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Vote_12345LUMPENPROLETARIAT—The partisan, antidemocratic Commission On Presidential Debates has held the third and final 2016 presidential debate this evening.  And, as promised, popular alternative parties have been banned from participating.  The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections have been hijacked and censored under the auspices of the partisan, antidemocratic, and dastardly Commission On Presidential Debates.  What does this mean for our democracy when two corporate-backed political parties, in concert with the dishonest corporate media, are able to saturate the media with unpopular candidates, cartelise the political process, and effectively shut out any and all competition?  And what does it say about the state of our political imagination when our leading intellectuals fail to challenge this travesty of democracy, this two-party dictatorship?

Free speech radio KPFA, per Democracy Now!, has promised to expand the debates. [1]  But, overall, coverage of the 2016 Presidential Election has been narrowly focused upon the two corporate parties, the Democratic and Republican parties and their rhetoric, both, in for-profit and non-profit media.  Even in free speech, non-commercial broadcasting, it seems we can’t break out of the narrow two-party framing of election news coverage.  There have been token gestures made to alternative political parties, so-called third-parties.  But, overall, the KPFA, Pacifica Radio Network, and Democracy Now! coverage, the nation’s leading progressive election coverage, has been hindered by an NPR-like editorial slant, which marginalises alternative rigged 2016political parties, legitimates a two-party system, and fails to comprehensively question the antidemocratic institutionalised banning of political alternatives and political diversity in the United States.  At free speech radio KPFA there is one faction, currently calling itself SaveKPFA, which is committed to this ideology.  They’ve captured most of the prime time-slots as well as KPFA‘s News Department.  So, consequently, the overall election coverage at KPFA, which radiates throughout the national Pacifica Radio Network, leans in favour of the Democratic Party, at the expense of countering the corporate media’s narrow two-party framing, and at the expense of raising the political consciousness and of broadening the political imagination of its audience.  And this, of course, is in contradiction to most of free speech radio KPFA’s own progressive narratives and political ideals, which are typically championed on the airwaves before and after election cycles, but which are lesseroftwoevilsfortunecookiebyflickrusergoatchildshunned and occulted during election cycles.  During election cycles, all issues are subordinated to the uber-issue of the bogeyman candidate, which everyone must fear, whether it’s Bush or McCain or Romney or Trump.  This cyclical fomenting, by the liberal and progressive media, of fear-based decision-making, which bolsters the ideological trope of voting for the least worst or the lesser of two evils, by which liberals and progressives then challenge themselves to push that evil Democratic president and Congress to do right, has only functioned to perpetually shift the political centre to the right.  Such liberals invoke President Roosevelt, who goaded his constituency:  Make me do it.  But they never do (perhaps, since 1963).  The typical liberal or progressive response to a failure to see meaningful progressive political change is that there has not been enough protest.  But such observers never seem to recall that when the Occupy Movement rose up to make Obama do it, and even became a global movement, the Obama administration crushed the Occupy Movement in the United States in a nationwide coordinated crackdown in concert obamaoccupyflickrusergoatchildwith many of the nation’s mayors.  Then, in 2012, Democracy Now! fixated on ostensible bogeyman Republican Mitt Romney, helping to steer attention away from the neoliberalism of the Obama administration, and helping to get him re-elected.  This created a sociological form of Stockholm syndrome, by which the same liberals and progressives, who suffered repression during Obama’s raids on Occupy Movement encampments, somehow turned around and voted for him again.  In 2016, it’s clear, for example, that Democracy Now! is ideologically aligned with Hillary Clinton‘s Democratic Party campaign, as they focus all of our attention on a dualistic narrative between Clinton and Trump, which casts Clinton as the sensible option, no matter how bad the evidence of her political record, and despite the common ideological thread of neoliberalism, which runs through Democratic and Republican administrations, whilst marginalising the Green Party, who promises a social justice alternative.

ChomskyRequiemforAmericanDream2016News and media outlets should just admit their political preferences, the way the press used to admit their partisanship openly, before media outlets began feigning political neutrality.  Or, perhaps, as progressive elder statesman Dr. Noam Chomsky has noted:  “The indoctrination is so deep, that educated people think they are being objective”.  Corporate journalism claims journalistic objectivity.  Yet, in reality, we know that most American media outlets are Democratic-leaning or Republican-leaning.  This is obvious when we look closer at Democracy Now!, the left‘s most popular daily newscast.  It’s obvious from their media coverage, news framing, lines of questioning, and commentary that their editorial board is dominated by Democrats with a political agenda to contain and manage political messaging to the left of the Democratic Party.  They should just admit it, so the people can have some semblance of political transparency.  The individuals, who control and operate media outlets, either, vote or they don’t.  They, either, care about politics or not.  It’s inevitable that such concern or indifference will influence editorial decision-making.  In any event, each political position one holds, personally or publicly, whether pa640px-howard_zinnssively or zealously, carries with it real political implications, which directly or indirectly influence the political environments of each political agent.  We recall historian Dr. Howard ZinnYou Can’t Be Neutral On a Moving Train.  As for Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio, the effect upon the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, as with past elections, is to steer progressives away from alternative political parties and keep them corralled within the neoliberal Democratic Party, perpetually constraining political diversity and political imagination within a narrow two-party box.  Thinking outside the box, literally, becomes outlawed.

Messina

***

2016 United States Presidential Debate #3, which was censored by the antidemocratic Commission On Presidential Debates, using arbitrary rules to only allow Democratic and Republican candidates, took place on 19 OCT 2016 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

***

[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and Pacifica Radio.] [1]

PACIFICA RADIO—[19 OCT 2016]  [KPFA board operator:  “[…] and online at kpfa.org.  It is five o’ clock.  Flashpoints will be back tomorrow.  Now, we take you live to a Democracy Now! special of our third and final presidential debate.”]

AMY GOODMAN:  “[From Pacifica,] this is Democracy Now! [theme music]

HILLARY CLINTON: You know, it is—it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, because you’d be in jail.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton—

AUDIENCE:  [cheers, applauds, and whoops]

rigged 2016AMY GOODMAN:  “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in Las Vegas tonight in the final debate before the presidential election.  We’ll air the entire debate live at 9pm (eastern) and host a roundtable discussion before and after the showdown, looking at the state of the race, from the mounting sexual assault claims against Donald Trump to the WikiLeaks disclosures about Hillary Clinton to Trump’s claim that the election has already been rigged.” [2]  (c. 1:04)

DONALD TRUMP: They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths.  And, believe me, there’s a lot going on.  Do you ever hear these people?  They say, ‘There’s nothing going on.’  People that have died ten years ago are still voting.  Illegal immigrants are voting.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whinin’ and go try to make his case to get votes.

