[Context: A good friend of mine is a strong Hillary supporter. We’ve been chatting on FB and she sent me a LONG message about why Bernie Supporters should essentially give up the goat and stop criticizing Hillary. Here is a series of quotes from her FB Post and my replies]
Okay! That was long and rich and thank you for the read. Let’s see. In general, I’m understanding much of what you are saying and I see the value to it. That said, I have a few questions and comments to offer.
(1) The trouble is that it is mathematically highly unlikely that Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee.
The point of a primary is to choose the best candidate. If your group only lets white kids in Alabama vote in the primary on who to put up as their candidate for High School President…and then, during the whole-school election, every child (black, white, latino, asian) is allowed to vote…you may very well think you have a strong candidate only to find out that your candidate is quite weak. I believe that the Democratic Party’s Primary system is designed to do exactly what it’s doing…figure out who Democratic Party Loyalists will stand behind during the national election. Because, in the past, those were the voters who mattered in the national election. In 2016, it is the far larger demographic of Independent Voters who will swing the election. And, when the primary season accidentally allows for Independents to weigh in, we see landslide wins for Bernie.
Alaska – Closed Caucus (but you can change your affiliation the day of the caucus)
Hawaii – Closed Caucus (ditto)
Washington – Open Caucus (register to vote day of!)
These three states make it entirely possible for everyone to vote. And Bernie won in the high 70’s and low 80’s…with the LD Caucus last weekend increasing that win by a percent or two.
SO, if the obviousness of Bernie’s win is hard to prove mathematically, it is because many states are rigged to disguise his true popularity with the people of the USA.
(2) Bernie Sanders stepped into this race taking advantage of that two party system by pretending to be a Democrat.
Bernie Sanders has caucused as a Democrat for much/most of his career. His run as a candidate of the Democratic Party is entirely appropriate.
(3) You say Hillary is supported by one demographic – Democratic party loyalists. Well, what primary are we talking about? Did you forget that it is the Democratic Party primary? Even though the voting has been open in some states, this is still voting for the Democratic Party nominee. So where does that not make sense to you?
Every person in America gets to think for themselves. The Democratic Party is filled with individuals who have differing opinions on just about everything. However, there is one group within the party that is “attached” to how things used to be done. These folks display their attachment by demanding that others follow the rules that used to suffice. What others in America, both within and without the Democratic Party, realize is that…things are different now.
Even though Bernie isn’t a Democrat, he ran as a Democrat because he would get more attention, and be perceived as a more serious candidate as a Democrat than as an Independent.
I believe Bernie Sanders made this choice because he knows that if we can NOT resurrect the Democratic Party from within…if we have to fritter away our time creating an entirely different party…the damage to the planet will occur before we can stop it. At this moment in human history, the best route to ecological sanity is through the existing vehicle of the Democratic Party. My hope is that the Party itself will not actually doom us by refusing to read the writing on the wall.
Remember the GOAL of the Primary: “To determine who is the best person for the job, within each party, so that the best person can be put forward in the general election.”
BERNIE IS THE BEST CANDIDATE, IF WE WANT A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT IN THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2017.
Hillary has been extremely gentle with him. At first she probably did that because she didn’t take him seriously. Now she has two reasons: 1) She doesn’t want to piss off his supporters. and 2) They agree on almost everything. So the only way she could really attack him would be to get personal, and she has pledged not to do that.
They have both been civil with each other, which is a mark of their intelligence with regard to how politics works. That said, Hillary knows she’s got insiders all over the place working to help her win — and The People are pissed about this abuse of power. Bernie could not ignore what it happening and continue to be the Bernie we love and support. As it is, I believe he’s holding his tongue quite well.
I think Bernie is doing well because 1) he speaks to the deeply held desires of Liberals everywhere. 2) he presents a black and white picture of what is good and bad that people have an easy time grasping. 3) he has capitalized on a moment in history that is teeming with movements for change, from Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring. 4) Hillary came into this election with 25 years of baggage, including 25 years of an extremely well funded, focused attack against her character.
