Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Bernie or Bust Hypocrites


There are a lot of things I understand and accept completely. For instance, if I were to jump out of a high rise building - say 50 or more floors up - I understand and completely accept that I would be dead before I even hit the ground. Gravity works, unless you're in outer space.

When it comes to Hillary Clinton, I understand why conservatives aren't going to vote for her. When you've spent your whole life watching reruns of Leave It To Beaver and believe that Mad Men is autobiographical, it's kind of hard watching Modern Family. Face it, they've been worshiping at the alter of Reagan ever since the Gipper left office. Hillary's not their guy.

And I understand why racists aren't going to vote for her. She's a woman looking to replace an African American as president who endorses policies that run counter to their White supremacist world view. These people haven't stopped clinching their teeth since LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Trump is their hero, their great white hope, if you will. The only way these Neanderthals vote for Clinton is if someone flips the names on the ballot.

And I also understand why a lot of blue-collar workers aren't going to vote for her. It's been a rough, tough last decade and a half for these people. Many of them still haven't been able to dig themselves out of the hole they were put in. They're pissed and they blame the Clintons for their plight. No amount of facts will likely change their minds.

But what I don't understand and can't wrap my head around is how any liberal with half a brain in their head isn't going to vote for Clinton knowing what's at stake. No, she isn't perfect, not by a long shot; she's got plenty of flaws. She's a little too cozy with Wall Street and, if elected, she's far more likely to govern the way her husband Bill did than the way LBJ or FDR did.

But that's not a disqualifier as far as I'm concerned; indeed it's an acknowledgment that the Democratic Party is truly a big tent. Yes, it has its Elizabeth Warrens and Bernie Sanders, but it also has its Jon Testers and Joe Manchins, as well. It is vital for the party's long-term success that all these factions feel as though they are a part of the party. As a centrist, Clinton has the best shot of bringing everyone to the table.

But even if you don't agree with that logic; even if you believe that the party should be purged of all the Blue Dogs and go far left, there's still no legitimate reason for not voting for Clinton this year, and even less of a reason for voting for Trump, as some have foolishly said they would.

The Bernie or Bust crowd, as they have called themselves, are purists looking to start a revolution; what they really are is a progressive version of the Tea Party. This may irk them to hear but it's the truth. The Tea Party movement was founded to restore America back to the way our founders allegedly intended it to be run. The Bernie or Bust crowd also wants a restoration of sorts, though for them it's to a more egalitarian way of life. The irony is that neither group represents the majority of Americans as both Sanders and Ted Cruz painfully found out this past spring.

So the Busters sit and stew, like the little brats they are, and think of ways to punish the traitors who sent them to their rooms without their revolution. First up was Warren. Her crime was not feeling the Bern and failing to declare her support for their savior. Her sin was doubly compounded when she ended up endorsing the enemy. To make matters worse, she's campaigning with her on the same stage. What a shrew.

Up next was Robert Reich, the economist who was one of Sanders's biggest supporters. He didn't just feel the Bern, he spread the good news of the Gospel of Bernie far and wide and from the highest mountain tops. His crime? When it became obvious that Jesus - I mean, Bernie - wasn't going to get the nomination, he said it was imperative that Democrats vote for Hillary. Benedict Arnold had nothing on Robert.

Coming in at number three was Mr. Sulu or, as he is more properly known, George Takei. You might remember George as yet another of Bernie's bros. In fact, he was a member in good standing until he had the audacity of making a video called, "No Matter Who, Vote Blue." Apparently his crime was insinuating that this election was about more than just one man, but about the future of the country. And we can't have any of that on the Magical Mystery Tour of denial. So, out he went with the trash.

But now we come to the real culprit, the criminal mastermind, the traitor of traitors, the one who got everyone all worked up and then, seemingly on the verge of the revolution he said the country needed, pulled the plug and went over to the dark side. By now you know who I'm talking about. That's right, Bernie Sanders himself. The self-appointed savior of the American dream; the man who was going to single-handedly (by the way if that sounds familiar, I meant it to) transform our political system, grant free healthcare and free college education to all citizens and reverse Citizens United.

So when Charles Atlas dropped out of the race and endorsed Clinton (well, I wouldn't exactly call what he did an endorsement - he congratulated her on her victory. That's not the same thing, but hey, we'll take it) the Busters really went ape shit. I suppose the people in Jerusalem probably felt the same way when they saw Jesus riding into their town on a donkey. They thought he was there to liberate them. Okay, not quite the analogy I was going for, but you get the point: unrealized expectations blowing up in their faces. Better?

You see that's the way it works when you believe in fairytales. You tend to get disillusioned. Bernie Sanders wasn't just the candidate of change; he was the reformer extraordinaire. But his whole candidacy was based on a fraud. Yes, the system is rigged, and yes the middle class is getting screwed; that wasn't the fraud. The fraud was that he could fix everything without the help of his party. His insistence on burning every bridge within the party apparatus and riling up his supporters into a frenzy was a recipe for disaster from day one.

I was on to what he was doing fairly early in his campaign, as were a lot of main-stream Democrats. That's why he got crushed in all those closed primaries; not because everyone was out to get him, but because he accused much if not all of the party of being corrupt. It's pretty damn hard to win an election, much less start a revolution, when you're running for the nomination of a party you openly detest.

So now the Busters have turned on him. He's the new Judas of their "cause." How poetically fitting. They are now, if you will, a cause without a leader. Their refusal to see the big picture and grow up is now threatening to upend this entire election. What's worse, many of them seem to relish the prospect of a Trump presidency. They agree with Susan Sarandon: Trump would usher in the revolution by shaking things up.

The fact that that isn't true or that Trump could inflict tremendous damage to the country hasn't gotten through their thick skulls. They're stubborn, they're selfish and they're adamant. And now, on the verge of the Democratic convention, my fear is that this mob will march on Philly and possibly destroy any chance at a Democratic win this November.

The stakes could not be higher. The Supreme Court, healthcare reform, gay rights, voting rights, the environment, NATO, all are hanging in the balance this election. Having a temper tantrum is not the solution. The Bernie or Bust crowd needs to take a deep breath and let go of this death wish they have.

If they truly care about this country, as they say they do, now would be a good time to prove it.

1 comment:

Monkey Man said...

I don't think your blog is very convincing, frankly. All of us need to take a deep breath and stop villifying each other. We disagree. Not over principles, by and large. Over tactics and strategy. Now I've been arguing that we need to stay in the party, support the ticket, and take over the party. But we should not minimize the danger we are in if Hillary wins. From the way her campaign treated the Bernie delegates, it's clear that she has written off the progressive wing and pivoted sharply right so she can pick up the Bushes, Romneys, and other disgruntled Republicans. This, along with her history of bellicosity in the Middle East, means we need to be able to take her on as President just as we did as candidate.