Amy Goodman 17 APR 2016 Berkeley, CAAMY GOODMAN:  “All that and more, coming up.  Welcome to Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, and our special, “War, Peace, and the Presidency.” [theme music fades out]  I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.”

NERMEEN SHAIKH:  “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are preparing to face off tonight in Las Vegas in their final debate before next month’s presidential election.  We’ll be broadcasting the debate live in an hour.

“The final debate comes as Trump’s campaign is reeling from a series of accusations of sexual assault from nine different women.  Trump has denied these allegations.  On Tuesday, People magazine published an article quoting six different people who all corroborated People magazine journalist Natasha Stoynoff’s account of being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago resort.  Stoynoff says Trump pushed her against the wall and kissed her against her will.

“Clinton, meanwhile, is facing questions about newly released and leaked emails, which reveal everything from Clinton’s State Department prioritising friends of Bill Clinton, while assigning aid contracts after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, to Clinton bashing environmentalists and anti-fracking advocates during a meeting with the building trades union in 2014, where she said the activists should, quote, ‘get a life’.

AMY GOODMAN:  “We’ll talk about all this and more in this Democracy Now! three-and-a-half-hour special.  We’re broadcasting live for the next two-and-a-half hours—actually, three-and-a-half hours.

“In this first hour, we’re joined by seven guests.  Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, professor at Columbia University—his most recent book:  Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.

Eddie Glaude is chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.  His new book is Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul.

Phyllis Bennis will be joining us from Washington, D.C., a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.  She has written a number of books, including, most recently, Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror.

Chris Hedges will be joining us from the University of California-Berkeley, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.  His most recent book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.

“And Kristen Clarke will be with us, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

“Megan Ming—Megan Ming Francis is joining us here in New York, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington.  Her most recent book is Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State.

“Later in the broadcast, after we air the showdown at 9:00 (eastern) between Trump and Clinton, we’ll also be speaking with May Boeve, who is executive director of 350 Action.  We’ll be talking about whether or not the candidates or the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, will raise the issue of climate change.

“So, we welcome you all to Democracy Now!  And we’re going to start with Megan Ming Francis.  Megan, what are you looking for the candidates to talk about?  And what do you think of the state of this race?” (c. 4:47)

MEGAN MING FRANCIS:  “Oh, man.  So, what I’m looking for them to talk about today is, I want them—this is their time to make a closing argument, right?  This is their closing statement.  And I think so much about campaigns is about: How strong do you close?  I think one of the biggest issues, that has been brought up in each of the debates are questions around the economy.  Right?  So, I expect them to discuss the economy.  There’s questions and issues I would like them to [delve] into much more around the economy, issues around predatory capitalism and getting back to, kind of, the Bernie Sanders arguments around the economy being rigged, not in terms of, kind of, the Trump arguments around the economy being rigged, but very much getting back to some of these Sanders arguments about the economy being rigged.

“I also am really curious, at least in this debate, about how they both take questions around the Supreme Court, about who they think and what is their criteria for deciding who should be on the highest court, and also for their vision of actually appointing federal judges.

“In terms of this last question, the state of this race—oh, my goodness.  It’s like I—you know, I teach elections; and I’ve taught it for now a decade.  And this is the craziest.  This is just the craziest election and campaign.  And it has changed the way, that I teach in my class, in terms of how you might get voters to the polls and capture voters and also the median voters as well.  So, I’m looking forward to the debate.  I think it’s a little crazy.  This debate—I mean, this whole election cycle has been something for the history books.”  (c. 6:27)

NERMEEN SHAIKH:  “Well, one of the reasons, just to bring in Professor Eric Foner, that this election season has been so extraordinary, as many people have pointed out, has to do with the rise of a candidate like Donald Trump.  So, as an American historian, Professor Foner, could you explain what you think accounts for this extraordinary rise?” [3]

DR. ERIC FONER:  “Well, you know, looking at history, I think Trump is almost a combination of a number of figures, both, in our history and abroad.  There’s no individual predecessor to Trump, really, but there are precedents.  And he didn’t just come out of the blue.  You might say he’s a combination of George Wallace, who really was the first to show how white resentment against the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, overt racism, could be really mobilised in a modern campaign and be pretty successful, not only in the South; but he did very well in primaries in Michigan and other states like that.  But Wallace was not really talking about the economic, issues that Trump is.  (c. 7:32)

“You might throw into the hopper Ross Perot in 1992, who is the model of the sort of businessman, who had no political experience, and came in with that as his selling point.  You know?  Nobody can bribe me.  I’m a billionaire.  And, you know:  I can fix thingsI know how to get things done.  But Perot was also the guy, who introduced trade into the political dialogue.  Perot was the first one to say:  We are losing jobs because of these trade agreements.  Trump, of course, has picked that up.

“But on the more personal element and the, really, you know, wilder element of Trump, you have to go to a guy like Berlusconi, maybe, in Italy, who also had this kind of sexual element—”

DR. MEGAN MING FRANCIS:  “Mm.”

DR. ERIC FONER:  “—to his appeal, with his going to sex clubs and parties with young prostitutes and, you know, kind of reveled in this.  And I think many of his supporters thought that was pretty cool, as—the male supporters, let us say—as many of Trump’s male supporters don’t seem to be pretty bothered by all the revelations, that have come out.

“So, there are precedents, but you put them all together, and, as was said, it’s a kind of oddball election, no question about it.”  (c. 8:39)

AMY GOODMAN:  “But, of course, sex clubs are different from women saying that he sexually assaulted them.” [4]

DR. ERIC FONER:  “No, that is true.  But underage prostitutes get pretty close to that; you know.  But it’s more the sexual component.  George Wallace, Ross Perot were pretty—pretty dull types, you know?  Nobody ever accused them of any of this stuff.  So, but, you know, it’s almost the maverick quality, that appeals to at least some of these voters.”

