Monday, September 30, 2019

Weirdness Prevails: Trump and His Critics

Weirdness Prevails: Trump and His Critics:
Peter Schultz

            Things are really getting weird in Trumpland because those who style themselves “progressives” are attacking Trump for undermining the rule of law. Why is this weird? Because progressivism and its originators – T. Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR – deliberately jettisoned the rule of law as inadequate, pre-modern, and unable to support the kind of active, interventionist government needed in the modern world. The Progressives embraced three kinds of power, military power, bureaucratic power, and presidential power. And they recognized that by doing so, they were “modifying,” even undermining the rule of law.

            Central to Teddy Roosevelt’s “stewardship theory” of presidential power, as well as FDR’s New Deal, was the creation of a new kind of politics, the kind that transcended legal concepts and law itself. In a real sense, this is what the “modern presidency” was – and is – all about, liberating presidents from the confines of the law, whether that law is statutory or constitutional.

            Military power is, obviously, beyond the rule of law. Making war puts a nation beyond, well beyond the rule of law, which is why the Constitution allows the government to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in time of war. As Justice Jackson said in his concurring opinion in Korematsu, the case where the Supreme Court upheld FDR’s decision to authorize the “internment” of all persons of Japanese descent, including natural born American citizens, presidents are obligated in time of war to be super vigilant in protecting the nation and, hence, were not bound by legal principles, by the rule of law.

            Drone assassinations, including those of American citizens, torture, Guantanamo, in fact the entire war on terror so readily embraced by the Bush administration and the American people, make a mockery of the rule of law. This is what Cheney meant when he said we had to go to “the dark side” after 9/11. Of course, we had already gone to the dark side in Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Guatemala, Chile, and Iran, long before the war on terror was declared.

            Embracing bureaucracy, as the Progressives openly and eagerly did, also undermines the rule of law. Bureaucratic government, bureaucratic institutions are alternatives to the rule of law, which FDR knew and which was central to his New Deal. The rejection of the rule of law was then close to the heart of the New Deal and was what helped make that deal new. The old deal was the Constitution and especially its separation of powers and the rule of law. Bureaucracies are not bound by legal reasoning, as reflected by the enormous discretion they are entrusted with. For the Progressives, such discretion was seen as indispensable for what they called “good government,” that is, efficient, flexible, but not law bound government.

            And on top of this, the Progressives embraced presidential power, both its bureaucratic and its “monarchical” characteristics, amounting to a wholesale rejection of the rule of law. Teddy Roosevelt’s embrace of presidential power, his “stewardship theory,” encouraged presidents to do anything they thought necessary for the well-being of the nation, including confiscating private property or, a la FDR, “interning” persons, even American citizens, who had done nothing illegal. It is only a short step from such a theory of presidential power to “interning” even children separated from their parents. And it is no step at all to creating a “Security Index,” a la J. Edgar Hoover, composed of the names of persons to be “interned” whenever the government decided it was necessary to do so. This makes a mockery of the claim that the U.S. is “a nation of laws.”

            So, if Trump were guilty of undermining the rule of law as claimed, that would make him just like the Progressives. Which of course makes a mockery of those progressives who argue that Trump should be impeached for doing so because, once Trump is gone, these same people will embrace any president who continues and even expands the war on terror, who continues and even fortifies the “imperial presidency,” just like Reagan did and just like Bush Jr. did. The charges against Trump for undermining the rule of law are, of course, bogus coming from those who call themselves “progressives.” Those making the charges are being hypocritical, dishonest, and disingenuous.

            And insofar as this is true, the attempt to impeach Trump looks more and more like a good, old-fashioned coup, dressed up to look like something else. But as the old expression has it, even if you put make-up, earrings, and a dress on a pig, it’s still a pig. It’s hard to hide a coup. Just ask Bill Clinton.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Trump's Opponents: Naive and Dangerous

Trump’s Opponents: Naïve and Dangerous
Peter Schultz

            As noted in a previous posting, Trump’s opponents seem often to be oblivious to the implications of some of the arguments they put forward when criticizing Trump.

