I agree with much of what you say here. However, these times are indeed
different than the past few decades, in terms of racist and misogynist
"hit" squads now being overtly and publicly endorsed by the
President. So in that sense, times are indeed different.
Which does not mean that the way to deal with that is to vote for the
Democratic Party candidate for President, whoever he or she may
It probably would move this conersation forward if people on this list,
recognizing the differences in strategic approach among us, would stop
twisting arms (metaphorically) of those of us who don't think that voting
for the Democratic party candidate for President is the way to go. It
would be far better to recognize the differences and propose other ways,
outside of the "elect-a-Democrat" model, to challenge the
fascism coming down -- just as we (the Greens and independents) do all
On Fri, Jul 5, 2019, at 11:36
PM, Chandler Davis wrote:
...Seeing you're among friends,
you may want to sound friendlier. Even among the old-timers there
are wide differences of opinion.
I will be so advised. To my mind I was being critical rather than
"nasty," which implies personal attacks. But we're not always
the best judges of how we're perceived.
In any case, I hope this doesn't preclude analysis if that analysis does
not look good for the presenters of the text being analyzed. For example,
consider this sentence from Carol's original email:
We don't have the luxury of
being politically pure at this moment. IMHO.
Certain terms are loaded. The term "purity" is often used
electorally in the USA as a pejorative directed at those who refuse to
succumb to the corporate duopoly stranglehold on power, and who vote for
alternatives, which in the 2016 presidential election was about 6% of
voters. It would have been much higher had not the perception of futility
inhibited many from going that route, although untold numbers would
likely have preferred to.
The subtext is that the only logical or practical behavior is to vote for
what you know is corrupt and self-dealing -- to capitulate to it. It's a
monstrous self-fulfilling prophecy (if you don't vote for alternatives,
then yeah, they can't win!) and that the 6% of the population that won't
go along with it are the ones criticized with overused phrases like
"wasting your vote," "above the fray," whatever.
Another subtext is that "we all know" how others are going to
vote, so what's the point of not following along. The message is that the
choice is not really yours to make.
We may know probabilities, but we don't "know" how others will
behave. Few predicted that Trump could beat out all those mainstream
Repugs to win the nomination (let alone the election itself)? What that
showed me is how sick of mainstream politicians most Americans are.
Bernie Sanders was also perceived as not one of "them." Many of
those who voted for Trump had voted (or so it's reported) for the
back-stabbing hypocrite Obama -- who had also been perceived as something
different. (I use "back-stabbing" advisedly; the stunt he
pulled on the people of Flint is a good example; they were filled with
hope when he showed up. He spent his time chiding them for being afraid
of the water. Then he asked for a drink of water, refused a bottled
water, and took a glass of tap water to his lips. That water barely
touched his lips, he was so afraid to have even a drop of it get into
And of course there's the decisive influence of media attention,
which has always bought into the two-party status quo. But thanks to the
near unanimous vote of the two corporate parties (and signed by Democrat
Bill Clinton) for the Telecommunications Act of 1996, all the many
independent media companies got bought up and merged into six giant media
conglomerates, and now by design give no attention to alternatives. Even
Ralph Nader, in 2000 when he still had his iconic status, got almost no
attention. And that's because the duopoly parties serve the corporate
media's interests. It's a closed loop, and they've got (as of now) about
94% of the electorate under their control, with no choice outside the
range decided for them.
So it's always the same story. "We must vote for the Democrats this
time. This time it's too important not to." It was the same story in
2000 with Bush and Gore. But one can imagine how different it all could
have been if Ralph Nader had become president. And contrary to what Carol
has said, these times are typical of at least the last 40 or so
years, characterized by ever-increasing American official cruelty and
military aggression, through both Democratic and Republican
administrations and congressional majorities.
On Sat, Jul 6, 2019, at 9:00 PM, Carol Axelrod wrote:
Thanks again Chandler.
I have recently found that engaging with my Republican brother-in-law has
been more encouraging than a lot of what I'm hearing from you folks at
SftP. And I generally do not engage with people who are far from me
politically, but maybe it's nostalgia, or maybe it's that I stubbornly
want so badly to touch the rest of the members of this list, many of whom
I deeply believe agree with me but are not speaking up.
