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Clinton’s Narrative Has Arrived

Ever since Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic Party nomination, I’ve been waiting for her political narrative to emerge. Just like when you’re waiting for a bus and it’s taking an age to appear, I was starting to feel a bit anxious about whether this narrative would turn up at all. In the meantime, the Trump narrative has been spiralling into unchartered depths of hate with a mix of lunacy and apocalypse. It became obvious a while ago that the overarching theme of Clinton’s narrative would have to be a message of hope, to juxtaposition against Trump’s narrative of despair. But the question I’m sure Clinton’s team have been working on, and finding quite difficult to answer, is how to use hope to argue against the message of despair, when the media, like magpies collecting shiny trinkets for their 24-hour-news-cycle-nest, give Trump all their attention. Even those journalists who don’t agree with Trump, and don’t seem to like him, still play his game and give him a free advertising campaign, which takes up all their time, leaving less time, and sometimes no time, to cover Hillary’s message, and policies, of hope. But the good news is, it would appear that Clinton’s campaign has found a way around this problem. Now let’s just hope it works!

So what is Clinton’s narrative? Here is a link to three of her Trump attack ads which have been running over the past few months. The most recent video shows young girls looking at themselves in the mirror, with the misogynistic words of Trump overlaid, denigrating the appearance of women and treating them as objects. Another uses the same style of message, but this time with injured war heroes and families of American soldiers killed in war, alongside Trump’s comments denigrating war heroes. The third ad similarly shows children watching TV as some of Trump’s worst calls-to-violence and hateful statements are made. The overarching narrative in this campaign is ‘the President is the ultimate role model; so what type of role model is Donald Trump? And if he’s not a good role model, he’s not a good leader’.

This narrative is clever for three reasons. The first is it’s almost impossible to argue with this framing of Trump as a bad role model. I’m sure he will try, as will his supporters, but it’s a pretty tough argument to make in both an emotional and rational sense, because of its link with children, bad behaviour, and values. Put simply, everyone knows that children should be brought up to be good people, and that positive role models help them to aspire to be good. Trump can’t exactly turn around and say ‘I hope your children swear and curse just like I do’. Well, he can, but I’m not sure it will go down that well. The best political narratives present arguments which are difficult to argue against. In my study of Labor’s mining tax narrative, my results suggested that from the naming of the mining tax policy ‘Resources Super Profits Tax’, to the entire narrative of ‘a fair share’, Labor missed the opportunity to frame the policy in a way that would have made it much more difficult for the Liberals and the mining industry to counter-argue. For instance, if the policy had been called ‘Mining Dividends for Australian Shareholders’ and had been justified as ‘a future wealth fund for all Australians’, it would have been much harder for the big miners to claim the policy was an assault on Australia’s way of life and was going to ruin us all.

The second reason the narrative is clever is again through its link to children, and in turn, a focus on a more positive future. David Penberthy recently, and surprisingly in a News Ltd paper, contrasted Pauline Hanson’s much-reported maiden speech, which he described as vane, insecure and racist with the the hardly-noticed-by-the-media maiden speech from Labor’s Northern Territory Senator, Malarndirri McCarthy, which he says showed humility, pride, intellect, decency and effort. The two speeches boil down to exactly the Trump and Clinton narratives I’m describing as fear and loathing versus hope and renewal. Everyone is acknowledging that things aren’t exactly great right now, but they are also offering very different reasons for why things aren’t great, and arguments about what we need to do to fix them. Clinton’s focus on children, which echoes Michelle Obama’s brilliant convention speech, reminds Americans that children represent hope for a brighter future, but only if those children are good people. This contrasts with Trump, who is doing a lot of complaining, but is failing to offer anything good for children to aspire to, representing his lack of positive solutions to fix the problems he complains about.

The last reason why Clinton’s narrative is crafty is because it’s an attack ad, framed in a positive way. Although political strategists seem to ignore all the research that says negative advertising puts voters off, and although the election of Tony Abbott on the most negative agenda Australia has ever seen would seem to disprove this research anyway, the fact is, you can’t have a consistent narrative of hope cloaked in negativity and fear. Fear belongs to Trump. So Clinton has to do something different. By dressing her message of hope in not only a positive narrative, but also a counter-narrative against Trump, using Trump’s own words no less, her narrative kills two birds with one stone and helps to finally give her campaign the overarching thread that it needs to rise above the nasty-noise of the Trump circus.

So there you have it. The narrative is there. The next question is, will the campaign stick to this message? And of course, the $64 million dollar question that comes next is; will the message work? The November poll will be around soon enough to give us the answer.


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  1. Jexpat

    Attacking Trump (who’s fed like Godzilla has off this sort of radiation for well over a year) engaging in a non-stop Neo-McCarthyite Red Scare and a recent announcement of some tweaks to the estate tax isn’t much a of narrative.

    Which is why the polling trendlines- especially in critical electoral states, have been faring so poorly for the Clinton Campaign over the past 7-8 weeks.

  2. Miriam English

    Some recent changes that give me great hope are:
    1. If elected Trump could be impeached even before he took office.

    2. People are starting to focus on the people who vote for Trump instead of Trump himself. And it ain’t pretty. One rather hilarious piece by journalist Drew Magary scathingly says:

    Because while Trump is a miserable bastard, YOU are the people who have handed him the bullhorn. YOU are the people willing to embarrass this nation and put it on the brink of economic ruin all because you wanna throw an electoral hissy fit.

    And that gets to the heart of the problem. It is why many people are voting for Trump, why many voted for Hanson, why many voted for BREXIT. They hate the standard politicians so much they will vote for something non-PC just because it’s different. They don’t want to vote for Hillary because she’s seen as part of the establishment (and even worse, a woman). She could turn out to be the best President USA ever had, but they’d still hate her and prefer a crooked lying swindler like Trump simply because he’s different. It’s why Bush the lesser was elected — many people thought his inability to put two words together meaningfully made him different from politicians. He was the kind of guy they could imagine having a beer with. Of course a half-witted beer buddy and a lying misanthrope with a history of crooked dealings aren’t exactly good material for the person who is supposed to steer the most powerful country on the planet through stormy waters, but that doesn’t occur to them. The Presidential elections have become a glitzy popularity show. That’s starting to happen here too.

