On Progressive Democrats: Sanders v. Clinton

4 Feb

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In past years, I tried to distance myself from ‘liberals’ by describing myself as ‘progressive.’ It was admittedly a middle ground between being a liberal, which I associated with being a comforter of the established order while opting for humane policies at the margins, and being a ‘radical’ or ‘leftist,’ which struck me as terms of self-exile outside domains of relevant discourse. My basic objection to liberals and their agenda was that they swallowed ‘the system’ whole while excusing themselves by claiming the mantle of realism and moral concern. In my view, American structures of militarism and capitalism needed to be transformed in socialist directions if humanity was to have a positive future, and this is what the liberals I knew didn’t want to hear about, believing that such structural criticisms would hand the government over to Republicans by alienating the mainstream and thus be a prescription for the self-destruction of the Democratic Party, and political darkness.

 

In my lifetime there never was a progressive presidential candidate in my sense, although George McGovern came close, as did Gene McCarthy, and their political failures, were often cited as proof that the practical wisdom of the liberal position should be heeded. Whenever I acknowledged having voted for the third party candidate, Ralph Nader, in the 2000 elections, the best that I could hope for from my liberal friends was scorn, followed by the allegation of irresponsibility, pointing out that the Florida outcome would likely have gone Al Gore’s way if Nader’s name had not been on the ballot, and attracted the vote of some 90,000 wayward citizens. And so the misery of the George W. Bush years would have been avoided, and in its place the lesser misery of Gore would have been experienced.

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With these considerations in mind, I am startled by the amusing controversy between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as to whether Clinton is entitled to claim the mantle of ‘progressive.’ What seems odd and unexpected is that both candidates competing for support among Democrats, avoid any reference to being a ‘liberal’ and both proudly claim to be a ‘progressive.’ Actually, when challenged, Clinton does behave like a liberal, claiming realism is on her side, and dismissing Sanders transformative proposals (on health care, college tuition, wages, tax reform) as not achievable. In contrast, she bases her appeal on a commitment to finish what Obama started and a record of getting things done. In other words, she shares the abstract language of Sanders, but when it comes down to it, her promised contributions will be limited to the margins, identifying her in ways characteristic of her long political career—as a liberal. In fairness I suppose both candidates and their minders have made linguistic calculations. In Sanders’ case it is to run away as far as possible from being called ‘a socialist’ and for Clinton it seems to be wanting to avoid the deadend boredom of being classified as ‘a liberal.’

 

If I had to associate the word liberal with a particular set of views, I would probably select Nicholas Kristof, a regular opinion page columnist for the New York Times, as exemplifying the liberal worldview. And sure enough, in a true liberal mode Kristof jumped to Clinton’s defense with a condescending pat on Barry Sander’s back along the way. Under the headline “2 Questions For Bernie Sanders” [NYT, February 4, 2016] Kristof puts forward the usual liberal ‘higher wisdom’: first, Sanders’ sweeping proposals would never get enacted in the real world of Washington politics, and secondly, nominating a self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ would alienate American voters to such an extent as virtually to assure the election of a dangerous Republican reactionary such as Ted Cruz. There is no doubt that the current makeup of Congress would block the policymaking ambitions of any Democrat who lands in the White House, whether Clinton or Sanders, but if this is the case then the election is almost as irrelevant as many young people have believed in the past, at least until Obama and now Sanders came along. This cynicism is itself dangerously simplistic as a Democrat as president at least can be counted on to do less harm.

 

No sensible person would doubt that these practical considerations are serious concerns, but they must be balanced against the deep structural deformation long associated with neoliberal capitalism and geopolitical militarism. For too long these deeper maladies of American politics have been swept under the rug in deference to the imperatives of practical politics, and Kristof never dares even entertains an assessment of why it might finally make sense to give up on the liberal option.

 

In my view, Bernie Sanders is a true progressive because he has the courage to confront structurally Wall Street America, although he can claim only the weak form of progressivism as he has yet to confront Pentagon America. Sanders contends that his movement is a call for ‘revolution’ but if that is the claim then to be fully credible it must also call into question the American Global Domination Project, involving the network of foreign bases, naval supremacy throughout the world’s oceans, nuclear modernization program, and the ambitious militarizing plans for the management of space. In the meantime, while impatient for the revolution needed in America, I greatly prefer a true progressive to a disguised liberal, and so did 84% of the young voters who backed Sanders over Clinton in Iowa.

