Tag Archives: election

Open letter to Hillary’s voters

The Fear of Donald and our descent into fascism


Yes, I know, fascism gets tossed into our faces pretty easily these days and comes off as mostly disingenuous and trite, until you meet one of Hillary’s “vote for Hillary, or else” supporters, whose pressure to conform amidst dire warnings about fascism sound alarmingly fascist themselves.

Here’s the deal, if the only reason you’re voting for Hillary is because you’re afraid that Donald Trump will win, fascism has already won. You’ve already lost your freedom to choose. You’re afraid. The fascists have won.

And, soon, hounded by fear of what might be instead of acting upon our values, creating a truly just world, we’ll all be fascists, as we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils.

How much more can we lower our expectations in a general election? Hillary or Donald? Wall Street Darling, or Bankrupt Bully?

If you really like Hillary, which I don’t, then by all means vote for her. That’s what a democracy is all about. Please, however, don’t try to convince me that she’s the best candidate because she’s the only ONE who can beat Donald.

Bernie, apparently, might also have beaten Donald, and might still had he considered joining the forces of his 13 million voters with a third party candidate like Jill Stein. But, never mind that, because I don’t want to sound like a spoilt sport or be ridiculous. Just because he got sandbagged by The Machine, and the “revolution” sidelined. Yes, it’s upsetting, and I don’t plan to “get over it” until the system changes.

There will be no revolution with Hillary. The revolution will be with Donald Trump, if he wins, one that might spell the end, it is said, of the American enterprise as a place of virtue and good will, which is only historically partly true. The United States has always had flaws, very serious flaws, that have resulted in the torture and deaths of thousands upon tens-of-thousands of innocent people. But let’s not get into that, or into the tens of thousands of lives that might have been saved had Hillary spoken out against the war on Iraq.

Let’s just say that together Trump and Clinton represent nearly all of the flaws the world attributes to us, starting with violent, brash, repugnant, ignorant and entitled. I’ll choose neither candidate, and prefer those who, like Bernie, can at least show some sense of humility and humanity, which seemingly lack in both Hillary and Donald. Again, if you want Hillary, that is fine. Let’s agree that Donald mustn’t win, and I’ll vote for the person who most represents my interests and values.

The Fear of Donald

COMMENT.DONALDThe only presidential candidate I know who has already incriminated, and thus disqualified, himself from the office before he even holds it, is Donald Trump, a weak, thin-skinned, pathetic demagogue, a low-blow, bigoted bully who knows little about our own constitution, foreign policy, the world’s state of affairs, how to treat women, or the pressures of the nation’s highest executive office.

Let’s impeach him for conspiring with Russia to spy on a U.S. citizen.

He has no backing in both the House and Senate, or even from the despicable Koch Bros., and no political clout, capital or influence beyond his own self-aggrandizing and bloated ideas of himself; his speeches are mostly exercises in narcissism, and his calls to action are mostly appeals to base thuggery and ignorance.

If we truly have a democracy, he will lose, unless we’re a nation of course men and women, a mob of ignoramuses who prefer the gross over the sublime. The laws and principles and force of history of this nation—if American greatness ever existed—will bring him down, not raise him up. Decency alone would dictate this. He has none. He is indecent and rude and mustn’t be elevated.

If Trump is elevated, lifted to “victory,” he will ultimately lose. That is his game. He loses over and over, his whole life a series of failures that he calls “success.” If Trump rises to the top, that says more about us as a people than it gives a solid argument for why I should vote for Hillary.

Trump doesn’t frighten me half as much as a populace so cowed and afraid that it must choose the “lesser” of two evils to avoid a calamity. That’s the beginning of fascism, when a people choose an evil, even if it is the “lesser,” over conscience and heart. Unless, and until, more voters begin to vote their conscience, we will, sooner or later, all turn into fascists.

Some say that to vote my conscience, not for Hillary, is a “luxury” no one can afford.

I don’t consider my vote a “luxury.” It represents what I most value, someone who is not beholden to Wall Street or the One Percent, someone who refuses to choose war over reason and diplomacy, or who isn’t likely to dissemble through word and action, who knows the constitution and laws protecting citizens rights, and is humble enough to admit a mistake.

Our politics are so rife with cynicism that we go along with the “lesser evil,” election after election, as far as I can remember, even if that lesser person models what is most despicable in our culture—greed, graft, and corruption—as if that can actually be a good thing upon which to hinge my hopes and dreams. I’ve voted for the lesser evil most of my life. I won’t do it now, or ever again. §

Stacey Warde is publisher of The Rogue Voice. He can be reached at roguewarde@gmail.com

Hillary & the Benghazi goon squad

by Dell Franklin


Hillary maintained that arch calm, almost smiling at their little boy ineptitude and cry for attention, once flicking lint off her shoulder, as if signifying these men as no better than flies or gnats.

Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff tried to come to her aid, but Hillary didn’t need them. She endured the inquisition, the steady bombardment of insulting drivel and accusations and falsehoods from the likes of Trey Gowdy and his menagerie of goons and held firm, displaying an arch calm and deliberate, articulate answers to their prosecutorial grilling, saying just enough but not too much, and what was evident in her demeanor was the bugaboo in theirs—lack of an unreasonable and bullying male ego, which seemed to be transfused into the two female members of the panel.

This ugly gob of male ego, always spoiling for a good fight and incapable of admitting defeat, pushed hard into the dinner hours trying to grind her down, but Hillary, like a slick shortstop from the Dominican Republic, kept fielding their vicious grounders and throwing them out with ease as they tripped over first base repeatedly and then kicked at the dirt and yelled at the umpires like sore losers, and little boys.

Hillary’s lack of male ego was what this miserable pack of jackals could not contend with. She exhibited no anger at their insinuations, their incriminations, only the same arch calm that held firm for eleven hours as they blistered her with one toxic salvo after another, one repeated, droning, boring question after another, one more strident hysterical raising of the voice, one more sententious play to the national audience for a little recognition as they became smaller and smaller, little men using a pea shooter to take down a giant.

Led by Gowdy, a man who resembles a hairless weasel with skin gloss and taped on ears, who looked like he was trying out for a John Grisham lawyer part in one of his novels turned into a movie. His two hit men, the wheedling, sneering Jordan and Roskam, played big for Fox News while Hillary maintained that arch calm, almost smiling at their little boy ineptitude and cry for attention, once flicking lint off her shoulder, as if signifying these men as no better than flies or gnats. All day long, as they tried to wear her down, she wore them down, until the whole sorry lot seemed to be talking to only themselves, like deluded sociopaths.

Hillary was too strong for them, too tough, too smart. And, fact is, because of what women have had to tolerate from men since the beginning of time, they ultimately have more steel in their gut. Just ask those who have tangled with Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, and Angela Merkel, who ate their male competitors for lunch.

I hark back to my own mother, a diminutive woman whom my father, war vet, professional athlete who played hurt and never missed a day’s work no matter how sick, said, “You think I’m tough? She’s tougher, believe me.”

My father, who grew up a Russian Jew in a German/Polish anti-Semitic neighborhood, where he fought every day and went on to become an amateur boxing champion, would punch anybody out who uttered anything derogatory about Jews, or used the kike, sheenie terminology around him. My mother, a Jewish lady with small, exquisite features and an IQ of around 160, had a far different way of dealing with such mean prejudice. She told me the story of driving across the country from Wisconsin to Norfolk, Virginia, where my dad was stationed in the navy before shipping out to the South Pacific. Dad had managed to arrange for the wife of a fellow navy man, an officer, to share the driving in dad’s Packard.

Mother agreed, and they set out from Madison, where the lady had been a cheer leader and debutante and almost immediately began informing my mother that the real enemy of World War II wasn’t the Germans, but the Jews, who were responsible for it. Roosevelt’s cabinet was infested with Jews. The Jews controlled the money. The Jews were greedy. The Jews this, the Jews that, the woman taking my mother for a gentile perhaps because she was so stunningly beautiful and perhaps not fitting the stereotype of what a Jew looked like in that era.

My mother said, “I let her go on. Unlike your father, I did not fly off the handle. She was spoiled and terribly entitled and she continued this kind of talk for an entire day. I still let it go. I remained calm and pleasant. I waited until we were about a hundred miles out of Norfolk, and when she started in again, I pulled over on the side of the road, and I just looked at her. I didn’t say anything for about a minute. And then I told her, ‘I want you to know you’ve been traveling with a Jew for the last two days.’ Well, I thought she might die right there. I cannot tell you how shocked she was, and how devastated she was when I just sat there and looked at her. I wasn’t mad. I just looked at her with pity and compassion for being such a narrow, shallow person who would never experience the privilege of compassion. She was from a rich family, I was poor. Well, she started apologizing, the poor thing was crying, she became hysterical. She apologized and apologized, and when she calmed down, she said, ‘but you don’t…look like a Jew.’ Oh, I said, what does a Jew look like?’ She cried and blubbered the last three hours of our trip.”

Mother said that the suffering this woman experienced those last one hundred miles was probably ten times worse than the damage my father inflicted on men who had uttered Jew-baiting remarks in his presence—several of whom ended up hospitalized. Mother said, “That woman will never forget that experience, and every time she thinks about it she will cringe, and maybe cry, and you can bet she will never repeat that business again.”

Maybe it IS time for a woman president, somebody without the kind of blustery male ego owned by an unfulfilled man like George W. Bush, who never played sports and ended up a cheerleader at Yale but couldn’t wait to go to war with his equally unfulfilled chicken-hawk pals. Maybe it’s time we had a cool, calculating, clever woman who’s been working her way around some of the biggest male egos on the world stage and in her own government and learned how to deal with them through thick and thin, victory and defeat, as well as the storm of bullshit they’ve thrown at her for decades.

