country. This means that Schultz’s husband, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) would be included in this anti-American classification.

2/1/12 — Deals in part with her concern about “The recent wave of anti-choice legislation in my state and across the nation.” See above about Bachmann.

3/15/12 — She wrote that at a dinner she attended, Karl Rove ridiculed the intelligence of Sarah Palin and Meghan McCain and repeatedly trashed Democrats. He did this knowing that half his fellow diners were women. Rather than take satisfaction in the infighting of the right wingers Rove and Palin, Schultz takes offense that Rove criticized women in the presence of women. …

Schultz’s defense of women’s rights is in conflict with her misplaced loyalty to women who are against women’s rights.

On TV, in criticizing Obama, Meghan McCain said the unemployment rate was 9% when the actual rate was 8.2%. At best, she’s uninformed and at worst a liar. In an interview, Romney said something provably wrong. As an apologist for him, she made excuses for his false assertion. This was reason for Schultz to criticize McCain rather than defend her.

Charles McCarthy
Highland, N.Y.

Immigrant Assimilation Process

An American-Muslim immigrant spoke recently at the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia and later on MSNBC TV and other programs. His performances offered an excellent example of how the “integration” of immigrants takes place in this country. This American-Muslim originally came to America to attend college. He and his wife liked life here in the US and they stayed — but mainly for the sake of their children. One son became a US Army captain, who later gave his life fighting for the US in Iraq. That’s serious assimilation! Sadly, many Americans have no grasp of how this assimilation process works. Immigrant parents typically struggle in this new US environment, but their children become quickly “Americanized” and do just fine. It matters not where the parents come from — Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Korea, where ever — because the parents will always stick to their children and the children will in turn educate and “assimilate” their parents. Hence, immigration is truly a “win-win” process: the immigrant families win and the US wins.

Rolland Amos
Severn, Md.

Followers Blinded by Deceit

The Wannabe Billionaire who wants to be President continues to inflate his presence with lies upon lies upon lies. Now, the Chief Promoter of Birther Treachery claims that accusations about President Obama’s origin came from Hillary Clinton. That might be laughable on a TV sitcom, but stunningly indicative of mental dysfunction on the presidential forum. Equally stunning is the continued loyalty and adulation of the Narcissistic Bully’s followers. The Shifty Huckster could stand up in front of a rally and say, “I am not here,” and his supporters would leave, disappointed they didn’t get to see him.

Bruce Joffe
Piedmont, Calif.

From The Progressive Populist, October 15, 2016


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