This week Russophobia and the recent presidential debate were the topic of conversation. We share your letters for “Fear and Russia-Loathing in the National Lawyers Guild” and “The Politics That Led to the ‘Worst Debate’.”
“Fear and Russia-Loathing in the National Lawyers Guild” by Riva Enteen argues that many in the progressive lawyers’ group have given into to state-sponsored Russophobia.
Carolina Cositore writes:
“I am saddened by Riva Enteen’s article on the overwhelming backlash by members of National Lawyers Guild to a letter advocating sanity in US -Russia relations. I almost wrote: ‘saddened but not surprised,’ but that isn’t true. In this mad anti-Trumpism that persists in clinging to the tatters of ‘Russia did it,’ most all of which has been discredited, I still held NLG to a higher standard. So, surprised and saddened.
“Like Riva I also read Caitlin Johnstone and BAR and, not only because I am a writer and retired editor and journalist -- but because it is right -- I too strongly support Assange. I also visited Russia and, like her, read Stephan Cohen’s book on Russia. I do not consider myself an authority on that country, but since i attended lectures there and interviewed a number of people who spoke to me freely, I believe I know more than many who only get their information from government ‘spokesmedia’ with a sickle to grind. In any case, in most things I try not to rush to judgement.
“We need people to speak out in defense of independent thought today, but as Riva learned, there are consequences. The ‘likes’ on my FB postings shrunk to a scant handful of my over 3,000 ‘friends’ because I wrote that Trump had done a few good things (shutting down TPP early on for one). Perhaps after the election there will be a return to sanity. Perhaps people will turn off their TVs and ignore most of western media. We can hope. Meanwhile, NLG members -- you have let me down.”
“The Politics That Led to the ‘Worst Debate’” by Glen Ford argues that the incoherence of this election’s first presidential debate is due to the failures of the corporate duopoly.
Roger Hoffmann writes:
“Once again, you shared another spot-on observation. I and many others have come to the same conclusion over the years, and at the cost and risk of alienating long-time friends and others, have tried to share it.
“It's a real dilemma, isn't it, this ‘Lesser of Two Evil’ voting trap; set for us every single election. We know how it works, and it nearly worked in 2016 despite the D's putting forward perhaps the most obviously disliked presidential candidate of modern times. Perhaps it will work this time. We'll see. Either way, we lose. My wife has heard me say all too often, ‘well, all I know is that I'll be unhappy no matter what the vote outcome.’"
“As you and others (including Glenn Greenwald) have argued, ‘What's the end game?" Where does this lesser-evilism get us and when does it end? If we keep rewarding them (i.e., the Party leaders and those who pull their strings), how can it ever be different than a continual race to the bottom? Not once have I read or heard any substantive, genuine enthusiasm for Biden,
whether for his history, policies or character. Not once. It's been clear since day 1 that the best anyone can really say about him is that he's not Trump. Lost on most is that Trump never would have had a chance had the D's bothered to nominate someone for whom the electorate could be enthusiastic.
“Yet I don't want to end this purely with a lament. Somehow, we need to break through the fears that keep so many trapped into supporting the same old game every four (or two) years. The fear always leads to ‘Now is not the time’ responses to any of us who challenge the duopoly. In a way, the same fear leads many 'liberals' to marginalize any significant grassroots movement whenever the D's are in power; leading to ‘let's not rock the boat’ (to give the R's a foothold) stratagems. We saw it with Occupy, and the curious silence from the people on everything from imperialistic wars to fossil fuels to Clinton's and Obama's success at keeping single payer health care off the discussion table - makes clear that for most, it's simply enough that their Party is in power. What they do therein almost doesn't matter.
“Still, lots of younger folk (and some of us oldies) are not playing along, and seek to break the power of the duopoly and its traps. We didn't succeed and may not this time, but I think those of us who can should try to do so in between elections. I know that's what you personally try to do and I will do my best to continue doing so as well.”
The corporate duopoly remains a threat to the people of the United States as well as the rest of the world. Now is the time to work to fight for an alternative.
Jahan Choudhry is Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
Please join the conversation on Black Agenda Report's Facebook page at http://facebook.com/blackagendareport
Or, you can comment by emailing us at [email protected]