Why Your Candidate Sucks…

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This has been an incredibly serious and volatile election season. But with election so close, we at The Modern Socialist thought we would borrow an idea from the folks over at Deadspin to inject a few tricks and treats into your otherwise banal election news feed.

Sure, vote shaming is bad. You can and should be voting for whoever you feel best represents your voice in the election. But that doesn’t mean that candidate shaming is off the table. ; )

Now, I’ve had some issues talking politics as of late. People ask me who I am voting for, but the only thing that comes out of my mouth is Deez Nuts. Deez Nuts won’t let you down. No one works harder than Deez Nuts. But sadly, many people thinking about voting aren’t thinking of Deez Nuts. Since polling at about 8-9 percent in early primaries, Deez Nuts seems to be tucked away, lying in wait for a glorious moment to be slapped onto general election ballots.  Unfortunately for us, that may not happen.

It’s a shame, but Deez Nuts hasn’t been all over the country. Only three states have had the chance to really get to know Deez Nuts (Iowa, Minnesota, and North Carolina). And unfortunately, if you’re thinking of Deez Nuts this November, you will have to put Deez Nuts in yourself.

I know what you’re thinking: “Sean, what’s so great about Deez Nuts?” Well, maybe it’s not about Deez Nuts at all. Maybe it’s just because the other candidates are so bad, that you really need to give Deez Nuts some serious consideration. Let’s take a look at the top candidates, why you may be thinking about voting for them, and why you shouldn’t.

Hillary Clinton: Let’s start the party with heavy favorite Hillary Clinton. Sure, HilDog is the most experienced candidate in the race: a former Senator, Secretary of State, and First Lady. But since when does being the most qualified get you the job? This is 2016, and it’s not what you know but who you know. Anyone that has applied for a job recently knows this. And I’m pretty sure that HilDog is still on the current boss’s shit list after some troubling comments in 2008, so she probably can’t ask for any favors. I mean come on, why else would he make her his secretary?!

Ok, so maybe now you’re saying “Well Sean, I voted for Hillary in the 2008 primary too!” Oh, so you were too racist back in 2008 to vote for a black guy, but now you’re not a racist because you’re voting against Trump? Typical. Sounds like you might be the type that says things behind closed doors that you might not admit to saying if called out on. Hmm, now why does that sound familiar?

And let’s be serious, much of the same political hand-wringing going on about Trump’s tax returns were issues for Hillary back in 2008. And they aren’t real issues. How many of you can actually say you read over your own tax returns before digitally signing them on TurboTax, let alone read over the Presidential candidate’s? I call bullshit.

Or here’s my favorite: “Sean, I just want to cast a vote for the first female Presidential candidate in a general election!” Well then, why didn’t you vote for Jill Stein in 2012? Don’t answer, we’ll get there in due time.

Donald Trump: Come on. If you’re reading this, you’re not voting for Trump. This one’s too easy. Pass.

Evan McMullin: Like most people, you probably learned Evan McMullin is running for president when reading this satire article. McMullin, a pro-life, anti-gay marriage #NeverTrump conservative, is really only for passive bigots. Are you racist but don’t want your friends to know? McMullin is your man. Do you not want gays to marry but don’t really know any so it isn’t a big deal? Boom, Evan McMullin. Are you working in the Republican Party but want job security? Vote McMullin. Did you vote for Mitt Romney because he, like you, is a member of the Church of Latter-day Saints? Well then you and your wives should vote for Evan McMullin.

But seriously, don’t vote for Evan McMullin. He looks like the guy from Hitman, and as badass as that would be, I think an Assassin’s Creed President would be way better.

Gary Johnson: If you want to vote for Gary Johnson, odds are you just a Republican that smokes weed. And, hey that’s cool. And it’s cool that Gary Johnson likes to smoke weed (if you know what Cheeba Chews are, you probably smoke too) and hang out with Joe Rogan (who most definitely smokes weed). But let’s do everyone a favor and stop calling his gaffes “Aleppo moments” and start calling them “stoner moments”.

