It’s The Vice President, Stupid

I don’t mean that word literally – “stupid” – but that’s how the saying goes.

This will be the most important Vice Presidential pick in US history, ever. At the very least, there has arguably never been a more important pick for US Vice President than will be the 2020 pick by the Democratic nominee. If the VP pick is not a progressive, youngish, woman of color, then there is no hope. I don’t mean that literally – “no hope” – but nearly. The pick for Vice President this election cycle provides a tremendous opportunity that the human species and the planet cannot afford to botch.

The fate of the species and planet likely rests not totally but significantly on US Presidential and Vice Presidential successions of genuine progressives: Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Nina Turner, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (when Constitutionally old enough), Ilhan Omar, possibly Rashida Tlaib, and others.

Even if the 2020 Democratic nominee for President is a progressive, youngish woman of color, it is still critical that the Vice President be likewise. Why? Because youngish? because a woman? because of color? Partially, yes, but primarily because – apart from Bernie Sanders – these personal elements denote the most progressive candidates, the most prominent candidates, and also the generally best and most electable, available candidates now and for the foreseeable future.

And so it is that the pick for Vice President in this election cycle, the importance and value of the pick, is unprecedented. The fate of people and the planet hangs in the balance of the pick for VP.

What is the likelihood that Kamala Harris would pick such a VP? Fair, maybe? Maybe good, maybe not. (And would it matter with corporatist Harris as President?) What are the odds of Elizabeth Warren making such a pick? Fair to good, maybe? Maybe not. (And would it matter with the “capitalist to her bones” as President?) What are the odds that avowed Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders would pick such a VP? Nearly one hundred percent. As he seems to have made clear.

It’s not that the Democratic nominee for President is of little or no consequence. In fact, the pick for President this cycle and every cycle going forward remains extremely important, just as now the Vice Presidential picks are of unprecedented importance for helping to continue a necessary succession of genuinely progressive leadership. Still, without a genuinely progressive President, a progressive Vice President is essentially useless.

It matters that the Presidential nominee be a genuine progressive – and for those who continue to live in Liberal delusionville – that means this cycle only Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard or possibly the semi-progressive (though “capitalist to her bones”) Elizabeth Warren. Realistically, however, neither Warren’s nor Gabbard’s electoral clout remotely measures up to the clout of Bernie Sanders. There is no sound evidence that anyone’s electoral viability remotely measures up to that of Bernie Sanders.

And so it is that the real decision to be made in the 2020 election cycle remains exactly as I suggested two years ago: who will be the VP? Who MUST be the VP? It’s the pick for Vice President that matters now, especially since, say what you will, the prohibitive favorite for President, and the one with easily among the best available progressive credentials, has long been obvious.

The nominees for President and Vice President must be of essentially equal quality but unique in their powers and popular appeal. The two must be interchangeable but diverse and different in various ways. And the pick for Vice President must be of such substantial progressive quality as to make a genuinely progressive President assassination proof and impeachment proof, both.

For all practical intents and purposes, the field of potential Vice Presidential candidates for a genuinely progressive President consists of about half a dozen progressive youngish women of color. To no small degree, the fate of the world depends on the selection and nomination of one of these potential candidates, just as it depends on the ongoing efforts of hundreds of thousands of genuine progressives at all levels of society, including in government.

If the Ku Klux Klan had morphed into an official major political party, it would have become the Republican Party of today. Essentially, that’s what happened. The KKK also manifests itself as large-to-huge portions of the corporate Democratic Party, and of dominant corporate institutions and creations in general. Only a progressive diverse push can overcome the oppressive White Supremacist past and present. It needs to happen officially as it happens socially. There needs to be a diverse, socialist future, if there is to be any future at all.

The pick of Vice President this election cycle will be key to that possibility, far, far more so than it has ever been before. Both nominees matter immensely this time, almost as if they were dual Presidents. If the nominees are not Bernie Tulsi, or Bernie Nina, or Bernie Ilhan, or the like (AOC being for now ineligible), then who, when, and how?

