Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wait. Did someone say this this over? I didn't think so.

Just when I thought things were safely settled, they're not. Sure, Sanders handed the nomination to Clinton and there are people who are supremely pissed off about that. I was for a brief moment, very brief. Then I went back to work. Even yesterday morning, I was ready to concede that we may have to accept Hillary Clinton. But that all changed only a few hours later when I read this:
"One day after calling for Democratic party unity, Bernie Sanders says he’s an independent"
Bernie is still in it. Now he's an independent. I heard that he never formally released his delegates and he sure as hell didn't let them have his email list. The revolution is still on.

Now that he's an independent again, I'm going all out for Jill Stein. I really love the Green Party. I want to see them in all 50 states on the ballot, and there are millions of other people that want that, too. We have the numbers, all we really need to do is organize. Remember, Democrats have been polling lately at about 45% as not being willing to vote for Hillary. Roughly 30% of the voters are registered Democrats, though that may have changed some with the #demexit. 43% of voters are independent and they now have a choice. That is a massive number of disaffected voters.

I found myself watching the morning news today and I just could not believe the theme: All Hillary, all the time. "Hey, look at that! We just nominated a woman to run for president! Character? C'mon. This isn't about character, this is about making history! This is about election a woman for president!" Sexism is only cool if you support Hillary Clinton, right?

In social media, there were reports from people who were there, of how officials at the DNC were taking away Bernie signs and kicking people out who didn't comply. They are literally strong-arming conformity of support at the convention. And there was not a word of the walkout by a large contingent of Sanders supporters on the CBS segment I happened to be watching. They want to give the impression of solidarity behind Clinton, but that's not what is happening.

Take a look again at Real Clear Politics. They keep polling averages for the candidates in numerous races, including this presidential election. Trump is now polling an average of 1.1% ahead of Clinton. Before the endorsement, Clinton had an average of an 11 point lead in the polls over Trump. That went down to about 2% just before she secured the nomination. Now she's underwater.

I mentioned the current polling average in a comment on a post in Google+ and someone asked about Mitt Romney. I guess he had been polling better than Obama at one point and still lost. So let's put this in perspective. According to RCP, on July 27th, 2012, Obama was at +2.7 favorable/unfavorable. Romney was at 43.1/43.1, a tie between favorable and unfavorable. Romney wasn't polling any better than Obama.

Both Clinton and Trump are deeply negative with the following averages showing Hillary at -17 points and Trump at -21, but Trump was actually much worse only a few weeks ago. In other words, his polling has vastly improved from before Hillary received the endorsement and the nomination. On July 9th, Trump was polling at -33, Hillary -22. Granted, both are still near historical lows for any presidential candidate, as they are still unloved by a pretty good chunk of Americans.

It's worth noting that the 538 blog went from confident that Clinton would win to forecasting a win for Trump: Shock Poll: Nate Silver’s Election Forecast Now Has Trump Winning. Check this out from Business Insider:
"Most bookies now give him odds of 13/8 to win the election in November — far shorter than the 150/1 outsider odds he started with."
If you're a member of the DNC, these numbers are nothing to celebrate. This trend should instill serious panic among Democrats. Still feeling warm and fuzzy about the nomination? Probably not.

So while Hillary is pivoting to the right to snub progressive liberals, Trump is proving to be the end of the conservative movement, at least according to Katherine Miller at Buzz feed. There is a populist wave in the GOP that has put Trump on top. He's against trade deals like the TPP and NAFTA. He's talking about putting Americans first and he's left out much of what was considered standard GOP fare in his acceptance speech for the nomination:
Nearly absent from this speech — Trump’s coronation before millions of people — were many of the issues that have defined and dominated the Republican Party in recent years (abortion, Israel, soluble entitlements) at the exclusion of one (immigration). More to the point: Trump is all about government. He is for a government that takes care of you. He is disinterested in talk of democratic principles. He is concerned with the inactivity of the state, not the tyranny of power. The idea that you don’t want government in your life, the premise of movement conservatism for six decades, is gone.
It's a great long read, so dig in with your coffee. You'll need it. Miller goes on to say:
The reality is that there we’re currently witnessing rapid shifts in: the geopolitics of Europe and the Middle East, the politics of U.S. and Russian hegemony, the demographic makeup of the United States, the way we buy things, the way we communicate. The reality is that Hillary Clinton is the last globalist, the last interventionist, the last corporatist left in the race. The American tradition for a century has been globalist, interventionist, corporatist. But traditions can end, parties can change, ideologies can die out. We are living through the end of an inflection point that started 15 years ago. Do not underestimate that what happens next could be something you’ve never seen before.
I believe that most Americans are finally seeing through the facade of standard American politics for what it has been for about the last 40 years, particularly with respect to Wall Street: hey, 99%? Screw you, I've got mine - now get lost. That's the message we got, with even greater intensity from the Reagan Administration going forward. If the millenials have anything to say about this one, I'd say we're seeing the end of the neoliberal agenda of the Republicans and Democrats. I would even go so far as to say that we may well see the end of the dominance of the two major parties within 10 years as people seek meaningful alternatives.

That's why I feel some hope for Jill Stein. She may yet have a chance to win or at least make a deep impression upon Americans that there is actually an entire political party that is not built on large contributions from very wealthy interests. Stein is not dependent on the billionaire class for money. She wants to get big money out of politics just like many of us do and admits it openly.

Yesterday, my post was about the realization that if we're not happy with politics today, we must acknowledge that it is a reflection of our participation in it. I also got an earful from someone (you know who you are, and thank you :) ) who pointed out that I should not wait until the Green Party makes their way to the ballot on all 50 states. it is worth noting that all the candidates for both major parties had to petition to get on the ballot for all 50 states to compete in the primaries. The Green Party is no exception and to be a worthy contender, that status should have been achieved by early this year.

This is not to besmirch them, it is to acknowledge that getting on the ballot in every state is difficult. It requires organization. Winning elections requires observers everywhere. As we have seen in this primary race, there were irregularities in many of the states and there is a lawsuit underway to undo the damage done. But it may not be in time for this election.

As I said yesterday, we may need to work from the bottom up to make effective change happen. We may still have a shot at getting someone we truly want in the White House, and for me, that is Jill Stein. I want to see an economy built on renewable energy, I want to see social and racial justice. I want to see big money out of politics. I want to free up the economy by abolishing student debt and making public education free. The Green Party platform is almost a mirror image of the Sanders platform. It reads a bit like the talking points of Bernie Sanders.

Sanders is now an independent. I don't know how much time he will spend campaigning for Clinton if at all. But we can count on him to work for down ballot candidates like Tim Canova, in opposition to people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I think that a strategy is emerging, at least in my mind: promote Jill Stein while promoting progressive down ballot Democrat candidates.

Yes, I wish I were still pushing for Sanders as the nominee, but that's done. At the very least, by doing everything we can to get Jill Stein elected, we can send a clear message to both parties that the old games are not working for us. We simply won't play them anymore.
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