What If Trump Wins Again?

Roxanne asked me recently what we would do if the unthinkable happens again? Initially, I just wanted to run from the question. But then I thought: there were just 200 days til the election. What can we do now?

Update, August 19, 2020 and then September 6, 2020. It appears that this post has been circulating more broadly than any post we have ever published, even among quite a few Trump supporters. Most recently, as reported and verified on Fox News, he has even disparaged veterans who were wounded or killed, calling them “losers” and calling Vietnam vets, “suckers.” I ask Trump supporters that before you dive in, ready to carve up a liberal view on this administration, you first ask yourself if the America you want to live in is one in which everyone is the enemy an; if you want a president who has never once expressed any compassion for anyone who might be considered a working person, a farmer, a parent, anyone. It would appear there is nothing Trump respects except himself and those who fawn over him.

Have you ever heard him apologize? Have you ever heard him admit a mistake? Have you ever heard him express true sorrow over another person’s pain and suffering? Is that the kind of person you’d want as a neighbor, a spouse, a parent. If not, then why would you vote for him for president?

This note was added after the first night of the Democratic Convention and then updated again on Labor Day weekend. Retake published a post reflecting on the opening night of the Democratic Convention, a highly scripted two hours that even conservative columnist Bill Kristol called “impressive.” I’d ask you to read the August 17 post that reflected on the convention and I’d ask you to consider whether we can’t do better by working together rather than constantly being at war.

When Trump was elected, Retake supporters and most all Democrats were horrified, not because of the policies he would promote, but because of the hateful rhetoric and the dismissal of facts and science he would use to fan the flames and distract from honest debate. That has transpired.

When wearing a mask is an affront to liberty despite science making it clear that it is the only way we can save American lives and get back to work and school, we can do better.

When a President can retweet a statement that “Democratic cities can just rot.” we can do better.

When a President can allow the postal system to wither and slow delivery not just of ballots but of relief checks, Social Security checks and life-saving prescriptions, just to advantage him in the election, we can do better.

So I ask Trump supporters now reading this: “Is this the kind of constantly combative world in which you want to live?”

Trust, Biden is no Bernie Sanders. He will not swerve our nation into socialism, but when faced with a COVID crisis, he will not allow Congress to head off on a month vacation leaving tens of millions of out of work Americans without relief. He would calmly invite the GOP and the Dems to the White House and talk respectfully until a deal was reached. Doesn’t that seem better than non-stop belittling of each other?

If you are new to our blog, at the end of this piece, we offer you three links to other posts we’ve published and encourage you to subscribe to our blog. If you are a Trump supporter, I’d be very interested in your view on those pieces. The truth is, that most Trump supporters who are working people are screwed by the system as bad as most anyone. Those pieces try to connect some dots.

Finally, Retake Our Democracy has a weekly radio show and on Sept 5, I interviewed Peter Smith, a former Republican Lt. Governor, State Senator and US House of Representative who is now a member of Republicans for Biden. You can watch a recording of that interview at the bottom of this post. Peter lays out his thoughts on what being a Republican should mean, what it had meant, and why he can no longer support Donald Trump. But first read on and thank you.

Do You Remember That Sense of Horror?

We all remember where we were when we heard the news: Trump had won. We remember that feeling, well beyond a sinking feeling, more like a revulsion so deep it shook us to our very souls. This was not possible. And now, almost four years later, Trump has exceeded the worst possible projection of how this presidency would unfold.

The list of moral offenses is so lengthy it would take weeks to assemble. To even try to assemble a Ten Worst list would take days. Who can forget the Muslim ban? It seems decades ago and between then and now, Trump has offended our humanity on a daily basis.

And with COVID, we see clearly how much pain and death a President can cause when driven by an insatiable desire to be right, to be applauded, and to look good. He has refused to launch a national testing and tracking system because it will increase the numbers and make him look bad. He refuses to wear a mask or encourage others to do so, as it will make him look weak. I wonder how Trump supporters square that reality with how every other nation on earth has curbed the virus with far less death and suffering?

In late March I went online and checked the Vegas betting line and found that Trump was favored to win re-election by a fairly significant amount.

I literally sat for an entire afternoon, ruminating on what I’ve written to this point and wondering how anyone could continue to support this man. I stared out my window, looking at Santa Fe Baldy capped with snow. I thought that this earth and our future are worth fighting for. It is too beautiful. I thought of our kids and how an already bleak future could be sealed in doom with another four years.

