Friday, June 3, 2016

RESOLVING MY POLITICAL DILEMMA

As someone who has supported concepts that are standard in Canada, Cuba, England and most all the democracies in Western Europe, this year’s presidential politics is mind-boggling. 

Free health care is available in all these countries. Their life expectancy is higher than ours. Higher education is available for free to all if they qualify academically, and the gap between income levels, for the richest and the poorest are far less significant than it is in America, and these are issues that are important to me.

At the same time the leading presidential contenders in both parties, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, do not propose any of these changes at all. Theirs is a race between two candidates whose trustworthiness levels, according to all polls, is far less than 50% among all eligible voters. 

Both candidates can fire away at each other, making it seem as if this is the most important election in the history of our nation. If you are fed up with conventional politics and like to listen to an egotist with no governmental experience, who won’t release his tax returns, Trump, is surely your man, even if he changes his opinions constantly so one doesn’t know what he really stands for, other than being an “outsider.”

On the other hand if you want to vote for an “insider,” a canny politician, who also does not support these issues that I value, who is a hawk, and refuses to share what she said when giving a speech to Goldman Sachs that netted her a quarter of a million dollars as a speaking fee from this Wall Street investment firm, who supports fracking, has continuously supported U.S. military intervention throughout the world, and who plays racial politics, courting Latinos and African-American voters (usually older) instead of economic issues, then Hillary is your woman.

Each, of course, contends that the other would radically change the course of America. Somehow I find I have difficulty believing this. Do any of you share this feeling? 

While Bernie Sanders articulates these programs, I vote not for the man, but for his ideas that mirror mine. Yet the vast majority of the democratic Super-delegates, establishment politicians all, who have not been elected by voters but have, by and large, allowed our country to deteriorate, will cast the deciding votes that will put Hillary (and Bill, her husband)  over the top at the Democratic Convention. All the more surprising because all polls show that Sanders has a much bigger lead over Trump than does Mrs. Clinton.

Being born in 1934, I do know that in this election I don’t want to support the lesser of two evils. As I’ve said before, if one had to choose between Hitler and Mussolini, who would you take before the Second World War began? (I asked this in an earlier blog and most people preferred Mussolini for whatever that’s worth). But I’m not playing that game again.

This past weekend I saw an old friend, Karl Grossman, a Polk Award winning investigative reporter at a large gathering here in Sag Harbor at the home of David Alpern and his wife Sylvia. We published two of Karl’s books that had a major impact: Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to know About Nuclear Power in 1981 and The Poison Conspiracy in 1982, which were both acclaimed, and led to his becoming a widely booked lecturer around this country and abroad. Both of us, as political junkies, discussed  these very same issues while nourishing ourselves with good food and drink, and it turned out that Karl and I have decided to vote, as a protest, for the Libertarian party candidate, because of the absence of trust we had for the two major party choices.

I welcome your responses.


Marty

10 comments:

  1. Because two issues of many loom largest for me - the Supreme Court and Nuclear armament -- I will vote for Hilary. Cynics and opportunists such as she and Bill tend to be warped idealists, as opposed to Trump who revels in not reading, reflecting or reforming. Look hard enough and everyone and anyone in high office can be found wanting on matters of race, class and national identity, not to mention personal aggrandizement. I think it a serious mistake (analogy to Nader doesn't really apply) to vote otherwise. By the way, though I adore Bernie, as you know, what's with HIS not releasing his returns since 2014? C'mon, Jane, hire an assistant.

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    1. I believe this is Joan Baum's comment (and she wanted me to insert her authorship). I have no qualms with your feeling differently than I do.
      But if the Democratic Party chooses to nominate a candidate who Trump can possibly beat, and rejects Bernie who leaves Trump in the dust in most polls, and then hectors someone like me from taking a different approach, so be it.

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  2. larry dubersteinJune 3, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Marty, Marty,

    True, it is always the lesser of two evils, but why the hell would you vote for the greater of two? To withhold a vote from the Democrats is to vote for Trump, which ought to be the last action any sensible person should take. The "Libertarian" Party does not support your values either, by the way, and does not merit your vote or Mr. G's. (Do you have any idea how awful Bill Weld is?)
    I get it: I feel the Bern and Bernie has done very well. Even without accounting for the absurd superdelegates, alas, he has not won.

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    1. These dialogues in general have changed my opinion. Another wonderful novelist we've published, Ivan Goldman, sent me this note: "I very much enjoyed your post, which articulated what many of us feel about this election. I tried to comment & it got wiped out, I think. Anyway, instead of Libertarian, check out the Green Party, which I imagine is on the NY ballot. I'm sure you understand Libertarians believe a kid born in poverty ought to die & thin out the herd so Ayn Rand-loving sickos won't have to step over him on the street. They're assholes." So I'm happy to say that rather than voting Libertarian (as a protest)I will vote for the Green Party(which is an affirmative vote for polices I believe in.
      It just makes more sense,
      .
      Marty

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  3. I agree with you Marty. I may not vote for Gary Johnson, but I am certainly not going to vote for Clinton or Trump. It's time to dump the Republican and Democratic parties. I am not afraid of Trump getting into office. Clinton and Trump are equally evil. Trump is just more obvious about it. BTW I met with Gary Johnson in 2012 during his first bid for president and interviewed him for a Canadian newspaper (Digital Journal). Some of my Hillary-supporting friends associate Libertarians with the Koch brothers. Johnson is not like that. Not at all. He is a decent guy, cares about the environment, does not support nuclear energy, does not want war, does not like government regulation because the gov is selective about whom it regulates, letting the biggest polluters and poisoners off the hook. Thanks Marty for being brave. I will probably vote for Jill Stein, but GJ is my second choice.

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    1. I appreciate what you are saying, and as I wrote in answer to Larry Duberstein's comments (inserting Ivan Goldman's comments) I too realize that I have little in common with Libertarians except as a protest, but much in common with the Green Party. So I am in total accord with your choices now. Wish I had thought of that before. So color me "green" henceforth.

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  4. I believe higher education comes with a higher price in England now and, guess what, the gap between rich and poor is growing. So I'll stand by your arguments but, if all options are bad, I'll still vote for least bad.

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  5. Just discovered through the previous dialogues that I forgot that there is a far better party to support than the Libertarians, and it's the Green Party.

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  6. Ike, like you, have decided to cast my vote for the Libertarian party. I have always opposed to Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton and consider Donald Trump little more than the clown act trying to muscle in on the center ring. I applaud your move toward the Libertarian party , but I find your inherence to the socialism and the Socialist government projects that Bernie Sanders embraces contrary to Libertarian party platform. While I agree that we should have universal healthcare, and Obama care/affordable care act nor does any program Hillary has devised or promoted in any way resemble universal healthcare coverage, any government run program that is at its heart socialist consonant with the values of the Democratic Republic such as the USA. I'd rather see the end of an economy based on money and the government focused on protecting and maintaining the freedoms that we lose and have lost over the years. Abolishment of banks and a corrupt government is the only way I see that will promote a future of peace and prosperity for the people, not only of the USA but for the rest of the world. I'll keep hoping and working toward that end.

    As for your previous question, which I missed it, about a choice between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, I would choose neither. I would prefer to see both assassinated, or at the least exiled where they can do the least harm, and a leader chosen from outside the usual channels to power.

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    1. I don't know that anything people can do that would bring about a future of peace here at home or in the rest of the world. Conflict and differences of opinion and the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others seems to be the opposite of the "Golden Rule," which is a fairy tale, the "The Glutton Rule" being more accurate.

      Still there are four national parties, and I'm about to pull my lever for the Green Party" in November.

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