Why the Rise of Trump, Cruz and Sanders Is the Logical Result of the 1% Not Paying Taxes, and Shutting off Opportunity to the Poor

the U.S. protects “everything that deals with capital and property but we cannot deal with protecting basic human rights.”


Author: Vijay Prashad

Emphasis Mine

You reap what you sow. The Republican Party – pushed along by large segments of the “Third Way” Democrats – crafted policies that allowed the American rich to go on tax strike, that allowed them to deindustrialize the United States and that allowed their banks to control the destiny of people from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters.

This land is their land. Democracy is the mask of the 1 percent.

The detritus of those policies created under-employment and endemic social crises. Between the prison industrial complex and the opioid crisis lies the fault line of race: otherwise these are identical. Wages plummeted, but debt-fueled consumption allowed the American Dream to remain alive. The Great Recession of 2007 awoke sections of the country from its credit card somnolence. For the first time in decades, the American Dream seemed unrealistic. The lives of American children would most certainly be economically more fragile than those of their parents.

Race stayed the hand of unity. The Tea Party movement covered itself in the old rags of racism to blame migrants and minorities for the degradation of their country. Egged on by the Republican elites, this movement took the hatred of government and of outsiders to the limit. Out of it came Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, with fire against Washington as their ammunition. It is fitting that the old Gadsden flag was taken up by the Tea Party – with its rattlesnake above the sign, “Don’t Tread on Me.”

To associate oneself with the rattlesnake is a curious gesture. This is venom incarnate.

The Great Recession hit black and Latino families hardest, but there was no room for them in the Tea Party consensus. It was Obama’s presidential campaign that became their ark. That Obama did little to constrain the banks and force the rich to pay tax was disappointing, but not sufficient for disillusionment. What choice has there been? It was organizations such as Stand Up United, Black Lives Matter, Dream Defenders, Defend the Dream, Stand Up/Don’t Shoot and Black Youth Project that drew in the more critical segments – spurred on by Ferguson.

They are the antithesis of the Tea Party, although survivors of a similar dynamic set in motion by the American rich’s tax strike.

Many of these young people have now taken refuge in the Sanders’ campaign. Hillary Clinton was part of the “Third Way” Democrats that allowed Wall Street its excesses. She does not have the compass to bring in this segment. It is fitting that the wife of Eric Garner (killed by the New York police department) supports Clinton, while their daughter – Erica Garner – who is an activist in these movements supports Sanders.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the end-points of Republican policy. They are what emerge when the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes and the working poor cannot any longer dream of a better life. But they are particularly the salvation of the white working poor. Theirs is a populism narrowed by racism and misogyny.

Stop Trump, goes the slogan. But replace him with what? Ted Cruz, who is not only as bellicose as Trump (bomb the desert to “make it glow”), but is also a zealot? These men are mirror reflections of each other. They are Crump.

Both Trump and Sanders attract the white workers who had been battered by the trade agreements of the 1 percent. Trump’s rhetoric is familiar to the American right, which heard it from Pat Buchanan in an earlier era. Sanders comes from a long line of Democratic barnstormers who opposed these recent trade deals – whether Tom Harkin or Sherrod Brown and most recently the Sanders’ supporter Keith Ellison. These are Mid-western politicians who know how the trade deals eviscerated the working class of their heartland.

In this skepticism of the 1 percent’s trade deals there is the potential of great unity, but again race is the obstacle. Buchanan’s fulminations on the “end of White America” are far from Harkin’s 1992 objections to NAFTA on the grounds that the U.S. protects “everything that deals with capital and property but we cannot deal with protecting basic human rights.”

Exit from this current nightmare is not evident. Until the American Rich give up their tax strike, there is little hope for necessary social investments. Unity is impossible as long as the toxicity of racism diminishes social life. Trump and Cruz offer bluster, empty slogans that reduce the potential of people. Clinton and Rubio have little to offer beyond the prattle of the Beltway, which is continued adherence to Wall Street’s failed dogmas and belief in the Security establishment’s failed imagination for the world.

The Republican elite wants to sow fear of Trump in order to sneak in Cruz. Under both shells sit rotten peas.

It is better to pick neither.

Vijay Prashad is professor of international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of 18 books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press, 2012), The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013) and the forthcoming The Death of a Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution (University of California Press, 2016). His columns appear at AlterNet every Wednesday.

See: http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/why-rise-trump-cruz-and-sanders-logical-result-americas-wealthiest-not-paying-their?akid=14080.123424.MZYW4e&rd=1&src=newsletter1052897&t=12


Cleveland Laborfest & Forum and the Labor and New Deal Art Traveling Exhibition

The Main branch of the Cleveland Public Library (www,cpl.org) has been hosting a display of labor and New Deal (visual) art from January 18 – March 24, and on February 23 was host to Laborfest: a multimedia celebration from videos and powerpoint presentations to live drama and music.

I took the RTA downtown.


Checked out some Russian  books in the old section:



The event was in the new section (Louis Stokes) wing:


We were warmly welcomed by Leonard DiCosimo (President, Cleveland Federation of Musicians), who introduce Harriet AppleGate, (Executive Secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor), who also welcomed us and introduced Patrick Gallagher (USW).

