Hillary doesn’t get it. The Democratic establishment doesn’t get it. The political pundits don’t get it. The media talking heads don’t get it.
But almost everyone under thirty does get it.
The movement to elect Bernie Sanders is not a political movement!
Let me say that again. Politics has nothing to do with the support for Bernie. Those supporting Bernie do not give a damn about the Democratic party or politics as usual.
We care about fairness, about democracy, about providing healthcare and education to everyone. We oppose plutocracy, oligarchs, corporate control of government. We believe government should work for everyone, not just those who can buy Members of Congress.
We think the current system of private funding of campaigns is obscene.
And we will not support anyone who is part of that obscene system.
All the “Vote Blue No Matter Who” rhetoric is falling on ears deaf to Hillary’s propaganda. Attempts to bully us into supporting Hillary because the great big bogey man Donald Trump might win are unpersuasive.
We do not care which corporatist is president, because we oppose all corporatists.
The political revolution that Bernie has ignited may succeed this year. Or it may not. But it will never be served by embracing the poster child of Wall Street instead of Bernie.
Mickey Kantor, former US Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton is a personal friend. Mickey is one of the most connected Democrats in the country. He has the ears of presidents and is respected for his political acumen. Speaking with Mickey is akin to speaking to the entire Democratic establishment. He is that influential, and that prescient.
I called Mickey last week. We discussed the state of the presidential race. He is convinced that Hillary will be the nominee, and that Sanders should rein in his criticism of Hillary in the interests of party unity in the Fall.
I offered that many Sanders voters, especially environmentalists and animal activists, would take a pass on Hillary if she is the Democratic nominee.
Mickey dismissed my prognostications as being unrealistic. He mentioned the acrimony between Obama and Hillary supporters in 2008, and pointed out that it took a mere two weeks for them to join forces and unite behind Barack Obama.
And he is certainly correct that Democrats have united behind the party nominee as a general rule in typical campaigns.
But this is no typical campaign. And Bernie Sanders is not a typical candidate. Nor are his supporters typical.
Bernistas (or Berners) fully embrace the idea of a political revolution. They understand that the status quo is the enemy. And that there is no one more the status quo than is Hillary Clinton.
The writing is on the wall for the Democratic party. Young people are not buying what Wall Street Democrats are selling. Over 80% of under 30 Democrats are supporting Sanders. They are the future of the party. The future of the country. They are unafraid of the word “socialist.” Indeed. most are open to the concept.
They see the Democratic establishment as indistinguishable from the Republican establishment. They see no appreciable difference between Hillary Clinton’s and the Republican’s positions on trade, military interventionism, appointing industry insiders to their administrations, Wall Street, corporate welfare, and private financing of campaigns. Ditto on the death penalty and legalizing pot.
For most Sanders voters, this is a fight between liberalism and corporatism.
And we have no interest in voting for the lesser evil. Voting for the lesser evil is still voting for evil.
Eugene Debs, the great American labor leader and socialist, is quoted as saying: “I would rather vote for something I want and not get it, than to vote for something I do not want, and get it.’
That sentiment lives in the hearts and minds of Sanders voters who yearn for a fundamental change in America. Those who believe a political revolution is necessary to bring about that change. And they will not abandon their dream. They will not sacrifice all they wish to occur on the altar of political expediency. They will not vote for Hillary Clinton.
Many will write-in Bernie Sanders. Some will stay home. Others will vote for Jill Stein of the Greens.
My advice to Bernie supporters, if he doesn’t win the nomination, is to vote for whomever the Republicans nominate.
Defeating Hillary Clinton should be our priority. Ending Wall Street control of the Democratic party should be our goal.
I think Millennials are the future. And they are not buying Hillary.
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