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hard-knock-radioLUMPENPROLETARIAT—Free speech radio’s Hard Knock Radio has provided broadcast coverage of today’s Super Tuesday IV, which they observed as symptomatic of a failed democracy.  Unfortunately, this particular broadcast doesn’t delve terribly deeply into the details evidencing this failure.  But they are out there.  Our election process does appear to be antidemocratic, at best, and completely rigged, at worse.  People, such as Greg Palast and William Simpich have been staying on the election protection beat.  Here, the strongest arguments against any illusions we have a healthy democracy are delivered by Rosa Clemente, yet even they merely scratch the surface.  There are transformative and emancipatory ideas out there for participatory democracy, such as ranked-choice voting, proportional representation, and publicly-funded elections, which progressives agree on, but neglect to include in their analyses.  Besides discussing Black Lives Matter, Rosa Clemente gave Davey D the latest iteration of her third-party politics and general critique of electoral politics.  Oddly, Rosa Clemente, who was the 2008 Green Party candidate for Vice President of the USA alongside Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, sends mixed signals about the electoral process.  While she seems to advocate for the Green Party, she also says she believes “in organised efforts for folks to withhold the vote for future elections”.  (Closing out this broadcast, Olmeca gave street perspectives to some black and brown identity politics within the hip hop subculture.)  Listen here. [1]



[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and Hard Knock Radio]

rigged 2016HARD KNOCK RADIO—[7 JUN 2016]  “Wussup, fam.  You are tuned to Hard Knock, here on the Pacifica Network.  Up next on the programme, we speak with long-time organiser Rosa Clemente about the persecution of Black Lives Matter organiser JasmineAbdullahRichards.  And, also, we talk about the upcoming presidential election, a stolen democracy.  And, later on in the programme, last but not least, we speak with hip hop artist and activist Olmeca.  All this and more straight ahead.  So, keep it locked.”

[News Headlines (read by Mark Mericle) omitted by scribe]  (c. 7:30)

[intro audio collage]  (c. 8:40)

[interview with Rosa Clemente]

[SNIP]  (c. 21:06)

DAVEY D:  “Let me ask you thi—”

ROSA CLEMENTE:  “Or that she is not get electable, that that does not happen.”

DAVEY D:  “Yeah.  Since we’re talkin’ politics, let me just ask you this, since we have you on the line, Rosa.  I know she’s not your favourite person, you know, Hillary Clinton, especially, you, being a Green Party member.  But, with that being said, this whole announcement of her clinching the nomination on the eve, not even on the eve—happening overnight, people woke up, many people feeling that they can go to the polls and make a difference for the first time in a few decades here in California—all of a sudden, it’s kind of got short-changed with this announcement that super delegates, you know, over night have decided to put her over the top.  What’s your thoughts on that mechanism?  There’s a lot of fallout, a lot of conversation about that.  From the outside looking in, how do you see this and your thoughts on that?”  (c. 21:57)

ROSA CLEMENTE:  “Well I mean, first, for those that, um, are Democrats and were going to vote for Bernie, I think it is foul. [scoffs]  I think it is—you know.  I, I think that the Democratic Party has shown itself to, even, folks, that were still, essentially, gonna vote Democrat, if you’re going for Bernie, that they are an establishment party—they are an elite party—that there’s no democracy in that party.  (c. 22:24)

“And the idea, too, I mean that the media could say that the night before, before—how many?—folks in six states are left to vote. [3]  I mean I think it really shows.  It’s gotta show people the incestuous relationship between the media elite and the two-party system, that elite system as well.

“And I think it’s gonna, hopefully, push people to break, finally, from the Democratic Party and join an independent party.  I would hope it would be the Green Party.  But there are other parties out there.  And there are other presidential candidates, including the Socialism and Liberation Party.

“And, you know, I also believe in organised efforts for folks to withhold the vote for future elections.  As it bodes for today, I think the entire state of California and all those voters were disenfranchised.  I mean it’s a huge slap, especially, to young folks, that had a little bit of hope, you know, like, especially, those in California, that were like:  Wait, wait.  Everything, that they said was gonna happen with Hillary, we actually have a voice ‘cos we’re pushing for Bernie.  I realise that that’s where most young folks are at.  And I think it was the biggest slap in the face for all those young people, that somehow have been put or brought into the electoral/political process.  And I hope that they know that there’s another place for them to go.  And it doesn’t have to be within this two-party system.” (c. 23:58)