 

28 Responses to “On Progressive Democrats: Sanders v. Clinton”

  1. M.L. February 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Reblogged this on PAJU – Palestiniens et Juifs Unis and commented:
    No sensible person would doubt that these practical considerations are serious concerns, but they must be balanced against the deep structural deformation long associated with neoliberal capitalism and geopolitical militarism. For too long these deeper maladies of American politics have been swept under the rug in deference to the imperatives of practical politics, and Kristof never dares even entertains an assessment of why it might finally make sense to give up on the liberal option.

    In my view, Bernie Sanders is a true progressive because he has the courage to confront structurally Wall Street America, although he can claim only the weak form of progressivism as he has yet to confront Pentagon America. Sanders contends that his movement is a call for ‘revolution’ but if that is the claim then to be fully credible it must also call into question the American Global Domination Project, involving the network of foreign bases, naval supremacy throughout the world’s oceans, nuclear modernization program, and the ambitious militarizing plans for the management of space. In the meantime, while impatient for the revolution needed in America, I greatly prefer a true progressive to a disguised liberal, and so did 84% of the young voters who backed Sanders over Clinton in Iowa.

  2. ray032 February 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    Since the US claims the exceptional right to conform this world to it’s image, everyone should be able to vote for the US President. Unfortunately, being Canadian, I can’t vote. If I could, I would vote for Bernie.

    All the Republicans I see as being unbalanced, blatant war mongers. They would bomb any Nation that did not obey US dictates. I see Clinton also having that militant mind set.

    Bernie has been consistent in his Principles and vision since entering Public life. Here he is excoriating Alan Greenspan in 2003, with the same issues and concerns that are now attracting American youth, except the issues need resolving more Today than when Bernie identified them 13 years ago.

    • ray032 February 4, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

      • ray032 February 4, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

        Richard, if this link doesn’t work, please delete the link above and in my comment. It works for me.

      • ray032 February 6, 2016 at 8:45 am #

        Pardon my inexactitude! What I should have written was “Richard, if this link works, please delete the comment/blank link above it, and the link in my original comment on Bernie.” Thank you.

  3. Harvey Epstein February 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    Richard, Ray032, we do agree on Bernie. We need to rethink and get back to trying to do what is best for the vast majority of Americans BUT we must not turn our back on trying to do what is right, internationally as well.

    Regards

    • ray032 February 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

      Harvey, I would like to see Richard have a louder voice that is listened to, with all the violations of UN Principles and International Law with the World War already happening in Syria. If I knew how to make that happen directly, I would. As it is, I have experienced the power of prayer.

      It is false, misleading, manipulative, propaganda to refer to what is happening in Syria as a “civil” war. War is always, everywhere, every time, the lack of civility among the kings of the earth, both seen and known, or secret and unknown to the Public.

      SYRIA: A WITCH’S BREW – ON THE ROAD TO TEHRAN
      https://ray032.com/2012/02/27/syria-a-witchs-brew-on-the-road-to-tehran/

  4. peteybee February 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

    Reblogged this on Spread An Idea and commented:
    Richard Falk eloquently articulates his views on the “liberal” vs “progressive”, which I also share. Though I am perfectly fine with the word “socialist”.

    • Kata Fisher February 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      A note:

      I do not think that “socialist” is actually true term to the “progressive” approach of Mr. Sanders – what he is going about is actually social justice. If liberal cult/s strategy can be kept out from his way /regulated, – he can do excellently as a world leader.

      I believe that Clinton is bad news International and bad new for Americans, and altogether I think and believe that she was a major setback to Obama’s presidency.

      Further, in Benghazi US consulate/embassy case – the happenings should not be departed attention of American voters.

      Clinton is also incapable of rational distinctions in reference to the Presidential position, but not only that – not that I am discriminating against mentally ill people; however, she has incredibly worry some psychological traits that are not just of and on of a human error – but actual patterns. It is almost like suppressed/silent neuroticism. I would definitely worry about that, as well as her long-term well-being. She must be in excruciating struggle to control her condition – or it is self-silent/repressed neuroticism.

  5. Gene Schulman February 5, 2016 at 1:26 am #

    Liberal, progressive, what’s in a name? I have yet to hear Bernie say anything that would encourage me to vote for him. He has never pronounced a word on foreign policy. He is only a lesser evil than Hillary, and both are beholden to the same forces of today’s Democrat/Republican ideologies. Both is bad! I shall exercise my right to not vote!

