Stuck in the Two Party Rut

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 2.38.28 PMRowan Wolf, Managing Editor
Voice of Conscience

Trump, Clinton
Is this really the best we can do?

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 2.38.28 PMAddendum: I recommend that people read the piece by Ed Duvin: J’Accuse: The Hard Left implicitly endorses Trump.

I fear that many who have long hated the two party duopoly that has a stranglehold on U.S. politics have latched onto Donald Trump as the “wild card” who will “break this system,” or even bring the system, to its knees. I feel that the evidence for any positive outcome falls grievously short, and therefore any level of support for a Trump presidency is unwarranted. As I see it, the problems with support from the left for Trump falls into three broad areas: being locked into the two-party paradigm, myopia of the consequences of a Trump presidency, and embracing apocalyptic thinking.

In the current presidential election process, we are offered two very evil candidates. One, Clinton, who has without a doubt been hands-on involved in enough corruption, death, and destruction to give the caricature of Saddam Hussein a run for his money. Everyone should be aware that Hillary is the ultimate establishment candidate – even though she is female – and will continue the neoliberal policies both at home and abroad.

For the Republicans, we have the ultimate establishment candidate only he is a Capitalist candidate. Trump (sanity aside) reflects the perfect example of “Capitalist Man.” He is in the red zone of wealth; is an unquestionable narcissist with himself literally at the center of the universe. In fact, he cannot even see that there is any interest of which he is not the center. He is presented as being anti-establishment, but I would argue he is only the anti-political-establishment. He is what (and who) all of the corruption in politics has been bent to serve. He displays the difference between the VIP customer and the business built and run to serve him. He is tired of the compromises necessary to maintain the ephemera of a democratic system that serves a broader populace, and so he storms in to take the whole thing for himself, to abolish and re-write the rules to best serve him (and incidentally, others like himself).

Locked into the Two Party Paradigm

Many people across the political spectrum, but particularly those who are outside the reputed “mainstream” of political affiliation and discourse, have long argued the faulty approach of a two-party system, rightly arguing that it is prone to corruption and does not allow the range of dialogue and representation necessary for a healthy democracy. People have responded to this in many ways, but a large number have largely opted out of participating largely based on either a “lesser of evils” rationale, or the reality of duopoly. However, in the current environment, the arguments to accept the “lesser of evils” effectively demonstrates tacit support of a failed and corrupt system.

I see that many are arguing ardently against Clinton, and are soft peddling on Trump, or even outright promoting Trump. This concerns and alarms me on a number of levels, but it also confuses me as this is largely an argument that fully embraces the two-party paradigm, and in fact takes it to new levels. It almost seems like many on the left are actually encouraging people to participate in this election cycle and to cast their vote for Trump.

As this campaign comes closer to fruition, the voices urging folks to actually vote, and cast that vote FOR Trump are becoming louder and louder. There is cherry-picking of rhetoric, as with the recent article by Stephen Lendman – “Raging Anti-Trumpism” where the “good” things that are part of his “platform” are presented. Indeed, he states:

“Electing Clinton assures continuity on steroids, accelerating America’s war on humanity at home and abroad.

If Trump emerged victorious, defying long odds against him, at least they’d be a chance for turning US policy modestly in the right direction. “

jillstein2016The reality is that these are two candidates who are both totally unacceptable, and the electorate agrees. They do not like, or trust, either one of these candidates. This is not a time for the left to double down on the two-party system. I don’t know if there has been a more propitious moment in my lifetime for a successful third party candidate. I would suggest that pushing the Green Party (Jill Stein) would likely be a potentially successful approach. While a true socialist party platform like Party for Socialism and Liberation (Gloria La Riva) would be preferable, I don’t think the electorate is there yet. In fact, this could easily turn into a slug-fest between the Left candidates (i.e. Green) and the right candidates (Libertarian). However, I see very little, amazingly little, being written on the left, or organizing on the left, to get either Stein or La Riva on the debate platforms. WHY?Gloria La Riva lbl

Why is it at this time when there is such tremendous disaffection with “the way things are” that we are locked into this same duopoly and many tacitly promoting a madman for president?

Myopia of Consequences of a Trump Presidency

I fear that there is a growing myopia of the consequences of a Trump Presidency. After watching Trump over the years, and most particularly the wall to wall coverage he has gotten over the last year, I have no doubt that Trump is a likely a sociopath. People have pointed to various aspects of his “instability” such as narcissism, egotism, bigotry, pathological lying, and willingness (even eagerness) to incite violence. If you add those together is it almost a checklist for a sociopath. His sociopathy is partnered with a lack of self-control and his economic privilege has allowed him to ALWAYS get his way. Anyone who won’t get out of his way will be trampled (or he will pay someone to trample them). To put this personality in the most powerful position IN THE WORLD is a nightmare scenario that I hardly want to contemplate.

He may SAY that he is against trade agreements, but the reality is that all of his business that can be off-shored is. He is a HUGE beneficiary of the same trade agreements he says he hates.

He SAYS that he doesn’t want the U.S. involved internationally, but he wants to massively grow the military; allow unrestricted nuclear proliferation; use nuclear weapons on Iran, and one presumes Syria and Iraq from his repeated statements that he will get rid of ISIS “fast.” He wants total deregulation – a capitalist’s dream, and quadrupling down on monopoly capitalism.

