Every four years this system exposes itself through the presidential elections. The two major parties of the rich present their candidates with the expectation that people will fall behind one or the other. After a billion dollars was spent in primary campaigns over the past year and a half, it’s Trump vs. Clinton. Trump is a raving lunatic, whipping up racist and nationalist fears. Clinton is a practiced politician. Is there any real difference on the major issues between Trump and Clinton?
Police Killings and Racism
Clinton can wrap her arms around mothers of young people shot down in the streets and take all the photos she wants. But to deal with police violence in poor communities takes more than body cameras and review boards. It would mean opposing the open racism of this society and the underlying problems of poverty. Clinton’s record shows support for the incarceration of millions of people and huge cuts to social service programs.
Meanwhile Trump speaks to mostly white audiences in areas remote from the scenes of police violence, builds up racist fears and trumpets his cry for law and order! His message of fear includes attacks on Mexicans who are portrayed as criminals. And his most insane attacks are against Muslims, who Trump claims are all terrorists and must be prevented from entering the U.S.!
It is difficult to know what Trump’s foreign policy might be. His message is that he won’t allow the U.S. to be kicked around and he’ll show the rest of the world how powerful the U.S. is. This plays on some people’s fears that we are under attack, when in fact much of the world is under attack by U.S. forces. U.S. military bases cover the world. The military might of the U.S. has devastated Iraq and Afghanistan. In the past five years U.S. drone attacks have killed more than 2400 people – the majority of them innocent civilians.
Clinton’s record is clear, despite her efforts to present herself as the queen of peace. She has supported these militaristic policies as a Senator and as Secretary of State.
Trump claims that Global Warming is a hoax dreamed up by environmentalists. (Not all in the Republican Party agree with this, but many do.)
Hilary Clinton and the Democratic Party say Global Warming is a reality and that something has to be done about it. But, as Secretary of State, she supported the XL Pipeline that would have brought toxic tar sands oil to the Gulf of Mexico.
Clinton’s supposed concern ends up being the same as Trump’s denial. Neither of them is going to take on Big Oil, despite the warnings presented by world climate scientists of disastrous consequences if no real action is taken NOW. Many scientific models of climate change predict huge fires like those in California, Portugal, Indonesia and Canada and the massive flooding we have seen in the southern U.S., China, Sudan, and Mexico.
These elections can serve a purpose, if we don’t get tricked into believing they provide solutions. They expose the bankruptcy of this system. Supposedly this a time when the problems of the society are discussed and solutions are proposed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Trump’s message of fear and hatred promotes further divisions among people whose lives are under attack by rich people like him. And Clinton’s message is that the policies of the past eight years are fine. But that’s where the difference ends. There is little real difference in policy between the two – one comes with a snarl, the other with a smile.