Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
Still, it's a tragedy that the Left had the power to stop this from happening, and it didn't. If Jill Stein voters in three swing states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania had instead voted strategically against Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton would have won, white nationalist leader Steve Bannon wouldn't be the incoming White House chief strategist and senior counselor, white supremacist Senator Jeff Sessions wouldn't be picked for the new Attorney General, and Maddog "It’s fun to shoot some people" Mattis wouldn't be picked for Defense Secretary.
This data is from Politico [updated 22 Nov. 2016 - PA updated 2 Dec from http://www.electionreturns.pa.gov/ ] :Unfortunately, much of the US Left refused the common sense that it was in the interest of working people and people of color to rally around the lesser of the two evils in this binary election 2016 to insure that this anti-democratic white nationalist regime did not win state power. Leading forces in the US Left argued that progressives should refuse to choose between Clinton and Trump by either making a symbolic vote or not voting at all. The result was that the remaining pool of less progressive voters was barely enough to put Donald Trump over the top. In spite of all of the other factors, the election was so close that the US Left, as rallied around the Green Party, held the balance of power.
Candidate Count % Michigan  Wisconsin  Pennsylvania  Donald Trump 61,201,031 47% 2,279,805 1,409,467 2,955,671 Hillary Clinton 62,523,126 48% 2,268,193 1,382,210 2,906,128 Difference 11,612 27,257 49,543 Jill Stein 802,119 0.7% 50,700 30,980 49,678
Instead of fighting this fascist takeover, the US Left joined the #NeverHillary movement that elected Trump. Many supported Green Party candidate Jill Stein and generally argued along these lines:
1.) Clinton doesn't deserve our vote so its better to refuse to vote for "the lesser evil."
2.) The Left needs to focus on building a 3rd party in this way even if it means Trump wins.
3.) They're just using Trump to scare us into voting for Clinton. The fix is in for her.
4.) Trump doesn't really stand a chance of being elected. Its safe not to worry about that.
Most also had a strong, petty-bourgeois, personal revulsion at the thought of doing what was necessary to defeat Trump and refused to "get their hands dirty." As Andrew Levine put it in his post-election defense of these positions, Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not, counterpunch, 2 Dec 2016:
I would have rather bathed in vomit than voted for Hillary Clinton.The Left has a very big problem with rethinking anything. It is doubly tragic to hear Left voices raised in opposition to self-criticism and re-assessment after such a colossal failure to provide progressive leadership, or even comprehend what was happening and why.
In many ways the Left acted like narcissistic children of the Democratic Party. That's why they could blame Hillary Clinton for not being good enough, and probably why they thought they could beat up on her to their heart's delight and not inflict a fatal wound. They were wrong. They thought, even with all the damage they were doing, she could never lose. They were wrong. The Green Party thought they could run an explicitly anti-Clinton campaign with their "Jill Not Hill" election slogan and not create a Trump presidency. They were wrong.
First, Jill Stein campaigned hard against Clinton in the three key battleground states, and after she spoiled the election by taking just enough progressive votes away from Clinton in those same three states to put Donald Trump in the White House, she raises millions for a recount, but only in the states she spoiled, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania; because she expected Hillary Clinton to win those states. We know this because she told the Alan Colmes Show:
They went the opposite way of what was expected...Now Jill Stein thinks Hillary Clinton should have gotten more votes. Bill Palmer reported, 5 December 2016:
We reported last week that according to official tallies as many as 87,810 voters in Michigan had ballots which cast a vote for some downticket race but not for president.Maybe they were scuttled by Green Party negative campaigning against Clinton? Jill Stein or her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, made no less than five personal appearances in Wayne County, MI in which they campaigned against Hillary Clinton. Does she now hope a recount will fix things, or is she just cashing in?
Stein is now focused on these “undervote” ballots as well, which she pointed out during today’s press conference
Wayne County went heavily for Hillary Clinton, but not at the level expected, suggesting, some of Clinton’s votes may have indeed been scuttled.
Andrew Levine expected Clinton to win too:
Along with nearly everyone else, I thought that Hillary would win. The pollsters said so, and they seemed to know what they were talking about; they certainly had enough data. Common sense said so too – this side of a real revolution, how could someone backed by the entire power structure lose?The answer, Andrew, is that all of these Left assumptions were wrong, but don't trouble yourself to rethink anything. You're willing to say "I was wrong," about the election outcome because that has been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt, but you still think you are right about everything else? You worked hard, and even misled people to create this new reality:
In trying to persuade people, liberals especially, not to vote for Hillary, I did use the argument that it was pointless to pile on votes for her because she was bound to win anyway, so why not send her a message?What he was doing is known as negative campaign by proxy and was key to Trump's victory. Trump's negatives were so high, his only chance of winning was to raise Clinton's negatives, but he was ill-suited to do that directly because 1) as her opponent, his bashing of her would be discounted, and 2) he's not creditable, his negatives are even higher. So the key to his victory lay in the proxy negative campaigns of the more credible members of the Never Hillary crowd, including FBI Directory Comey, WikiLeaks, and especially the Greens. Andrew and his fellow Greens got enough progressives not to vote for Clinton to put Trump in the White House. This was the net result of the Left's year long campaign against voting for the lesser of two evils, and even though the results were unexpected, this counterpunch author tells us:
Now is not the time to go back over the case for and against lesser evil voting.Like I said, this Left doesn't do self-criticism. It is too arrogant for it. Besides, in truth, Levine really thinks Donald Trump is the lesser of two evils:
Neither is there much point in debating which of the two, Clinton or Trump, actually was the lesser evil.This view is very common in the pro-Trump Left but it is doubly based on chauvinism, which is to say that it reflects the white chauvinist outlook of a certain segment of the white Left from two quite independent, if intersecting, perspectives:
For most liberals, the answer is obvious: Hillary was. I disagreed – mainly, but not only, because I thought that she was the more likely of the two to unleash a Third World War. I still do; and that trumps all.
