Robert Scheer Discusses What a Clinton Versus Trump Election Would Mean for Progressives
Truthdig went live with Editor in Chief Robert Scheer as he examined the potential impact of a Hillary Clinton presidency versus a Donald Trump one and how each would affect progressives.
If you didn’t get to tune in to our Facebook page at 2 p.m. PST for the discussion, you can watch the entire video below. Feel free to send us questions in anticipation of another live session next week.
Editor’s note: To watch the video on mobile devices or tablets, click the “F” in the video player. Below the clip, you will find a transcript of the conversation.
Sarah Wesley: This is Sarah reporting live from the Truthdig offices. We have Editor in Chief Robert Scheer here, as well as our editorial assistant, Emma Niles. We’re just going to have a nice little casual conversation today. We have a few questions coming in from Facebook, and Robert’s going to, Bob is going to answer them for you.
Emma Niles: All right, you ready?
SW: Let’s go ahead and get started.
Robert Scheer: Yeah, I’m ready. I’m nervous. [Laughter] If this works, we’ll do it every week.
EN: Here’s one of the first questions that we got on the website. Someone said that they’d like to hear debate on who really is the lesser evil, Trump or Hillary. “With Trump’s position against the TTIP and other anti-globalist sentiments, I’d vote for him over Hillary.” Comments?
RS: Well, I don’t think we should be trapped into a lesser evil. And in some ways I think they’re both unacceptable, in my own view. Certainly Trump, because he’s really opened the door to something quite frightening, a neofascism in which you blame vulnerable people for the problems that powerful people created. We have an economic crisis; we’ve had increased income inequality; the job reports are not good now; we’re not really fully out of the recession; we’ve had a lot of misery created. And it affected working people; it affected black and brown people incredibly, including college graduates; people who went through a four-year college education, black and brown, they lost 70 percent of their income because they were targeted for these lousy housing loans and so forth. So for Trump, who knows very well what thieves they were in the financial industry, to then turn around and say “Oh, it’s people coming across the border, you know, it’s immigrants and so forth”—that’s garbage. And it’s very dangerous. It’s what you see in Europe where you have neofascist movements developing. It’s a traditional scapegoat tactic, blame vulnerable people for the problems that the powerful cause.
So I don’t want to underestimate the danger of what Trump’s been doing. And you could say, “Oh, he’s doing it for totally cynical reasons, or he just wants to play to the base,” but that’s very dangerous. I mean, to tell people who are hurting—I think the big news in this election is that a majority of people who have voted, whether for Bernie Sanders or Trump, have said they’re in pain. It’s not working; they’re worried, OK? And on the Republican side, they’ve thrown out the leadership of the party. And they say no, it’s a big mess, and we’re worried. But they’ve gone for Trump, and he’s scapegoating the vulnerable, so he’s playing to racism and so forth. It’s quite dangerous. And on the other hand, you know, Trump—yes, he has said some very reasonable things. Just this week, he came out for what sounds like a living wage, going beyond increasing the minimum wage; that’s great. He was against the Iraq war; that’s great. So you know, he’s a mixed bag.
Hillary Clinton, who sounds a lot more reasonable, and particularly given the pressure from Bernie Sanders, you know, however, was part of the problem. You know, she—her husband’s administration, which she fully endorsed, did what they call welfare reform. I remember that’s how I first encountered the Clintons; he was still the governor of Arkansas, and I went down there and interviewed him for the L.A. Times, where I was working, before the election, the presidential election. And he bragged about ending welfare as we know it—”We’ve done it in Arkansas”—and I said, where’d you do it? You know, something called Project Success; I found out it was a phony program, they never had any great success. He was head of something called the Delta Commission, which is the poorest region in the country; they didn’t do anything about poverty. And so you had a program that basically—again, scapegoating poor women; 70 percent of the people on welfare were children. It was called Aid to Families with Dependent Children, you know, basically single mothers. And they ended the program. The Clinton administration came in and ended the major federal poverty program. You go from there through a whole series of programs that he did and you end up with the end of sensible rules of the road for the financial industry, which caused the whole housing meltdown. Again, as I said before, it was poor people who were targeted and people of color who were targeted. So you know, Hillary Clinton has endorsed all that. On foreign policy, she’s definitely a hawk; she’s, you know, quite menacing that way, another Margaret Thatcher who wants to prove herself that a woman can be even more irrational on war and peace than a man. That’s a heck of an argument. And she, yeah, she’s quite troubling.