While the pick for Vice President this election cycle is of unprecedented importance, the pick for President also carries no less weight. Only Bernie Sanders has the potential to most fully upend the electoral table, and the social scene, even to the point of a 50 state blue-out, sweeping every state in the election and continuing to reciprocate and generate progressive waves of change, both political and social, desperately needed, and long, long overdue.

It’s both nominees that matter greatly this time, not only the President … the Vice President as much, and in the future even more. One can almost anticipate a dual Presidency, something of its like, at this moment in time, which is more or less as it needs to be. And haven’t the Republicans long since known it: Pence acting for Trump, Cheney acting for Bush, Bush I acting for Reagan. By comparison, Democratic Vice Presidents (let alone the failed nominees) have been basically redundant and irrelevant to power. Time for the Dems to catch up, but only as the worst of their tyrannical corporate supremacist ways are swept out like so much killer toxic trash of history.

It’s the Vice President that matters with the President this time, like never before.

That and much more.

First published at Counterpunch.

Tony Christini is author of the antiwar novel Homefront, co-editor of Liberation Lit anthology, the critical work Fiction Gutted: The Establishment and the Novel, and mostly recently author of Empire All In: A Novel of the Trump Era – paperbackebook.

Bernie Versus The One Percent Bankster Capitalists Who Hate And Fear Him

“ ‘I’m a socially liberal, fiscally conservative centrist who would love to vote for a rational Democrat and get Trump out of the White House,’ said the [anonymous] CEO of one of the nation’s largest banks,” Politico reports in “Wall Street Freaks Out About 2020.”

Though often parroted, there is no such thing as a “socially liberal, fiscal conservative.” Kindness stops where the killing starts. The One Percent’s cherished “fiscal conservatism” amounts to the gutting of social programs and public life and well-being. Fiscal conservatism and austerity are economics of, by, and for the One Percent. This devastates minorities and other vulnerables: the old, the young, the imprisoned, the impoverished… Nothing socially liberal about that, nothing socially liberal about economic racism, economic sexism, economic discrimination of all sorts, economic ecocide, economic slaughter by the One Percent empire near and far.

“Socially liberal, fiscal conservative,” yeah, right. The kiss of love ends at the tip, let alone the hilt, of the sword. It’s real quick. So-called socially liberal, fiscal conservatism is a game of thrones in which vulnerables suffer disaster and death while the rich delight in the spoils. Financially gutting public social systems hurts everyone to greater and lesser degrees, everyone other than the One Percent, who live apart from it all, bank accounts bulging.

Now the Big Election is coming, and the One Percent bankster gangs are seeking to buy another phony for President, another “socially liberal fiscal conservative,” Politico reports. But this time, in the Era of Bernie Sanders, the One Percent bankster gangsters are “getting panicked about the prospect of an ultraliberal Democratic nominee [Bernie Sanders] bent on raising taxes. and slapping regulations on their firms.”

The possibility of Bernie’s Blue-Out terrifies the One Percent, an electoral sweep of all 50 states that would send the much media-vaunted blue-red divide to the trash heap of history. The One Percent bankster gangs created that optical illusion, convenient mental cleansing, pretty and perverse blue-red split, and they need it to profiteer to the hilt, to continue to divide and conquer. Bernie threatens to bust the blue-red bull to pieces, and wealth knows it. We should too.

The One Percent banksters and their corporate media – the dominant media – brainwashing night and day – note that “The result [of 2020 election uncertainty] is a kind of nervous paralysis of executives pining for a centrist nominee like Michael Bloomberg.”

It’s as mind bending as it is meant to be. Mentally cleansing. A billionaire 50 times over, Michael Bloomberg is the “8th-richest person in the United States and the 11th richest person in the world…” but to the One Percent banksters and their dominant corporate media brainwashing 24/7, Michael, richer-than-King-Midas, Bloomberg is a “centrist.” Obviously, he’s a centrist. Like, say, the Pope is a centrist. Or Ghengis Khan. Certainly at the center of wealth and empire. Multi-deca-billionaires are centrists, to the One Percent. That this can even be thought and printed without comment shows how deep the mental cleansing goes. King Bloomberg, One Percent titan, is a “socially liberal fiscal conservative,” so he’s a “centrist” to the self-absolving, funhouse-mirror-gazing bankster gangsters of the media and corporate realms beyond. Dude, where’s my candidate?

