[Marxism] Vote for Clinton?

Clay Claiborne clayclai at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 00:46:43 MDT 2016

On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 2:18 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> Not exactly. SDS had become fairly massive by that point and raised the
> slogan "Part of the Way with LBJ". The CPUSA, which was still the largest
> "Leninist" group on the left, would have upped the ante and called for "All
> the Way with LBJ". In fact the dynamics of the 1964 election were JUST like
> those today. Voting for anybody but LBJ was considered the same thing as
> voting for Goldwater

Did you capitalize "JUST" to say that you completely discount the role of
white nationalism in this election as being different from other elections.
Is that why it remains absent from your discussion of this election?

A vote for a 3rd party certainly was considered the next best thing by the
RNC. That's why my father, a RNC official, organized a write-in campaign
for MLK Jr in key districts. He sold it as a way to show black unity. I'm
sure he recruited many useful idiots that strongly believed that purpose,
and were kept clueless as to the RNC funding behind the project. They knew
blacks would vote for LBJ as the lesser of 2 evils so they gave them a way
to vote for the greater good because they KNEW it would help Goldwater.
When the RNC sponsors or supports a 3rd party candidate likely to draw
votes away their opposition, they call it a "dirty trick" and have to
budget for it. When a group like the Green Party does it gratis, they call
it a gift.

Running someone just to draw votes away from your opponent has to be one of
the oldest tricks in politics. Around 1972 I was working as a punch & shear
operator at AMCAR - building box cars. Union was Brotherhood of Railroad
Carmen, so long ago I forget the local. Anyway, I lead a pretty strong
revolutionary workers group there "Labor Power" lead a lot of good
struggles on the shop floor. And now that I am remember those days, I can't
refrain from recounting this story. I call it

"Friends in high places" -- and I don't mean the kind my father had.

1st a little background -  everything associated with building box cars is
heavy. Everything is moved by 15T overhead cranes. The crane operators were
so skill-full that their idea of a prank was to sneak up behind you with
the hook, which weight 100s of lbs on its own, and placing the very tip
under the back of you hard hat and, without touching your head, give it a
gentle lift as a way of saying hello from 80 ft above.

I must have been fired a dozen times from AMCAR because of various actions
and always managed to fight my way back in, until the last time. Anyway,
this one time. After I got back, the guys told me what went on in my
absence. The best story was how James, a crane operator pinned the foreman
who had fired me between a piece of heavy equipment and a bin of parts
about the size of a desk but considerable heavier. He had the foremen
pinned with such delicacy that not a bone was broken, yet try as he might,
the foremen couldn't free himself, and with everyone seeing his predicament
but not rushing to his aid, James leaned out of the cab and yelled down
"Just stop fucking with Claiborne" and then let him go.

So, after hearing this, when people asked me how I got back this time, I
would tell them "I have friends in high places."

But I divert. I wanted to tell you the lesson Iearnt about dirty tricks and
3rd parties. At one point I ran for shop steward as a Labor Power candidate
and an open communist. Needless to say union leadership was not happy. I
lost by 8 votes which just about the number of votes drawn by a guy in my
own department that had no real chance of winning but had been talked into
throwing his hat into the ring by the union leadership to sabotage my bid.

This is how politics is played by those who are in it to win it. What they
care about is wining the election. Getting their people in power. In 1964
only two candidates had a viable path to the WH, so the RNC was quite right
in seeing a vote that didn't go to LBJ as the next best thing as a vote for

> who everybody thought was ready to blow up the world with hydrogen bombs.
> He said "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no
> vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice
> is no virtue!" That was widely interpreted as a threat to impose a fascist
> dictatorship on the USA.

I am so surprised that you picked Goldwater as your example and that quote,
because I love that quote!

1964 was my coming of age year politically. I didn't know the dirty tricks
my father was up to at the time. I knew he was working for Goldwater and
despised him. He told me stories that made me despised him. But that's not
what lead to my political awakening. I had a good history teacher that
raised a lot of provocative questions and that summer the DNC and with it
the fight over seating the Mississippi Freedom delegation came to my home
town. That was the 1st national convention I paid attention to. That, and
the civil rights struggle [I was on the Mall 8/28/63] turn me into a
progressive and an activist that year, but it was Goldwater that turned me
into a radical and not out of fear but respect.

When he said "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty
is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of
justice is no virtue!" I thought absolutely god damn right!

Of course I knew that his idea of what constituted liberty and justice
might differ greatly from mine, because of all the other BS he was
spouting, but even at 16, I could give this statement my own definition of
liberty and justice. and know that he was right. So in 1964, as I was
becoming aware of all these social ills and the need to combat them, this
Goldwater statement warned me away from becoming a "moderate" and gave me
license to become an extremist, or as we said at the time on the Left, a

I don't see how anybody got a threat to impose fascism out of that quote -
unless the very word EXTREMISM even in defense of liberty scares them. I
feel confident that the true meaning of those word scares the bourgeoisie.

I also find your example of when it was a mistake to vote for the lesser
evil because you thought Goldwater meant fascism and as it turns out we
never got to find out a bad one. I never though Goldwater == fascism, or to
put in terms that were more relevant, virulence and meaningful to me in
1964 that Goldwater == KKK [ I guess even in 1964 for whites in SDS, the
spectre of "fascism" (non-racial) was the nightmare. For blacks, the terror
of the KKK was all too real and recent.]

In 1964 Goldwater took the bold step of disavowing the KKK, in 2016 Donald
Trump has put worst than KKK at the head of his campaign.

Donald Trump is threatening to put a white nationalist regime in the White
House. This has not been attempted in my lifetime. You deny this but it is
true nonetheless.

Louis, you can vote for whoever you want to. I could care less about your
vote, but when you say or imply that Donald Trump is not fundamentally
different from Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan, and when
you continue to exclude the question of white supremacy from your analysis
in service of that argument while I am hearing Donald Trump spewing the
most vile racist shit I have ever heard on national TV, you are doing a
disservice to working people of all nationalities.

The same should be said about your claims that the Trump campaign is toast.

You think this is a way to win people to Green party leadership. What if
you're wrong?

Never mind that most non-white people will see you as giving backhand
support to the racist Trump. That is going to be a hard one for the Green
Party to overcome because those people will be right.

Best regards,


Clay Claiborne, Director
Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
Linux Beach Productions
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536

Read my blogs at the Linux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>

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