1. Great again? “Forget fear and loathing. The US election inspires projectile vomiting.”

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Money into influence? That’s not restricted to the major party candidates, is it?

Forget fear and loathing. The US election inspires projectile vomiting, by Barbara Ehrenreich (The Guardian)

The most sordid side of our democracy has been laid out for all to see. But that’s only the beginning: whoever wins, the mutual revulsion will only intensify

… (Trump’s) supporters – generally portrayed as laid-off blue-collar workers who, in the absence of unions, have devoted themselves to the cause of whiteness – cheer on each of his macro-aggressions. To them, he is a giant middle finger in the face of the bipartisan political elite, and the crazier he acts, the more resounding this fuck-you gets. It doesn’t matter that most of Trump’s assertions can’t stand up to fact-checking; ignorance has been enshrined by an entire alternative media, stretching from Fox News to Stormfront on the Nazi-leaning right.

On the liberal left, tragically, we do not have Bernie Sanders, who would have dispatched Trump’s populist pretensions with a wrist flick. But no, representing the side of tolerance, good government and cosmopolitanism, we have the very epitome of Democratic party elitism, a woman who labeled half of Trump’s supporters “deplorables”, a politician who is so robotic that any efforts to analyze her motives risk the charge of anthropomorphism. Consider her statement on the Standing Rock occupation in North Dakota, which could have been issued by an unmanned typewriter. As soldiers and police bore down on the protesters, she urged all parties – tribal peoples and the pipeline company that threatens their culture and habitat – “to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest”.

If a withering cynicism hangs over the land it’s because both candidates share a Tony-Blairish zeal for turning money into influence and vice versa. He has his Trump Foundation, whose largest beneficiary was reportedly a fountain in need of renovations that faces the Trump Plaza hotel. She has the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which shares some of its revenues with the global poor, but also emits a stench of corruption which, according to leaked emails, even the ever tractable Chelsea could not help noticing …

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