John Lennon at 80: One Man Against the Deep State ‘Monster’

By John Whitehead

Source

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)

John Lennon, born 80 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist, and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files illegally collected on his activities and associations.

For a while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI at the time, directed the agency to spy on the musician. There were also various written orders calling on government agents to frame Lennon for a drug bust. “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes,” observed reporter Jonathan Curiel.

Document with portions of text blacked out, dated 1972.

Confidential (here declassified and censored) letter by J. Edgar Hoover about FBI surveillance of John Lennon (Public Domain)

As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”

Indeed, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution.

For all of these reasons, the U.S. government was obsessed with Lennon, who had learned early on that rock music could serve a political end by proclaiming a radical message. More importantly, Lennon saw that his music could mobilize the public and help to bring about change. Lennon believed in the power of the people. Unfortunately, as Lennon recognized: “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”

However, as Martin Lewis writing for Time notes: “John Lennon was not God. But he earned the love and admiration of his generation by creating a huge body of work that inspired and led. The appreciation for him deepened because he then instinctively decided to use his celebrity as a bully pulpit for causes greater than his own enrichment or self-aggrandizement.”

For instance, in December 1971 at a concert in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lennon took to the stage and in his usual confrontational style belted out “John Sinclair,” a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana cigarettes. Within days of Lennon’s call for action, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Sinclair released.

What Lennon did not know at the time was that government officials had been keeping strict tabs on the ex-Beatle they referred to as “Mr. Lennon.” Incredibly, FBI agents were in the audience at the Ann Arbor concert, “taking notes on everything from the attendance (15,000) to the artistic merits of his new song.”

The U.S. government, steeped in paranoia, was spying on Lennon.

By March 1971, when his “Power to the People” single was released, it was clear where Lennon stood. Having moved to New York City that same year, Lennon was ready to participate in political activism against the U. S. government, the “monster” that was financing the war in Vietnam.

The release of Lennon’s Sometime in New York City album, which contained a radical anti-government message in virtually every song and depicted President Richard Nixon and Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung dancing together nude on the cover, only fanned the flames of the conflict to come.

The official U.S. war against Lennon began in earnest in 1972 after rumors surfaced that Lennon planned to embark on a U.S. concert tour that would combine rock music with antiwar organizing and voter registration. Nixon, fearing Lennon’s influence on about 11 million new voters (1972 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote), had the ex-Beatle served with deportation orders “in an effort to silence him as a voice of the peace movement.”

Then again, the FBI has had a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures. Most notably among the latter are such celebrated names as folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg.

Among those most closely watched by the FBI was Martin Luther King Jr., a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968.

Lennon and Ono sit in front of flowers and placards bearing the word "peace." Lennon is only partly visible, and he holds an acoustic guitar. Ono wears a white dress, and there is a hanging microphone in front of her. In the foreground of the image are three men, one of them a guitarist facing away, and a woman.

Recording “Give Peace a Chance” during the Bed-In for Peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal (CC BY 2.5/Roy Kerwood)

While Lennon was not—as far as we know—being blackmailed into suicide, he was the subject of a four-year campaign of surveillance and harassment by the U.S. government (spearheaded by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), an attempt by President Richard Nixon to have him “neutralized” and deported. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times points out, “The F.B.I.’s surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of how easily domestic spying can become unmoored from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately more unsettling, is the degree to which the surveillance turns out to have been intertwined with electoral politics.”

As Lennon’s FBI file shows, memos and reports about the FBI’s surveillance of the anti-war activist had been flying back and forth between Hoover, the Nixon White House, various senators, the FBI and the U.S. Immigration Office.

Nixon’s pursuit of Lennon was relentless and in large part based on the misperception that Lennon and his comrades were planning to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. The government’s paranoia, however, was misplaced.

Left-wing activists who were on government watch lists and who shared an interest in bringing down the Nixon Administration had been congregating at Lennon’s New York apartment. But when they revealed that they were planning to cause a riot, Lennon balked. As he recounted in a 1980 interview, “We said, We ain’t buying this. We’re not going to draw children into a situation to create violence so you can overthrow what? And replace it with what? . . . It was all based on this illusion, that you can create violence and overthrow what is, and get communism or get some right-wing lunatic or a left-wing lunatic. They’re all lunatics.”

