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What would Donald, Hillary or Bernie do?

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“If Donald wins the general election, who the heck knows what he’d do as president?” — Ted Cruz

March 15, 2017 — In the most devastating attack on American soil, a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile carrying at least two nuclear warheads struck downtown Seattle just after 8 a.m., killing tens of thousands of residents at the height of the morning commute. “There’s nothing left … the city is just gone,” a spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced after hours of silence from the nation’s capital, which went on lockdown after the explosion. There has been no word from President Trump, who has presumably been taken to a safe location.

“The imperialist forces should now understand that Seattle is but the beginning, and the whole of the United States might turn into a sea of fire due to the foolhardy insults of the American tyrant,” Pyongyang announced in a statement released through its official Korean Central News Agency.

Tensions between the DPRK and the U.S. increased after Trump took office and began taunting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Little Kim,” and threatened to “punch the little twerp in the face.”

Jan. 20, 2017 — Derided as a carnival barker who can read a crowd but never reads a book, President Donald Trump defied the pundits at an inauguration ceremony observers from across the American political spectrum called artful, unifying and universally inspiring.

Taking the microphone on a chilly but beautiful Washington morning before a crowd of several hundred thousand spectators — all of whom were treated to a People’s Breakfast on the Washington Mall beforehand — Trump focused on bringing the nation together after last year’s brutal four-way race between him, Democrat Hillary Clinton and independents Bernie Sanders and Paul Ryan.

“We may disagree about how to make America great again,” he said, an open smile across his face, “but we all want to make her great — and we love her. Toward that end,” he said, citing presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Mine will be a team of rivals — a team of smart, talented, diverse people. And I will listen to them!” he said, drawing applause as he pointed to Vice President Clinton and new economic czars Sanders and Paul Krugman.

Referencing one of his key campaign promises, he pledged to “begin building the wall” along the border with Mexico, but allowed that “there’s no way we can or should ask Mexico to pay for it.” At the same time, Trump said, “I’ve been listening to my excellent brain and my conscience, both of which say the same thing: if you haven’t committed a serious crime, you’re welcome to stay here — in your new home — and citizenship is yours if you want it.”

Dec. 24, 2016 — During her primary battle against Bernie Sanders, President-elect Hillary Clinton co-opted many of Sanders’ campaign promises to alleviate poverty and income inequality, and to go after Wall Street. Analysts say tacking left helped her seal the deal with the progressive base of the Democratic party.

Today, however, the Clinton transition office released a list of her Cabinet picks — which read like business as usual. “It’s as though the Bernie surge never happened,” approvingly editorialized The New York Times, which endorsed Clinton. Clinton’s choices are drawn from familiar center-right figures who served in the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations. Private equity executive Timothy Geithner is returning to his former post as secretary of the treasury. Clinton plans to nominate controversial Harvard economist Lawrence Summers to replace Janet Yellen as the head of the Federal Reserve Bank.

In a move sure to dispirit liberals, she plans to nominate Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch — “best friend I ever had in the senate” — as secretary of state and, most controversially, nonagenarian Henry Kissinger as national security adviser and to a new position, director of Unmanned Aerial Defense — running the nation’s drone program, which Clinton announced last week she plans to expand.

With all the major posts filled, liberal supporters are pushing for ex-Obamaite Van Jones to get a spot like deputy undersecretary of agriculture.

Jan. 21, 2017 — As expected, newly inaugurated President Bernie Sanders threw down the gauntlet, telling a joint session of the Republican-dominated Congress, “Enough is enough. The American people elected me to carry out a political revolution and now, goddammit, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Decrying Republican intransigence — “the politics of saying no for its own sake, and for the sake of the top 1 percent” — Sanders warned congressmen and senators that they would pay a heavy price if they refuse to pass three pieces of legislation within the next 10 days: a $15 minimum wage, free public college tuition and Medicare for all.

“You can do this the easy way, and respect the mandate represented by my victory,” he said, “or you can make tens of millions of Americans come here to Washington, surround your offices and your homes, and refuse to leave until you do the right thing.”

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell struck a defiant tone following Sanders’ speech, calling it “blackmail” and “using democracy as a cudgel.” But GOP insiders say Sanders is likely to get much of what he wants.

“He ran on this income inequality stuff,” said a top-ranking party official who requested anonymity. “He’s been talking about it for decades. No one can claim there’s a bait and switch, or that they didn’t know exactly what he’d do if elected. How can we justify blocking the people’s will when it’s this clear?”

Ted Rall is the author of “Bernie,” a biography of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

  • Ron Lane

    The love affair The Japan Times has with this man continues. Is there a shortage of syndicated writers that I’m unaware of or does Rall simply come cheap?

  • Ron Lane

    The love affair The Japan Times has with this man continues. Is there a shortage of syndicated writers that I’m unaware of or does Rall simply come cheap?

  • Paul Martin

    Dunno about the other wannabes but Trump WOULD make America great again any which way he could!

    • Charlie Sommers

      By deporting 11 million workers that are very needed, making a religion illegal in defiance of the Constitution and insulting leaders of other countries? If things go wrong he can always declare bankruptcy.

    • J.P. Bunny

      Define what “Make America Great Again” actually means. What time period is he referring to? What does this greatness consist of, and how will the country return to this greatness? An empty slogan for empty minds.

