For those of you not familiar with Greek mythology, the “Harpies” were female birds sent by Zeus to steal the food of King Phineus of Thrace as punishment for the King for revealing Zeus’s secret plan. This continued until the arrival of Jason and the Argonauts who drove the Harpies back to their caves in Crete. Many of you are well prepared for what to say to the “Hillary Harpies” today who flurry around you at work, in your neighborhood, on social media and in the corporate media. But just in case, I’ve assembled some of my reasons for not voting for the Ice Queen, which may help you.
I think you’ll find my eleven reasons especially useful because they do not depend on anything Hillary has been accused of recently. I intentionally leave out Hillary’s horrible record as a war hawk, her fraudulent economic dealings, her minions’ machinations within the DNC primaries and her unfolding email scandal. I offer these reasons, because there is an inherent weakness in arguments about the content of what Hillary has or hasn’t done as a politician. The implications are that if the Hillary Harpies could convince you she really didn’t do those things she is accused of, she might be worth voting for. On the contrary, my objections to her election remain in place even if she was cleared of all accusations. Broadly speaking, my rejection of Hillary Clinton has to do with economic, class and political, deep-structural reasons that have little to do with these recent accusations. Many of you might not be prepared to go as far I do, but you may be able to use at least some of these reasons to help you in sending these upper middle class Harpies back to their caves, and hopefully to places far worse.
1. I am a 21st century socialist and if I vote at all, I would vote for a party that is sympathetic to socialism, if not a socialist party itself.
Hillary Clinton is a capitalist. Why would I vote for somebody who is 100% against the economic system I am committed to?
2. Hillary Clinton represents the interests of the one percent.
She has the class interests of the 1% at heart. She was selected by the Council of Foreign Relations to run. Her funds were drawn from Wall Street, the Business Round Table and the National Association of Manufactures and some of the largest banks. My loyalties are to the poor, working class and middle class, which compose 85% of the population. Why would I think it was important to choose between a neocon right wing Cold War liberal like Hillary and a real estate tycoon who could care less about the middle and lower classes?
3. I want to make an economic, political and social revolution.
Those who will vote for Hillary are generally upper middle class people. Historically, upper middle class people don’t make revolutions. Why would I find the need to align with them?
4. I am not a “progressive”.
As far as I can remember, the Communist Party used the term “progressive” when it changed its mind about working with socialists and liberals during their fight against fascism in the 30’s. For strategic reasons, the Communist party made believe that there was a broad continuum between liberals and socialists and communists with one shading into the other. Liberals have continued to believe in such a continuum but there isn’t one. There is a chasm. There are more similarities between liberals and conservatives than there are between liberals and socialists, communists and anarchists. This is because liberals and conservatives both accept capitalism; the different varieties of socialism do not.
POLITICAL STRUCTURAL REASONS
5. In practice, there are no significant differences between Republican and Democratic parties.
As Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey Sinclair of CounterPunch once wrote, “there ain’t a dimes’ worth of difference” between the two parties. Capitalists control both parties. As sociologist William Domhoff pointed out many years ago, what differences might exist between the parties are over religious and gender issues. The question of class inequalities and capitalism as a system is “off the table” for these parties.
6. The show of opposition in elections is part of a theatrically organized play, which is called “Lesser of Two Evils.”
This is a script that is better saved for World Championship Entertainment, a soap opera that has distinct stages:
a) The Democratic candidate starts out as a centric, generally lacking commitment to do anything substantial. Their only virtue seems to be that they are “reasonable” and “not extremists”.
b) The right wing Republican comes along – Bush, Trump – and begins ranting about whatever the going Evil Empire is doing internationally while railing domestically about family values, God and apple pie. Republicans use pathos to rile people up.
c) The mealy-mouth Democratic watches all the ravings, looks at the audience and says: “Pretty bad, huh? Well this is what you will get if you don’t vote from me.
d) The democrat announces their entire campaign consists of stopping this horrible right wing candidate, in this case, Trump. Previously it was Bush. Before that……
It is not without justification that people from other countries call the United States, “The United States of Amnesia”. For as far back as I can remember, since the late 1960’s, Democratic candidates have used this “Lesser Evilism” to hide the fact that since Lyndon Johnson, they have abandoned the modern liberalism of FDR. Yet every four years some sectors of the American public fall for the act over and over again.
It is in Hillary’s interest for Trump to continue to stay things that are off-the-wall, that humiliate people who aren’t strong enough to fight back. If he doesn’t do these things he focuses on working-class jobs, and she is sunk. She needs his outlandishness in order to be credible, just by comparison.
