As the Trump campaign crashes and burns and the corporate-approved Hillary Clinton edges ever closer to the White House, the need for a third and genuinely independent party in the United States becomes ever greater.

THE FIRST POLL AFTER the second presidential debate - from CNN - gave the debate to Clinton by a wide margin and, writing this just a few hours after the debate, the overall consensus across the American mainstream media is that Clinton came out on top but Trump performed above expectations. But, after the release of the video that finally sunk a presidential campaign, its hard to see how it could of got any worse for Trump. Basically all he had to do was show up on time and not knock over any of the furniture to perform above expectations.

The New York Times verdict that Trump avoided annihilation was a fair assessment.

The debate, despite all the media talk of a bloodbath, was mostly predictable. Clinton tried to maintain a solidly presidential gravitas presenting her public views - as opposed to her private ones - in mostly coherent sentences. Trump swaggered around the stage a lot and talked mostly gibberish - ''I'll bring economics to the American people," was one of my personal favourites.

Trump, who repeatedly accused Clinton of telling porkies, told a lot of whoppers himself. He might of got away with this in front of an audience of his adoring fans but on a nationally televised debate he just comes across as man with a bad haircut trying to flog a second hand car with a stuffed motor.

Flatly denying that he had invited people to go and look at a sex tape when he is on record - and on Twitter - inviting people to go and look at a sex tape is not going to convince anyone that they can trust Trump - on anything.

But this debate will hardly matter to the end result. With more and more Republicans jumping ship, Trump has zero chance of setting up shop in the White House.

It should not be forgotten that in November Americans elect not just a new president, but also one third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives, both of which are controlled by Republicans.

While the Republican majority in the House (247-188) is cushy and generally considered safe in the November election, the Senate, where Republicans only hold a small majority (54-46), is generally seen as much more vulnerable to a takeover by Democrats. The conclusion now being drawn is that any further association with Trump is likely to deliver the Senate to the Democrats on a plate.

But this is the kind of sedate and safe conversation the mainstream media grazes on 24/7. Beyond the 'blah, blah, blah' the real loser in all this madness is the American people themselves. They lose whoever wins in November.

Howard Zinn
Trump is bad enough but the so-called 'lesser evil' that is Hillary Clinton is a right wing machine politician who is as much a representative of corporate America as Trump is. After the optimism and excitement generated by the campaign for Bernie Sanders, that the American people should end up with someone as Machiavellian and unpleasant as Hillary Clinton is an American tragedy.

In a better world the Green's Jill Stein would be President but, having been deliberately cut out of the national conversation by the political establishment, she can do little but continue to state her case. She remains a focus and a reminder of the need for a third and independent party in the United States that genuinely represents the 99 percent.

In the end we should take note of the words of the great American historian Howard Zinn, who said in 2001:

"There's hardly anything more important that people can learn than the fact that the really critical thing isn't who is sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in--in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories. Who is protesting, who is occupying offices and demonstrating--those are the things that determine what happens."


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