(Occasional additions made subsequent to initial posting.)
I voted for neither Hillary nor Trump in 2016. Regarded her as smart but corrupt, and even as of 2016 The Donald’s politics were much too far right for me, as a liberal/progressive. So I voted for Bernie Sanders as a write-in.
This year, I knew I couldn’t vote for either Biden or Trump. Trump’s moved even further to the right, and my problems with Biden are that he stands for Business as Usual at a time when change is urgently needed, and that I regard his running mate Harris as a phony opportunist.
Harris’ claim during a Democratic primary debate (ironically, aimed to put down Biden) that she was an impoverished black girl in the Berkeley flats rather than the daughter of two PhDs, was unconscionable, and she has a well-known history of opportunism.
Given Biden’s age, his choice of Harris is especially troubling to me. If he had picked Elizabeth Warren, whom I greatly admire, I would have seriously considered casting my vote for him.
A couple of weeks ago (well before the first debate), a reader of this blog told me that in his social set the trendy thing to do is write in Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom for President. I thought it’s a great idea, and look forward to casting my ballot for him. I’ve admired his performance on the Covid-19 issue. Mind you, he hasn’t done any better than anyone else, either Democrat or GOP, but I can tell he’s giving the issue his all.
Please don’t tell me Trump has cost 200,000 American lives; by that reasoning, Newsom and NY Gov. Cuomo, both Democrats, have their own large death tolls to answer for. Plenty of blame to go around, as the saying goes, a very new, unknown situation with lots of pitfalls.
I’ve stated many times in this space that the mainstream media have been extremely biased and irresponsible in their coverage of Trump. It’s criminal, really. But that’s entirely different from my supporting him, much less voting for him. As a lifelong liberal, there is just too much of an ideology clash. And much more important, noting his separating kids from parents at the Mexican border, that issue alone would completely obviate any chance I’d vote for him.
I must say that I do greatly appreciate the fact that Trump is the first president to stand up to China. It pains me to say that, as I am a longtime supporter of China, but with Xi’s appointment in 2012, the nation took a tragic wrong turn. The Chinese leaders now clearly bear deep ill will against the US. Most Americans are only vaguely aware of the grave danger here, and the Trump administration is to be commended for taking action.
Countless people on the left have told me, “Sure, Biden’s weak and Harris is corrupt, but Trump is destroying our democracy!” Really? What democracy? To address the issue of democracy, what better example than that of the Democratic Party? No way a party that stacks the primary electoral deck with superdelegates can be considered democratic. Absurd to call them democratic. More like plutocratic.
And they’ve ignored the will of the people on a number of issues, e.g. the H-1B work visa, a labor issue that the old Democrats would have been quite critical of (as Pres. Bill Clinton’s Sec. of Labor Robert Reisch was in the early 90s). Yet they abandoned labor to support Big Business. A few years ago a Democratic Senate staffer sneered to an AFL-CIO official who was meeting with him regarding H-1B, “You people don’t count!” What a stark contrast to the traditional strong Democratic support for unions.
Better example: the “Dreamers,” people who were brought to the US as undocumented minors. Trump offered a deal, under which he’d get a Canadian-style immigration system, in exchange for which they’d get a better deal with the DACA people than even the Dems has asked for. The Dems refused to even consider it. I believe most Americans would have supported it, but in any case, it was clear that the DACAns do NOT have the heartfelt sympathy of the Dems. Instead, it’s cold calculation, to increase the number of future Democratic voters.
The Dems’ outrage after the George Floyd killing was hypocritical at best, feigned at worst. They’ve done almost nothing specifically for the African-American community since the 70s or 80s. On the contrary, the Democrats have shifted their attention to Latinos. For instance, a program initiated by the Democrats provides extra funding to Hispanic Serving Institutions; there is no African-American counterpart. (My own university is pursuing HSI status.) I support the HSI notion, as it incentivizes increasing Latino enrollment, but the point is that the Democrats have long taken black people for granted. Ever heard of Flint, MI?