7. Donald Trump does not want to be president and will take a dive.
I know very little about Donald Trump. But I do know that most serious capitalists who want to make money do not run for political office because it takes too much time from their businesses. They send their lobbyists in to make their wishes known. As an individual, Trump seems to be impatient, easy to arouse, wants to wheel and deal and then move on. I cannot imagine him having any patience with the slow moving, courtly, pontificating feudal barons that preside in Congress. In fact, even if he got elected, I could easily imagine he would be the first president who would quit because the political processes drag out for months and years. He would find them boring and would prefer to go back to “real work” in the re-estate business.
8. The popular vote for Republicans or Democrats doesn’t matter. “Democracy” is a term used for ideological purposes to control the population.
Those who ask me to vote for Hillary instead of Trump assume that the popular vote matters. But Trump has as much chance of winning this election as Bernie Sanders had of winning the Democratic nomination – none. The 1% will install Hillary through the manipulation of voting machines, the Electoral College, and all the rest of the Byzantine procedures they use to manipulate the vote as they make up the rules as they go. If they did this to Bernie Sanders, why wouldn’t things be the same in the general elections against Trump?
9. The political system hasn’t a semblance of scientific respectability because there is no relationship between campaign intentions and political practice.
Any candidate can say whatever they want during a campaign and yet not be legally bound to put those campaign promises into practice or suffer legal consequences for not doing so. Hillary Harpies act like there is a one-to-one relationship in politics between intentions and practice. Donald Trump has promised to do many harmful and ridiculous things, therefore people believe those things will come to pass if he is elected. Anybody who pays attention to politics knows that most of the time, politicians do things they don’t intend, and intend things they do not do. Why would Donald Trump be any different?
Broadly speaking, as most of us know, when a Democratic candidate wins an election, they are centrist at best in their practices. There hasn’t been a moderately liberal Democrat president in practice since Lyndon Johnson. On the other hand, when a right wing Republican wins, in practice they also become more centrist. Richard Nixon, anti-Communist Republican before becoming president, normalized relations with Maoist China in the early 70’s. Contrary to the moronic comments by conservatives that Obama is a socialist; in practice Obama has been the best Republican candidate since Eisenhower. In practice he is more right wing than Bush II when it comes to starting and sustaining wars; conducting targeted assassinations; conducing drone warfare; offering no help to build up labor unions; helping blacks; or raising the minimum wage. Here is a model Republican program for you.
10. Class, rather than gender or race, is a far better indicator of what a politician will do.
Because Hillary is a woman, some people think there is an automatic relationship between being a woman and either a) feminism or b) liberal politics. There is no significant correlation. In the case of the United States we only need to bring up previous women like Madelyn Albright and Condoleezza Rice to show there is plenty of room for women in power to be neither liberal nor feminist.
Turning to race and politics, many people thought that because Obama was black and well educated, he must be liberal. What exactly has Obama done for African Americans? Has he insisted on leveling the racial pay discrepancies? Has he developed programs to get the disproportionate number of black men out of prison? Has he intervened in the case of police murders of blacks?
What exactly has Hilary delivered for women when she was the “First Lady”? What has she done for women as Secretary of State? What do even any of her campaign promises explicitly have to do with women? Hillary is simply proving how desperate and needy many women, and men, can be. Even when she promises nothing to women and she has delivered nothing to women, still the Harpies hang on. Sounds like the makings of a very abusive marriage.
Personally my class enemy is anyone who is president because of the class interests they represent. Their skin color, gender or sexual preference is relevant to their power only in that it helps to mask their position in commanding private control over resources, as well as state control over the means of violence.
11. The Democrats’ track record for supporting abortion is unreliable.
“What about the Supreme Court?”, the Harpies scream. ‘If Trump gets in, abortion will be illegal.” As far as I know, Trump is no religious conservative. Even if he were, that doesn’t mean that Democrats are not greatly responsible for the continuing tenuousness of the fight for women’s right to have abortions. Between 1976 and today the Democratic party has had a combined total of twenty four years in power with Carter, Clinton I and with Obama to stack the Supreme Court with liberals. If the Democratic Party was really a party for women, they would have made it very difficult for conservative Supreme Court justices to question the right of abortion. They did not seize power when they had it. The Democratic Party is complicit in the continued controversy over women’s right to have abortions.
Again, remember that these eleven reasons are good reasons not to vote for Hillary even if she were not guilty of any of the things she has been accused of. Good luck driving out the Harpies!