Vol. 22, No. 5,514 - The American Reporter - September 7, 2016

by Randolph T. Holhut
American Reporter Correspondent
Dummerston, Vt.
July 28, 2016
On Native Ground

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DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- After the dystopian hate fest that was the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, the Democrats had a very low bar to clear for their convention this week in Philadelphia. All they had to do was show up and project competence and sanity.

But of course, it's the Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton, so they had more hurdles to clear, such as dealing with all the people who voted for Bernie Sanders who haven't accepted the news that their candidate lost.

While Sanders did manage to win some concessions with the party platform - arguably one of the most progressive platforms in decades - he and Elizabeth Warren were banished to the first night of the convention.

Sanders' supporters seethed over the 20,000 emails released by Wikileaks that confirmed what they were saying for months - that the Democratic National Committee was doing all it could to get Clinton elected, while doing all it could to hurt Sanders.

That the DNC had it in for Sanders was a given. He wasn't a Democrat, and admitted he only borrowed the party for his presidential run because it is impossible for a third-party candidate to get taken seriously, let alone win an election, under the current two-party duopoly.

Clinton had it wired from the start, but even with all the different ways that Clinton made sure she had the nomination locked up, we still witnessed a rumpled, 70-ish independent democratic socialist from Vermont starting his presidential campaign nearly 18 months ago with no money and no name recognition finish strong and nearly upset the odds-on favorite in one of the most improbable primary seasons ever.

But in the U.S. political system, the candidate that gets the most votes wins. That candidate was Hillary Clinton. She earned the nomination.

Do I like that fact? Not particularly. I didn't support her in 2008. I think she's too cozy with Wall Street and big business. I think she is the most hawkish Democrat of recent years. I think she is not terribly progressive.

But all of this doesn't matter.

The mission now is to defeat Donald Trump.

And nothing else matters.

I listened to Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. I didn't want to, but did so out of duty. And what I heard was horrifying.

Was this what Americans were feeling in 1930s? How many were listening to the voices of Hitler and Mussolini through the static of the shortwave, listening to the roars of approval from the crowds and, even without fluency in German or Italian, sense that something didn't feel right?

Too many Americans in the 1930s ignored the warning signs and didn't grasp the danger of fascism until it was almost too late. And the press of the time didn't do a particularly good job of sounding the alarm.

We don't have that excuse today. We know exactly who Donald Trump is. We know exactly what he stands for. And when he speaks, he sounds no different than all the authoritarians who have come to power before him.

Don't give me any nonsense about choosing between the lesser of two evils. Ask yourself this question: Who do you want in the White House? A woman who is one of the most qualified and experienced people to run for president, or a divisive, selfish, greedy sociopath with zero experience (aside from running businesses into the ground while sticking others with the tab)?

To me, that's an easy question to answer. I may not like Hillary Clinton, but she will do far less harm to America than a Donald Trump presidency.

And, if the energy that fueled the Bernie Revolution doesn't dissipate, Sanders and Warren will be back in leadership positions in a Senate controlled by Democrats, with an outside shot of also taking control of the House.

Elect more and better Democrats to Congress, as well as at the local and state levels, and a Clinton presidency may actually be a good one.

AR's Chief of Correspondents, Randolph T. Holhut, holds an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has been an award-winning journalist in New England for more than 35 years. He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). He can be reached at randyholhut@yahoo.com.

Copyright 2016 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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