Why Bernie Endorsed Hillary. The Big Picture.


We forget the political landscape of 2015 and the years before.

We forget that there was no champion for progressives, no leader speaking to the dismal record of the Obama administration, no leader advocating for universal healthcare, no leader demanding a living minimum wage, no leader calling out Wall Street and the banks for owning the federal government, no one leading a charge against fracking, Arctic drilling, Big Oil pipelines, or taxpayer subsidies to the oil industry,

The Democratic establishment had already crowned Hillary as president-in-waiting. Obama was going to see a third term of Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, and Wall Street hacks running the next administration.

A number of progressive Democrats implored Elizabeth Warren to run. When she blew us off we turned to Bernie Sanders.

Bernie electrified the left! He articulated so many of the issues that mattered to us. The progressive movement exploded!

Bernie, of course, is not perfect. He doesn’t connect all the dots on the left, but no one does. I find him weak on animal issues and much less a dove than I would have him be. Others take issue with his support for Israel, still others his support of the dairy industry and arms manufacturers.

But Bernie was, and is, the only national leader hostile to the oligarchy that controls the Democratic party.

And Bernie took the fight to them in the 2016 primaries.

Bernie captured the hearts, imaginations, and votes, of millions.

Few of them as knowledgeable, as motivated, or as sophisticated as the progressive activists who populate online forums, Facebook groups, or who read this blog. Of the millions who supported Bernie in the Democratic primaries, only a relative handful handful bailed on him and voted Green when he endorsed Hillary. A great many more progressives actually voted for Trump.

Most everyone who supported Bernie in the 2016 Democratic primaries is on-board for a Bernie run in 2020.

But we are all over the block on how he should proceed.

There are those of us who believe our future lies with the Green party. There are those who think Bernie Sanders should launch a Peoples’ party, and are busy petitioning him to do so. Most progressives are in Bernie Sanders’ camp, intent upon reforming the Democratic party.

Some on the left are so frustrated that Bernie supported Hillary that they fail to analyze the big picture. They also delude themselves that a groundswell of equally frustrated Democrats will flow into a third party. The patent absurdity of that happening was amply demonstrated by Jill Stein’s pitiful performance in November.

Selling a third party to American voters is no different than selling tires, cereal or creamed corn. To get consumers to purchase an unknown brand requires substantial marketing and advertising campaigns. Branding a political party is even more difficult than branding a product, as promotions and incentives are impossible to offer.

Those promoting the Greens or a People’s party ignore the most basic political truism: It would require the expenditure of billions upon billions of dollars to sufficiently brand the Greens or another third party to effectively make them a viable political alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.

Sanders believes the future of the progressive movement lies within the Democratic party.

I was one of his harshest critics when he endorsed the Whore of Wall Street. Like many Berners I hoped Bernie would run as a Green and challenge the two war and Wall Street parties.

In retrospect, Bernie made the right call. He would have lost as a Green. Trump would still have been elected president. But progressives would have been shut out of the Democratic party. The movement would have become marginalized. Bernie and his followers would have become as irrelevant as Jill Stein and the Greens are now.

Bernie was playing the long game. He must have been terrified that Hillary might have won. Had she, progressives would have also been shut out of the process, marginalized within the Democratic party, and the DNC and it’s corrupt hacks would never have been openly challenged.

In that light, there really was no downside for Sanders in supporting Hillary. And with endorsing Hillary, Bernie stood the chance of hitting the political jackpot: a Trump win.

With a Trump presidency, there will be no sitting Wall Street Democrat in the White House. A real possibility exists that the stranglehold that Wall Street hacks have had on the DNC may be broken.

There are more rank-and-file progressive Democrats than there are rank-and-file Wall Street Democrats. More liberals than neo-liberals. More leftists than there are oligarchs.

The reason progressives do not control the party is because Wall Street lobbyists have purchased our elected Democratic leaders.

They owned Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, almost every Member of Congress and the Senate. In turn, those bought-and-paid-for Wall Street sycophants appointed DNC operatives, who appointed super-delegates, who stole the election from Bernie Sanders.

Some of us disagree with Bernie, some are skeptical of his strategy.

Bernie is the leader of those who will follow him. And most Berners will follow Bernie.

The immediate task at hand is to help Bernie take over the Democratic party.

And that is really the only option available to progressives. Every other course of action is a waste of time, energy, and resources. Third parties, petitioning Bernie to fall on his sword, howling at the moon, etc, accomplish nothing.