Despite the fact that Lennon was not part of the “lunatic” plot, the government persisted in its efforts to have him deported. Equally determined to resist, Lennon dug in and fought back. Every time he was ordered out of the country, his lawyers delayed the process by filing an appeal. Finally, in 1976, Lennon won the battle to stay in the country when he was granted a green card. As he said afterwards, “I have a love for this country…. This is where the action is. I think we’ll just go home, open a tea bag, and look at each other.”

Lennon’s time of repose didn’t last long, however. By 1980, he had re-emerged with a new album and plans to become politically active again.

The old radical was back and ready to cause trouble. In his final interview on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon mused, “The whole map’s changed and we’re going into an unknown future, but we’re still all here, and while there’s life there’s hope.”

The Deep State has a way of dealing with troublemakers, unfortunately. On Dec. 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman was waiting in the shadows when Lennon returned to his New York apartment building. As Lennon stepped outside the car to greet the fans congregating outside, Chapman, in an eerie echo of the FBI’s moniker for Lennon, called out, “Mr. Lennon!”

Lennon turned and was met with a barrage of gunfire as Chapman—dropping into a two-handed combat stance—emptied his .38-caliber pistol and pumped four hollow-point bullets into his back and left arm. Lennon stumbled, staggered forward and, with blood pouring from his mouth and chest, collapsed to the ground.

John Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. He had finally been “neutralized.”

Yet where those who neutralized the likes of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.

Lennon and Ono performing at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in December 1971 (Public Domain)

Thankfully, Lennon’s legacy lives on in his words, his music and his efforts to speak truth to power. As Yoko Ono shared in a 2014 letter to the parole board tasked with determining whether Chapman should be released: “A man of humble origin, [John Lennon] brought light and hope to the whole world with his words and music. He tried to be a good power for the world, and he was. He gave encouragement, inspiration and dreams to people regardless of their race, creed and gender.”

Sadly, not much has changed for the better in the world since Lennon walked among us.

Peace remains out of reach. Activism and whistleblowers continue to be prosecuted for challenging the government’s authority. Militarism is on the rise, with local police dressed like the military, all the while the governmental war machine continues to wreak havoc on innocent lives across the globe.

For those of us who joined with John Lennon to imagine a world of peace, it’s getting harder to reconcile that dream with the reality of the American police state.

Meanwhile, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, those who dare to speak up are labeled dissidents, troublemakers, terrorists, lunatics, or mentally ill and tagged for surveillance, censorship, involuntary detention or, worse, even shot and killed in their own homes by militarized police.

As Lennon shared in a 1968 interview:

“I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal means. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government and the Russian… Chinese… what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane. But I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”

So what’s the answer?

Lennon had a multitude of suggestions.

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

“War is over if you want it.”

“Produce your own dream…. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders…. You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”

“If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.”

And my favorite advice of all:

“Say you want a revolution / We better get on right away / Well you get on your feet / And out on the street / Singing power to the people.”

Syria: “U.S. Get Out!”

Statement of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

Global Research, November 08, 2019

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) stands in solidarity with the long-suffering people of Syria.  We oppose all foreign occupation of Syrian territory.  Syria belongs to the Syrians.

The current Turkish incursion into northern Syria is in violation of Syrian sovereignty. So is the continued U.S. intervention.

Turkey has been an ally of the U.S. in its regime change program in Syria.  Both countries are in Syria against the wishes of the Syria government and have caused great destruction in the region.

The U.S. claim that it is in Syria to fight ISIS, is fiction. Recent U.S. involvement started in 2011 with the CIA program called “Timber Sycamore,” which was geared to overthrow the Syrian government and replace it with a government friendlier to Washington and Wall Street. This program supplied money, weapons and training to internal and external forces fighting the Assad government.  ISIS wasn’t formed in Syria till around 2014, years after the U.S. regime change program started.  Washington used ISIS as their reason to expand U.S. bombing and destruction.

Syria requested assistance from Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, then from Iran and Russia to aid their resistance to the U.S. orchestrated destruction. This determination defeated U.S. plans.

President Trump in early October tweeted that he would be withdrawing U.S. forces from Northern Syria where they have been working with the Kurdish SDF (Syrian Defense Forces) to maintain the occupation of the northeastern region of Syria, the home of most of Syria’s oil and grain production.  Trump claimed to have come to an accommodation with Turkish President Erdogan.  Immediately thereafter, Turkish soldiers crossed the border and began to attack the Kurds,

These actions caused a great debate in the U.S. Many politicians, who wanted the U.S. to stay in Syria, claimed that Trump had abandoned the Kurds.