I even know for sure that some of them agree. And I wonder about some of
the folks from the old days - where are you on this Jonathan King, Al
Weinrub, Sara Miller, Frank Mirer, Bob Park, Mina Otmishi, Ross Feldberg,
Milt Kotelchuck, Ginny Pierce, Mike Teel and others whose names I can't
dredge up from old hard drive between my ears. And what about all the
others on this listserve who have not weighed in on this conversation. I
bet there are many who are just as furious, terrified, desperate as I am,
and many who have no idea how to best support candidates and causes that
have a good chance of defeating that monster in the White House. And who
may understand that now is not the time to hold out for making
Do those of you that I have heard from know for sure that you represent
the rest of the group?
get involved with the issues at all. All we care about is identifying the
elected representatives who are most vulnerable but who can really use
financial support to hold onto their seats in the House. And soon we'll
probably identify some Senate candidates who our research tells us would
have a chance to flip their seat to Blue.
We do the work so that people who understand the necessity of electing
Democrats THIS TIME can know where to donate most effectively.
Additionally, we list grassroots organizations in swing states that are
working effectively against voter suppression because we know that the
Republicans' primary strategy is to make sure that the disenfranchised
stay that way.
I have never been involved in electoral politics. I have never campaigned
for a Democrat and that includes Barak Obama (who was far from what his
worshippers think he was), or Hillary. And if, dog willing, Trump is
defeated I don't think I'll ever get involved with the Democrats again.
But these are NOT normal times. This time is different, can't you see
that? If you anti-Democrats join with Republican anti-Trumpers and all of
you refuse to vote, that would be a sure fire way of keeping the monster
in the White House. But it takes more than just voting, which I do
believe most of you will do. It takes MONEY. And regardless of which
party ends up in the White House it is ESSENTIAL that we have a
Democratically controlled Congress. That's why this small group of 12
core members + our "multipliers" are using our networks to
raise money for Democrats in the House and Senate.
Ok. I don't have time for any more of this. I'm not asking SftP to become
a forum for party politics. All I'm asking is that you allow me to
continue to inform your group about what we're doing at Force Multiplier
in case there are some members who would welcome that information. FM
gives people a way to separate the wheat from the chaff so they can just
donate through us and ignore all those appeals they keep getting from the
Thanks for listening. I hope there's room for this sort of dialogue in
Science for the People because if not, where is there?
YOU X ME = DEMOCRACY
- Carol has earned our respect, and this is no whit diminished if it
saddens her to see some of the rest of us going (in her view)
haywire. I don't know you and have no background leading me to
trust you as I do Carol and Kamran and Claudia, but if you consider
yourself a member of our group YOU DESERVE MY RESPECT TOO and have a
right to demand it. It might be diminished if you lay on the
nastiness; but I am not a moderator of the list. For you to point
out bellicose positions of Hillary Clinton's, or murderous drone tactics
by Barack Obama, is appropriate and welcome, also relevant to the
question of big-party electoral politics. Seeing you're among
friends, you may want to sound friendlier. Even among the
old-timers there are wide differences of opinion.
On 2019-07-05 2:12 p.m., David Barouh wrote:
- I should point out that my "bad-mouthing," as you call it,
was directed at HRC -- and not even at HRC so much as at her, IMO,
unhinged promise to institute a no-fly zone over Syrian air space.
Secondly, I suspect you missed the sub-text of Carol's comments about how
"sad" my HRC comment made her (but nothing about HRC's Syria
position). And the one about my possibly voting for Trump (I'd thought
I'd suggested just the opposite) "breaking her heart." It seems
ironic that on "Science for the People," instead of some
rational discourse and exchange of positions we get little more than
emotional blackmail justified based on veteran status.
