By What Right?

Quo warranto.

It’s part of obscure legal terminology. Literally, it translates as “by what warrant”. It is a legal formulation that questions authority in ruling over others, acting in an official manner, demanding compliance, claiming ownership, possessing economic benefits, making use of natural resources, declaring rights, etc. More than anything, it’s the last in the list that is most relevant to the modern mind. By what right?

Quo warranto has a specific legal meaning based on almost a millennia of Anglo-American history. But the idea itself is quite basic and intuitive, not to mention more broad and older (such as settling territorial disputes in the ancient world, “Do you not possess that which Chemosh, your god, has given into your possession? And shall we not possess that which our God has given into our possession?”; Judg. 11:24). This question of authority is at the heart of every challenge to anyone who has demanded or denied something to another. It’s an issue of what kinds and what basis of rights, who gets them and who enforces them.

Every teenager implicitly understands this, an age when arbitrary power becomes clear and burdensome. This sense of unfairness is far from limited to teenagers, though. It concerns every person who was ever taxed without representation, enslaved, indentured, debt bondaged, imprisoned, tortured, sentenced to death, had their land taken away, made homeless, put in a reservation or ghetto or camp (concentration camp, internment camp, or refugee camp)—anyone who felt disempowered and disenfranchised, who experienced power that was unjust and abusive, oppressive and overreaching.

Even the powerful sometimes find themselves demanding by what authority something is being done to them or to what they own. Such as governments forced to deal with revolts and revolutions, kings who have been deposed and sometimes beheaded, politicians confronted by mobs and protesters, and company owners having their businesses shut down by strikers. Authority ultimately is enforced by power and power comes in many forms, typically from above but sometimes from below. Of course, in a real or aspiring democracy, the issue of quo warranto takes on new meaning.

In the United States, quo warranto is most well known in its form as states rights. The history of this involves the secession and Civil War, Native American treaties and land theft, the American Revolution and early colonial relations with the British Parliament and Crown. As such, states rights are directly related to charter rights, as the colonies all had official charters and sometimes were operated as corporations. Charter organizations were once a far different kind of political and economic entity.

The later states of the United States were no longer treated as having charters for, in the early US, they were considered the ultimate source of authority as representatives of the people, not the federal government. It was (and still is) the role of states, instead, to give out charters—and, based on past British experience of the sometimes oppressive abuse of charters, the early states were extremely wary about giving out charters and extremely restrictive in the charters they did give. They wanted to be clear by whose authority charters were upheld or revoked.

This is a long way off from the origins of quo warranto. It first became a serious legal precedent in English law with King Edward I. His actions in challenging particular charters inadvertently helped to institutionalize those and other charters, specifically Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest. Initially, his focus was on the charters of boroughs, in their self-governance which at the time meant rule by local aristocracy.

This related to feudalism, the commons, and the rights of commoners—as they developed over the centuries. Feudalism formed the basis of later corporatism that became so important during the colonial era. Also, the notion of rights transformed over time as well. The commoners had their rights in relation to the commons. Once the commons were enclosed and privatized, the commoners became landless serfs. This led to centuries of social upheaval, from the English Civil War to the American Revolution.

When the first colonies were established, they quickly began to grow. England had to come to terms with its developing role as an empire. What were the rights of Englishmen as related to the rights of imperial subjects, Englishmen and otherwise. Many colonists sought to maintain rights of Englishmen while some in power sought to take them away. There was the additional problem that an increasing number of British and colonial citizens were not ethnically English. They were also Welsh, Scottish, and Irish; French, German, and Dutch—not to mention enslaved Africans and native populations.

Empire building is messy and complicated. If you want to rule over people, you have to justify your rule to compel compliance. Empires before had faced this dilemma, such as the Roman Empire, which eventually led a Roman emperor to declare all free inhabitants (no matter ethnicity, religion, or place of birth) to be Roman citizens with the rights thereof.

As Roman republicanism was an inspiration for the American founders, I’m sure this historical detail didn’t pass unnoticed—certainly not by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, a learned man about ancient history. Thomas Paine noted the problem of a multicultural empire; and, using different words, essentially brought up quo warranto: If a large number of colonists weren’t English, then by what right do the English have to rule such a vastly diverse and distant population? Even John Dickinson, no fan of revolution, ultimately defended the right if not the principle of revolution based on the precedence of quo warranto in constraining governmental power.

The colonial aspect is inseparable from that of corporations. Early charters didn’t clearly distinguish between types of official organizations. All charters were creations by the government and supposedly served the purposes of the public good. Chartered organizations were public institutions, having no independent rights other than what a government gave them and those rights necessitated obeisance to law and order, a public duty to country and countrymen, and a set of social obligations with a proscribed reason for existence and only for a set period of time before requiring renewal or forfeit.

Technically, even to this day, corporations as chartered by governments remain public institutions, not private organizations. Corporate charters can be revoked at any time for numerous reasons. But a corporate charter isn’t required to operate a business. A corporate charter simply gives legal and economic protections to a business in exchange for serving or at least being in compliance with the public good. What has changed is that, in corporations gaining power over the government, they’ve declared their own private interests to be primary—so defining public interests according to private interests instead of the other way around as it had been defined for all of previous history.

In early America, the idea of corporate personhood would not only have been an alien and oppressive idea but likely even sacreligious. The American founders and the generations that followed knew the dangers of corporate charters to act as oppressive agents of government or to take power for themselves in co-opting the power of government, even gaining influence over government. They regularly warned against this and wrote laws to protect against it. The acute awareness of this danger continued into the early 20th century, only having been forgotten in recent times.

Finding ourselves in an era of corrupt and oppressive corporatism, of a rigged political system and what at this point appears to be a banana republic, of a distant government disconnected from our lives and our ability to influence, of a militarized police state in endless war, we the people are confronted with questions of legitimacy. These are same questions faced by generations before us, by centuries of protesters and revolutionaries. By what right are we being ruled, if it isn’t by the authority of we the people in governing ourselves? Quo warranto?

* * *

Quo warranto

Quo warranto (Medieval Latin for “by what warrant?”) is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right or power (or “franchise”) they claim to hold. […]

In the United States today, quo warranto usually arises in a civil case as a plaintiff’s claim (and thus a “cause of action” instead of a writ) that some governmental or corporate official was not validly elected to that office or is wrongfully exercising powers beyond (or ultra vires) those authorized by statute or by the corporation’s charter.

REAL Democracy History Calendar July 4-10

King Edward I, first to utilize the “quo warranto” written order
Quo warranto is a Medieval Latin term meaning “by what warrant?” It’s a written order by a governing power (e.g. Kings in the past, legislatures early in U.S. history, and courts in the present) requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising a claimed right or power. It originated under King Edward I of England to recover previously lost lands, rights and franchises.