  3. Spiridon Fragopoulos

    Miriam English.I think you are on to something when intoning that some people vote for Nutcases just because they are different.We must remind them of course that History is littered with such examples. One notable is of course the Nazi Fuehrer. He like trump was indeed different than the established Politocracy..The rest as they say in the classics is History. There is however an inconsistency between Adolph and Donald.Adolph could indeed put two words together meaningfully,and usually mean it too.

  4. stephentardrew

    All I see is more of the same US nightmare engulfing the world. She is more than damaged goods a classic case of a liar John referred to recently and mark my works will be responsible for more death and destruction. Until major reform the US is a lost cause to democracy and Australia is turning in the same direction.

  5. stephentardrew

    Change means pain and Clinton is more of the same. More death and destruction, more civil unrest, more global conflict yet so many use the better of two evils. Clinton is an inveterate liar and cannot be trusted. All the soft sell is doing is pushing forward the day when true reform must happen. In the mean time immense suffering for the many. Believe the myth and live the lie until once more into the breach dear fiends. Take your poison and suffer the consequences.

  6. susan

    Hilary as first lady was attacked mercilessly for her tireless work on health care in her husband’s administration. The press even went on and on about her hair – all because she was a woman daring to speak out in a country which barely tolerates women. A lesser person would have called it quits long ago. She has a very long narrative already spoken and she knows how to get things done in the murky depths of Washington. if anyone can improve the lot of average Americans she can with the help of Sanders.

  7. paulwalter

    Ultimately, it boils down to this: The US system is fundamentally flawed, probably broken. I hope the Weimar Republic paradigm does not eventuate, with Obama the Stresemann before the deluge.

    My perception is that Hillary Clinton fits somewhere between the terse assessment of Stephen Tardrew and the more rosy one from Susan, but accept that Clinton is the less bad of the two prospects. The problem is with the USA itself, where rational America stares down the barrel of the Gun Lobby, its legions of brown shirts and the increasingly reactive police and military.

  8. Miriam English

    Stephen, I don’t understand why you label her a liar. She has faults (who doesn’t), but lying doesn’t appear to be one of them. If you’re relying on the insane “investigations” into Benghazi, her emails, and other things, if you look closely at those witchhunts you’ll find they are a big bag of nothing, designed by the Republican noise machine to stir up shit, hoping some of it sticks to her. So far she’s had nothing to hide, which must be infuriating to them, considering what a damnable pack of crooks they all are, with masses of skeletons in their closets.

    As Susan pointed out, she tried very hard to bring in universal health care during her husband’s presidency. (Yeah, really evil.) She also has a long history of quietly contributing to women’s causes all around the world out of her own pocket, and has been a strong supporter of anti-poverty programs in USA and other countries. (How awful.) She doesn’t publicise those things. I’ve only heard about them because other people speak about how much they and their people have benefitted from her work. She has many very close black friends and is very publicly in favor of racial equality, which is quite unusual among the elite in USA.

    I’m not saying she’s an angel, but I do say she genuinely means well and has done great things for the downtrodden for many decades, well before she was in public life.

    Did she get tangled up with all the military shit when she was Secretary of State? No doubt, but it would be incredibly difficult for anybody to make real changes in that aggressive boys’ club, let alone a woman.

    Personally, I think she will be the best president USA will have had in many, many decades.

  9. mark delmege

    less horrible, are you sure? still a shocker. No one close the the rise of IS and the destruction of other countries has a right to respect. None at all.

  10. Jason

    Clintons comment about alienating 25% of the population as racists may well end her.

    I think America like an addict needs to hit rock bottom before they admit they need recovery. Trump might be that bottom. I just hope he doesn’t take us all down with him.

  11. bobrafto

    The overarching narrative in this campaign is ‘the President is the ultimate role model; so what type of role model is Donald Trump? And if he’s not a good role model, he’s not a good leader’.

    Let’s look closer to home, Howard and Abbott in particular. Did they inspire the children that they can succeed if they lie?

  12. Harquebus

    Hillary Clinton is a war mongering liar who became wealthy, with the help of her husband, by selling favors to overseas donors to the Clinton Foundation. If she becomes president she will destroy the world.

    Donald Trump, obnoxious as he is, has declared that he will close bases, reach out to Russia and China and audit the fed. This last point is why he will never be allowed to become president.

    “The mainstream media bet the farm on Hillary Clinton, confident that their dismissal of every skeptical inquiry as a “conspiracy” would guarantee her victory. It now appears they have lost their bet.”

  13. mark delmege

    Nor does a potential future leader inspire children who gloats over the death of a foreign leader after reducing the most affluent country in all of Africa to a failed state and transfers weapons to al qaeda in Syria (have you had a look at the damage she has done to Syria? – hey Bob. Or more to the point Victoria – you seem more interested in a set of words to make you feel good than to acknowledge the harm she has already done. Why would that be?

  14. bobrafto

    I have not opined on this story as I went off topic to vent the crap that emanated from Howard and Abbott and your -hey Bob. Is not warranted. Naught boy!

  15. Jexpat

    Miriam & Susan:

    In 1993 (as in 2009) there were blueprints for universal healthcare already in place already with US Medicare (the aged healthcare system) and Medicaid (healthcare for the impoverished) but rather than follow these models, the proposal turned out to be a poorly understood hodgepodge that was vulnerable to attack by partisans, profiteers and their sycophants.

    Lesson being: in corrupt and dishonest societies (like Australia and the US) sometimes the simple, bold plan- the tried and true model, has the best chance of succeeding.

  16. mark delmege

    I guess you could read it like that Bob or you could read it another way.

  17. Jason

    Jexpat, very important point. The libs broke up medibank (Medicare 1.0) then labor thankfully gave us Medicare as we have now.