            For example, they like to refer to “the rule of law” and how Trump is undermining that rule. But it seems they haven’t noticed that the rule of law was undermined long before Trump took office. Where was the rule of law when Reagan was president and funding the Contras in Nicaragua even though the Congress had forbidden that? Where was the rule of law when Clinton, as governor of Arkansas, was facilitating the importation of drugs into the United States by the same Contras Reagan was supporting? Where was the rule of law when Bush Sr. pardoned Caspar Weinberger and several others in order to protect himself from being exposed as a main character in the Iran-Contra debacle? And where was the rule of law when Obama decided to have an American citizen assassinated by drone because he was a Muslim who allegedly posed a threat to the United States by preaching jihad? The rule of law has been hard to find of late.

            But more importantly perhaps, Trump’s opponents seem unaware that the rule of law, even when honored, doesn’t guarantee justice, freedom, or equality.  Anatole France, I think, said that the majesty of the law prohibits both rich and poor from sleeping under bridges. Anyway, some one said it and it is correct. The rule of law invariably benefits the most powerful because the most powerful make the laws. In the United States, for a long time the law protected slavery and then prohibited interracial marriages. The latter law did formally treat both races equally, as did the concept of “separate but equal” which underlay our apartheid regime after the Civil War. Nonetheless, every one knew these were racist laws, through and through. So much for the rule of law as the basis of a decent political and social order. Laws often are racist, sexist, or homophobic, as well as being the foundation of tyrannical regimes.

            Moreover, the rule of law easily becomes law and order and we should all be aware of how this apparently worthwhile concept was used by Nixon and a host of others to suppress dissent, to repress individual liberties, and to crack down on those whose politics were considered unwholesome or un-American. Law and order led, I think had to lead to mass incarceration, as well as to children being kept in cages throughout the nation. There is a lot about the rule of law that is suspect, but Trump’s opponents seem to have forgotten that.  

            Of late, Trump’s opponents are all over him for compromising what they consider to be “national security,” apparently without giving any thought to how arguments justifying government action because of national security have been used repeatedly throughout American history in vindictive, punitive, and oppressive ways. The internment of all persons of Japanese descent, even US citizens of Japanese descent, after the attack on Pearl Harbor was based on the need to protect national security. J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI used arguments based on the need to protect national security to erect an impressive bureaucracy devoted to sabotaging, and in some cases killing, those who were allegedly a threat to our national security and the “American way of life,” including black power advocates, the American Indian Movement, and of course the Communist Party. And much of this repression was undertaken by the CIA, NSA, and other agencies of the government as well without showing any respect for the Bill of Rights and the dignity of individual Americans. And yet today Trump’s opponents naively accuse Trump of not respecting these institutions as if these institutions have been blameless and have always acted responsibly with regard to fundamental American values like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the right of privacy, due process, or the dignity of persons regardless of their race, religion, or politics.

            The point is this: Many of Trump’s opponents are making arguments with implications that extend far beyond Trump and far beyond arguments that show any discrimination about basic concepts like the rule of law or national security. Of course, those in power, those who are most invested in the status quo, most invested in the Orwellian oligarchy that governs us are quite content with these arguments because they fortify their power. What government official who is devoted to preserving the status quo, whether elected or appointed, doesn’t endorse the rule of law or actions taken on behalf of national security, no matter how suspect those actions may be? I can’t think of one.

            In opposing Trump, it would be beneficial for people to take care that the arguments they make don’t lay the groundwork for repression or oppression once Trump is no longer on the scene. This would mean opposing Trump by focusing on his policies and how those policies serve to undermine the republic by creating an ever-greater disparity between the wealthy and the rest of us, as well how his foreign policies create death and destruction throughout the world. But, of course, to make such arguments against Trump, those making them most not agree with Trump’s policies and their after effects. And this is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, because we know that some Democrats not only agree with Trump’s policies in these ways but have recommended them in their own name.

            So be it. But if you are interested in an alternative to Trump’s politics, his vindictive, punitive, and oligarchic politics, take care how you criticize Trump. Take care that you aren’t fortifying the very policies, the kind of politics that Trump represents.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Milk and Cookies Politics: Trump's Opposition

Milk and Cookies Politics: Trump’s Opposition
Peter Schultz

            The opposition to Trump has now come to embrace what might be called “milk and cookie politics,” a politics favored by conservatives in the U.S. According to “milk and cookie politics” the United States is and has been a beacon of decency, democracy, and diversity that has lit up the world against the forces of darkness, despair, and dictatorship so prevalent world-wide. The United States is the exceptional nation.