They were followed by three speakers: Prof. Ahmed White, Colorado School of Law; Prof. Patricia Hills, Boston University; and Dr. M. Melissa Wolfe, Curator of American Art at the Columbus Museum of Art. All were very well qualified to speak in their areas.

Mr. White covered the infamous ‘little steel’ strike of 1937, ranging from the Chicago Massacre, in which ten strikers were killed, through actions in Ohio, to the eventual, inadequate settlements, concluded in 1942. (I might add that he used the phrases ‘class struggle’ and ‘class consciousness’ positively and freely, and observed openly contributions made by Communists and ‘fellow travelers’). Those unfamiliar with the strike might see, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day_massacre_of_1937, or http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=513

Ms. Hills spoke on Art and Politics in the Popular Front: The Union Work and Social Realism of Philip Evergood. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Evergood) She displayed works and covered the life of several other labor/New Deal artists, including William Gropper, Louis Lozowick, and Hugo Gellert. Many artists of the period gravitated to the CPUSA, and to the John Reed Clubs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Reed_Clubs). Her talk emphasized the Popular Front era of the Party in the late 1930’s, which focused on stopping fascism and expanding union organizing. (The works of these and others were on display in the main library building.)

Ms. Wolfe presented the life and works of Joe Jones – a worker-artist. Joe – who started out as a house painter – said he wanted to make art that would knock holes in walls, rather than merely make them pretty. Ms. Wolfe: “What did it mean to be a Communist artist, as Jones clearly decided he would be?…To be a Communist artist during the Third Period of the Communist Party – between 1928 and 1935 – meant that you were a class-conscious worker whose production – art – acted as a weapon to incite a revolution that would end Fascist structures of power and give workers control of their production…”

We then had a brief break: noshing on snacks, and networking with friends, and then we were treated to live theater, and live music. The former was a reading of “Capitalization”, by Marc Norwalk, presented by three members of Cleveland Public Theater;


the latter music from the New Deal Era by Todd Smith and the New Deal All Stars.


Enlightenment and entertainment: for what else could one ask? Senator Sherrod Brown? He and his lovely literary wife – thr Progressive Pulitzer winner Connie Schultz – were there as well.    


Framing Innocence

We must vigilantly defend our own and other’s civil liberties, and we must always take the dialog away from those who find human sexuality inherently wrong, or, as they might say, evil.

It was an overflow crowd in a meeting room at The First Church in Oberlin (1834) –  the location on Sept 13 for the launch of  the book “Framing Innocence” A Mothers Photographs, A Prosecutor’s Zeal, and a Small Town Response, by Lynn Powell: the story of the prosecution of Cynthia Stewart for child pornography.  On 6 July 1999, Ms. Stewart – an amateur photographer, school bus driver, and mother of two- dropped off 11 rolls of film at a drug store near her home in Oberlin, Ohio.  The rolls of film contained pictures of her eight year old  daughter, Nora, including two of her in the shower.  She picked up ten of the rolls a week later (adding to the nearly 35,000 pictures she had already taken), but the store and its lab refused to return that last roll. A month later the police arrived, and she was eventually arrested for child pornography.   She faced as many as 16 years in prison, the loss of her children, and the destruction of her life.  The case attracted much local, regional, and national attention.  Life must have looked grim for Cynthia at that time, but her life partner David, many friends and others in the community came together for her cause, created a legal defense fund, and recruited legal help including the ACLU of Ohio, which filed an amicus brief.  Offers of help came in from across the nation, and in the end, justice was served: the charges were dropped.

A warm reception was held afterwards at the Black River Cafe – no tea served, if you know what I mean, and I think you do…

We must vigilantly defend our own and other’s civil liberties, and we must always take the dialog away from those who find human sexuality inherently wrong, or, as they might say, evil.

The book is published by The New Press, and is an enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring experience.

ISBN 978-1-59558-551-6

Four years ago, I was also in a packed crowd in a church – The Civic – in Cleveland Hts.  The occasion that Nov 4 was a big political rally, and the pastor observed how painful it was to have that many people in his church and not take a collection!  After an out of town speaker captivated the audience, Sherrod Brown – about to be elected to the Senate – looked back as he strolled to the podium and said “He’s going somewhere!”  Indeed: two years later to the day, Barrack Obama was elected President of the United States.  Both his victory and Cynthia’s were achieved the same way: by many people coming together to work for a result in which they deeply believed.

Sustainability Conference at BW College 01 Mar 2010

Climate change should be part of our government policy, and science should be part of government policy in general

Sherrod Brown spoke at Baldwin College College today 1 March 2010 at a conference on sustainability.
He described many projects currently active in the state, including:

o Wind turbines on Lake Erie

o Wind turbine blades mfg in Mt. Vernon.

o Solar cell (photo-voltaic) manufacturing in the state.