    They’ve fought against literally any good idea of equality and fairness. It’s a sickness I think that they can afford the best and let the rest suffer. The whole private health discounts etc are just a continuation of that. Privatising document handling by the libs is literally the end of Medicare. By all means get a private company to help make it efficient but don’t privatise an essential public monopoly that’s incredibky efficient and very good by world standards just out of ideology.

    I remember reading how Nixon realised he could make healthcare a profit motive that he latched on to. Now they spend 30% or more on paper pushing etc instead of healthcare. Medicare I believe is 2% overhead it’s very efficient already.

    I sometimes feel I’m in a different reality to these right wing ideologues. I really struggle to understand their motives. Maybe I’m overthinking it as its just selfishness I think. I can’t think like that which is why I probably find it so hard to understand. I care about everyone. I think that will win out in the end I hope for humanity’s sake.

  18. Duffa

    Hope can be justified or unjustified. At the moment Trump has created unjustified hope through a whole host of tricks. Many, many people have bought it out of desperation, desire for an easy fix, a chance to lift the finger many emotive reasons for hope. It is hard to change that appeal it was never rational and an appeal to a justified hope doesn’t sound sexy, or dramatic and it’s hard work. The message of easy solutions I’ll build a wall, I’ll create jobs is very attractive.

  19. michael lacey

    It’s a circus they are both con artists. While there is a difference in the temperament of the two major presidential candidates, that difference will play out only in how our poison will be delivered. Political personalities serve global corporate centers of power. To neoliberals, everyone and everything are disposable.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Regardless of what you think of Clinton, Trump is not up to the job. He does not have the skills or the temperament to be able to handle it. He doesn’t take advice well and he would be a disaster at foreign affairs. Giving him the keys to the Treasury is unthinkable.

    Donald Trump has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times, in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. All of these bankruptcies were connected to over-leveraged casino and hotel properties in Atlantic City

    His response was that many “great entrepreneurs” have used bankruptcy to restructure debt, free up capital and improve their businesses.

    “I’ve cut debt — by the way, this isn’t me personally, it’s a company,” Trump said. “Basically I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage.”

  21. Miriam English

    Harquebus, wow! Could you deliver a more concentrated message of pure right-wing poison?

    When has Hillary lied? Neither she nor her husband benefit financially from the Clinton Foundation — contrary to the way Trump and most of the corrupt Republicans run their “charities” the Clintons don’t bleed money out for themselves. The money instead actually goes to benefit the poorest people in the world.

    You’re dead-right that Trump is obnoxious. He is also deadly dangerous. He wants to use nuclear weapons to “solve” conflicts. Yeah, that’ll end well.

    Are you blind? Quoting some dickhead right-winger that the mass media have been supporting Hillary??? Trump has unquestioned blanket media coverage while Hillary can hardly get a word in, and when she does they criticise her hair, or how she speaks too loudly or too softly; they never address her policies. All they do is talk about the bright orange over-inflated Trump balloon. The only time that changed momentarily was when Trump admitted a couple of days ago that Obama was born in USA and the journalists all felt like they’d been taken for fools after years of him pushing the conspiracy theory that he was supposedly Kenyan. But already things seem to be going back to “normal” with Trump getting constant coverage again for whatever idiocy he spouts next and Hillary hardly able to get two words into the mainstream media.

    Harquebus, you really need to stop imbibing the poison of those right-wing websites and vary your reading diet a bit more. It is turning you into one sick puppy.

  22. Deanna Jones

    It speaks to the biblical level of entrenched sexism in our systems that people can look at Trump, then view Clinton less favorably.

    She’s one of those wimenz therefore a lying jezabel: can’t trust ’em. You can only trust the boy liars.

  23. Miriam English

    “Trump will … audit the fed. … [that’s] why he’ll never be allowed to become president.”

    I would laugh if that weirdo conspiracy theory wasn’t so sad and dangerous. Trump won’t audit the fed. He’ll take billions for himself and bleed it dry. Those people must be scared silly because there’s literally nothing they can do about it, least of all prevent him gaining the presidency.

    Unfortunately Trump’s poisonous influence won’t end when he’s defeated as he’s got this neatly crazy conspiracy theory all ready to explode and create even more discord and division for years into the future. It’s inserted into all the empty vessels and ready to be triggered as a kind of revenge bomb the minute he loses — and he should lose, being a dangerous, racist, misogynist sociopath who thinks dictatorship is preferable to democracy. He’s a moron who admires Vladimir Putin, the Russian gangsterboy, and Kim Jong-un, spoiled, deluded god-brat of North Korea, for crying out loud!

  24. Michael Taylor

    “Trump has declared he will reach out to Russia and China”.

    He has also declared that he’ll bomb China. Can’t see them kissing his hand when he reaches out to them.

  25. randalstella

    I fear an upsurge of apocalypse maniacs, random terrorism by isolates. Maybe they would want a Trump win to promote mayhem; or maybe it is just the coming election hype that stirs them.
    Whatever, irrationality is no friend of reason.
    The subject too infrequently raised in doubts about Clinton could be raised about any serious and half-rational Presidential candidate: the State Dept.
    Obama, still an intruding upstart in Washington circles, has acquiesced to this obdurate hub of ‘foreign policy’ – as its mass-destructiveness is so preciously called. It is as if no President, let alone Presidential candidate, dare touch them. He/she can have their fancy rhetoric – but the State Dept. run the international show.
    The same attitudes and a crossover of personnel are still there in the State Dept. as in the centuries-setting global disaster of that filthy lie: ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. Irony is a phantom of permanent war, most deplorably patrolling from Iraq.

    If they could ‘elect’ that calamitously vicious sub-intelligence Bush jnr. – twice – they could do Trump. Could he be worse? The irony is that this might just be the sentiment of some who vote for Trump.

  26. paulwalter

    I get sad reading some of this.

    The thread is about Hillary Clinton’s narrative, or lack of one. We ALREADY know Trump is useless.

    What we want to know is whether Clinton is going to do any better, given her apparent submission with the putrid, war-creating Zionist Lobby and Wall St high finance, given the $Trillions already wasted this century on sinister Mid Eastern adventures and rip offs sold as ëconomic policy.

