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Noam Chomsky warns a centrist Democratic nominee will result in the ‘tragedy’ of a second Trump term

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- Commentary
MIT professor Noam Chomsky discusses Donald Trump's presidential campaign. (Art is Power)

December 7 will be Noam Chomsky’s 91st birthday, and the veteran author/journalist hasn’t grown any less critical of centrism within the Democratic Party. During an interview with Truthout’s C.J. Polychroniou, Chomsky warned against Democrats going too centrist in the 2020 presidential election — which he fears could result in President Donald Trump winning a second term.

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“I find it psychologically impossible to discuss the 2020 election without emphasizing, as strongly as possible, what is at stake: survival, nothing less,” Chomsky told Truthout. “Four more years of Trump may spell the end of much of life on Earth, including organized human society in any recognizable form. Strong words, but not strong enough.”

A second term for Trump, Chomsky warned, is a recipe for “environmental catastrophe.”

“If the donor class succeeds in nominating a centrist candidate,” Chomsky told Truthout, “progressive activist forces might be disillusioned and reluctant to do the work on the ground that will be needed to prevent the tragedy — repeat, tragedy — of four more years of Trumpism. If a progressive candidate does gain the nomination, centrist power and wealth may back away — again opening the path to tragedy.”

During the interview, Chomsky stressed that the “donor class” is troubled by the prominence of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren — the leading progressive candidates in the Democratic presidential primary.

“The donor class is clearly perturbed by Warren’s critique of wealth and corporate power, and even more so by Sanders — who committed a major crime: inspiring a popular movement that doesn’t just show up every four years to push a button and then leave matters to their betters, but continues its activism and the engagement in public affairs that is none of their business, according to long-standing democratic theory,” Chomsky asserted.

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The author/journalist stressed that a variety of things are at stake in the 2020 election, from the environment to health care.

“The September climate strike brought many millions to the streets — just one phase of ongoing activism,” Chomsky told Truthout. “Others cover a wide range of critical issues, including the scandalous health care system; a society in which 0.1% hold over 20% of wealth while half the population has negative net worth and homeless people try to survive amidst fabulous luxury; and numerous other social ills. There are also promising efforts to develop cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises that challenge fundamental hierarchic structure more directly. That’s a bare sample of considerable ferment that could open the way to a much more free and just social order — if imminent looming catastrophe can be overcome.”


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2020 Election

‘Truly grotesque’: On way out the door, Trump prioritizes bringing back executions by firing squad and electrocution

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Among the slew of potentially destructive policy changes the Trump administration is rushing to implement on its way out of power is a rule that would authorize the return of electrocutions and firing squads for federal executions, an effort critics slammed as a twisted priority amid deadly public health and economic crises.

ProPublica reported Wednesday that the rule, first published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Justice Department in August, "has raced through the process with little notice but unusual speed—and deadly consequences."

"This rule could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions for federal executions, giving the government more options for administering capital punishment as drugs used in lethal injections become unavailable," ProPublica noted. "The Justice Department surfaced the proposal in August and accepted public comments for only 30 days, instead of the usual 60. The rule cleared White House review on Nov. 6, meaning it could be finalized any day."

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2020 Election

Americans ‘won’t stand’ for election results not being honored: Biden

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US President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday that Americans "won't stand" for the results of the November 3 election not being honored.

"Our democracy was tested this year," Biden said in a Thanksgiving Day address in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "And what we learned is this: The people of this nation are up to the task.

"In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results," he said. "The people of this nation and the laws of the land won't stand for anything else."

Biden did not mention Donald Trump by name but he was clearly referring to the president's refusal to accept the results of the election.

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2020 Election

The strange truth about our Trump addiction

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Are we addicted to Donald Trump? It's a question that's haunting journalists and political commentators, most of whom hate Trump but cannot deny that his name drives traffic and ratings. Even though Trump lost the election and Joe Biden will be the next president, Trump continues to be the big attention draw for political websites and cable news networks.

Part of that is completely understandable. Trump is still big news. He literally spent the past few weeks attempting a coup. While he failed, that doesn't change the history-making fact that he even tried, or that he got so much support. Certainly Biden, whose main activity is finding boring-but-competent people to staff his administration, can't compete with that, and there's no real indication that he wants to. (Unlike Trump, Biden views governing as a job and not just an opportunity to get attention.)

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