Monday, March 28, 2016

Bernie Sanders Needed to Run as a Democrat & Ralph Nader Explains Why


Photo courtesy of iprimages Flickr page -  06122015_BernieSanders_Drake_102_3x2_1080:

Bernie Sanders enjoyed a clean sweep in the three primaries this past weekend.

Yet, rather predictably, the major news media outlets are still taking a somber tone with him and his campaign. They had to mention, of course, that he won all three, and convincingly.

Still, they could not help but say that despite the wins, Sanders trails Hillary in terms of delegates in a big way.

Hearing it that way, you might think that last night was a victory for Hillary, which it certainly was not.

What you never seem to hear from these pundits (and often times, news anchors who take it upon themselves to weigh in) is that if Hillary has essentially had the race wrapped up (which has been claimed at different times, and in different ways, dating back all the way to last summer), then why in the hell is she struggling so badly against someone who entered the race with a significantly smaller public profile, and with a fraction of the big money resources that she benefits from and enjoys?

No, nothing on that. It is always bad news for Bernie, despite his tremendous success. Despite the primary wins, and the big successes. And that is why so many people are beginning to distrust the major news media in the United States.

This, in part, is what Ralph Nader discusses in a fascinating article in which he explains why Bernie Sanders really had no choice but to run as a Democrat. Nader understands this better than anyone, having mounted numerous presidential campaigns as an outsider of the two-party system. He mentions that the system is rigged so that no one on the outside can actually get into office, that it has to be either the Democratic nominee, or the Republican nominee. That, really, anyone on the outside of these two very powerful political parties really has no chance, that there are rules to this political game that are rigged against them.

Proponents of the two-party system have traditionally defended it by suggesting that at least they do not see the rise of outside extremist parties, and point to the example of European nations, where some of these extremist parties have indeed risen in power. Yet, this particular election has shown that the two-party system has proven to be an inadequate defense against the politics of hatred and intolerance even outright violence.

What it has also shown is that the two party system actively encourages a continuation of politics as usual, which it can certainly be argued leads to a certain restlessness among the population, because the feeling that most people get is that the system is rigged and corrupt, that it is broken beyond healing, and that they are no longer in charge, or even have a voice to alter the predetermined outcome of how this country is run, even when the decisions obviously have a great impact on their own lives. The campaigns of standard bearers of the old political establishment have proven inadequate. Prominent Republicans like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker all fizzled out in a hurry, and the campaign of Hillary Clinton is struggling, despite all of the vast amounts of money that the moneyed special interests poured into her campaign. That is because it has failed to generate anywhere near the level of interest that it has in the past. People are tired of professional politicians learned in the ways of corruption and of telling the people what they want to hear. People want real answers, and they are not getting them from these politicians.

Still, the major party establishment candidates can rely on tremendous help, and what this election has come to be about, at least on the Democratic side, is whether or not big money and big name endorsements will trump candidates who might not have big money, but have a powerful message intent on empowering Americans and restoring the dignity and economic realities that once existed, but have since eroded.

To that end, the recent endorsement by Rolling Stone magazine for Hillary Clinton served as a great disappointment to many, myself included. However, the magazine has always had interesting and insightful articles, and that includes presently, despite the magazine's official endorsement of Clinton. And a recent piece by Matt Taibbi (Why Young People Are Right About Hillary Clinton, March 25, 2016)  is a case in point. Taibbi explores why young people generally do not support, or even trust, Hillary Clinton, and it is worth looking at this article if you truly cannot grasp why that is.

First of all, he addresses the elephant in the room:

"I was disappointed to hear that Rolling Stone had endorsed Hillary Clinton, but I also understood."

After getting that out of the way, he went on to explain why young people are choosing Sanders in droves over Hillary. Really, it is not all that complicated.

"For young voters, the foundational issues of our age have been the Iraq invasion, the financial crisis, free trade, mass incarceration, domestic surveillance, police brutality, debt and income inequality, among others.

"And to one degree or another, the modern Democratic Party, often including Hillary Clinton personally, has been on the wrong side of virtually all of these issues.

Yes, she certainly has been on the wrong side of these key issues.

"Young people don't see the Sanders-Clinton race as a choice between idealism and incremental progress. The choice they see is between an honest politician, and one who is so profoundly a part of the problem that she can't even see it anymore.

"They've seen in the last decades that politicians who promise they can deliver change while also taking the money, mostly just end up taking the money.

"And they're voting for Sanders because his idea of an entirely voter-funded electoral "revolution" that bars corporate money is, no matter what its objective chances of success, the only practical road left to break what they perceive to be an inexorable pattern of corruption.

"Young people aren't dreaming. They're thinking. And we should listen to them."

I strongly recommend reading this article by Taibbi, which is available to be read in full at the Rolling Stone website. The link to this specific article has been provided below:

Why Young People Are Right About Hillary Clinton Listening to the youth vote doesn't always lead to disaster Matt Taibbi, March 25, 2016:

Ralph Nader: Why Bernie Sanders was right to run as a Democrat by Ralph Nader, March 25, 2016:

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