I think the reason Bernie Sanders is—I never thought Bernie Sanders would get more than 5 percent, never thought it. [Laughter] If somebody’d told me, you know, this old Jew from Brooklyn by way of Vermont could win Indiana—he wins Indiana the other day, the Democrats, and they say, “Oh, well, that’s ’cause there’s white people.” You know, did you ever think you’d hear an argument about white people being sensible, white people caring about working people, white people caring about unions and decent trade agreements? No. We had a stereotype developing of white people being, you know, inherently irrational and going for religious division and jingoistic solutions. So it’s pretty amazing to me that the base of the Democratic Party, certainly in the white community, working community, is hostile to Hillary. And if you look at it, the latest figures show that most of the people who’ve signed up, new people registering to be Democrats, 75 percent were for Bernie. And the incredible thing—I teach at a university. If anybody told me that this young generation—particularly after being burned out by Obama, you know, having gone enthusiastically for Obama and then say, wait a minute, it didn’t quite work out that way—would go for another, old guy, you know. But they have. And it shows a certain desperation over student loans; it shows a desperation over jobs not being out there. You know, what is your education for? So I think this election is about rejection of the establishment. And on the Republican side, they got a guy who’s rejected the establishment who is of the establishment, yeah. And on the Democratic side, you have somebody who’s rejected the establishment who’s authentic, Bernie Sanders, but it looks like he’s not going to make it, although maybe we’ll be surprised in California. I think people should be following it very closely. But if it ends up being Hillary versus Trump—something Jerry Brown, who was the governor of California, who has actually developed a more enlightened politics, said, you know, “It’s not a choice of the lesser of two evils; it’s the evil of two lessers.” And that’s something people should ponder. Four more years of Hillary, of Clintonism, of triangulation, of sellout politics, lousy trade agreements? I don’t know, I think it creates the basis for an even more frightening movement on the right four years from now.
EN: Yeah. Well, speaking of, you know, the different movements—
RS: I’m sorry to be so long-winded [laughter], but I’m just getting used to this little chat, so you know, I’ll master it, I’ll have tight sound bites by next week.
EN: You’re a perfect talking head. Another user on Facebook asked if you believe that mainstream, quote unquote, media will continue to be allowed to pretend that there are only two candidates, or if the Green Party and Libertarian Party candidates will start to be included in polling and debates, and the vast amount of free publicity provided by news outlets.
RS: Well, that’s pretty much up to the public. I think that, first of all, you have this strange thing where a significant part of the Republican establishment is now talking about third-party [candidates]. And to have the two Bush presidents, 43 and 41, both saying they can’t support Trump when clearly Trump is—you know, he spent less money than Jeb Bush did by far, and he’s clearly the choice of the Republican voters in the primaries. So on what basis can you say he shouldn’t be the candidate? But if they split off and support a third-party candidate, it could represent a profound change to American politics. And on the Democratic side, you do have a Green Party; you do have Jill Stein, who is incredibly well-educated, medical doctor, very smart person. And she runs, I think people got to take a second look at Jill Stein. I did a podcast, which we have on Truthdig, and Chris Hedges has written about her. And Bill Boyarsky, who writes for Truthdig, who used to be the political editor of the L.A. Times—was also the city editor of the L.A. Times, probably the best political reporter in the country covering election politics—he did a very moving piece, good piece on Jill Stein. So I think on the progressive side, if it’s Hillary versus Trump, I think there are going to be people looking at Jill Stein. And you know, people got angry with Ralph Nader last time, but I think Nader ran a principled campaign. And I think if it’s—Bernie Sanders does represent a serious alternative. If Bernie Sanders could get the nomination, it’s a no-brainer that he’s the best guy to be president, I think, just on the basis of the positions he takes and his record.