            By this view, Trump is undermining the rule of law, which has allegedly guided American politics since 1789. Further, he has and is undermining American democracy, which has also had an unbroken reign since 1789. And, of course, he has been behaving indecently as no other president has done since, well, since the Clinton administration. But that administration has been absolved of its sins, probably because it gave us mass incarceration, the end of welfare, and the Defense of Marriage Act.

            The interesting thing about all of this is, however, how Trump’s opposition is now embracing some of the most common themes of conservatism and this despite the fact that much of his opposition considers itself liberal. But these liberals are laying or reinforcing the groundwork of a fortified conservatism, a conservatism that thoughtlessly embraces bourgeois decency, law and order, deference to all authority, capitalism, American interventionism (what some call “imperialism”), and most importantly, embracing what is called American exceptionalism.

            But this is where “milk and cookie politics” always ends up, embracing what is, ultimately, a vindictive and punitive politics. Currently, this vindictiveness and punitiveness is directed at Trump and his supporters. But eventually – and maybe even now – these traits, having been reinforced by the hysteria surrounding Trump, will be directed at other targets, e.g., those foolish enough to question “Greta the Great,” Dr. Ford, or the “Me Too” movement.  So, far from offering an alternative to Trump’s vindictiveness, his nastiness, his conservatism, his opponents are actually reinforcing these traits. Which is a rather interesting situation.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Rants on Recent Events

Rants on Recent Events
Peter Schultz

       Here are some rantings of mine that I recently posted on Facebook. Enjoy!

Goodwin is correct: Trump's phone call is nothing. But Goodwin doesn't get that this impeachment is a farce and the Democrats know it's a farce. Why do it? Because when you have a political order that is controlled by the wealthy and their representatives, works for them and does little else, it helps to create "dramas" that make it seem like something else is going on. Remember Kavanaugh? Both the Republican and Democratic elites will profit from this farce, just as happened when the Republicans pretended to want to remove Clinton from office. I marvel at how obtuse people can be, how taken in by dog and pony shows. But then, they don't have to acknowledge that our political order is thoroughly corrupt, from top to bottom, from left to right. Enjoy the show!

Whenever I see this person [Greta], I feel like I’m watching a “reality tv show,” because she seems to be so scripted, a script used by moralists “to stage ritualized displays of anger and disgust” in allegedly crisis situations. The script has a general outline too: first, a threat is identified. Then stereotype the reprobates, here politicians and others. Follow up with escalating threats (here: we can’t wait and must act!). Top it all off with moral absolutism and make-believe solutions like more laws or symbolic acts (here Greta’s school protests every Friday). It all seems so contrived, so predictable, and ultimately so propagandistic. And yet people eat it up. Goebbels is laughing in his afterlife, “Told you so!”

Response from a friend and my response to her:
My exact sentiments. She looks like an actress plucked out of some 1940s film about the Nazis. And the entire speech is a giant sound bite. Also... the world is going to end whether we like it or not. Let’s all calm down.
Me: She's learned her lines and her scripting, from her transatlantic sailing to her appearances in Congress and the UN, has been quite professional. Certainly something I would expect from a teenager! It blows my mind how easy it is to propagandize even intelligent people. Perhaps what is needed to resist such stuff is more than a bit of perversity, which is what I have. 

More on impeachment:
The coming formal impeachment investigation of Trump has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with national security or with "Russiagate" or with anything Trump has done, other than being president of course. Rather, it has to do with the political battles within the Democratic Party, the battles between "the Squad" and those called "the frontliners," especially first term frontliners who are looking to retain their seats in 2020. From this perspective, it matters not whether Trump will be successfully impeached - which of course no sensible Democrat really wants to happen - or not. It is enough that the Democratic Party pretend it wants to successfully impeach Trump and remove him from office, just as it was enough that the Republicans pretended to want to remove Clinton from office via impeachment when of course they didn't. In other words, this move is blatantly political, forced on Pelosi et. al. who is trying to maintain her control of the Democratic Party against "the Squad" and other alleged "radicals." All the rest of the rhetoric from the Democrats is, to put it bluntly, bullshit.

Oh where will this lead, they wonder as if they didn’t know. This is such fun, watching the “drama” of our Orwellian oligarchs unfold as if something important is going on. As one guy quoted here claimed, he only knew this would be an X factor in the campaign 2020. He got that right because that’s what this is about, the 2020 campaign, nothing more, nothing less. Just as the Republicans were after Clinton before 2000, so the Democrats are after Trump, with just about as much legitimacy. But when the political order is thoroughly controlled by the wealthiest Americans, providing for them and almost no one else, it is necessary to pretend something else is going on. Well, like the BS that went on with Kavanaugh, this is the latest faux drama going on. I will sit back, not watch Fox or MSNBC, and wait for the denouement of this farce. We have become a world-wide joke and that joke is on us.    

