Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Clinton is beating Sanders, but he's no loser

Tonight's vote has been a big disappointment for Sanders supporters who had hoped it was time for the revolution to change the oligarchy we now have back into the democracy designed by the founding fathers of this nation.  It appears the consciousness of the country hasn't yet reached the paradigm shifting point, but the rise of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren tells us we are getting closer.  It may not be reached during my lifetime, but more and more of the next generation will join the revolution already championed by the Bill Moyers, the Robert Reichs, the Thom Hartmanns, the Chris Hedges, and all those who truly want equality for women, a living wage for all workers, and the return of regulation to corporations and big banks.  Unfortunately, these changes won't take place under a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump (ugh).  The majority of the voters in our nation tend to vote against their own interests out of fear and ignorance. As Trump says, "I LOVE the poorly educated!" And well he should, for they gather in great numbers to cheer him at his rallies.  But it won't always be this way. Having seen the numbers of people standing up for Bernie, and knowing those numbers will continue to grow as people see very little changes under a Clinton presidency, I have hope for the future.  (~.~) 

By Sally Kohn, CNN

Sanders has changed the campaign for the better

First, Hillary Clinton may be winning the Democratic nomination, but that doesn't mean Bernie Sanders has lost. Without a doubt, his candidacy has changed this campaign for the better.

During the last CNN Democratic debate, held in Flint, Michigan, Clinton and Sanders spoke about issues of racial bias and structural racism for almost an hour, maybe more.

To my recollection, that's unheard of from presidential candidates in a party that has largely taken the African American vote for granted. And then, after that, they debated trade policy for 20 minutes or so, with Sanders pushing Clinton to account for her past support of disastrous deals such as NAFTA.

I like to think that Hillary Clinton would have come out against the TPP trade deal either way, but whether on that or so many other points, Sanders clearly forced Clinton to explain to the American people how she would break from the triangulating centrism her last name and her own Wall Street-cozy record have come to represent.

We still don't know what Clinton said in her paid speeches to big banks, but thanks to Bernie Sanders, we can be darn sure Clinton will think twice about whatever she says to and about Wall Street going forward.

Second, the Democratic Party -- and democracy in general -- is far stronger thanks to the incredible grassroots groundswell of engagement and passion that has driven Bernie Sanders' campaign. I have said as much before: Barack Obama's 2008 race was a campaign masquerading as a movement; Bernie Sanders' race was truly a movement masquerading as a campaign.

The real agenda was never to elect a candidate. It was, as Sanders himself has said so many times, to seed a revolution. (A much-needed one that will come in the future, just as Spring follows Winter. The seeds have been planted and are growing--soon the revolution will come into full bloom. I hope it will come during the lives of my children -- and certainly in the lives of my grandchildren.  We are the only civilized nation without health care for all people and other benefits that all European citizens enjoy. See Michael Moore's new documentary, Where to Invade Next, to see where the U.S. stands among the educated Democratic nations of the world. What you see and learn might give you pause.  With Hillary, we will get "incremental"--if any--changes, just as the Establishment wants.  The elite 1% will still get most of the money. The middle class will continue to disappear. Big Banks and Big Pharma will continue as before.  Same old. Same old.  With Trump, of course, we would get blatant, undisguised demagoguery, so this time around we must vote for Hillary, even if we have to hold our noses to do it.)

And whether through millions of small-dollar donations that added up to rival the biggest checks from the biggest donors to the biggest super PACS, or in doggedly making economic inequality and the broken political system core issues of the Democratic platform, the Bernie Sanders movement has and will continue to force a Democratic Party long cowed by centrist blue dogs to return to the populist beating heart of the party's progressive wing.

It's no surprise that young voters in particular treat the likes of Sanders and Elizabeth Warren like rock stars. This is the future of the Democratic Party, and incidentally, reflects a populist agenda that resonates across party lines, too. And we can anticipate, if Sanders indeed stays in the race through the convention as he has promised, the progressive wing will continue to raise its voice and concerns -- and flex its muscle especially around Clinton's vice presidential choice.

And third, despite the fact that prominent Democrats argued the best thing for the party was for Hillary to run unopposed in the primary or else defeat Sanders quickly, it's clear that Sanders has made Clinton a better candidate.

He has tested out lines of attack for which she needed practice. He pushed her to support policies and reasoning that will help her win over the Democratic left. And he forced her to actively and authentically reach out to voters of color, who will need to turn out with strength and loyalty to defeat Donald Trump in November.

All this is democracy. A democracy through which progressive Democrats finally articulated their frustration with party orthodoxy that always seems to prefer pragmatism over principle and that takes voters of color and women voters for granted all too often.

A democracy in which real substantive positions and differences were debated and voters were engaged. A democracy not based on calling names but articulating a vision. A democracy of, by and for the people -- the voters -- not the big banks and big donors.

Can we put a stop to all of that?

I hope not.