NERMEEN SHAIKH:  “And, Chris Hedges, you recently, just to continue with Professor Foner’s line, you wrote a piece recently, titled ‘Donald Trump: The Dress Rehearsal for Fascism.’  Could you lay out the argument there?” [5]

CHRIS HEDGES, Mdiv:  “Well, that’s what we’re watching.  Trump, for all his shallowness and narcissism and imbecility and self-destructiveness, nevertheless, has been able to run a fairly close race with Hillary Clinton.  We just saw from the leaked Podesta emails that the Clinton machine promoted, consciously promoted, especially through the press, what they call these ‘Pied Piper’ candidates, listing Trump, Cruz and—I forget the third—Trump and Carson.  And the idea was that they wanted to give them legitimacy.  They wanted to push the more mainstream candidates, like Jeb Bush, closer to the lunatic fringe.  And that’s because, fundamentally, there is no difference between Hillary Clinton and a figure like Mitt Romney.  You know, what they’re battling about is what Freud called the narcissism of minor difference. [6]

“And the danger with this election is that the longer the policies of neoliberalism, austerity, the security and surveillance state—in essence, the paralysis on the part of our corporate state to deal with the suffering, grievances, and mounting rage of now over half the country who live in poverty—the more these lunatic fringe candidates, like Trump, these figures of ridicule—reminds me very much of what happened in Yugoslavia—the economic meltdown of Yugoslavia vomited up figures like Radovan Karadžić, Slobodan Milošević, Franjo Tuđman, who were buffoonish figures before they achieved political power, much like much of the Nazi Party in Weimar.  And I think that’s what we’re watching. [7]

“And, if we don’t reverse the structural mechanisms by which we are disenfranchising and refusing to deal with the most fundamental rights and issues affecting, now, a majority of the American population, then we will get a fascist or a kind of quasi-protofascist, Christianised fascism, embodied in a figure with a little more intelligence and political savvy than Trump.  And that’s why I find this election so frightening and so dangerous.

I think it’s the fact that the power elites, embodied by figures like the Clintons and Barack Obama, have been utterly, utterly tone deaf to what’s happening, and are playing a very, very dangerous game by, on the one hand, promoting a figure like Trump, because, of course, his outrageousness gives her a kind of credibility, without understanding that another four years of what’s been happening [i.e., a continuation of the Obama administration’s neoliberalism]—and it won’t be an effective political strategy anymore, and it won’t be funny.” [8] (c. 12:13)

NERMEEN SHAIKH:  “Professor Eddie Glaude, let’s get your perspective on this.  Earlier in the summer, you wrote a piece called ‘My Democratic Problem with Voting for Hillary Clinton.’ [9]  Now, some say that Clinton’s victory is now more or less a foregone conclusion.  You also talked about the necessity of strategic voting.  Can you talk about both the arguments, that you’ve made in light of where we stand today in the campaign and with the election less than a month away?”

DR. EDDIE GLAUDE:  “Sure.  You know, I think that it is—it is reasonable to conclude that Hillary Clinton is going to win. [10]  I think the internal polling for the Republican—on the Republican side suggests that Donald Trump is going to go down pretty badly, that it’s going to be a pretty decisive victory.  Some, like [Republican operative] Steve Schmidt, are predicting that she’s going to win upward to 400—get to 400 in the Electoral College, some at 380.  People are declaring that this is going to be the destruction of the Republican Party.

“And a lot of this has to do with—right?—the fact that Donald Trump moves between being, as I’ve said before, a lunatic and an adolescent.  And we can talk about him; but in kind of orienting us to this campaign, to this election cycle, by emphasising the ridiculousness of, and the bombasity of Donald Trump, we have turned our attention away from, I think, Hillary Clinton and the policies, that have defined the Democratic Party up to this point.  And I think Donald Trump is just an exaggerated indication of the rot that’s at the heart of the country, and that Hillary Clinton is the poster child for, I think, a failed economic policy, that has left so many fellow Americans behind, and particularly the most vulnerable. (c. 14:00)

“So, what I’ve said is that we needed to suggest to Hillary Clinton that—and suggest to the Democratic Party that—business as usual was no longer acceptable and that I couldn’t vote for her; and I couldn’t do that.  I can do that because I’m in a blue state, and that there are some who are in a red state, who can vote their conscience; but if you’re in a battleground state, it makes all the sense in the world, given who Trump is, to not vote for her—to vote for—to not to vote for Hillary Clinton—I mean, to not vote for Trump and to vote for Hillary Clinton.

“So, in this case, part of what I’m trying to suggest is that we need to be very mindful in this moment, even as we say she’s going to win.  We need to understand who she’s appointing as her transition team.  We need to understand that personnel is policy.  We need to see what her position will really be in terms of how she will govern economically, who she’s going to pick and choose for attorney general position.  Who’s gonna populate her government?  And I think once we get a better sense, or if we pay attention to what she’s doing, we will be even better mobilised and organised to bring pressure to bear on her presidency, once November 8th happens.” [11] (c. 15:08)

AMY GOODMAN:  “So, what do you think about this, Chris Hedges, this idea of strategic voting?”

CHRIS HEDGES, Mdiv:  “I think it’s an utter failure.  I mean, one of the things that the WikiLeaks Podesta emails show is that they were putting in place this neoliberal policyFroman, who was then a—he’s now a U.S. trade representative—he, at the time, was at Citibank.  In October, before Obama even achieved power, he’s sending out a list of Cabinet positions, all of which—most all of which came to pass.  That’s certainly happening now.

I think that we have to step outside this corporate two-party duopoly and begin to empower right now the third party, you know, that I think represents or challenges corporate power most effectively, is the Green.  It has issues; you know.  It functions well in cities like Richmond, California, doesn’t function as well in other places.  But, if they can poll 15 percent, that gives them ballot access in 2020 in a few dozen states, and it gives them $10 million.  I think that now is the time to, as Syriza did a decade ago, to fight back because we have very little time left.

“One of the things we have to remember is that we have a large number of supporters of Donald Trump who celebrate American violence through the gun culture, open racism, neo-confederist movements, nativist movements.  And Trump, I think, has made clear now, on the campaign trail, that he will essentially attempt to discredit the system if he loses.  And right now they are working within the system.  But unleashing that rage, you know, or essentially legitimising that rage and that kind of violence after the election will begin to really rend the fabric of American society. (c. 17:08)

“We have no more time to play around.  We haven’t even spoken about the issue of climate change.  We know, from the leaked emails, that Hillary Clinton is a fan of fracking.  She brags about promoting fracking in Poland and other places as secretary of state.  We just—the kind of weakness of the system itself cannot, I think, sustain much more of this assault without dramatic and frightening blowback and ramifications.  And I think Trump is systematic of that.

