Clinton's F-You to Progressives: This Is How Trump Could Become President
Nominating a political clone like Sen. Tim Kaine is exactly the wrong thing to do if you want a higher turnout
Clinton's F-You to Progressives: This Is How Trump Could Become President
By John Atcheson / commondreams.org

Here’s what Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine as her VP tells us:

  • She suffers from a possibly fatal mix of arrogance and political cluelessness that may well hand the election to Trump;
  • She is totally beholden to the Oligarchy she claims to want to reign in;
  • She’s not a progressive – and her so-called leftward “evolution” on issues was a calculated, cynical and clumsy attempt to neutralize Sanders.

Before we explore these issues, let’s get some perspective here.  Tim Kaine is not a right wing zealot.  He’s backed expanding payroll taxes to cover a broader range of income to increase Social Security’s solvency.  He’s supported some limited expansion of gun control in a state that loves its guns. He’s got a reasonably good record on LGBT rights (after “evolving” a bit). He’s got a mixed record on climate and energy, banning some but not all fracking when governor of Virginia, and supporting the use of fossil fuels as a “bridge” to clean energy (including support for clean coal); but at least he acknowledges the science on climate change. He’s suggested that waging war against ISIL requires congressional authorization, and he called for withdrawing from Afghanistan as quickly as possible.

"With Clinton’s lead at about 4% in polls, taking an action that was certain to shrink the turnout was either arrogant, stupid, or demonstrative of someone who is so out of touch with the plight of the average American as to be clueless."

But he’s also supported Fast Track and praised the TPP, although he’s declined to say whether he would vote for it.

In short, he’s pretty much a centrist candidate much like Hillary.  And therein lies the problem.

It’s About the Passion, Stupid

Make no mistake – this presidential race is all about passion.  Here’s why.

There is only one way that Trump can win the presidency, and that is if turnout is low. 

With only 23% of Americans identifying as Republicans, and more independents leaning left than right, a big turnout is deadly to Trump’s chances. 

Conversely, a low turnout strongly favors Trump.  Consider the 2014 midterms in which the Democrats were handed a devastating defeat that was far worse than any polling suggested.  Why? With the lowest turnout for a midterm election in over 72 years, the race went to the most rabid; not the most reasonable.  As Yeats put in his poem, The Second Coming:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are filled with a passionate intensity.

It’s always been apparent that Trump was playing to the primitive lizard brain, and with his fear mongering acceptance speech on Thursday it showed he’s intending to double down on this tactic.  It’s classic demagoguery.  First, neutralize the press; second, make people afraid. Third, declare “I alone, can fix it.”

Most Americans won’t swallow this swill.  But if turnouts are as low as 2014 when only 36.3% of eligible voters showed up, then Trump could win by getting only 20% of eligible voters. And while Trump’s campaign is a study in chaos, the man has proven good at one thing: generating passion; not to mention irrational frenzy. These people may be crazy, and they may constitute a minority, but they will turn out.

Contrast that with Hillary. At a time when people are desperately looking for something other than a status quo corporatist candidate, she’s the quintessential party politician, complete with PACs, and dragging her past support for Wall Street, the Big Banks, perennial Wars, and trade policy behind her like a giant buzz kill. The only thing that saved her in the primary was strong backing by the press, the elite party members, and – inexplicably – African Americans.  That and her “evolution” to the left.

The only folks who feel passion for Hillary are women over 40 and the elite economic and political establishment. A powerful group, but not big in terms of numbers. After significant concessions in the platform debate, she had some hope of winning over at least some real progressives. Tim Kaine’s appointment will cut that number significantly.

Nominating a political clone is exactly the wrong thing to do if you want a higher turnout.  And Kaine is a clone.

Hillary is not a Progressive

But Kaine’s appointment tells us something else – Clinton’s brief feint to the left wasn’t for real. Kaine is obviously a dog whistle to show Big Banks and Wall Street that her tough talk during the campaign wasn’t to be taken seriously.

Now it’s likely that turnouts for a Presidential race will be higher, but by how much, and the real question is how will it be enough for her to win, after this appointment?

With Clinton’s lead at about 4% in polls, taking an action that was certain to shrink the turnout was either arrogant, stupid, or demonstrative of someone who is so out of touch with the plight of the average American as to be clueless. Beyond that, it’s irresponsible. Giving a candidate as heinous as Trump a shot at the Presidency raises the question of whether she has the judgement to serve as President.

Finally, it shows she is beholden to Big Banks and Wall Street

There was a debate during the primary about whether Hillary was beholden to Wall Street and the financiers for the money she’s received from them.  Elizabeth Warren gave us one example.  Hillary just confirmed that it remains the case generally.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

John Atcheson is author of the novel, A Being Darkly Wise, an eco-thriller and Book One of a Trilogy centered on global warming. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the San Jose Mercury News and other major newspapers. Atcheson’s book reviews are featured on Climateprogess.org.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 18,010 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 4,818 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 4,354 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 1,228 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 995 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 986 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 893 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 867 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 815 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 771 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 650 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 620 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Bitter Lake (2015)
136 min · 584 views today · Adam Curtis: Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 546 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 432 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 425 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 424 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 378 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 337 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Why People's Opinions of You Aren't Real
4 min · 311 views today · "You are what you love and not what loves you." - From Charlie Kaufman's film "Adaptation"
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Clinton's F-You to Progressives: This Is How Trump Could Become President