And frankly, while he may want your vote, he doesn’t want too many votes. When a Presidential candidate hits 5% in a general election, they qualify for funding from the Federal Elections Commission; a group that the Libertarian Party insists on dissolving. So if Gary Johnson is sincere about his platform he will either give the money back, or shoot for 4% of the vote. Do the Libertarians a favor and don’t vote for him.

And now you’ve looked at some of the Libertarian platforms, you will notice how much the government they want to dismantle. Not gonna lie, that’s pretty punk rock and I like it. It’s damn near anarchism. I listened to Pennywise a lot in high school too, trust me I understand. But you know what’s even more punk rock than voting Libertarian? Not voting. This November, consider a vote for Gary Johnson a vote against everything he stands for.

Jill Stein: Ah, Dr. Jill Stein. The Coke Zero to Bernie Sanders’ regular Coke. She has none the flavor of the Bernie Sanders you love, plus a bunch of shit that will probably make you sick. I get it, you want to vote for “the only progressive candidate left in the race”, so much so that you are willing to cast aside all of the things that you would normally expect a Presidential candidate to have. Political experience? Nope. A solid understanding of foreign policy? Not needed. No criminal record? Nope, she’s spray painted on a bulldozer. If you want a President that spray paints stuff, why not just vote for Banksy? Oh that’s right, no one knows who he is.

Sure, saying that Jill Stein doesn’t have a solid understanding of foreign policy may be a bit of a blanket statement, but considering she’s never held a public office outside the Lexington Town Meeting, it’s safe to say that she has about as much experience in foreign policy that you would expect a medical doctor to have. It sure would be nice to close all of the U.S.’s foreign military bases, until you start thinking about the hundreds of thousands of jobs she would be cutting in the process. What kind of Socialist wants to cut hundreds of thousands of state jobs?

This proposed action, of course, also ignores the fact that Russia now has a missile capable of destroying Texas and the islands China is building in the South Pacific. Look, no one likes Texas. It’s like having a racist uncle that gets you really kick ass birthday presents. You may not like what he has to say, but that BB gun you got last year is totally kick ass. Stop frontin’. Texas has got money and America loves it for that reason. And though the idea of building new islands in the South Pacific may have you thinking of a new vacation spot shaped like the world, trust me, a vacation here would be less than fun than even Dubai. I mean, who wants to vacation in the desert? CTFO.

Jill Stein is the candidate most likely to hand out participation trophies to all the kids, so let’s give her a trophy for participating and move on.

Bernie Sanders: Bernie Sanders has become a heartthrob. He has all the liberal millennial girls swooning, and with this handsome visage, it’s not hard to tell why. But look, Bernie Sanders has said over and over that he doesn’t want you to vote for him in the general election. Voting for Bernie Sanders in the general election is like buying me a firetruck after me saying I don’t want you to buy me a firetruck.

I get it. Firetruck’s are bad ass. They’re a bitchin’ shade of red, everyone loves them, they could totally be pimped out and turned into a sweet tailgate mobile, and there are some available that are really reasonably priced. But that’s selfish and short-sighted. Where would I park a firetruck? Do you know how much diesel is going for these days? Not to mention the money it would cost to turn that bad bitch that into the tight XZIBIT’s Pimp My Ride-style festival wagon we all know it really should be. And yes, while we can start a Kickstarter page to pay for it, what are the odds that we will raise enough money to get it retrofitted with disco balls, gas grills, strobe lights, and a dozen 15’s by next festival season? Slim to none. A firetruck would be really awesome to have, but it’s just not in the cards right now.

So now we’ve looked at all the candidates, and there really isn’t one viable option. What are we as Americans left to do when election day rolls around? I’ll tell you: remember Deez Nuts.

Deez Nuts loves freedom. Deez Nuts represents a strong America. We need to get people thinking about Deez Nuts, because Deez Nuts is our best choice. When you walk into the voting booth this November, be sure to pull Deez Nuts out of your bag of parlor tricks, because America, the joke is already on us.

