...and we'll probably end up with another 8 years of Obama.
(Excerpts from the Popular
Resistance newsletter on August 20, 2016)
NBC news projected that Hillary Clinton has surpassed the 270 electoral college votes needed to win, currently with 288 votes and six states as toss-ups. Based on polls, which have been surprisingly accurate this year, Politico reports that if you include states where Clinton leads by 5%, she has 302 electoral college votes. Indeed, no one with her lead at this stage of the campaign has lost the popular vote in 16 elections, since modern polling began. This is no surprise as more evidence shows that money shapes US elections.
It is our job to make sure Clinton is unable to ignore the popular movement. During the election people are protesting both Trump and Clinton. This needs to continue and escalate. These two most unpopular candidates ever nominated need to feel consistent people-power pressure.
And we need to make sure more candidate voices are heard than just the two corporate candidates. Our issues need to be in the political dialogue. The way to do this is to work to make sure that Jill Stein is included in the debates, along with Gary Johnson. (We recognize the Libertarians are another corporate party. They agree on some of our issues, but on most they do not.) On Monday, Popular Resistance will announce a Campaign for Open Debates, which will be pressuring the candidates, especially Donald Trump, to include all four candidates in the debate and then doing on-the-ground protests against a variety of targets.
This campaign is about ending the debate fraud of the phony commission on presidential debates, which is really a corporation of the two establishment parties designed to keep other candidates out. We seek to end the two party controlled debate "commission" (really a corporation), stop the reliance on polls and ensure all candidates mathematically capable of winning 270 electoral votes are in the debates. The public needs to hear new ideas, like Jill Stein’s approach to ending all student debt; without inclusive debates the political dialogue will be stifled.
We do not tell you how to vote. Some are still in the two-party system of fear-based voting; some even fall for the Nader myth. But we know that throughout history, where we always had two big business parties, transformational change has occurred with the combination of a mass movement and an independent political party.
Thomas Frank wrote in The Guardian that with Clinton certain to win, she will ignore populist movements and govern to the right. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report writes Clinton is stuffing the entire US ruling class into her campaign – neocons and neoliberals, Wall Street and big business, military and intelligence – with progressives, blacks and Latinos pushed to the side. The more votes Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka get, the more power the movement will have since their views represent the movement.
One source of growing inequality is trade agreements designed by and for wealthy transnational corporations. Last week President Obama put Congress on notice that he is pushing for ratification of the TPP in a lame duck session. He sent a draft of the law he wants to pass to the Congress. House Speaker, Paul Ryan, said there are not enough votes to pass the TPP this year, but we know that the White House will twist arms to get enough votes. Opponents of the TPP are signing up for the #NoLameDuck rebellion, grassroots activists are making the TPP an issue in congressional races and Tom Morello’s Firebrand Records is touring in Rock the TPP.
We also got news recently that by the end of the year trade negotiators hope to have the very dangerous Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) completed. TiSA may be the most dangerous of Obama’s three agreements as it involves 52 countries and 70% of all the world’s services.
Another front where there has been increased growth in power with many victories is the Fight for $15. This movement is also getting stronger and planning for the future. At the first ever Fight for $15 Convention, they came together to highlight the racist policies that are holding back workers of color nationwide and to mobilize the 64 million Americans paid less than $15/hour ahead of the 2016 election. They left knowing that not only did they need $15 an hour, they also need a union. The movement had a victory this week when domestic workers in Illinois won a Bill of Rights after a five-year campaign.
(* Vote #JillNotHill (Dr. Jill Stein) — because Bernie Sanders is now campaigning for Hillary Clinton. And unlike Clinton, Jill won't "pivot" to the Right.)