I was in middle school when Bill Clinton was elected to the White House. I do NOT have any entrenched sense of negativity toward Hillary based upon the past 25+ years. That said, as I’ve done my homework…I have gained, entirely free from bias, a strong awareness that Hillary Clinton is the wrong person for the job of President.
As for Bernie’s success, I believe it is NOT due to what he is saying now. I believe he is successful because of the fact that he’s been saying the same thing for DECADES. He is a deeply moral person who has walked his talk. We are lucky he’s willing to stay in the game and give of himself as our representative in the White House.
If Bernie does win the nomination, he will be subjected to the most vicious, demeaning, appalling assault you have ever seen…On the other hand, they have already spent millions attacking Hillary during the primary, even posing as Bernie Sanders supporters, to try to make sure they aren’t running against her in the fall. Hillary has been through 25 years of fire. She has no stones left unturned. And she is still winning the primary.
I don’t think there’s anything major that anyone can pull up about Bernie. If there was, Hillary would pull it up against him now, in order to cinch the nomination.
The people who do know Hillary personally like her, trust her implicitly, only talk about how dedicated and hard working she is, and say she would be a great President.
When you have as much clout and power as Hillary does, it’s hard to talk against her without suffering her wrath. Those who are her avowed enemies can do this, but anyone who lives and works within the Democratic Party is deeply vulnerable to her AND those who owe her favors.
If you interviewed members of the Saudi Royal Family, I’m sure they’d have nothing but good things to say about the King.
Bernie occasionally tries to counter this image. He likes Hillary. They have worked together. He acknowledges that she would be great in the job of President. Same thing from Robert Reich. He knows the Clintons very well, and considers them both decent, admirable, honest people. But the rhetoric that Bernie uses incites those flames of anger towards her. This is a very big problem.
Do you really think this? Robert Reich recently released a video where he talked about working with Hillary Clinton & his relationship with her and Bill. He commented on how much of a hard worker she is…but he didn’t go so far as to say he likes her. Not really. The same with Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton asked, “Where was Bernie Sanders back in the early 90’s when I was working on health care reform?”
A: Um, standing right behind you as you publicly thanked him for his support.
Q: Who would like a person who would lie about you to the people in an effort to win over a few more votes? And, um…doesn’t this contradict your above assertion that Hillary is viewed by her friends as being honest? Lying is lying.
The reason Hillary supporters have been fighting back more lately is that we realize the schism this fight is causing in the Democratic race. We do need those Independents come November. That’s one reason we all say we will vote for Bernie if he is the candidate, and it is why we find it so distressing that a large percentage of Bernie’s supporters say they wouldn’t vote for Hillary. We understand the consequences of another Republican administration, especially in this climate of polarity.
This is where “groupism” is setting in. Who is “we?” People who are NOT DEMOCRATS do not owe those who ARE any loyalty. For Democratic Party Members who are supportive of Hillary Clinton (meaning, they are supporting the status quo) to think that it makes any sense to demand that Bernie supporters vote for Hillary…well, it’s very much what one would expect from a person who is supporting a Status Quo Candidate.
Why do you think we’ve had congressional gridlock for the last 6 years? It is because of idealism and an unwillingness to compromise.
We’ve had gridlock because that is what the Industrial/Corporate Global Elite want us to have. And they got their way because Americans went to sleep. Bernie has woken them up. Catastrophic Extinction is waking them up. The natural result of un-regulated greed (collapse of 2007-2008) and the ongoing Global Depression has also woken them up. What I, and other supporters of Bernie don’t understand, is how people can choose to support Hillary. We can’t find the logic behind that decision. Even the logic of the “fear & doubt” which seems to be at the root of a great many arguments for a candidate who is middle of the road enough to “get things done” just doesn’t fly…not when you consider that our future hangs in the balance.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR TIMID & SAFE POLITICS.
The rhetoric coming from Bernie supporters is exactly like the rhetoric coming from Trump or from Cruz. It is that far from the center. And you HAVE to lead from the center.