This power was transferred to states following the American Revolution. State legislatures utilized “quo warranto” powers to challenge previously chartered or franchised corporations that acted beyond their original privileges granted by the state. The result was frequent revocation of corporate charters and dissolution of the corporations — in the name of affirming sovereignty/self-governance.

All 50 states still retain elements of quo warranto. The authority concerning the creation and dissolution of corporations was meant to be a legislative power, not judicial.

Real Democracy History Calendar April 4-10

State ex rel. Monnett v. Capital City Dairy Co., 62 OS 350 (1900) – example of corporate charter revocation
It was common practice in the 19th and early 20th centuries for state legislatures and courts to revoke the charters or licenses of corporations that violated the terms or conditions of their charters. The legal procedure for this was called “quo warranto” in which the state demanded to know what right the corporation possessed to act beyond the terms of its state-granted charter.

Some states were more active than others in utilizing this democratic tool. Here’s an example of the language from an Ohio State Supreme Court “quo warranto” charter revocation decision:

“Quo warranto” may be invoked to stop corporation’s disregard of laws in conduct of authorized business, and to oust corporation if abuse be flagrant….The time has not yet arrived when the created is greater than the creator, and it still remains the duty of the courts to perform their office in the enforcement of the laws, no matter how ingenious the pretexts for their violation may be, nor the power of the violators in the commercial world. In the present case the acts of the defendant have been persistent, defiant and flagrant, and no other course is left to the court than to enter a judgment of ouster and to appoint trustees to wind up the business of the concern.”

A Better Guide than Reason: The Politics of John Dickinson
by M.E. Bradford

Yet still he felt obliged to deny the principle of revolution, even as he maintained the right. As he had done in the Farmer’s Letters. As he had done since his first appearance in public office, as a member of the Delaware assembly in 1760. For, like no other American political thinker, John Dickinson had absorbed into his very bones the precedent of 1688. In abbreviated form, that creed might be abstracted as follows: The English political identity (the Constitution in its largest sense, including certain established procedures, institutions, chartered rights and habits of thought) is a product of a given history, lived by a specific people in a particular place. Executive, judicial, and legislative arms of government are bound by that prescription and must deal with new circumstances in keeping with its letter and its spirit. The same configuration qua Constitution should be available to all Englishmen, according to their worth and place, their deserts. And any man, upon his achievement of a particular condition (freeholder, elector, magistrate, etc.) should find that his rights there are what anyone else similarly situated might expect. Finally all Englishmen are secure against arbitrary rule under this umbrella and have an equal right to insist upon its maintenance. To so insist, even to the point of removing an offending component by force, is loyalty to the sovereign power.[3] To submit to “dreadful novelty” or dangerous innovation,” even if its source is a prince or minister who came rightfully to his position, is treason.[4] For the authority belongs to the total system, not to persons who operate it at a given time. Or rather, to such persons as “stand to their post” and attempt with and through it nothing contrary to the purpose for which it has been developed. It was this historic and legal identity, formed over the course of centuries by so much trial and error and with such cost in turmoil, which was deemed to be worth whatever efforts its preservation might require—given the danger of being called a rebel—because it was the best known to man.[5] And therefore the most “natural” and conformable to reason. To correct any declension from such experienced perfection was thus clearly more than patriotic. Like the Glorious Revolution itself, it could be called an assertion of universal truth.

[3] Dickinson cites Lord Camden and the statute quo warranto 18th of Edward I. See The Political Writings of John Dickinson, 1764-1774 (New York: Da Capo Press, 19701, edited by Paul L. Ford (originally published 1895), p. 485. From Lord Coke to Chatham ran the argument that law bound King and Parliament. See the famous Dr. Bonham’s Case, 8 Coke 118a (1610). Also Herbert Butterfield, The Englishman and His History (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1970).

“Why Process Matters,” By Bruce Frohnen
by Peter Haworth

It is worth noting, here, that we Americans owe our liberty, in no small measure, to a rather obscure set of circumstances going back eight hundred years in England. This set of circumstances arose from the greed and desire for power of a king, which were somewhat ironically channeled in a direction favorable to liberty by the procedural tool he chose in his quest.

First signed in 1215, Magna Carta generally is credited with institutionalizing due process in the English tradition. By committing the king to prosecute subjects only according to “the law of the land,” Magna Carta bound him to abide by procedures already existing throughout his kingdom, solidifying a powerful bulwark against arbitrary arrest and punishment. But the binding nature of law on kings was far from assured by this one document. It was significantly bolstered later in the thirteenth century by a series of events that combined elements of custom, law, and contract and related to the humble English borough.

Medieval English boroughs were relatively important towns with their roots in military encampments. Over time, many of these communities gained charters from the crown giving them significant rights of self-government. Whether awarded to them for special services or monetary donations, or rooted in customary relations from time out of mind, these charters were precious to those who held them. In theory, kings could only revoke such charters for cause, or for failure to exercise their rights. King Edward I (1272-1307) sought to bring boroughs more closely into his power by reviewing all their charters at essentially the same time. To do this he used an old common law writ called “quo warranto.”

Quo Warranto (or “by what right”) was a proceeding by which a person or community claiming a right to do something (say, appoint their own tax collectors or keep goods found on the local beach from a wrecked, unclaimed vessel) was ordered to show by what right they exercised their claimed powers. Before Edward, kings occasionally had revoked borough charters, either under quo warranto or through unilateral action. Edward had a grander scheme, by which he made every borough answer the question of by what right they exercised their powers of local self-government. If the party answered the writ successfully they would keep their rights, but if not the charter would be confiscated or held void. […]

Edward sought, not the elimination of all borough charters (he had not the power to make that kind of scheme succeed over time) but to better define which boroughs had what rights and to establish that a borough could have its charter revoked for abuse or noncompliance with its provisions. […] Perhaps the most important, if unintentional, byproduct of Edward’s aggressive program of quo warranto was institutionalization of Magna Carta. His grand, universal scheme required formal procedures, establishing due process rights that guaranteed, in the formula of the time, “each man’s own liberty, warranted by a charter, upheld in the courts.” […] Under Edward’s general quo warranto investigation, due process went so far as to show that the king, as a person, was not above the law.

Colonial self-government, 1652-1689
by Charles McLean Andrews
p. 17

The king’s interest in his revenues, as well as the demands of commerce and trade, the nation’s jealousy of Holland, and the influence of men like Clarendon and Downing, must be taken into account if we would understand the navigation acts, the founding of new colonies, the establishment of new boards and committees, and the quo warranto proceedings to annul colonial charters between 1660 and 1688. The colonies were the king’s colonies, and his also was the burden of providing money for the expenses of the kingdom.