And then I thought of our apparent standard-bearer and my disappointment with the Democratic Party and how they had chosen a man who may be kind and compassionate, but does not have a history of advocating for progressive legislation and is less than inspiring as a debater.

I sat with that for quite awhile. And then in a moment of lucidity that came from nowhere, I recalled a quote I had seen four years ago from Rebecca Solnit.

 “When you vote for someone, you are not voting for them because you believe in them, like them, trust them or feel they share your priorities. You are voting for the conditions under which you want to fight for your priorities.”

Rebecca Solnit

Or as an African American taxi driver in Philadelphia put it during our cab ride to the 2016 Democratic Convention: “I don’t care how bad Hillary is, if Trump wins, I’m dead. I don’t matter. It’s over. I’m too old and too tired to fight that.” As I sat thinking about that, I realized that after four years of fighting this monster, I have concluded that I feel just like that cabbie: If Trump wins again, I too, am dead, at least spiritually. My activism efforts would be over.

And that thought of giving up was equally repugnant to the thought of four more years. There had to be an alternative and of course there is. When this post was firt written we had 200 days to act and, as of this update, just 60.

As I thought more about this, I considered how different my outlook would be on January 20 if we were swearing in Joe Biden or if we were swearing in Donald Trump. I don’t have to like that these are my options, but I do have to personally decide how I deal with those options. I know many are wrestling with that choice.

I saw that Democratic Socialists of America has decided not to endorse Biden. I saw that AOC said she needed to see more from Biden before jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve seen many comments on our posts from folks who said that they would never vote for Biden.

I completely understand how many people could feel this way. I’d only ask that those people consider the Solnit quote and ask themselves how they will feel on Nov. 3, if they voted Green, wrote in Bernie, or stayed home and woke up facing a four-year hangover. We can’t let that happen.

If Biden is president, he will listen to people like Sanders, Warren, Cuomo, Fauci, Thunberg, and AOC. If Trump is re-elected he will listen to Pompeo, Vos, McConnell, and Kushner, but most frightening of all, he will listen to himself and he will have been emboldened by a rebuffed impeachment and re-election by the American people, all despite a repugnant four years.

When I think back on the summer of 2016, I recall being so disappointed about Bernie, I did absolutely nothing to advance Clinton, focusing instead on state races. In retrospect I think that was a huge mistake. I should have come back from Philly, licked my wounds and written something like this post, encouraging all of you to not just hold your noses and vote, but to work hard to ensure that we are not facing an almost unimaginable four more years of Trump. Instead, only the week before the 2016 election did I write a post, “A Very Angry Vote,” encouraging people to “hold their noses” and vote for Clinton.

When it comes to picking the political environment in which I want to be working for the next four years, there is no question what I prefer. I could lament not having Sanders or Warren as my choice, but there’s no point, and now both of them have endorsed Joe Biden.

I am not going to conclude this stream of consciousness with a strong encouragement that you get on board with Biden, but I am going to ask you to think deeply about how you want to spend the next four years. Do you really want to live in a constant state of nausea, fury, and frustration?

I sometimes lay out my bare emotions and thoughts in this blog. I do so because I think it helps to share fears, doubts, and internal debates. Life is complicated and the last four years have pushed us to our limits. Now, I’d like to hear from you on this. Where do you stand? What will you do this summer? How do you want to feel when you wake up on November 4 and January 20? When you consider those thoughts, think also about someone young who you love, and think of the Sangre de Cristos and our enchanted state.

We’ve only got a bit of time to impact this election. What will you do in the next 200 days? And what will you do if Trump wins? If you decide that you must do something to prevent Trump’s re-election, click here to find Retake’s 2020 Election Strategy. It offers four very doable ways you can prevent another four years of hell.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Update 2. Aug. 18, 2020. The first session of the Democratic National Convention will have convinced any Democrat that while Biden may not be an inspiring leader, he is a compassionate man who cares deeply about people….and he will listen to others. The entire two hour session was a stark contrast with the tone we’ve gotten accustomed to from the Trump administration. We can disagree on policy, but do we really want to live in such a hateful world where every disagreement on policy was elevated to an assault on someone’s character, intelligence or patriotism? Not every progressive initiative is a leftist plot; not every helping hand is a drift to socialism. We can do better.

This post has been read by more people than any other post from Retake Our Democracy, with dozens of readers reviewing it each day almost three months later. It occurred to us that these are mostly new readers and so we want to offer those new readers links to a couple of other Retake posts in hopes that perhaps you will decide to subscribe to our blog. We publish four times weekly with analysis of issues related to economic, environmental, racial and social justice and the political forces that impede or promote our collective pursuit of justice. A couple of other posts you may find compelling:

If you review the above posts or tour our site and find our work compelling, please click here to subscribe to our blog.