    Gee, people,get past this rosie-glow view that western nations are actual democracies; let the scales fall away..

  27. Harquebus


    There is not much good that I can say about D.T. but, there is even less good that I can say about H.R.C.

    Search criteria:
    Clinton lies
    Clinton body count
    Clinton foundation criminal

    My reading list is large and varied.

    I will need to see Trump’s comment in context before I can respond.


  28. nexusxyz

    Harquebus – with you and your comment about the candidates. Amusingly some people here think Clinton is left of centre. She has more corporate support than Trump and also support from the devil himself – Soros. Clinton is corrupt. If Clinton is elected I’m expecting WW3.

  29. randalstella

    Anyone who tries to argue that Trump may be no worse than Clinton has paid insufficient attention – somehow – to his blatant, indeed flagrant, efforts to cast himself as worse.
    For a whole range of reasons – to do with temperament, knowledge, willingness to learn, a shoddy and wholly selfish background, a show of exceedingly arrogant stupidity and a liking for reckless actions, his violence in his abuse, his abuse as if argument, his threats as if policy, his repugnant misogyny – he is a wholly unsuitable candidate. He is already an obscene demeaning of debate.


  30. Michael Taylor

    H’, to amuse myself I tried those search terms you suggested. They led me to some of the wackiest conspiracy theory sites imaginable. I also tried some Trump search terms. I tried some on Obama too. And Bush. Same result each time: wacky conspiracy sites.

    I don’t believe for one moment that Clinton is an angel. But neither is Trump. Could have America nominated two worse candidates if they tried? I believe they are both ‘dangerous’ in their own way.

    Regardless of that, I’d fancy Clinton over Trump any day. Any, any, any day. And thankfully I think she’ll win in a landslide.

  31. Michael Taylor

    randalstella, I couldn’t have said it any better.

  32. Harquebus

    The first return page of each of my searches (yahoo) produced no recognized conspiracy sites. That’s as far as I went. I will take a stroll through my history lists later and find some that I have actually read.

    I don’t like Trump but, I consider him to be less dangerous than HRC who, already has got blood on her hands. Hillary’s image has been and still is successfully sanitized by MSM.

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m sorry that the DNC wanted Clinton nominated as the Democrat candidate over Sanders, who I see as a leader like Corbyn, who can return our corpocracies back to democratic socialism.

    However, since Clinton got their tainted support, I would settle for her any day over Trump, who I agree is a dangerous, bloated buffoon, who’s proved nothing except that he likes to divide people.

  34. paulwalter

    Largely my take. No chance a Bernie, a Warren or a Stein but really, wtf is Donald Trump, the charlatan.

    The Dems, like Labor, do get heir hands dirty also, but at least don’t valorise their perfidity in the brazen way the likes of Abbott here or Trump in the US do.

  35. mark delmege

    I do find it somewhat amusing that people find a need to identify with one side or the other in the US charade. My best guess is that whoever ‘wins’ will not see out their term. Maybe if we were smarter (?) we would be looking at which corporate backed representatives will be elected to the 469 member Congress. In some things it matters in others not at all but it would add a little weight to the arguments – a little anyway. In one recent development ….

  36. Miriam English

    Sorry Harquebus, but you lost all credibility with your statement that Hillary is worse than Trump. You’re even so mesmerised by lunatic conspiracy sites that you no longer see them as promoting conspiratorial madness.

    For goodness’ sake, get your nose out of those insane right-wing sites before they completely poison (what’s left of) your mind.

    You’re believing the kind of people who think creationism is real; who think Jesus spoke English and would be okay with guns; who think black people are not fully human and should be sterilised; who think women are naturally mentally inferior to males and should not be allowed control over their reproduction; who believe a nuclear war centered on Jerusalem is needed to bring on the Rapture.

    As for the Clinton Foundation… over the past 11 years:
    More than 52 million children have access to a better education.
    More than 33 million people have increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
    More than 13 million girls and women have been supported through empowerment initiatives.
    More than $1.6 billion has been invested or loaned to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
    Nearly 35 million people have access to information technologies.
    More than 50 million farmers or small-scale producers have gained access to inputs, supports, and markets
    More than 8 million people have gained skills to cope with the risks of environmental stress and natural disasters.
    More than 401 million acres of forest have been protected or restored.
    Nearly 4 million clean jobs have been created.
    More than 114 million people have increased access to maternal and child health and survival programs.
    More than $318 million in research and development funds has been spent on new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics.

    Yeah, pure evil.

  37. mark delmege

    It would take a lot more than that to fix up Libya and Syria (or Yemen etc etc) – or don’t they matter?

  38. Harquebus


    I have searched my history for hillary and have selected some. I can search clinton, trump and obama if you want some more.
    I have read every one of these links except, Hillary’s emails of course and have seen every video however, that does not mean that I agree with everything in them.

    American Democracy – Allegations of Voter Suppression Emerge from the Arizona Primary

    Just How Shady is Hillary Clinton? This Shady…

    “The problem with the United States economy is that the Elite are free to kill and steal. She sees the Democratic triumvirate of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Hillary Clinton as the standard bearers of crime and corruption in government.”
    Catherine Austin Fitts: Greed And Incompetent Leadership Will Soon Crash The Economy

    “Hillary Clinton Email Archive”

    “Call it conspiracy theory, coincidence or just bad luck, but any time someone is in a position to bring down Hillary Clinton they wind up dead. In fact, as we noted previously, there’s a long history of Clinton-related body counts, with scores of people dying under mysterious circumstances. While Vince Foster remains the most infamous, the body count is starting to build ominously this election cycle”

    I see some MSM conditioning in your statement.
    Can you provide a source please?

  39. The AIM Network

    Harquebus, if you’re wondering what had happened your comment, it was caught up in our spam folder due to the large number of links in it.

  40. Harquebus

    The AIM Network
    Thanks. It was noticed and corrected. Is good.