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Peter Schultz

As 9/11 comes around once again, Americans indulge themselves in what they take to be their story of suffering and salvation. And in this story, other nations, other peoples are little more than bit players, walk-ons, cameos in a drama full of suffering Americans seeking solace through violence and war. With no blood on their hands, they have nothing to repent for, no penance is needed, and redemption morphs into revenge.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

American Politics "Disappeared"

American Politics “Disappeared”
Peter Schultz

            There is an interesting passage in a book entitled Revolutionaries of the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War, by Kyle Burke. To wit:

            “Thus, the Iran-Contra investigations and prosecutions failed to punish, or even hold accountable, many of the operative’s key players But they failed another way….[because] their overwhelming focus on the Reagan administration’s role in Iran-Contra….obscured the world of anticommunist internationalism that surrounded it” Hence, “the congressional leaders were unable to see the [anticommunist] activism as part of a movement that went back to the 1950s. Without that context, they attributed conservatives’ private anticommunist initiatives to the malfeasance of the Reagan administration….’[p. 199, emphasis added]

            It is important to note what Burke is writing about here, viz., that what he calls the “context” of the Iran-Contra scandal is nothing less than the politics that the Reagan administration and many others embraced, a politics of anticommunism that had been embraced by US elites at least since the 1950s. This kind of politics disappears in the midst of the Iran-Contra investigations because they focused on, obsessed over Reagan’s “malfeasances.” And once the politics of anticommunism that was embraced by Reagan disappears, it cannot be challenged or assessed. Then the issue to be addressed is not, “What are the alternatives to a politics of anticommunism?” but rather, “How can we correct Reagan’s malfeasances and ensure that they don’t happen again?”

            Of course this wasn’t the only time the politics of US elites was “disappeared.” It also happened after 9/11 when the commission that was appointed to investigate the 9/11 attacks focused on how the government had failed to detect these attacks before they happened. Once again, the focus was on the malfeasances of the government and not on the politics that surrounded these attacks. Once again, the issue was how to correct such malfeasances and ensure that they did not happen again, not on whether there were political alternatives that might have changed the political environment that contributed to the attacks.

            Returning to Burke’s arguments on the anticommunist internationalism that controlled US politics from 1950s until the demise of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, he wrote “That although the anticommunist international died, the impulses that animated its paramilitary campaigns in the Cold War persisted.” [p. 206] I am tempted to say, of course those impulses persisted because they weren’t simply about the Cold War. The Cold War was just the occasion for elites to embrace, to rely on a kind of politics that preceded in time the Cold War itself. Let me call this kind of politics the politics of realism, which, of course, may be traced back to the founding fathers and even further back to Locke, Hobbes, and Machiavelli. Because “the impulses” Burke writes about arise from these sources, they did persist after the demise of the Soviet Union and, when another occasion arose where they seemed to be useful, that is, after 9/11, they were embraced once again. Despite Vice President Cheney’s attempt to make it seem so, “going to the dark side” was nothing new to US elites. They had been going to the dark side since at least the 1950s.

            What Burke helped me to see is that when disasters or scandals happen, ala’ Iran-Contra or 9/11, the investigations that are undertaken are conducted so as to make the most important issues, the political issues, disappear. It is the politics that  our elites embrace that establish the environment in which government operates, in which bureaucrats try to govern, in which politicians try to operate successfully. In the face of repeated disasters and scandals, it might be useful to challenge and assess the politics our elites practice.

American Politics and Frankenstein

American Politics and Frankenstein
Peter Schultz

            Attached is an article from the Guardian that is an excerpt from a book by Stephen Kinzer just published entitled Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control. And it reminded me of Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein and here’s why.

            As everyone knows, in Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein obsesses over his ability, by means of modern science, to create life. As I read and taught this book, a question eventually occurred to me: Frankenstein already possessed the ability to create life, as do most human beings, via reproduction. So why was Frankenstein so obsessed with creating life scientifically? Why not just create life “the old fashioned way?”

