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Hillary 2016

June 9th, 2016

To anyone, Sanders supporter or otherwise, who is now thinking of not voting for Hillary, or not voting at all, I have something to say.

Back in 2000, there was a common theme: Bush and Gore are essentially the same, or at least they are both just as bad as each other. It was seen as a choice between two evils. Many sat out the election, and many voted for Nader as a protest vote.

It should be painfully clear by this time that Gore and Bush were not even close to being equivalents. Even if Gore would not have caught 9/11 (there is fairly good reason to believe that he would have) and would have started the war in Afghanistan, he would NOT have (1) started a war in Iraq, which led to the creation of Daesh, or (2) passed an upper-class tax cut that ultimately cost us trillions in debt and lost numerous economic possibilities (do not forget that Gore championed the Internet with early funding—the “Gore Act”—which has given the U.S. many trillions in wealth). At the very least, we would be $4 to $6 trillion less in debt, and would have avoided a major, catastrophic war.

And that is just the beginning. He would not have put Alito or Roberts on the court. Citizens United would never have passed. Heller would not have rewritten the Second Amendment. The Voting Rights Act would not have been gutted.

Even with 9/11, we might not have transitioned to the surveillance state we now have. We certainly would not have had the “Patriot” Act as it stands. New Orleans would not have waited, drowning, for several days before help even began to move their way. We would never have instituted torture as a policy. No Guantanamo Bay. No Abu Ghraib. We would not have shredded international nuclear proliferation treaties. We would not have seen so much deregulation. We might even have possibly avoided the Great Recession, or at least have seen its effects mitigated somewhat.

Now we have an election in which many people see a similar choice: two candidates that they hate, both seen as sell-outs (or a sell-out and a clown/idiot/farce/loon). I have heard rumblings about how some will just sit this one out.


I am no fan of Hillary’s neoliberalism, but even if she is twice as bad as I imagine, she’ll still be ten times better than the best Trump could possibly be.

Despite her predilection for moving to the middle, she’ll be a moderate compared to the extremism of Trump. Despite her shifting on some issues, she is rock steady relative to Trump’s mad flip-flopping. Despite her apparent affinity for banks and corporations, she’ll be much less a friend to them than Trump will be.

Trump will put another right-wing extremist on the court; Hillary, unless Obama is too stupid to withdraw his compromise nominee when Hillary wins, would appoint a reasonable candidate. That alone is worth your vote. And in the next four to eight years, it is possible that several more seats on the court could open up—with Trump in office, the court would become locked in right-wing extremism, the constitution would become shredded.

And let’s not forget that Hillary is experienced and is skilled; even without a comparison to Trump, there’s no denying she’s excessively prepared for the job. Trump, on the other hand, would be an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. And no, I am not exaggerating for effect. He would be literally that.

We often suffer from the delusion that inaction voids us of responsibility. That is a grievous error: there is no such thing as inaction. There is only choice, and not voting is a choice—and it is equivalent to a vote for Trump as sure as if you pulled the lever yourself.

Those who have been disgusted by the way Bernie Sanders has been treated—myself included—should take a break, understand that something significant has still been achieved, even if it’s not as much as we wanted, and re-orient ourselves. Leave it for a few weeks, then come back—fighting tenaciously for Hillary.

Do not just vote for Hillary. Campaign for her. Fight for her. Convince anyone who will listen to vote for her. And then VOTE. Vote for her enthusiastically, and be grateful if she wins.

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  1. Troy
    June 11th, 2016 at 23:26 | #1

    I picked H over B this round. H won all the swing states so I don’t want to put those in play for Trump.

    In isolation — without general election calculations and the general powerlessness of the left while Congress is run by conservatives — I might prefer to see B in the White House, but even that is a tough call since B seems to have his head in the clouds too much.

    The problem here is not our politicians, it is our people.

    I changed jobs last year and my current coworkers are all the typical conservative types.

    The stupid, unthinking stuff they say all day is really something.

    To fix things we’ve got to fix the people here. A people get the democratic government they deserve.

  2. Troy
    June 11th, 2016 at 23:51 | #2

    We would not have seen so much deregulation. We might even have possibly avoided the Great Recession, or at least have seen its effects mitigated somewhat.

    These two are linked, GOP deregulation of the finance sector 2002-2004 combined with the housing boom of those years gave us the housing bubble of 2005-2007:


    is a complicated graph but the numbers are important.

    Blue is home price index, red is consumer debt level, both 1990 = 100.

    Green is mortgage rates, right axis.

    Interest rates fell 25% 2000-2003 which ceteris paribus pushes home prices up 25% (Japan’s low, low interest rates are why home prices are still so f—ing high there).

    The home appreciation started making available more money to consumers via home equity cash-outs, as did being able to refinance existing mortgages at a lower rate (which also usually had a cash-out component).

    The red line shows that between 2000 and 2008 households DOUBLED their mortgage debt level. This was an astounding money flow to most of the nation’s households, around $1T/yr or $1,000/mo to each and every household.

    But the home prices of 2006-2007 were due to bubble mania and easy credit (a replay of the late 80s Japan bubble) — strawberry pickers in Watsonville could get $700,000 home loans (!) thanks to all the deregulation that happened under Bush (and this was a replay of the “S&L Crisis” from the Reagan years, too).

    When all the “suicide lending” [loans that could only be repaid if appreciation continued] started going bad in 2007, the nation was looking at a colossal fiscal shock since it was the housing bubble pulling our train 2004-2006.

    Home prices have been supported since 2010 thanks to interest rates falling 40%, from 6% to under 4%.


    shows the debt in more detail. Blue is annual growth in consumer debt (mostly mortgages), red is annual Federal borrowing, and green is annual Fed debt buying.

    Pretty simple, when households couldn’t borrow & spend, Congress stepped in and replaced them, and the Fed backstopped Congress with 3 monetary injections, “QE”.

    The Fed also put a couple of trillion in the housing market to keep interest rates low and prices high:


  3. Troy
    June 13th, 2016 at 10:53 | #3
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