Thursday, July 14, 2016

Damaged Presidential Candidates - Hillary, Randi and Education

Let me say right up front - anyone who votes for Trump is in essence endorsing these people described in today's Times - For Whites Sensing Decline, Donald Trump Unleashes Words of Resistance. You may not consider yourself racist but ... and by the way ... many of the people described in this piece are anti-Semitic too. 

Hillary and Randi are getting a lot of love for the education plank in the Democratic party platform - Accountable Talk
In Praise of Randi.
We know all about platforms and if Hillary wins I want to see what people have to say in a year or two. Let's remember this about the Randi-Mulgrew run AFT/UFT - as reported by NYC Educator:
UFT leadership takes a stand, sort of. They supported mayoral control. When it came up for renewal, they asked for changes, didn't get them, and then supported it anyway. Now Mulgrew says they support it, but not as is. What does that even mean? If they don't support it as is, why the hell did they support it ever? Leadership sort of sits on the fence on testing. Mulgrew's gonna punch all our faces out if we don't support Common Core, but they complain about the rollout, which is the same nonsense Cuomo rationalizes it with. They're against excessive testing, but when opt-out actually does something about it, they spout the same crap as Reformy John King. When opt-out places fear into the alleged heart of the Cuomo, and inspires him to make a few superficial changes, they declare it a victory (and take credit). But as they declare absolutely everything a victory, that's got kind of a hollow ring. They attack everyone and anyone who disagrees with them. If they can't think of a good argument, they dredge the bottom of the barrel, and spit out whatever they come up with. Who cares if it's accurate or not? Anyone who's signed a loyalty oath will believe it or lose their free trip to Schenectady next year. Or maybe an after school gig. So they don't contradict it, and just as likely don't even bother to think about it.
There are reasons why Eli Broad and Bill Gates support Hillary. But yes, we will be better off on education with Hillary than Trump - if anyone thinks we won't take a good look at Wisconsin and public employee unions and the picture will be bleak. But I still will vote 3rd party because my vote in NYC won't make a difference and I believe long term we must have a 3rd party because I do not believe the Dems can be reformed.

An interesting item in the NY Times:

Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the Election? He Doesn't Rule It Out

Maybe that is why people want to be his VEEP - a path to the presidency.

Trump and Hillary polls are bouncing around like crazy.

The idea that Trump wants to win but not govern is intriguing - or imagine a sudden health problem for Trump - a frightening scenario for the Clinton people and their supporters as they would lose the major reason driving her campaign. So imagine Paul Ryan, as bad as Trump but without the bombast.

See Paul Krugman's assault on Ryan (All the Nominee’s Enablers) whose policies would be even more disastrous than Trump's.

Does anyone think that Hillary can beat Ryan? Or just about any GOP candidate except Trump? And since the email disaster, even that is in question.

So the pressure is on for those of us who do not want to vote for Hillary using Trump as a bludgeon. What if there were suddenly no Trump?

Arthur Goldstein, who I will be rooming with at the AFT convention next week - yes we are paying our own way, delves into why he isn't voting for Hillary in this post last week.

Read it in entirety here: Mediocrity Rules
Since I agree with so much I'll just quote some excerpts:

I've gotten a lot of flack about my decision not to vote for Hillary. Thus far, no one's really addressed my reasons, but rather I've been accused of supporting Trump via my lack of support for his opponent. That's simply ridiculous, as is Trump. Trump is amoral and reprehensible, for my money absolutely unacceptable. On the other hand, I've long felt a whole lot of GOP pols were pretty much the same as Trump, but found little weasel words to avoid saying outright what Trump does. Trump shouts the bigotry other Republicans know to only hint at.

Were I in Ohio or Florida I'd think twice about it, but if Hillary's NY race is competitive enough that she needs my vote, chances are she's lost anyway. Our Electoral College system is bizarre and undemocratic, and votes in my state are just not worth that much.
I'm a public education advocate, and if you want my vote you'd better either share that priority or be so good on everything else that I'm willing to overlook it (as was Bernie Sanders). I'm sorry that people are so upset about this, and I fully expect UFT to run an all-out, no-holds barred push for Hillary over the next few months. I believe that Hillary will likely not be as awful as Trump, but I fail to understand why we didn't extract significant concessions before going all in.

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008, he broke my heart, and I made a personal decision not to vote for reforminess anymore. When Cuomo ran on a platform promising to go after unions, I voted for Green Howie Hawkins. In 2012, I voted for Green Jill Stein for President, and I expect to do so again in November.