For those in the Democratic party, let’s get to work on Bernie’s revolution.

For those outside the party, #DemEnter.

For those who disagree, let’s set aside our differences for the next 3 years and get Bernie Sanders (or one of his political heirs) the Democratic nomination.

Animal activists and environmentalists have a more compelling interest in replacing Trump with a progressive in 2020 than do any others. That is because most of the Trump opposition is not progressive. Corporate and centrist Democrats, establishment Republicans, free trade lobbyists, multinational corporations, and many in the military-industrial complex are avowed enemies of Donald Trump. And those enemies do not give a damn about animals or the environment.

Replacing Trump with a Wall Street Democrat in 2020 would accomplish nothing for the animals or the environment. Merely joining the chorus of Trump critics is counter-productive for progressives, animal activists, and environmentalists. The cacophony of those screaming about Trump is drowning out those who are pointing out that Hillary and the Democrats are responsible for Trump.

The Democratic leadership could not be more transparent. By creating public hysteria about Trump, even the Wall Street hacks who run the Democratic party will appear progressive in comparison.

The Democratic leadership hopes to unite rank-and-file Democrats on women’s issues and immigration, and to thus nominate another Wall Street Whore in 2020. They hope to divert the attention of the rank-and-file from the chasm that exists between progressives and Wall Street Democrats.

The fact that the Democratic establishment opposes universal healthcare, which progressives support.

That Wall street Democrats support corporate welfare, which progressives oppose.

That Wall Street Democrats support corporate funding of campaigns and gifts to public officials, which progressives oppose..

That Wall Street Democrats support fracking, pipelines, Arctic drilling, mining on public lands, etc, all of which progressives oppose.

That Wall street Democrats support regime changes, the killing of civilians by drones, bombing of countries we are not at war with, etc. All of which progressives oppose. .

.Progressives will have none of it.

The protests in the streets are smoke and mirrors. They help the Hillbots, the Wall Street Democrats, DNC, the lobbyists who own most of the Congress.

So long as the protests are focused on Trump, the Democratic leadership is insulated from criticism and responsibility.

Should the protests instead be focused in favor of change, in favor of a new Democratic party, in favor of Bernie, in favor of political revolution, we will defeat both Trump and the neo-liberal corporatists who control the Democratic party.



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16 thoughts on “Why Bernie Endorsed Hillary. The Big Picture.

  1. You say that it would have been wrong for Bernie to run as a Green, because then progressives would have lost any power to change the Democratic party. Your argument holds not a drop of water, since we STILL hold no power in the Democratic party, as evidenced by the Perez vote. If Bernie had run with the Greens, they would have gotten, at the very least, the five percent needed for full ballot access next time, full matching funds next time, and extensive media coverage. He might have even gotten more than that, which would have been unprecedented (and no, Ross Perot does not count, because he did not push a third party to the forefront as Bernie would have done with the Greens.) Because Bernie failed to do so, the Greens could not pull off that milestone five percent. Bernie gave progressives less power, not more, by sticking with the Democrats.

    The only way that we will ever change the world is through DEMEXT, REPEXIT, and taking back our power for the 99 percent. You and your corporate-loving DNC cronies can kiss progressive votes goodbye, and you will not brainwash us into returning. I remember 1968, when I was just 17. I was too young to vote but not to young to campaign for Eugene, and the Democrats said, “Stay in, all you McCarthy lovers! Change the Democratic Party from within!” You fooled me for 48 years … 48 years is enough. DEMEXIT!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taking over the Democratic party has nothing to do with supporting the Democratic establishment, Wall Street hacks, or the DNC. Nor does the election of Perez to DNC chair mean a thing. Only idiots would have expected the hacks who control the national party to elect anyone other than another hack to the post of DNC chair. The establishment will never willingly surrender power. To take over the party will require that establishment hacks be purged. That means we employ a scorched Earth policy: we have to primary every hack who supported Hillary over Bernie. Then, contrary to what liberals have been doing for 50 years, we must replace them with Republicans in the generals. Once the corporate Democrats see that we are bent on destroying them, most of those still in office will come to Jesus.


      • I agree w/ Kathleen but the discussion represents another problem. As “progressives” we cant agree on much, especially how to gain (not regain) control of the government. And the lack of agreement among ourselves (support Clinton or vote Green) will keep us form power.


