A movement, not just a campaign.

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.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

8 thoughts on “A movement, not just a campaign.

    1. Wow, the cabbage truck must have gone though Vermont last night! Really, the delegate game? Where have you been every four years? Just because you don’t like the very well known and established party rules, and now you feel wronged because you didn’t understand them. Now you want them to be changed because all of a sudden you realize the revolution isn’t as strong as you had hoped. The loss of the game rests at Bernie’ feet for not being a serious candidate in the beginning of the primary contests (his words).

      Part of Bernie’s appeal is his consistent message of his entire political career. His actual effect and tract record on these issues is almost non-exsistant. If you are serious about getting legislation passed, one has to compromise. Yes, saying one thing and then doing another.

      My question to you is if this political revolution is truly the will of the people why isnt Bernie running on the Progressive Democratic of America ticket? He’s not because there isn’t support nation wide for the revolution and he needed to be in the Democratic primary so he could be heard. Interestingly, though he is not a Democrat, but he is able to do so and run in the Democratic primary. The idea that you wanted a complete revolution of the Democratic Party and was stopped from doing so should surprise no one. Unless you are just entitled and believe it should be given to you.

      Your statement about closed primaries again surprises me. Voting and elections are issues controlled by each individual state. So join a political party, win statewide elections and change the laws. Do you have a Sam’s Club or Costco membership? No? Well you won’t get into them either. The Supreem Court isn’t going just because you don’t want to follow the rules. And this “if I can’t win because I say so” and I’m going to take my marbles and go home attitude is so unprofessional in the high stakes of national politics. No party or movement can win every time.

      Lastly, if Hillary is so unpopular, why has she won more state primaries, delegates and total number of votes cast? Just saying…

      1. No, I don’t like ‘the rules’ when they amount to voter suppression. See my previous blogpost: http://www.greenmountaindaily.com/2016/04/20/rip-two-party-system/

        As much as you dislike our challenge to the status quo, there are many, many people who share my views; and I suspect there will be even more who agree with me in the coming years. As the saying goes, “You can’t make a BETTER omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

        I’m flattered that my little blogpost has provoked such an energetic response from someone whom I don’t recall ever having commented on GMD before.

        GMD is an open-minded forum and we welcome your respectful disagreement .

      2. My my — sound remarkably like one of the narrow-minded “columnists” from another VT online news publication. And has managed to earn the loathing of vast majority of their readership for rude condescending authoritarian-style rants — most recently for bashing Bernie and supporters which has been ongoing.

        Where have you been sir? Landslide-majority of voters 60-70% are Indy or swing voters from either party and the ones who decide *ALL* elections. Happens to be a fact that disallowing Indys or forcing either party to vote only within party amounts to voter suppression. Though some of us voters may recognize the voting laws are unfair — until voter suppression affects who we are supporting — not really much reason to complain. This is unusual-angst re voter suppression? In case you haven’t noticed also how rules are changed-there generally needs to be an impetus. All legally registered to voters should be able to vote for whomever we choose by election day, if we cannot, vote has been suppressed.

        Revolution “is as strong” btw as evidenced by vast numbers who attend Bernies’ rallies, surrounding him for selfies while skipping Clintons boring, unsubstantive scream-fests attended by older establishment voters and whose support is mostly women in which she primarily talks *herself* up — not the issues. Populist appeal is for nought if voters cannot vote for their candidate. I might add Hellary remarkably uninspiring as well as extremely unlikable with very high unfavorability ratings.

        So…would the alternative be more to your liking? That is for Bernie to run against HRC as an Indy in which case we now can plainly see he *could* win, but if not, possibly handing election to the right as Nader delivered to Bush? Because this is also allowed under your vaunted “party rules”. And when did Bernie say he wasn’t serious –“his words”? He also promised not to be a spoiler-so at least Bernie keeps his word unlike HRC.

        So…what of Clinton congressional record can you claim as an accomplishment? Or tenure at State? Both unmemorable except for HRC vote for Iraq war & Benghazi debacle.

