Global Independent Analytics
Joshua Tartakovsky
Joshua Tartakovsky

Location: USA

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Hillary Vs. Trump? When The Gladiator comes to the US and #BernieOrBust Can Save Us All

In any case, the US will probably never be the same again. Despite the desperate efforts of the Democratic and Republican establishments, people are now discussing real issues.

It looks like the US electoral scene will come to resemble the well-known battle scene from The Gladiator film.  It will be Hillary versus Trump,  a bloody battle between two diametrically opposing forces in which all tactics will be used, including unexpectedly pulling out a hitherto concealed knife from a hidden pocket.  Moreover, this will be a battle in which one’s own knife could be turned around and used against the original wielder.

Hillary will be despised by many Americans for her elitism, double-games, support for a big government that encumbers the lives of ordinary Americans, her rich record of aiding Muslim terrorists, and her pro-corporate stances which contradict her claims of supporting the middle and working class. Trump, on the other hand, will be despised for his belittling of Latinos, his overt, politically incorrect approach, his rallying of the white American working class, his opposition to the US’ policing of the world, and his arrogance in thinking that he can solve everything on his own, without delegating to partners or working with minorities. His failure to learn the lesson that he must appeal to Latinos has already cost him a heavy price in California. Most of all, he will be seen as a lunatic by those who think they know better.

Trump is everything but Hillary, and Hillary is everything but Trump.  For Hillary’s supporters, i.e., liberals, well-meaning progressive white Americans, and minorities and people of color, Trump is nothing but a disgusting fascist. While they might be able to conjure such a point judging by his rhetoric and calls for building the “Great Wall,” the real problem is that Hillary, despite her more sympathetic image, is a dishonest politician who has played the dirtiest tricks so far. She claims to be a pro-middle class, but was on the board of Walmart for six years, which employed people for slave-wages and prevented them from organizing trade unions. There, much like in her campaign, she served as the only female member who presented a “humane face” (much like she is today the female face for the military-industrial complex and Goldman Sachs). Anyone entering a Walmart can quickly notice how badly workers are treated there. When a judge ruled that Walmart's actions against striking workers are illegal, Hillary did not move a finger to defend the workers’ rights. And we’re talking about Walmart, probably one of the most abysmal employers in the United States where women workers suffer from widespread discrimination. In 1990, Hillary said: “I’m always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else.” One can only imagine how much worse workers’ rights were then directly under Hillary.

Later we saw Hillary win a major donation from a Walmart oligarch, which reveals that her dirty practices have not changed. As if that was not enough, a foundation in conjunction with the Democratic Party was set up, so that Hillary could receive considerably larger donations than is legally allowed for her as a candidate. While Bernie was left out in the cold, Hillary essentially came to have the Democratic National Committee in her lined pocket. While Hillary has been playing unfairly, powerful Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi have spoken out against Sanders. What’s more, many trade unions began to follow Hillary even though she supports NAFTA and the free-trade policies that have deprived Americans of jobs, as Ralph Nader explains. The endorsement of Hillary shows just how corrupt many trade unions are and how they have abounded their real purposes.

Hillary is simply far from pro-middle class or pro-working class. Although she has proposed various social-welfare points in response to Sanders’ popularity, she is unlikely to implement them. She made dishonest arguments against his healthcare plan even despite its pragmatic character, the very point that she constantly stresses regarding her own proposals. The question is also still unanswered as to why voters would barred from voting in Brooklyn. A third of Sanders supporters, despite being pressured and probably often misled, have said they that they will not vote for Hillary.

The key problem is that while Hillary has been blatantly dishonest and is a threat to most Americans, many minorities and white liberals might still vote for her insofar as she presents herself as a pragmatic and rational alternative to Trump. Many of those who will vote for Clinton are those who fear change, yet desire to feel good about themselves for being “anti-racist” white, middle-class Americans, no matter the fact that they are accumulating more impossible credit card debt as Hillary bombs more countries. Nevertheless, there is a growing possibility that there will be a major split, leaving Sanders’ supporters not voting for Goldman Sachs’ Hillary. The key point here is for Sanders’ supporters to keep Bernie from caving in to pressure and endorsing her after his humiliation, only to let her skip along and lie too many times to too many Americans. Hillary’s crimes against Bernie must be exposed and her victory, if it comes to such, must be contested at the Democratic National Convention. The #NeverTrump camp on the Left must similarly realize that it cannot allow Hillary to get away with what she has done, since many Americans really do believe in fairness, not cynical realpolitik.

A close look at burning issues reveals that Hillary is neither a rational choice nor a progressive candidate at all, as Les Leopold argues in his convincing essay “Why Do Progressives Cling to Hillary?”