    • No vote for baby killers February 5, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      You are naive and very polite not to realize that the author of this post is a LIBERAL and a servant of ‘world government’ of criminal Rothschild family, Rockefeller, Soros, and zionist bankers who have spent all his time in various liberal foundations and organizations designed to take over the world. He is a member of Council on Foreign relations, responsible for US foreign policy where has let to massacre of millions of people by staging False Flag Operation to wage wars to bring down nations after nation to take over their natural, human and financial systems to steal their resources. Falk and Noam Chomsky, asked the ignorant people to vote for the Zionist stooge and most savage ‘president’ so far, Obama, for the second time. Obama has been the most important zionist SERVANT in the history of the presidency.
      Now, he is performing his mission, to lead and direct the ignorant population to vote for another war criminal, Hillary Rotten Clinton, because he knows very well that the Zionist criminals – Rothschild, Rockefeller, Soros, Kissinger and associates – who SELECTED the ‘president’ last time, have CHOSEN Hillary, for 2016 election. They selected Obama from black section, ‘victim’, to fool the public, now they are using Pusey politics, to SELECT another ‘victim’, to wage more wars to change the map of the region for the interest of the ZIONIST Jews, ‘greater Israel’. Both criminals, Obama and Clinton, have shown their willingness to kill and destroy in order to help the Zionist project “world government”, and “greater Israel” to maintain power. People of the world must be united against the criminal tribe to save humanity.
      It is obvious that Mr. Falk is directing ignorant people to vote for Hillary, Kissinger’s daughter, when he writes:
      {American voters to such an extent as virtually to assure the election of a dangerous Republican reactionary such as Ted Cruz.}
      Do you see any difference between these two war mongers? He does not use the same word ‘dangerous Democrat reactionary’ for Hillary Rotten Clinton, because she is the one he will vote for, and he is preparing the ground to bring in dumb voters in 2016. Is Hillary any better than Cruz?
      Clinton has already been SELECTED BY THE CRIMINALS. In the US, a police state, the president is not elected by the people, rather is SELECTED by a criminal group. Why do you want to vote to maintain a terrorist state?

      • Gene Schulman February 5, 2016 at 8:58 am #

        I don’t know who you are, and usually don’t reply to anyone who doesn’t identify him/herself. The reason I am doing so now is because I agree with much of what you say except for the accusation you make of Mssrs. Chomsky and Falk. I have never heard that either are members of the Council on Foreign Relations, and nowhere in this article does Prof. Falk advise voting for either one of the candidates he is discussing. He is merely describing their qualities, for whatever that is worth. I think you are a bit overwrought. Your rant cannot be taken seriously.

      • Richard Falk February 5, 2016 at 10:50 am #

        Gene: Thanks for your supportive comment. In fact, I have been a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and in the 1970s
        had a widely publicized fight over the appointment of William Bundy as Editor of Foreign Affairs during the last stage of the Vietnam War.
        Although a member, I have been marginal and marginalized within the organization. While living in the East it was helpful for me to get a
        better feel for what establishment elites REALLY think as the discussion groups and dialogue were confidential and opinions could not be attributed. I
        did not feel compromised by my membership, a matter of public record, and do not feel that it influenced my views or eroded my integrity.

      • Kata Fisher February 5, 2016 at 9:08 am #

        Baby killing and vast types of contraceptives are actually World-wide population control projects. I saw a document that actually has moved and moves liberal ideology on women/child rights (which is in satanic seals): Jaffe Memo. Its Nazi ideology – just in another package. I am sure that even elect of God are confused and not sure what to hold when comes to abortions and contraceptives.

        Church holds that church members should never have anything to do with it!

        However, for spiritually excommunicated Jaffe Memo is the perfect model to follow. Church has no problem with things that Spiritual excommunicated endorse and follow. We do ask elect to repent of satanic ideologies in their pursuits, however.

        They know very well that they will never achieve women rights without child rights. If they teach anything else to women rights (outside child-right) – they are way off, and there is a problem. It is the first problem for them individually, and secondly, it is the problem nationally – which they have been implementing world-wide.

        Seriously, let’s are rational about evils of abortions – evils of women rights (in abortion factories outside hospitalised psychological and medical care) and without child rights.

        We, the Church Charismatic will and can tell you about satanic seals in bloodlines, but also will tell you when you outside of common grace, and in danger to be cut off due to evil delusions.

        Church is very rational when comes to spiritual realities (even the problem of evil), but also common grace that is automatic to all human-kind even unborn embryos/foetuses. So, do not be a foe to the unborn reality of mankind – it can and will return itself as a sin – be revisited in your own blood lines.