Retake Conversation, September 5 with Peter Smith, former GOP Lt. Governor, State Senator, and US Representative, now a member of Republicans for Trump. This is a fascinating interview. Peter is also the President of KSFR the board of directors and so he and I have co-hosted several pledge drive shows. Interestingly, he lost his re-election campaign to the US House of Representatives to Bernie Sanders, in part because Peter had announced his support for an assault weapons ban and the NRA decided to back Bernie. We talked about his reasons for supporting Biden and also reflected on the days when the GOP had principles. Very worth a listen.

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30 replies

  1. Paul, Great blog today. I totally agree. I’m actually considering leaving the country if Trump wins again. There will be much better places to live than Trump’s America at that point. And, it’s just not Trump, it’s the entire Republican Party that supports him, unwilling to stand up to him, and emboldens him. So, we all have to do whatever we can to prevent Trump and his synchopants from winning. And, I believe we can win, but it will take all of us coming together and working with all our hearts for a future we believe in.
    Thanks for all you and Roxanne do,

    • Bruce, don’t leave! Please.

    • Can I come with you?

      • Not everyone shares your globalist ideology. Trump is a horrible person however, I do believe his policies put America first and that will earn my vote. I’m adamantly opposed to globalization and the never ending Marxist ideas espoused by the social justice folks in America.

      • Those socialist ideas would so benefit 90% of Americans who are being abused by big business and wall street. Come back and read some of our work some time. Maybe we can change your mind. Be well. Paul

  2. I agree with Bruce for sure. Great blog, Paul. Coming straight from the heart is the only way to go. And maybe that is our best tool to overcome tRump and the rest of the Greedy Bastards. Playing for Change “Words of Wonder” and “Get Up Stand Up” is a wonderful choice for instilling hope and power in us. Thank you.

  3. Hi Paul. You are at your best when your conscience is unfettered. As to the next 200 days, I have read a number of takes on the ‘re-entry’ into the viral atmosphere being railroaded into existence by the moneychangers and their chief grifter.

    My conclusion was, and is, that there is a better than 50-50 chance I will not make it to November. There is no way I can avoid the odds of being attacked by COVID if we return to business as usual. Sooner or later, my fate is sealed.

    Since the bribery that shunted Ray Gun into the role of dissembler-in-chief, I have held a very cynical view of the vote. Why it took that long is a testament to my ignorance of civics as something other than dutiful protocol.

    The longer, deeper view reveals that Sonlit’s take is the best of the worst scenario. The choices remaining are to encourage/advocate for anyone but Rs in the Congress, and a brilliant pick for VP, if there is one. Plus, swift senility for the caricature named Biden.

    But for me and my swiftly waning time alive, I must put all my efforts into what has always been my most trustworthy mentor, the natural world and its non-human biotic members. This virus, although not strictly biotic, is a revolutionary messenger to we humans. And it has many ‘cousins’ that are wandering around the populace as intelligencia.

    I may have been wrong to posit an either/or scenario between revolution or extinction. The human is a curious creature, with some fascinating attributes, but they are not unique. We are one result of 1.4 billion years of evolution. The way forward for humans may finally only include sacrificing ourselves for what few other species might survive the human holocaust.

    I am an ecologist. I observe, I ponder, I wander aimlessly so I can be exposed to the random calculus of other wisdoms. I drift into the quantum field. Sometimes, a little comes through, and I have concluded that affection, tenderness, love, passion, wisdom, ferocity, the will to survive, the ingenuity to learn, will not die with the human race. We observe and describe these things, we did not invent them.

    Not unlike the ark or the arboretum in Silent Running, I feel tasked to save what I can of the great panoply of life, other than human. We have failed as stewards, and been poor learners. Perhaps robots and AI will serve biology and this Earth better. I wrote this a few days ago in WaPo. I am the last of my father’s line, and my daughters will have no children.


    “I say this with no sarcasm or rancor.

    This is evolution at work. This is biology in motion. This is the unforgiving hand of the planet brushing a fly from its forehead.

    This latest human experiment has failed, miserably. The lesson is simple – there always will be limits to growth, to consumption, to chaotic behaviors, to selfish actions, to crazy making, to arrogance.

    At least a million counted species (and many more still unknown) have reached this point in time with homo sapiens sapiens, without creating chaos at every turn of the head or wiggle of the flagella.