“So, as I’ve said many times, I think we have to do what many—Podemos and many parties in Europe—have done.  We have to walk into the political wilderness.  We have to build movements.  And we have to build alternative third parties that challenge this system because the inevitable result is a kind of frightening police state.  Legally, it’s already in place; physically, in marginal communities, they’ve been turned virtually into mini police states.  The system of mass incarceration will not be affected in any meaningful way.  Of course, it was the Clintons that put much of it in place.  We just saw this very courageous prisoner strike, where the prisoners did work stoppages because, they said, the only way to stop this system of neoslavery is to stop being a slave.  And I think that is a level of political consciousness, that the rest of us have to begin to attain.” (c. 18:40)

AMY GOODMAN:  “So, Professor Glaude, your response to Chris Hedgesrejection of strategic voting?”

EDDIE GLAUDE:  “Well, I think we agree on principle.  And part of what I think—where we agree is that we have to keep Trump out of office. [12]  And the question for me is that: How do we do that?  And one of the ways I’m thinking we need to do it is to vote strategically.  And that is, in those places where we can—for me, blank out or—vote for Jill Stein, we should.  And in those places where—the battleground states, where it matters, where Trump has a chance to win, I think we need to turn out in massive numbers and make sure that he doesn’t win those states.  I think we have to do two things simultaneously.

“And I think he’s right in this regard:  I think that what we’ve seen and what we’ve witnessed in this moment is the bankruptcy of a particular economic ideological philosophy, that has left so many—so many people behind.  And I think we need to dare to imagine a new world.  But I think it’s going to require strategic and tactical thinking.  And I think, on its face, Chris and I aren’t disagreeing.  I just think there are ways to get to the same—to the same end.  There are different ways to get to the same end.” (c. 19:59)

AMY GOODMAN:  “We want to bring in—we want to bring in someone that people might not be expecting would weigh in.  And that is the legendary musician Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen who was interviewed on Channel 4 in Britain, who describes Donald Trump as a “flagrant, toxic narcissist.” [* Is Bruce S. the only one to weigh in?  Is he the most important?  If so, why?  Is it because he bashes Trump and feeds into the narrative, which implies Hillary Clinton is the sensible candidate?]

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:  I mean, I know some Trump voters, you know.  But I think that he’s really—he’s really preyed upon that part of the country because he gives these very glib and superficial answers to very, very entrenched and very difficult problems; but they’re answers, that sound pretty good if you’ve struggled for the past 20 or 30 years. So—

MATT FREI: You can understand his appeal?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, yeah, I can understand that there’s somebody with simple answers to very complicated questions, who sound like they’re listening to you for the first time.

MATT FREI: Do you think the people who like him are racists?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: No, no, I don’t believe that—you can’t generalise like that.  You know, I think—I think there’s all kinds of people that are interested in him for a variety of different reasons.

MATT FREI: Do you think that rage will go away after this election?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: No, no.  I don’t know how it’s going to manifest itself, but it will manifest itself somehow, you know?

MATT FREI: Do you think there might be some trouble?  I mean, you know, we’ve already seen some strife on the streets and—

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Well, the trouble at the moment is, is you have Donald Trump who is talking about rigged elections.  And he’s not—he has a feeling he’s going to lose now, which he—of course, he is going to lose.

MATT FREI: You’re confident?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Oh, yeah.  Oh, yeah.  He’s going to lose.  And he knows that.  He knows he’s going to lose.  And he’s such a flagrant, toxic narcissist that he wants to take down the entire democratic system with him if he goes.  If he could reflect on these things, maybe he’d have—but he’s such an unreflective person.  And he doesn’t—he simply has no sense of decency and no sense of responsibility about him.  And the words, that he’s been using over the past several weeks really are an attack on the entire democratic process.

MATT FREI: And is that dangerous?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, it is.  I think it’s very dangerous.  He does have a lot of people’s ears.  And I don’t think he’s going to go quietly into the—you know, gently into the good night.  I think he’s going to make a big a mess as he can.  And I don’t know what that’s going to mean, but we’ll find out shortly.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: That was Bruce Springsteen speaking to Britain’s Channel 4. So, Professor Eddie Glaude, you know, this election—tonight’s debates come as both Clinton and Trump are among the most unpopular candidates, I mean, in decades, in American history. And younger voters are reportedly especially dismayed by the state of the race. A recent survey, which was reported in the BBC, found that many younger voters would rather see a giant meteor destroy the Earth than vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. So, Professor Eddie Glaude, can you talk about that, first what Springsteen said about Trump’s appeal and then where young voters stand today in this race?

[snip]

PHYLLIS BENNIS:  ” [pending]

JillSteinItsInOurHandsFlickrDemocracyChroniclesAMY GOODMAN:  “Candidates.  We are joined right now by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. [13]

“Dr. Stein, welcome back to Democracy Now!.  Can you respond to the debate, that you just watched for an hour-and-a-half?—the last presidential debate, that you were excluded from—all three of them—this one took place at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.” (c. 3:21:26)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “You know.  What a—what a distressing, um, you know, hour-and-a-half to sit through:  Donald Trump‘s psychosis and Hillary Clinton‘s distortion of her record and what the future would look like.

“And the picture, they paint of unbridled militarism, which is already robbing us blind, taking up almost half of our discretionary budget, almost half of your income taxes, only making the world a more dangerous place.  That’s terrifying enough.

capitalist-venn-diagram-by-flickr-user-goatchild“Add, to that, what they want to do with the economy.  Trump is all about more trickle-up, actually, not trickle-down.  He wants more tax breaks.

“But, you know, Hillary is also not being clear with us about where we’re going and what her track record is.

Hillary laid the groundwork for the financial crash of 2008—not Hillary alone, of course, but she was certainly supporting the policies of Bill Clinton, that not only sent our jobs overseas, but which also laid the groundwork for Wall Street deregulation and, in fact, enacted Wall Street deregulation, not to mention the anti-immigrant legislation, the anti-African American legislation, that opened the [door] to this racist War On Drugs and the endless expansion of mass incarceration procedures, particularly of people of colour.  It’s a very dystopic future.  (c. 3:22:57)

“And, you know, I think it’s really important for us, as Americans, to look at what we’re facing.  This is a race to the bottom.  We have to exit this incredible spiral downward.  The sooner we exit this the better.

“Those who would say that you have to vote for the lesser evil, now.  You know, it’s really important to look at the track record for that because the lesser evil simply paves the way to the greater evil because people just stop coming out to vote for lesser-evil politicians and a lesser-evil party, that’s throwing you under the bus. [14]  The base doesn’t come out.  So, the Congress flips from being blue to being red, as the Democratic Party has thoroughly established itself as a lesser-evil party.

if-not-now-when-bob-groves-coachingSo, when is it gonna get better?  You know?  If we don’t stand up to fight now, when exactly are we gonna stand up and fight?