For Trump supporters, Hillary is the real “Lucifer in the Flesh.”  She is an unfeminine, unappealing, heartless, cold, and evil figure straight out of the Book of Revelations. Trump’s supporters, on the other hand, are largely white Americans who are not only in danger of becoming a minority in the United States (the percentage of non-Hispanic whites in the US has only been declining), but have also continually suffered an incredible amount as a result of Hillary’s economic policies of offshoring, illegal mass immigration, and the concentration of jobs in large cities. Many rural Americans are confident that the majority of Americans will never vote for Hillary, forgetting that populations have been moving to the cities both in the US and worldwide. This has meant that the shift of major employment to finance and technology has resulted in less agricultural and productive jobs. Salaries in cities, however, have declined even though the number of jobs has grown. The new urban generations do not recognize a farm when they see one and do not value healthy, farm-produced food. A highly stressful, nerve-racking, detached way of life focused on earning one’s living and paying the bills is a constant struggle as The Atlantic’s recent excellent cover-story exposed. Hillary’s supporters, concentrated in the cities and easily malleable by the media’s support for her as the “reasonable” candidate, may very well get her elected.

In the upcoming Hillary versus Trump battle, straight out of The Gladiator, the mainstream media is likely to present Trump as a lunatic and fascist, and Hillary as a reasonable choice. Americans will mobilize for each and will be more divided and polarized than ever.

Only 54% of Americans voted in the 2012 elections. This time, each side is likely to try to mobilize as many as traditional non-voters as possible. The young tend to vote the least while the elderly vote in large percentages, but the elderly conventionally prefer to vote for the status-quo, which will mean Hillary. With Sanders out, Trump would have to gain the youth vote, but they may find his ideas too extreme. The less educated usually do not vote, which means that Trump will have to turn his less- educated supporters out. Minorities turning out en mass against “Trump the racist”  will help Hillary and, in turn, American whites will come to the bitter realization that they are no longer a majority and that their vote in rural America has little weight.  If Hillary is elected, disgruntled white working-class Americans may very well take to arms in certain areas, secede, or form autonomous zones.

But will Hillary get elected? This is far from certain. Now more than ever before, it seems that a growing number of Americans in the Democratic Party are disillusioned with the corporate hold over US politics.  Many young and idealistic Sanders supporters will not sell their souls by voting for Hillary. The 30% of Bernie’s supporters who stand for #BernieOrBust amount to at least 4 million Americans, and could turn the tide and take crucial votes away from Hillary. This would result in the Republican candidate’s victory and a somewhat fresh start at a genuine democracy in the US, starting with the opportunity for a long-awaited third choice. As Amanda Girard writes in U.S. Uncut:

While 4 million votes may not sound like a lot for a country with over 300 million people, it’s enough to swing a close election. And even if the 4 million figure seems inflated by optimistic projections, John Kerry lost to George W. Bush by just 3 million votes in 2004, which even by a conservative estimate (25% of 12 million) fits the current size of the national #BernieOrBust movement. And of course, Al Gore actually won the popular vote by just over half a million votes in 2000, but lost the electoral vote due to the close margins.

[…]But should Sanders not win the Democratic nomination in July, the #BernieorBust movement could frame the general election to its benefit, whether Hillary Clinton wins or loses, and build a powerful political movement that could have tremendous impact between 2016 and 2020 — and beyond.

Amanda Girard further explains that since a Hillary administration would be a continuation of an Obama administration with its mass-scale spying on Americans, overseas wars, growing poverty, the rule of the 1%, and the deportation of immigrants, a new political party would expose the Democratic Party as being incapable of dealing with the issues important to both Americans and the world’s peoples who the US has hither claimed to be policing.

In the upcoming elections, the corporate media will do all that it can to fear-monger idealistic youth into supporting Hillary as an alternative to Trump due to her supposed pragmatism and realism.  After hindering Sanders from winning in every possible way, the Democratic elite must now believe that young progressive Americans will be pressured to vote for Hillary no matter what. But they might be wagering wrong. Young Americans are tired of the constant lies and see the impending absence of a prosperous future. Bearing heavy debts on their shoulders that will enslave their souls for a life-time, they are far more progressive and idealistic than the arrogant DNC establishment dares to admit. If a large enough portion of these Americans abstains from voting out of frustration or favors a third candidate, the Republican candidate could win. But they will have to know better, as the media will most likely attempt to squeeze votes for Hillary out of them.

In the upcoming elections, the US will be more polarized than ever.  For Hillary supporters, it will be an anti-Trump vote, and for Trump supporters an anti-Hillary vote. All dirty tricks will be used and knives will be pulled out from hidden places, catching the public by surprise. Sadly, the battles may continue even after the crowds leave and the battle in the official arena ends. The importance of alternative media at this time cannot be overestimated. People in urban areas must be made aware of the plight of rural Americans, and the youth must not be deceived into thinking that they have no choice but to vote for Hillary.

In any case, the US will probably never be the same again. Despite the desperate efforts of the Democratic and Republican establishments, people are now discussing real issues. Americans have begun to wake up, and the objective of those who care should be encouraging critical thinking, staying true to one’s principles, and refraining from falling into despair or swallowing the false narrative offered by the corporate media which cares little for the lives of most Americans anyway. 

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