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Which Presidential Candidate Am I?

Of the four Republican presidential semi-finalists who have spoken and debated during the first three months of 2016, who am I?

I am the only candidate who has taken a mostly nationalist or non-interventionist approach—as opposed to internationalist or imperialistic—to foreign affairs, saying that trillions of dollars wasted on wars like Iraq should have been spent on American infrastructure at home (e.g., schools and bridges).

I am the only candidate who has pointed out that George W. Bush was president on September 11, 2001, and who has criticized him for not keeping our country safe.

I am the only candidate who opposed the Iraq War in 2004 and has strongly denounced it in 2016.

I am the only candidate who has rejected the policy of meddling in Syria and trying to overthrow the Assad regime.

I am the only candidate who has said that the U.S. president should be a neutral broker in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

I am the only candidate who has not rattled the sword at Russia but instead has warned about the possibility of World War III if we pursue a belligerent course.

I am the only candidate who has questioned our government’s close relations with Saudi Arabia.

I am the only candidate who has questioned the need for continued membership in NATO, relic of the Cold War and instrument of US/Euro wars of aggression.

I am the only candidate who has said he wants good relations with all countries and would have a strong military that wouldn’t be necessary to use.

I am the only candidate who has expressed a willingness to normalize relations with Cuba (during the Florida debate, which elicited boos from the audience).

I am the only candidate who has rejected the bipartisan program of economic globalization, including NAFTA and TPP (unfair trade agreements driven by transnational corporations).

I am the only candidate who has promised to return factory jobs to the United States by warning corporate executives that their outsourced products would receive a substantial tariff upon being imported.

I am one of two candidates who has linked illegal immigration to lower wages and higher unemployment for unskilled and blue-collar American workers, which is another reason I have earned hostility from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

I am the only candidate who can legitimately claim substantial appeal among working-class whites and blacks.

I am the only candidate who proudly welcomed the votes of a plurality of Hispanic Republicans in Nevada.

I am the only candidate who has said there should not be cuts or privatization of Social Security and other entitlement programs for average Americans.

I am the only candidate who has said the health care program that replaces Obamacare should have a Medicare-like provision to ensure that poor people are not “dying in the streets,” even though conservatives have called this “socialized medicine.”

I am the only candidate who has said that while federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be eliminated (as long as the organization is in the abortion business), the valuable contributions to women’s health provided by the group should not be dismissed.

I am the only candidate who has supported tax hikes on Wall Street hedge fund managers.

I am the only candidate who has condemned the tax-evading practice of corporate inversion.

I am the only candidate who has said that the U.S. military does not necessarily need more money but rather needs to spend its billions more wisely, and that corporate lobbyists influence Pentagon procurement.

I am the only candidate who has criticized the past three Republican presidential nominees (Bush, McCain, Romney).

I am the only candidate who is regularly attacked by Karl Rove, Roger Ailes, and the Koch Brothers.

I am the only candidate who consistently faced hostile questions from Fox News debate moderators.

I am the only candidate who is hated by the respectable plutocratic press, which also despises my supporters (the same phenomenon occurs on the Democratic side with Sanders).

I am the only candidate who has exposed the donor class of corporate interests which gives money to puppet politicians and hires lobbyists to sway legislators in the context of a corrupt system.

I am the only candidate who has called attention to Hillary Clinton’s dependence on Goldman Sachs, as well as a Republican opponent’s ties to Wall Street banks and Texas oil companies.

I am the only candidate who has condemned super PACs funded by billionaires.

I am the only candidate who has had super PACs create over 20 million dollars’ worth of attack ads against me.

I am the only candidate who has boasted that he self-funds so I am not beholden to special interests.

I am the candidate who has spent the least amount of money per vote in campaign costs because I have genuine grassroots enthusiasm.

I am the only candidate who has called himself a “common-sense conservative” who is willing to make deals with Democrats in DC to accomplish good things for the American people.

I am he who must not be named . . . in a good light by most progressives.

***

Yes, he has also said some dumb things, some crass things, some wrong things. But let’s give credit where credit is due and stop listening to the corporate media for our understanding of populist politics. They are century-old masters of disinformation, mass distraction, and divide-and-conquer (see Upton Sinclair’s The Brass Check). Let’s listen to those with greater integrity, wisdom, and knowledge—to William Greider, Sam Husseini, and Scott McConnell, for example.

 

 

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Jeff Taylor teaches politics and writes books.  

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