Conciliation is not the right response to Donald Trump

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President Obama shaking the hand of a huckster who entered politics by promoting a racist conspiracy about his birthplace.

The 2016 presidential campaign was the most bitter in recent history. Donald Trump was so loathsome that Hillary Clinton’s attack ads consisted of little more than the bigotry and sexism that came out of his own mouth. Clinton was so corrupt that Trump threatened to jail her. And after it was over, everyone decided to play nice. The loser called the victor, the winner thanked his opponent, the current president wished Trump luck, and talking heads encouraged us all to give the president-elect a chance.

Tens of thousands of Americans weren’t having it. Protests erupted the day after Election Day in Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland, Austin and elsewhere. In New York, some 100,000 people demonstrated their opposition to the incoming president. In Austin, protesters chanted “Immigrants are welcome here.” Graffiti saying “Fuck Trump” and “Black Queer Trans Lives Matter” was found in Chicago. For such marginalized individuals, there is a palpable sense of worry about their rights and status. Continue reading

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Trump may be more dangerous than anyone can fathom

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Trump is America’s first serious flirtation with a racist, nationalistic strongman.

One of the most curious aspects of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is the way his supporters defend him. From televised surrogates to people on the street, there is a tendency to dismiss the most outlandish things Trump says as mere showmanship and to insist of his most bigoted and authoritarian proposals that he doesn’t really mean them. This is the opposite of most politicians. Usually it’s cause for concern that a candidate won’t meet his promises; in Trump’s case it’s supposed to be reassuring.

It isn’t. Nothing about the candidacy, policy proposals, personality, or tenor of the campaign of Donald J. Trump is reassuring. He is the only candidate in history to get the benefit of the doubt – that who he will be in office is better than who he is on the campaign trail. Far from expecting a toned-down Trump in the Oval Office, there is every reason to believe he will be much worse once elected. Continue reading

Hillary Clinton, WikiLeaks, and the new Cold War

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Hillary Clinton supports Syrian insurgents, many of whom are linked to known terror groups, over the Russian-backed Bashar al-Assad regime.

As leaked audio of Donald Trump bragging about his history of sexual assault became the biggest story of the 2016 election, WikiLeaks released another trove of Hillary Clinton documents. They include portions of transcripts from her mysterious speeches to big banks, as well as emails from campaign chair and longtime ally John Podesta. While much of the content is illuminating, little of it is outside the scope of the dirty politics the Clintons have long been known to play. Continue reading

Democrats have a lot to learn from Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders appears with Native American leaders to express his opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Hillary Clinton’s stock is falling. Even her prominent surrogates and media advocates are conceding that Donald Trump has a serious chance of becoming the next president. The two historically unpopular candidates are neck-and-neck in national polls and Clinton has fallen behind in crucial swing states like Florida and Ohio. Meanwhile her primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, is surging, boasting an 87 percent approval rating among his electorate and enjoying a nationwide favorability of +18 to Clinton’s -14.

Any Democrat worried about the outcome of the 2016 election should be analyzing that discrepancy. All during the primary, the news media and Clinton’s surrogates pushed the narrative that she was the strongest general election candidate. Now is the time for establishment Democrats to take their cues from Sanders and his supporters. If she maintains her current course, Clinton probably cannot win this election. Continue reading

Media declares Clinton victory in a contest that isn’t over

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Imagine waking up on election morning and seeing this before you’d even had a chance to vote.

The media delivered good news Monday night to people who hate democracy: there’s no need to bother voting in the six states that hold primaries on June 7 because Hillary Clinton has already secured the Democratic nomination for president. Sometime Monday evening, the AP came to this conclusion by surveying super delegates, Democratic Party insiders who can vote for the candidate of their choice regardless of how the constituents in their states vote. Continue reading

Why it’s now more important than ever that Bernie Sanders stays in the race

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By wishing Sanders and his supporters would just go away, Clinton is dooming her general election prospects.

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary is cushy, but other factors continue to dog her. The FBI has been interviewing former Clinton aides and may yet indict Clinton over material found in her emails. She recently lost to Donald Trump in a Rasmussen poll. And Sanders is continuing to win primaries, including in Indiana this week.

After that Indiana win CNN host Dana Bash questioned Sanders on why he isn’t dropping out, perhaps setting a new standard for establishment condescension. But with momentum still strong on Sanders’s side, with the possibility of Clinton’s indictment, and with the longstanding myth that Clinton is more electable disappearing, it’s more important than ever that Sanders stay in the race. In fact, the best part of the election may still lie ahead of him. Continue reading

How Bernie’s movement should ‘support’ Hillary Clinton

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Sanders’s grassroots-driven campaign drew record-breaking crowds and donations, which famously averaged a mere $27.

Hillary Clinton had a huge night on Tuesday, winning four out of five states and expanding her already substantial delegate lead. From here Bernie Sanders needs to win about 1,000 of 1,200 delegates remaining to clinch the nomination. Not even the most inspired idealist can fail to recognize the rapidly shrinking prospect of Sanders becoming the Democratic nominee. Tradition dictates that a losing candidate’s supporters vote for the party’s eventual nominee in the general election, but this election has been anything but traditional. Continue reading

White supremacists go PC for Trump

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At a Florida rally, Trump implores supporters to raise their right hands and promise to vote for him. (Photo by Jenna Johnson/Washington Post)

Once upon a time a white supremacist could be relied on to be, if nothing else, upfront. They weren’t shy about their worldview that whites are being systematically driven to extinction by mixed marriages, street crime and liberal politics. But now that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has popularized racist identity politics, some white supremacists are seizing on the opportunity to reach a nationwide audience by toning down their rhetoric and going politically correct. Continue reading

Donald Trump is our greatest threat

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Right now, Trump is the country’s number one nightmare.

Covering Donald Trump as a presidential candidate isn’t easy. Everything about the man and his campaign is a distracting spectacle – violent rallies, Twitter feuds and fratty arrogance so immature he defends his dick size in debates. For months he was regarded as a joke. But while the media focuses on theatrics this egomaniacal tyrant is being carried toward the White House on enthusiastic American shoulders. If he’s a joke, we’re the punchline. Continue reading

How Garry Kasparov misses the point about Bernie Sanders

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Garry Kasparov spent almost 30 years as the #1-ranked chess player in the world. He’s considered by many to be the greatest of all-time.

Chess grandmaster and Russian dissident Garry Kasparov sees the failures of his homeland reflected in the policies of Bernie Sanders. Last week he took to Facebook and The Daily Beast to warn of the dangers of big government, writing, “I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means.”

Kasparov grew up in the Soviet Union and ran a courageous presidential campaign against Russia’s oppressive Vladimir Putin. He doesn’t need a lecture, but his article needs counterpoints. Even with his unique political experience Kasparov states his case in overly black and white terms. He ignores the prominent role social programs have played throughout American history and writes as though private business ventures are the world’s best – maybe only – force for good. Continue reading