Since the attempt to cripple the Dutch by the navigation act of 1651 proved a failure, the act of 1660, in repeating the shipping clause of the earlier act, made it more rigorous. Thenceforth ships must not only be owned and manned by English- men (including colonists), but they must also be built by Englishmen, and two-thirds of the seamen must be English subjects. In later acts of 1662 and 1663, provision was made whereby real or pretended misunderstandings of this clause might be prevented ; and one of the most important functions of the later committees of trade and plantations was, by means of rules as to passes, denization and naturalization, and foreign-built ships, to prevent trade from getting into the hands of foreigners.

American History
by Macrius Willson
p. 310

About the close of King Philip’s War, the king’s design of subverting the liberties of New England were revived anew, by the opportunity which the controversy between Massachusetts, and Mason and Gorges, presented for the royal interference, when New Hampshire, contrary to her wishes, was made a distinct province and compelled to receive a royal governor. ‘Massachusetts had neglected the Acts of Navigation— the merchants of England complained against her—she responded by declaring these Acts an invasion of the rights and liberties of the colonists, “they not being represented in parliament,” and when finally the colony refused to send agents to England with full powers to settle disputes by making the required submissions, a writ of quo warranto was issued and English judges decided that Massachusetts had forfeited her charter. Rhode Island and Connecticut had also evaded the Acts of Navigation, yet their conduct was suffered to pass without reprehension. It was probably thought that the issue of the contest with the more obnoxious province of Massachusetts would involve the fate of all the other New England settlements.

Throughout this controversy, the general court of Massachusetts, and the people in their assemblies, repeatedly declared they would never show themselves unworthy of liberty by making a voluntary surrender of it ; asserting, “that it was better to die by other hands than their own.”—The resolute, unbending virtue, with which Massachusetts defended the system of liberty which her early Puritan settlers had established, and guarded with such jealous care, deserves our warmest commendation. The Navigation acts were an indirect mode of taxing the commerce of the colonies for the benefit of England; and the opposition to them was based, mainly, on the illegality and injustice of taxation without representation—a principle on which the colonies afterwards declared and maintained their independence.

pp. 320-1

In his relations with the American colonies, James pursued the policy which had been begun by his brother. The charter of Massachusetts having been declared to be forfeited, James at first appointed a temporary executive government, consisting of a president and council, whose powers were to extend over Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Plymouth; and soon after he established a complete tyranny in New England, by combining the whole legislative and executive authority in the persons of a governor and council to be named by himself. Sir Edmund Andros received the office of governor-general.

It being the purpose of James to consolidate all the British colonies under one government, measures were immediately taken for subverting the charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut, both of which colonies were now charged with making laws repugnant to those of England. Writs of quo warranto were issued against them, but the eagerness of the king to accomplish his object with rapidity caused him to neglect to prosecute the writs to a judicial issue, and the charters were thereby saved from a legal extinction, but Andros arbitrarily dissolved the institutions of these colonies, and by the authority of the royal prerogative alone assumed to himself the exercise of supreme power.

The government of Andros, in obedience to the instructions of his royal master, was exceedingly arbitrary and oppressive, and he often took occasion to remark “that the colonists would find themselves greatly mistaken if they supposed that the privileges of Englishmen followed them to the ends of the earth; and that the only difference between their condition and that of slaves, was, that they were neither bought nor sold.”

In 1688 New York and New Jersey submitted to the jurisdiction of Andros. A writ of quo warranto was issued against the charter of Maryland also, and that of Pennsylvania would doubtless have shared the same fate had not the Revolution in England arrested the tyranny of the monarch. “When some vague intelligence of this event reached New England, the smothered rage of the people broke forth, and a sudden insurrection over threw the government of Andros—sent him prisoner to England—and restored the ancient forms of the charter governments.

The important events in England, of which the new settlement of the crown and the declaration of rights are the closing scenes, are usually designated as the English Revolution, or, the Glorious Revolution of I688. This Revolution gave to England a liberal theory of government, based on the avowed principle that the public good is the great end for which positive laws and governments are instituted. The doctrine of passive obedience to the crown, which the princes of the house of Stuart had ever labored to inculcate—which the crown lawyers and churchmen had so long supported, henceforth became so obnoxious to the altered feeling and sentiments of the people, that succeeding sovereigns scarcely ventured to hear of their hereditary right, and dreaded the cup of flattery that was drugged with poison. This was the great change which the Revolution effected—the crown became the creature of the law;—and it was henceforth conceded that the rights of the monarch emanated from the parliament and the people.

This Revolution forms an important era in American, as well as in English history—intimately connected as the rights and liberties of the colonies then were with the forms and principles of American of government that prevailed in the mother country. From this time, until we approach the period of the American Revolution, the relations between England and her colonies present great uniformity of character, and are marked by no great excesses of royal usurpation, or of popular jealousy and excitement. Hence that portion of our colonial history which dates subsequent to the English Revolution, embracing more than half of our colonial annals; has but a slight connection with the political history of England. The several important wars, however, in which England was engaged during this latter period, extended to America; and an explanation of their causes and results will show a connection between European and American history, that will serve to give more enlarged and accurate views of the later than an exclusive attention to our own annals would furnish.

Moreover, these wars, in connection with the growing importance of colonial commerce, exerted a powerful influence in acquainting the several colonies with each other; thereby developing their mutual interests.—softening the asperities and abating the conflicting jealousies which separated them—and, finally, gathering them in the bonds of one political union. The early portion of our colonial history presents a continuous conflict between liberal and arbitrary principles, and shows why we are a free people:—the latter portion, subsequent to the English Revolution, exhibits the causes which rendered us a united people.

45 thoughts on “By What Right?

  1. This post was inspired by curiosity. I came across that term a number of times this past year or so. It really is an interesting history. As always, it took longer to write than I intended. I had other posts I wanted to work on, as this is my last day off before going back to work. Oh well. It was worth it.

  2. Sorry, you deserve more feedback than that, but it’s late and I’m back to work tomorrow too. Very interesting observations on the connection with corporations, and the sacrilegious (profane) nature of the modern corporation.

    • That’s fine. This isn’t the kind of post to which I usually expect much response. It’s a public information message. I realized it was a potentially boring topic. So I tried to make it relevant.

      In that light, I considered one particularly relevant angle. Much change in the US happens at the local level. You see this with something like same-sex marriage. Citizens assume it’s their right to make laws about such things at the state level. It’s only after large enough support develops at the local level that the federal government gets involved.

