Friday, June 24, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Saint or Sinner? Hero or Destroyer?

Bernie Sanders wrote a very erudite piece for the Washington Post about what he and his followers want for America. You would think that they're the only ones who care. I guess if you buy the story that Hillary Clinton is a Nazi-loving, corrupt oligarch slash Wall Street whore it must seem as if her supporters love Nazis, oligarchs and whores and positively salivate over the idea of the 1% getting richer.

It's a lovely, dramatic picture, one that gives anybody with unprocessed frustration and anger plenty to vent on. And naturally Sanders' opening paragraph talks about political revolution.

Boy, does Sanders love that word 'revolution'. And he has extraordinary skill in making it look as if he's the only politician in America with these aims. What about Barack Obama's almost eight years worth of contributions, that brought the country back from recession faster than any of the other countries affected by that recession? What about how hard and tirelessly he worked and still works towards building up the middle class and correcting the inequality?

For that matter, what about the work that Hillary Clinton has done in her political career? It's the easiest thing in the world to pick out the failures or mis-steps, grossly magnify them, and conveniently ignore when they've been corrected and when her steps achieved positive things for the country.

It's harder to go looking for truth. It's not so much fun, definitely; how can you vent on inconvenient truth?

And how, I wonder, does Bernie Sanders plan to turn any of his grand vision into reality when he openly refuses to endorse Hillary Clinton, unequivocally sending the message to his supporters not to vote for her? The more successful he is in that, the more likely it is that Donald Trump will be president and Congress will be in control of Republicans. That means the Supreme Court will be, too. It's pure logic. Unless Sanders has something else up his sleeve. Maybe he's hoping Hillary Clinton will be arrested.

I have a Facebook friend who was convinced about ten days ago that she was going to be arrested the next day, on the authority of an opinion blog. This is the same person who posted this meme:

The truth, which took me a few seconds to find via, is that the photo is not of the girl, and that in 1975 Hillary Clinton was a young lawyer and had to take the case.

She did so reluctantly; successfully challenged the mismanaged evidence and the case didn't go to trial. Clinton didn't claim that the complainant fantasized about being raped by older men and she allegedly 'laughed' about the unreliable nature of polygraphs.

So Hillary Clinton is not an advocate for rapists. She is, however, and has always been, an advocate for women and children.

Even if she is arrested for something that Jeb Bush also did while Governor but isn't even being questioned on, why should Sanders be given her place when he didn't get the majority vote? And Clinton she isn't arrested? It's quite a gamble Sanders is taking. And he sure isn't being upfront about it. One minute he's standing next to Barack Obama, smiling and looking friendly and saying he will work with Hillary Clinton. Then the next thing he's giving a speech to his followers without mentioning her name.

He had a window of opportunity there and he chose to shut it. The fire of rage that he has fed and the  misinformation about Hillary Clinton that he's helped to grow like a cancer were already both getting dangerously close to being out of control.

And Bernie is still talking about revolution. I think back to an interview when he gushed about Castro and said sure, there are problems but... Problems like mass murders, lock-down on the press, a society reduced to its lowest common denominator with that denominator in constant plummet. I wonder if his followers realize that that's what he's looking for; the revolution that destroys everything.

So he can be the hero who rebuilds? Talk about unprocessed frustration and anger. If he carries on down this road, refusing to help his followers get their head around Hillary Clinton, Trump could become president, and everybody, not just Sanders and his followers,  can kiss everything that's good about America goodbye and say hello to a Congress even more dominated by Republicans, a conservative Supreme Court that will roll back all the social progress on equality, American going back into economic disaster, and a world of more recession and ghastly wars.

It's your choice, Bernie Sanders.