Bernie Sanders. Reprise.

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I’ve watched Bernie Sanders’ role in the unfolding of the Democratic National Convention this week with both sadness and pride.

I have no patience whatever with the handful of snivelers raging that Bernie Sanders ‘sold out’.  You don’t sell out by giving up your own personal opportunities and agenda for the sake of what you believe is right, and what helps thousands of others at no gain to yourself. Grow up.

Fortunately though, those snivels are few and far between, at least  on my radar.

The majority feeling I’ve seen is better described by a post  I saw this week with an image of Bernie and Jane Sanders that said

This humble man rekindled my compassion and hope, and brought us together. Please be kind toward him. He had to make a very difficult choice.”

And that about sums it up. I definitely don’t agree with some of Bernie’s choices about the DNC,  but he has my respect. Because he deserves it. Something I don’t often say about a politician.

The second quote I’ve pondered a good deal said

“Let’s be clear about something. If Bernie Sanders is a choice for President on the ballot I will vote for him. I would support him in any way (except voting for Clinton or writing him in) but time is crucial if we want a viable Plan B….”

I’m not as delighted with this one, but  it does merit some contemplation. If there is a chance of getting Bernie Sanders to accept the presidency  and vote him into it, I am all for that, and as I mentioned in a prior post, am willing to campaign to make that more possible. I don’t know, however, if Bernie Sanders is willing.

And if he’s not, what IS the best Plan B?

I won’t vote for a libertarian at this stage in history, and I certainly won’t vote for an ignorant madman. I don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I respect what I know if Jill Stein, but I don’t know enough, and she remains a distant second to Bernie for me.

I certainly understand that a Donald Trump presidency would be far more visibly dangerous than a Hillary Clinton presidency, but I do have to wonder: Might that not actually be better in the long run?

Donald Trump will alienate our allies and incite our enemies to further violence, he will damage the ability of most Americans to prosper and to live better lives, he will make us a laughingstock. He will put people’s lives at risk; the lives of those who have serious health problems and need high-quality and affordable health care, as well as the lives of our soldiers, who must respond to the increasing aggression against us which will certainly result from choosing an aggressive, ignorant, and weak leader.

However a Donald Trump presidency should also galvanise the American people. Even we could not possibly leave our futures in the hands of the elite after the horrors that resulted from his reign. And it would be only 4 years, assuming he lasted even that long without being impeached, jailed or killed.

I’m not sure that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be as effective in those respects.

I think Hillary Clinton will be simply more of the status quo as president, not actually a clear abomination.

Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly do far less to destroy our environment, and our existing rights and potential than Donald Trump will. She will almost certainly do quite a bit more to enable the 99% to make a decent living.

And that, of course, may tamp down the passion to make real and lasting change. If the global economy happens to be strong during her term, she’d likely even get a second one.

And America can do a lot of forgetting in 8 years.

And if we forget, if we sink back into complacency, we won’t finish this fight to prosper and to thrive, to wrest control from the elite and to ensure that America is a safe, secure, peaceful, and prosperous country.

So it’s a tough call. Much thought, much prayer, required.

My third key quote this week came from my main man Bill McKibben:

“Our job is not to elect a savior. Our job is to elect someone we can effectively pressure.”

A great way to look at it. Doesn’t answer my question, alas, but it’s a good reminder. The power is not MEANT to be the property of the elite in our political system; it’s meant to be ours and we are meant to use it to control the politicians we elect.

Our job doesn’t end on election night, it begins.

 

Be well. 

 

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