Sean McGill @seanmcthrill

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Why Neoliberalism is hurting the Left

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Recently, renowned gothic filmmaker and best friend of liberal superhero Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, went on the record discussing diversity in Hollywood. The comments, which can be found here, essentially cry afoul the concept of “diversity for diversity’s sake”. Burton is an artist, and thereby allowed to create art as he sees fit. His most recent film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is based on a book that takes place in an imagined place well in the past in the historically white country of Wales (nearly 94% white as of 2011). Despite the fact that Burton did cast one black actor in the film (namely Samuel L. Jackson, because he is in everything), and has had one film with a black protagonist, Burton has run into a serious problem: Neoliberals.

After his off-the-cuff comment (which this clearly was since there is no complete interview to source), Neoliberals are swarming on the internet and calling for his head like vultures. While many of colleagues have yet to produce one film with a black protagonist (David Lynch, James Cameron, Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick, Christopher Nolan, just to name a few), Burton’s comments have made him the scapegoat for a problem this arguably “above his pay grade”.

Many of the problems with diversity in film draw on deeper cultural issues relating to the production of films in general. Burton, like so many other filmmakers, produces art for a particular audience. His films are greenlit by film executives looking to capitalize on movie audiences, just like every other film in Hollywood, and furthermore, he is an artist. If he doesn’t feel like adding diversity to the cast of his gothic-niche film, shouldn’t it be his decision (even though it most likely is not solely his to make)?

Enter Neoliberals. Loudmouths on the internet have taken one paragraph from Tim Burton that was originally quoted on a third-rate digital rag (the original comment was first featured on Bustle.com which seemingly has no other context) and extrapolated it to understand that wholly Tim Burton is a racist. How can anyone draw conclusions so verbose from such a small instant in this man’s life? Just because Tim Burton has an opinion about forced diversity in his art, he’s a racist? Because he doesn’t want to craft his art to appease public opinion about what his art should be, he is a monstrous bigot? This kind of narrow-minded groupthink is deplorable, and is becoming a big problem for the American left.

The Neoliberalism movement truly coalesced and gained its voice as a part of Bernie Sanders’ Revolution. Forged by educated liberals, it became a movement of universal tolerance, but sadly has become ever hypocritical. The Dalai Lama once said “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher,”, yet this lesson seems to have been dismissed by the ultimate movement of tolerance.

Neoliberals have created an “us & them” toned discussion regarding complex, nuanced social issues akin to Neocons just before the second Iraq war, and the melodrama playing out around Tim Burton is perfect example of it. Decrying a man as racist because his opinions on forced diversity are not congruent with social progressives is just as intolerant as the racism being decried.

In some instances, such as Affirmative Action, forced diversity is necessary. Affirmative Action is a system set in place to correct societal / government structures that are known to practice prejudice and directly affect the lives of Americans. But to apply the same standards we apply to our government to an individual’s creative endeavors is anti-American. It using political correctness as a mask to stifle creativity under the guise of protecting everyone’s feelings or making people feel included, and it is this overly self-righteous, smug form of pushy liberal rhetoric that created a right wing backlash and is ostracizing moderates from the political left.

While the idea of “over-the-top” political correctness is nothing new, the pushiness of progressives can be directly tied to the rise of these, predominately young, Neoliberals. There is a growing “intolerance of intolerance” that has caused rhetoric coming from the left to grow increasingly volatile.

While at this point I feel obligated to stress that I am as about as socially liberal as possible on social issues, I do so in fear of the exact kind of backlash that I am writing against. Political correctness for political correctness’s sake is inherently un-American, and directly opposed the tolerance and freedoms that make our country great. There is something inherently oppressive about the idea of censoring and harassing opinions we don’t agree with. This is America; there is no safe space.

Our country was founded on being forced to deal with people who you disagree with (among other things, but I digress on that…). While we have the right to have an opinion, so does the person we disagree with. When Neoliberals go on the internet and bash people who disagree with them in droves, it perpetuates the “us & them”, and can actually make the inclusive left look elitist and not so welcoming. While it is easy to blame Trump supporters for the tone the national debate has taken, the pushy social agenda of the left is just as much to blame. Being intolerant of intolerance still makes you intolerant (if you can follow that).

So what am I saying? What is the ultimate point I am trying to make? Basically, it is that we all have a right to our own opinions, and to do things the way we see fit. While I may not agree with many conservatives, and have a great deal of disdain for racism, sexism, and all of the other negative -isms, we cannot suffocate these opinions with arbitrary, self-righteous ideas of political correctness.