      A more contentious issue is drug criminalization. The federal government has long been obtrusive on that issue. But many states or even at the county level have essentially pulled out the quo warranto card. Local laws simply assumed they had the right to legalize marijuana and declared the federal claim to that right to be forfeit. The federal government’s response is that they do have that right, but on a practical level they realize that it is a losing battle.

      Essentially, we have the rights for whatever we choose to fight for. Centralized government will always claim it has the right to do almost anything, until challenged by a strong enough counter-force. Quo warranto isn’t just a question but also a dare. Anyone who backs down from the challenge sets a precedence.

      But it doesn’t matter if there is a refusal to back down, if there isn’t the power to enforce one’s challenge. Southern governments tried to go the quo warranto route, both during the Civil War and Jim Crow. Eventually, the federal government at the behest of shifting public opinion decided to deny their claim. The federal government reversed the challenge, basically stating by what right does anyone have to deny someone else’s rights. States rights were trumped in that case.

      An even more basic example is in the workplace. If your boss fires you and your unionized, you can get union representation. The union representative will demand of the employer, by what right did you fire this person? I’ve seen this happen and I’ve seen employers back down, giving employees their jobs back along with back pay. The union can assert its authority with real threat. When repeated often enough, the employer loses the ability to fire at will and is forced to justify his actions in relation to employees.

      Quo warranto, whether asserted legally or informally, is morally neutral. It can be used by the powerful and by those confronting power. It can be used to defend or challenge almost anything. It’s simply a tactic, but one based on a specific history of rights. That history constrains how it will likely be used and in which ways legitimacy is determined.

  3. There are a lot of warning signs that the US is not going as planned. An example:

    I’m surprised that the mainstream media doesn’t mention these studies when articles like these show up:

    Granted, the first article was written after the second, but I’m sure there have been similar studies before. The US has become a very hostile nation for people in genera.

    • I saw a book recently. But I can’t recall the title. It was written by a Finnish person who moved to the US. They felt stressed out and thought it had to do with moving to a new place. Then the author realized that Americans were stressed in the same way. In Finland, it’s apparently different and stress is not the normal state people live in.

    • I always wonder what goes on behind the scenes. On the outside, we can have no way of knowing what is actually happening and for what reasons. There are strings being pulled. There are people being manipulated, bribed, and blackmailed. I have no doubt of all this. We have no idea what kind of pressure that is being put on Sanders or on someone like Comey. We can’t assume that they’re acting on their own volition. They might be, but they very well might not.

  4. Possibly blackmail of some sort.

    The sad thing is that the only real way not to give in is to boycott the Democratic Party. Voting for them would aid them in their strategy.

    I think that at this point, Green no matter what, including allowing a Trump win might be the lesser evil.

    • I’ll probably vote Green. All I know is that, if I was forced against my will to vote for either Clinton or Trump, I honestly couldn’t say which one I’d choose. It’s like asking me if I’d rather have my left knee cap or right knee cap bashed in by a sledgehammer. Neither sounds all that pleasant.

    • Ok folks, I’m going to jump back in. We three probably have fairly close views on Trump, Sanders and Clinton…..


      (you knew there’d be a “but”:>))

      Remember Gore and Bush? And everyone said, “oh, vote nader, gore and bush are the same”

      So let’s see: President Gore:

      Over 1 million Iraqis would be alive who were killed
      Climate change would have been top priority, dramatic advances in renewable energy (no “Clean Air” initiative from Bush dedicated to destroying the atmosphere)
      and I’m sure you can think of dozens more (Saturday Night Live did a great skit speculating on what a Gore presidency might have been)

      Now, Trump:

      Conservatives justices on the Supreme Court – a 30-50 year at least 6-3 conservative majority: abortion basically outlawed around the country; five year old kids going to local store to buy guns; prayer in all public schools; social security privatized; medicaid and medicare gutted and abandoned; minimum wage laws eradicated; no more unions; every state a right to work state; no worker safety; EPA taken apart; corporations polluting air, earth and water basically with impunity

      and that’s only the Supreme Court. With a house and senate majority, how many new amendments to the constitution – if we still have one?

      Seems pretty clear choice to me, if we can keep Hillary from invading another half dozen countries (about which, by the way, Bernie may not have been all that much better)

      So tell me why I’m wrong! (I could be, I admit it:>))

      • I must admit I’m not in a big mood to debate any of it.

        I’ve been debating people about the candidates for months now on social media. I’m pretty much at the point that either people get my concerns based on the information I know or not. And there ain’t much I can do about it.

        But since I like you, I’ll give you a response, however minimal.

        The 2000 election could lead to a really long debate. Bush wasn’t elected. He was nominated by the Supreme Court. Fuller vote counts done later showed that Gore won Florida. That was despite the fact that way more Democrats voted for Bush than for Nader. Gore wasn’t the most popular Democratic candidate in history, but he held his own against Bush.

        In the end, you can’t blame Nader and his supporters for why so many Democrats voted for Bush which made it so close. Nor can you blame anyone else for why the Supreme Court bypassed the entire electoral system.

        Ultimately, it was Gore’s fault for not fighting for his own voters, as he should have fought to the very end demanding a full recount. He probably was bribed behind the scenes for his concession or else threatened with repercussions if he didn’t. He put his career as a politician over the good of democracy.

        That was a weird election. It gave enough fodder to keep conspiracy theorists busy for a lifetime.

        Your central point is how bad Trump is. I really have no opinion, as most statements about Trump are pure speculation. No one knows why he is running, what he hopes to accomplish, what he would do in office, or even if actually wants to be elected. As far as anyone knows, everything he says is absolute bullshit.

        Even if we take him at his word, which has changed quite a bit, we have to admit that he is far to the left of Clinton on some issues. Accordingly, he might curtail the right-wing neoliberalism that Clinton supports. And he might push for much more progressive healthcare reform. That is if we take him by his word, to the extent we can figure out what exactly he is for.

        I personally don’t take him at his word. I doubt he has any interest in promoting conservative policies or ensuring conservatives get on the Supreme Court. It’s highly unlikely that Trump gives a fuck about any of that. He is just stringing conservatives along because it amuses him, so it seems to me. It’s just a big game to feed his ego.

        What stands out to me is that Trump is part of the establishment, a Democrat for a long time, and good friends with the Clintons. As for Clinton, we don’t have to speculate about her. We know how bad she is and we know what she will do, there being absolutely nothing we could do to stop her (from invading countries or anything else). Once in power, she would go into full neoliberal and neocon mode.

        Remember, Clinton supported killing those over a million Iraqis. We’ll get more of that with Clinton presidency. How many more millions of innocents must die before we take their lives seriously?

      • Because if you let fear of the Republican Party dominate, then the Democratic Establishment can do whatever it wants.

