Bern Notice


Like many Sanders supporters, I have thrown my heart and soul into his campaign. I have blogged, phone banked, donated, posted, and emailed for Bernie. Quite aside from the time and effort, like most, I am emotionally invested in Sanders for president. I am unalterably opposed to Hillary Clinton and am firmly in the Bernie or Bust camp.

All of my comrades in the Bernie or Bust camp are going to be very disappointed if Bernie does not win the Democratic nomination. Many are going to be disappointed in Bernie when he endorses Hillary if she is the nominee. Most would rather see Bernie run as an independent in November if he doesn’t win the nomination in Philadelphia. Many have pledged to write-in Sanders even if he endorses Clinton.

We all need to get on the same page.

First, we all need to understand exactly what is going on and why.

Bernie entered the Democratic primaries pledged to support whomever won the nomination. There was little likelihood that Bernie would be anywhere as successful as he has been. Nor did we expect questionable conduct by the Clinton campaign involving vote irregularities in many states.

Even so, Bernie made a promise.

If Hillary wins the nomination, many, such as yours truly, have implored him to renege on that commitment and to opt for an independent or third party run in the general election against Hillary Clinton. It is a safe bet that such a move is not going to happen.

There are significant obstacles to Bernie running as an independent, even if he were disposed to do so. Deadlines have passed in many states. Some forbid one running as an independent if the candidate competed in a contested party primary. Running on a third party ticket would require being the standard bearer of several minor parties across the country, as none is ballot qualified in every state.

In the wake of losing four states on Tuesday, Sanders is now focusing on winning delegates for the purpose of forcing the party to adopt a progressive platform which would incorporate much of Bernie’s message on wealth inequality, universal healthcare, tuition free public colleges.

For progressives, such a platform is mere puffery and sleight of hand. Hillary will still be Hillary. The DNC will be unchanged. Wall Street Democrats will continue to serve their masters.

The Democratic party platform is a joke. It is not binding in any way. And fighting over it is a waste of time, money, energy, and the souls of progressives.

When and if Bernie supports Hillary, it should be contingent upon Bernie having veto power over the leadership of the DNC. And, should Hillary win, a role in judicial appointments.

As for me, I will continue to oppose Hillary regardless of what Bernie does.

Our votes are powerful weapons against the oligarchs. The establishment is afraid of what we might do with our votes.

They will breathe a sigh of relief if we opt to sit out the election. Ditto if we write-in Bernie. Write-in votes are not even counted unless one declares oneself a write-in candidate. All those who pledge to write-in Bernie no matter what will be throwing their votes away.

Voting for a third party candidate is also benign in its effect. While I am an admirer of Jill Stein of the Greens and Clifton Roberts of the Humane party, voting for either will do nothing to stop Hillary and her Wall Street Democrat cronies.

The way to hurt the establishment is to prevent the establishment from winning the White House.

We must use our votes as tactical weapons. We must use them to defeat Hillary, not just to make ourselves feel good, thinking we stood up for principle.

If Bernie isn’t the nominee, the most effective way to continue Bernie’s revolution is to make sure Hillary is not in his way. If Hillary is not president, Bernie will be the most important Democrat in the party. He will be poised to lead progressives in controlling the party, growing the party, and turning the party into a democratic socialist party.

Bernie’s campaign apparatus could become the framework for an entirely new Democratic party, involving grassroots participation as never before.

The way to accomplish defeating Hillary is to vote for Donald Trump.

For those with reservations about voting for a neocon warmonger who supports military interventionism, regime change, and the bombing of civilians, Trump is a welcome respite. Aside from holding positions significantly more progressive than Hillary on those issues, he is also more progressive on trade, corporate control of government, and the revolving door between government and industry.

The irony is that Donald Trump will help Bernie Sanders’ political revolution, albeit unintentionally.



Author’s Notes:

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2 thoughts on “Bern Notice

  1. The short-sightedness of your position is appalling. Let me say at the outset that I too am a strong Bernie supporter, both financially and philosophically. However, Bernie running as an independent is simply not a feasible alternative at this point. To do so would simply wipe away all the gains that have been hard fought for progressive causes. More to the point, he would lose and so would the presumptive Democratic nominee. Gone would be the hopes of placing a more progressive candidate to SCOTUS; Gone would be the successful down-ticket elections critical to the hopes of regaining some level of control in Congress.

    Instead, the opportunity exists to lay the groundwork for the next election cycle to build on the both the goodwill and the financial support structure that Bernie’s campaign has created. It is time to create a long-term strategic plan to create a permanent party alternative to the Democratic Party (the same may well happen to the splintered GOP). This cannot and should not happen overnight. It makes zero tactical or strategic sense to approach this in a way that does not allow for foundational growth.

    Does this mean, as progressives, that we should vote for Hillary in this election cycle if she in indeed the nominee? Yes. Do we have to like it? No. Should we expect veto power – that is a ludicrous demand. However, should we be able to heavily influence, Party, platform, voter turnout and successful election of candidates down-ticket? ABSOLUTELY.


    • Leaving Wall Street Democrats in charge of the Democratic party is a much more dangerous course of action than throwing them out. The number one establishment talking point is that we must keep the conservative Democrats in office to keep the conservative Republicans out of office. That line of propaganda is wearing thin.

      There are three reasons to vote for Trump over Hillary:

      Trump is closer to Bernie than is Hillary on trade, military interventionism, foreign policy, corporate ownership of Congress, lobbyists, and the revolving door between industry and the executive branch.

      With the defeat of Hillary, Bernie will be the most prominent and influential Democrat in the party. He will be able to continue his political revolution without opposition and obstruction from Hillary and her cohorts.

      If Hillary is elected, Democrats will be shut out in reapportionment after the 2020 Census, assuring Republican control of the House for another decade. Whichever party gains the White House this year will lose statehouse races in 2018 and 2020. For Democrats, a Hillary presidency will be a disaster for the future of the party.

      The political establishment is in full panic mode. Normally, no matter if a Republican or a Democrat is elected, the fix is in. Wall Street tentacles extend deep into both parties. Whomever is president is indebted to special interest money and lobbyists. On substantive issues that affect profits to industry, there is usually little difference between the candidates.

      Trump has changed the equation. He has tapped into a populist rage against the establishment, and does not need special interest money to seek the presidency. As a result, the establishment has no hook in Trump. They cannot control him. They have no reason to believe he will play ball with them if he is elected.

      The result is that the establishment has been circling the wagons, waging a propaganda war against Trump, doing all in their power to derail his campaign and to demonize the man and his message.

      Liked by 1 person

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