The mess we are in has been building for a long time. Idealism and hope can keep us moving forward, but is the destination we are heading toward where we want to be going? Back months ago I can distinctly remember more uncompromising friends insisting that the Bernie campaign would come to nothing, that he was a way of occupying the left until when he lost and then he would try to swing his supporters to back Hillary. I hated hearing that because I knew how much truth resonated in it.
But Bernie did a lot better than anyone would have predicted. He took on the most powerful campaign machine ever assembled and through new social media tools and an energized youth movement still is challenging Hillary to move in a more progressive direction. Bernie’s campaign has proved that if your progressive program is good and you’re clear about it, people will give you money and volunteer for your campaign. Before, potential progressive candidates thought the battle would be too uphill to even try. Better still, and this is the big unknown here, there is a newly organized and invigorated movement of folks who felt the Bern and are connected through the database of the campaign. But what now?
This campaign has become a quite frightening proposition. There are those on the right who hate Hillary and say they will vote for Trump even though they know he is a blowhard con man. There are others hoping their convention will somehow dump Trump for some other candidate as delegates “follow their consciences” and pick somebody else. Imagine the reaction of Trump supporters to that?! That will play out in Cleveland.
There are those on the left who don’t like Hillary for very different reasons, and still hold hopes that the negativity hanging around Hillary’s neck will weigh her down so much the Convention in Philadelphia will reject her and give the nomination to Bernie. Time will tell, but she is definitely a wounded candidate, with most of those wounds based on policy decisions and practices which many people of the left find unacceptable; her hawkish tendencies, her linkage to the corporate and banking industries, things much deeper and complex than the right wings’ Bengazi fixation.
The reality of this county’s electoral system is that a third party candidacy is a near hopeless proposition. The Green Party, who would be the natural heir to the Bernie supporters who cannot stomach Clinton, will not be on the ballot in all states, and currently on in less than half. They are also hamstrung by not holding their convention until August. The Libertarian Party IS on all, state ballots, are not well organized and have a mixed bag agenda that is good on social issues, but leans toward deregulated capitalism, worshiping at the alter of the free market.
We are looking at lose-lose proposition, but for social justice issues, and for the sake of the Supreme Court, we will lose less with Clinton. I would like to see a concerted effort to have the Dems retake the Senate, this could be an effort Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren could spearhead, both being Senators themselves. For those who want the public debate on policies to continue, expressing support for the Greens candidate Jill Stein might be enough to force the debate Commission to be shamed into opening the debates beyond Dems and Repubs. Lots can happen in the next four months before we vote in November, so keep your eyes and options open.
And those who are thoroughly disgust by the whole thing, the no party non registered non voters, I kinda understand but please remember that our local elections are very important, especially Byerly and Hutch for County Commission. The national Democratic party may be a mess, but these are outstanding local progressives and under assault by well funded corporate campaign. That election is August 30. Please register Democrat by the end of July and help them.