Scary Parallels

In the early 1930s the people of Germany, theoretically at least, had a clear choice. Unfortunately, they made a slight boo-boo: they chose Adolph Hitler as their leader. Ouch! And did he ever lead! Double Ouch!

Millions upon miIlions of deaths later, WW2 climaxed in an unprecedented fireworks display with the incineration/evaporation of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945. Tens of thousands of people perished!

There are, of course, countless other examples of our species’ rapt fascination with brutality and massive mayhem on a global scale. And so it goes — on and on, ad infinitum. The Evil Gene is alive and flourishing and once again flexing its prodigious muscles!

The parallels between Germany’s 1933 elections and our own upcoming presidential election some 83 years later are spookily eerie, indeed. Hitler seduced the German people back then, and what followed was not particularly pretty.

The German people had a choice in the 1930s, but they blew it. We also have a choice in November. The world can ill afford one more egomaniacal buffoon! Just say “No thanks!” to Little Donnie Trump. “Not now, not tomorrow and not ever!”

For the sake of the whole world, let us not blow this one. Just say “NO!”

Sidney J. Williams
Lubec, Maine

Vote FOR Hillary

Hank Kalet is not helping the progressive cause with his declaration that he is not casting his vote for Hillary [“Against Evil,” 11/1/16 TPP]. His cop out is, “I’m not voting for Clinton; I’m voting against Trump.” Kalet writes, “We do what we failed to do, for the most part, over the last seven-plus years — hold her feet to the fire.”

These are words that can lose an election. He and every writer, pundit, journalist and editor would better aid our cause by emphasizing the disasters Obama inherited and how deep a hole in which he began.

Two illegal, costly wars, which even with military victory and occupation, could not succeed afterward, resulted from the Bush/Cheney Republican administration, not from any Democratic source or individual Democrat.

At home, it was during GOP leadership that the nation sunk into an economic meltdown, leaving Obama with the worst recession since the “Great Depression.”

Obama has cleaned up the GOP mess both at home and abroad despite the stonewalling, obstructionist, do-nothing, gridlocking, not so loyal opposition.

We should vigorously defend him against the slurs and defamations put out by Trump.

You don’t see or hear Republicans criticizing the Bush/Cheney administration even though they know how disastrously destructive it was to our country.

At this critical time, the last thing any liberal progressive should do is write anything detrimental about our Democratic presidential candidate. Heather Digby Parton’s column [“Years of Smears have Created a Fictional Version of Hillary Clinton,” 10/1/16 TPP] sets a perfect example why all of us, including Mr. Kalet, should unqualifiably support Hillary. I am definitely voting FOR her, AND against Trump.

D.R. Stashko
Holly, Mich.

Reich’s ‘Yuge’ Lesser-of-Two-Evils Campaign

Robert Reich [in “Trump’s ‘Yuge’ Bamboozle,” 10/15/16 TPP] delivers yet another predictable endorsement piece for Hilary (although he is careful to mention her only once with an infrastructure aside) under the guise of Trump’s budgets, scary tax cuts, deficits and the 1% getting more money. His essays always come with his first Clinton pedigree, “of which I was proud to be a member” which also includes Madeline Albright, Netanyahu and other notables. This is all woven into prioritizing the balancing of the budget and how it would only benefit Trump and the 1% while choking off trade with other countries, hurting Americans, bad air and water quality (I believe that is already happening, Mr. Reich, but perhaps not where he lives).

In truth, not  signing another trade deal like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will assure Americans and others around the globe that we will be able to address climate change with clean energy, the environment, indigenous people rights, and human rights without fear of corporate retaliation. We cannot afford more trade deals that are win-wins for the corporations who either exist tax-free while paying slave wages or, when there is pushback, they have the right to sue under these trade agreements. Some recent examples, Keystone XL is suing the US taxpayers for $15 billion for lost revenue, Ecuador is being sued for $2.3 billion by US Occidental Petroleum, Australia spent $50 billion in taxpayer money to fight a US tobacco suit to keep the health warnings on their labeling, to name just a few. Just ask our neighbors to the south how things worked out for them after NAFTA was signed. 