        The Clinton machine would wage war too. She voted for Iraq. Don’t think that the Democratic Establishment would be any less friendly with Wall Street either.

        Inequality rose under the Bill Clinton administration and continues to do so under Obama.

        There will always be Supreme Justice spots opening up.

        The other is that if Clinton wins, there is a very likely reason to believe she will lose 2020. At the very least, she is doomed in the midterms. She doesn’t inspire people. She will face the same problem Obama faced in 2012 only with a much smaller base than Obama had in 2008.

        Large numbers of Democratic supporters going apathetic does nothing, but large numbers going Green sends a clear message to the Democratic Establishment. The game is up.

        When people are dominated by fear from the Establishment, we have tyranny. When people leave the Establishment afraid, we have democracy.

        • Here is my basic message to Democrats in particular and Americans in general: The hour is later than you think. We are past the point of preventing authoritarianism, corruption, or whatever. At best, we can hope for damage control in the short term by no longer supporting the very system causing the problems and maintaining the status quo.

          We need to stop endlessly reacting to the next election, letting ourselves be endlessly manipulated by fear. Down that road is tyranny, as many early Americans understood. We need to pause to get our bearings. Studying some history might be helpful. I’d suggest reading some Anti-Federalist pamphlets in order to be reminded of the real threats that have always existed and have grown worse.

          At present, it would be better to not vote at all than to vote for either of the two main parties. Unless we have the courage of our convictions, unless our threats to the establishment are genuine, nothing will change. If they know they will always have our votes no matter what, they will go on dong what they’ve been doing for decades. The rightward march will continue.

          I guess we could wait for a breaking point to force us to face reality. But that could be violent and messy.

    • For sure.

      A group of hacktivists got into the DNC servers and the same reports came out. They rigged it for Clinton.

    • I’ve lost faith in the system. I didn’t have much faith to begin with. I’ve just stopped caring about election results, at least at the national level (local elections sometimes still matter). There is info coming out all the time showing how much things are rigged. This isn’t anything new exactly, but it seems to be getting worse.

      I’m not going to get excited by Trump maybe being a fascist when I see our country as already being an authoritarian, crony, corporatist police state. Clinton puts greater fear in me than Trump, for she would normalize the far right turn toward despotism. Trump would be like throwing the frog into boiling water. The frog would do its best to jump out again and might save its life. But Clinton is the slow boiling of the frog, an inevitable death.


    Why this election cycle….

    Finally, I had to ask, why the presidency and why now?

    “Why the presidency? Because this election is not only about what kind of a world we will be, but whether we will have a world at all. There are many of us that feel that the clock is really ticking here. Looking at climate change; the day of reckoning is barreling down on us. According to NOAAH ( the national oceanic and atmospheric administration); there could be 9 feet of sea level rise by 2050; which is a civilization ending event.

    So, on account of climate, on account of the next Wall Street crash, (banks are bigger than ever and more prone to fail), the generation of young people that are locked in debt without a future, the expanding wars and nuclear weapons which have begun to proliferate again (thanks in part to the Obama administration and their new $1,000,000,000,000 program to renovate nuclear weapons); we are here in this fight.

    It’s a mistake to think the lesser of two evils will fix things. We are in the target hairs of a neoliberal nightmare. Wars are bankrupting us financially and morally. At least when Republicans are elected, people fight—when Democrats are elected, people are lulled into complacency and fall asleep.

    The clock is ticking here and we sit on the sidelines at our peril. It’s become very clear the lesser evil is in a race to the bottom with the greater evil. We are moving backwards under both regimes.

    It is not to say that the parties are exactly the same–but the differences are not enough to save your job, to save your life, to save the planet.

    We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. The system is not going to fix itself on our behalf.”

    Jill has a strong message to those who decry her reforms as unrealistic adolescent day dreams;

    “It’s very important to just plug your ears to the disinformation campaigns of those who would tell you that this is too expensive or… that it’s not politically feasible. If it’s not politically feasible; it’s time to get rid of the politicians for whom this is not politically feasible.”

    • Well, my comment sparked some interesting thoughts. You know guys (i assume altandmain is a guy?) I really can’t disagree with 99% of what you say. It’s all really interesting stuff and has gotten me thinking.

      Rather than engaging directly in what you’re saying – since it’s all so interesting – I thought I’d play out a scenario here. Just for fun.

      So we’ve got President Trump (i assume neither of you think Jill will get more than 15%, if anything remotely like that). Say it as Clinton 35%, Trump 35.1%, Johnson 16% and Stein 14%. Now I don’t know what the takeaway is for you, but I imagine a very large number of people will takeaway from this that if they can just put together the Trump and Johnson voters, “they” will really do it.

      And in fact, let’s play out a scenario, and say they succeed.

      So now, from 2020 to 2028, we have President Cruz. And 2/3 majority in the Senate and House for the new Conservative party (the one that was the takeaway from the 2016 election). And 2/3 of the statehouses.

      So, let’s look at 2028: A solid 8:1 conservative majority in the Supreme Court for as long as you will be alive. Several new amendments to the constitution:

      Balanced Budget amendment, which made it easier to privatize social security, providing hundreds of billions more dollars to Wall Street, and get rid of Medicare and Medicaid. No disability, so if you’re injured or hurt, you basically go to the poor house where you can sort software components into boxes.
      Prayer in the schools amendment.
      Amendment outlawing all abortions (basically, if a woman tries to self abort or even go to get an abortion, she will be jailed for attempted murder, or imprisoned for life if she succeeds in aborting.
      Revised 2nd amendment, to the point where 8 year olds can go into a convenience store and buy an assault rifle.
      Christianity is made the official religion of the land.
      Torture is made an acceptable component of war, and since it’s so effective in wartime, why not use it on prisoners, suspects, Muslims, Jews, basically, anybody who doesn’t think Christianity should be the official religion.

      Basically, Ben, it’s like Greenville South Carolina has taken over the country. And as crazy as the above sounds, I would guess a majority of Greenville residents would be quite happy with the above. It kind of might make you long for Orwell’s 1984.

      And I’m not disagreeing with what you guys said about Clinton. But look at what I wrote – doesn’t it sound absolutely crazy? But just this morning, the Times had an article about Steven King defending “old white people” as a group who are no longer sufficiently recognized, and noting that no other group in history has contributed so much to civilization.

      Then there was the checkout woman at BiLo in Greenville, who on seeing a Jewish woman said, “Oh, aren’t you Jewish? We’re studying your people in class, we love you.”

      And then there was the phlebotomist who calmly informed my wife (while drawing blood!) that yes, dearie, bless his soul, Obama is most certainly the anti-Christ.”