            The answer Shelley provides is that Frankenstein wanted to create life so he would be considered god-like; that is, having powers that until then were only possessed by the gods or by God. Frankenstein craved, lusted after immortality and this craving displaced the more common form of lust that, in the best of cases, fuels reproduction, the creation of new life.

            The same impulses are visible in the CIA’s experiments trying to “perfect” mind control. As Kinzer put it: “During this period, there was an obsession at the CIA: there is a way to control the human mind, and if it can be found, the prize will be nothing less than global mastery.” What Kinzer might have written to be more precise is that the CIA was obsessed with controlling the human mind scientifically, that is, with the use of drugs. Controlling the human mind is not all that difficult and, as every semi-intelligent politician or shyster knows, it can be done “the old fashioned say,” through propaganda or spectacles that occupy or overpower the minds of ordinary human beings and make them malleable. As admen like to say: “You can sell shit if it’s packaged properly.” And, of course, they and politicians do that every day in every way.

            But why isn’t the old fashioned way sufficient? Well, because it does not guarantee, as Kinzer puts it, mastery. It’s mastery that the men in the CIA were seeking, just as it was mastery that the US government was seeking while claiming it was seeking “national security.” This is what underlay modern science and modern politics, a craving for mastery that would make its practitioners god-like or immortal. For our ambitious and hubristic politicians, the goal is mastery, global mastery and sacrificing lives, both human and non-human lives even in great numbers, is the price that must be paid to achieve such “immortality.”

            Kinzer recounts the price that Olson had to pay if he wanted to achieve the kind of mastery he and the CIA wanted to achieve.

            In his laboratory at Fort Detrick, Olson directed experiments that involved gassing or poisoning laboratory animals. These experiences disturbed him. “He’d come to work in the morning and see piles of dead monkeys,” his son Eric later recalled. “That messes with you. He wasn’t the right guy for that.”

            “Olson also saw human beings suffer. Although not a torturer himself, he observed and monitored torture sessions in several countries.

“In CIA safe-houses in Germany,” according to one study, “Olson witnessed horrific brutal interrogations on a regular basis. Detainees who were deemed ‘expendable’ – suspected spies or moles, security leaks, etc. – were literally interrogated to death in experimental methods combining drugs, hypnosis and torture, to attempt to master brainwashing techniques and memory erasing.”

               As Mary Shelley realized so long ago, when she was still a teenager, was that the desire for mastery, a desire that underlay modern science and modern politics, leads to dehumanization, leads to a spiritual crisis that would, if left unchecked, devastate humankind, turning us into monsters ala’ Dr. Frankenstein. For in the end, as even Dr. Frankenstein comes to realize, his creature and he are both monsters. It would seem as if Dr. Olson became aware of the same phenomenon. The troubling thing is, though, that our elites have not come to the same realization.


Monday, September 2, 2019

Trump: The Trojan Horse

Trump: The Trojan Horse
Peter Schultz

            Of late, I have been reading a bunch of history about American politics, especially about US elites, under the guise of what’s called “counterinsurgency,” adopted and authorized the use of terrorist tactics, of mass killings especially in Central America, in order to impose its will on, to dominate those nations. For example, as one RAND analyst put it: “’US military advisers and intelligence officers’ whom [the analyst] knew who were involved in the war [in El Salvador] understood that the containment of the rebels was ‘not the result of reform but of the consequence of the murder of thousands of people.’” [Empire’s Workshop, p. 105] In fact, this was called “the genocide option” and it was practiced in Guatemala and Nicaragua as well as El Salvador.

            “Between 1981 and 198 in Guatemala, the army executed roughly 100,000 Mayan peasants unlucky enough to live in a region identified as a seedbed of leftist insurgency. In some towns, troops murdered children by beating them on the rocks or throwing them into rivers as parents watched.” [p. 90]

            “In Nicaragua, the US-backed Contras decapitated, castrated, and otherwise mutilated civilians and foreign aid workers.” [p. 90]

            And this behavior was the result of training by US advisers, training that was “designed to purge civilization out of [the troops]….Some [troops] were required to raise puppies, only to be ordered to kill them and drink their blood.” [p. 90] And these things went on with the knowledge and under the auspices to the US government and its elites. The “civilian militarists” in the Republican Party not only knew about these things but defended them. Ted Schackley, who supervised secret paramilitary armies in Laos and Vietnam that were responsible for the execution of tens of thousands, wrote a book defending these policies under the title The Third Option.