In Q, S, & A (Questions, Soliloquies, and answers):
o Ohio Issue 1: Vote Yes

o The DOE did nothing to help sustainable energy for 28 yrs: 1981-2009

o His ‘Impact’ bill is part of the same bill that includes Cap and Trade
Climate change should be part of our government policy, and science should be part of government policy in general

Health Care Insurance reform

“Last month the Senate voted to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the most meaningful improvement to our health care system since enactment of Medicare and Medicaid four and a half decades ago.

From Sherrod Brown:

“Last month the Senate voted to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the most meaningful improvement to our health care system since enactment of Medicare and Medicaid four and a half decades ago.

The Senate and House of Representatives are now merging their respective bills and expect to deliver a final piece of legislation to President Obama in the coming weeks. While the negotiations continue, I wanted to provide an update on how health reform would help Ohioans.  The bill passed by the Senate, with my support, would lower costs for middle-class families with insurance, while providing help to 31 million Americans who lack it – including the 1.4 million Ohioans who are currently uninsured.

It would eliminate the $1,100 hidden tax that Ohioans with insurance now pay to help cover the costs of caring for the uninsured. It would also prohibit insurance companies from using huge portions of your premium dollars for advertising, corporate retreats, executive salaries, and unheard-of profits instead of providing coverage for your medical care. And it would give more than 118,000 Ohio small businesses an immediate tax credit to help them afford health benefits for their workers.

The bill would curb insurance company abuses – like denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, charging women more than men for the same policy, and imposing arbitrary annual and lifetime caps on benefits.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would end the shameful insurance practice of rescission, which retroactively cancels your insurance when you get sick. It would close the prescription drug coverage gap (the “donut hole”) for seniors and provide them with free annual checkups and preventive services for the first time. The bill would also extend the financial security of Medicare by nearly a decade.

This bill means insurance companies will have to play by a new set of rules – that will lower costs and expand coverage. It means you will no longer be denied medical care because of a pre-existing condition, age, gender, or medical history. It means health security for you and your family, whether you’re uninsured or have health insurance that could be eliminated with a job loss or illness. It means Ohio’s seniors will be able to afford prescription drugs and access much needed medical care. And, this bill means Ohio small business owners can do right by their employees and no longer face double-digit premium increases year after year after year.

Once President Obama signs this important bill into law, I’ll be certain to provide you an update on this historic step toward a health care system that works for all Americans. ”

Sherrod Brown www.brown.senate.gov.

(Emphasis Mine).

What we have here is a failure to communicate…

There is currently a great deal of  attention being given to Rush Limbaugh, although in Cleveland the current top story is over another unsavory topic -multiple murder and suicide. 


0: Who is Rush Limbaugh?

1: What is this talk radio format, of which he is a participant?

2:  Is this talk radio format an acceptable form of communications?

3: Is it factual, that is, does it seek after the truth, and after multiple sides of the story?

4: If not, what can be done?

5. Is Rush Limbaugh ‘good’ for America?

6. Is He good for the GOP?

7: Is he as highly approved as some of his advocates think?

0: Rush Limbaugh was born in 1951, and dropped out of  Southeast Missouri State University  after two semesters and one summer, with a very undistinguished record.  He became a disk jockey, and then moved into talk radio.  With ” the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine — which had required that stations provide free air time for responses to any controversial opinions that were broadcast — by the FCC in 1987 meant stations could broadcast editorial commentary without having to present opposing views”, and this launched conservative talk radio.  (From wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush_Limbaugh).  He uses the term “Excellence in Broadcasting” network, but that is a fiction – there is no such entity.

1. The format of this type of programming has two characteristics:

 o Opinion and editiorial content are stated as fact.

 o The dialog is controlled, e.g., if a caller got through and challenged what was being said, the host can hang up, and then reword statements to their advantage.

2.  The result is illusion, not reality: no, it is not a form of broadcasting the truth, and not an acceptable form of communications. 

3. As an example of this show’s disconnect from reality, consider: “During the February 14(2006) broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh invented a racial component to explain Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett‘s departure from the Ohio Democratic Senate primary race. While reporting on Hackett’s decision to withdraw from the Democratic primary race against Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for the seat currently held by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH), Limbaugh asserted: “And don’t forget, Sherrod Brown is black. There’s a racial component here, too,” adding that “the newspaper that I’m reading all this from is The New York Times, and they, of course, don’t mention that.” In fact, Brown is Caucasian — a point on which Limbaugh was corrected later in the program.” (From: http://mediamatters.org/items/200602160001), and in fact Sherrod won the seat.  This is an example of ignorant,  irresponsibe journalism, and even a miniscule knowledge or research of the facts would have avoided it.  Give him an ‘F ‘ on this – a grade familiar from his college career.   Also see mediamatters, or “Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat liar” by Al Franken for a nearly endless list of other such examples.

4. We can restore the Fairness Doctrine, and move on from there.

5. He appears to be racist, and anti-female, among other unsavory characteristics: hard for to find much good there.

6. Politico’s Jonathan Martin had the scoop: “Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold bydepicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party, a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.

The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh’s name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.
Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh…”  see: 


This dialog then, is of benefit to Democrats.

7: Apparently not – see: http://zdrake.blogspot.com/2009/03/rush-limbaugh-polling-hes-not-popular.html

“..a failure to communicate The Truth”.