      • Here is how I see it.

        We can speculate about what might happen. But I think it would be more productive to focus on what we know has happened and will continue to happen, until stopped. Speculations are like opinions—everyone has one. I could offer a counter-speculation to your speculation. I just don’t think it would serve any purpose, in terms of going in the direction of positive change.

        People get crazy when we are at points of inevitable change. That is always the case. But those crazy people aren’t the majority. They will only determine the future if we let them. And by always voting Democrat no matter what we will guarantee a rightward decline.

        I’m focused on the long game. It’s the reactions to every election that has brought us to this dangerous place. If there had been more people willing to focus on the future decades ago, we’d never be at this point now. And if there were more people willing to focus on the future now, we’d prevent it from getting worse.

        I’m not optimistic, though. So many people voting for the corrupt two-party system proves that we aren’t yet ready to face our problems. I suspect we will have to be forced to deal with them eventually. For damn sure, Clinton won’t be our savior. She’ll lead us down a dark path, a path I won’t go down willingly.

        • well, i guess i agree this is a point of inevitable change. Of course, just to be coy, you are also speculating:>)) (short of psychic powers, that is pretty much what one does when talking about the future – later today, or 20 years from now, no?)

          • At present, there is no reason to assume that trends won’t continue for the foreseeable future. Trends continue until something stops them. So, it depends on what is causing them in the first place and what will maintain or change that cause (or causes). In this case, one major cause is the Clinton New Democrats. Obviously, more of the same won’t change what needs to change. But that isn’t to say other factors might intervene to stop the Clinton push to the right. I just wouldn’t want to bet on it.

          • Hmmm, now I really am confused. You seem to have been saying my forecast of trends was irrelevant speculation, but your reading of trends justifies your voting choice.

            It seems to me there has been a clear line of trends from the robber barons of the 1890s, through the outrage and rebellion of the robber baron class to FDR’s New Deal, to Rothbard, Buckley, Goldwater, the infamous Powell memo of 1971, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich (notice how each iteration gets worse?), GW Bush and now T***p.

            But we read the trends differently. And that’s fine:>))

          • It seems we’re talking about different things. In relation to candidates, there are two basic approaches. You can consider their words. Or you can consider their deeds.

            But this is a bit challenging as one major candidate is a lifelong professional politician and the other is a lifelong businessman, although they both have in common that they’re plutocrats who switched parties—Clinton referring to herself as a conservative Goldwater girl as late as 1996 as the first lady and Trump having been a Democrat until quite recently. Besides, both are part of the plutocratic class and establishment, having been friends or at least associates in the same social circle for decades, including the Clintons attending Trumps wedding and Trump praising Hillary’s politics not that long ago.

            Anyway, my point is that it is irrelevant going by their words. Neither of them says what they mean, as their past has proven. Clinton changes her opinions as the winds change. And Trump is an entertainer and demagogue, just looking for attention. Both, of course, are egotists and will do almost anything (including lying, misdirecting, and deceiving) to achieve whatever end they have in mind. Going by their words alone, we’d be limited to pure speculation, as one interpretation of their words is about as good as the next and it depends on which words at what moment and in what context. That leaves us trying to dissect motives behind the rhetoric, an impossible task going by words alone.

            I’m not even necessarily talking about trends with Clinton. It’s simply she has a long political record. We know what she has done over a period of decades. It’s fairly consistent, even if her words aren’t. We don’t need to use guesswork to figure out what kind of politician she is and what she is likely to do. Trump, however, is a harder nut to crack. He has no political record, as he has never been a politician. Yet his stated opinions have changed just as often as a professional politician. For example, going by their past actions in politics and business, there is no particular reason to assume Clinton is the friend of immigrants and Trump the enemy. It is irrelevant what they say, as far as we can tell.

            I simply don’t care what they say. Actions speak louder than words. Neither is what they pretend to be, of which they try to convince their followers. The trends I’d refer to aren’t specific to the candidates per se, other than how Hillary’s present politics are a continuation of her husband’s. As for your trend, I do know how each iteration gets worse and that includes Democrats. That worsening iteration wouldn’t have happened if the Democratic party wasn’t part of the same duopoly. The Clinton New Democrats simply continued some of what previous administrations had done, and so they actively promoted that agenda, such as Hillary Clinton’s strong support of Bush’s War on Terror. I’d note as well that welfare slashing and Reaganomics actually began under the Carter administration and the neoliberalism was pushed even further with Bill Clinton.

            We don’t have to trust anyone’s words to see this worsening tend in both parties, proving the shared complicity in a rightward shift. At the same time, public opinion has been shifting leftward. So, public opinion has had little impact on either party’s positions on major issues, as research shows that politicians of both parties almost always do whatever the wealthiest want them to do. Decades of voting for the continued duopoly of the two-party system has contributed to this worsening, making the partisans complicit as well.

          • Let me clarify by putting it as simply I’m able.

            I don’t consider it to be speculation when it’s stated that something will continue on the path its on, until something else blocks or alters its path. In terms of humans, it’s a general rule that people tend to continue doing what they’ve done in the past, barring a life-changing event (brain trauma, mystical experience, cult brainwashing, etc) or altered external conditions (incarceration, moving to a new country, unemployment, etc).

            None of that applies to Hillary Clinton, as nothing in her life or in the world around her has dramatically changed in recent years, as far as I know. Besides, her political record shows consistent behavior over a period of decades. There is no reason, at present, to predict her behavior will change.

            It is more speculative to predict Trump’s future behavior. He has no political record. Even his present political rhetoric doesn’t match his past words or actions. There is no way for us to know what he might or might not do based on his campaign, since it in no way correlates to any other info we have about him. If anything, we must assume that he doesn’t mean anything he says, until proven otherwise.

            To my mind, that seems like a significant and obvious difference. But as I said, there ain’t much I can do to get others to come around to my viewpoint. I guess this difference doesn’t seem significant and obvious to others. shrug

          • Chris Christie and Ted Cruz, Supreme Court Justices.

            It has nothing to do with T***p. With Republican majorities in the House, Senate and State Houses, if you believe in trends that are likely to continue, this seems like indisputable logic.

            Let’s just say I not only agree but would go further than you in rejecting Hilary Clinton (she stole the election from Sanders, the emails are much worse, she worships at the feet of Wall Street, etc etc)

            The point is, which choice is likely to further progressive causes: A vote for Jill Stein which puts the Republicans in charge of all 3 branches of Federal Government and a majority of state governments, or a strategic move to create an environment which is favorable, at at least the local and state level, to progressive causes?

