Who Besides Hillary?

Who Besides HillaryDo progressives want Hillary for President? No, of course not. Among other things, she’s in the pockets of the GMO industrial complex. If Barack Obama disappointed us, Hillary may go him one better. She may horrify us. Ask yourself: if we have Hillary, will we go to war again? The answer is almost surely, “Yes.” Please — we shouldn’t kid ourselves.

All right, then. What if the Republicans run Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Mitt Romney or . . . .? Are you going to vote for Hillary — or some protest candidate or what? We know what happens when we vote for a third party candidate. Under the American system, it’s just a wasted vote. The sophisticated know this. Look, even the U.S. Communist Party is supporting Obama. They don’t really like him, but the Communist Party has a long memory. They remember Germany in the 1930s, and they learned that lesson when the Communists failed to support those who were just a bit to the right of them and they wound up with Hitler. There comes a point when you must compromise.

Does that mean that we must go for Hillary? That moment may come, but that moment isn’t right now. Maybe – just maybe – we can come up with a plan for a candidate who isn’t Hillary and who might win. So who might that be? Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? Kirsten Gilibrand? Cory Booker? Someone else? Who?

My answer: I don’t know. But what I do know is a strategy that might get a progressive candidate elected. And it doesn’t mean trying for a third party.

Basically, it’s a three-step process. The first step is to organize and take over the Democratic Party. That may be hard, but it may not be as hard as it seems. If a really left-of-center candidate took on Hillary, that candidate might get some surprising support. Money bags like the Koch Brothers can’t stand Hillary, and they know that she’s a threat to the Republicans. Faced with a choice of Hillary or a candidate to the left of her, some of the real right-wing money might go against Hillary.

And the second step? Look at the past and don’t repeat it. Don’t make the same mistakes that George McGovern or Michael Dukakis made. We had McGovern running and he lost big time. We had Dukakis running and he lost big time. We can’t afford to have a progressive running and then a big loss. But we don’t have to set ourselves up to lose. We can have a progressive leader who shows a willingness to work with the other side and we can go for things that we know Americans really want.

Don’t run a naked campaign with just a presidential and vice-presidential candidate. Instead, run a coalition. Back the progressive candidate with a true government. 

Don’t run a naked campaign with just a presidential and vice-presidential candidate. Instead, run a coalition. Back the progressive candidate with a true government. In other words, instead of trying to dump the entire problem on two pairs of shoulders, show the voters in advance the people who will be running the government. If we had Bernie Sanders running, then we should also have (maybe) Elizabeth Warren running with him, plus about five or ten others as part of a public team. Select the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, and the Attorney General up front. Add the head of the EPA, Health and Human Service, Education, and so on. Have those people stand up and say where they want the country to go.

And who should those people be? Pick real experts who have no ties to Wall Street or major corporations. And don’t be afraid if one or two are liberal Republicans. Real, honest, liberal Republicans. In other words, maybe this could be a real coalition government that might bridge the gap and get things to happen. Or is that too much to hope for?

Then have a real platform that means something. Don’t try to have a 10-page document on every subject under the sun. Pick five major issues for the country and say how the government will deal with those issues. For instance, election reform could be one. The platform could make it a priority to get rid of the corruption politics that is strangling our country. 73 percent of all Americans want to repeal Citizens United.

Make it a priority to have economic equality and end the extreme difference between the uber-wealthy and the rest of the citizens. (How about promoting the “Robin Hood” tax of .01% on all public stock transactions. Make an exception for purchases through ERISA plans, or by individuals with less than a million dollars in assets. Or whatever.) Or perhaps there could be a really steep income tax on gross income of over a million dollars in a year (not including sales of principal residences). Another big issue could be significant government investment in infrastructure as a way of getting the country moving again, creating jobs, and spending the money taken from the uber-wealthy.

michael-hertzAnd then the third step: organize. Organize marches at the local and state level. Pick someone who will speak reality in Ferguson, MO, so that those people go out and say, “That’s who we want.” Have a national get out the vote campaign. Get people out in the streets and into the voting booths. And make very, very sure that there aren’t vote stealing machines sneaking away the election.

In other words: we don’t need Hillary and we don’t want Hillary. We want a government by the rest of us, not by the 1%. And, like or not, Hillary represents the 1%.