But if it’s Hillary versus Trump, and Trump moves more to the center, and Hillary becomes more hawkish, goes back to her hawkish posture, and she defends Wall Street the way she’s done—you know, people are going to think about a grassroots protest. And then a basic question you have to answer, I’ll get to the mainstream media thing. The mainstream media will cover these movements when they get traction. And that’s up to people listening to this, reading this; will you give the traction? And that goes to a question of how you get change. You’re going to get overly focused on a presidential election, but the main reason you get alternative candidates like a Bernie Sanders is because you have grass-roots discontent. OK? And so if that discontent starts galvanizing around a Libertarian candidate, or a Green candidate, then the media will have to cover it, because it could cost the main candidates Florida. It could cost them different states that are actually in contention. And then what they call the spoiler, but I would call the grass-roots objection, becomes significant. And you know, this whole thing of just having two parties is not something that our Founders gave us; it’s not in the Constitution. It’s something that grew up for the convenience of the powerful, and it’s about time to break that model. And that could be happening.
And don’t forget, for the people who’d shout the great alarm about Trump … first of all, if he’s such a menace, why were the Clintons so buddy-buddy with him? What was he doing at their parties, you know, and the wedding and all this sort of thing? How come they took contributions from Trump? If they thought Trump was this great menace to civilization. And that goes for the Republicans as well who took money from him. Why are we just learning now they think this guy is so dangerous? Right? And then, you know, on the danger question. We have checks and balances in this country. Unfortunately, Congress did not provide a check to George W. Bush when he lied us into the war on Iraq, right? And Hillary Clinton supported his lying, OK? And would Congress really provide a check on Hillary if she decides to send troops and invade some country? But you could betcha that if Trump is president, Congress will remember that it’s Congress that’s supposed to declare war, that has to authorize war. And checks and balances might start operating. Maybe the courts will start—you know, if Trump is doing the torturing, as opposed to enlightened Yalie George W. Bush, maybe the courts will say, you know, actually, this is a violation of international law. It’s a violation of American law. Maybe the courts will start acting. Maybe we’ll discover, you know, the checks and balances, including the media. After all, The New York Times, they went along with “There’s weapons of mass destruction.” They went along with the lies. OK, well, maybe if you’ve got a Trump in there, maybe the mainstream media will wake up and say, we are supposed to be an independent, critical outlet.
SW: So are we safer with a Trump in the presidency than Hillary Clinton?
RS: I think it’s a good question; I think we’re safer with an aroused public; a questioning, challenging public; an aroused Congress that’s questioning and challenging; an aroused media. That’s what democracy is supposed to be all about. And if we elect a president—first of all, you know, we’re buying every negative thing about Trump. I mean, there’s also another side to Trump. I mean, Trump on gay rights, actually, as an employer, The New York Times had a considerably detailed article that he was quite ahead of the curve on that. Here are the Clintons, who had the Defense of Marriage Act; Bill Clinton, right, and Hillary supported it. Trump evidently was better on that issue. Trump was pro-choice at one point, now he suddenly decides he’s not. You know, Trump’s a mixed bag. And Trump, just like the Clintons, will be better if there’s a grass-roots movement, if there’s opposition, if Congress is questioning.
For example, let’s take the deregulation of the banks. OK? The Republicans, we used to say, “Oh, Ronald Reagan’s terrible, and the Republicans are terrible, they’ll just do whatever Wall Street wants,” right? Well, the Republicans never got the reversal of the New Deal regulations on banks, Glass-Steagall and the whole deregulation; Republicans never pulled it off, because Democrats were opposed to it. Bill Clinton came in, and he made a deal with the devil. He went over to Phil Gramm, the head of the banking committee in the Senate, the Republican, and they went for this reversal of Glass-Steagall. They allowed commercial banks and investment banks to move, play with the people’s money. Then it was under Clinton we got the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which said there’ll be no regulation of these collateralized debt obligations, the credit default swaps, all this junk stuff that was being sold that allowed them to go do all these lousy mortgages, mortgage-based securities. Well, the Republicans were never able to pull that off when they were in power. It took a Democratic president cooperating with a Republican Congress to get this passed.