True socialism is free from oppressive judgment. It doesn’t limit speech. It doesn’t silence critics through online intimidation. It doesn’t censor people. It is an agreed social understanding that we are all in this together, that we all share something through national unity. American Socialism cannot be the socialism of Europe. It must be more inclusive of differing opinions, because ultimately, we cannot unite our country if we continue to belittle individual beliefs, regardless of our opinions of those beliefs. It is our job as liberals to rise up above such hateful rhetoric and respond only with love and acceptance.

I argue that the famous quote from Evelyn Beatrice Hall must become our rallying cry. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!”

Capitalism unites us all under the umbrella of consumerism, and divides us into sub-categories according to the way we consume. To change our system, we must break those constructs and unite as a whole. American Socialism must be unifying, not divisive. Uniting as a whole means being able to agree to disagree, to shake hands with individuals with differing opinions, and to cooperate with one another. Until we on the left stop pushing others away and start hugging our enemies, the divide in this country will continue to grow into an unrepairable schism. If we are as liberal as we claim to be, we are obligated to listen to opinions that oppose ours. If we do not, then we are no better than the intolerance we are fighting.

Sean McGill @seanmcthrill

9/11 Patriotism: Why is this still a thing?

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September 11th, 2016 is the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. These attacks were the catalyst for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and countless displays of patriotism around the country.But 15 years later, why are we still so consumed with these images of destruction? Why is the flag and other symbols of nationalism intertwined with the calendar date 9/11 ? Is there a purpose for all of this pageantry? Why is this still a thing?

Reason 1: People have suffered.

Many Americans lost their lives, jobs or loved ones in the attacks, therefore there is a psychological need to talk about this trauma. This is why there are still 9/11 memorials to remember the victims. Those who were harmed but survived bear the physical reminders of the attacks to this day.

Reason 2. We went to war out of vengeance.

Immediately afterwards, we went to war with a sovereign nation because they refused to extradite the allege mastermind of the attack. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Afghan lives were lost on top of the few thousand Americans lost on 9/11. We later went to war in Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction and we weren’t going to wait for the next attack on America soil. We became proactive. We were the aggressors and thousands more had to die in the name of American security.

Reason 3. Industry benefitted from war.

America had to buy the bombs from somewhere and defense contractors lined up in droves to fill that need. They also created new services and technology to feed the war machine. Everything from drones to security forces, the companies that offered these services raked it in big time.

Reason 4. War is a good military recruitment tool.

It so good that the military pays for and provide personnel for stadium flyovers and 9/11 memorials in their marketing budgets. It also has the benefit of keeping the military in an exalted position in American society.Our troops and later firefighters and policemen are heroes, remember?

Reason 5. 9/11 patriotism obscures our leaders rationale for perpetual war.

15 years later we are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Pakistan to name a few. As we get further from 9/11 our justification for the war machine became national security and our national interest. Still, 9/11 gives us a warm fuzzy feeling for spending billions of dollars around the globe killing people. Our national security has rarely been tested, and our national interest, which is making record profits for corporations, has rarely been better.

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This Election Cycle Isn’t About Trump v. Clinton; It’s About Us.

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Bigot. Warmonger. Rapists and thieves. The 2016 election seems to have a very different tone than any election we have seen in our lifetime. While we like to think that much of this vitriol has to do with the behavior of one particular candidate, what is happening in our country is bigger than just Donald Trump.

Whether we like to admit it or not, this election (as the elections before it) is a mirror reflecting all that is good and bad about America. This quadrennial event acts as a sort of litmus test; attempting to place specific pH onto a nation that should arguably remain neutral. We have seen some troubling things thus far, but unfortunately, the troubling things we have seen seem to have some deeper cultural causes.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the motifs that have reoccurring throughout this election cycle and see what conclusions we can draw, shall we?

Racism: The most obvious recurring theme this election has been racism. Aside from all vulgar rhetoric on race we have seen from Trump, racism is taking on a bigger role in this election than it has in the past. What we are seeing in this election cycle, particularly from the right, is a change in demeanor. While the aging GOP establishment has consistently run on the precept that racism doesn’t exist anymore, the Tea Party right has changed the ball game.

Since the beginning of this election cycle, the tone regarding race has become incredibly volatile. We are seeing unabashed racism on all levels of government, and Trump has seemingly legitimized what had previously been taboo or “tongue in cheek” racism (for lack of a better term). Trump supporters, in many instances, predicate their political views on racist principles that are, like it or not, a part of the American political system. The GOP establishment is split on how to react in many cases, with some being silent, others backing Clinton, but this is a far cry from the GOP we saw unite just four years ago behind Mitt Romney.

From the legitimization of Islamophobia, to the recent criticism of 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and of course the consistent belittling of Mexico and Mexican immigrants to our country in the public sphere, America has learned this cycle just how racist we are. And if you need to know who in your circles is racist, all you need to do is just scroll down your Facebook feed and you can find out.

While we cannot and should make this sort of speech illegal (the first amendment is a sword that cuts both ways, after all), it is our job to create a social sphere where this behavior and language is not only unacceptable, but shamed. Let’s put this trash back underground where it belongs.

Ego: Speaking of your Facebook feed, have you noticed a change in the past year or so? It seems so strange that in a country filled with so many people that are obviously right that we would even have any sort of disagreements, right?

The absurdity of the social media realm has definitely had an enormous effect on the current political climate, but not in the most direct way. Social media is an enabler, of sorts: allowing individuals the ability to immerse themselves in things that feed their ego and bolster their own beliefs. It is very uncommon for people to “follow” or “like” pages with views that will conflict or challenge their own. Social media pages are becoming more and more personalized, and this creation of the “safe space” on the web is becoming dangerous to the American condition. Try taking a look at a friend’s social media feed from their POV (with permission, of course) and examine how truly different what you and your peers are exposed to can be.

In addition to our social presence stroking our ego, most of us get an affirmation of how right we are everyday when we drive to work. The car is another instance where we are given a false sense of entitlement; with “that guy” always being the asshole by cutting us off, or taking our parking spot. With the amount of work and fiscal investment we put into our cars, and the associated freedoms to move large distance, it is no surprise that many of us see the car as a sort of safe space and entitlement. But interestingly, with more and more of us driving solo, there has been an increase in the number of road rage incidents and they have grown more and more deadly.

These are only a few examples of how current societal trends have encumbered the growth of millions and millions of swollen egos. America is in danger of growing an even bigger head than it already has. Getting embroiled in countless debates on Facebook plays zero role in changing the outcome of the election or someone’s opinion, but is actually only an exercise of the throat. Far too often nowadays we drift away from Teddy Roosevelt’s principle of “speak softly and carry a large stick” and become the loud guy at the party that pulls his gun out to win an argument. We need more Teddy Roosevelts and less Yosemite Sam’s.

When we act citizens act this way, are we surprised that our two options for President are entitled, ego-driven narcissists? We are reaping what we’ve sewn.

Unpredictability: Aside from the parade of gaffes that seems to be this election, there is an air of mystery that still hovers and keeps us all on the edge of our toes. This cycle, polls have finally proven themselves useless. The Sanders primary win in Michigan was the nail in the coffin of traditional political polling. More and more, the medium of the poll has become the problem. With fewer citizens owning land line phones or willing to participate in surveys, pollsters have had issues for many years trying to paint an accurate picture of the political landscape. Now, it seems that perhaps “the jury may be back in”. Don’t be surprised when political pollsters continue to track and analyze your online behaviors in an attempt to keep themselves employed.

Additionally, it seems absolutely ridiculous to think that with as much as Americans talk about politics that only 9% of Americans chose one of the major parties’ nominees for President in the primaries, and even more absurd to think that less than 60% of Americans voted in the last Presidential election. The walkout of the “Bernie or Bust” caucus at the DNC, and the #NeverTrump campaign is a definite sign that those feeling disenfranchised may end up staying home in November or (*gulp*) vote for a third party. There is no doubt that the unpredictability that has haunted the primary season will continue into the general, and most likely, into the next four years in our country. A ruler without a mandate from the people cannot rule, and that’s just what we may have come January.