            Against the backdrop of these actions, which were endorsed and embraced by the governing classes in the US, what is it that Trump has done to warrant labeling him a one of the most dangerous politicians ever to occupy the White House? That is, the policies, the actions of earlier administrations were far more extreme than anything Trump has done. In fact, compared to other administrations – those of LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Jr. – Trump looks like, at best, a minor leaguer and possibly like someone without the skills to play in the big leagues with the big boys.

            But insofar as this is accurate, why then do so many treat Trump as a gravely dangerous politician? What purpose could be served by continually exaggerating Trump’s capacity for harm?

            Well, to put it directly, Trump is being used as something like a “Trojan horse” in order to disarm, defeat, and delegitimize a real threat to the existing political order, viz., a populism that rejects the status quo, rejects its “realpolitik,” its endless wars, and its oligarchic economic and political arrangements and institutions. Trump as a Trojan horse conceals the attack on the real enemies of our Orwellian oligarchy, while Trump has never been and will never be a genuine threat to that oligarchy. He is too much of a clown, too superficial politically to generate the kind of popularity needed to undermine the established order. But by being treated as such by that order, it can fortify itself against greater, potentially more problematic dangers – like a resurgent populism of the kind that elected Jimmy Carter in 1976.

            There is evidence in the appeal of Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Pete B., Beto, and even Elizabeth Warren that the seeds of such a populism are present and could, given the right chain of events, burst forth and replace the current oligarchy. Hence, that oligarchy emphasizes, exaggerates Trump’s importance, by referring to what they call “Trumpism.” But Trumpism only exists because the ruling elites have created it, as Trump has not enunciated any doctrine, any overarching vision except for the vague and hollow mantra “Make America Great Again.” Obviously, this mantra leads nowhere except to some imagined and imaginary past that no one, not even Trump, can pin down. For Trumpism to be real, he would have to, like FDR or LBJ, enunciate, elaborate, point toward a new political order like the New Deal or the Great Society. But as almost everyone realizes, although it is not often said, Trump is not capable of such leadership. Such leadership cannot be built on tweets. And Trump’s tweets are a clear sign that his politics are at bottom impotent. Tweeting, like womanizing, reflects a fear of impotency, and Trump is strangely proud of both his tweeting and his womanizing.  

            Of course, this would not be the first time that the ruling classes in the US practiced a kind of “Trojan horse” politics. It is plausible to argue that the Cold War was used in this way, when US elites used that “war” against communism as a way to control – for better and worse – the American people and to fortify their power against surging populist forces like black power, feminism, and gay liberation. If you ask “What can I do for my country?” as JFK recommended, you will not be asking what your rights are as blacks, as women, or as gays. And of course you won’t be asserting those rights either, which if successfully asserted would undermine the power of the prevailing elites.

In a nation that aspires to be a republic, the elites are constantly battling the people for control. Currently, Trump is a useful ally helping our current elites maintain their power. He is a “Trojan horse.”  

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The "Go Fuck Yourself" Strategy

The “Go Fuck Yourself” Strategy
Peter Schultz

            The argument going around that people should vote for whomever the Democrats nominate for president is about as inept and asinine a strategy as I can imagine.

            In the first place, it renders your politics irrelevant. It says: “Forget your politics. Dismiss what you believe are the correct political choices, the just political choices, and, simple-mindedly, vote against Trump.”

            But such a vote isn’t only a vote against Trump; it is also a vote for some Democrat, and for that Democrat despite his or her politics. Suppose this nominee supports America’s endless wars and humongous “defense” budgets. Suppose s/he favors privatizing social security. Suppose s/he supports killing American citizens or even other human beings without any due process. Suppose s/he is another Orwellian oligarch. But of course following the “vote Democrat” strategy, these suppositions don’t matter.

            So, by following the “you must vote and vote Democratic” strategy, you are, ineptly and inanely, voting for policies you reject.

            And what is gained by this strategy should the Democrat win the election? Very little indeed, as you helped elect a politician who supports policies you disapprove of because they are not in the nation’s interests. That should really improve the nation’s well-being.

            You have, in removing Trump, undermined your own politics and, if you pardon my vernacular, you have followed the commonly offered advice to “go fuck yourself.”

            So, yes, vote against Trump, vote for any schmuck the Democrats nominate, use your vote to fuck yourself. But, by the by, don’t be complaining when you find yourself – as you surely will – fucked.