Bernie Sanders IS center, when you consider the rest of the developed world. And, because you are NOT involved in the Political (R)Evolution and because you do NOT volunteer your time by the side of focused Bernie Sanders supporters…you can believe what you just said. But, as a person who has spent 11 months in the trenches with a huge and growing number of Bernie Supporters/Political (R)Revolutionaries…I guarantee you this is not true. There will be inflammatory idiots in every demographic, and if you are without the demographic then you may mistake the noisy for the core. Consider the Occupy Movement. According to the Media and many armchair viewers, Occupy was equated with the Black Bloc. I, as a participant on the ground for several months at many levels of engagement, saw the real Occupy. I was also there, when the #BlackLivesMatter advocates interrupted the Celebration of Social Security in downtown Seattle just as Bernie Sanders had been asked to share a few thoughts. The media/social media’s impression (from afar) of that encounter was equally mis-aligned. Etc.
So, back to Bernie not winning the nomination – he is not a Democrat. He is running as a Democrat in order to take advantage of being a part of one of the two major parties, but he isn’t a member of one of the two major parties, and he isn’t stepping up his game, throwing his support behind the Democratic machine, either.
I’m curious if you’ve been to any of Bernie Sanders’ rallies? He always has people come up and talk to the audience for about 30 minutes prior to his own arrival…sometimes it’s an hour. We’ve heard from City Councilwoman Sawant, WA Senator Pramila Jayapal here in WA (among many others) and across the board, he invites local “down ticket” politicians WHO ARE WILLING TO ENDORSE HIM to come and speak to the gathered TENS OF THOUSANDS at his events. This is how I learned of Pramila Jayapal, although I’d also read her write-up about the two #BlackLivesMatter advocates & that situation, as well. Essentially, every speech he gives is his opportunity to “stump” for local politicians who stand for the same honest platform that he does. This is him acting like a moral politician who understand that we all need to work together.
And now he is trying to get the Democratic Super Delegates to switch to supporting him, when he has done nothing to support them. It isn’t going to happen. It wouldn’t even matter if it weren’t how divisive this all is.
So, you shouldn’t vote for the right person? You should vote for the person who you owe a favor? That’s cronyism at it’s core! AND, I sincerely hope you are wrong. If these 712 Super Delegates are so “bought and paid for” that they can’t think for themselves when making this decision (and YES, Super Delegates ARE being pressured by the DNC to endorse Hillary Clinton)…then we are truly in trouble.
This is why we keep saying we need to come together as a party. It isn’t because we want people to abandon their support of Bernie. Really. We just want them to tone down the rhetoric.
Listen to what you are saying. Here’s how it sounds to me. “We know the Super Delegates won’t support him. We know Hillary is going to win. And, with this belief, we want Bernie Supporters to listen to us and give us what we want, which is for them to gracefully accept defeat now and stop questioning the candidate that we prefer.”
I mean, really? It’s like saying, “You’re gonna lose the soccer game anyway because we’re ahead by 1 and the referees are our friends…so, could you just stop playing so hard? You’re putting our players at risk of an injury and we just want the game to be over, ok?”
NOTE: Political (R)Evolutions are never easy. They require CONFIDENCE AND COMMITMENT. And we, who support Bernie Sanders, understand this. I’m not sure you do, though. You (meant as the plural for Hillary supporters who say the type of things you say) are advocating against Political (R)Evolutionaries and you want them to just quietly stop what they are doing? We aren’t going to do that. Why? Because we know that the candidate you trust is NOT trustworthy. So, in a very real way, the way we see it…we are fighting your battle for you.
Consider this. If all Hillary Supporters agreed to support Bernie Sanders (for all the good reasons to do so)…do you think, for even a second, that Bernie could lose in November?
Of course not. The whole of the Democratic Party, the larger portion of our society which is Independent, and the cross-over Republicans combined? THAT is a true force for revolution! Imagine what could be accomplished in America with that level of combined commitment to a better future?
So, really the question is: “What are you scared of? Why won’t you throw your weight behind a candidate who is clearly the most progressive and honest option on the table? Because, if you support Hillary, I gotta ask…what about the current status quo is okay with you?”