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      …and I’ve got a great bridge in Sydney I can sell you, dirt cheap. A real bargain! Or maybe some unicorn meat?

    • fluap08

      Here
      is Trump`s incoherent reply to a town hall question, HOW WILL YOU BRING
      BACK THE AMERICAN DREAM? `Look, we can bring the American Dream back.
      That I will tell you. We`re bringing it back. Okay? And I understand
      what you are saying. And I get that from so many people. `Is the
      American Dream dead?` They are asking me the question, `Is the American
      Dream dead?` And the American Dream is in trouble.
      That I can tell you. It`s in trouble. Okay? And we`re going to get it
      back and do some real jobs. How about the man with that beautiful red
      hat? Stand up! Stand up! What a hat!` (Donald Trump, Rochester, NH town
      hall, 9/17/15)

      Trump: `I can be more presidential than any
      president except Abraham Lincoln.` Well, compare the comment above to
      Lincoln`s Gettysburg Address (no comparison, of course). Trump`s
      narcissism is comparable to that of the present demagogue in the White
      House, and the fanaticism of the personality cult mentality of his
      supporters resembles that found in the adulation given to Mussolini 80
      years ago.

      Donald Trump answers the question: What is 2+2? (Read on.)

      “I have to say a lot of people have been asking this question. No,
      really. A lot of people come up to me and they ask me. They say, “What’s
      2+2”? And I tell them look, we know what 2+2 is. We’ve had almost eight
      years of the worst kind of math you can imagine. Oh my god, I can’t
      believe it. Addition and subtraction of the 1s the 2s and the 3s. Its
      terrible. Its just terrible. Look, if you want to know what 2+2 is, do
      you want to know what 2+2 is? I’ll tell you. First of all the number 2,
      by the way I love the number 2. It’s probably my favorite number, no it
      is my favorite number. You know what, it’s probably more like the number
      two but with a lot of zeros behind it. A lot. If I’m being honest, I
      mean, if I’m being honest. I like a lot of zeros. Except for Marco
      Rubio, now he’s a zero that I don’t like. Though, I probably shouldn’t
      say that. He’s a nice guy but he’s like, “10101000101”, on and on, like
      that. He’s like a computer! You know what I mean? He’s like a computer. I
      don’t know. I mean, you know. So, we have all these numbers and we can
      add them and subtract them and add them. TIMES them even. Did you know
      that? We can times them OR divide them, they don’t tell you that, and
      I’ll tell you, no one is better at the order of operations than me. That
      I can tell you. So, we’re gonna be the best on 2+2, believe me. Ok? All
      right. Thank you.”

  • Joerg Home

    You got it all wrong Ted Rall!

    If you want to know what Bernie would do, you should always check history books first. History has an interesting tendency to repeat itself, and accordingly a president Bernie Sanders would commit similar things his predecessors in mind have done.

    Which means you’ve got the choice between such shining characters of freedom like Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Hugo Chavez, Josef Stalin or Walter Ulbricht (amongst others). And should have written your excerpt ‘future in which Bernie becomes president’ taking into account those vitas.

    You might be a bit…. ‘slow’ when it takes to intake new realities, so allow me to kickstart your brain a bit:
    Since folks in the USA (compared to us here in Europe) are allowed to carry guns, the most likely scenario of president Bernie would in fact be a reboot of the American Civil War. Quite a lot of regions would segregate and while Bernie would never bomb countries like Iran or Yemen, he obviously has none such reservation regarding his compatriots who refuse to follow his sick socialist beliefs. He will therefore order that all major cities in the segregated states shall be nuked, and how this turns out depends on the people actually sitting at those switches:
    If they are just trained monkeys who press the button Homer-Simpson-like then Bernie will win and rule over the new USDSA (United States of Democratic Socialist America) with a Stalin-like iron fist (you actually don’t have to worry about the fallout from the strikes that much – after all, all the nuclear test every nation did between 1945 and 1980 caused less long-term radiation than Fukushima, let alone Tschernobyl, and once the corpses have burned he can re-populate those areas with whatever creatures he wants, without having to worry about radiation sickness)
    If they are not, then he and his followers will ultimately be exterminated after a long battle, and once the smoke has cleared the survivors will obviously decide that the whole ‘democracy’ thing is no longer worth it (after all they just barely killed a dictator that came to rule by a seemingly democratic process) and will start to create something new (which also obviously will turn out worse).

    Which makes the whole ‘Bernie’ thing just a lose/lose scenario, not for the US alone, but for the whole world.
    Ah… but of course of not ‘for the whole world’: the leaders of China and
    Russia will obviously be extremely enjoyed by any of those
    outcomes, because with the USA off the stage, it means that they will be
    the leading force who can now solely command how the world runs.

    Oh… and I also noticed that you seem to carry a strong love for the leader of that little hermit kingdom North Korea!
    With that in mind, there is one thing I’m really curious about:
    Do you get your kicks and satisfaction from the current supreme leader Kim Jong-un or is it their ‘eternal leader’ Kim Il-sung who makes you really horny (I’ve got no problems with the latter option – after all Necrophiliacs are people too!)

    Ah well, just my short ‘tuppence’ reply on a ‘tuppence’ article that makes me wonder from what cesspool the Japantimes websites actually recruits its so-called ‘journalists’ from.