[Hillary] favors “regime change” whenever and wherever neocons and “humanitarian” interveners deem it in the empire’s best interests.
1) They apply a false white chauvinist perspective on the revolutionary struggles in Libya and Syria that sees the Arabs thuwar (revolutionaries) as proxies of Washington "regime change" operations rather than agents of their own destinies. A fascist government is slaughtering its own civilians by the thousands from the air, and they label Hillary Clinton a "warmonger" for just calling for a no-fly zone to protect them, while they can't use the word humanitarian without putting quotes around it, and excuse Assad his sarin and barrel bomb attacks.. Here is an example of how Jill Stein campaigned [video @ 55:30] against Clinton in Detroit, 3 September 2016:
Yes, Donald Trump is very blunt and he says things in an extremely horrifying way, but I have to say about Hillary's track record, although she speaks much nicer, but when you look at what she's done, its absolutely terrifying, the war in Libya should not be the prototype of our foreign policy, and Hillary wants to start an air war over Syria, that's what a no-fly zone is, its an air war with Russia...
|Ferchichi, Libya | June 15, 2012|
A Libyan fighter allied with the United Nations-backed government waved the country’s flag from the ruins of a house in Surt after militias said they had driven out the Islamic State 12/05/16. Credit Hani Amara/Reuters
While the Libyan freedom struggle could not take place without meddling and influence coming from the Clinton State Department and many other foreign quarters, it has always been, first and foremost, their revolution. They can't be removed from the picture by Jill Stein and the other "anti-imperialists" by labeling it Clinton's War for the purposes of the 2016 US elections.
2) In service of their "don't vote for the lesser evil" thesis, not only have they worked to make Hillary Clinton look more dangerous, they have been tireless in the efforts to make Donald Trump look less dangerous. This has meant downplaying or ignoring the racist foundations of the Trump campaign. Levine does that in his piece. How else could he conclude Clinton is the greater evil. Remembering Trump's promises to kick Mexicans and Muslims out while subjecting black communities to a national stop and frisk program, few people of color were buying what the Green Party was selling.
Apparently, the Green Party didn't care that their fundamentally pro-Trump role in this election was only further alienating this overwhelmingly white party from peoples of color. They didn't do much to win new support in other quarters either. People will remember for a long time how they gave the election of Donald Trump, what Jill Stein is doing now makes the Left look like a clown act.
The one thing I think the Green's are right about is that bourgeois democracy, which they refer to in its current stage as "neo-liberalist", does trend toward fascist in the period of imperialist decay. It can be fairly argued that WWII was more than just a worldwide conflict between imperialist powers over the division of the world as WWI was, it was also the first worldwide fascist assault on bourgeois democracy and socialism. Fortunately this first assault was beaten back by a worldwide coalition of socialists and "neo-liberals."
We are currently witnessing the second worldwide fascist assault on bourgeois democracy and socialism such as it still exists. It already holds state power in Russia, has developed its barbaric practices in Syria, and is now making concerted efforts to win state power in the West, initially by non-violent means.
My other recent posts relating to this unique election cycle:
@DrJillStein now officially 'the Ralph Nader of 2016'
Where #NoDAPL covers for mass murder
Did Wikileaks call this election 10 years ago?
Did @DemocracyNow help elect President Trump?
Did the Green Party's @DrJillStein help Trump win?
How Green Party's Jill Stein tells two lies at once
Donald Trump wants to be the Last US President
Trump/Stein -- Stronger Together
Will Wikileaks "salt" the Clinton-Podesta emails before the election?
Trump Super Predator behavior is Workplace Sexual Harassment writ large
Is US Green Party's Jill Stein a holocaust denier?
Jill Stein now claiming Donald Trump is less of two evils
Did Dishonest Jill Stein change her Syria statement on the sly?
Republican support for Green Party @DrJillStein is emerging
Why "Jill not Hill" is a pro-Trump slogan
Donald Trump can only win if Jill Stein stays in
Does Donald Trump's secret plan to defeat ISIS involve using nukes?
Why doesn't "What's the Triad?" trump "What is Aleppo?"
Green Party Jill Stein's campaign in context
What should the Green Party do?
Greens could give White House to Trump as poll numbers even
Why Green Party's Jill Stein should drop her presidential bid
Amy Goodman should address this extremely important statement by her guest
How Jill Stein Tweets for Trump
HuffPost item shows how @JillStein campaign whitewashes @realDonaldTrump
Trump tells his '2nd Amendment people election will be stolen to prepare for insurrection
Trump didn't threaten Hillary, he threatened violent insurrection
Meet Green Party's Jill Stein, Putin sock-puppet & Assad apologist