      • s in the generals against what we were told was the greater evil/ In fact, the greater evil is the Democrats. Progessives tend to bury their heads in the sand. We meekly followed the Democrats in the generals, having been sold that the Republicans are the greater evil. We are now being sold that a third party can compete with the democrats nationally. The absurdity of that claim was just amply demonstrated by Jill Stein.. Lucy’s Lemonade Stand cannot compete with Coke and Pepsi without BILLIONS upon BILLIONS in marketing dollars. No one has that kind of money. And if they did, it would be cheaper to spend it on invading the Democrats.


      • Again, Stein failed because: Sanders didn’t back her, she wasn’t allowed in the debates, people thought Clinton was a shoe-in.


      • Why would he back her? She hadn’t a prayer of winning a single electoral vote. And even if she were to have won a few, all she could have done is to throw the race into the house of Representatives, where Trump would have comfortably won. All supporting Stein would have done would have been to remove any legitimacy Bernie now has to reform the Democrats.


  2. Mr. Vincent — I respond as a self-proclaimed Progressive — in your article, you propose that we DemEnter and we “fix” the corrupted Democratic Party from the inside out. Any idea how long that would take? Probably just about as long, if not longer, than it would take to get at least one other viable political party established in this country. I’m sure you are aware that we are held hostage by a corporate owned two-party system of government. And you probably know that many other “developed” countries around the world have many political parties that aim to represent all factions of their populace. And finally, how do you think any headway can be made in any election as long as the results can be bought and paid for by those that pull all the Washington strings? We have not had an honest election in this country since we stopped counting paper ballots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathleen, I have no idea how long it will take to take over the Democratic party. (I never suggest “fixing” it!) But however long it takes will be considerably less time than it would take to build a minor party into a viable major one.
      Those promoting the Greens or a People’s party ignore the most basic political truism: It would require the expenditure of billions upon billions of dollars to sufficiently brand the Greens or another third party to effectively make them a viable political alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.
      The American political system discourages minor political parties. Unlike parliamentary democracies, our system of government does not allow for coalition governments. Under parliamentary systems, the executive branch of government is synonymous with the legislative branch. They are one and the same. Under the US Constitution, the executive branch is the president, who is elected independently of the election of the legislative branch, the Congress.
      Because Congress does not select the president, and has no direct control of the Executive Branch of American government, there is no ability of Congress to bring down a government through votes of No Confidence. Similarly, no coalition of Members of Congress can replace the president.
      Under parliamentary democracies, minor parties can enter into ruling coalitions, bring down governments, influence government policies.
      In the US, minor parties are political gadflies, ignored by the media and the voters.
      A third party has never elected an American president. 
      Even when led by a former president and a national hero, the Progressive party was unable to elect Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. And that was the closest a third party has ever come to the presidency.
      Last year, outraged Bernie supporters attempted to grow the Greens in response to Hillary’s rigging the Democratic nomination. They promoted #DemExit to urge progressive Democrats to abandon the Democratic party. They unsuccessfully urged Bernie to lead the Greens with Jill Stein as his running mate. When Bernie made no move to comply, they threw their collective weight to Stein.
      And their collective weight was insignificant.
      Stein’s performance was as pathetic as it was predictable.
      Astonishingly, advocates of #DemExit learned no more from Stein’s performance than Hillary’s supporters learned from her losing to Trump. Both groups suffer from substantial cognitive dissonance. Both embrace an alternative universe worldview that refuses to recognize basic political realities
      #DemExit is nothing more than one taking one’s marbles and going home. #DemExit is political pouting. #DemExit is a childish tantrum. #DemExit is, in the end, being cowardly.
      Courage is facing one’s enemies. Courage is never surrendering. Courage is taking the fight to the Democratic hacks who cheated us of a Bernie Sanders presidency. Courage is pimarying every incumbent hack who supported Hillary over Bernie.
      Trump won the presidency because the Democrats nominated a flawed candidate. Stein performed abysmally because the American electorate refuses to support minor candidates in general elections.
      Looking forward, establishment Democrats hope to nominate one of their own Wall Street hacks in 2020. And #DemExit types reject any suggestion that they help takeover the Democratic party.
      Trump beat Hillary because Blue Collar Democrats in the Rust Belt broke with the Democrats to give him Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. If Trump can hold those voters, he will be re-elected in 2020.
      The only hope of defeating Trump in 2020 is by the Democrats nominating a progressive. Wall Street Democrats are dead set on preventing that.
      And #DemExit is playing right into the hands of the Democratic establishment. The Democratic party is controlled by Wall Street and big business lobbyists because they own Democratic incumbents. In turn, those Democratic officials control the party leadership. There is no mystery as to who controls the party, or how they do it.
      And the key to changing control of the party is simple, albeit difficult.
      The key is removing incumbents from office.
      We can primary incumbent Democratic hacks with progressives. And we can work to defeat Democratic establishment types in general elections.
      It was just such a strategy which put the right wing in control of the Republican party.
      And that same strategy can put the left in control of the Democrats.
      And just as certain is that Hillary and her cohorts are thrilled by #DemExit.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with your assessment, Roland. But now that Ellison )Bernie’s pick) is out of the equation (the vote was today) , how does that bode for a reshaping of the DNC? Oh, and I saw a post from Hillary talking about her run in 2020? Ugh, same old same old? Now, frankly, I am more concerned than ever – Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ellison’s defeat, while regrettable, really has no bearing on progressives’ pro.pects for taking over the Democratic party. Actually, I would have been astounded had Ellison won. The Democratic establishment will never willingly surrender power.
      Our path to victory does not turn on Wall Street hacks throwing us a bone now and then. Our success will hinge upon how many Wall Street hacks we purge from the party leadership. To achieve that goal we must primary every corporate Democrat in office. If we fail to oust them n the primaries, we must oust them in the generals.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have provided a very good analysis, Roland. Progressives need to work on a strong and credible grounding for reification of democratic values. This could be accomplished if there were some study of why the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR] was proclaimed in 1948. [Stemming from the 1944 FDR proposal for a second bill of rights that includes economic rights, and the fact that the world recognized that acculturation of the 30 Articles of the UDHR would be necessary if the ingredients of social solidarity and the recognition of natural justice principles in society are essential, and must be practiced, if we are to avoid a repeat of the homicidal sociopathy that was rampant during the WWII years].