The U.S. is no friend of the Kurds and has betrayed their interests over and over again throughout the last century and was never a protector of their interests.

Syria’s population of 22 million includes Arab, Kurdish, Assyrian, Armenian, Turkoman and Circassian nationalities as well as Sunni, Alawi, Shia, Druze, Yazidi, and Christian religious sects. Based on decades of past U.S. military intervention in the region there are 1.5 million Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Syria and 5 million Syrian refugees outside of Syria.

The Syrian government is determined to maintain and rebuild Syria as a secular, multi-ethnic, multinational, multi-religious country that respects the identity and culture of every group, free of foreign interference.

U.S. strategists have always tried to maintain dominance in the Middle East by divide and conquer tactics of inflaming sectarian, national, ethnic and religious differences.

We oppose Turkish aggression in the region and demand that Turkish and U.S. forces leave Syrian territory where they never were invited by the Syrian government.  As Turkish forces move into Syria, the Kurds have opened negotiations with the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army moved todefend the border towns where Kurds live.

It is in the interest of the Kurdish and non-Kurdish Syrian people for the US, Turkey and their supported mercenaries from around the world to leave the country.  It is only under these circumstances that the Kurdish people and the Syrian government can work to solve the problems of the Kurds in Syria.

As the Syrian government wins back more and more of their territory from foreign aggressors, it is calling for refugees to come home.  They are offering amnesty and assistance for all those returning.

In numerous recent tweets, President Trump confirmed that U.S. will not actually leave Syria. They will refocus on the oil producing area of Syria to supposedly “protect the oil.”  “We’re keeping the oil,” “I’ve always said that — keep the oil. We want to keep the oil, $45 million a month. Keep the oil. We’ve secured the oil.” Trump asserts that the U.S. will decide what to do with Syria’s oil in the future. He has implied that maybe Exxon should be given the oil

Clearly the theft of oil is for U.S. corporate profit and to deprive Syria of the means to rebuild.

U.S. and EU Sanctions keep Syria from importing essential supplies to repair and re-build Syria.  Sanctions also prevent Syrians from importing or exporting oil.  Without oil, the country cannot re-build.

The plan for U.S. troops to occupy the oil fields is to prevent Syria from being energy sufficient, as they were before 2011.

The theft of Syrian oil and the continued sanctions on Syria must be condemned by our movement and by the entire world.

We demand:

U.S., NATO, Turkey, Israel and all foreign invading forces leave Syria!

End the sanctions against Syria!

U.S. stop the theft of Syrian oil!

Let the Syrian people go home!

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Paradigms Flip as Trump and Tulsi Emerge as the Winners of the Democratic Party Debate

Joaquin Flores
June 29, 2019
Image result for Paradigms Flip as Trump and Tulsi Emerge as the Winners of the Democratic Party Debate

The single truth that many mainstream Democrats will have a very difficult time acknowledging coming out of the June 26thDemocratic Party Presidential Debate, is that Donald Trump’s positions on China and Latin America have become a Democratic Party line. Is this is a mere matter of pandering to the polling data on questions like Latin America and China? Even if just that, it would be a Trump success in and of itself.

But it also raises whether Trump has indeed accomplished more – a tectonic shift, a sea-change in elite policy formation focus from Russia and the Mid-east over to China and Latin America. The ties between the DNC and China still appear too strong, and so the reality would seem to tend to rotate around a pandering to the polling data.

From China to solving the migration problem through a ‘Marshall Plan’ for Latin America and more, Trump’s nominal views on these questions found expression as dominating themes in the debate.

In the war of positions, this is a victory for Trump.

The June 26th Democratic Party Presidential Debate was astounding in its representation of a major paradigm shift in the United States.

TULSI GABBARD COMES AWAY THE WINNER

Connected to Trump as the ‘winner’, it was Tulsi Gabbard who stood out from the rest of the candidates. Interestingly, reliable polling data just out from the Drudge Report shows that Gabbard emerged as the winner of the debate on ideas and policies overall. She won some 40% of the vote, and when compared to the candidates whom the other 60% was divided, it was a landslide.

Before anyone dismisses Gabbard, it’s critical to understand that mainstream media lost most of its credibility over the lat election. This is the age of underdogs and dark horses

When the subject moved to Afghanistan and occupation, Gabbard was on confident and really on fire. This is significant because while historically Gabbard’s anti-imperialist line on occupation would be associated with (normally later broken) Democratic Party talking points, it was here that Trump defeated Clinton at the polls, when Trump won the anti-war vote in 2016.