And so if you ask me about the real danger, the danger is unchecked power. Unchecked power. And so that power comes in with somebody like Bill Clinton, who’s smiling and charming and handsome and everything, and then he destroys Aid to Families with Dependent Children—that’s a big menace. Obama being the deporter in chief, deporting more people than any Republican. Or Obama cracking down on whistleblowers, truth-seekers, people who have told us the truth like Edward Snowden. Here’s President Obama, has used the Espionage Act [of 1917] against more whistleblowers than all previous presidents combined. OK, so is he the menace? You know, right? I mean, a guy I supported, I was enthusiastic about. Or Dianne Feinstein, who’s the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee; there’s supposed to be a check and balance on that, and went along with all these terrible policies. Hillary Clinton’s called Edward Snowden a traitor. And yet she can have her own email account because she doesn’t trust her own State Department to check out her email. But if Edward Snowden tells us the government is spying on the rest of us, then he’s a traitor? He revealed that—she never revealed it, she knew what was going on; Dianne Feinstein knew what was going on; they knew what the NSA was doing, they’re right plugged in to the top security apparatus. They never told us. Edward Snowden tells us, right? He’s the traitor, but not the people who lied to us, like Hillary?
EN: A lot of people are asking us on Facebook about Hillary’s emails and wondering what the ongoing legal assessment of her email — and her possible disqualification from the presidential race — is. There are lots of legal scholars who’ve brought that up.
RS: I wouldn’t count on the courts to help us there, because they’re for some notion of stability, and everybody’s going to rally around that. “Don’t embarrass, you know, the candidate, don’t embarrass the president,” and so forth. And probably that investigation and those things will not go very far; you never know. But that generally becomes—it’s the double standard. Basically what Hillary is arguing is, ‘Hey, give me a break; I was Secretary of State, so of course I had personal, blah, and you got to trust me to make that judgment.’ That’s not a standard she would apply to John Kiriakou. John Kiriakou was the guy in the CIA, had a lifetime involvement with the intelligence apparatus; he’s one of the guys who helped nab one of the major, the top guy that they’d nabbed up to that point. And he comes out publicly against torture. And he was in the CIA, was aware, made aware of the program. And next thing you know, they find excuses to go after him because he’s supposed to have told a reporter the name of a CIA person. And he serves two-and-a-half years in prison. And you didn’t hear Hillary Clinton coming out in his defense; it was the Obama administration that brought the charges against him, and he ends up spending two-and-a-half [years] doing hard time, he loses his pension, his whole life destroyed; John Kiriakou, a great American hero, you don’t see Hillary Clinton saying, “Oh, give him a break.” She said, “Give me a break,” right, “I’m Hillary Clinton,” but not John Kiriakou. Not Thomas Drake. Not Bill Binney. All the people they went after, you know. Not Edward Snowden. So it’s a break for the powerful, the well-connected. “We have our reasons, this is how government works. But anybody else in the government who does that, no. Throw the book at them.” I think on these issues, Hillary Clinton’s been outrageously cynical and manipulative. But they get away with it. You know, they do get away with it, and Wall Street’s gotten away with it.
