Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hitler Gave Us Quislings; The Clintons Give Us Quoslings

A quisling (named after Norway's Vidkun Quisling) is someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying force. A quosling (my word for followers of Hillary Clinton) is someone who collaborates with corporate interests to perpetuate the status quo.

While I was protesting the DNC in Philadelphia last week, I met some Democrats who are so disappointed in the nomination of Clinton that they intend to vote for Donald Trump. I can't follow their logic, but I can paraphrase it:

"Clinton is such a heinous liar that I have to vote for Trump, even though I know he is also a heinous liar."

"Clinton is such a despicable fraud that I have to vote for Trump, even though I know he is also a despicable fraud."

"Clinton is so shamelessly self-serving that I have to vote for Trump, even though he's every bit as shamelessly self-serving."

I think these folks just feel betrayed by the Democratic Party right now (as they should), and I expect most of them to wake up to the realization (before November) that it makes no sense to reward Trump simply for not being Clinton. In fact, this is exactly the sort of nonsense logic that led the Nobel Committee to award a Peace Prize to Barack Obama simply for not being George W. Bush (even though Obama, after accepting the prize, would turn out to be more committed to wars of choice than any president in U.S. history).

I'm not terribly worried about the Democrats who say they will vote for Trump, but I am terrified of those who say that they will hold their noses and vote for Clinton--especially in swing states.

For heaven's sake, why?

Clinton isn't just a flawed candidate; she's unconscionable. And those who say otherwise are lying to themselves and the people around them. If Trump supporters are driven by raw stupidity (the stupidity of believing that Trump actually has the political skill to defeat the TPP as he promises), then Clinton supporters are driven by raw cynicism (the cynicism of pretending that she has the political will to defeat the TPP as she promises).

The pro-Clinton arguments are just as inane as the pro-Trump arguments:

"Trump is such a heinous racist that I have to vote for Clinton, even though I know that the war on drugs to which she remains committed is unabashed racism masquerading as policy for the benefit of prisons-for-profit and the pharmaceutical industry."

"Trump is such a despicable xenophobe that I have to vote for Clinton, whose indifference to human lives all over the globe led to the coup in Honduras, the destabilization of Lybia, the rise of ISIS, and the Syrian diaspora."

"Trump is such a shameless climate change denier that I have to vote for Clinton, who will sell out the future of the planet to her fossil fuel sponsors just as eagerly as Trump, but who at least knows better than to seem gleeful about it."

Clinton supporters don't mind institutional racism; they just want a candidate who knows how to keep racism on the down low, where it's sustainable (unlike the obnoxious and unsustainable racism of Trump). Clinton supporters don't object to xenophobia; they just want a candidate who can slaughter innocent non-American civilians all over the planet without calling too much attention to the phenomenon. Clinton supporters don't care about whether future generations will have clean air and water; they just want someone who knows how to present the illusion that the climate situation is improving even as it continues to deteriorate.

Clinton supporters aren't dumb; they're just selfishly committed to the status quo because they believe it's their turn to reap their rewards for having supported self-serving corporatists such as Clinton over the years.

Clinton supporters are quoslings because they are actively and deliberately collaborating with the enemy--the corporate interests for whom the TPP amounts to a hostile takeover of the U.S. government.

Clinton supporters are quoslings because they are actively and deliberately working to perpetuate the institutional racism associated with the carceral state, the erosion of privacy associated with the surveillance state, and the genocidal impulses associated with the imperialist state.

Clinton supporters are quoslings because they are actively and deliberately working to help the Clinton media machine pretend that talking about climate change is the same as doing something about climate change.

They're quoslings because they know exactly what they're doing--and that's what makes their attempts to bully the rest of us into supporting Clinton even more repugnant than the anger that is driving some misguided Democrats into the Trump camp.

Quoslings are going to keep attacking Jill Stein for her lack of experience and her supposed non-viability because they don't understand that what draws us to Jill isn't her experience or her viability, but her fundamental human decency. They don't understand that no matter how flawed a candidate Trump may be, the monstrous indecency of Clinton will never become acceptable to those of us who know that the status quo has got to go.

Democrats keep telling me that I have to face the binary they're focused on: Trump v. Clinton. I'm not allowed to have a third choice because the political reality is such that anyone who doesn't support Clinton becomes a supporter of Trump. I don't accept that premise, but even if I did, it's plain to me that Clinton (who is spoiling for fights with Russia, Iran, and Syria) is a greater danger than Trump to the safety of Americans and people throughout the world.

But don't worry. I won't vote for Trump because I refuse to confine myself to your binary. If I'm going to be trapped in a binary, I choose this one: After the way the Democratic Party treated my candidate and my values in 2016, am I down with Dems or done with Dems?

That question is way easier to answer than choosing between the twin nightmares of Trump and Clinton.

I am done with Dems--done.

Also, I've seen Jill Stein in person, so I'm a lot more excited to discover what she can do than I am worried about whatever frivolous distinctions there might be between Trump and Clinton.

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