            Finally, virtually every “trend” indicates a libertarian vote AT LEAST twice as large as anything Green. An equally likely and predictable consequence (since you value predictability) is that very large numbers of people conclude that Clinton’s loss plus the marginal showing for the Greens proves after all that Americans are truly conservative.

            Since you most likely disagree with everything else I said, help me understand the flaw in my logic about the Greens.

            Say – this is a probably trend, I think, though I could be wrong about this too – Johnson gets around 15% AND ends up in the debates (many say that’s a likely possibility) and Stein gets, oh, what, she’s said to be likely to get at most 5%, but for the sake of your point, say she gets 10%. Explain to me, with a T***p presidency and majority Republican control, and with Johnson in the debates, what value such a message sends to anybody? Is there really any Democrat anywhere who will say, “Oh, if only we are able to strengthen third party progressives, we would” – I don’t even know how to finish this sentence…..

            Really, honestly, I’d love to vote for Jill if I thought it made any sense. Infinitely better than Hilary and even better than Bernie, particularly on foreign affairs. But I can’t even see one simple logical trend in that direction. Help me out.

          • This is where we get into even more speculative territory.

            It’s highly possible that a win will be a loss. This is because the two candidates are the most unpopular and mistrusted since data was kept. The party that wins the presidential election will likely lose the midterm election and lose the second term. Not only that, if we are in the middle of the fourth turning crisis (Strauss and Howe), whichever in party gains power now will likely get blamed for everything that goes wrong and could be out of power for a generation.

            You could speculate in some other direction. But the point is speculations are dime a dozen. We can’t even guarantee that a Supreme Court nomination will happen in the next 4 years or, if it does, who it would be. Hillary would likely nominate a corporate lawyer who would further push corporatist neoliberal decisions or whatever, as yet another possible speculation.

            We aren’t going to predict the future. We can’t even know the probability of various possible outcomes. Our predictions, with this high level of speculation, would likely be motivated by our hopes and fears. It’s a fun game to think about the future. Still, it seems rather pointless. Just my opinion.

          • The point is, which choice is likely to further progressive causes: A vote for Jill Stein which puts the Republicans in charge of all 3 branches of Federal Government and a majority of state governments, or a strategic move to create an environment which is favorable, at at least the local and state level, to progressive causes?

            In the long run, a vote for Stein and a Republican victory in 2016 will be best for the left.

            Nobody takes the left seriously in the Democratic Establishment while they know that they can use fear of Trump and lesser evil rhetoric to scare people into voting for them.

            But if the left refuses to comply and then in 2020 and after says “either you give us what you want or you will be looking at a long-term path in the political wilderness” then change will be forced.

            You gotta make short-term sacrifices. Actually, 2020 is far more critical than 2016 simply because it is a census year. The next 10 years will be based on that census. That is one reason why 2010 was so damaging for Obama – he betrayed his base because he was paid for and the Democrats paid for it. The Clinton campaign will suffer the same fate if it wins in 2018 and as I noted, worse in 2020 because unlike Obama in 2008 who had widespread support, Clinton is entering with a split party.

            It will mean the reassertion of the left over the corporate Democrats. After that, then things like Supreme Court justices can be staffed by more left wing justices if need be. Besides, Clinton is likely to put in pro-corporate justices anyways, even if they are socially liberal, it’s not as big a loss. She’s been paid not to after all.

          • Not sure where to put this. Altandmain just replied – I would love to believe what you say, but it sounds like assertions without any logic or evidence to back it up. Really, it sounds great, I’m not critizing your ideals but other paths seem much more likely to me.

            You assert that – I can’t quite get it because the logical connection isn’t clear, but you seem somehow to assume that someone – in the Democratic party, who?? – will “get it” if Trump is elected and – how many people? This was my main question to Ben – 5%, 10% – vote for Stein.

            I’m trying to narrow my focus because while I agree with you guys in your ideals and hopes, I’m not seeing a scintilla of evidence or logic, just wish fulfillment.

            if anybody responds to me on this, can you focus in on one thing, which I think is key.

            You both are voting for Jill Stein and both think it will make a difference.

            Neither of you have specified who is going to be affected by this, and I can’t think of a single mainstream (as opposed to Progressive who already agrees with all 3 of us) Democrat who could care less.

            but the most important point, is, do any of you think Jill will get enough support to get a table at the debates. 10% is WAY beyond what anyone I’ve heard say. But I’ll play along, say she gets 14.9% and Johnson gets 15%. Johnson gets to the debates, Ted Cruz after last night is a hero to all the anti trump conservatives and has a better shot at the presidency in 2020, and with Ted Cruz in the ascendant, Johnson at the Debate table and Trump as president, Stein seems to me to have simply vanished, much to the relief of all those democrats you think will be persuaded.

            Can you please focus on this issue of what difference Stein will make if Johnson gets to the debates and she doesn’t? Ben, you spoke of trends, the trend for the last year, well, for years, shows Stein almost certainly will not get 15% of the vote. Johnson is trending well toward it. To repeat, if Johnson is at the debates, and you get your wishes for a Trump presidency, please somebody tell me how Stein’s 5% (or even 14.9%) makes a real world difference to anybody?

          • I actually haven’t said who I’m voting for. That is because I’m in observer mode. There is no reason to decide before I have to. There certainly is no advantage to declaring allegiances as a public act of social identity.

            I honestly don’t care about any candidate. I care democracy. That is the problem, as we live in a banana republic, at least in terms of national elections. A number of respectable figures (e.g., Jimmy Carter) have been saying for a while that we are now a banana republic, oligarchy, or something along these lines.

            As research shows, the opinions of anyone but the rich has little or no impact on what the political elite choose to do (see Martin Gilen’s Affluence and Influence). This is partly accomplished by controlling who gets nominated and through public perception management (AKA propaganda).

            Just the other day, I came across this gem written around this time last year, from Diana Johnstone’s Queen of Chaos: “Since the War Party dominates both branches of the Two-Party-System, the recent track record suggests that the Republicans will nominate a candidate bad enough to make Hillary look good.” That prediction came before anyone knew who the nomination would be, especially for the GOP.

            I don’t know how we move from a banana republic to a functioning democracy, without a revolution, even a peaceful revolution such as happened in Portugal in 1974. This is why lately I keep repeating that most Americans don’t realize how late is the hour and how high are the stakes. Talking about the results of elections is speculative, but the problems and dangers of failed democracy don’t seem speculative at all to me—although it is speculative in terms of whether reform is still yet possible or revolution at this point inevitable.

            I don’t see how enough reform can happen to avoid mass social unrest or maybe international conflict. Then again, maybe we’ll be surprised that something will finally force reforms to happen, after decades of failed reform movements. Even if so, it will have absolutely nothing to do with electing Hillary Clinton, that is for damn sure, except maybe as her presidency would inspire further public outrage.