  41. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you won’t find any mainstream media conditioning in me. I don’t consume them at all. And trying to distract attention from the right-wing propaganda you consume by asserting that I’m brainwashed doesn’t really work.

    The quote I gave was from the Clinton Foundation’s website. They make available all details of funding and give regular reports of their achievements. The foundation is unusually transparent in the information they make available. As I said before, Bill and Hillary don’t receive money from the foundation. Almost all the money goes directly to the causes — 87.2%. Unlike many charities it only spends 8.6% on management and 3.7% on fundraising.

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m a fan of Hillary Clinton. I would have much preferred Bernie, but the Democrat party is corrupt (though not as corrupt as the Republican party) and screwed his chances. She is simply next best.

    People keep calling her a warmonger. I don’t really know if that’s true. Were you an insider in the discussions in the US State Department that led to its disastrous misadventures? No? Neither was I. I expect it would be an extremely difficult job to have any effect on the massive forward inertia of that powerful, corrupt machine. Considering all the work she does on doing good in the world, I figure chances are she isn’t the demon that the conspiracists whoop and howl about.

    On the other hand Trump lies constantly, cheats people over and over again, steals many millions from his charities, spouts divisive and hateful racism and misogyny at every turn, and sees no reason why he shouldn’t use nuclear weapons to “solve” conflicts.

    No contest.

  42. Harquebus

    Glad to hear that you are not influenced by MSM but, ignoring them is ignoring the enemy. I regularly compare MSM and alternative media. Where is it that you mostly get your news/information from?

    I checked and what you stated about the Clinton Foundation and it appears to be correct. I checked a little further and guess what?

    “However, the same pharmaceutical firms that donated to the Clinton Foundation and sought the foundation-funded contracts Clinton described were also lobbying the State Department at the same time as some pursued taxpayer-funded contracts to do similar work. Executives at those companies have also contributed heavily to Clinton’s presidential campaign, complicating her attempts to attack the pharmaceutical industry as a political “enemy” akin to Republicans.”

    “Together the Clintons were the two most powerful people who controlled the flow of funds to Haiti from around the world.
    The Haitian protesters noticed an interesting pattern involving the Clintons and the designation of how aid funds were used. They observed that a number of companies that received contracts in Haiti happened to be entities that made large donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

    Search criteria: clinton foundation contract

    There’s lots more. I am going back to check some of them out.


  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    imagine this article is about the divide between neoliberal Labor and ultra-neoliberal LNP.

    Are you a person on the margin? One wrong word from Malcolm Muck and you’ll wipe the wet Libs off and definitely all Labor off…

    … OR one wrong word from right-dominated LNP and you’ll wipe them off because it wasn’t Right enough for LNP puppet masters?

    Not that I would want to do what I am wondering is your position, but I do respect your stance to some extent (if I’m correct) coz you don’t want your Australian vote taken for granted.

    However, we need to take an urgent stand against these global ultra-neoliberals who will wipe us off the face of the Earth before they would deign to spit.

    Don’t play Trump’s or Malcolm Muck’s dirty games even though Clinton is questionable in assorted ways and so is Shorten.

  44. Harquebus


    I am certainly someone on the fringe.
    I despise most politicians. Turbull and his lot, Shorten and his lot, the Greens, One Nation and most of the rest. Clinton, Trump, Republican and Democrat or whatever. You name ’em and I will probably despise them.

    You are right, they are killing us slowly and it is about to ramp up.
    Save yourself, it is too late already to save our world.

  45. Miriam English

    I’m reluctant to reply as I’m getting very sick of this, but I’ll add one last point. I don’t think it’s unusual for companies to contribute free services instead of actual funds, so one shouldn’t leap to the automatic conclusion that companies are helping in Haiti or any other disaster site because they’re being paid to.

    I’m just glad someone’s helping.

    If it was up to Donald Trump the victims would just die and he wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

  46. Harquebus

    We are alike in some ways. My forehead is still flat from our renewable energy encounter.

    The problem with Haiti is, they are not being helped. I read an article some months ago which I can not find so, here are a couple similar.

    “For Turine, the international community has crushed the country’s hopes. “NGOs are pulling out, creditors have stopped investing,” he says. “Haitians find themselves in a social and economic situation that is worse than before the earthquake.””

    Search criteria: Haiti earthquake


  47. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    True, Miriam,

    we shouldn’t see those life-rafts when they pop up, as the total answer to our socio-economic problems.

    We need to encourage more life-rafts from dominant positioned people at every opportunity coz life-rafts represent quality of human integrity despite other vested considerations.

    Grow the goodness of human spirit and the economical frameworks will accommodate.

  48. Miriam English

    Exactly, Jennifer.

    Harquebus, I become annoyed when people look at those who put a lot of effort into helping people and just put them down. I have had that experience, where at considerable inconvenience to myself and no payment I’ve helped others and the thanks I’ve received was that I didn’t help enough, or when they broke it much later on I got the blame.

    Of course things in Haiti are worse than before the earthquake. They had an earthquake!

    Lots of people have spent an incredible amount of money and time and effort selflessly helping the victims. To then say they didn’t do enough really, really stinks. Do I think more needs to be done? Of course. Do I think we should criticise those who have already given generously of their time and money? Absolutely not. Stories about gift horses’ mouths spring to mind.

  49. bobrafto


    If I read it another way, you’re assuming that I don’t agree with your Libyan sentiments.

    I was rooting for Bernie, not literally of course but it as it so happens there is either going to be Trump or Clinton.

    When it comes to American foreign policy there’s a bee’s dick difference between the Dems and Repubs and all we can do is sit back and have a whine and a bitch.

  50. Harquebus

    Hillary Clinton has done far more damage than she has done good. I don’t why you are getting so upset over her.
    I also have stopped volunteering for being taken advantage of.
    Oh, and the Haiti earthquake was five years ago. Compare that to Christchurch.

  51. Miriam English

    Actually, I haven’t stopped helping people. I just am coincidentally busy when asked for help by those who look a gift-horse in the mouth. Other people continue to get plenty of help from me.