    Humans have so grossly overpopulated and hyper-consumed and grotesquely contaminated the only home available for all biota that there is now no more room for perverse excess.

    There are, and have been for some time, countless viruses, prions, cancers, bacteria, fungi, predators, parasites, members of our own kind and catastrophic natural events that have tried to keep us in check, with some success, until 600 or so years ago.

    Until now. Ironically, the guns, germs and steel that once served to expand the reach of man have become the hazard. A greater hazard than us.

    We have zigged and zagged until we now find ourselves in a corner of a corner of a corner. We now have too much of everything we cannot survive with, and too little of what we cannot survive without.

    We are not aware. We are clueless. To be self-aware is to know when enough is enough. Now, too much of nothing has gained the upper hand. We have confused simplicity with complexity.

    It will be morbidly fascinating to observe the efforts to fix Humpty Dumpty while the viruses replicate, the bacteria invade, the cancers engulf, the oxygen depletes, the GH gases multiply, the nutrition dwindles, the seas and temperatures rise, the glaciers melt, the plastic engulfs, the toxins wreak havoc, the forests burn, the water vanishes, the top soils drift away, the nukes continue leaking, and the lying, grifting and hoarding continue.”

    I do not know if a human revolution will avoid extinction. I do know that human extinction will be a revolution for whatever life remains. My vote does not matter. My remaining efforts may.

    Enough is enough.

    Mick NIckel

  4. Thank you Paul for your contributions to a humane society. You write so well and with enviable passion.

    As someone who was not in the least surprised by Trump’s win in 2016, I thought of writing a considered counter-argument, focusing specifically on the nature(s) of evil. Instead, I will shut up and let the great Hannah Arendt have her say:

    “Politically, the weakness of the argument (for lesser evils) has always been that those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.:

  5. I’m surprised, because I usually find your comments astute and right on, that this question assumes some kind of fair election that Trump could lose. This to me, is not possible …Trump and his allies will do whatever it takes to stay in power and if there is any hope at all, it’s in folks like you taking action now by sending the alarm loud and clear. It’s time for another Paul Revere!! Please!!

    • You are quite correct that I didn’t include the very real possibility of the outright theft of the election….and will do so in the future. But I also think waiting for Paul Revere is leaving it up to others to save us. Maybe we all need to be Paul Revere. Thanks for the comment, Liz.

  6. I agree with all of you. However dejected I am with the fact that Biden is now the presumptive nominee, I know that if he wins, he will appoint knowledgeable people to the cabinet and to other such posts. What about Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, and other rising figures to cabinet spots? We need ecologists like Mick to give us the clarity to see that episodes like this pandemic are the result of our plundering the earth so as to upset the balance of nature…too much oil and gas, fracking, destruction of wildlife, so that the earth is on life support. (Too many people, too, but that’s a sensitive subject.) Biden may not have the sharpness to do the job, but he knows to choose those who do.
    What scares the tar out of me is the possibility that Trump will win again, likely from having foreign actors like Russia and China get into the act on their computers. Maybe they too can see, as we do, that having a mad man running the US risks turning the world into a graveyard, and that advancing their own nations’ pre-eminence won’t save us from the destruction wrought by having Trump in office four more years. For that matter, four more weeks…

  7. Remember that this November you’ll essentially be voting for RBG’s replacement, the Paris accords, the use of science and expertise in decision-making, a renewed EPA, the Iran nuclear deal, the extension of the New START treaty, a functional NATO, and so much more. Note that the life expectancy of a 78 year-old male in the U.S. is just over 9 years. It’s within the realm of probability that Biden’s VP pick finishes his term.

  8. Yes thanks Paul for your response. And – Yes I am “Paul Revere” and so are you! That’s why I wrote to you!

    Sounding the alarm can be unpleasantly challenging when folks don’t want to hear it – it feels to them like I’m raining on their parade of optimism and that concerns me too…I experience those of us saying like we think it is, being seen as cynical and negative. But I’m committed to speaking the truth as I see it tho sometimes it feels too hard and then I keep my mouth shut!

    I’m also very appreciative of and support any peace and justice activism anyone is called to do whether I assess it to be helpful or not….

    Any thoughts on this you have on this would be great to hear..and perhaps for others too Thanks…❤️🙏🕊🎶🌺. Liz Kelner

  9. Bill McKibben had an excellent column on this the other day:

    Instead of Challenging Joe Biden, Maybe the Green Party Could Help Change Our Democracy

    By Bill McKibben
    April 15, 2020

    To distract myself from wondering if my chest is tightening, I sometimes think about other things that could go really wrong this year. The list is long, but somewhere near the very top is the thought that the President could somehow eke out a close election victory, despite—well, despite everything.

