What follows is a real exchange between a Progressive and an establishment Democrat

By Yvonne C. Claes

Photo credit: GETTY

I posted a meme on Facebook the other day which read, “Still glad Trump won over Hillary. If that shocks you, you are not politically informed. Harsh but true. #BeTheChange#NoWar”

I really didn’t expect many dissenting comments, since the vast majority of my cyber-friends and some of my real-life pals are politically-informed Progressives. Well, I was wrong.

Quite honestly, I posted the meme to provoke conversation. I was hoping someone would disagree with my cyber-blast. I don’t want to live in an echo chamber in which everyone nods and says, “Amen, sister!”

I want my beliefs challenged in order to sharpen my own world view. And I also want to reach others who usually don’t pay attention to politics in hopes of shedding light on a particular issue that the corporate media typically doesn’t cover.

I was feeling hopeful when one real-life friend took the bait and questioned me about my less-than-popular view that I’d rather have the buffoon Donald Trump in office than the warmonger Hillary Clinton. (Yes, both are reprehensible. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the rigged primaries and Jill Stein in the general election).

What follows is the exchange we had, word for word, and it reveals just how far we have yet to go to break the mindset that upholds the corporate-political duopoly in this country:

HIM: You don’t think he’ll take us to war? Have you been watching the biggest penis contest between him and Kim Jong Il? 
I find this pretty funny.

ME: My point is that Clinton wanted and pushed for no-fly zones in Syria. If she had been elected and had her way, we would already be at war with Russia. And no, I really don’t think we’ll be going to war with North Korea. It’s two little men with big egos having a pissing contest.

I followed my comment with a link outlining Clinton’s enthusiasm for going into Syria and what the likely outcome would have been.

HIM: I’m not saying Clinton was a saint. She wasn’t my first choice anyways.
Trump is completely f&$%ing unhinged, and he’s a liability. Nobody should trust him with even an ounce of power. He could potentially do a lot of damage.

(I should have known this conversation would head south. The words “Clinton” and “saint” should never appear in the same sentence).

ME: Oh, I never said I trusted him or that he isn’t crazy. Nope, never said that. Trump says and does a lot of things for effect. He is a showman who is used to creating controversy. He loves the attention, even if it’s bad.

HIM: You wouldn’t take well educated, and well spoken over unhinged, juvenile twitter rants? The amount of damage he’s already done to our country is practically irreparable. 
Next on the chopping block is net neutrality. Nobody is talking about it, and its about to screw us all over in a huge way.

HIM AGAIN: Every single day I wake up and wonder how he’s going to embarrass us again.
Did you see what he said to the Navajo wind talkers yesterday?

ME: Have you seen my wall? Net neutrality (is) everywhere. Did you know who appointed the man who is now the current FCC chairman? Obama did. Hmm… I can get over embarrassment. I can’t get over policy decisions that left 51 percent of Americans making $30,000 a year or less. I can’t get over taxpayers bailing out Wall Street, and then losing their homes and retirements. I can’t get over the seven countries Obama invaded, I can’t get over that America has more people incarcerated than any other industrialized nation, and those incarcerated are mostly people of color. Yeah, Obama was smooth, educated, and articulate, and look where he got us (and I voted for him twice). Frankly, I’d rather have someone like Trump (don’t get it twisted. I can’t stand the man) who has helped take the mask off of the corruption in our government via his buffoonery. The Obamas and Clintons of the world smiled at us, told us they felt our pain, and then screwed us. At least with Trump, that pretense is gone and Americans are starting to wake up and see how corporate interests rule our government and have for at least 50 years.

ME AGAIN : And the media wants you to wake up every day and feel like that. The hope is that in 2020 you’ll get so sick of Trump, you’d vote for a houseplant, i.e. an establishment Democrat. Turn off the TV. His Tweets and statements are a sideshow, as they are designed to be. I stick to following policy decisions and then speak out, write about, and call my senators. Ignore the noise.

HIM: I don’t think there is any ‘design’ there at all. I think he is a complete moron.
As for the establishment, I hear you. I’m all for getting money out of politics. 
Sanders would have done a good job.

HIM AGAIN: As for the media, sure, there is a bias. They are all biased one way or the other. However, they don’t just make shit up, and Trump wants everyone to believe.

ME: Well, I agree he is a moron. But I also believe the American public is being played by him, corporate media, and the Democratic establishment, i.e. the oligarchy. Bread and circuses. Distract the public with the superficial (Tweets, for example) and we can rape and pillage the government and through extension, the country.

(Here, my now-former friend starts to get testy).

HIM: You don’t think the Republicans are playing us as well? Adding 1.5 trillion to the deficit and tax breaks for the wealthy.
Will you still say you’re glad you didn’t vote for Hillary when a million south Koreans are dead?

ME: Oh, yes they (the media) do … Remember Weapons of Mass Destruction? That narrative was pushed hard early on by The New York Times and Washington Post, in particular. Then CNN, MSNBC, and Fox chimed in. But I get your point. However, as a former journalist, I know for a fact that the media misleads, distorts, and propagandizes through omission. Our media is particularly good at that. If you watch CNN you’d think the only problem in this country is Donald Trump’s Tweets. How come they never talk about climate change, the high rate of people of color who are incarcerated, how wages have flatlined over the last 40 years, how 40,000 a year die in this country due to lack of health insurance? Instead they cover Trump’s stupid statements and celebrity news. Pretty pathetic. It’s the reason I tossed my TV almost three years ago, and I’ve never been better informed.

ME AGAIN: Oh yes, I do. Both parties are playing us. They are the same, except Democrats allow abortions and are for gay marriage. Seriously, look at their economic, military, and environmental policies. You’ll have a hard time telling the difference between the two.

ME THRICE: Now you are just being dramatic with the South Korean comment. Would you be happy with a million Russians dead had Hillary gotten her way and gone into Syria?

HIM: You talk about gay marriage like it’s a bad thing. We’re done here.

ME: BTW: Deficits mean nothing. The are a ploy to the elites use to keep more money for themselves. Research something called MMT (Modern Monetary Theory). Politicians have been warning about those (deficits) since the time of Reagan especially. Yet, we still haven’t gone financially off of a cliff. Why? Economic theory is too much to explain here, but MMT is worth looking at. I’m still learning it myself.

Oh wow. You now are just reading into my comments. I am for gay marriage and if you ever watch my posts, you would know that. You are looking for an excuse to take your marbles and go home because I tried — very nicely by the way — to disabuse you of some of the propaganda you have been fed. Your loss.

HIM: Are you going to tell me the earth is 4000 years old now?

ME: Now, you are just being insulting. Very disappointing coming from you. At least I didn’t insult and stuck to the issues. Welp, I guess you couldn’t do that.


And just like that, he exited stage left, or should I say center-left?

Unlike the unfunny Bill Maher who recently claimed that Sanders Progressives and Clinton Dems agree on most policy issues (Good grief, Bill. Do you get out of your mansion much?), I know Maher’s assertion is categorically false.

I know it because I live in the real world, a world in which people don’t wear $5,000 suits and make millions of dollars a year. I know because the insults between “liberal” factions continue to fly while understanding and facts are conspicuously absent.

And I know this: Until the Left can agree on some basic tenets, like getting big money out of politics and taking steps to alleviate income inequality, we will continue to have these ideological arguments and suffer another few decades with failed politicians who don’t represent us.

©Yvonne C. Claes, 2017. I own this content. You can share my column, but please make sure my name is left on it. However, if you would like to license this article, please contact me or deal with my copyright attorney. Your choice.