What Bernie Wants, Why He Should Not Drop Out and Why It Would Be Political Maplractice If He Did
I have many better things to do today. I have to pick up seat covers for my new gas guzzling Dodge Challenger, the warmed up swimming pool beckons, and I have a lot of new photos to process.
But I am so goddamn sick and tired of Hillary supporters and gaseous pundits bloating on about why won't Bernie just drop out, I am going to sacrifice a bit of my time to expose you to some sensible marcsplaining. So pay attention:
- As I have stated before, Sanders is neither a fool nor a lunatic. He knows very well he cannot flip the superdelegates nor win the nomination. However, to stay in a race, ALL candidates must say they are in it to win. Get it? But he has no illusions. His insistence on flipping the supers is clearly a strategy to underline his stated distaste for this in-crowd of party hacks and he is cleverly underlining the anti-democratic role they play by becoming the folks who actually decide over the heads of the voters. Apparently this strategy is a bit too clever for a lot of you cuz it went right over your fuzzy little heads.
- The monumental collapse of the GOP this cycle and its takeover by fruitcake Trump has overshadowed an equally salient fact: the collapse of the Democratic Party. Fortunately for the Democrats, their collapse—the erosion of trust by huge sectors of its base, it's complete irrelevance to voters under age 35 and so on—has been slightly less explosive than the Republicans—where the implosion has been total. In the case of the Democrats, only about 45% of its voters have rebelled against the party whereas Republican rebels and their quislings is a clear majority. In short, while the GOP as we know it is dead, the Democratic Party is merely on life support and had has at least a narrow chance of surviving.
- That narrow chance does NOT reside with a hack relic of the past named Clinton, who campaigns against inequality while wearing a $12,500 Armani jacket (really). It resides in the hearts, minds, aspirations, enthusiasms and HOPES of an entire younger generation that has been lined up with Sanders program of real and meaningful reform and a more decent America.
If Democrats want to whither away, and believe me they will after two years of Clinton's predictable transactions, just keep it up. You too can be as much as a phantom as the GOP if you try hard enough.
- The only hope the Democratic Party has is that the millions of Sanders supporters, as well as several million Clinton supporters influenced by Sanders, REMAIN engaged, active, and involved in politics. If they are to be prevented from getting burned out or dead ending in a stunted third party, then room for them must be made to have real influence and power in the Democratic Party.
- Sanders has shown that millions of NON Democrats (the biggest party in America is unaffiliated independents) can indeed be brought into the sphere of the Democratic Party as Democratic voters and therein resides any new future governing majority as well as any slim hope to start defeating the GOP fossils that pack the midterms.
- Hence, all the blithering chatter about "party unity" is exactly that. Probably a near 50% of Sanders supporters are not Democrats but are willing to support Democrats who resonate with them. The urgency confronting the party, for God's sake, is not to unify it, but rather to EXPAND it.
- The Sanders faction is currently the most attractive and available voting bloc to build that expansion. Calling them names, belittling them, mocking them, blaming them for a minority that is rude (something found in all campaigns), calling them Bernie Bros and sexists is all done at the peril of the Democratic Party itself. If Democrats want to whither away, and believe me they will after two years of Clinton's predictable transactions, just keep it up. You too can be as much as a phantom as the GOP if you try hard enough.
- Yes, "Sanders is going to the convention." It would be malpractice if he did not. He is now responsible for offering leadership to just about half of an imperiled party that is nominating one of the least inspiring candidates since Gerald Ford, He is not going there to heckle Clinton, to stage a walkout nor is he going there for a photo op to, um, unify the party. Sanders is now the leader of a very serious and broad reform movement: his agenda is very clear: Medicare for All, $15 an hour minimum wage, free public universities (they were just about free in the 60's so why not now?), the mitigation of Big Money in politics, a much tougher crackdown on the Wall Street bandits that gorge on the rest of us, democratization of the primary process, mitigation of the power of the unelected party machine, and deep criminal justice reform. This is a pragmatic, morally responsible program for rejuvenating America (and the Democratic Party).
- It is not an option, it is Sanders' duty to bring his supporters into the convention as a disciplined army of reform to wrest, peacefully but forcefully, as much as he can in this direction during the convention itself. Hey, bozos, that's what convention are supposed to do. Unless you agree with Trump that they should be only show biz extravaganzas. My personal wish is that he keep his supporters as independent as possible, allowing them to become strategic allies of the Democratic Party rather than mindless party robots robbed of all agency.
- If this much can be achieved, then I would urge Sanders to keep that movement fresh, activated, and engaged AFTER the election. If you think Hillary is going to enact any meaningful reform out of the goodness of her heart, you are simply a fool. The Democratic base, led by young Sanders militants, must keep the pressure on her and the party to minimize its predictable capitulations and sell outs (TPP will be the first one). Sanders goal is very, very clear to me... that's because I am not a fuzzy-headed overpaid pundit. He wants to build the progressive mirror of the Christian Coalition, a semi-independent, powerful bloc of organized voters with one foot in and one foot out of the party.
In other words, get used to him. He is not going away and he should not go away. If you chase him out, you chase out an entire young and enthusiastic generation and the loss will be yours.
P.S. NO. NO. Sanders "staying in" be it till DC next week or through the convention does not help Donald Trump. Sanders has already turned his rhetoric away from Hillary and onto Trump. If you want to defeat Donald Trump, you will need Sanders' army of the young. If you alienate them, if you push them away, you will be eaten by The Donald.
And, yes, I will vote for her in November because frankly I have no choice other than to do that. I am not a fan of the lesser of two evils theory. But Trump is evil enough to make an exception. But my hopes and what little energy I have will remain committed to real reform and in the end Hillary is part of the problem, not the solution.