    There’s no guarantee it won’t happen. The Democrats didn’t find a perfect candidate, and there’s going to be an endless blizzard of Facebook lies, and team Trump is topnotch at voter suppression. But there are ways to lessen the odds a little, and a good one would be to not have a third-party challenge from the left this year, at least in the six or seven battleground states that are going to make the difference. That means asking the Green Party to stand down in those places. People with impressive left credentials—Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ron Daniels—did this already, in January, in a well-argued open letter. But it didn’t seem to work: the Party’s most likely Presidential candidate, Howie Hawkins, declared that he would run even if the Democrats nominated Bernie Sanders, who, Hawkins told an interviewer, had been “a little slow” in his plans for reform. Hawkins has run many times for governor of New York, and also for the House and the Senate from that state, while never getting more than five per cent of the vote. (He did come in a respectable second in a Fourth District city-council race in his home town of Syracuse, in 2013.) “Recognizing the danger of Trump does not mean that electing any damned Democrat should trump all other considerations,” Hawkins said. So I probably won’t be able to persuade him, either, but let me at least offer the suggestion that there’s a particularly useful reform that Greens—and others interested in a more vibrant politics—could be working on, instead, this autumn.

    To understand why this reform—ranked-choice voting—seems so important to me, let me say that, by ideology, I’m pretty much a Green. One of my favorite politicians anywhere is Bob Brown, a former member of the Australian Senate, who, in 1972, helped found what was arguably the first Green Party (and also saved a large portion of Tasmania’s classic wilderness). I’ve given speeches on behalf of German Greens and European Union Greens and local Green parties in many states and cities, and, whenever Canada holds an election, I stay up to watch the returns from the island district in the Pacific, off Vancouver, just to make sure that Elizabeth May, who for many years led the nation’s Green Party, has retained her seat. So I’m about as small-“g” green as green gets, having spent my adult life working on the greatest environmental crisis in the history of our civilization, the rapid heating of our planet.

    But I haven’t supported the Green Party in national elections in this country, and that’s because of the way our electoral laws work. The obvious difference between the United States on the one hand and most of Europe on the other is that we have a de-facto plurality-winner-take-all two-party system that makes it all but impossible for a small party to make a non-perverse difference, while European countries have parliamentary systems with electoral mechanisms that encourage small parties to play constructively pivotal roles. Time and again, by winning five or ten or twenty per cent of the vote, and a like share of seats, the Greens who operate in parliamentary democracies have ended up with enough representatives to give them bargaining power when it came time to form coalition governments. And those bargains make big differences: having the Greens in a power-sharing government was a major reason that Germany pioneered renewable energy; currently, in British Columbia, a Green-Liberal coalition has bolstered opposition to giant pipelines.

    In the United States, winning a few percentage points of the vote gets you nothing, except a chance to argue about whether you were the spoiler. Ralph Nader, in 2000, and Jill Stein, in 2016, have roundly insisted that they weren’t, arguing that the Democrats who were defeated in crucial states by margins smaller than their vote totals there did not run skillful enough campaigns. Relitigating that history seems less essential than looking ahead: the last poll I saw for Wisconsin showed that the race between a Democrat and Trump, for the state that many analysts predict will sway the election, was currently within three percentage points. So, if a Green Party candidate is on the ballot and attracts even a smidgen of support—well, it could end very badly indeed. And why would you take that chance this year?

    That’s not to say that America wouldn’t be better off with more electoral alternatives. We clearly would. And to get them we needn’t wait for some unlikely constitutional change that might produce a parliamentary system. Instead, we can work to get more states to follow the lead of Maine, which last year introduced a ranked-choice voting system for most elections. Here’s how it works: if there are ten candidates on your ballot, you list your choices from one to ten. You can proudly vote for the Green candidate as your No. 1 choice for Congress, and, if she comes in last, you haven’t lost your vote or spoiled someone else’s chances. That’s because that vote would then be eliminated and your second-ranked vote would be counted instead, and so on, until someone has won a majority.