Realistically, Trump is not a thinker who remotely has any idea what his “plans” are, or what they will cost the country. And frankly, he doesn’t give a damn what it will cost the country because he ONLY sees how it can benefit HIM (and by accident, those like him).

He has already demonstrated numerous times that he will lie, or even just make shit up, and continue to tell that lie incessantly– even when everyone knows that he is lying. If he finally “walks something back,” he does a short apology and goes on to the next lie.

He has a large following of folks who truly don’t care what he says. What we are looking at with the Trump “campaign” is not just a run for the presidency. We are watching the development of a cult. It appears that a significant portion of his supporters/followers believe that he is a “savior” who will bring back the rule of the white man and reestablish the white exclusivity, which will elevate them. If Trump says contradictory things, it does not matter. They “know” he is just saying those things so that he can WIN. It makes no matter if he lies and cheats and engages in WHATEVER he needs to get that office. What is perhaps most frightening is that his candidacy alone legitimates bigotry, fascism, and outright violence; electing him will only strengthen that perception.

Embracing Apocalyptic Thinking

At times it seems that there is a fatalism at play on the left that sees embracing Trump as a last resort to destroy U.S. imperialism and capitalism. It is like some of the millennialist Christians who believe that if they can replicate the conditions described in Revelations, it will hasten the second coming of Christ. There seems to be a belief that “the people” are never going to wake up and move. So the only thing left is to destroy it all and hope that something better comes out of the ashes. I can almost guarantee that what would come out of such an apocalyptic scenario would be even worse than what we have now. Under threats to survival, people do NOT gravitate towards creating positive environments. They go into kill or be killed mode.

Choices and Options

As I already stated, I believe that we are in a positon that seems to present a horrific choice, and there are many who are arguing that Trump is the lesser evil versus Clinton. I personally do not share that belief, as I see Trump as brutally unpredictable man who is willing to blow up the world in a fit of temper. He is definitely pedal to the metal against doing anything to address the impending environmental disaster. All of that aside, I do believe that it is a prime time to put forward alternatives to the bad choices presented, AND…


CNN is outright promoting the Libertarians. They have had at least two Libertarian Presidential Forums.

Personally I think that the Green Party could be presented as a viable option. If they can get enough support (15%) they will be included in the debates. Given 60-75% dissatisfaction with Clinton and Trump, the bar for viability is a low as it is likely to go.

Stein, Baraka

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Rowan Wolf, PhD
Rowan WolfIs Managing Editor of The Greanville Post and Director of The Russian Desk. She is a sociologist, writer and activist with life long engagement in social justice, peace, environmental, and animal rights movements. Her research and writing includes issues of imperialism, oppression, global capitalism, peak resources, global warming, and environmental degradation. Rowan taught sociology for twenty-two years, was a member of the City of Portland’s Peak Oil Task Force, and maintains her own site Uncommon Thought Journal. She may be reached by email at


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2 thoughts on “Stuck in the Two Party Rut

  1. Though I fully understand the rationale of this article, I think that many of the dire arguments against Trump have been taken from the corrupt media who delight in scandal (it sells). Indeed the argument for Trump is very fallible but he is such an impulsive bumbler that should he rise to the prestigious presidency of this exceptional nation, that he simply would destroy the whole political system (as he is presently doing to the Republican party). That is what radicals appear to wish for, aside from the fact that he is less warlike than his opponent Clinton (at least Trump will admit to the humanity of such as Putin and the Chinese). A very reasonable organization man like Obama does far more damage than Trump could even think of. As for apocalyptic thinking one should carefully consider what Clinton actually has done in a place like Libya. It is an indication what the rest of the so-called third world can expect under her tutelage.Thus sticks and stones will break their bones but words (like Trump’s) will never hurt them. Bullies are full of hot air and one should never be afraid of them. To vote at all is to submit to wish fulfillment because voting in this Republic is laudanum for the masses to keep them dreaming of democracy….

  2. Gui, Thank you for your comments. I think we are going to disagree on this. While there has certainly been unbelievable amounts of coverage of Trump via the news and “news” channels, I have watched his speeches throughout the campaign. I have seen no evidence that he is “less warlike” than Clinton. In fact, he wants to enlarge the military, and he wants to use nuclear weapons on Iran (and elsewhere), and he wants everyone to have nukes. Further, he thinks we should engage in “real torture,” unlike light stuff like stress positions and waterboarding. This is NOT a man adverse to war.

    He has said over and over again that the US should put China in its place, that it is manipulating currency, and is unfair in its trade practices and policies. I have not heard him say ANYTHING nice about China. Regarding Russia, he has said very little about Russia (beyond inviting them to hack into Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and the DNC’s computers). He has made nice noises about PUTIN, which he then revoked saying he never talked to him, much less that they were buddies.

    He is a braggart and a liar. Because of that it is impossible to know how much of what he is saying is real, much less honest. I cannot bring myself to have ANY confidence in his statements, nor how he would act if elected, other than his acting in a manner that personally benefits him, or meets his desires at the time. I do believe that he wants to cut all regulations and rules because he recognizes few if any in his personal (highly privileged) life.

    I personally do not see why ANYONE on the left who has fought for years for equality and respect would support someone who has proven repeatedly that he is a misogynist, racist, xenophobic, classist, bully. He is the epitome of what I have spent my life fighting against. Further, the support he has received LEGITIMATES this abusive bigotry across the country. His election to the Presidency would institutionalize it. He has already done more harm to all the modest gains we have made than one would think that a single individual could do.

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