Michael T. Hertz


  1. Gary Corseri says

    I was somewhat annoyed when I read this article earlier today. I could not add my 2 cents worth of comments then; but, now I’m glad I waited… because reading the comments here I’m a bit heartened. Other folks do “get it,” do see what we’re up against–the sham of this System, etc.

    Isn’t it absurd to be speculating about a presidential election that is still 27 months away? Must we partake of this circus again and again and again?

    Author Hertz suggests “organizing” now as the surefire panacea for what ails us! Get behind Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren and support a whole crew they can work with!

    That sounds about as plausible a scheme as “Change we can believe in!” or “Yes we can!”

    “When will they ever learn?” Pete Seeger used to sing in his song about change!

    Here’s one solid idea to get behind if you’d like to see some real change in America’s faux democracy: Don’t vote for any candidate who has “dual citizenship”!

    Google right now to see how many senators and representatives–including Bernie Sanders!–have dual citizenship with Israel!

    Here’s another idea: DON’T VOTE… BUT LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! Proclaim: you will not take part in this charade again! Join with others to raise your dissident voices up to heaven and down to hell!

    We don’t simply need a new president or Congress in America! No white, black, or green person sitting on his or her ass, enjoying the accoutrements of hand-me-down powers (while serving the interests of the real power-brokers of the corporate-military-academic-media State) is going to lead us poor chillin to de promised land!

    I’m afraid we’ve played this game too long! We’re going to have to seize power. And we had better be very well informed, unified in our dissent, and wise about the way we do that!

  2. says

    Under no circumstances will I vote for Hillary. Our democracy is a farce, and elections mean nothing. I’ve been through my “organize! organize!” phase already with Howard Dean. He was squashed like a bug. If we can’t back a strong honest progressive candidate, it won’t matter if Hillary is elected. Further, getting a super progressive elected President will mean nothing if we don’t throw everyone to the right of Elizabeth Warren out at the same time. Surely you know that?

    We don’t have time to try to waste. If we don’t do it all very, very soon, Mother Nature will bring on the 6th great extinction. We may already be beyond the tipping point. The human species has a fatal flaw–cognitive dissonance and greed. I don’t have much hope any more.

  3. says

    I’m often bemused by how often the “sophisticated,” in their Republican-like smugness, so terribly wrong. We keep being told that a third-party vote is “wasted,” yet we keep electing people who feed the corporate greed machine, buy into insane wars and ignore the needs of the vast majority of the people of this country. Republican or Democrat doesn’t matter; they are owned by the big money, as is Hillary, who has a terrible need, apparently, to demonstrate that she has balls by crushing those of modest or little income and firing up the war machine.

  4. mac says

    ‘Progressive’ is a meaningless nomenclature in political terms in the u.s. As long as we are subjects of an oligarchy, with no real participatory input, elections, or ‘selections’ will never produce truly representative office holders, regardless of which party is in place or how many votes are cast. One cannot be truly ‘progressive’ and hold office in the u.s.; it just won’t be allowed. This article smacks of patronage of the status quo which has obviously failed us. And this bs about the communist party supporting Obama- wtf?

  5. Donatella says

    The two party system not only needs to be scrapped completely, everyone associated with it is guilty of war crimes.

    How about interviewing Gary Johnson, instead of pretending he doesn’t exist? Then do the same for Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson. We have more choices than that cackling woman; she’s waaay past her ‘sell-by’ date.

    • Luis L. says

      You beat me to it. It is the 2-party system that has created these inevitable candidates and now any other potential presidential candidate is relegated to the outer limits. I’m sure that in a county of over 300 million there are more than just two people who could be a good president but we’ll never know. No one wants to challenge Hilary right now since she already has a huge advantage in funding and name recognition. She’s been touted as a presidential candidate since before Bill even left office.

  6. suz says

    I’m in New Mexico and the steps you suggest may have taken place or be in the midst of the transformation. The first two steps, or facsimiles thereof, have happened peacefully and to an extent unacknowledged. The 3rd step has yet to clearly emerge but there are rising stars, helped along by an active party and growing coalitions of supporters, not to mention greater sophistication of local campaign workers.
    As an added bonus there is a renewed and robust journalism – investigating, fact checking and reporting.

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