The Lesser of Two Evils: Americans on the whole continue to use the “lesser of two evils” argument, attempting to demonize Trump or Clinton, claiming there are no other viable candidates. This kind of two-party domination has been, and will continue to be, one of the biggest problems in the American political system.

While there are two other parties with candidates rallying many disenfranchised voters, the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, neither party offers voters a candidate that could actually win. Gary Johnson is an extremely conservative political entity, who’s troubling remarks on the Joe Rogan podcast regarding a benevolent dictator and extreme positions on the role of government prove he is not ready to be taken seriously, and Dr. Jill Stein, who has only held one elected position before in the Lexington, MA Town Meeting (hardly a viable track record for someone who wants to be President). A vote for perennial candidate and satirist Vermin Supreme may be a better option than both.

What Americans are dying for is a chance to vote their conscience again; to vote for someone they like, rather than against someone they don’t. But until we break black-and-white paradigm that is now our political system, and continue to allow two private entities to control our government almost entirely, we will be left to choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

But therein lies the rub: how do we get someone with adequate experience into a position to run for president? Sadly, the answer is a boring one. We must groom them. We need a new generation of politicians that are unafraid to speak their mind, fight for what is right, and take on the two-party system and beat them at their own game.

These four symptoms of our social disease are but a small portion of the ways this election is the embodiment of American life. We owe it to ourselves to demand more from our government, and to help be a part of the change, and until we do, our elections will continue to get worse. After all, Kanye 2020 is only 4 years away.

Sean McGill (@seanMCthrill)

Health Tips for the Protester on the Go…

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Fighting for your rights and those of your comrades can be hard work. During an average protest you could be on your feet for hours. Depending on what type of direct action you collectively decide to take on, you may find yourself physically in uncomfortable positions. There are weather concerns such as heat, cold, rain and snow. If things get a bit rowdy there is the very real risk of being tear gassed or having a police boot to the head. After everything is said and done, you might need to take some time for a little self care.

Jim Chambers, owner of the East Atlanta Barbell Club created these tips to keep you up on your feet and to fight another day:

1) Get these things into your body: Turmeric, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Glucosamine Chondroitin.
2) Bump up carb intake like crazy during the day, bump up fat intake at night.
3) Take contrast showers (super hot to super cold for 1-2min at a time, back and forth)
4) Ice your ankles, get on a foam roller, get your feet on a tennis ball.
5) Mild yoga poses, if you’re familiar with them.
6) Traction the low back.
7) Sleep when you can. Hard.
8) Drink EXCESSIVE, UNREASONABLE AMOUNTS OF WATER
9) Cannabis at night, for stress, sleep and muscle relaxation.

If you want to get more information about Jim Chambers or the East Atlanta Barbell Club feel free to contact them here or by phone at 470.242.1328.

Take care out there and remember that the arch of history is long but it bends towards justice.

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Why I am “Bernie or Bust”…

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I have been following the Presidential primary season like nobodies business. Seriously, I have to bring my phone into the restroom on primary Tuesday to check what the results in Wisconsin were with 47% of the precincts reporting. As Bernie Sanders rack up win after win, the corporate media continues the narrative that he is unelectable and he is delaying Clinton’s ability to pivot to the general election. This Clinton inevitability forced me to re-examine my thoughts on Hillary and the type of leader she would be. My conclusion was Bernie or bust.

I put aside Hillary’s vote on the Iraq war, her support of the Defense of Marriage Act, her support of NAFTA and TTP. I also put aside her comments concerning young black super predators and her coziness to Wall Street. All of the those distinctions alone would make her ineligible for my vote, however the most egregious thing she has done was deny all of those positions. She pretends she never supported any of those positions. Sexist Bernie Sanders has poisoned my mind against her. Hillary was the only candidate that had my back and she can get things done unlike her fake democratic opponent.

I cannot trust or support a liar. Hillary Clinton is by definition a liar. This is from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary

Liar: a person who tells lies

See, that is Hillary Clinton. If you don’t believe me click here!  I can’t vote for a liar in good conscience. I cannot strategically vote for her because I have no faith in what she believes in. As a democratic socialist, she offers nothing for me. If I was a liberal, I couldn’t trust her. This is why I am Bernie or bust.