  1. Thanks for the mention. I fully understand why people might want to cast a protest vote, but I feel this is misguided. It's clear that there are only two candidate who can win the election. The Democratic platform is addressing all the issues that we, as teachers, need addressed. The Republicans want to implement policies that would destroy not only public education, but public unions. To me, the choice couldn't be more clear. Sending Clinton to the White House with a strong mandate to carry out those policies will go a long way towards making sure they are implemented.

    Voting for Stein might be a "feel good" move, but it doesn't represent the reality of what we are facing. Paul Ryan has no chance, as even if Trump is ousted, he'll run independent and take his voters with him, thus handing the election to Hillary anyway.

    I'm on the side of defeating the deform movement, and so is the Democratic party. So that is how I am going to vote.

    1. No one knows more than you the impact of ed deform, often imposed by the Democratic Party people. Of course Hillary is better than Trump - but castor oil is better than poison ivy. You frame this as if a 3rd party vote here in NYC will make Trump a winner. As Arthur points out if that was true then if Trump is close enough in NY where 3rd party makes a difference then he has already won. Reality is that if Hillary wins we may be in for an even bigger disaster in 2020 and we need to push for an alternative. Clinton will be besieged and might have to pull a Lyndon Johnson. We must prepare. Let's not give the Dems false hopes they can continue to get away with lesser of 2 evils for ever.

  2. Mr. Talk,

    I would advise you to study HRC's list of donors more carefully and ignore the feel good Democratic Party platform.

    Abigail Shure

    1. And that would prove...what? That she accepted donations from large corporations, like every other politician (other than St. Bernie, of course--the guy who lost)? Do you have any proof of a quid pro quo, or is this just innuendo? Do you think corporations are happy that she's going to raise the minimum wage, expand healthcare, and clamp down on hedge fund charters? I sure don't. Is Wall Street happy that she wants to keep and strengthen Dodd-Frank? I doubt that.

      Of course, you could vote for Jill Stein, a person who has never won a political office other than a town hall seat in Lexington, where she garnered a whopping 539 votes. She is the feel good candidate for the anti-Hillary crowd, because she has no actual chance of winning.

    2. What you are ignoring is Hillary's long history of neoliberalism going back 30 years. Her service on the board of Walmart, the clinton's being among the founders of ed deform.
      History cannot be ignored. Obama said he would do a lot of things to and certainly kept his coming attacks on teachers and unions undercover.
      Let's have this conversation again in 2 years.
      I agree that she is still preferable to Trump.
      I agree that Bernie offered little or nothing for us educators.
      The vote for Jill Stein has nothing to do with her - you should note that the Green party in NYS ran MORE's Brian Jones for Lt Gov on the most progressive true ed reform package.
      While it may be pie in the sky a 3rd party vote can become a base for an alternate to the Dem Party -- it has happened in history where old parties fade away and new ones arise in times of crisis. FDR remade the Dems. Reagan the Republicans. I could support an FDR type party but with Hillary we won't see that for at least 4 years.
      We need a social democratic party in this country and we can't keep passing off the lesser of 2 evils.

    3. Serious question. If Jill Stein actually had a chance of winning, would you still vote for her? If so, why? In what way is she qualified to be president of the US, any more than you or I or Trump is?

    4. As I said - it has nothing to do with Jill Stein but in expressing a need for a 3rd party. I don't think Green may be the party - I do not consider myself a Democrat and think we need to send a message to the party like Bernie did. Imagine what Hillary would be standing for if not for Bernie. A non-vote for her is an expression of that feeling.

  3. I voted for the Honorable Dr. Cynthia McKinney in 2008, Dr. Jill Stein in 2012, and will vote for Dr. Stein again in this upcoming election. I support feminism, not imperialism and neoliberalism.
    Reminder: Neoliberalism and school privatization are bipartisan projects… #NeverTrump #NeverClinton #ImWithJill

  4. 2020? Come on, Norm, in the long run, we're all dead.

    1. I think long-term even after I'm dead. ya never know - maybe we can take it with us.

  5. The party platform is important because it is a written document that will keep the Democrats accountable. Sanders always said it wasn't about him, it is about us.

  6. 9:27,

    What mechanisms are utilized to hold presidents accountable to party platforms? Would you recommend a rubric?

    Abigail Shure


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