          • Again, nothing to disagree with, except your statement about voting. If you abstain from voting for HRC, or vote for someone other than either, you’r voting for DT. In my opinion. Whether or not it makes any difference, well, we’ll see. We probably will continue to disagree on this, so I’m not sure where else to go with that. You’re offering various logical views which I agree with, but I don’t think this particular choice is a matter of of pure logic. It’s a different part of the consciousness that is involved (literally – involved; which is the literal meaning of “maya”).

          • “If you abstain from voting for HRC, or vote for someone other than either, you’r voting for DT. In my opinion.”

            I’d make two points in response.

            First, that plays into the hands of the oligarchs. They have rigged the game such that it both disallows any real choice and expresses a threat. Obviously, it’s a Hobson’s choice. You either take the bad choice they force upon you or you get nothing… or, worse still, you will get punished. Trump is offered by the oligarchs not as a choice but as a threat to keep the public in line. He is the gun that the oligarchs hold to your head, as they tell you what to do or else.

            I don’t tend to respond well to that kind of threat. At times like these, I’m reminded of the quote by Meir Berliner, a Nazi resistance fighter. She said, “When the oppressor gives me two choices, I always take the third.”

            Derrick Jensen used this quote to explain the only way to fight the more clever forms of authoritarianism. One of the things that made the Nazis so effective is that they understood public perception management and crowd control. A technique they used in the concentration camps to ensure cooperation was to form two lines while allowing people to freely choose which line to get into, but the sad reality is that both lines led to the same place, often a gas chamber.

            Taking the third is not a mere protest vote. It’s a statement backed by action that I’m not going to be led like sheep to the slaughter. I don’t have to know the precise bad end that the ruling elite have in mind. I just have to realize that I’m not going to like it when I see it and I better damn well avoid it in whatever way possible. Or failing that, at least to go down fighting.

            Here is the second thing. What you say is true like so many other things, until it’s not true. It’s a social truth dependent on specific social conditions, which in this case means the status quo.

            That is what is always said for decades or generations before change finally happens. It’s the kind of thing that was surely said before the Portugal revolution along with every other revolution, including the American Revolution. It’s the kind of thing that was said about the Democrats and Whigs, until Lincoln ran as a Republican and won the presidency. The Nordic countries had tons of economic and social problems a century ago with a dominant ruling class hidden behind a veneer of democratic rhetoric, and yet within the following generations their societies were transformed and are considered the best in the world.

            The third isn’t a flight of fancy. It’s a real possibility or rather many possibilities.

            “You’re offering various logical views which I agree with, but I don’t think this particular choice is a matter of of pure logic.”

            I agree. Lesser evil voting tries to make it rational, as if evil can be weighed and one evil objectively measured as the greater evil or leading to greater evil. The problem is that isn’t how political evil operates. It’s more insidious than a choice, especially such a superficial choice as the oligarchs allow us to have.

            Taking the third is never rational. No one rationally decides to seek seemingly impossible reform, to start a revolution, or put your life on the line fighting authoritarianism. Imagining something else and then taking the leap into possibility is, in the end, a non-rational act.

            I understand that. And I accept that. Knowing it in my heart as well as in my mind, I take the third. I don’t know exactly what the third is or where it will lead. I only know what it isn’t.

            Between the oligarchs and the people, it’s a game of chicken and one of these days the oligarchs are going to blink. We’ll see what happens on that fine day. I hope it comes while I’m still alive, but even if not it will come eventually. I suspect it will come sooner than many expect.

            “It’s a different part of the consciousness that is involved (literally – involved; which is the literal meaning of “maya”).”

            That is why I speak of the third. It requires something different and deeper. It isn’t just a choice for, more importantly, it would be a transformation. We are presently trapped in a story that we keep repeating. Taking the third is to step outside of that story. And, yes, it’s scary. No one can promise you in advance that it will turn out well. I guess you have faith or not.

            There is no rational argument that will persuade you to take the third. The rational choice within the story we are playing out is to vote for Hillary Clinton. And Trump is the monstrous personification of irrationality, the bogeyman of the liberal imagination. The story told predetermines the ending. The only way to get a different ending is to tell a different story or else to stand back from it all to allow the greater imagination free reign.

            I just know that I’m tired of the same old story, endlessly repeating. If we don’t like the same results, why not try something different? Why allow ourselves to be driven by the demon of fear and illusion?

      • The thing is, most of what you fear will happen anyways under the Democratic Establishment.

        War? Clinton is a hawk.

        Corporate greed? Unregulated by Clinton.

        Inequality? Before the 2000 crash, inequality rose extremely rapidly under Bill Clinton.

        What is particularly insidious about the Democratic Establishment is that they give the appearance that they are for the people, when in reality, they are a bit less right-wing but not much more.

        Both parties agree on the economy and on war. Where they appear to be in disagreement is social issues.

        Contrary to what you are saying, giving the Democratic Establishment a free pass will make most of what fear happen. A large Green vote will force change or cause the Democratic Establishment to lose votes.

        • Even on social issues, there isn’t great difference. Hillary doesn’t give a flying fuck about same sex marriage, for example. It was only a few years ago she was declaring the unassailable sanctity of heterosexual marriage. It was only when she saw public opinion shift that she changed her opinion.

          Neither is she a feminist who is a friend of women. And for damn sure she isn’t a defender of the working class. In the military interventions, bombings and wars she has supported, she has likely contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of women, children, and gay people—most of them poor and brown. Plus, she has used her position to push down wages in countries like Haiti.

          She is the enemy of everything I believe in and value. So, why would I vote someone into power who is guaranteed to do make the world a worst place for everyone who isn’t a plutocrat?

          Does the Democratic establishment think I’m utterly stupid and as morally depraved as they are? Or do they think most Americans are too indifferent, apathetic, and cynical to care what horrible things they do and what lies they tell? When they assume the American public are a bunch of ignorant fools, are they entirely wrong when a large part of the population keeps voting them into power?

  6. A few of the endless reasons I can’t support Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party;

    The memo is just one of several documents released by Guccifer 2.0 proving the Democratic National Committee rigged the system for Clinton. Before the primaries began, DNC strategies were developed with Clinton in mind as the presidential nominee. The leak affirms claims by Bernie Sanders’ supporters that the Democratic primaries were not an election, but rather a coronation for Hillary Clinton.

    Because many of the documents implicate mainstream media outlets in their complacency to adhere to the DNC’s strategy, the Guccifer 2.0 hacks have gone largely unreported. Some of the documents even unveil how the Clinton campaign fed specific stories to the media in order to boost their political agenda.

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