Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Vice Presidents, Candidates and History

The United States’ race for the presidential nominations becomes ever more “curiouser and curiouser”. Not unlike Alice, it does seem as if we have all tumbled down a rabbit hole, and found ourselves in a bizarre world.

The most recent manifestation of this is the pronouncement by Texas Senator Ted Cruz that he has selected his running mate. Now, since it is mathematically impossible for him to win enough delegates to enter the Republican convention with the nomination his, this move might be considered just a tad premature. Additionally, since the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, he of the odd coiffure and racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and misogynist attitudes, seems likely to cross the convention finish line with the required votes, Mr. Cruz’s latest maneuver is puzzling indeed.

But let us consider for a moment his possible motives. It is, of course, not beyond the realm of possibility that he is so delusional as to think he will be the nominee. This is the man who shut down the U.S. government, and then denied that he had done so. However, let us give him the benefit of the doubt and assume for a moment that he still retains most of his marbles, and is not suffering from illusions of grandeur. Perhaps he simply believes that by selecting a woman in his hour of desperation, he may regain control of this particular political narrative. After all, look at the waves 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain made when he selected a woman, then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, as his running mate. Of course, that didn’t turn out all the well for Mr. McCain, although it was a financial godsend for Mrs. Palin.

And who did Mr. Cruz select? None other than Carly Fiorina! As the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, the illustrious Ms. Fiorina laid off at least 30,000 employees, but even that didn’t accomplish for her board of directors what they wanted. They eventually fired her. However, before one thinks the poor woman then stood for hours in the unemployment line, and somehow made due with unemployment insurance, please remember that her ‘golden parachute’ included $21 million in cash, and about $19 million in stocks and pension benefits. Not a bad haul for ruining lives and running a company into the ground.

Ms.  Fiorina, who ran unsuccessfully for a senate seat in California in 2010, and was one of the too-many-to-name people seeking the GOP nod for president during the early primary season, is, like Mr. Trump, and Hillary Clinton, a charter member of the 1%. After her disastrous 2010 run, during which she lent the campaign about $1.2 million dollars, she quickly paid herself back. However, by doing so, monies owed to her staff, none of whom ever got a $40 million severance package, were delayed as much as four years.

But one can see her selection as only what might be expected of Mr. Cruz: rich, conservative, and out of touch with most Americans. But her nomination is not a first, since two other women ran for vice-president before her, Ms. Palin in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro for the Democrats in 1984.

There is in the making another vice-presidential first, however. The Libertarian party is poised to nominate Will Coley as their candidate for the second highest office in the land, and Mr. Coley is a Muslim. The Libertarian party, although dwarfed in size by the Republocrats, is the third largest political party in the U.S.

One can often learn much about a person by what his or her friends say about them, but what their enemies say is often more telling. In 2013, it was said of Mr. Coley that he “decries American exceptionalism, accuses the United States of war crimes, and espouses ostensibly anti-Israel ideology”.  Now, these accusations against Mr. Coley piqued the interest of this writer, since he, too, could be so accused, and, if so, would plead guilty. He had the opportunity to ask Mr. Coley about this, when guest-co-hosting the peculiarly named but interesting nonetheless radio program, ‘A Muslim and a Catholic Wake up in ‘Merica’. Mr Coley said that the U.S. believes it is ‘exceptional’ in that it isn’t required to follow the rules it insists much of the rest of the world follows. War crimes include torture at Guantanamo and various rendition sites, to name just one category of many, and his ‘anti-Israel’ stance is based on his belief that the U.S. should not send foreign aid to any nation. A bit tepid for this writer, but there it is.

Mr. Coley is the head of an organization called ‘Muslims4Liberty’. This, to the casual U.S. citizen who gets his or her news from Fox News, must certainly disqualify him from any elected office. After all, see what radical, anti-American ideals that organization supports: it is “committed to advancing the cause of liberty from an Islamic perspective. M4L combines activism, advocacy, community outreach, charity, voluntaryism and any other avenue that can be used to promote the message of Islam and liberty. M4L also supports the Liberty & Occupy Movements, and those who advocate for peace and justice”. Talk of charity, peace and justice will not be tolerated in U.S. political and governmental circles.

Now one waits to see if Mr. Trump will attempt to counter Mr. Cruz’s less-than-brilliant move with a less-than-brilliant one of his own. He has tapped into the basest instincts of an ignorant, prejudiced population to get, amazingly, where he is today. Will he announce a vice-presidential candidate, or at least ‘leak’ the names on his short list? Mr. Trump likes ‘yes-men’, whether male or female, so a Trump clone is probably in the offing.

Abraham Lincoln is revered by many as a great president. One of the things he did was to appoint some of his political opponents to positions in his administration. He did this, he said, to be assured of a variety of opinions differing from his own. Can anyone, in their wildest daydreams, imagine any current politician doing such a thing? Mr. Trump encourages the violent ejection from his rallies of anyone expressing disagreement with him. Mr. Cruz once walked off a stage when his audience didn’t fall into line with the Israel-worshipping narrative he was speaking. Democrat Hillary Clinton is never far from adoring crowds and interviewers, avoiding the unpleasantness that being asked questions of substance would cause her.

It is time for thinking people to stop voting for ‘the lesser of two evils’; that choice isn’t even available this year. It is high time that third parties were given careful examination. While the Libertarian Party has been mentioned herein, this writer encourages votes for any third party; there are dozens of them running presidential candidates this year. Whatever your taste, there is one that will please you. The only chance of breaking the deadly stranglehold that the current two-party systems has on the U.S., is to stop voting for it. The alternatives are there; it is time to pull the lever beside one of them.

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

May 24, 2018
Gary Leupp
Art of the Dealbreaker: Trump’s Cancellation of the Summit with Kim
Jeff Warner – Victor Rothman
Why the Emerging Apartheid State in Israel-Palestine is Not Sustainable
Kenn Orphan
Life, the Sea and Big Oil
James Luchte
Europe Stares Into the Abyss, Confronting the American Occupant in the Room
Richard Hardigan
Palestinians’ Great March of Return: What You Need to Know
Howard Lisnoff
So Far: Fascism Lite
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Norman Finkelstein on Bernie Sanders, Gaza, and the Mainstream Treatment
Daniel Warner
J’accuse All Baby Boomers
Alfred W. McCoy
Beyond Golden Shower Diplomacy
Jonah Raskin
Rachel Kushner, Foe of Prisons, and Her New Novel, “The Mars Room”
George Wuerthner
Myths About Wildfires, Logging and Forests
Binoy Kampmark
Tom Wolfe the Parajournalist
Dean Baker
The Marx Ratio: Not Clear Karl Would be Happy
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
Lawrence Davidson
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail