Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bernie or Bust: Why I Will Never Vote for Hillary Clinton

Although the Democratic Primary is far from over, the corporate media and its establishment pundits have essentially declared their candidate, Hillary Clinton, the winner. The political establishment is desperately trying to intimidate and bully people into supporting Hillary Clinton by threatening us with the possibility a President Donald Trump presidency or a President Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz. Through such scare tactics, they have begun to demand that Bernie Sanders’ supporters bow before Hillary Clinton’s throne, kiss her ring and declare unconditional fealty to her. I refuse to do so. I refuse to be intimidated.  We are told that we must vote for the lesser of two evils. To hell with that, I will never vote for Hillary Clinton for several reasons.

As reported in Salon, the Clintons and the Democratic Leadership Council embraced policies that “less tilted toward minorities and welfare” in order to reconnect “the Democratic Party to white working- and middle-class class voters.” For the Clintons, being “tough on crime” and ending welfare were perfect ways to reconnect with white voters. Crime and welfare are racially weaponized issues. Hillary Clinton supported, lobbied for and campaigned for the enactment of the 1994 crime bill, a law that led to the mass incarceration of black people for nonviolent drug offenses. As noted in Michelle Alexander’s masterpiece entitled the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,

“Far from resisting the emergence of the new caste system, Clinton escalated the drug war beyond what conservatives had imagined possible a decade. As the Justice Policy Institute has observed, ’the Clinton Administration’s tough on crime polices resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history.”

Even though there is zero proof that African American use or sale drugs more than whites, a disproportionately large percentage of those inmates were black.  Clinton's War on Drug, Nixon's, targeted black communities.

To lessen or diminish his culpability for mass incarceration, Bill Clinton and his sycophants argue that most people are incarcerated in state prisons, not federal prisons. Such an analysis ignores the fact that the Clinton Administration, like previous Bush Administration, created incentives to encourage states to lock up more and more black people in state prisons. As noted in The New Jim Crow, those incentives were created by transferring “military, equipment, technology and training to local law enforcement, contingent, of course, on the willingness of agencies to prioritize drug-law enforcement and concentrate resources on arrest for illegal drugs.” Michelle Alexander further writes that “the bill…authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and expansion of state and local police force.”

With this increased funding, training and technology, those police departments did not target white suburban and rural communities. They targeted black communities. Massive numbers of black people were locked way in America’s concentration camps and forced to become the new slaves. Those who were released from the physical prisons were transferred to a virtual prison of the New Jim Crow. Under such a system, it is legal discriminate against ex-felons in housing, employment and voting rights.

In addition to promoting mass incarceration, the Clintons cut holes in the safety net for poor and vulnerable families, who are disproportionately black. As reported on Alter Net, the Clinton’s 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) “ended the federal guarantee of cash assistance to the poor, limited welfare payments and turned welfare programs over to the states.” It “destroyed the safety net for poor people, increased poverty, lowered income for single mothers, put people into homeless shelters and left states free to eliminate welfare entirely."

Furthermore, Hillary Clinton supported disastrous trade policies like North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements that have sent American jobs overseas. In the long run, such agreements devastated communities dependent on manufacturing jobs for employment and prosperity.

Aside from supporting detrimental trade policies, Hillary Clinton and her husband supported the deregulation of Wall Street which eventually led to the mortgage foreclosure crisis and the recession. Despite that reality and despite her campaign receiving millions of dollars from Wall Street, some fools actually believe that she is going to reign in Wall Street.

Not only does she have an abysmal track record on domestic policy, she supports hawkish militarism and imperialism abroad. As a U.S. Senator, she supported the Iraq War, a war that was based on the lie that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of American soldiers died based on a lie. In all actuality, they died so that Halliburton and other American companies could reap huge profits. That ridiculous war destabilized the region and enabled the emergence of ISIS.