- BTW, does my relative newcomer status make me suspect? Is more than
my name required to be a member of this list? I don't know anything about
any of you all other than your names. And I'm still shaky on the list's
- David Barouh
On Fri, Jul 5, 2019, at 12:36 PM, Chandler Davis wrote:
- Kamran is right, and your point is also valid, Claudia: we're not
about electoral politics in any one country, even in quite a large
one. But Carol Axelrod is a long-time staunch activist in SftP, and
if I find myself disagreeing with her about Hillary Clinton, as it seems
I may, I will make it the occasion for comradely debate, not scornful
bad-mouthing such as she is getting from Barouh (whoever he may
On 2019-07-05 2:23 a.m., Claudia Pine wrote:
- Carol: As Kamran says, SftP list is not a place for political
- In addition, you may not realize that the SftP list is international,
and as such USian politics are not what many non-USian members want or
- Suggesting that people can just delete is inappropriate: it is for
posters to consider the appropriateness of what they post, before they
- I appreciate your sincerity and sense of urgency, Carol - in many
ways I share it! - but I would strongly urge you not post "Force
Mutiplier" or other partisan political material to the Science for
the People list-serv.
- Thank you,
- Claudia Pine
- a list moderator
- Have you joined this list recently? How has the Force
Multiplier been allowed to post to this list?
- May be an officer of SftP can address this question.
- At any rate, in my half doze years of being on this list it is the
first time I see a political party brings its campaign to this
list. If this be accepted how would SftP limit other political
parties to join in--including Republicans without being drawn into
partisan politics. If that happens, it would be the end of SftP because
so far it has been an anti-capitalist, socialist voice with various
tendencies reflected in its deliberation but never a partisan group
especially in the electoral arena.
- Trump is a lot worse than obnoxious. If most people on this list
don't want to hear from Force Multiplier any more I'd hope they'd let me
know. It sounds like you two don't.
- It's very easy to delete my emails if you'd prefer.
But it makes me sad that you really believe HRC would have been as
bad as Trump. You almost sound like you'd vote for him which breaks my
- YOU X ME = DEMOCRACY
- It's always the same BS. One candidate is always better than the
other. Trouble is sometimes the "better" choice surprises you.
Clinton spent his entire eight years bombing and starving Iraq. Obama
bombed and invaded how many countries? And it was the same with Bush Jr.
People now say that if Gore had been president, "there wouldn't have
been Iraq!" Yet more bullshit. This article makes a definitive case
that Gore indeed would have invaded Iraq: https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/19/liberal-myths-would-al-gore-have-invaded-iraq/
- Had HRC won the election instead of Trump, we may already have had
American jets trying to enforce her insane "no fly zone" over
Syria and confronting Russian planes, and maybe even have had a nuclear
- The Dimwit Democrats are the ones currently talking up war. Trump is
obnoxious, but we're not currently in a full-fledged war. We're refueling
Saudi planes in their bombing runs, but that started under Obama, not
Trump. This is what voting for the two-party system always brings us.
You're dreaming if you think there's a significant change to be had
with one or the other of the two corporate parties.
On Thu, Jul 4, 2019, at 2:45 PM, Carol Axelrod wrote:
- I'm hoping that those that are that disillusioned may understand that
this time if we don't understand the difference between Republicans and
Democrats we're all toast. I think there are many thoughtful folks who
agree that our system is not working but who know that we are not in a
position to change it now and our very lives depend on turning Washington
blue. And that applies not only to those of us educated, privileged
types, but mainly the rest of the country and the world. We don't have
the luxury of being politically pure at this moment. IMHO.
- YOU X ME = DEMOCRACY
- But what if some of us think the problem with the U.S. politics is
the two-party system and that the Democratic Party is as much an
imperialist party as the Republican party? Should this list be turned
into one supporting Democrats in the coming elections?
- ...the maniac in Washington is spending our money to display the size
of his weapons. And he's plotting to circumvent the SUPREME COURT so that
the census questionnaire can be another instrument of voter suppression.
And the immigrants at the border are jammed into what amounts to
stationary cattle cars. And, and, and...
- So I'm not taking this week off. Trump and his gang must be removed
from office in November 2020. The best way we can do that is to
empower voters of color, young people, women, LBGTQ communities, and the
rest of us who are most vulnerable.
Multiplier is identifying grassroots organizations that are working
to fight voter suppression in
- key states. As usual, we've done the research so you don't have
- When turnout is high, Democrats win!
No one knows that as well as the Republicans.
for lots of information about the seven organizations on our slate -- in
North Carolina, Florida and Michigan -- all key states in the 2020
So please, in honor of the 4th of July, donate
to save our country and the rest of the world.
Donate, and then go out and enjoy your 4th. My chicken wings are
marinating as we speak.
- With love,
- YOU X ME = DEMOCRACY