Not surprisingly, Bernie Sanders intends to remain fully engaged in the primary process right to the end. He has promised to focus on the issues, which suggests he may feel he’s devoted as much energy as he is prepared to invest in Hillary Clinton’s record.
If Democratic voters haven’t followed the bouncing ball of her reluctance to disclose the content of paid Wall Street speeches to its obvious conclusion yet, there’s little hope in this election cycle that they will. Likewise the implications of her judgement on Iraq, Libya, “Free” trade agreements, criminal justice etc. etc.
Faced with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of winning at the delegate game, Bernie needs to use his bully pulpit in the remaining primaries to advocate strictly on policy issues. The relatively few months that were available to him to introduce himself to the entire U.S. voter population and bring media attention to the issues about which he cares most deeply, were never going to be enough to realize a complete revolution in the Democratic Party, and now they are drawing to a close.
Bernie himself acknowledged that to the people who flocked to his rallies, from the very first one which we were privileged to witness in Burlington. A single election cycle would never be sufficient to change the politics that have condemned the U.S. to growing income inequities,declining opportunities, social injustice and the quashing influence of big money on any possibility of meaningful reform.
His candidacy is the vanguard of a new political movement that is still evolving on the left in the footprints left by Occupy Wall Street. It’s adherents are mostly younger, with much of their voting life ahead of them. If the Democratic party fails once again to live up to the progressive expectations of this base, like the Republicans before them, they can look forward to declining influence as young voters demand effective third and fourth party options within the primary process.
I look forward to the day when someone challenges the constitutionality of closed primaries in a voting system already dominated by two monopolies.
In the meantime, we are left with what can only be thought of as a caricature of democratic choice as reflected in the two likely nominees.
On the one hand, we have Donald Trump, a narcissistic billionaire, whom we can safely say will be the most unqualified nominee for President in the history of the office.
On the other hand, we have Hillary Clinton, a career politician and multi-millionaire, who, based solely on experience, must be one of the most qualified candidates in recent memory. Unfortunately, that experience is blotted both by her meathead of a husband’s own famously poor judgement, and costly mistakes that she herself has made in an official capacity.
Though jubilant at their almost certain victories in the nomination process, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton share the distinction of being the most unpopular candidates in either party… practically, ever!
Each is also campaigning under a false flag of ideology: Donald Trump insists he is a Conservative, but his positions are rarely conservative in any sense of the word. They range from neo-facist, through cracker-conservative, all the way to conventionally ‘liberal.’
Hillary Clinton’s own politics have mirrored those of her husband and surrogate Bill, who was more right of center than left when he held the reigns of power. She now styles herself a “progressive” with Bernie’s personal comb. Since her days in the White House, she’s remained pretty much dead center with a dash of social liberalism, hawkishly veering right on many foreign policy issues. One gets the impression that the very word “progressive” was anathema to her until Bernie rolled into town and started getting all the attention.
The distrust for Hillary that is felt by some of Bernie’s supporters stems from her inconsistency over the years and her reluctance to ‘fess up to glaring errors in judgement.
In fairness, if Donald Trump were running for ‘President of American Enterprise,’ the only higher office for which he might arguably be qualified, he would be dogged by his own equally glaring failures of judgement over the years.
The fact remains that, all things being equal, come election day, American voters will be limited in their choice to a highly competent but ethically challenged Hillary Clinton or that wholly incompetent, wholly unpredictable, self-serving loose-canon, Donald Trump.
She might say one thing now and then do something else once in the Oval Office.
…But with Trump as Commander in Chief? There is a real possibility that he might wake up one morning feeling petulant over a sleight by some other bellicose demagogue, and exercise his command of the nuclear codes.
I’ll hold my nose and vote for the competent, sane choice every time.