Saturday, August 13, 2016

When public policy takes a back seat to talk of assassinations

I came across this very interesting meme the other day:

I can say that I agree with all of the statements in the meme except one. I take issue with the part about Trump denouncing racism because I've searched for examples but could not find any. Maybe that's because of my search bubble imposed by Google. I don't know. 

I find the whole thing curious. I mean, I've seen pictures of Trump and Bill Clinton together as much younger men. Newsweek has documented their friendship here. A casual search will return many articles and photos documenting their friendship. I even read a New York Times article on the same subject, but I can't seem to find it any more. 

With regard to the issue of racism, I have found documentation suggesting that Trump was and is indeed racist. In the 70's, the Trump business was sued for racial discrimination over apartment rentals and we have seen him making racist statements during his campaign. So I have to wonder, if Trump and Bill Clinton were such great friends, and the Clintons were aware that Trump was racist, how can any of the "I'm not racist" claims by the Clintons stand up? They've known each other for decades, yet no one seems to openly question the minority support enjoyed by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Turning now to the point of the meme, how is it that they can be friends for so long and get to the point where Trump makes what has been interpreted as a veiled call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton? I've read several accounts of this incident, but the most interesting article came from Rolling Stone. Here, we find David Cohen's very interesting analysis about something called "stochastic terrorism". Yes, it is scary, but Trump is an entertainer, so I take it with a grain of salt.

I have to admit some surprise that there have been no reports by the mainstream media that the Secret Service has bothered to grace Trump with an inquiry about his statements. Wouldn't a normal person be arrested or at least interrogated for even hinting at a threat of physical violence to a presidential candidate? Oh, wait. We're not talking about normal people. We're talking about billionaires and very important people.

Then there is Clinton campaign strategist Bob Beckel talking quite openly about his anger at Julian Assange. Here are his words, exactly:
“I mean, a dead man can’t leak stuff,” Beckel chillingly noted of Assange. “The guy’s a traitor, a treasonist, and … and he has broken every law in the United States. The guy ought to be — and I’m not for the death penalty — so, if I’m not for the death penalty, there’s only one way to do it, illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”
Bob is a very high level member of Clinton's campaign. He's really angry at Assange for releasing emails that have impugned Hillary Clinton's reputation, but apparently has no remorse for the content of those emails. Bob would really like to us to forget about all that and just get in line to vote for Hillary Clinton.

There is a clear pattern here. What we're seeing is very wealthy and powerful people talk about openly about assassination, like it's some sort of game or spectator sport. Sure, we might attribute it to bravado, but seriously? Assassinations? Isn't this like, 2016? Haven't we moved beyond violence as a solution to resolving our differences?

Bob doesn't seem to get how offensive it is to Sanders supporters that the DNC rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders. Bob can't comprehend how offensive it is to American voters that Hillary seems to have been engaged in a business of selling access to the State Department. We're not supposed to know about that, right...Bob?

Bob Beckel and Donald Trump both provide great illustrations of how arrogant people can be once they have attained a position of power and influence. We already know how arrogant Hillary and Bill Clinton can get with power, so I won't delve further there. We know that Hillary pays Bob Beckel very well for his work. Same with Donald Trump. Oh,wait. Did I say that? That was a slip.

This election should be about big money in politics. But instead of talking about how much money is changing hands and how much more money is at stake in this election, the election has become a high school student body contest. Shouldn't public policy come before personalities? I think so. Why anyone is even talking about assassinations is beyond me.

That's why I plan to vote for Jill Stein in November. I so dearly wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, but he doesn't appear to be running for president at the moment. Maybe if Clinton has a health crisis, or suffers an indictment, Sanders might resurface. He still has his delegates and his mailing list. But until that happens, I'm voting for Jill Stein.

At least with the Green Party, I won't have to worry about large corporate contributions influencing her decisions in office. I feel the same way about Bernie Sanders, but he's still not running for president.

There is one other thing I like about Sanders and Stein. I have never seen them or their surrogates talk openly about assassinations on network TV.
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