“And what is really important to remember is that there are, actually, enough people right now 43 million young people right now locked in [student loan] debt, that if that word, alone, got out, we have the numbers.  That is a pluralityThat is a winning plurality, let alone 27 million Latinos, who have had it, who understand that the Republicans are the party of hate and fear and the Democrats are the party of deportatio, detention, and night raids, and imprisonment of children and families in these horrific private prisons. (c. 3:24:21)

“So, you know, we have a very bleak reality.  And, for people—you know, everybody knows Donald Trump is terrifying and dangerousBut to think that we are secure with Hillary Clinton in the White House, where Hillary Clinton is telling us right now that she wants to start a war with Russia over Syria, creating a no-fly zone, which means, folks, get ready.  It’s going to be hard not to slide into World War III, here, with Hillary at the helm, starting off her four years or whatever her term is, starting off with declaring war on Russia by enacting a no-fly zone.

“We need a weapons embargo to the Middle East.  We need to put a freeze on the bank accounts of our supposed allies, who are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises.  We got this mess going.  We can shut it down.  We need a new offensive in the Middle East.  It’s called a peace offensive.

“We’re not gonna hear that from either of the corporate sponsored political parties, who are rolling in dough from the weapons industry, from the fossil fuel giants, from the war profiteers, from the big banks.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  In the words of Alice Walker, the biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with.” (c. 3:25:45)

AMY GOODMAN:  “Um, let me ask you the question, that was put to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton around whether you will accept the results of the November election, Dr. Jill Stein.” [15]

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Well, put it this way.  If there’s evidence of fraud, we would certainly challenge that in court.  And, in the Green Party, we have sort of led the charge in pursuing election fraud.  So, we wouldn’t be—we wouldn’t hesitate to do that to the extent, that it is possible.

no-in-free-speechflickrgoatchild“However, let me just tell you.  There’s no question about there being a rigged election here.  Not in the terms, that Donald Trump is saying.  But, you know, the media, actually, has been enormously rigged on his behalf—four billion dollars of free prime-time media.  Hillary had over two billion.  Bernie Sanders had under half a billion.  And, of course, I’ve had practically zero.  So, you know, between that and the rigged debates, which the League of Women Voters, themselves, called a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter, the silencing of opposition voices through the fear campaigns and the smear campaigns.

We don’t create a better democracy out of our wounded democracy by silencing opposition voicesWe could move to a ranked-choice voting system in the blink of an eye.  That could be done right now on an emergency basis, so that we actually liberate voters to vote their values.  They can rank their choices.  If your first choice loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice.  But the Democrats won’t pass it.

“My campaign had filed this bill in the Democratic legislature in Massachusetts 16 years ago.  They won’t let it out of committee—” [Amy Goodman cuts in swiftly to interrupt Dr. Jill Stein]

AMY GOODMAN:  “Let me ask you—”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “—because they rely on fear, because they’re—”

AMY GOODMAN:  “Let me ask you something very quickly before the end of the show, Jill [since we didn’t bother to have you on until the last eight minutes of this three-and-a-half hour broadcast].”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Sure.”

AMY GOODMAN:  “And that is:  Five percent of the vote, nationally, that is a very important threshold.  Can you talk about what would happen, what the Green Party needs to reach and how much money they would get in matching funds from the government?” (c. 3:27:53)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Thank you, Amy.  Five percent would be an absolute game-changer. [16]  And the polls suggest we are something under that, but not by far.  And, in fact, the polls do not tap unlikely voters, which is our base, that is millennials, that is people of colour and Latinos, really disenfranchised voters.  That’s who will be coming out to vote for us.

“So, we may be, actually, very close to that five percent threshold.  We could even be beyond it.  So, it’s really important that people—” [Amy Goodman cuts in swiftly to interrupt Dr. Jill Stein]

AMY GOODMAN:  “But if you get it what happens?” (c. 3:28:23)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “If we get that five percent, we not only have ballot access, then, in most states, so that when we begin the election campaign, not only in the next presidential [election], but on all the down-ballot races as well.  We have to first fight for ballot status, which has taken us like the first year of the campaign.  It means we can hit the ground running.  It also means that we are, then—we receive ten million dollars as a legitimate major party.  With ten million dollars—” [Amy Goodman cuts in swiftly to interrupt Dr. Jill Stein]

AMY GOODMAN:  “Well, we have to leave it there.  We have to leave it there.  I wanna thank you for joining us, Dr. Jill Stein, as well as all of our guests.  That does it for our special.  I’m Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh.

“This is Democracy Now!, DemocracyNow.org, War, Peace, and the Presidency.  Thank you so much for joining us.”  (c. 3:29:06)

[KPFA CART, i.e. announcement for a ‘new age’ show airing on Sundays]  (c. 3:29:40)

Learn more at PACIFICA RADIO.

[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.  In the meantime, you can see Democracy Now!’s transcript working draft, except don’t count on them to transcribe Dr. Jill Stein’s epic final salvo.  As of Monday, 24 OCT 2016, 07:59 PDT, Democracy Now!’s transcript hasn’t been updated, or expanded, since the initial transcription on 19 OCT 2016.  Just as Democracy Now! stealthily marginalised Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party, they didn’t bother to transcribe the most important and meaningful political platform campaigning of the final debate.  And, of course, they only gave Dr. Jill Stein less than ten minutes to attempt to undo the damage of being totally shut out of the debates and even out of the consciousness of Democracy Now!’s editorial agenda.]

[As of Wednesday 26 OCT 2016, 12:48 PDT, Democracy Now! has completed the transcript.  It is freely accessible for the time being.]

***

[1]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Special Programming: Presidential Debate – October 19, 2016, this three-and-a-half hour broadcast co-hosted by Democracy Now! co-hosts Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, Wednesday, 19 OCT 2016, 17:00 PDT.

[This ‘Expanding the Debate’ Democracy Now! special covering the final presidential debate (of three) is also available from Democracy Now! as an archive for the time being.]