 As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton supported the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya. Now, Libya is a failed state and ISIS has a foothold in that country. Attacks in Brussels, Paris, Benghazi, Sacramento are the fruits of Hillary Clinton’s and many others American politicians’ failed foreign policy. Also, she unconditionally supports Israel’s occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. She gravels at the feet of AIPAC for support.

In essence, I will never vote for Hillary Clinton because of her failed and disastrous track record of supporting mass incarceration, welfare reform, trade agreements, deregulation of Wall Street and American imperialism.

Those policies are evil. Hillary Clinton is not the lesser evil. In some ways, she is an equivalent evil. The Clinton embraced the shortsighted policies of the “evil” Republicans. In fact, Clintons had a term for this phenomenon, triangulation. With Democrats like that, who needs Republicans. One should not be forced to choose between the devil and Satan, the wolf and the fox. I refuse to vote for any form of evil.

Unfortunately, many of us have accepted and embraced that false dilemma. If Scooby Doo was the Democratic nominee, many African Americans and other Democrats would follow the zombie herd and blindly vote for Scooby Doo. They have adopted a slave mentality.  They are captive voters who will accept any Democratic nominee even if that nominee has a track record of making decisions that have had a devastating impact on our black communities. I reject such group think.

As captive Democratic voters, the black community is expendable. We have very little leverage or influence. The Clintons and other right-wing Democrats have no problem throwing the black community under the bus. The black community is loyal and faithful like a dog to its master. The black community is loyal like a battered woman to her abusive husband. The Democratic will quick cast us aside to secure white conservative voters. When one accepts such abuse, one will continue to be abused. I refuse to be Hillary Clinton’s battered victim. We deserve better.

In addition to her bad track record, Hillary Clinton is not fit to be President. She race baits for votes. During the 2008 President election, she used various race baiting tactics against Barack Obama including releasing a photo of Obama in “African Muslim” attire to fan the flames of birtherism and Islamophobia. During that campaign, she made racial appeals to “hard working white Americans.” Back then, Bill Clinton dismissed Obama by comparing Obama’s South Carolina primary victory to Rev. Jesse Jackson’s South Carolina primary.

After Hillary Clinton secured votes from gullible, uninformed blacks in the South this year, Bill Clinton threw Obama under the bus by describing the Obama's time in office as an “awful legacy.” Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton disrespected Black Lives Matter activists and continue to support Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, a man who covered up the police murder of a young black man, Laquan McDonald. Yet, they have no problem exploiting Trayvon Martin’s mother and Sandra Bland’s mother to get black votes. Hillary Clinton sunk to a new low when she used those grieving mothers to attack Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton is dishonest. She lied about her State Department emails. She lied about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia. She has no integrity or core principles. She will say and do anything to get elected, including using the corpses of dead children killed in Sandy Hook as political footballs.  She has changed positions on immigration, trade policies, same sex marriage and Wall Street. One minute, she is a progressive. The next minute, she is a moderate with conservative roots. She is a chameleon who changes with the political environment and political winds.

As long as the American people continue to vote for mediocre, moderate, corporate, deceptive candidates like Hillary Clinton, there is be no true quantitative and qualitative progress in this country. Enough is enough. On the other hand, Bernie Sanders is the one of the most progressive, mainstream Presidential candidates in American history. For that reason, I support him to the bitter end.

If Bernie Sanders does not win, we do not have to settle for Hillary or the Republicans. Our ancestors and elders did not struggle and die so that we would be forced to vote a candidate who supported policies that are detrimental to our community. To do so would dishonor our ancestors and our elders.

There are many lesser known Democratic candidates running for President. There are Green Party, Socialism and Liberation Party, Peace & Freedom Party, Socialist Workers Party, Workers World Party and other third party candidates running. We must diligently research each candidate and make an informed decision. Contrary to the establishment reasoning, such a vote is not a wasted vote or a vote for the Republican candidate. It is a vote for change. It is vote against the political machine. It is a vote against the power elite, the 1 percenters. One should vote out of hope, not fear. Bernie or Bust.

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