      • Kata Fisher February 5, 2016 at 9:12 am #

        I have to make correction – I stated:

        “Seriously, let’s are rational about evils of abortions – evils of women rights (in abortion factories outside hospitalised psychological and medical care) and without child rights.”

        It should read:

        Seriously, let’s be rational about evils of abortions – evils of women rights (in abortion factories outside hospitalised psychological and medical care) and without child rights.

  6. Kata Fisher February 5, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    A question note: Is it so that the Council of Foreign Reletions was/is a cult of some folks that consider them-self elite? If I am understanding all this correctly? That would not be a joke? It is a cult. I am ameyezed (in negative way) to be so, and for how long. Also, are you claiming that Kissinger has iligitimate doughter? I do not believe in gossips, and I do not like them because they are demonic – but a scandal would be interested to note. Is Clinton Kissingers iligitimate doughter – or are you kidding?

    • Gene Schulman February 6, 2016 at 9:24 am #

      Are YOU kidding, Kata?

      • Kata Fisher February 6, 2016 at 10:25 am #

        Hi Gene, are you asking if I would be kidding? I am grown up adult, and ordained. I do have three collage degrees, and I do speak three languages of lands in which I was living over the time. Why would I be kidding – or not be understanding? Lol, I would be hearing here about scandals or gossips? I do not think so – so I am not kidding, and have to know if I am led into believing into some gossip.. – or Scriptualy iligitimate / legitimate facts.

  7. Kata Fisher February 7, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    A note:

    I read this report below –

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/08/us/politics/gloria-steinem-madeleine-albright-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

    It seems to me that there is “A Special Place In Hell for Women” that help each other – and I do not say ” ‘ha, ha, ha’ ” – at all. It’s turned upside down anecdote – but a true one – that is not funny.

    It seems to me that there is “Special place in hell for women that help each other.”

    There is nothing as scornful stupidity as old women babble and youth-stupidity. There is hope for youth, but NO hope for old routine women babble (Laughter)

    – and I have to note this:

    Hillel Neuer is so funny!

    We know that

    seeks
    A scorner
    wisdom
    and not
    [findeth it]

    I loved that song from Bon Jovi when he said: “Franky said, ‘I did it my way.”

    He (Hillel) has been saying things that are untrue to Professor Falk. It is just ridicules.

    He has not stopped calling Professor Falk “Anti-Semite” and similar nonsense! And also he calls Hebrew prophets anti-Semite – this is unbelievably funny. It is and it is not laughable.

    Really Hillel – Is this “your own stupidity” – or what? Why don’t you brake a leg else where? How about that?

  8. Jerry "Peacemaker" February 7, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

    Hillary is a manipulative liar. Bernie is not. Need one say anything more?

  9. Paul Wapner February 8, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    I will be voting for Bernie in the primaries but that doesn’t dismiss the issue of voting for the least horrible option in national elections. In 2000, when it was clear that Nader hadn’t a chance to win, I felt it was irresponsible and, frankly, egotistical of him to stay in the race (or continue campaigning in swing states). He could have pressed Gore for policy assurances and gotten behind the Democrats. Nader justified his actions saying that there was no difference between Gore and Bush (or the Democrats and Republicans). The Bush years suggest otherwise (think, if nothing else, about Bush’s Supreme Court nominations) Yes, the system is structurally flawed but there is much good that still can be crafted within a flawed system. If Bernie doesn’t win the nomination, I will be campaigning (hard) for Clinton.

    • Kata Fisher February 8, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      A Note:

      What was true for Bush-Gore times it may not be true for next year.

      Further,

      Clinton could definitely make the difference – only, concerning needs of mentally ill of the land. She is not a world-leader
      ;she sins added on – and that is my true estimate. It is, however, true that mentally ill are taboo’s of the street- walks across America. Mentally ill and child rights is just major dismissal to all swings between left and right (and local issue to America).

      America will have to repent before they can elect to themselves someone who is actually sincere.

      As long as world condition does not go twisted – to let it be (can be) twisted locally – we the Church do not care what’s taking place locally.

      Sad antidote. Poison is poison – its awful to treat it.

      We had nations and Churches in the nations gutted out. Now, Now, – those were work of devils and satanic seals.

      • Kata Fisher February 8, 2016 at 11:30 am #

        I do have to make a correction –

        Americans did elect someone that is actually sincere – but it happens so that he did – or he was advised to put some wine – new wine into an old wineskin.

        I do not know what you people are going to do about those cults in your midst.