So it’s a question of accountability. And the way to hold the powerful accountable is to have the grass roots challenge them. And that’s what the voting’s supposed to be all about. And then when you say “lesser evil,” or look the other way, then you’re basically saying, “Turn off the spigot of inquiry. Turn off freedom. Don’t challenge.” Well, if the Founders, the people who made the Revolution, had that attitude, they would have just said, “Hey, trust the king.” The whole assumption of the American experiment—and flawed as it was in its inception; we all know that, OK? We’ve all read Howard Zinn, or we should. We all understand, you know, it was privileged white men. But they managed to come up with an incredible document—in the main; not in every respect, clearly; you know, acceptance of slavery, you know, evil. But the main principle is power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. And what they said to the nation, “We’re forming this government. And the reason we’re going to have an absolutist protection of free press, free speech, the right of the people to assemble …”—forgotten, by the way, all with the exception of Bloomberg in New York, independent Republican or something, all the rest were Democratic mayors, including in Los Angeles where I live—Occupy was crushed. Here were people assembling peacefully for redress of grievances, and they get thrown in jail, the movement crushed. Right? Crushed. Why did the Founders put in that absolute right for people to assemble peacefully in redress of grievances, free speech, free press? They put it in because they said, the government—which was going to be them, right? It was going to be Madison, going to be Jefferson, going to be Washington, going to be them—they said, you got to watch us. Because we’re going to become the same SOBs that work for the king. Because power will corrupt, absolute power will corrupt absolutely. And so you got to watch us. Right? That was the whole idea of the American experiment. Now you got people saying, “No, don’t watch us too carefully. Don’t trust the mass of people.”
And that’s what this election is all about right now. That you have had a revolt on the part of masses of people in both the Republican and Democratic parties, unprecedented since the days of the Great Depression. Here the Republican establishment has been wiped out—whatever you think about Trump, he was able to tap into this anger that’s there, OK? That this system is not working for us. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders did that. Now, I think there’s night-and-day difference between Trump and Bernie Sanders; the fact is, the anger they’re tapping into is across the board, Democrat and Republican. It’s ordinary people. And on the Republican side, what happened is they were betrayed by their establishment that developed a concoction that was really quite dangerous, and now it’s come to haunt them. And it was the social issues thing. “Let’s blame black people, let’s blame gays, let’s blame the Other, let’s blame bohemians, hippies. That’s what’s responsible for why the war in Vietnam was a disaster; that’s what’s responsible for lousy trade agreements; that’s what’s responsible for your life not improving over the last 35 years, right? Why—oh, because we’ve been too permissive. Go back to God, go back to religion, attack the Other.” Right? “Demonize the other”—that was the message of the Republican Party. And “let us do what we want to enrich Wall Street.” That was the devil’s pact that they made, OK? “We will give you God and patriotism,” right? “And then you let us do an unregulated economy and presumably the rising tide will lift all ships.” It didn’t. OK? And we know, we got a frightening situation where we’ve lost the heart of our middle class. People no longer have optimism on what’s happening, right?
And so that alliance broke in the Republican Party; everybody knows that Trump is not some kind of good, Christian wunderkind, OK? You know, this is not the guy who’s, you know, he’s going to be having a wild sex life and he’s probably done his share of everything else. And yet, what are they saying? “We don’t care. We don’t care because this guy, he seems to be”—he’s not self-made, but he pretends to be—”but, OK, at least he’s not, he buys them, they don’t buy him; and so maybe he’ll worry about us; maybe he’ll care about us.” And so forget all the patriotism, God and everything. You don’t see the Republican base saying, “Hey, we’re not going to vote for Trump because he was against the Iraq war.” Because the Republican base knows the Iraq war was a disaster, didn’t improve their lives, didn’t make us safer or anything, right? So they vote for this guy, and they know he’s not going to church on Sunday. And they know, I mean, look at all these women around him and everything; they know the guy is not like that—and they don’t care. So they’ve blown away the whole basic Republican alliance, which was an alliance—it was Nixon’s Southern strategy, you know. “We’re normal Americans, we’re patriots, wave the flag, go invade, do all this stuff.” And at the same time, right, screw the poor; attack blacks; attack immigrants, and all that. And trust us, right? And your life will get better. Well, it didn’t get better. So, you know, no; you took care of the super-rich on the Republican side, and you had crony capitalism, and you didn’t care about ordinary working people. So they’re being rejected across the country, right? Well, the same thing happened on the Democratic side. They say, no, we don’t trust the Clinton stuff. You cared about Wall Street; that was your base. And the most amazing thing—a publicly funded campaign. Something Obama didn’t do. Obama went to Wall Street, and that’s where he sold out, to defeat Hillary and after he defeated her. And Bernie Sanders said, no—give me your 25, give me your 30 bucks, I’ll take these people on. It’s the most amazing development. And if that—if he just gets up at the convention, holds her hand, and says, yeah—that’s a sellout. It won’t work; he won’t be able to deliver to people, I think. And that’s where a Jill Stein or somebody comes into the picture. And to answer the question, will the media ever cover it—they’ll have to. Got any more? We can do more.