Also see the following related articles:

  • 2016 United States Vice Presidential Election Debate; 4 OCT 2016.
  • 2016 U.S. Presidential Debate #1, Censored Under the Auspices of the Partisan Commission On Presidential Debates; 26 SEP 2016.
  • Ralph Nader Radio Hour Presents Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein; 19 SEP 2016.
  • Commission On Presidential Debates Will Ban Alternative Political Parties In Upcoming 2016 U.S. Presidential Debates; 19 SEP 2016.
  • CNN Hosts 2016 Presidential Election Town Hall Featuring the Green Party; 18 AUG 2016.
  • 2016 Green Party National Convention; 6 AUG 2016.
  • Clinton Cash:  The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich (2015) by Peter Schweizer; 1 AUG 2016.
  • “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote” by Michelle Alexander; 27 JUL 2016.
  • Democratic National Convention 2016, Day One; 25 JUL 2016.
  • Republican National Convention 2016, Day One; 18 JUL 2016.
  • Flashpoints:  2016 California Presidential Primary Election Special; 7 JUN 2016.
  • Hard Knock Radio: Presidential Election 2016, A Failed Democracy; 7 JUN 2016.
  • California Presidential Primary Election 2016, Tuesday, June 7, 2016; 7 JUN 2016.
  • Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein Joins Rally Against Privatisation of the U.S. Postal Service; 6 JUN 2016.
  • Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Discusses Election 2016 on PBS; 26 MAY 2016.
  • Why Is Election Day Not a Federally Recognised National Holiday?; 24 MAY 2016.
  • The Secret History of Superdelegates by Branko Marcetic; 17 MAY 2016.
  • Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s Democrat Partisan Apologia 2016; 16 MAY 2016.
  • Bernie Sanders Rally Held In Sacramento’s Cal Expo Bonney Field, 9 MAY 2016; 9 MAY 2016.
  • Dr. Glenn Greenwald on Hillary Clinton’s Support for Brutal Dictators and More; 24 MAR 2016.
  • The Trump Party by Political Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal; 23 MAR 2016.
  • The Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein on Democracy & Ranked Choice Voting; 21 MAR 2016.
  • Activist and Indigenous Leader Nelson García Assassinated; 16 MAR 2016.
  • Presidential Election 2016: Voting Democrat to Vote Socialist; 16 MAR 2016.
  • Economic Journalist Doug Henwood Assesses the USA’s Right; 7 MAR 2016.
  • Activist Berta Cáceres Assassinated; 3 MAR 2016.
  • Hillary Clinton, US/NATO Imperialism, & the Lynching of Gaddafi; 3 MAR 2016.
  • Historical Archives: Third-Party Challenge to Unconstitutional Prop 14; 2 MAR 2016.
  • Black Agenda Report: On the USA’s Black Electorate, Circa 2016; 1 MAR 2016.
  • My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency (2015) by Doug Henwood; 29 FEB 2016.
  • Hillary Clinton & USA Imperialism Versus Honduran Democracy; 17 JAN 2016.
  • Dr. Laurence Schoup On the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics; 15 JAN 2016.
  • Project Censored: Ann Garrison, Edward Herman, Rwandan Genocide, & Burundi; 1 JAN 2016.
  • US News:  Presidential Candidates Given Topics Ahead of Time

[2]  By invoking, here, Donald Trump’s cries about a rigged election, Amy Goodman seems to dismiss any notion of electoral malfeasance, especially, as Democracy Now! then plays a clip of Trump complaining of election-rigging, followed by a clip of Obama admonishing him to “stop whining”.  Yet, isn’t it, essentially, rigging the election to shut out all competition to the two corporate political parties?  Isn’t it election-rigging when broadcast media and the press engage in grossly uneven election coverage, which heavily favours the corporate candidates?  Isn’t it election-rigging to have presidential debates with only the same two corporate political parties every single election?  Isn’t it election-rigging when the popular will of the people can legally be overridden by super delegates or an electoral college?  Wasn’t it election-rigging when Obama called Bernie Sanders to the White House for a meeting, prior to the Democratic National Convention, which marked the transition of Bernie Sanders campaigning against Hillary Clinton to campaigning for Hillary Clinton?  Isn’t it election rigging when Hillary Clinton cheated during the Democratic Primary, as revealed by WikiLeaks, and colluded with the chair of the DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign?

And, then, there are the many Election Protection reports Greg Palast has filed about problems with the election process, which strategically invalidate ballots to game the election.  (See Greg Palast book and documentary film:  The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (2016).)  But, for some reason, Democracy Now! has avoided Greg Palast during this 2016 Presidential Election cycle.  If one searches Greg Palast within Democracy Now!‘s website, the most recent election protection reports available by Greg Palast are from 2012.

[3]  We notice that co-host Nermeen Shaikh leads with a question about the extraordinary rise of Donald Trump.  Just as the corporate media gives disproportionate airtime to Trump, somehow a similar phenomenon occurs on Democracy Now! (as well as on the KPFA News Department and most liberal).  Only, here, in liberal or progressive media, there is a fixation on Donald Trump so as to foment fear of a Donald Trump presidency amongst liberals and progressives to steer them toward voting for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party and away alternative political parties, such as the Green Party or Libertarian Party, which can increase political diversity and possibility.  Instead, Democracy Now! engages in the false dilemma fallacy when it comes to their general line of electoral analysis.

[4]  We see, by this point in the discussion, the Democracy Now! hosts have managed to set the discussion’s train of thought squarely on the Donald Trump bogeyman track, as Amy Goodman is able to chime in another tidbit about the evils of Trump.  Yes, Donald Trump is evil, but so is Hillary Clinton and her neoliberal agenda.  But even more evil than the two of them combined is the erosion of democracy manifested by the narrowing of political discourse to two political parties, especially when they’re both funded by, essentially, the same corporate funders.

[5]  With this question, co-host Nermeen Shaikh attempts to make it seem as if she’s innocently continuing the previous guest’s “line” of thought, as if she’s not fixating on Trump.  But, in actuality, the line of thought being followed is the fixation on Trump-as-bogeyman initiated by co-host Amy Goodman and continued by Nermeen Shaikh.  Meanwhile, larger questions of erosion of democracy are ignored by the apparently partisan pro-Democratic Party agenda of Democracy Now! (and many liberal and progressive media outlets).

[6]  Continuing from footnote [5], it’s as if Chris Hedges is resisting being set up to be a shill for Hillary Clinton’s campaign by resisting contributing to a political framing, which casts Donald Trump as the bogeyman with Hillary Clinton as the implicit savior.  We see Hedges shift the focus away from his recent article, which was rightly critical of Trump and toward his less frequently aired critique of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.  Throughout this pre-debate discussion, Chris Hedges seems to provide the only sincere voice of reason.

[7]  This is a good point by Chris Hedges.  And it is true because of an argument your author has been making for years about one of the biggest problems with a two-party system, especially as it’s manifested in the United States.