Worth noting as well as that in the aftermath of the debate last night, Gabbard’s new social media campaign on Twitter features her name scrolling across the bottom of the screen in undeniable Trump 2016 campaign font. Coincidence? Nothing in politics is coincidental – nothing.

Gabbard destroyed Ryan on Afghanistan, and Booker’s attempt to attack Gabbard fell tremendously short and felt very artificial, saying that Gabbard’s position on LGBTQ ‘isn’t enough’, but then switching incoherently to the subject of African Americans, Jim Crow, and lynchings – a misfire and very much off-topic.

CHINA

Of the ten candidates debating, four responded that China was the primary threat to the US – but this was the single-most consistent answer. Delaney, Klobuchar, Castro, and Ryan all answered this way.

This was a win for Trump’s entire line for the last thirty something years.

De Blasio stood out as the lone Russiagater, definitely representing the mindset of his New York City electorate and the coastal media establishment.

Gabbard, meanwhile, was wise to name ecological threats as this helped her maintain her position as an anti-war candidate.

The pivot to a focus on China is much less dangerous than the focus on Russia. The US does not really believe it can challenge China in a military sense, and their anti-Chinese rhetoric, while full of sword rattling and imperial bravado, amounts to noise and little more. There is some hope in American quarters about curtailing China’s economic strength, but the focus on China appears more as a question of a state requiring the spectre of an anthropomorphized threat in the abstract, in order to justify the existence of a state and a military budget, and to make a foreigner responsible for matters of wealth disparity and a lack of employment opportunities in the US – a prominent tactic and talking point in market-driven societies based in private property norms.

But the pivot to a focus on China was tremendous and not expected, given the relationship historically between China and the Democratic Party – a friendly one.

Until now, it’s been just the conservative corners of the alt-light in the US-centric internet who view the ‘rising Chinese threat’ as a serious concern for the US. This trope was primarily focused on the twin threat of Chinese rising military prowess and its population size, along with the US practice of outsourcing American jobs to China – a policy that saw short term consumer savings, and mid-to-long term slashes to US wages and employment. It created a trade imbalance which the US can only resolving by defaulting on and then drawing its guns to force a new deal.

Taken all together, this means that whoever Trump gets into the big race with, it will not be a question of ‘whether’ China is a threat, but how to ‘best contain’ the Chinese threat. This is a victory from ‘go’ for Trump.

LATIN AMERICA

Here is another major subject where Trump’s influence on the entire discourse has prevailed, though it’s a little less obvious and requires a minor bifurcation to reveal.

We are of course obliged to mention that the location of the debate in Miami Florida was strategic given its representation of Latinos in the US – traditionally Cuban and more recently Venezuelan Republicans as hardline anti-communists and cold-warriors, who see their children increasingly becoming more ‘center-left’ as they have Americanized and become ‘Latinos’ in the US. They are still at odds geopolitically with Latinos, primarily Mexican-Americans from the American southwest, who tend to be friendlier to socialist ideas and have represented the far-left of the Democratic Party on economic issues as well as anti-imperialism, even if sharing with Cuban-Americans some more socially conservative values. This communitarian axis of Latinos in the US, however, has grown and become a real force of its own.

Trump’s hardline on Cuba and Venezuela is appealing to the Florida wing of the Latino constituency (to the extent we can speak of a single constituency), and this is where the Democratic Party understands it needs to fight in order to win Florida.

There hasn’t been a Republican candidate to win the Presidency without winning Florida in many generations, and the Republican victory of Rick Scott in the state’s most expensive senatorial race against Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson in 2018 shows that Republicans are aiming to win Florida in 2020. The Democratic Party concern is palpable and well founded.

So we find the extraordinary focus on Latinos was represented in the ultimately surprising display of whole Spanish language answers from both Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker, and a few questions wholly or partly in Spanish from the moderators. The entire debate was brought to viewers not just by NBC but also by Spanish language network Telemundo.

At face value, Trump and Democrats seem to be 6’s and 7’s over immigration. But when we really look at what the real deal is, we find yet another alignment of the Democrat’s position to that of Trump’s. How can this be?