EN: Yeah. So, let’s go on—someone asked about Hillary’s secret Wall Street speeches. They said that those are proof that we are deep into the dystopian and dysfunctional “1984” world, and asked, why can’t we trust the media to get transcripts of public officials’ critically revealing speeches?
RS: Look, first of all, there’s a very interesting—on the media, David Brooks, the conservative columnist in The New York Times, had a really interesting article this last week explaining why he missed the whole Trump phenomenon. And basically, he said, “I travel in a circle, an elite circle, where we’re not feeling the pain. We’re doing well.” And when you look at much of what the media is, these are people getting fat salaries, big speaking engagements—you know, on the elite level. And they’re living a different life. And I thought it was very honest of him to say, you know, I didn’t know the pain out there. And that’s what Trump tapped into. So they missed the whole story. Same thing happened on the Democratic side, right? Hillary thought this was hers for the taking. Oh, suddenly you find that what should be your base—I mean, it’s pretty pathetic, I think, that the black and brown community can be relied on to support the Clintons when the black and brown community has been hurt more by the Clintons than any other community. It’s amazing to me. I talked to Antonio Villaraigosa, our former [L.A.] mayor; I like the guy personally, nice guy; talked to him the other night, I was at some dinner, the billionaires’ ball they had out here, you know. And Eric Schmidt from Google was there, and all the rich people, and somehow we’re going to change the nature of politics, it’s all well intentioned. And I saw Antonio there, and I said, I asked him, I said, are you supporting Hillary? Who are you supporting in this? And he said, oh yeah, I’m on—and I said, well, why is that good for brown people? You’re supposed to care about ’em. I said the Federal Reserve study of St. Louis shows that brown people and black people who graduated from college lost 70 percent of their wealth because of this financial deregulation. So what did he say, mayor Villaraigosa, ex-mayor Villaraigosa—he said, “Oh, but Bernie Sanders voted for all that.”
Well, that’s a big lie. It’s a big lie that Hillary Clinton put out in the debates, and Bernie Sanders being so polite, said, “Oh, no”—you know, he didn’t really challenge her. What happened was, he voted for something called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, that her husband pushed through Congress. And [inaudible] alliance with the Republicans; that was the bill that he signed as a lame duck president, that said none of the collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, will be regulated by any existing law or any regulatory agency. It was a bill intended to destroy a woman named Brooksley Born, who was somebody Hillary Clinton knew, a very successful lawyer who had been appointed by Bill Clinton to be head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. And she then was sounding the alarm about these terrible junk bonds that were being sold everywhere. And then Lawrence Summers, who Clinton made his Treasury secretary to replace Robert Rubin from Goldman Sachs, who reversed the Glass-Steagall Act, and Alan Greenspan—they wanted to destroy Brooksley Born. That’s what this bill was aimed at. They tucked it into an omnibus bill, and so Bernie Sanders along with every other Democrat and all but four members of the House, voted for it because otherwise veterans up in Vermont and everywhere wouldn’t get their check. It was one of those omnibus threat bills, you vote against it—so you vote for it, you think it’ll be fixed later; only four members of Congress, Libertarians, voted against it; Ron Paul voted against it. But to blame that on Bernie Sanders the way the mayor did the other night—the ex-mayor—I couldn’t believe it! I said, are you kidding me? Did you even follow this? Bernie Sanders is responsible for a bill that Bill Clinton puts through, and all the Democrats fall into line on this, and you’re buying this malarkey?