    Christchurch is a far more wealthy place, with that wealth distributed among a much smaller population. 185 people were killed out of a population of 336,000 (about 1 in 1,800).

    Haiti has a population of about 10 million and somewhere between 100,000 and 160,000 were killed (about 1 in 77). This in a country with deep poverty. There were more than 50 major aftershock quakes and after the ruin there was an epidemic of cholera.

    Do you seriously want to compare the two as if there is an even footing?

  52. Miriam English

    Hillary Clinton has done far more damage than she has done good.

    You have no idea what damage she has, or has not done. Nobody outside the private conversations of the State Department knows. Don’t pretend you do. On the other hand we do know she has a direct hand in saving millions of lives every year.

    I’m not getting upset about her. I just don’t like facts getting twisted because of the rat-brained morons who run right-wing conspiracy sites infecting people with their lies and hysteria.

  53. wam

    is it a wide set of reading when you read the same thing on 50 sites?
    I was amazed they elected Obama but he was light years ahead of mccain and palin.
    Can America forget she is a woman and elect clinton?
    Unless she trounces trump in the debate then the American mantra of ‘the best man for the job’ will prevail.
    How will trump be worse than reagan/bush? Is he smarter?
    worse than johnnie? Does he loathe unions?
    Can he apologise like blair?
    Can he shirtfront putin like the rabbott?
    Is he a male hanson?
    Will he lie like all of the above?

  54. mark delmege

    People who see Clinton as continuing the Obama Foreign Policy are probably right. But anyone who thinks thats a good idea is seriously deluded. They should get their eyes and ears out of the MSM and especially the ABC and try to understand what is happening in the world. Actually I think she would be far more bullish and that spells a particularly bad outcome, some really nasty shit is going down right now – could it get worse? YES.

  55. mark delmege

    there is still another possibility Bob.

  56. mark delmege

    dead? has this site closed comments?

  57. Harquebus

    We’re still good. Right?

    So you’ve read them then?

  58. Michael Taylor

    Sorry Mark, your comments had been caught up in spam. It’s been happening a lot lately. Our apologies.

  59. Jexpat


    It’s important to note that the Obama campaign actually had a narrative and actively engaged with progressive constituencies during the 2008 campaign (the narrative and many of the policy promises turned out to be a con- promoted by an impresive sounding charlatan, but at the time it was persuasive and motivating to a lot of voters).

    The Obama campaign also had the good fortunate to be coming on the heels of an unpopular Republican administration and culminated in the midst of the GFC, which McCain failed miserably in his role as US Senator in dealing. Unlike Australia, in the US the fear in the air was palpable, and Obama was calm, cool, collected and appeared confident and competent.

    By contrast, since the Democratic convention, the Clinton campaign hasn’t developed or promoted a positive narrative, hasn’t openly engaged with progressive constituencies or been seen assisting in their efforts on issues, national, state and local. This was a huge mistake, as was the failure to listen to the increasing feedback in this regard beginning in mid August.

    Running a campaign purely on negatives about the other guy, in this case, complete with increasingly shrill scare tactics about “scary Russians,” isn’t going to be enough to motivate key constituencies (particularly young people) to get involved- much less turn out to vote- or vote for “the lesser of two evils.”

    Perhaps we will see some of this: what a Clinton adminostration will look like- what it would do or advocate. Yet from what I’ve seen of the campaign materials to date, it looks more like they’re primarily planning on fighting it out on identity politics.

    And mark these words: if they lose, they’ll blame the very progressive constituencies that they’ve largely ignored- and at times, gratuitously insulted.

  60. wam

    apart from the first para, very true jexpat. the debates must show hillary as the strong woman she is and define her as a president with purpose. But there is a chance that people will realise, the negative belongs to trump.
    I am looking forward to see the debate.

  61. Miriam English

    Yeah, it’s such a corrupt thing to contribute to a charity dedicated to helping the poorest people on Earth. I mean, we really gotta put a stop to that. Where it would end? Gawd! What if it eradicated poverty? That would be catastrophic!! Why don’t they learn from Trump and gut their own charities. What the hell kind of celebrities have the presumption to not steal money from their own charities anyway? They’re obviously deep evil, right?

  62. Harquebus


    Bill, a former POTUS no less and Hillary, a former Secretary of State, have been members of the political elite for a long time now and have done nothing to alleviate poverty. In fact, it has worsened.

    Charities are proof positive that governments are failing in their obligations.

    Hillary supported the military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. How many poor people did that help?

    “They’re obviously deep evil, right?” Absolutely!


  63. Miriam English

    Still sucked in by the broken “things are worse than ever” mode of thinking, huh, Harquebus? As usual, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    Actually, things are improving greatly on that front. Poverty worldwide is dropping dramatically, thanks to efforts like the Clinton Foundation, Unicef, Malala Fund, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, Engineers Without Borders, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,’s bookmobile, and many other groups full of people who like to help others (rather than just telling them everything is shit and giving up).

    See the site

    Or, if you couldn’t be bothered checking out the numbers yourself, watch this very quick (less than 4 minutes) talk by author John Green in his weekly vlog to his brother Frank.
    16 Ways 2016 Is Not a Total Dumpster Fire

    Child mortality is declining all around the world: and is continuing to trend down in every region of the world:

    Absolute poverty is declining; 200 million fewer people live in poverty today than did in 2012.

    Literacy rates are increasing, and the gender literacy gap is decreasing: and

    The number of armed conflicts is dramatically less and deaths due to them are dropping Of course, anyone who has been paying attention instead of being mesmerised by the awful mainstream media knows that.

  64. Michael Taylor

    Admittedly this post is about Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump, but it seems to me that people are lining up to find everything possibly wrong about her, while at the same time ignoring Trump’s disgraceful track record.

  65. Michael Taylor

    And further, the cry goes up “can you imagine how bad it will be with Clinton as president?” I ask you instead, “can you imagine how bad it will be with Trump as president?” The latter is too hard to answer.