    This is not some impossible dream of a reform—pundits used to say “as Maine goes so goes the nation,” and, indeed, last year, after Maine adopted the plan, so did New York City, with the support of seventy-three per cent of its voters. “Before the pandemic, R.C.V. was gaining momentum, with efforts teed up in several states to advance it via ballot initiative or legislative lobbying,” Josh Silver, the director of the electoral-reform campaign RepresentUs, said. “A ballot initiative for R.C.V. is likely in Alaska this year, and possibly in North Dakota and Massachusetts. There is a huge opportunity for legislative lobbying efforts in many other states, blue and red, as evidenced by the deep-red Utah legislature’s vote to allow their cities to enact R.C.V.” That is to say, Green enthusiasts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could skip Presidential campaigning and, instead, push their legislatures hard to put R.C.V. on the agenda. The pandemic has only increased the urgency, because the one drawback of a now necessary vote-by-mail system is that candidates sometimes drop out of elections after you’ve mailed in your ballot. Silver again: “This happened to millions of voters in this year’s primary, and R.C.V. fixes it. We must lean in hard to this opportunity.”

    If we managed to enact this reform, the result would be a much better system in many ways. One is that you could really build small progressive parties without potential supporters worrying that they’d inadvertently elect Trumpish figures; if the Greens, or any third party, are ever going to have a real breakthrough on a national level, it will be because people can vote for them without fear, real or imagined, of being a spoiler. But there’s another reason, too, which I got to see close up while covering elections as a young city-hall reporter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which for decades was the only major city in the country to use R.C.V. It’s that these elections not only allow for more ideological diversity but also tend to reduce the truly hateful divisiveness that’s become such a feature of our elections. If you’re a candidate in a ranked-choice election, you have a strong incentive not to be a sneering jerk to your competitors, because that kind of behavior reduces your chances of getting crucial No. 2 votes. You have to make your case, and you have to at least understand someone else’s.

    Obviously, campaigning for R.C.V. is less sexy than campaigning for President, and it will take a little while (though the whole Green Party project seems premised on a kind of radical patience). If the Party insists on running a Presidential candidate in the few states where it really matters, I hope people will not waste their votes on them. That’s not because I think Joe Biden is a hero; it’s because I think he’s not only better than the alternative but also pushable. Politics doesn’t end on Election Day—if you’re serious about change, politics in some ways begins once the votes are counted, with the less exciting business of prodding politicians to keep promises or opening up the political space for them to do what they want. In that world, which is always the real world, the job is to elect a politician whom you have a chance of pushing, one who might take advantage of openings that movements can provide.

    So, for instance, I had no problem working hard to elect Barack Obama as President (and Joe Biden as Vice-President), and also no problem helping gather some of the largest demonstrations of their Administration outside the White House. We were pushing for Obama to keep his pledge to be a climate activist by opposing the construction of the Keystone Pipeline; he eventually came on board. That was a hugely important development in the fight against climate change—and it launched similar movements around the world. With Trump’s election, of course, that kind of opening ceased—there’s no point pushing someone who takes pride in destruction. Now, there’s a very real chance that the pipeline will be built. Magnify that scenario across all the issues of the day and you see why most climate activists I know just shake their heads at the thought of a third-party challenge this November.

    It took me a while to reach that point. In the first Presidential election I ever voted in, in 1980, I voted for Barry Commoner, of the Citizens Party (albeit in the safely blue state of Massachusetts). But the results of that and subsequent elections convinced me that Americans would do well to avoid third parties at the national level until our electoral structure shifts. That’s why, I think, Bernie Sanders has run for President as a Democrat and has always insisted that he would support the Party’s eventual nominee. As he told Biden on Monday afternoon, in his endorsement announcement, “I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every Independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy.” (He has also shown that you can change politics in dramatic ways from within the Democratic Party.) After Sanders lost in 2016 Democratic primary, I campaigned strenuously for Hillary Clinton across the swing states of the Midwest, and it was there that I began to worry that the Green Party was doing just well enough to threaten real trouble. So, that October, I wrote about the importance of voting for Clinton, even if she wasn’t your first choice. I don’t want to wait that long this time, and I know from reading the work of such long-standing Green activists as Ted Glick that there’s an active debate within the Green Party about the wisdom of competing in this year’s Presidential election.

    I hope it’s never necessary to write any take on this subject again. And not because the Greens or other idea-oriented parties disappear but because we rebuild our electoral system in easily doable ways that would allow for better elections.

    Bill McKibben is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org and a contributing writer to The New Yorker.