You want tough? Just ask Bill. And now you can ask the Benghazi goon squad licking their wounds after getting torn up by this subtle tigress.

Bring ‘em all on, lady, they’re fair game. §

Dell Franklin writes from his home in Cayucos, Calif., where he lives with his rescue dog, Wilbur. He’s the author of The Ball Player’s Son, a memoir about his father, Murray Franklin, and the early days of big league baseball. Visit his website: dellfranklin.com

Trump and the Jesus factor

COMMENT.Donald-Trump-Thumbs-Up-665x385-433x256by Talmadge Jarratee

Just as the 14 incredibly shrinking men and the shriveled wicked witch running for the GOP presidential nomination fawn over and pander to and curry favor with the billionaires usurping the power of the people for money, they are now trampling all over each other as they pander to and fawn over and seek favor with Jesus. All the incredibly shrinking men have made it resoundingly clear that Jesus is THEIR friend and inspiration. Huckabee, the Christ-crazed huckster, appears to have stamped his patent on the Jesus factor, therefore herding evangelicals and rhapsodic worshippers. Whiter-than-white, pencil-neck Governor Walker, whose feeble presence seems a minute notch above Jeb Bush, smugly claims his adoration of Jesus because his father was a clergyman who obviously set hisCOMMENT.TRUMP.HAPPY JESUS son on the course of the single-handed ruination of the state of Wisconsin. Others, like Santorum and Cruz, who would love to abolish all manner of abortion, same-sex marriage, as well as voting rights, Obamacare and anything else that might aid the poor, seem almost biblical in their praise of Jesus.


As a party, the GOP has gotten down on its hands and knees before the sanctimonious American public and observed Jesus as their savior and the moral compass of the Greatest Nation ever in the world! When questioned a few years back at a debate on whether they believed in Jesus, every hand went up, accompanied by beneficent smiles.

The Donald takes another tack. The Donald momentarily notches down from his stern terse nonstop bombastic dominance and sweetly admits he likes church. The Donald says he liked Sunday school, a place hated by most kids growing up because public school was enough and Sunday school was on a par with church and sermonizing when it came to interminable and insufferable boredom. The Donald likes the bible. The Donald talks of his past and current church with the warmth and appreciation of an astute businessman schmoozing a stern and imperious bishop or pope. How else could the Donald fill a stadium in Mobile, Alabama, with a horde of more than 30,000 fat God-fearing white folks and perhaps a three or four black Baptists?

When asked how often he attended his church by a sharp and leery inquisitor of the media, Trump casually claimed “as much as he could,” which seemed odd from a nonstop busy, mercurial, expedient and impatient person as Trump, a person who seems incapable of enduring the humbling of himself before anybody, much less lose the center of attention to a cloaked and gowned ecclesiastic droning on about such stale subjects as sacrifice, salvations, quotes from the bible, and other assorted lectures aimed at guilt-mongering and money-snatching; the former something the Donald will ignore, the latter he will fulfill as he has the coffers of those he needs for future exploitation.

I was starting to really like the Donald in all his swinishness because I felt deep down inside he thought all this Jesus stuff is bullshit,  just another charade by typical phony politicians trained to pose and lie, and would spank these incredibly shrinking hypocrites for their cheesy hero-worship of The Man, because Jesus would never in His right mind approve of their mean-spirited behavior and dehumanizing comments and treatment of immigrants, something an unshackled nonbeliever like I thought the Donald was could get away with.

I wonder if at some point the Jesus punditry so commonly seen on cable news stations

begin issuing doubts about the Donald’s devotion to Jesus. Will they not be happy until the Donald walks among the nut-house zealots as a skulking born-again like the blundering Bush who corralled the entire evangelical born-again populace to win office in 2000 and go on to wreck the country? Like Bush, will he allude that Jesus talked to him about his major decisions, and especially the one to go to war and bomb the living be-Jesus out of Iraq?

This remains to be seen. Trump continues to climb in the polls. He is becoming a brighter and bigger star every day, delivering riveting speeches without notes and showing his mental agility and feel for the podium each passing day as he lands in his own plane and addresses huge crowds as a savior/potentate. The question is, will the Donald at some point feel he is bigger than Jesus? The 14 incredibly shrinking men and the shriveling wicked witch certainly hope so, because it might be their last gasp to jump on him and accuse the seemingly unstoppable and indomitable Donald as a thrice-married, draft-dodging, money-grubbing, sinning heathen.

Talmadge Jarratee writes about politics and occasional sketches of San Francisco and, because of his views, may soon be homeless. For more on Talmadge, visit dellfranklin.com