    Clearly this optimistic and methodical thinking in 1948 was not followed up on. If it were, we would have Article 29 – the recognition that there is a duty to the community to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected – being practiced by our human services systems. We would not be seeing grievances of people trivialized and reduced to irrelevancies in the useless pretend services that are often what people are subjected to when they are seeking to solve an issue of natural justice. For example, advocacy groups for seniors are generally only interested in pleasing donors and advertisers – not really standing up to perpetrators of fraud against seniors. This blatantly bought model has nothing to offer those who want the utility value of democracy to be protected.

    I am therefore proposing that this be confronted by the creation of an authentic network of genuine legal services clinics across the continent. I am researching how the Idle No More movement could become the organizer of this project. The network’s founding goal would be to acculturate the practice of the UDHR and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [CESCR] of 1966. Violations of these supreme human rights codes could be gathered and adjudicated at the Economic and Social Council in Geneva, This would make clear to law enforcement and politicians that the option of ignoring abuses – especially systematized dehumanization would no long be an option. Those countries that have adopted the Optional Protocol on the CESCR are pledged to help those who are being subjected to structural dehumanization.

    This proposal would enable the practice of human rights protections to become a part of our culture at the most grass roots level of society.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think, with all due respect (you know what is coming) that this is bullshit. Sanders wanted to attach to a winner and Clinton was supposed to win. The DNC and Clinton fucked him over but he wanted to go with a winner.

    And Stein lost because a) she couldn’t get publicity, b) she couldnt get on the rigged debates and, c) people wanted to go ‘traditional.” if people voted for who they really wanted, and knew more about Stein, she would have had a chance.


    • I disagree with the notion that Bernie was motivated by any craven goal of associating with a winner. He realized that if Trump won – that the odds were that Trump would utterly betray all his feigned interest of working for the interests of the working class – and Bernie realized that if Trump did win, that the Democratic Party needed to be ready to offer a replacement.

      It had been known and discussed for over a year, that if the Democrats failed to unite the party by putting Sanders in charge of trade policy – that the Democrats would have a big wedge down the middle of the party and the Republicans would be united and would win. This was discussed on the Trade Justice FB page during the campaign. The establishment Democrats weren’t interested in facing this. Their reasoning was “Trump will never be President”. These establishment Democrats are wholly responsible for the advent of Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

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