Friday, October 14, 2016

In 2016 Vote For No One

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman 


The choices offered in this presidential election are just as abysmal as they have been in previous elections. And who are people really voting for? The next figure head of the empire: someone who will oversee the continuation of phony wars (e.g. terror and drugs) perpetrated against the American people under the guise of protecting our 'freedoms': someone who will oversee the doling out of favors, which is made incumbent by the norm of reciprocity: someone who will oversee the further concentration of power, via upward wealth redistribution, into fewer hands. No matter who is elected president in November, the same system will remain in place. At most he/she may tweak it a bit; Clinton might get paid family leave implemented or Trump might push through his tax cuts, but the same neoliberal system will be left in place, the same police state will be left unabated (and probably made even more repressive given the leading candidates attitudes toward civil liberties), and the same imperialist wars will be continued.

It might be worth it to mention some of our candidates' positions just to demonstrate what most people should already know. I've listed the candidates and some of their positions in descending order, from worst to least worst.

Clinton's policies
supported war in Iraq
supported war in Afghanistan
supported Libyan rebels who carried out an ethnic cleansing of black Libyans
after Gadhafi’s death 
wants
supports CIA drone war (now in 7 countries)
will probably start WWIII as president (as indicated by her hawkish tone on Syria)
supported TARP bailout
supported repeal of Glass Steagall Act (under her husband's admin)
supports Import-Export bank: provides low interest rate loans to multinationals
supported Patriot Act and its extension
supports NSA prism program
supports terrorist watch list
supports no fly list and wants to use it to also curtail 2nd amendment rights
supports the Trans Pacific Partnership (in fact she advocated it as secretary of state)
supports ruthless dictators like former Egyptian president Mubarak, King Salman bin Abdulaziz (and former King Abdullah) and Al Sisis
her top campaign donors include JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, BOA, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley

Trump's Policies
supported war in Iraq (as indicated in 2002 Howard Stern Interview)
supported TARP bailouts
wants a national 'stop and frisk'
believes American citizens accused of terrorism should be tried in military courts
he is ok with using eminent domain to take property from one private citizen and give it to another (Kelo vs. City of New London)
supports NSA prism program 
proposed looting people's bank accounts as a way to pay down the national debt in a 2000 CNN interview
supports terrorist watch list
supports no fly list and wants to use it to also curtail 2nd amendment rights
supports reauthorization of Patriot Act
supports Obama's drone wars in seven countries
wants to deploy 30,000 troops, and God only knows how many private mercenaries, to Iraq and Syria

But....
He opposed the reauthorization of Import-Export Bank 
Is the only candidate, besides Jill Stein, who has spoken out against the Trans Pacific Partnership
Wants to reinstate Glass-Stegall Act
Is less hostile to Russia and the Syrian government
and unlike Hillary, he isn't bought off by the finance industry

Trump is by far the lesser evil, but the lesser evil is still a bad choice. Neither of the two sincerely believe in the neoconservative ideology they are peddling; their true ideology is egotism. The biggest difference is that Trump is at least open to compromise.

Gary 'bake the cake' Johnson's Policies

or perhaps he could be more aptly called Gary 'what is Aleppo?' Johnson 

He wants to replace the federal income tax with a 23% national sales tax which is worse in some regards because it is a tax specifically on labor and would shift most of the burden of taxation onto the working class. Soak the poor is what Johnson's so called fair tax amounts to.

He supports the Trans Pacific Partnership, like any quintessential neoliberal who's concept of freedom amounts to cheap labor for multinationals and often bonded labor, since five of the twelve countries that have signed on are havens for human trafficking.

He opposes campaign finance reform and is opposed to any of the current limits on campaign donations, despite the fact that he would have a much better chance if political campaigns were only allotted public funding and SuperPacs were prohibited.

And did I mention he thinks jewish bakers should be forced to bake nazi cakes, even though political affiliation isn't a protected class in any civil rights legislation. I think what he was actually trying to convey was that Christian bakers, and christian wedding planners, and christian ministers should be forced to celebrate homosexual marriage against their conscience. If that is the case then it undermines any other objection he may have to any other forms of forced labor.

I probably agree with the vast majority of Gary Johnson's platform, especially when it comes to foreign policy and civil liberties, but his position on the TTP and tax reform, his wack-a-doodle demeanor, and his gross ignorance on current events makes him untenable as a candidate. I could tolerate some of his atrocious policies, but his support for the Trans Pacific Partnership was a deal breaker. Its pretty sad that this clown is the best candidate the Libertarian Party has to offer. 

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