  10. I’ve been reading Biden’s two autobiographies and am part way through an attack book about Biden. He was not my first, second, or third choice, but he’s my choice now. His fundamental values are OK, he plays well with others, he knows the territory, and he really does exude empathy. Don’t look at how he managed the Anita Hill process (he did vote against Thomas). but mainly look as the masterful job he did keeping Bork out of the Supreme Court. His closest political ally is his sister Val, and while he may not be a Dorothy Day Catholic, he’s a lot closer than most of the Catholics in public service. Despite his record, his feelings and respect for blacks are genuine and they know it. GO JOE!

  11. Organize, organize, organize. Contribute to Daily KOS & DNC. All depends on who is Biden’s VP nominee. The way he is going with COVID19 most people will be happy to see him go. If he gets re-elected we’ll probably move to Puerto Vallarta or San Miguel. Can’t believe you didn’t vote for Hillary!

    • I did vote for HRC, but wasn’t at all happy that that was my option. I don’t feel that Bernie has been railroaded this election, but I sure thought he was cheated in 2016….by the DNC. I felt my mistake was in not encouraging more active support for HRC before the vote.

  12. Thanks Paul for this and all the other blogs.
    My heart goes to Mick and I agree with everyone of his words. We are one of many experiments run by Life and it looks like we are a mistake. Maybe not all of us but certainly those inhabiting the top rung of our society. My feelings however, go to all the magnificent animals that we already drove into extinction, and those we will take out with ourselves.
    But, we my want to remember that GW, for example, is not the result of ‘humanity’s nature’ as it was said before—-https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/01/magazine/climate-change-losing-earth.html—-
    It is the gatekeepers of our society/culture who are responsible for most of what has gone wrong with our so called ‘civilization’.
    Most people are just like those writing here, and more.
    Mick writes that “I feel tasked to save what I can of the great panoply of life, other than human.”
    And I also believe that this should be EVERYONE’S TASK.
    Ronnie Cummins is one of us and a man with a plan. And he is not the only one. And it may work. https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/grassroots-rising/
    Every person running for office that is supported by Retake should be familiar with the GND, very familiar, because we need to put it into practice here in NM. Trump or no Trump.
    Thank you all.

  13. As a progressive Democrat I was also disappointed to see Warren and Sanders leave the race, but they both have left their mark especially in young voters-so we need to encourage this young large voting block to consider the options of not voting or writing in a name which becomes a vote for tRump. First and Most importantly the next Supreme Court nominee! Reinstating our dedication to Environmental Issues (the Paris Accord). Finally Biden will bring on the best and the brightest and reestablish our global leadership role. SO MUCH IS AT STAKE! Please VOTE!

  14. Although Biden is not my first or second choice I console myself by remembering it is the 100 key appointments a president will bring into office with him that is more important than the candidate himself.
    I believe if we can get Joe elected we will see Warren and Sanders and other worthies in key roles.
    Now contrast that thought with the 100 incompetent and corrupt grafters that will accompany another four years of Trump….
    So Go Joe.
    Let’s Push this Boulder uphill.
    Then let’s lean on him to keep moving on progressive initiatives.
    **I don’t believe it helps Joe win to move way far to the Left before the election. He has to appeal to the middle-stream.**
    But once he’s in office with a Dem Senate majority—please god— I believe we will see changes we like.
    If we keep pushing.

  15. Pondering how to say this: I will vote against Trump, but even if the boxed checked has Biden’s name on it, I will not be voting for Joe. Or the DNC, or the Democrats who voted in the 1st massive corporate giveaway “stimulus” 96-0, or the voice vote of the House that was the epitome of political cowardice. As well as par for the course. Neither do I “ trust” Joe to pick “the best and the brightest” unless the list has first cleared Wall Street. I will be voting against my conscience – which must be done. I share the awareness that our votes may be miscounted, not counted, and/or computer programmed to desired outcomes. Thankful that New Mexico has one of the most accountable voting methods while so many states do not. These ARE “the times that try men’ souls.” I hope to be part of the “keeping on.” Thank you, Paul and Roxanne, and fellow Retakers, for your keeping on as well.

  16. For those that see Biden’s verbal difficulties as a sign of mental weakness, it should be noted that he has suffered from a stutter since his boyhood (as have other members of his family). See:


    • Duly noted, William. But the concern from many extends beyond the stuttering. There is also concern that over the past month he has essentially disappeared. All we see every day is Trump, Trump, Trump.