DAVEY D:  “That leads me to my last question here.  I know in the past you’ve been very critical, in particular, of Sanders because he had promised that he would support the Democratic nominee, in this case, Hillary.  Where we’re at in this crossroads is, you know, how do you unify people, who are Sanders supporters with Hillary folks and her values and her politics?  And can that happen?  And, if not, you know, maybe Bernie, personally, will go out and say:  I’m with you.  But, for those who are really angered or feel that the politics are too much to swallow—”


DAVEY D:  “—you know, if Bernie‘s not gonna run third-party, do those people run third-party?  And do they risk a Trump or somebody getting in, if that happens?”  (c. 24:44)

ROSA CLEMENTE:  “Well, I mean I think that that’s what people don’t have a full understanding of a popular vote and the electoral college.  But, with that said, if Bernie Sanders supporters are listening to me right now, he’s already committed to Hillary Clinton.  He’s saying he’s committed to who the eventual Democratic Party nominee.  What he should be saying is:  I’m committed to looking into joining a third-party ticket, i.e., the Green Party, the Libertarians—obviously, he’s not going to join them—, or the Socialism and Liberation Party.  If he’s not saying that, Bernie Sanders supporters do have another option.  You don’t have to vote for Hillary Clinton.  You could be a registered Green within a day in California and vote for Jill Stein and get a third-party on the ballot permanently, so that there’s never again a two-party option. [4]  (c. 25:41)

“For folks, that are saying, well, that means Trump might win, they can’t fall into that trap of, first, a mythology that a third-party candidate is what loses the other candidate an election.  You win an election, or you lose it, by the way you run a campaign. [5]


Learn more at HARD KNOCK RADIO.

[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.]


The Browning of America” (2014) by Olmeca


[1]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Hard Knock Radio, hosted by Anita Johnson and Davey D, Tuesday, 7 JUN 2016, 16:00 PDT, one hour broadcast.

[2]  Notably, at the same time that many people feel “short-changed” by the Super Delegates seeming to be arrayed already on the side of Hillary Clinton, the Super Delegates will not cast their votes until the Democratic Convention.  But, conversely, a segment of Bernie Sanders supporters are hoping for the long shot hope that Bernie Sanders will be able to gather enough support from some of those Super Delegates to defeat Hillary Clinton during what Sanders has predicted will be a “contested” convention process.  Meanwhile, others have reported signs that Bernie Sanders may concede to Hillary Clinton before the convention.  Indeed, Sanders has already announced that he won’t run against Hillary Clinton as an alternative or third-party candidate, should he fail to win the Democratic presidential nomination.  (And it’s important to remember that, even after the polls close, there will still be a certain number of mailed-in ballots to be counted.)

But, since we know that the Democratic Party is principally in the hands of corporate, antidemocratic, anti-working class hands, it is unlikely that any Super Delegates would want to support Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton.  It seems like Bernie Sanders’ campaign’s only hope is to receive enough support from voters to override the arbitrary resistance of Super Delegates and Democratic Party bosses.

[3]  In a recent speech Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now!, noted that in other countries it is forbidden or illegal for media outlets to be ‘predicting’ election outcomes because of the unfair and undue influence it can bear upon elections.  Instead, Goodman noted, articulating what many of us have long thought, the press must devote its efforts to researching and presenting the political track records of political candidates and comparing that to their campaign promises and rhetoric.  But, sadly, that’s not what we get in the USA.  Most people cast their votes predicated on amorphous ‘feelings’ about candidates, rather than evidence-based reasoning and historical facts.  If the working classes knew the political history of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they would never vote for them.  Then, the working classes would never vote against their interests.  They wouldn’t be fooled again.

[4]  The problem with this argument, for those of us aware of (or old enough to remember) the fact that the Green Party, being the third largest political party in the USA has already been here before with Ralph Nader.  And when Ralph Nader was gaining a critical mass of support, a factional dispute within the Green Party resulted in the Green Party succumbing to the bogus spoiler vote argument and pressuring Nader to agree to pull out at the end in order to help the Democratic Party.  At that point, the Green Party became an appendage, a tool, of the Democratic Party.  And this turned many of us off from the Green Party.  This has caused the Green Party to appear untrustworthy and insincere in the eyes of many progressives.  How can we trust that the Green Party won’t sell out again?

[5]  Or one wins or loses an election by the structural and legal forces stacked in a particular direction to benefit a particular candidate or political party.  Or, in other words, one wins or loses according to a rigged political process.


[7 JUN 2016]

[Last modified  08:24 PDT  9 JUN 2016]