        It happened so that Kenedy had a problem with a fellowship in satanic seals. Obviously, there is a problem – irrevocable? – and if irrevocable, then, just for how long?

        Really, can Obama fix all of your all’s problems? And how fast and for how long?

    • Richard Falk February 8, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

      Paul: I accept your logic, although existentially I am not quite there yet, and being here
      in California eases the burden of responsibility. I may cast a vote for Jill Stein, and a greener
      future! Richard

  10. Schlüter February 9, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    In fact Killary Clinton is the Neosons spearhead in the Dem Party. If one wants to know what is in the Neocons “pipe” for this world, one has to look into the papers of their Think Tanks. In September 2000 the “Project for the New American Century” issued the paper “Rebuilding America´s Defenses”. On page 60 you find the announcement of Fascist atrocities: “And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” (https://de.scribd.com/doc/9651/Rebuilding-Americas-Defenses-PNAC)!
    I wrote on this in these two articles: “Zika Virus and a Strange Case”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/zika-virus-and-a-strange-case/ & „Ebola: Pandora´s Box Opened Since Long?“ http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/ebola-pandoras-box-opened-since-long/
    Andreas Schlüter
    Sociologist

    • Kata Fisher February 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

      All their warfare is in satanic seals

      With Church Charismatic is like this – if they force us to sin we will sin – but but thy will be accursed – and cut of, even cut of to death.

      Today,

      I was at the clinic, here in Colorado Springs Moutain Post Clinic and I swore (I had to swear by God) by Holy Altar of God and all things on it and I cursed “Colorado State Law” in the Name of God that King David worshiped and in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and had cursed their children to death! Just have it with abortions! OUTSIDE ALL GRACE! None of Grace! Unmerciful and wicked people can have their way.

      I was exhausted and I had all this all this demonic, spiritual evil coming against me and this little kid- I nearly fainted – but then I was moved by Spirit – and I just started cursing by the Authority of the Spirit

      Why? I had stupid lay-people in my face with their Satanic, illegal civil-eccalistical ways and law against my children and me – way to many times – enough is enough!

      Thy put their witchcraft in military chapels against Roman Catholic Priest and members; then they put their witchcraft against communion tables of the Church and strife between communion of Faith. They put strife and witchcraft – and they be justly cursed by women in Church Catholic Charismatic that these wicked people – they ordained by their evil abused of Church Charismatic order.

      This is just how it is going to be- I guess. I am still in exhaustion from all stress – I was about to have a panic attack there. It is so much evil of satanic seals it is unbelievable.

      I was at the clinic, here in Colorado Springs MOUNTAIN POSTR CLINIC and I I swore by Holy Altar of God and all things on it and I cursed “Colorado State Law” in the Name of God that King David worshiped and in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and had cursed their children to death! Just have it with abortions! OUTSIDE ALL GRACE! None of Grace! Unmerciful and wicked people can have their way.

      Thy put their witchcraft in military chapels against Roman Catholic Priest and members; then they put their witchcraft against communion tables of the Church and strife between communion of Faith. They put strife and witchcraft – and they are justly cursed by women in Church Catholic Charismatic that these wicked people – they ordained by their evil abused of Church Charismatic order.

      I have cursed wicked-churches in satanic seals and in Blasphemy of God’s Spirit in blood lines – just as well.

      Why? I had stupid lay-people in my face with their Satanic, illegal civil-eccalistical ways and illegal laws against my children and me – way to many times – enough is enough!

      Thy put their witchcraft in military capes against Roman Chaotic Priest; then they put their witchcraft against communions tables and strife betting communion of Faith. They put strife and witchcraft – and they are accursed by Church Charismatic that they ordained by their evil abused of Church Charismatic order.

      This is just how it ALWAYS is going to be, as long as there are wicked.

      • Kata Fisher February 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

        Actually,

        I just recall what exactly I was cursing by Spirit of God: I cursed both the Colorado State and Colorado State Law – but I was not in natural realm – my mind and spirit was not in natural realm – as I was in Spirit of God.

        Also, sorry about double drafting – I just wrote and really did not proofread paragraphs.

        Professor Falk, I just know it s all double drafts and to many post – but I am just moved to say something about that.

  11. Beau Oolayforos February 12, 2016 at 6:36 am #

    Poor Hillary – to have supported Wolfowitz’s Iraq Invasion, and now, to pronounce herself “flattered” by the endorsement of Henry Kissinger. Yuck. Dumb or opportunistic? Who cares?

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