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A lucid summary of the 2016 and upcoming 2020 U.S. Presidential elections

Published by marco on

The essay Hillary, Donald & Bernie: Three Who Would Make a Catastrophe by Nicky Reid (CounterPunch) is an extremely lucid and accurate summary of the 2016 and upcoming 2020 U.S. Presidential elections. Reid is an excellent and entertaining writer.[1]

The overall thrust is to present what she terms “conspiracy-theory-like” histories of the 2016 election, extrapolating to the 2020 election, which stars many of the same characters (e.g. Bernie and Trump). She starts with a warning that history isn’t fact and that entertaining so-called conspiracy theories isn’t any worse than just believing conventional wisdom: one must consider all sources with healthy skepticism.

As she puts it:

“The reality is that history in and of itself is not black and white science. At its most accurate it is a collection of narratives, different perspectives from the ground floor that could easily be described as conspiracy theories. What appears to be a conspiracy theory from Arlington or Manhattan, looks a lot more like bad memories from Hiroshima or Tuskegee. Any true revisionist historian must become a collector of conspiracy theories, viewing all available narratives with a healthy grain of salt.”

The problem domain is as follows:

  • The U.S. has two political parties from which to choose the next president.
  • There is literally no chance that anyone not from either of those parties will be elected president.
  • Donald Trump won the election against pretty much all odds.
  • He will win again unless the Democrats figure out how to beat him.
  • That is: the Democratic Party is the only hope of not having Trump as president
  • The Democrats believe differ with the Republicans on relatively meaningless social issues.[2]
  • The Democrats care more about being the “nice” party.
  • How will they pretend to be the nice party without accidentally electing someone who threatens their core beliefs (which are not nice at all)?
  • How will they continue to serve their corporate interests while not electing someone worse than Trump?[3]

As Reid puts it:

“How can an insider’s insider with such impeccable credentials like Hillary Clinton fall so devastatingly short to an irate babbling imbecile from the tabloid gutter of the 1%? [The Democrats] still haven’t figured it out and they know it, and they know that victory will elude them until they do.”

Though Reid’s version is a far-more entertaining read, I will summarize her history of 2016:

Hillary used Bernie to defray a burgeoning socialism over which she would have no control, essentially using him as a sheepherder, a role he was willing to play as long as he could get his message out (knowing—or thinking he knew—that he had no chance at nomination or election). This tacit alliance would turn out to be much more advantageous to Clinton than Bernie, whose power only grew throughout the campaign, but who was then helpless to go back on his word because he is a man of principle (something Clinton was counting on, although she couldn’t understand it at all).

Hillary also used Trump to destroy the Republican opposition, thinking him far too foolish to have legs in the long run. This, too, blew up on her, as she’d vastly underestimated the frustration and foolhardiness of the general populace. Having had no real contact with anyone who isn’t a millionaire in decades, this wasn’t too surprising.

According to Reid, these two best-laid plans of Hillary blew up:

“And so Hillary found herself married to the task of sabotaging her own puppet’s primaries, while the upheaval on the right that her backers fostered with round the clock coverage became equally unruly.”

Enter the third conspiracy theory: Russiagate. At the same time the most ridiculous of the three theories (Reid’s first two, her own, seem to be just a recounting of facts) and also the one that’s now part of accepted history (e.g. canon). This would have less influence on the 2016 election and more on the history leading up to the 2020 election. It’s no surprise that this one blew up as well, although it seems to live on with 9-11-conspiracy-like persistence as “accepted truth” in very powerful and influential circles.

Which takes us to 2020, where we watch the Democratic party pumping the brakes on Bernie again because he’s out of their control and speaks against 95% of their platform. They’re deliberately sabotaging the only candidate who would wipe the floor with Trump, muddling the results in Iowa and New Hampshire, but then losing all control in Nevada, where Bernie was irrepressible. At some point, they’re going to have to unmask and just fuck him six ways to Sunday in a way that will be ten times more obvious than what they did to him in 2016.

This will kill any remaining credibility for the Democratic party (this time, among a significantly large populace), even without considering the slim pickings amongst the rest of the candidates. They’re all severely compromised as far as providing the challenge to the status quo needed to get the U.S. out of its oligarchic rut and into the coterie of countries that both cares for its citizens and also has any viability for addressing the oncoming/ongoing climate catastrophe.

I’ll leave the last word to Reid:

“These imbeciles appear to have every intention of repeating their 2016 tricks to put Biden or, god forbid, Bloomberg in the nomination, which will only accomplish another seemingly impossible catastrophe[4] that they’ll no doubt blame on god knows who. Putin? Assad? Tulsi? Santa? Anyone but the only people who can possibly make Trump a two-term president, themselves.”


[1] Though with a weakness for mis-spelling homophones (e.g. “coarse” instead of “course”), which doesn’t detract from the overall writing since the power of her essays overcomes any doubt that she might know what she’s talking about engendered by the spelling and punctuation mistakes (of which there were far fewer in this essay than usual, which leads me to believe that she finally coerced a colleague into redactorial duties).
[2] That is, they agree on perpetual war, a centralized capitalism with socialism for the rich and powerful, with a burgeoning inequality, low taxes, large military, American hegemony, a jingoistic belligerence. They differ on birth control and gay marriage and so on.
[3] E.g. Biden and Bloomberg are policy-wise just as bad, if not as obviously personally grotesque while Warren shows all evidence of being another Obama: a token minority who will effect no change whatsoever where it matters and it’s an utter mystery why anyone should even be talking about corporate shill Buttigieg at all.
[4] Viz. making Donald J. Trump a two-term president.