Mr. Reich’s piece is just another spin on his “lesser of two evils” campaign where we are supposed to spend the next four years trying to fix things with the very candidate who is corporate sponsored, while continuing to march further into never-ending wars with an expanding nuclear armament and more destruction wherever we turn our attention. He implies that the military tab today of $600 billion is somehow acceptable. It isn’t. We are the largest arms dealer on the planet, that’s what we export. It’s time we got out of the business and focused on the American people and planet

The only “yuge” bamboozle is to vote for either of them. Jill Stein is the only candidate with a real plan. 

Patty Denison
Bloomington, Ind.

It Can Happen Here

It was a bold plan, simple and possible. Hillary would sweep into office with votes, equally, of dismayed status-quo conservatives and alarmed anti-Reich liberals. Both houses would flip. President Clinton could govern how she pleased. (Hint: the arrow in her H logo points due right.)

But the Trump movement keeps raising a furor.

A racist/fascist impulse is the syphilis of American politics. Symptoms come and go, but the infection is complete.

Democrats are thoroughly fascist. Observe their propagating Bush wars; burgeoning surveillance state; concentrated campuses of poverty patrolled by random-death squads; contracting out of government functions to corporate clients. Democrats are more self-deluded as racists. They are secretly convinced, after two generations of civil rights, that racial imbalance in the underclass represents some natural order.

There is no racial genetic component for intelligence nor violence. A society in which any racial group underperforms is racist. …

A just society lifts all citizens from the very bottom. It imposes sacrifice from the very top. Our preoccupation with the middle class (a hallmark of fascism, by the way) directs power in the service of permanent order - a useful definition of fascism.

The Trump phenomenon is almost cinematically fascist. It seems he plagiarized his stage presence from Jack Oakie in The Great Dictator. But without unapologetic racism, American fascism can’t repeat the Nazi debacle. Even textbook racists on the right object to the label. And the foreign policy component of “Make America Great Again”, a consequential war — with flag pins on a map, and set-piece battles with names, and heroes and celebrity generals and propaganda films and glory! — is ruled out by mutually assured destruction.  In post-historical America, a Trump regime will not substantially differ from Clinton’s or Obama’s or Bush’s or Clinton’s or Bush’s...

I always vote for hope and change. Collapse is change of a sort. But that’s too much to hope.

M. Warner
Minneapolis, Minn.

Recognize Injustices

Re. “Bigots Beware: White Athletes Becoming Sympathetic to Anthem Protests” by Dave Zirin [10/15/16 TPP]: For reasons that I’ll never know, the Navajo Code Talkers of WWII fame helped defeat the enemies of a nation whose government tried for many years to exterminate not only their people, but all American Indians from the face of the Earth.

Those men, I’m sure, would have stood during the national anthem. Yet who could blame any native Americans (who even today remain marginalized in our society) for choosing not to do so?

And who could blame any blacks who, as a protest to living in a country that values the lives of whites far more than the lives of blacks, also choose not to stand for the anthem?

Racial profiling, mass incarceration of blacks, and other injustices are evidence of a system of racial prejudice which we ignore at our peril.

Rising to one’s feet during patriotic ceremonies is, in my opinion, a method of mass control to keep all of us in a state of conformity.

Nevertheless, as long as ours is a free society, those who are suffering from their country’s contempt for them should have the right to reveal their pain for all to see.

I praise those white men and women athletes who sympathize with them and sit by their side during the anthem.

David Quintero
Monrovia, Calif.

Two Sides of Patriotism

In “Athletics, Philanthropists and Schools” [10/15/16 TPP], Seth Sandronsky brings up the Kaepernick protest. Colin Kaepernick’s flag and national anthem protest is understandable because of Black Lives Matter. However, what is not mentioned is Kaepernick’s patriotic fervor for our military. So how does he justify supporting the military that mirrors police practices? The military sole reason for existence, besides funding our military industrial complex, is to kill “The Other, either directly or through proxies.

Denise D’Anne
San Francisco, Calif.

From The Progressive Populist, November 15, 2016


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