Politico goes on to report that the One Percent bankster gangs on Wall Street and elsewhere “fear” losing a few pennies from their digital vaults – shudder – even though nearly all Democratic primary candidates for President “are still calling and showing up” begging for One Percent funding. “They just don’t want to be seen doing it,” notes another anonymous One Percent bankster gang leader, in Politico.

“For Democratic candidates, seeking Wall Street support in the 2020 race will be tricky” due to “swift social media backlash from” the populace. Big money support for the mass of Democrat candidates is readily gained from the One Percent; it’s the high level of deceit that is required that is “tricky,” hiding from people the fact that the One Percent are buying politicians to serve them rather than the populace. Social media, the popular media, the peoples’ media, at its best, valiantly attempts to give the game away, in real time. Thus the Empire’s recent assaults against social media, led by a tag-team of the bankster gangsters in government and by the One Percent owners of social media sites themselves. A “tricky” game, maintaining touch with people while exploiting and profiteering off them ruthlessly.

For the oncoming Big Election, the One Percent banksters note that they would prefer yet another in a long line of corporate stooges: phony populists like Kamala Harris, sorry, or Joe Biden, sorry, or Beto O’Rourke, sorry, or Kristen Gillibrand, sorry, or anyone “not named Bernie Sanders.”

Fiscal conservative social liberals! who will smile at you and shake your hand and tell you nice things, while White Walkers with digital daggers reap their inhuman harvest behind these bought-and-paid-for politicos. Alas, for the One Percent bankster gangsters, uniformly suited and tied to wealth, of wealth, by wealth, for wealth, Bernie Sanders remains the prohibitive favorite to win both the primary and the Presidency of, by, and for the people. It’s in that direction. The One Percent knows it. We should too.

The One Percent “fear” that they may not get their wish of buying a “socially liberal fiscal conservative” Lord of Empire. They can see and feel instead a strong progressive tide and wind that continues to push against and blow back on the One Percent banksters’ poisoning and pillaging. Hurricane Bernie comes for Wall Street, not a moment too soon, if decades and centuries late. Be that as it may, it’s coming, and now.

It’s not a partial or a general strike that the banksters fear most at this point in history, though that may come too. The One Percent has proven that it knows how to crush or curtail strikes large and small. Certainly things can change, and the times, like the climates, they are a-changin’. But the One Percent bankster gangs barely stopped Bernie last time, they don’t know how to stop him this time, and they have not proven that they can control or predict what might happen to their obscene wealth and conquest as a result, direct or indirect, of the Rise of Sanders Claus. No one knows. It’s new territory. The One Percent would rather not risk it. They will accept anyone else of prominence other than Bernie Sanders: “Frankly, if people believed [Elizabeth] Warren would win, they’d jump on board. And everyone in the top tier not named Bernie Sanders…” reports Politico, which interviewed more than “a dozen executives” for its article, “Wall Street Freaks Out About 2020.”

And why would the Gang Banksters not support, if it comes to it, Elizabeth “capitalist to her bones” Warren, a Republican deep into her adulthood. Repulsively – in the era of Bernie Sanders – everyone else in the Democrat Primary not named Bernie Sanders (and possibly Tulsi Gabbard) is to the right of even Elizabeth Proud Capitalist Warren. Harris, Biden, O’Rourke, Booker, Gillibrand, etc, are all considerably worse than even “capitalist to her bones” Warren, from a popular progressive perspective. (Hillary Clinton supporters in the Democratic Primary who think they are not greatly responsible for getting Donald Trump elected should think that through very, very hard.) And now in this 2020 cycle for the Democratic Primary, there is not even a semblance of “balance” to the left of Bernie Sanders. He remains for years now the most popular politician in the nation, by far, and there is still no candidate running even slightly to his left in the Democratic Primary. Why? (Rhetorical.) It’s potentially suicidal not to position at least one candidate seriously on his left, preferably more. Where is the left?