        Don’t know where you’ve been sir but the reason Bernie has been elected in VT again & again & who also sent to Congress again and again where he caucused with the Dems & worked so well by…compromising, or he could never have made it where he is now. I think veterans may differ with you on Bernies usefullness. And Bernie presently averaging over $10 million donations per week. I would dare say the “revolution” bankrollers are speaking quite loudly…and he said he would not be a spoiler, so your suggestion to create own party somewhat foolish, however if he had run as an Indy he *would* be kicking HRC’ sorry ass in the primary without DNC as he would have been on the ballot as third-party. So…what’s your peference?

        Bernie does extremely well in open primaries and caucuses where all of his supporters are free to vote their choice. Is it surprising HRC has done well in closed primaries with Dem voters? Or surprising that Dem delegates would support the Dem candidate? If the Clintons can only win third term by suppressing the vote what does that say about them?

  1. Now that Queen-to-be HRC and former campaign manager turned DNC head DWS have decided Bernie has had his turn at taking on the deeply flawed, extremely unpopular & widely seen as inherently dishonest, HRC, have decided, along with Dem establishment it’s time for Bernie to go home to VT and get behind the Clintons and “unite the party”.

    Cold-comforted by the fact that that HRC only won New York by fact it was a closed primary (which I did not know), armed with switchblades, only task at hand-get Bernie out of the way.

    Don’t want to chase away those boy-crazy selfie-with-Sanders babes who adore white-haired Bernie though, or their boyfriends, following complete disaster displayed by HRC marshalling old-guard feminists dispatched to aid and abet the Clintons in NH with poutraged Bill. Gloria Steinem foolishly claimed girls were too busy following the boys to Bernies’ rock concerts to be bothered with the old-guard feminists who paved the way-oh my! Madeline Albright threatens hellfire for women who do not support women. In actuality there’s a special place in the hotplace for women who diss other women thinking for themselves period afaic. That loud sucking sound was a collective gasp, thunder was stampede for the door, followed by collective eyeroll in response to the scolding and lecture.

    Gender-politics much ladies- and how’s that workin’ out? HRC aside from being unpopular among *all* women is in the 80-90% unpopular for young ppl esp women.

    In brazen attempt to disarm Bernie, seems that the Left has gotten memo from on high–DNC headquarters–and once again dutifully reciting agreed upon talking points: “Stick to the Issues”–translation: ‘quit rocking our boat’–highlighting HRC as bought, sold, therefore in thrall & now beholden to not
    only corporate America, but through the Clinton slush fund, er, “Foundation” recieved tens of millions from foreign governments and has taken pay-to-play to a different realm which I personally believe a threat to entire nation and democracy-the *real* difference between the two. So basically attempting to silence Bernie by barring from delivering his message. Revolution is against *all* establishment or there is none.

    The Clinton Foundation Inc is no better Than The Koch Bros Inc but are far worse imho due to the exposure of the US to foreign governments–primary reason Bernie preferred–uncertainty on the right. And there are many such as myself who will *never* vote for Trump or the Clintons again & the likes of serial sex-predator Bill, including myriad, mostly youth that Bernie has inspired and will stay home period.

    In yet *another* interesting parallel, possible frontrunner on both sides, that is Trump and HRC are facing dual simmering summertime scandals which could upend both campaigns: Class action lawsuit for fraud against Donald Trump on behalf of former students at DTU is scheduled and Clinton indictment for a variety of possible charges, and rumored inevitability of another “Saturday Night Massacre” if DOJ blocks FBI-recommended criminal charges related to classified state secrets handled by Clinton including obstruction of justice re private server- could come at any time.

    What then, and perhaps the big pic here is, what does this say about both? Unfit for higher office and to lead our nation comes to mind. Compared to Bernies’ squeaky…

    What terrifies DNC, DWS & HRC is reality of a code-red, party bosses including establishment could do what they do–choose who can win the general–which is why they’re trying to stealth-bury Bernie by sidelining, in effect silencing his message which ends his run. When whichever scenario happens, Bernie needs to be on message & poised to catch front-runner mantle when it falls which is what aforementioned don’t want.

    It ain’t over till it’s over folks.

  2. Thank god I live in a blue state where I don’t have to “hold my nose” and can at least send a message to the DNC by voting for my principles via Jill Stein.

    I feel like the last thing I want to do is reward HRC and the DNC’s behavior. They need to know there’ s a price to be paid.

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