Monday, June 25 , 2018, 7:01 am | Overcast 63º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Doubling Down on the Corporate State

“Ian Read, the chief executive of Pfizer, said that he cannot 'at this moment distinguish between the policies that Donald Trump may support or those that Hillary Clinton may support.'

“ … both candidates have a complicated record and have previously backed efforts supported by the healthcare industry. In the Senate, Clinton supported legislation that extended the data exclusivity period for biologic drugs, making it harder to bring cheaper generic drugs to market. Trump’s healthcare policy plan includes an idea to turn Medicaid into a block grant, meaning states may shift money allocated for healthcare to other priorities.” (theintercept.com, June 8, 2016)

In November, Americans will choose their leader from the two most despised, distrusted politicians in the country. A phenomenon in US history.

Courageous Democrats who stayed silent as their previous champion Barack Obama enhanced spying on all Americans; authorized murder via drone strike of American and other citizens, many of whom were innocent women and children; continued the torture of prisoners via rendition to US-controlled foreign sites; denied trial to captured prisoners; jailed and demonized whistleblowers who had exposed hideous government practices; threatened journalists with imprisonment; sought to hide documents from Freedom of Information Act users, etc., etc. - these upstanding Democrats, if successful, will blithely witness more of the same, more Wall Street manipulation, more military aggression, American imperialism and corporate domination.

Devout and conscientious Republicans who applauded the demonization of Muslims, Mexicans, women, African-Americans and other law-abiding citizens and who sought to forbid access to this country of refugees from slaughter elsewhere, caused in whole or part by American troops; who sought to dismantle health care for many; whose support for foreign wars (when their own children are not subject to universal draft) is unbounded – these morally strict Republicans will, if successful, watch happily as their leader thumbs his nose at the threat climate-change poses to their children's lives; and will observe with contentment or enthusiasm government-sponsored bigotry and racial hatred.

Many supporters of Democratic-Socialist Bernie Sanders comfort themselves with the belief that his widespread popularity has caused, or will cause, Hillary Clinton to seek their vote by promising more progressive policies should she become president. They seem to forget what Obama promised in 2008 - and what we actually got.

One is left only with George Bernard Shaw's famous observation: “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein: Count me in.

William Smithers
Santa Barbara

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