To understand this is to understand the overall trajectory now that the US empire is all but finished. Its historical aim now is to be able to disentangle from the Mid-East, a prominent Trump position which used to be Obama’s until it wasn’t, and on the Democratic side today is only being carried forward by Tulsi Gabbard. The so-called neo-isolationism of the US isn’t so much that, as it is a return to the Monroe Doctrine. This author has written about this several years before Trump took office, in the article ‘From Pax Americana to Pan Americana’. Here this author argued that the US must transform from a Sea Power into a Land Power. This isn’t isolationism, but a right-sized regional hegemon, a regional hegemon for the Americas.

Trump’s rhetoric on the immigration question and Mexico has never failed to mention that the mid-to-long term solution is not only that Mexico enforces its own borders to its south, but that the Mexican economy grows – and this requires investment.

The trade-offs are several fold. For one, the US goes back to its China position, and wants Latin American countries to agree to reduce the Chinese influence in exchange for real industrial capital investments from the United States into Latin America.

This is not to say that the Democratic Party has ignored Latin America to date, far from it. It was under Obama’s two terms that the US worked the most to reverse the Pink Tide in Latin America, and this came with a few ‘own goals’ when the ultimate consequence of the regime-change operation in Honduras was to stoke a human wave migration crisis. This was, in short, the American version of the Libya scenario.

While Trump is nominally strict on immigration, it was under Obama that the US deported the most migrants in history. This is a fact that Democrats ignore in their talking points and attacks on Trump’s ‘inhuman policy’ that tears families apart. And so in a strange departure from what might otherwise occur to us, it was Obama’s policy that was worse by the numbers for pro-migration advocates, and it’s been Trump who has openly called for investment into Latin America with a named reason being to stem the migration ‘crisis’.

And it’s this exact talking point that numerous Democratic Party candidates picked up on, and a very telling term was introduced by Julian Castro – a Marshall Plan for Latin America. Cory Booker stood beside and nodded in apparent agreement, and that the words came from the token Latino (no, not Beto), Castro was both intentional and symbolically telling.

While Bolton and Pompeo have operated under the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ term, this is so entirely distasteful for all of Latin America that it offends anyone and everyone, even the US’s own lackeys, puppets, and proxies in the region.

But this Marshall Plan for Latin America was already introducedby none other than Mexican President AMLO himself, in talks with Trump.

“Why it matters: AMLO has worked energetically since taking office to sell the White House on a “Marshall Plan” of support to address the region’s growing migrant crisis. The US commitment is a preliminary sign that he’s at least being heard…

While he campaigned as a compassionate voice on immigration, Mexico’s new left-wing leader spied the need for a grand solution. The US funding will contribute to a $30 billion aid package envisioned by AMLO…

AMLO even dangled the prospect of Chinese investment to bring Trump to the table, according to the NY Times — reasoning that the US might be more willing to pay up if it feared that China might try to expand its influence in the region by opening its wallet.”

Since them, numerous articles have popped up describing Trump’s potential ‘Marshall Plan’ for Central America.

WHAT NEXT? CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

What Tulsi Gabbard, the clear winner of the debate, will do next is to appropriate Julian Castro’s ‘Marshall Plan’ line on Mexico and Central America. It dog-whistles numerous Trump talking points in relation to Mexico, as well as taking a ‘less migration is good migration’ approach to what is no doubt a real problem, without engaging in reactionary attacks on the migrants themselves. To get ‘to the source’ of the problem, as Castro explains, requires investment into Latin America.

Gabbard will be well positioned to nominally attack Trump’s policy implementation along human rights grounds, while not being specific on anything except getting ‘to the source of the problem’.

Gabbard is the dark horse, and along with Yang (in the second night’s debate) will no doubt pull ahead of the conventionally pre-selected winners that were supposed to be Booker, Sanders, Warren and especially Biden. We will see much more focus on Gabbard now in virtual spaces, even while the mainstream media will continue to wrongly focus on Biden and Booker. Booker played his left-most game in the debate, but as prospective voters sort him on questions as far and ranging as Palestine, war, and labor (economy) – they will find him sorely lacking.

With 60% of American generally supporting Trump’s approach to the economy, these are his highest approval ratings, and ones which Americans care about and highly prioritize. Gabbard would be wise to approach the question of distribution, winners and losers of the economic boom, and focus on the 1% vs. the 99%. Doing so will help her move beyond her initial base of support as the anti-war candidate.

This will angle the populist line, and position her well not only against all other Democrats, but even against Trump himself should she win the nomination. It’s a long shot, but remember indeed: this is the age of underdogs and dark horses.

 

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