The runs for the Presidency of Bernie Sanders are not general strikes. They are something else, arguably as strong or stronger, in this day and age. They are general mobilizations despised and feared and bitterly savaged and opposed by the One Percent bankster gangs. With enemies like that, you know you’re in good company. Bernie’s general mobilizations have proven to be both inspiring and educational to people near and far, and to progressive forces nationwide.

Are Bernie’s general mobilizations perfect? No, far from it. Are they like general mobilizations of old? It’s high time for historians to sort that out.

For now, it remains Hurricane Bernie that the One Percent fears. The potential effects of the movement of Bernie, as with any hurricane or potential hurricane, is unpredictable and potentially overwhelming, the ultimate consequences not so easily controlled or avoided by the banksters. This is an era where Climate Change and Climate Collapse mean increasingly more than a change in the Earth’s weather. The political climate is beginning to bump off the capitalist rails too. The question is to what extent the new social-media fueled progressive age may carve up the rule of the One Percent banksters who for now remain rich beyond the dreams of Kings, rich by the rain of money from their climate of wealth that they manipulate for themselves, a climate that batters people into a brutal austerity of poverty and debt, a climate of institutionalized theft that generates golden showers for the rich while the bulk of societies rot or implode, and the planet itself careens toward a Venus death hell future.

The One Percent are the White Walkers of the Game of Thrones imagination, agents without ethics, driven, pitiless in their profiteering, to conquer and consume and destroy all. The capitalist economic system is so thoroughly homicidal that it has long since crossed over, transitioned, by way of impending planetary climate collapse, into being wholly suicidal. Suicide by capitalism on a planetary scale, no escape anywhere, for anyone. That’s no small shift in human consciousness, from “Surely the capitalists won’t kill us all…” to “They are set to kill all and everything, themselves included!” It’s a different era now, in consciousness, in politics, in planet. It has to be. It has to be different too in economics, and much else.

As the political and environmental climates are changing, the One Percent banksters work to stop change from touching their bank accounts. Financial collapse and subjugation is what they administer unto others. The rich expect to be treated richly. The One Percent bankster gangs don’t mind buying their elections. They expect to. Its their world, after all, their weather, their climate, their elections, as they see it, their politicians. But the climate has changed, and now Hurricane Bernie comes for the rich on behalf of the poor, and the rich know it. The other prominent candidates for the Presidency, shadows cast by the One Percent (as John Dewey noted decades ago), are mere squalls, fake storms, or plentiful showers of gold for the One Percent. The One Percent bankster gangs know it and want to fool everyone else about what they know.

Hurricane Bernie comes. HB remains the dominant weather pattern in the race for the Presidency. The banksters know it even as they perpetually try to deny it. And behind Hurricane Bernie? Much bigger climate change, which is what the One Percent bankster gangs really fear. They fear it so much that they don’t even speak of it lest they inadvertently help draw it near and into being. Hurricane Bernie is bad enough, in the view of the One Percent. It won’t wipe them out. But it’s a big enough storm that it could help catalyze an irreversible climate change and collapse of the capitalist onslaught that has already destroyed so much.

Bernie is not the end-all, be-all of politics or anything else. He and his policies are not without flaws. Nevertheless, his candidacy in the 2016 election cycle drove social change, as social change drove his candidacy, and together they are driving again in the 2020 cycle, continuing to advance Occupy Wall Street politics and progressive gains nationwide.

It remains the responsibility of the left to be popular enough to run a candidate to the left of Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary for President, if the left wishes to more forcefully push more advanced progressive politics. Achieving that would be the biggest criticism of Bernie Sanders that the left could mount, the most highly visible, a competitive candidate to his left, someone who would make Bernie look like a so-called moderate, and the rest look like wannabe Lords. Where is this popular left electoral prankster of sorts? someone with no chance at all, someone, like, say, Bernie Sanders of 2016 was perceived at the time. It’s long since time that progressives, socialists, anarchists came up with someone. Democracy is at stake, and with it … sheer survival.

In the meantime, come, Hurricane Bernie, and render unto the people what is the peoples’. Some larger bit at least. Hurricane Bernie amounts to no general strike though may lead to one, as it moves to overcome and overtake a particularly impactful and influential operations center, the White House. The mobilization continues. For now, Hurricane Bernie remains one of the biggest threats that the ruling rich have ever seen to their ever more lethal climate of One Percent bankster gangsterism – banksterism. And they know it. We should too.

Tony Christini is author of the antiwar novel Homefront, co-editor of Liberation Lit anthology, the critical work Fiction Gutted: The Establishment and the Novel, and mostly recently author of Empire All In: A Novel of the Trump Era – paperbackebook.

Poof! Goes The Blue – Red Divide

A recent poll shows that nearly half of registered Republican voters support much higher taxes on the wealthy, as do most registered Democratic voters. And no doubt many more Republicans and Democrats both would support such taxes if the people were not endlessly preyed upon by the lies of the corporate One Percent media.

So, there it is, once again, the Blue – Red divide is basically a fiction in deep, broad, and fundamental ways.

Bernie Sanders remains far and away the candidate for the Presidency that best represents the views of the populace.

Tony Christini is author of the antiwar novel Homefront, co-editor of Liberation Lit anthology, the critical work Fiction Gutted: The Establishment and the Novel, and mostly recently author of Empire All In: A Novel of the Trump Era – paperbackebook.

Soft Prop Slimes Forth: The Menace Of Soft Propaganda

Bernie is great! but say, No, to Bernie: a very stupid article, by Will Bunch. So stupid that it minimizes its soft propaganda impact.

Contrast Bunch’s crap to a strong and real view of the decision for President by Amber A’Lee Frost.

Tony Christini is author of the antiwar novel Homefront, co-editor of Liberation Lit anthology, and mostly recently author of Empire All In: A Novel of the Trump Era – paperbackebook.

Why Nate Silver And Democrats Are Laughingstocks – And Republicans Are Worse

Because of Silver’s infantile and warped articles about Bernie Sanders and other Dems, written through the occluded and occluding eyes of the One Percent: “The 5 Corners…” And because on behalf of the One Percent, the Dems try to hatchet their best and brightest, per this: “Exasperated…” And because the Republicans are every bit as bad as the Democrats, only White Supremacist worse and even more savage in their violet policies against the public and the world.

Tony Christini is author of the antiwar novel Homefront, co-editor of Liberation Lit anthology, and mostly recently author of Empire All In: A Novel of the Trump Era – paperbackebook.

The One Percent Hates Bernie, And Us All

From Heavy:

David Sirota, an award-winning journalist, just recently shared on Twitter that a job with Bernie Sanders 20 years ago still brings him the most accusations and questions of any job he’s had all these years later. The job made it tougher for him to get other jobs, and he’s still “accused” of being affiliated with Sanders to this day. “The hatred of Bernie by the political/media class is very real,” he said in a recent string of tweets.

David Sirota is a nationally syndicated columnist, political commentator, radio host, and blogger. He took to Twitter to share that out of all the jobs he’s had over the years, the one he had 20 years ago with Bernie Sanders has given him the most difficult and the most scrutiny, even all these years later.

He wrote: “I worked for Bernie right out of college. For 20 yrs, this — and only this — has made getting any job in politics/media far more difficult. I’m not complaining, but I speak from experience when I say that the hatred of him & his ideology by the political/media class is very real.”

Tony Christini is author of the antiwar novel Homefront, co-editor of Liberation Lit anthology, the critical work Fiction Gutted: The Establishment and the Novel, and mostly recently author of Empire All In: A Novel of the Trump Era – paperbackebook.

The One Percent Ruling Class Still Blames Bernie For Hillary’s Loss To Trump

The One Percent, whether Democrat or Republican, lie as they breath. An Empire of Lies. One Percenter Democrat David Brock at NBC’s “Think” blames Bernie and “Berniecrats,” in his ludicrous formulation, for Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

It’s as pitiful as it is deceitful. Bernie Sanders and backers didn’t leverage the Presidency away from Hillary Clinton. Rather the opposite. Hillary Clinton and supporters leveraged both the primary and the Presidency away from Bernie Sanders.

Not this time. 

Not in 2020. 