This argument has to do with a perpetual rightward shift of the political center over time.  In the United States, political extremes, such as Donald Trump (or George Bush before him or Ronald Reagan before him), are allowed on the right-wing of the political spectrum.  But they are not allowed on the left.  Political extremes on the left are demonised, attacked, and marginalised in the dominant national political discourse.  What this does over time is shift the political center rightward, such that we have had two terms of an Obama presidency, which is literally to the right of Ronald Reagan.

[8]  The issue of credibility is a very real one for Hillary Clinton.  This last remark by Chris Hedges reminds us of other comments we’ve heard about Donald Trump’s campaign ground team, which seems to be virtually nonexistent.

Donald Trump seems to have no substantive political campaign staff, no local campaign offices where supporters could plug in.  His campaign seems to be entirely artificial, only held afloat by the millions, or billions, of dollars worth of free advertising awarded to him by an uncritical corporate media machine.  That is, the same corporate media machine, which has virtually erased alternative candidates from the 2016 presidential election.

So, if Donald Trump has no real campaign staff or strategy, then his campaign smacks of political opportunism.  It is not out of the realm of possibility that Donald Trump is working as a shill for the Hillary Clinton campaign.  In other words, since we know the Democratic and Republican parties have colluded to block out competing political parties from the presidential debates, they have colluded to agree to stage the questions to be asked, and so on, that both parties may have long been also colluding to coordinate talking points and memes, which are promoted through the corporate media echo chamber and ancillary outlets.  (And we are now learning more about such public relations, as with the Omnicom Group, the world’s largest public relations and propaganda firm in the world, such collusion is documented fact, not speculative fancy.)  Such a political-historical trend could very well have laid the groundwork for a new level of political theatre by which a decision has been made to coronate Hillary Clinton.  We know that political candidates, who win by an electoral landslide claim a political mandate to enact sweeping policy changes.  With Hillary Clinton going up against the weak opponent in Donald Trump, and not having to debate an astute and well-informed candidate, such as Dr. Jill Stein, on the debates or in public appearances, Hillary Clinton can appear more presidential, which is a silly and superficial descriptor or criterion for making an electoral decision.  But it’s a criterion, which many people use.

So, if Donald Trump is a shill for Hillary Clinton, then his apparent self-destructive gaffes make more sense, as his primary directive would be to espouse political positions far to the right of Hillary Clinton, whilst discrediting himself with adolescent gaffes to insure Clinton wins on Election Day.  Thus, with Dr. Jill Stein out of the dominant media picture, Hillary Clinton would be likely to win by a landslide, then claim a political mandate by which she could continue pursuing more of the same neoliberal policies, which the Obama administration has pursued, like the Bushes, like the Clintons, like Reagan, like the two-party establishment, and so on.  In such a scenario, it’s a win-win for them because Hillary gets the White House and Trump gets new levels of celebrity.  There’s even talk about a Trump TV Network being in the works already.  This further seems to corroborate the argument that Trump’s campaign has been political theatre designed to give Hillary Clinton credibility and a political mandate.

It seems Chris Hedges was suggesting this in his response.  But, of course, public figures must choose their words carefully, lest they’re smeared as conspiratorial.

[9]  Okay.  Here it seems as if Nermeen Shaikh is posing a question, which is critical of Hillary Clinton.  However, Professor Glaude is a Hillary Clinton supporter, who argues for fear-based voting, also known as strategic voting.  This, of course, is a political strategy, which insures that progressives will always be trapped in the neoliberal Democratic Party because they always fear a Republican presidency, which means that such thinking will always justify voting for the least worst in battleground states, instead of questioning our electoral process and advocating for ranked-choice voting and proportional representation in congress.

In Professor Glaude’s opinion piece in Time, he opens by outlining a decent critique of the status quo, which the Obama administration and the Clinton dynasty represent, correctly identifying neoliberalism as the defining feature.  But, then, he turns around and expresses deep fear of a Trump presidency because “Trump is worse”.  But, then, he continues to oscillate between ideals and fears, ultimately leaving the reader with more fear than idealism.  And Professor Glaude never shows interest in addressing, or grappling, with the antidemocratic problem of the two-party system.  Professor Glaude writes about “the function of politicians”, but he doesn’t seem interested in the function of political parties.  And this keeps his political imagination and discourse confined within a narrow two-party dualism.  But Professor Glaude writes poetically, as he dismisses in a passing remark at the end, the better alternatives to neoliberalism.  “The Sanders’ campaign was just one bloom.”  One imagines liberals taking delight in their ability to pick off such blooms every election, as they undermine all political challenges from the left in the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party can co-opt the rhetoric from their competitors on the left, persuade voters to trust them, only to soon abandon campaign promises.  One may wonder why Professor Glaude completely ignores the Green Party, or alternative political parties, in general.  One may wonder why Professor Glaude doesn’t mention Dr. Jill Stein and her compelling campaign agenda and platform or the fact that Dr. Jill Stein has ballot access in enough states to win the electoral college.  Lumpenproletariat does.

[10]  But, for some reason, it doesn’t seem reasonable for Professor Glaude to question the electoral fraud and abuse on the part of the Hillary Clinton campaign, which would’ve disqualified the Bernie Sanders campaign.  Where’s Greg Palast when you need him?

[11]  Boom.  There it is right there.  This is that same old strategy, which has failed in the past.  Liberals argue that activists must create a huge wave of protest to ‘push’ the president to do right.  This was said about Obama’s presidency.  Yet, when the people did mobilise for massive socioeconomic justice around the Occupy Wall Street movement, President Obama coordinated a nationwide crackdown with many city mayors.  Activist encampments were raided and people were arrested and beaten.  Scott Olsen was shot in the head with a teargas canister at the Occupy Oakland encampments.  So, this is a bankrupt strategy, which liberals keep bringing up.  It never works.  The political center only shifts rightward overtime, such that we are likely to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, which is more conservative than even the Obama administration, which is widely understood to be to the right of the Ronald Reagan administration.

[12]  No.  Professor Glaude is promoting strategic voting, as a way of preserving some form of political legitimacy for the Democratic Party.  Chris Hedges, on the other hand, is calling for building alternative parties and supporting third parties, such as the Green Party, which has a much clearer and more progressive platform.

When Professor Glaude says they agree on opposing Trump, he attempts to associate Chris Hedges with strategic voting and all of the Democratic Party apologism, which goes with it.  It’s quite an insidious move, intellectually speaking because for Hedges to attempt to extricate himself from the Stop Trump meme, he’d likely appear sympathetic of Trump.

