Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Chris Hedges: Voting with our feet

Bernie Sanders’ political corpse in the presidential race is still warm, but some of his prominent liberal supporters already are urging us to flee to Hillary Clinton. Sanders, who knows the game is up, will soon become the Democrats’ pied piper. He will seek to entice his supporters into the Democratic Party rattrap. He has decried the disruption of Trump rallies—denigrating the only power we have left—saying “people should not disrupt anybody’s meetings.” His “political revolution,” like his promise of a movement, is a cynical form of advertising. Sanders will, like the Barack Obama of 2008, end as an impediment to the mass movements he claims to represent. And mass movements in our system of “inverted totalitarianism” are our final and only hope.

I understand the fear over Donald Trump. I too want to crush the growing fascist sentiments rising up from the rot and decay of American society. But voting for Clinton and supporting the Democratic Party will not halt our descent into despotism. It will only accelerate it. Trump is not creating phenomena. He is responding to them. It is up to us to halt the array of forces, including the Trump campaign, that are preparing a species of American fascism and orchestrating a global ecocide. The only way we have left to vote is with our feet[….]

The Democrats, and in particular Hillary and Bill Clinton, are responsible as much as anyone on the right for our being sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit. They told the same lies as the right-wingers. They fed the same hate. They too orchestrated the corporate coup. The Clintons removed from the Democratic Party platform the progressive stances championed by Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. They spoke early in their careers in the coded racism of “law and order.” They transformed the Democratic Party into the old Republican Party. They unleashed the predators of Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry. They stripped us of our civil liberties, championed endless war and empowered the arms industry and agencies such as Homeland Security to suck the marrow out of the federal budget. The Clintons and the Democratic Party filled the prisons and destroyed welfare. And under President Obama it has gotten worse. Obama authorized the assassination of U.S. citizens. He signed into law legislation that permits the military to act as a domestic police force and detain U.S. citizens indefinitely without due process. He and the Democratic Party establishment are attempting to ram new trade agreements down our throats.

It pays to betray the citizenry. The Clintons have made more than $153 million for paid speeches alone since 2001. The Democratic Party is awash in corporate cash. And the Obamas will soon, like the Clintons, be multimillionaires[….]

Copyright 2016 Chris Hedges. First published in TruthDig. Read complete article here.

3 comments on “Chris Hedges: Voting with our feet

  1. Daniel Burston
    March 25, 2016

    Agreed. Another issue that Hedges gets wrong is his contention that Trump is not creating “phenonema”, merely responding to them. Nonsense! Trump’s rhetoric is deliberately and dramatically intensifying (and in the process, apparently, legitimating) the worst tendencies of the American psyche. Women and minorities – racial, religious ad sexual – may not benefit much from Hillary’s presidency, in the long run, but they have little to fear from her, since, come election day, she is beholden to them (as well as the multinationals.) They (and we) have a great deal to fear from a Trump Presidency.

    Also, Hedges declares that a vote for Hillary cannot halt America’s descent into fascism, but merely accelerate it. Baloney! A vote for Hillary will certainly not restore American democracy, but it can buy us Bernie supporters valuable time to rally and counter these forces more effectively in future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Daniel Burston
    March 25, 2016

    Sadly, there is a great deal of truth in Chris Hedges’ critique of the Clintons and American liberalism, and the parallels he draws between 20th century Germany and the USA today. Nevertheless, I strongly disagree with the way he frames some other issues. Bernie Sanders may not get the Democratic nomination, but to say that his “corpse is still warm” is to imply that he is a spent force, and irrelevant to the future of our country. I disagree. As Michael Simms noted recently in the “The Future of the Democratic Party”, Bernie’s followers are young, energized and extremely diverse; even after the election, they may yet transform the Democratic Party. In the meantime, awful as she is, Hillary is still far less toxic than Trump, and to suggest otherwise is to willfully disregard a great deal of evidence, and not the kind the requires a subtle Marxist analysis to grasp, but the kind that stares you boldly in the face . My advice? Hold your nose and vote Hillary, if necessary. Giving Trump easier access to the White House by not voting is not a principled but a foolish and defeatist policy that will do more harm than good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      March 25, 2016

      Thanks, Dan. I agree that much of Hedges’ critique of the current political scene is apt; however, he is flat wrong in concluding that people shouldn’t vote because of the problems. As Marc Jampole notes in today’s post, the fact that few people are voting may ensure that Trump takes the presidency — with disastrous consequences. Whether Sanders can be elected, and if elected whether he can be effective in facilitating reform, I don’t know; but right now, his candidacy is a cause for hope.


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This entry was posted on March 25, 2016 by in Environmentalism, Opinion Leaders, Personal Essays, Social Justice.
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