A demonstrator chants into a megaphone at a rally at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (John Minchillo / AP)

We’re back after a brief summer break for another installment of Comments of the Week. And what a doozy of a week it was.

By way of a refresher, this weekly feature isn’t meant to be a comprehensive roundup of all the comments posted on our boards, though as an organization most all of them are read and not infrequently shared. Rather, it’s a brief survey of some of the most incisive, well stated and often innovative thoughts posted in response to stories (and corollary conversations that stem from those stories) ranging all over the map in terms of content but precisely limited in terms of time frame: from Sunday to Sunday.

This crop of noteworthy comments was picked from stories related to the week’s biggest domestic political event: the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. As many readers may know, Truthdig was lucky to have several writers—Robert Scheer, Sonali Kolhatkar, Chris Hedges and Alexander Reed Kelly; a professional photographer, Michael Nigro; and the artistic one-man band, Mr. Fish, on the ground in and around the convention. Our representation made for a great deal of strong content, and our commenting community also rose to the occasion.

Let’s kick off with this rousing reality check from Bernadene, who by her own telling has seen some ups and downs in her years of political engagement. She posted a response under this column by Kolhatkar to another commenter who described followers of establishment leaders—Hillary Clinton in particular—according to the familiar animal-kingdom metaphor of the sheep:

Calling those uninformed “sheep” does nothing. Helps nothing. We must continue. Ive been doing this since 1980. Ive been through at least 3 cycles of outrage fatigue….but i always rise again to fight another day. We must. Our lives and those of our children’s children, not to mention those around the world, depend on it.

And us.

Good to have a sense of the long view—a perspective missing from most mainstream news broadcasts with dismaying regularity, as one example.

Speaking of needed perspectives, here’s Russ with his take on why he’s gone Green for more than 20 years:

In order for any Government to be truly representative, it must be comprised of regular citizens. For The People, because it is of The People, and by The People.

The garish caricatures of compassion and humanity projected by most professional politicians of our day bear no similarities to the kind of people we actually need to promote to decision-making positions.

I have been a registered Green for more than two decades now, and have never voted for any other party. To be non-Green is to be effectively suicidal in my opinion.

Policies of social, economic and environmental justice are not just needed by the majority, they are essential to our continued existence on this Planet. Continued Capitalistic capitalization of literally all our common resources, will result in continued social and environmental degradation.

The degree of happiness and sustainability that could and should be realized by people everywhere, is entirely imaginable to me – and hopefully more than a few others.

That comment was posted in response to Chris Hedges’ sit-down with Green Party candidate Jill Stein for Hedges’ “On Contact” show on RT. Of course, Stein isn’t the only presidential hopeful who has been shut out of debates and the bulk of the mainstream media coverage this election cycle. Cloudchopper had this to say about how Stein and her Libertarian counterpart, Gary Johnson, should be treated by party organizers and network chiefs:

I do not know much about Johnson at all, therefore Johnson and Stein should be allowed on the debate stage for people to see what they stand for and believe in.

Not everyone in this horrible economy has the time to keep searching the web for all the answers out there. That is a luxury some seniors have now, but not the two jobs – minimum wage – earners out there.

So, it’s not just about polling numbers and popularity contests when it comes to debate qualifications.

Moving on to the discussions and debates sparked by Alan Minsky’s provocatively titled post-Democratic convention column, “A Party of Lemmings Led by a Zombie: Why We Need to Keep Bernie Sanders’ Vision Alive”—well, actually, this pick isn’t so much a part of those debates as it is an interesting (albeit frightening) prognostication about what Clinton may do if she is elected. This comment, posted by sharonsj, was boosted by several other reader/commenters:

I have told all my friends that if I had $100 (which I don’t because I’m too poor), I’d bet them that Hillary and Tim Kaine will pass the TPP if Obama can’t manage it. After years of helping craft it, Hillary is now against it “as it is currently written” (her words). That is political doublespeak. They will fiddle with some inconsequential paragraphs, pronounce it fixed, and push it through. So goodbye to half a million jobs and any chance of getting justice in a court of law. In case you don’t know, these trade deals only allow for arbitration, with an arbitrator chosen by and paid by the corporations.

But before we can know whether sharonsj’s scary forecast is on point, we still have a couple more months of President Obama’s tenure (oh right—him). E.J. Dionne’s column, “Obama’s Promise of ‘Continuity We Can Believe In,’ ” failed to win over commenter donnasaggia, who was instead spurred to post this thorough rejoinder:

The only “change” under Obama was from bad to worse, and it will stay in that direction under Clinton. Obama is a failure on so many levels. From day one he brought neoliberals and neocons into his administration. He escalated illegal and unnecessary wars throughout the Middle East — allowed Clinton to talk him into invading Libya; illegally interfered in Syria; and escalated the tensions with Russia by his reckless NATO war games.

No minority has done better under Obama, and African-Americans have done significantly worse. He refused to support the teachers’ strike in Wisconsin and has not kept his promises to labor regarding their right to organize. He sabotaged the Copenhagen environmental conference and is pushing the TPP, which would further erode the environment, and he negotiated it in secret. He has prosecuted more whistle blowers and deported more Central American immigrants than any other president, and he boasted that his administration completed the 650-mile anti-immigrant wall on the US-Mexico border.

But most egregious of all, he failed to prosecute the people responsible for lying us into the Iraq war, thus setting a dangerous precedent for all future presidents. This precedent has served him well, for he now gets away with killing civilians on his “kill list” without benefit (or bother) of a trial. The president is now judge, jury and executioner — in violation of the US Constitution. Between 2008 and 2016, Obama has squandered the enormous amount of hope and trust the people had placed in him.

Just 96 more days. Keep the comments coming.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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