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Why the Democrats are Losers… And Why They are Ill- Suited for the Left.

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   The Democrats lost the midterm elections in 2014 and the only people they can blame are themselves. While the Republicans are popping champagne in front of the warm glow of Fox News on the television, we all hear excuses abound from the Democrats. We heard that the Democrats had an unpopular President, have to play defense on so many states, and that Democrats didn’t excite the base to come out and vote. Well, they were wrong on all fronts. Here is why the Democrats are losers.

1. They separated themselves from their own success.

Despite four years of economic growth, the spread of marriage equality,  falling unemployment, and with Wall St. trading at near record highs, most Democrats ran away from their successes when they ran away from their President. Especially the Southern politicians (Here’s looking at you, Clay Aiken!). The follow up excuse was that the American people don’t feel the economy improving. That is why making the issue of solving income inequality would have been beneficial to their cause. Argue that the economy is growing, now it is time to make it fair.

2. Nobody plays offense anymore.

How can you send a message of moving forward to make Americans’ lives better when you are backpedaling? Someone tell me what did any of the loser Democrats campaign in favor of? Minimum wage? Most Americans are for it but not many democrats made it a cornerstone of their campaign. Building roads and infrastructure? Not at all!! Running on having nothing to do with the President? You betcha!!

3. Lack of party unity.

This is what the Republicans do well. They move in lock step to things that they value, whether it is abortions, tax cuts or corporate welfare. The Democrats have not displayed such party discipline and moreover have an eagerness to move towards the center and towards corporatism and away from traditional party values.

4. Corporatism is leading the Democrats away from its base on the Left towards business and money.

When the Democrats were running things in the post- New Deal era, they were the party in favor of social justice and human rights. Now, some of the most prominent Democrats are war hawks of the highest order, in favor violating weak nations sovereignty in the name of American interest, under the guise of terrorism. The fight for equal pay for women, and fighting the battle against voter discrimination has been tepid at best. Both are casualties of the Democrats pursuit of sweet corporate dollars.

All of these things are horrible but there is hope. Let’s get back to the values that have made the party successful in the past. The party can return to speaking about a vision for America where all Americans are paid a living wage, have access to quality healthcare, safe roads and where the people’s civil liberties are respected.

Happy May Day!!

Does America Still Care for Her Less Fortunate??

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 As of December 28th, 2013, 1.5 million Americans lost their emergency benefits. These individuals are considered  part of the long term unemployed underclass, which have been out of work for approximately six months or more. It has been more than a month since their benefits expired and Congress has not  been able act. In light of these facts, I wondered if America at large has forsaken its commitment to those Americans in need.

  Although the Great Recession is technically over, the U.S. job market has seen only modest gains in the years since 2008. During this time many States have decided to balance budget shortfalls on the backs of the unemployed. They have cut the maximum amount of weeks eligible to receive benefits while cutting the amount of aid one would receive weekly. The most infamous offender in this race to the bottom is North Carolina, who slashed the maximum weeks of benefits from 72 to 20. Not to be outdone, Georgia recently limited their unemployment to 18 weeks.

 So what will these long term unemployed individuals do? Well, some will exhaust their savings, others will go into early retirement. There will be a group that will take any position whether they are grossly over qualified for or not. For some of my peers, moving in with their parents might be an option. Is this the social safety net of the future? Is this model ideal for a healthy and socially mobile America? With Congress’ lack of action for the long term unemployed and willingness to cut funding from food stamp programs, is the American populace complicit in their actions? If not, when are people going to rise up?

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Listen to Bernie Sanders!!

Thank God for Senator Bernie Sanders!!  In times like these America needs a leader with the courage to stand up to the power of corporate interest. When you have an economy with businesses that are too big to fail, it is in the nation’s best interest to bail them out to avert systemic risk. Once this is done, it is only logical to break these institutions into smaller bits to avoid this disaster from happening again. A side effect of breaking up the banks would be more competition and  place pressure to reduce of the cost of lending in the marketplace. Bernie gets this idea.