As of late October, during the pandemic, the Democrats and Republicans have failed to come to an agreement on an economic relief package for those hard hit by the crisis. Yes, both sides are to blame, but the Democrats are the ones who’ve constantly claimed the bill is needed because many Americans are desperate. If the Dems really felt that, they’d take the GOP compromise. Clearly the Dems’ goal in refusing to do so is to gain political advantage over the GOP and Pres. Trump.
As noted, the mainstream media is advancing the DNC agenda, and is now devoid of any pretense of objectivity. In this sense (and others) we were on the road to the demise of democracy long before 2016.
Take the race issue, for instance. Yes, absolutely, many police department policies are in desperate need of reform, but the sad truth is that there are more white victims of this than black, and proportionately the two rates are similar. The same is true for police stops of motorists; once one does an “apples to apples” comparison, there is little evidence of racial bias. Yet we constantly hear police misconduct as demonstrating “systemic racism,” a term that has become throwaway, devoid of meaning.
Things are indeed still grim for many African-Americans, but the causes are complex and deep-rooted, largely modern consequences of the old times when we did indeed have systemic racism. But no, today’s systems are not racist, even though we do still have many individual people with unhealthy racial views.
The media have egregiously quoted Trump out of context on the race issue, notably on his remark “There were fine people on both sides” after the Charlottesville clash. He clearly was referring to people “on both sides” of the issue of whether to dismantle Confederacy-era statues, NOT neo Nazis. On the contrary, here is what Trump tweeted after the incident:
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one! We want to get this situation straightened out in Charlottesville. And we want to study it. And we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country.
Similarly, in the September 29 debate with Joe Biden, much has been made about Trump’s remark about the Proud Boys. But read the transcript! Trump had answered, “Sure I will do that” when the moderator Chris Wallace asked him if he would condemn white supremacist groups, and Wallace then asked him to name one. Trump then cited the Proud Boys, and identified them by their slogan. That was then twisted by the media to mean he supported the group, in spite of the context showing the opposite.
Those who defend the Democrats have a lot of explaining to do. When a prominent California lawmaker said, “I wanted to punch the next Asian I see in the face,” she was not sanctioned by her party or by the Democratic-dominated legislature. Arguably her statement could incite anti-Asian violence, exactly what the Dems accuse Trump of concerning his “China virus” remarks. How can the Democratic reproach Trump about race? (The legislator didn’t like that some militant Chinese-American groups oppose affirmative action. I support affirmative action too, but this is outrageous.)
Hillary Clinton’s campaign launched an anti-Muslim smear against Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary election season. She has also apologized for her “superpredators” remark, which some took to be racist. Again, it’s hard to justify the Democrats’ claim to hold the moral high ground on race.
I care a lot about this. I’ve been an activist on behalf of minorities ever since I was 16 years old, when I worked in the congressional campaign of Myrlie Evers, widow of the legendary slain civil rights leader. But we elected a black president, then re-elected him, and as has been pointed out, many of those cities in which the BLM protests have been most strident have black mayors and black police chiefs. Could such a racist society have elected/appointed all these people?
Yet those in the media propagate (if not promulgate) this myth of systemic racism. So does academia, and woe be it to anyone who disagrees. Freedom of speech is disappearing from university campuses. Can’t have a real democracy without a vigorous exchange of ideas, folks.
Indeed, the current hysteria is such that my post here will be interpreted by some as my supporting Trump’s policies, in spite of my clear statement above that almost all his views are antithetical to mine.
While I don’t subscribe to Eric Weinstein’s conspiracy views, Eric is at least right in saying that an unholy alliance of Big Business, the media and academia are running the show. We are being scripted. Sure, we do have the trappings of democracy, voting rights and all that, but this is not the democracy I believed in when I was growing up. Nor are the Democrats the party for the poor and oppressed that I revered during my formative years.
I’ll proudly vote for California’s Proposition 16, which would restore Affirmative Action to CA public policies. But for president, Gavin’s my guy.