As the November 8 election looms larger with each passing day, Republican party leaders are now in a “panic mode”.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Donald Trump’s relations with the Republican Party – and his political fortunes – worsened dramatically as party leaders fretted openly about the inability of his campaign staff to control him and even began to discuss what to do if their unpredictable nominee suddenly quit the race.”
Donald Trump bulldozed his way to the Republican nomination for president in a campaign in which the “unfit” charge was raised and ignored by an alarming majority of Republican voters.
So it comes down to the final bout between Trump and Clinton.
Pause, for a moment if you must, and ask the question about the third-party option. I repeat my answer that a third-party vote is a wasted vote. Movements don’t win elections until they enter the ring for the final bout.
Progressives came close to entering this year’s final bout behind Bernie Sanders. They lost, which means they must turn their zeal and energy toward building a successful progressive political party that will keep alive the ideals espoused by Sanders in his unsuccessful race against Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, there is the vote on November 8 between a militaristic Hillary Clinton and her opponent Trump, who is not just filled with unclear and uncertain policy ideas, but has been described by no less an authority than President Obama as “unfit” to serve in the office.
Which candidate poses the greatest danger with his or her fingers on buttons of mass destruction? If you vote for Trump, or a third party, then you are exercising your freedom to select someone who is not only unfit for the office, but dangerous.
The case against Clinton as a neoconservative militarist is massive. It is just not massive enough to give the White House to a man Joe Scarborough reported on MSNBC who asked a foreign policy expert, three times, “Why can’t we use nuclear arms?”
Paul Jay on Real News Network said, during an interview with Lawrence Wilkinson, that Clinton or Trump offers a horrible choice.
Wilkerson is a retired United States Army officer and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is now an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary where he teaches courses on US national security.
In his interview with Jay, he said, “I would say in her first term she will get us into a war”.
In These Times was out this week with a piece on neocons for Hillary, identifying an all-star team of neocon heavyweights this way:
Concerned that Trump would “destroy American foreign policy and the international system,” author Max Boot told Vox that Clinton would be “vastly preferable.”
Historian Robert Kagan has also come out in favor of Clinton, saying he feels “comfortable with her on foreign policy.” Eliot Cohen, a former Bush administration official who has been called “the most influential neocon in academe,” declared Clinton “the lesser evil, by a large margin.”
She may be the lesser evil to many. She is also the first woman to come this close to the presidency in U.S. history. Her preference, as shown in many instances, for the military option over diplomacy, remains disturbing.
Her devotion to Israel and her willingness to explain away the many sins of the current right-wing Israeli government is in line with heavy majorities in Congress, though not in the US public.
It is not a good choice, but it is our only remaining choice. Clinton may surprise us with wise decisions on foreign policy. Certainly her appointive powers over the judicial branch would be a huge gift to this democracy.
She remains the best available option for the presidency. Looking back, it would be wrong to link Trump to the rise of Adolph Hitler. Such historical parallels are always imprecise.
But the actions of any dictatorial-minded president may be seen as akin to what happened to the German people.
Remembering that era is to be reminded of what may happen to a nation when it votes for a leader because of ignorance, hatred and fear.
On November 25, 2015, the Washington Post ran a story about a TV ad from presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich, which paraphrased a warning from German Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller (picture at top).
Kasich was one of the opponents vanquished by Trump as he won the Republican nomination with a campaign built on fear and hate.
Niemöller’s original warning came in a sermon he delivered on January 6, 1946, to the representatives of the Confessing Church in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Kasich ad features a paraphrase of Niemöller’s famous statement which reminded his German audience of what led them into World War II horrors.
Niemöller said in Frankfurt, in 1946, a few months after the war ended::
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
In the video ad for John Kascih, Colonel Tom Moe, United States Air Force, and a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, paraphrased Niemöller:
You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with the government, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it’s OK to rough up black protesters, because you’re not one. And you might not care that Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you’re not one.
But think about this. If he keeps going and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you, and you better hope that there’s someone left to help you.
The picture of Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller at top, is from https://ghufrang.wordpress.com/tag/pastor-martin-niemoller/
The picture of Donald Trump is cropped from an AP photo by Evan Vucci,