Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bernie and Hillary and Me: Can't We All Be Friends?

I agree with Bernie Sanders on almost everything.  I agree that the minimum wage should be raised--even higher than Bernie advocates.  I agree that workers are being shafted and our jobs have to come back from overseas. I agree that health care for all without stipulations or roadblocks has to become reality.  I agree that we can't keep funding wars around the world.

Photo Credit:  David Goldman/AP

I agree that the Republicans have been complete and total shits for more years than we should have allowed, and that the Democrats have been weak-kneed and back-bone-free when it comes to fighting against them.  (If you want to call that fighting.)

I agree that the money interests have taken over this country and we have to take it back.

I agree that it's way past time for a revolution. (Vive la révolution!)

I get it!  I'm as mad as Bernie is!

And I want Hillary Clinton as president.

Photo Credit:  AP
I've wrestled with my warring sides for a long time, wondering how I could have changed my mind when all along I was sure if Bernie should decide to run he would be my first choice.

It comes down to this:  Bernie is my first choice as revolutionary leader. As revolutionary leaders go, Bernie ranks right up there at the top. But if Bernie should win the presidency, his days as a radical revolutionary leader are over.  (Radicalism is frowned on in the White House. See The West Wing.) He wouldn't in a million years be able to accomplish as much as he might if he stays on the outside pressing for the goals he has outlined during his campaign. 

We need people like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to be the gadflies, the pushers, but it's nigh impossible to do it from the inside. I'm convinced that's why Warren chose not to run. She knows she can be far more effective as the conscience of a nation from where she is. A president has to be all things to all people. The leader of a revolution has to stay focused on the cause. Bernie, if he wins, won't be able to do that and he'll disappoint the people who are counting on him to make radical change. They'll start a revolution without him, or in spite of him, or against him.

Hillary, no matter how much she would like to be seen as the dewy-eyed outsider, thrives inside the establishment. She knows the players and knows how to play their games. With Hillary it'll be a chess match. With Bernie it'll be hand-to-hand combat.  With the Republicans, it'll be business as usual, and they'll fight dirty no matter who goes after them. 

I see more advantages to getting Hillary, the tougher, more pragmatic candidate, in there, and then helping Sanders and Warren, along with a host of powerhouse liberal Democrats, to get her to where they--and we--want to be.

Bernie has done the country a true service by running for president. He has drawn in and energized crowds of voters who had given up hope that the system would work for them. They're pumped now, as they'll have to be if we're going  to take the presidency away from Donald Trump, or any other spectacularly unworthy candidate the Republicans throw at us.

Eyes on the prize now.  Whether the nominee is Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, we vote for our side.  The Democrats have to win.  Losing at this point is not an option.

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