And it’s also quite a bizarre non-response to the question posed by Amy Goodman:  What do you think of Chris Hedges’ rejection of strategic voting?  And Glaude’s response is:  I think we agree on principle.  We agree we must stop Trump.  Therefore, how do we do that?  Well, through strategic voting.  It’s quite a convenient and circular line of logic Professor Glaude finds there and, in so doing, completely dodges the question and just gets back on track to repeating his argument for strategic voting.

[13]  For those of us, who view Democracy Now! and the Pacifica Radio Network, as the most important progressive daily news broadcasting, which radiates out to thousands of free speech radio stations throughout the nation, it is very disappointing and frustrating to see Democracy Now! ignore the Green Party and Dr. Jill Stein until the final eight minutes of the three-and-a-half hour broadcast.  And it borders on cruelty to only give Dr. Stein eight minutes to thoughtfully address as many issues as possible around the final presidential debate, which would make anybody sound like a crazed zealot of some sort.

And to further rub this in Amy Goodman never engages with any of the valid points, which Dr. Jill Stein makes, as if implying through her (and her co-hosts’) silence:  Yeah, whatever.  You’re right.  But you’ll never win because you are so thoroughly marginalised and kept hidden from the public, even on the Pacifica Radio Network and Democracy Now!.

Given only eight minutes to make her case, yes, it’s better that Amy Goodman just let Dr. Stein speak uninterrupted.  But Democracy Now! should have featured Dr. Stein throughout the broadcast, as done during the second debate, in which Democracy Now! interjected Dr. Stein’s responses, in real time, to the debate prompts.  It was clumsy, but it was better than nothing.  Or, better yet, Dr. Stein should have been invited to co-host the pre- and post-debate roundtable discussions, which could have helped keep the focus on the structural crimes of the Democratic and Republican parties and their collusion to stifle and suppress any and all political competition.  After all, the name of the show is Democracy Now!, as in the demand for true democracy, now!, as in we don’t have true democracy.  And part of the reason is that our most progressive and forward-thinking broadcasters, such as Democracy Now! tone down their critique of the two-party system and their neoliberal politicians during election cycles.  We have seen this ever since Democracy Now! began in 1996.  After the first 2016 presidential debate, Democracy Now! gave alternative presidential candidates a chance to expand the debate by replaying the debate the following day and, then, interjecting responses from alternative candidates willing to participate.  (Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and vice presidential candidate William Weld were unable, or unwilling, to take advantage of Democracy Now!‘s invitations to expand the debates to get their political messaging out to the American people.)

[14]  On being thrown under the bus:  Even Amy Goodman has acknowledged, earlier this year, the importance of comparing the political track records of the candidates and comparing that to campaign promises, instead of focusing on trivial details and he said-she said gossipping and name-calling.  But, as the 2016 election campaigning got underway, we observed Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! contradict that logic of focusing on the political track records because they have completely given neoliberal Hillary Clinton a pass.

[15]  As noted above, Amy Goodman never engages with any of the valid points, which Dr. Jill Stein makes, and which Amy Goodman and the editorial board of Democracy Now! surely agrees with.  As Dr. Stein mentioned, for example, war profiteers, we may recall Amy Goodman’s New York Times bestseller, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Oily Politicians Who Love Them.  But, for various partisan reasons, Amy Goodman cannot recall such things, or any points of agreement.  Instead, Amy Goodman can only play devil’s advocate and place spike strips in Dr. Jill Stein’s logical, intellectual, political discourse.

In this case, Amy Goodman attempts to derail Dr. Jill Stein‘s stump speech, in much the same way that Chris Wallace derailed Donald Trump‘s valid complaints against Hillary Clinton, who, as Trump said, should never have been allowed to capture the Democratic Party primary, as she cheated and the DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was thereby disgraced (as much as the apologist corporate media would allow).  Bernie Sanders was cheated.  And the American people were cheated.  The only question (or comment) Amy Goodman saw fit to ask Dr. Stein was:  Will you concede?  Will you accept the results of the election?  That is, will you accept the status quo?  Evidently, for Amy Goodman, uncritical acceptance of electoral outcomes is more important than critical analysis of electoral issues and electoral fraud.  This was a dirty move by Amy Goodman, which is probably why they won’t bother to transcribe it at Democracy Now!‘s website.  Democracy Now! is focusing on, and magnifying, the issue of Donald Trump complaining about election-rigging and not vowing to uncritically concede.  So, this question seems part of a strategy to associate Dr. Jill Stein with some sort of unreasonable, or antidemocratic, electoral sabotage, which is in line with Donald Trump’s discredited rhetoric.

But, thanks to WikiLeaks, we know Hillary Clinton cheated during the Democratic Primary election.  But the biggest problem with the leaked Podesta emails, which exposed Hillary Clinton’s hidden skeletons, was not her collusion to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign, which was antidemocratic enough.  But the biggest problem was Hillary Clinton’s use of private, unsecured servers, for official government business.  This cynical evasion of public accountability by Hillary Clinton, who installed secret computer servers at her house to avoid having her communications publicly documented is the biggest crime of all.  And experts have described the consequences of this as literal treason.  (We’ll provide a link here to an interview, which addresses this.)  That is the biggest crime, for which Hillary Clinton has thus far evaded accountability, which in a just world would have held her to account and disqualified her from running for president.

[16]  Of course, Dr. Ralph Nader has talked about this during his five presidential candidacies.  But, instead of incorporating this knowledge into their broadcasts, Democracy Now! has largely fed into the two-party dictatorship and the antidemocratic spoiler vote meme, rather than talking about ranked-choice voting or educating the public about the various antidemocratic policies and rules and regulations, which perpetuate a cartelised two-party dictatorship.  For years, Democracy Now! has refused to truly educate their audience about basic ideas, which could dramatically change progressive politics.  But, instead, they’ve mainly acquiesced to the status quo.  That is a travesty of free speech media.

***

[Dr. Howard Zinn image by Jared and Corin, used via Creative Commons (BY-SA 2.0)]

[‘Rigged’ image by source, used via fair use.]

[‘Lesser of two evils’ fortune cookie image by Flick user GoatChild, used via Creative Commons.]

[‘Obama Occupy’ image by Flickr user GoatChild, used via Creative Commons.]

[‘Requiem for the American Dream’ image by source, used via fair use.]

[‘Amy Goodman poster’ image by source, used via fair use.]

[Image entitled “Vote 12345” by UkraineToday (English Wikipedia, transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Shizhao, using CommonsHelper, public domain).]

[‘In not now, when?’ image by source, used via fair use.]

[‘There’s no $ in free speech’ image by Flickr user GoatChild, used via Creative Commons.]

[21 OCT 2016]

[Last modified 13:02 PDT  26 OCT 2016]

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