Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dear Clinton Democrats, respectfully, this is why I'll no longer engage with you

I understand you are committed to your support for Hillary Clinton. Humans cling to their beliefs for as long as they can. Admitting you're wrong is one of the hardest things we can do.

But you're wrong about many things.

You tell yourselves the polls were wrong, but they were not. I followed RealClearPolitics and knew Clinton was expected to win the popular vote by about 2%, which meant she was within the margin of error for losing either the popular vote or, as happened, the Electoral College.

Just as RealClearPolitics was accurate about Clinton, it was accurate about Bernie Sanders. He would've won decisively because his focus on economic issues took voters away from Trump. For more, see A reminder for Clinton fans that the polls were right all along.

You want to pin Clinton's loss on racism and sexism because those are things Clinton could not have battled, rather than economic desperation, which she could have fought if she'd been willing to adopt more of Sanders' issues.

Racism does not explain why voters who supported a black man and a Jew did not support a white Christian. However, this piece does: Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally) | Informed Comment.

And so does this short video by The Guardian:

For more, see Understanding the election—the best links I've found.

Now, I realize many Clinton supporters don't understand what neoliberalism is. This is a decent quick introduction:

The Republicans can be defeated. Martin Luther King's dream of a world without poverty can be won. But to do that, you must accept that the Democratic Party made a mistake when it chose the candidate who did better among registered Democrats only. To win, a Democrat must be popular with Independents too.

Yes, Clinton won the popular vote. Console yourself with that. But her politics kept her from winning it strongly enough to defeat Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders knows Martin Luther King was right when he said, “Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”

When you're ready to accept that Clinton was the wrong choice, we can talk. You don't have to agree that Bernie Sanders was the best choice. If the Democrats had simply wanted to elect a woman this year, Elizabeth Warren would've been the stronger choice, or if the goal was to repeat 2008 with a relative unknown, Tulsi Gabbard would've made a fine nominee. All you have to do is accept that the poorer half of this country is desperate, and they want the solutions that Sanders offered.

If you doubt that:

Majority in U.S. Support Idea of Fed-Funded Healthcare System | Gallup

5 facts about the minimum wage | Pew Research Center

Over 60% of Americans back tuition-free college, survey says

So mourn if you must, but if you can, heed Joe Hill's words: "Don't waste any time mourning. Organize!"

ETA: A reminder about the shape of the future: More young people voted for Bernie Sanders than Trump and Clinton combined — by a lot - The Washington Post

Monday, January 16, 2017

Furious at Martin Luther King, President Johnson says why he matters so much

After King publicly opposed the Vietnam War:
President Johnson stopped taking meetings with King. “What is that goddamned nigger preacher doing to me?” Johnson reportedly remarked after the speech. “We gave him the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we gave him the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we gave him the War on Poverty. What more does he want?”
From What the “Santa Clausification” of Martin Luther King Jr. Leaves Out 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Why Martin Luther King would have supported Bernie Sanders: four facts

On Twitter, I said,
From Martin Luther King's writing, it's clear he wouldn't have supported the same candidate that Lewis did.
When someone objected, I explained why:
...you seem to be forgetting that King was also a democratic socialist whose focus was on poverty.

His Dream speech was given at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

He was killed while he was planning the Poor People's Campaign.

Supporting Basic Income, he said he would focus on poverty that "affects white and Negro alike."
“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children." —Martin Luther King

ETA: King supported this:

ETA: What the “Santa Clausification” of Martin Luther King Jr. Leaves Out

Monday, January 9, 2017

Why it's right to reserve judgment on the claim Russia hacked the US election, a mini linkfest

The argument that Russia hacked the US election is backed by 17 intelligence agencies. The problem with assuming they're right? Colin Powell explained his support for the claim there were new WMDs in Iraq by saying: "16 intelligence agencies had agreed to it, with footnotes. None of the footnotes took away their agreement."

The US has a long history of blaming Russia without hard evidence: Before Snowden, Nixon Admin Pioneered Evidence-Free 'Russian Spy' Smears Against Daniel Ellsberg

We know the DNC hack could've been done by the most amateur hacker: How Podesta became a cybersecurity poster child - POLITICO

Ex CIA analyst Larry Johnson argues ‘Clinton quite effective at discrediting herself, doesn’t need Putin’s help’ at RT Op-Edge. (People who love ad hominem should try to engage with Johnson's argument rather than his publisher. As I keep having to remind people, if a message is true, it's true no matter who says it or where it's said.)

Now, it's entirely possible that this time the US intelligence agencies are telling the truth—that's why I advocate reserving judgment.

But if Russia really did leak information to the American people that the DNC wanted to hide? "It Matters, Yes, But How Much?" at Current Affairs notes, "Since we’re in the habit of deferring absolutely to intelligence agencies’ judgments these days, the head of the NSA thinks the DNC stories didn’t make a difference."