Why do progressives reject Hillary Clinton? The highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers of my website, Naked Capitalism, don’t just overwhelmingly favor Bernie Sanders. They also say “Hell no!” to Hillary Clinton to the degree that many say they would even vote for Donald Trump over her....And you'd better pay attention, because these aren't just a bunch of Millennial neckbeards -- they're wealthy middle-aged people with really really big brains!
To be sure, not all of my Sanders-supporting readers would vote for Trump. But only a minority would ever vote for Clinton....
Who does Naked Capitalism represent? The site, which I describe as “fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power,” receives 1.3 million to 1.5 million page views a month and has amassed approximately 80 million readers since its launch in 2006. Its readership is disproportionately graduate school-educated, older, male and high income.Cue Robert Farley:
Oh, but they're not all wealthy old white male progs:
"Progressives" who trend old, white, wealthy, and male think that Trump is just spiffy. https://t.co/hedPozBpQT— Robert Farley (@drfarls) June 2, 2016
Despite the overall predominance of male readers, many of the fiercest critics of Clinton in the commentariat are women, with handles like HotFlash, Katniss Everdeen, Martha r, Portia, Bev and Pat.Yeah, because nothing says "maturity of judgment" like the screen name "Katniss Everdeen."
Smith tells us that these upcoming Trump votes from progressives aren't just a flipped bird -- they'll be the result of a careful weighing of the alternatives:
Some of them also have very reasoned arguments for Trump. Hillary is a known evil. Trump is unknown. They'd rather bet on the unknown, since it will also send a big message to Team Dem that they can no longer abuse progressives. I personally know women in the demographic that is viewed as being solidly behind Hillary -- older, professional women who live in major cities -- who regard Trump as an acceptable cost of getting rid of the Clintons.Right -- because he's "unknown." We've been listening to him nonstop for nearly a year, but we have absolutely no idea who he is, what he stands for, or what voters he represents.
Heck, what's the worst that could happen?
Trump Delegate Says Current US Leaders May Need to Be "Killed"Hey, but at least Trump and his supporters aren't neoliberals!
A Patriot Movement supporter, approved by the Trump campaign, talks of violently overthrowing the federal government.
Last December, Donald Trump's presidential campaign approved David Riden to be a delegate candidate on the Tennessee ballot, and when the state held its primary in March, voters selected Riden to go to the Republican National Convention. When Riden represents Trump there in July, it will not be his first time as a delegate to a political gathering. Seven years ago in Illinois he attended the so-called "Continental Congress of 2009," where he and other delegates put forth "Articles of Freedom" that called for abolishing all federal firearms laws, replacing the Department of Homeland Security with citizen militias, and, if necessary, launching an insurrection against the federal government.
Riden explains that his views today go even further than those of the Continental Congress of 2009 -- his involvement in which he says he explicitly disclosed to the Trump campaign when he applied to be a delegate. Riden told Mother Jones in an interview that US leaders who violate the Constitution may have to be done away with: "The polite word is 'eliminated,'" he said. "The harsh word is 'killed.'"
Smith proudly quotes a comment from one of her readers:
“I don’t want to vote for Trump. I want to vote for Bernie. But I have reached the point where I feel like voting for Trump against Clinton would be doing my patriotic duty. … If the only way to escape a trap is to gnaw off my leg, I’d like to think I’d have the guts to do it.”Here's that quote in context:
Even if Trump rules as a typical Republican, the mere fact that he ran by repudiating its core beliefs means something. People are finding others who also see that the Emperor has no clothes, on both sides of the divide. That’s empowering. Collective action matters, even if votes don’t particularly. And people finding out they’re not alone is step 1. The elite has set up this “lesser of two evils” situation. This year, actually voting lesser of two evils could bring real good. Because Trump is unquestionably the lesser evil. Still probably evil, no question. But even if he goes back on all his leftish policy positions while keeping his racist incitement, the Ds will have to fight him, at least a tiny little bit. But more importantly, it should do real harm to both parties’ corrupt control. Purging the Clintons is good for the planet, in my opinion. And how much longer will corporations and banks flood the Democrats with money if they control NOTHING? Nothing in Washington, almost nothing in the states.If I'm reading what this commenter says correctly, Hillary Clinton is so awful that "even if [Trump] goes back on all his leftish policy positions while keeping his racist incitement" he would be "unquestionably the lesser evil," because ... well, I guess because the commenter is white and probably male and probably safe from the worst Trump might unleash with his "racist incitement." And Trump is "unquestionably the lesser evil" even if he dispenses with all that jackbooted thuggery and "rules as a typical Republican," because (ick! pthui!) neoliberalism is way worse for economic inequality than this:
I don’t want to vote for Trump. I want to vote for Bernie. But I have reached the point where I feel like voting for Trump against Clinton would be doing my patriotic duty. Because you’re right, there are no good answers in this situation. But if the only way to escape a trap is to gnaw off my leg, I’d like to think I’d have the guts to do it. The blood either Clinton or Trump spill won’t be on my hands. I’m doing my best to stop them.
Besides, Trump and a GOP Congress running rampant will destroy the evil Democrats by depriving them of rich people's cash, and that's good, right? Because if the only major party left in America is the GOP receiving all the plutocrat cash on offer, what could possibly go wrong?
Enough. I just can't. Yves Smith's highly educated, well-to-do readers are too stupid to breathe.
I should add this, from David Neiwert:
I have spent the past 14 years trying to warn the public about the proto-fascist threat coming down the road at us through the auspices of the increasingly radicalized conservative movement and its official organ, the Republican Party. I’ve even published two books describing this threat -- five and six years before it actually emerged....Even if Niewert's worst fears wouldn't be realized in a Trump administration, how can you pretend to be a thinking person and shrug off the risk?
Well, now those trends have all come home to roost, and that “alarmism” has proven precisely accurate. The warnings have come true in no small part not just because conservatives drove their bus over the cliff, but because many progressives -- especially those in institutional progressive organizations -- did not take them seriously either, and took few steps to address the underlying dynamic....
And now these same, clueless progressives are insisting that -- even with the steam train of extremist right-wing populism, the historical foundation of all fascist movements, heading straight towards them in the form of the Trump candidacy -- their Purity of Essence will keep them from ever voting for the last remaining politician capable of keeping him from attaining the presidency.
Look, I support the Sanders campaign’s desire to take their movement into the convention, since I support most components of their agenda....
But if you can’t understand that a Donald Trump presidency would be an extinction-level event for American democracy -- and especially if you are so fanatically blinkered that you think that Clinton and Trump are actually comparable or similar -- then you have neither paid any attention to the matters that I’ve spent the past 14 years focused on, and/or you simply have no respect for it. You are, on a very deep level, no friend of mine.
UPDATE: Scott Lemieux gives this op-ed the fisking it deserves.