  17. How will most people live if trump “wins”?? Most people won’t. We’ve gotten a glimpse into our future, only it’s a guarantee it will be far worse. And there is no coming back. Nobody will be able to help us. This is a hostile takeover with the help of the gop and putin. This is how hitler started. He blamed the Jews for all of their problems the way he blames Mexicans and other Hispanics for ours. Unless you’re his token and one of his many brainwashed cult members, he is absolutely disgusted by all people of color. He hates BLM because he does not value black lives. He hates LGBTQ, the poor, disabled, immigrants (unless, of course, they’re eastern european like his wife or just white). You see it in his face when he’s around people of color. He clenches his jaw and fists and he has a disguted scowl on his bright reddish orange face. Once he’s back in office, unless you’re wealthy, he’s gonna make sure nobody can get tested, especially blue states. If there’s ever a vaccine, he’ll make sure only certain people can get it. He’ll wipe out ACA, wipe out what’s left of most unions, just not the corrupt police unions, he’ll wipe out social security, medicaid, medi-cal. He’ll privatize everything he can. He will have yet another one of his picks in the supreme court. We will never get out of this economic crisis because he and his children are too busy running this country into the ground like all his failed businesses. People fail and refuse to comprehend the repercussions of trump remaining in office and how much more destruction he’ll cause. We are almost half way towards being a third world country. I’m voting for Joe because I’m not self centered and I actually give a damn about my country and the people in it. We were once a great nation, we weren’t perfect, but we used to be a beacon of light and hope. The statue of liberty means nothing now. I suggest people vote for Joe because our lives and our country as we know it now depends on it.

  18. I want to begin by answering to Russell65679@gmail.com post.
    Marx was not the only one contending with the fast advance of the industrialization and globalization machine of his time. There were others who criticized it and, like him, tried to understand, explain it and develop a theory for a better world. I could not read his manifest. Too wordy. But what I do understand is that him, like others, saw how the industrialists created instant poverty for hundreds of thousands of families everywhere they brought their capital and machines. Essentially Marx was a humanist who cared about the well being of all people. His theory was never truly implemented. It just was used by totalitarian men to acquire power over people. Russians and Chinese people were exploited by their totalitarian governments as much as English folk were exploited by their own elites, kings, industrialists, etc.

    As for globalization. Human history shows us that when small kingdoms begin to conquer more land and peoples turn into empires (plenty of examples in European history). They were actually globalizing their power. For example Spain and England truly globalized their power, or rather, the power of their elites who controlled the banks and the corporations. That is, their tools of conquest, just as (our) elites are using them today, but in a much larger scale.

    So, only those who seek power and control of the world around them truly follow a ‘globalist ideology’. Trump is one of them. And Pence too but for different personal reasons.

    It is my believe that today’s most ‘social justice folks’ know Marx by name only and never read or even seriously explored his writings. We, Americans, all know the stereotypes created about Marx/communism just like Russians and Chinese, for example, know the American/capitalism stereotypes provided to them by their respective leaders.

    If one looks at American history one can realize that Trump, like most (Maybe all?) Republican and Democratic presidents before him (And those coming after.) put ‘American’ elites and their tools of commercial conquest first. But not the whole of the American people. If not we would not have a ‘minimum wage’ that forces a majority of Americans into generational poverty.

  19. My family and I are strongly considering leaving also. Too many have correctly pointed to what *any* more time with the current *regime* will portend (it does not deserve the term “administration.”) Seriously. This is not a drill.

    • I wish I could leave this country. The country I was born, the country where many family members have served and Have been locked up in prison camps and finally come back with Debilitating PTSD.

      I am 51 now and my body has begun to go through painful changes as a result of Cerebral Palsy. I’ve worked all my life until I finally had little choice but to receive disability. I am struggling to pay basic needs, I have no hope if Trump is re-elected. I and so many thousands will be deemed lazy and more than likely have our benefits taken away. I don’t want to continue life with all the fighting, lies and name calling.All the division is heartbreaking and all I want is something to hope for. A better tomorrow. So many have died because Trump has not taken appropriate and swift action to encourage Americans to wear masks and do everything necessary to curb the spread. Fall is predicted to bring another wave! It doesn’t care about your party or political views! It can kill ! We’re quickly becoming the laughingstock of the world when we were once revered. Learn how to speak Russian people! And finally REMEMBER THAT THIS MADMAN HAS THE NUCLEAR CODES! Remember, he suggested we drop a nuclear bomb inside a hurricane, drink bleach to cure the coronavirus! Refused help to blue states to help control the spread of the virus and recently suggested that trees explode causing wild fire.
      Please for the love of God, vote BLUE for the survival of our troops, our nation and this planet!


  1. Reports On: ABQ Police Violence, Water Diversion in Santa Fe, Privatized NM River Access, and an Election Guide for Activism – Retake Our Democracy

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