Many thanks to one of my readers — Sackerson of Broad Oak Magazine and Martin Scriblerus — who sent me an interesting perspective from a historian on why he switched from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump.

Eric Zuesse is an investigative historian and author. His lengthy and well researched article, ‘I’m a Bernie Sanders Voter: Here’s Why I’ll Vote Trump’ appeared on Washington’s Blog and on RINF (Real Independent News & Film).

Excerpts follow. There is much more at the aforementioned links. The content is weighty and complex, making it difficult to read at times, but it is very well argued.

Zuesse gives his ten reasons for supporting Trump. Note that all of these show the similarity between Sanders and Trump:

Here are the ten key issues:

1:  Sanders favors “breaking up the big banks.” Hillary Clinton opposes that.

2:  Sanders has fought consistently against Obama’s mega-‘trade’ deals. Hillary consistently favored them.

3:  Sanders favors working with Russia against jihadists in Syria. Hillary opposes that.

4:  Sanders says jihadists are America’s top foe. Hillary says both jihadists and Russia are equally anti-American, equally dangerous to America. Hillary is simply a neoconservative; Sanders isn’t. Her having voted to invade Iraq was no mistake on her part; it was consistent with her entire international outlook, all of which is neoconservative, like invading Libya, Syria, etcetera. Bernie’s vote against invading Iraq was likewise consistent with his international outlook.

5:  Sanders has been consistently opposed to fossil fuels. Hillary has aggressively supported them.

6:  Sanders says that the system is rigged. Hillary says that it’s not.

7:  Sanders says the system is rigged specifically against the poor. Hillary says the problem that keeps people poor is instead individual bigots — against Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc. Not the system itself. She is proud to represent the system. She’s not against it. She’s for it.

8:  Sanders’s political career has been financed by small-dollar donations. Hillary’s has been financed by mega-donations.

9:  Sanders favors every possible means of reducing the influence big-money donations to politicians has over politics. Hillary opposes that idea.

10:  Sanders favors socialized health insurance, like exists in the European nations that spend per-capita half what America does but have higher life-expectancy than America does. Hillary opposes that — she favors the existing profit-based system of health-care, and opposes the European system where basic healthcare is a right, no privilege (that’s based only on ability-to-pay).

As for the Green Party’s Jill Stein, who is attracting Sanders supporters (emphases mine):

By voting for Trump, you add 1 vote to him, and 0 vote to Hillary, and so that’s a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Trump up 1. By voting for Hillary, you add 1 vote to her, and 0 vote to Trump, and so that too is a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Hillary up 1. Either vote is a real vote.

The real world of electoral politics is the foundation of democracy, without which it can’t function at all. Fantasy votes are not votes that can even possibly participate in democracy. For example: by voting instead for Jill Stein, you add 0 vote to each of the two real-world contestants, just the same as you would be doing by staying home on Election Day.

Regarding the question of whether voting for Jill Stein is at all rational:

The U.S. Presidency is determined in the Electoral College, in which each state’s entire delegation votes the given state’s Election-Day choice, winner-take-all for all of that state’s electors.

Neither Nader [2000] nor Perot [1992] won even one state, neither of them came even close to winning even a single state.

Jill Stein definitely won’t win even one state.

Voting for her is nothing but a sucker-punch on the ballot there.

Therefore:

My vote for Trump will be the first Republican vote in my life, and I hope that this will be the only time in my life when the Democratic candidate is so abysmal that I’ll have to do this. It’s not because I like Trump; it’s because he’s vastly better than the Democratic nominee, whom I consider to be by far the worst Democrat ever. To me, choosing between Trump, who has no political record, and Hillary, who has the worst record in public office of any Democrat ever, is easy. On all other ballot lines, I shall, as always, vote Democratic

Trump could be a political unifier, especially on a new health care plan:

Perhaps a President Trump would get so many congressional Democrats and Republicans to vote for a single-payer health insurance proposal, that such a piece of legislation could be signed into law much likelier than if a President Sanders (who would be voted against in Congress by virtually every Republican member) were to be pushing for exactly the same type of legislation and getting only some congressional Democrats (and no Republicans then) to vote for it. Indeed, we all might even turn out to be surprised to find that a President Trump will be the most effective progressive President since FDR. If Democrats control Congress, then he might turn out that way, and become widely revered

In conclusion:

Trump is the clear, and the only reasonable, choice for progressives in this election.

Our choice, Bernie, didn’t make it to the finals. (Hillary and her big-money people beat him — sometimes cheated him.) We are stunningly fortunate that the voters in the other Party’s primaries ended up giving us (for once) a realistic chance to have, as the next U.S. President, a person who is at least no worse than, and is on many of the most important issues far better than, the atrocity (Hillary) that is being offered to us by the Democratic Party. How often does the Republican Party provide the better candidate? In the opinion of this Bernie-supporter, such a thing has never happened since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Donald Trump might not be another Abraham Lincoln, but he might be another Franklin Delano Roosevelt — the greatest progressive of them all. Thank you, Donald Trump, for having given us this opportunity — the realistic possibility to salvage, for America, a progressive future. It couldn’t have happened without you — if it does happen, at all

Trump is rapidly moving America’s political center in the opposite direction from the direction that Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, did, which was toward conservatism, away from progressivism: those conservative Democratic Presidents and (now) would-be President, have moved America’s political center considerably toward the right (the international-corporate agenda). A President Trump would reverse the political direction that this country has been heading in ever since 1993.

If we progressives don’t help Trump to do that, we shall be throwing away the only such opportunity that the U.S. oligarchy (slipped-up and) allowed us to have. A President Hillary Clinton would have the support of almost all congressional Democrats no matter how right-wing her proposals are, and her big-money financial backers will buy enough congressional Republicans to make her the most effective most conservative Democratic President in decades if not centuries. The prospect is chilling.

It’s a fascinating perspective for Democrats from a Democrat.

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