Bernie Sanders and supporters will need to defeat the One Percent in both parties. It’s as plain as it is obvious.

Any One Percent Democrat who doesn’t like it – the great popularity of progressive policies – is welcome to join the One Percent in their natural home: the Republican Party. David Brock should go back to where he came from if he truly wishes to “share core values” with political allies. Who are the Owners of the World to hold a grudge? His past friends in the Republican Party would no doubt embrace him again with all the generosity and warmth that the gleaming capitalist hearts of the One Percent can muster.

Bernie Tulsi 2020

Bernie Sanders should cut through the crap when he announces his 2020 candidacy for the Democratic Presidential primary and simultaneously announce that Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii Representative) will campaign with him as his Vice Presidential running mate (should she be willing).

This would be an obvious identity politics win and a general political win. It would also force other candidates to follow suit and reveal at the outset the full dual team that voters are selecting when they vote for any Presidential candidate. The election process will be made more transparent in this way, and also discourage Presidential candidates from being sneaky and choosing lousy backwards Vice Presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton’s horrible, pathetic, and stupidly unpopular choice of Tim Kaine in 2016.

So Bernie/Tulsi, Sanders/Gabbard in 2020. Upfront and outfront, Bernie/Tulsi in all likelihood an unbeatable pair for the Presidency in 2020.

Bernie Broke History

Noam Chomsky: “The most remarkable thing about the [2016 election cycle] was actually Bernie Sanders not Trump. Bernie Sanders broke with a century of American political history. In American elections, back to the late-19th Century, elections are basically bought. Literally. You can predict with remarkable accuracy electability simply on the basis of campaign funding. Sanders came along. No support from the corporate sector. No support from the wealthy. The media dismissed him as ridiculous. He was basically unknown. He even used a scare word – socialist. And he would have won the Democratic nomination if it hadn’t been for the shenanigans of the party managers. If you take a look at popularity today he is far and away the most popular figure in the American political system.”

Bernie Versus The Void

It’s the void against Bernie in the 2020 Presidential Primary. The Democrats have searched long and hard through their ranks and come up with nothing, no one with more than a tiny fraction of the substance and credibility found in Bernie Sanders’ inspiring progressive efforts and campaigns. The Democrats have nothing of substance to counter the popularity of the Bernie Sanders years-long surge.

That’s right, folks, the obvious becomes more obvious over time. The Democrats have no one to challenge Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Presidential Primary. The Democratic Party is almost as unpopular and disliked generally as is the Republican Party. These so-called representative political Parties of a democracy are actually ruling corporations of, by, and for the One Percent, imposing their blunt force will, tyrannic and profiteering, upon the people. The Democrats like the Republicans, virtually everyone knows, are bankrupt morally and intellectually, rich only in cash, pillage, and power.

Thus the Democrats can only oppose Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Presidential Primary by throwing up Obama Clones: politicians with deeply unpopular policies who try to charm and fool voters into supporting them despite the deadly void of their vision. Their vision is phony, repulsive, and thuggish and so naturally repels all voters who are not duped by the oceans of PR, ads, and other propaganda that have shown less and less power to brainwash people near and far, in this new age of social media, the people’s media, at its best.

The most savvy of these Void candidates, despite being devoted capitalists and superficial careerists, have glommed onto a few of Bernie Sanders’ progressive policy proposals in a desperate attempt to gain some popularity among voters. Only the suicidal and the masochistic and the venal One Percent will knowingly vote for these candidates from the Void. 

Jonathan Chait and New York Magazine describe the Bernie versus the Void 2020 Presidential Primary as Socialists versus the Establishment, which is wildly inaccurate if somewhat suggestive in the former. It would be too embarrassing and too revealing for Chait and NYM and any dominant, corporate media entity to describe Bernie versus the Void as Progressives versus the One Percent, which would be far more accurate. The dominant media is forced to peddle crap, and they are trying to peddle more and more crap to a populace that is having less and less of it.

The 2020 Presidential Priary is Bernie versus the Void, and people know it, just as they know the sky is blue, climate collapse is real, and the entire future of the world is at stake, not least in the race between Bernie and the Void.