  66. Miriam English

    I completely agree that the idiotic escapades in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya should never have taken place, and all the politicians who jumped on that bandwagon should be condemned for it, including Hillary Clinton (and of course that idiot liar Trump who supported all those wars, despite his bullshit now to the contrary). The US politicians who didn’t support those wars could fill a volkswagon.

    That country has a terrible sickness. It has become a warrior culture. Personally I think the increasing peace is the the only thing that can destroy their infernal war machine. I look forward to it.

  67. Miriam English

    Yes, Michael, exactly.

    But we can answer what it would be like for that country to have a Clinton Presidency — it has already had one. It had its problems, but on the whole it was considerably better than Reagan and the two Bushes. And I actually think considering the personal involvement Hillary has had in helping the disenfranchised all over the world, that she would be considerably better than her husband. He focused almost entirely on the economy. Big mistake, in my opinion, though given the prevailing thinking at that time, understandable.

  68. paulwalter

    No doubt the spotlight should be on Trump, but the media focus is on Hillary Clinton, which is reminiscent of Abbott/ Gillard.

  69. Jexpat


    The Obama administration (along with some “help” from favoured members of the Republican wing of the Democratic party in the US Senate “leadership”) created in 20 short months the largest swing against any major political party in US history- and they accomplished this in what’s known in the US as a redistricting year.

    Those who said “hey, wait a minute” to any (literally any) of their astonishingly self destructive actions and inactions in 2009-10 were called “fvcking retarded” (by his chief of staff) or “wanting a pony” or much worse. Such is the nature of cults.

    Michael: with a few notable exceptions (The Nation, The American Prospect and Common Dreams) nearly every single progressive news outlet- and all of the corporate media (including Murdoch) has been Trump obsessed, laying out every single ugly and disgraceful thing about he and his campaign for many months.

    In the process, several of the sites Americans relied on for years became unreadable: all Trump all the time- with more than a few venerable commentators losing all credibility on matters down the track via this obsession.

    One such person, a prominent blogger at Mother Jones, astutely observed and posted six months ago that Trump’s irrational and disgusting ourbursts had gotten into their OODA cycles (a description of how people and groups observe, orient, decide, and act in the face of a challange). Unfortunately, this very blogger could not himself stop, step back and reorient. Instead, he and his followers became ever more strident- hardened into sophistry, attempting a defence of every demonstrably dysfunctional neoliberal policy the Clintons might be associated with. Often saving their worst vitriol for Sanders supporters, who Democrats would need in the general election. As in- Now.

    And before anyone thinks that the sorts described above aren’t xenophobic -and nasty in their own ways, try being identified as an Australian and offering constructive criticism- framed in American terms, backed by many years of experience with American political campaigns and more than a passing knowledge of US law and legislative systems.

  70. Harquebus

    Thanks. Confirming.

    People are lining up to find everything possibly wrong about Trump, while at the same time ignoring Hillary’s disgraceful track record.

    I despise both as I despise most politicians however, I’ll say it again, Trump is less dangerous than Clinton.

    Now I’ve got some reading to do.


  71. Michael Taylor

    H’, I’m not saying that Clinton doesn’t have a bad track record. But I’m looking at the future, and she is by far a better option. But that’s just me.

  72. Harquebus

    On the face of it, you appear to be correct however, the links that you provided use the World Bank’s definition of extreme poverty at less than $1.90/day.
    ACCOS uses 50% of median income as the poverty line. The difference between poverty and extreme poverty I presume. I am sure that if the ACCOS was used globally, the numbers would be considerably different.

    There is some debate about what poverty is and how it measured. There are also problems in gathering accurate data from across the globe.

    Poverty rates, as of a couple of years ago were increasing in Australia, the U.S., Africa and India. This is probably where I got the impression that global rates are increasing. It might still be the case depending on methodologies and criteria.

    I am curious to know what the global poverty levels are using the ACCOS method. I will follow this subject more closely in the weeks ahead and let you know if I discover anything.

    Thanks again for informing me of my error. It is appreciated.

    I have only skimmed over this.

    You could be right. It matters not. They both the worst that each side has to offer.


  73. Jexpat

    We agree on that Michael.

    I’m just an observer, not involved with US presidential or down ticket campaigns this year. I wasn’t involved in Brexit or the 2015 UK elections, either.

    My hope in posting here is that we learn a can something from others’ mistakes and miscalculations, develop a better grasp of the dynamics going on, and adjust our own strategies and tactics accordingly, given the ground we have to work (and fight) on.

    The Australian media environment won’t be improving -or behaving responsibly any time soon, so we can probably expect to see much the same- if not worse down the track.

  74. Harquebus

    This is not about Clinton but, I thought some here might like it anyway.

    “If you thought the Donald Trump presidential campaign couldn’t get any more bizarre, the documentary maker Michael Moore recently announced he had reliable information from multiple sources that Trump, initially at least, never intended nor desired to become president of the United States, and that his candidature was an attempt to boost his public profile as a means of leveraging a higher fee for his reality TV show.”
    “The question is, will the political establishment see the writing on the wall and respond effectively and realistically to the emerging socio-political and environmental crisis or will it follow the likes of Howard, Abbott and Trump into the political abyss?”

    Politics As Satire: What Have Donald Trump, John Howard, Tony Abbott And Malcolm Turnbull Got In Common?

  75. mark delmege

    Tribalism and the ties that blind.
    Now lets see … does anyone really think Obama has much power or that Clinton will have any more? Or are they just front men and women of Empire. Obama at least could read a teleprompter with feeling… And Madame could be trusted by threatening to bomb Iran – and she might yet prove her worth.

    But even my spell checker doesn’t recognise Obama!

  76. Miriam English

    Harquebus, Trump has said that if he won the presidency he wouldn’t be interested in doing the actual work, but that he would appoint a standard republican (I imagine that repellent creature Ted Cruz would be a front-runner) to do the job, and Trump would swan around and go back to doing what he does best: be a professional celebrity and bleed massive amounts of money from those around him. In other words, far from being a rebellion against the system, Trump would entrench the worst parts of the established elite.