And then I pointed out to our [former] mayor—again, a guy I’ve liked; I think he’s basically a decent guy—I said, the fact is, you crushed, you had the Occupy people arrested. You called the cops on it. What was so threatening? You’ve got people living in the streets right now, five blocks from City Hall, but the bankers don’t see them, the people going to work in the Federal Building. You go to downtown L.A. or any of the other cities where they crushed the Occupy—”Oh, it’s disorderly, people are camped out by City Hall”—well, I remember; I was there the night they crushed Occupy. I went down there because I happen to live nearby. I saw all this activity, I’m down there at 4 in the morning, and cops say you can’t go here, and we got these barriers here, and we got helicopters—you would think we were in a war zone. And I’ve been in some war zones. I’m saying, what’s going on here? These people are not resisting or anything; you’re arresting them. And they said oh, it’s all unsightly, and there’s criminal behavior—I said, oh, really? So I went to get a copy of my book, “The Great American Stickup” because I wanted the [former] mayor—I know him, he’s a big buddy—I was going to give it to him, you know? So I go to my car, which was about five blocks away. Well, I’m going through one homeless encampment after another. The streets are just full of people living under cardboard. And there’s crime. There’s disarray. There’s filth. There are rats. Nobody—that didn’t bother anybody. Why? Because it’s out of sight, out of mind for the bankers and for the bureaucrats in the federal, state and municipal government buildings. They’re getting their checks. They’re getting their money. And they all come to work there, daylight, I was there; they come to work—”Oh, it’s about time. It’s about time we got rid of those people.” Because—right? Because why, because their presence was a reminder that you had failed in the state, municipal and federal buildings, and in those banking buildings around.
So the mayor obliged that concern; you know, give what the bankers want; it’s time to end it. And then he buys the malarkey from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders did—no! He opposed it. He opposed the whole deregulation of the banking industry. How do you go along and say—and then you tell, what, the brown community that you’re supposed to be a leader? Go for Hillary because she’ll be great for you? And the Democrats are so great for you, when your president, the Democratic president, is called the deporter-in-chief? What are we kidding? So I would say, in terms of the black and brown community, it’s been deceived by our leadership. Jesse Jackson, another person I’ve long admired, he supported the reversal of Glass-Steagall, the basic deregulation. Why did he do it? Because the big banks were giving money to his project to educate on Wall Street, and you had Sandy Weill, the head of Travelers Insurance, that was merging with Citibank—that was the first thing, it was called the Citibank Relief Act, the reversal of Glass-Steagall, because they had merged. They had merged commercial banking and investment banking. High-risk investment banking with the ordinary savings, the savings of ordinary people. And so they get the main piece of legislation from the New Deal reversed, allowing this merge of banks; Citibank then becomes Citigroup, becomes the biggest bank in the world. And they specialize in a lot of these dubious mortgages and credit default swaps and everything, and create the conditions for the too big to fail, and everything. And Jesse Jackson supported that; the Black Caucus, a good number of people in the Black Caucus supported that. They gave campaign contributions and everything. So it’s truly quite an amazing moment that the black and brown community should be the main base for the survival of Hillary Clinton when the Clinton administration destroyed the hopes and the economic gains of the Civil Rights Movement. To destroy 70 percent of the wealth of black people—Pew Research Center, Federal Reserve studies, well-documented—that’s reversing the main economic gains that came after the Civil Rights Movement. And then to say, oh yeah, but we’re still going to vote for Hillary? Why, because she can tell good stories? I don’t know. It’s disturbing, it is. Is that enough, or you got one more good question?
EN: I think we’re done for today.
RS: OK. Well, I’m enjoying it. So we’ll do another one, we’ll do it next Friday, right?
EN: Yeah, sure, let’s do it next Friday.
SW: Thank you for joining us. Tune in next Friday at 2 o’clock for more with Bob Scheer, Emma and I for our live Facebook chat with you guys. Thanks!WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
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