    So, yes, Trump would be far more disastrous for USA than Hillary. She at least intends to tax the rich more heavily and return that money to the the people as universal health care (though as the peculiar USA version of it). She also works heavily against racism and hate, whereas Trump plus any other top Republican would fan the flames of hate. And when this started going badly in USA (as they would, naturally) he would embark on a war to distract people (because that’s what authoritarians always do).

    Please don’t just repeat the same lame statement that she would be worse than him. Think for yourself instead of being handed your opinions by the nutty right-wing conspiratorial commentators you read.

  77. Michael Taylor

    mark delmege, may we email you? (Or perhaps please email us in case we’re not around when you respond, and we can reply). We need to explain why your comments keep getting caught up in spam. It’s a complex reason and we’d rather explain it in a private email.

  78. Elle

    “Trump has said that if he won the presidency he wouldn’t be interested in doing the actual work, but that he would appoint a standard republican (I imagine that repellent creature Ted Cruz would be a front-runner) to do the job.”

    … Trump (or rather his son, who denied this) offered the actual ‘job’ of running the country (domestic and international affairs) to John Kasich. It has been suggested that the same deal was offered to Trumps VP Mike Pence. Ultra right wing christian extremist, IMO.

    “She at least intends to tax the rich more heavily and return that money to the people as universal health care (though as the peculiar USA version of it).”

    … Bill Clinton last week talked about the importance of TPP and reducing company tax even more. The word on the street (Washington establishment) has more or less said that Bill Clinton is Hillary’s economy czar. We know that Hillary will fold when it comes to the TPP.

    Hillary’s VP, Tim Kaine is against the public option (therefore single payer). Last week the Progressive Democrat Senators introduced a bill to open the floor for a public option. Tim Kaine opposed it last week. Bernie Sanders and a few other PD Senators are continuing to push for the public option. We can only hope that Hillary will stand by Obama, Sanders and this proposed bill. Since it very much supports the healthcare policy presented at the DNC, Democrat Platform for 2016.

    Trump has several times mentioned he supports a medicare for all type system. (which is Sanders policy). However with Trump he seems to change his mind all the time on MANY issues.

    One is in your face fascist presidential candidate and the other not so much.

    IMO very little will actually change for the betterment for ALL American people whether its Trump or Hillary.

    Remember Hillary is all about the establishment, corporate and financial interests, and has rejected progressive change. Hillary is all about protecting the status quo and offering small time incremental change. Trump is the same, even though Trump is not necessarily an establishment insider in the same way Hillary is.

    Both will OWE the corporate arm BIG either way, just as the MIC will love both of them, either way.

  79. Harquebus

    I do think for myself. What you say about me could also be said about you, conditioned to support a liar, a probable criminal and a possible murderess.
    This debate seems to be about who is the worst and not who is best.
    Trump is an oaf but, Clinton has already proved herself to be dangerous.

    I would very interested in hearing the solution Mark Delmege’s problem. Any chance of emailing me as well?


  80. Miriam English

    Elle, I agree. The TPP is almost certain to proceed under Hillary. Bummer. Yes, she’s committed to a “steady as it goes” approach where little changes. However she has always been very, very strongly committed to universal health care. She’s the one who was pushing it during her husband’s presidency. She has laid out carefully costed plans on how it would be paid for: increasing taxes on the most wealthy. She’s always believed that the very rich (including herself) should be paying more tax. But yes, you’re right, not much will change under her hand. However considering the lunatic other choice, Trump, that’s perhaps a good thing in the long run. Bernie would have made far more effective changes, but sadly he won’t get a chance.

    Harquebus, all I can do is shake my head at the ridiculous things you’re saying. Don’t for one minute think I’m conditioned to do anything. I actually don’t support Hillary. I simply see the absurd claims of her being a “murderer” as hysterical hyperbole. You don’t realise it, but it automatically loses the argument for you.

  81. Harquebus

    I have asked you time and time again, please, stop twisting my words.
    “possible murderess” is what I stated. Your bias is showing.

    There has been more than one suspicious death surrounding the Clinton’s.

    ‘Clinton Body Count’ Rumors

    Clinton Body Count Rises As Three More People Connected To DNC Mysteriously Die For No Apparent Reason


  82. Miriam English

    Oh good grief. You distance yourself from it in one breath then enthusiastically embrace it with the next.

  83. Harquebus

    Your bias is showing again.
    “enthusiastically embrace” Give me a break. You are everything that you accuse me of being.

  84. Miriam English

    [facepalm] Harquebus, your tactic of automatically taking someone’s criticism of you and bouncing it back at them sounds a lot like the childish “I know you are, but what am I?” retort.

    Just because I point out that you’re showing bias doesn’t make me biased. (I had thought you were reasonably intelligent, but you’re making me seriously question that.)

    Regarding the latest instance of your retort, Like anybody I have biases, but I don’t think I’m biased about Hillary Clinton. I’m merely reluctant to jump to conclusions about her. You positively spit rabid phlegm when mentioning her name, even posting ridiculous conspiracy theory site stuff about her. That displays pretty clear bias. I certainly don’t idealise her; I’m aware of the enormous background of philanthropic work she’s done, but she is also far more conservative than I’m comfortable with.

    To state that she is worse than the racist, hateful, crooked, lying Trump is so ridiculous that it clearly displays your bias.

  85. Miriam English

    mark delmege, the Clinton Foundation clearly states on its website that very little of the money goes to other charitable organisations. They try help people as directly as possible. This makes sense. Many charities eat up a very large part of their money in administration costs.

  86. Carol Taylor

    Miriam, quite right – which compares with the Trump Foundation which is under investigation due to Trump using the Foundation (ie other people’s money donated to charity) to pay his own personal debts, and that’s apart from large purchases. Seems to me a typical neo-con, a massive sense of entitlement and little sense of honesty.

    I am certainly not enthralled by Clinton and think, Are these two Clinton and Trump the best that American can come up with? I guess that this is what you get when Money Rules and no, little Abe and little Bessie, you cannot grow up to be President, your mummy and daddy aren’t billionaires. Waves goodbye to true democracy….

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