Don’t Throw the Bernie–or Hillary–out with the Bathwater.

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Alright progressives, Democrats, liberals–sane human beings–we’re at a crossroads, and the future of this country may well depend on which path we choose.

I speak of course, about our two candidates (sorry O’Malley–love ya, but it’s not going to happen): Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The path we choose, however, is not based on who we choose as our nominee. No, it’s how we choose to proceed during this primary season, and more importantly, after.

Because the fact is the Republicans are going to nominate an absolute lunatic for President: a person so far right (my guess is Trump, but Kasich is the only one who appears human), so extraordinarily WRONG and out of touch with reality on nearly every issue, there’s almost no chance they’ll be able to win a general election. It would take cheating on a massive, draconian scale (something I won’t necessarily put past them), and even then, if we get our people to the polls, the Republican candidate will lose.

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Indeed, the only way we lose this election is if the supporters of the losing candidate, be it Bernie or Hillary, pack up their toys and go home (say it ain’t so Carl). Because either candidate can win if sane Americans show up to vote in 2016.

Unfortunately, many in both camps are going on full out attack mode in advance of these primaries, making the EXACT sort of bellicose, absolute, extreme, and ridiculous charges we’re used to hearing from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. And we’re starting to attack each other instead of the candidates.

As those of you who read this blog regularly know, I’m a big fan of reality, so here are the facts:

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, based on their statements in this campaign so far, are both firmly progressive. Both of our candidates have spoken at length about climate change, wage and wealth inequality, social/racial justice, health care as a human right, and the need to expand economic and social opportunity for ordinary Americans.

Are there differences? Sure. Bernie’s more progressive. He’s called for universal health care, free public college, and breaking up the big banks. For those reasons, I’m going to vote for him in the primaries.

But make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is by far the most qualified candidate running for President on either side. She’s served as a First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. AND SHE WILL FIGHT FOR PROGRESSIVE VALUES. She’s strongly affirmed her desire to protect and improve Obamacare, to make college more affordable, to address climate change, to raise the minimum wage, to protect marriage for all, and to hold corporations and the wealthy accountable for paying their fair share of taxes. Look at her platform for goodness sake! Will you hear any of that from the Republicans?

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Now look, I’m not stoked that Hillary has taken a lot of money from Wall Street and other rich corporate donors–and that’s another reason I’m supporting Bernie. But the reality is that MOST Democrats still take corporate money, because it takes a lot of MONEY to run for office, whether it’s for mayor or state rep or Senator.

Hopefully that’s something we can change by electing progressive candidates–Hillary has even signaled her support for a Constitutional Amendment stating that money is not speech and corporations aren’t people–but for now, our system is what it is, and faulting Clinton for not taking the extraordinarily noble position of disavowing Super Pacs or corporate money is kind of ridiculous… she’s running for President, a campaign that cost over a billion dollars last time around.

Also, to be fair, Clinton’s supporters have legitimate concerns about Bernie’s electability when viewed from a traditional perspective: appeal to independents, money matters, minority/female voters, whether or not he’s mean enough to win, or if he’s too much of a dove to be taken seriously as commander in chief. Now again, I’d stress that if sane Americans show up to the polls, none of that matters; indeed, research shows that the “independent/swing” voter is largely a myth–what matters is turning out your base. I mean, are minority voters and women really going to cast ballots for a Republican Party that is so openly hostile toward them? I doubt it.

And that’s the larger point. No matter who wins the Democratic primary, supporters of the losing candidate are going to be pissed–especially now that it’s gotten nasty. BUT DON’T LOSE FOCUS ON THE ISSUES! This is the trap conservative voters fall into: they get so bent out of shape about Benghazi or Nancy Pelosi or whatever the next scandal-gate is that they totally ignore the fact that their team, the Republican Party, hasn’t done ANYTHING to help ordinary Americans for over 30 years (seriously, start asking that in question form on Facebook or Twitter or hell, even in real life–I’ve never had it answered).

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(Do we really want to be like these people?)

We can’t let that happen to the progressive movement, because if we do, then Bernie’s revolution, the lives of people of color, the rights of women, of LGBTQ Americans, of young people (millennials), of college affordability–none of it matters is we start sniping at each other, if we say things like “Bernie or Bust”, cast Hillary as a fascist, or buy into the lies and misinformation coming from Clinton’s campaign on Bernie’s record.

Everything we care about as progressives ends if we pack up our toys and go home (come on Carl, don’t quit… PLEASE). Let’s not forget, politics is a hard-nosed, dirty game sometimes. And politics requires compromise. Bernie isn’t everything Clinton supporters want from a candidate, and Hillary isn’t everything Sanders supporters want either. But at the end of the day–on November 8th, 2016–we’re going to have a choice, and it’s going to be between Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and a white power, trickle-down, Christian nationalist, corporate barbarian.

And today, the vitriol and meanness of this in-fighting robbed every progressive in Portland and beyond (streaming live at xray.fm) of great liberal radio spokesperson, Carl Wolfson.

So whether you’re supporting Hillary or Bernie, take a chill pill. I’m not saying don’t advocate for your person–we need to have a vigorous debate to make sure we test these candidates, so attack away as far as I’m concerned–but don’t attack each other. We want that Bernie supporter voting for Hillary if she wins, and vice versa.

So… Listen. Consider. Think. Discuss. Go ahead and argue.

But please remember: BE NICE! WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM!

Oh, and on a somewhat related note, some of you may be asking: why don’t I say that about Republicans? Why shouldn’t we be nice to Republicans (because clearly, I’m not)?

  1. We should. As I was writing this I realized that. We should be nicer to Republicans. That doesn’t mean we don’t make our points, but we should be as nice as possible.
  2. The problem I’ve had is that Republicans don’t listen. They have their talking points, their beliefs, and by God, Ronald fucking Reagan. Nothing can change their mind. Nothing. I mean, their current position is that people who can’t fly because they’re on the terrorist watch list should still be able to legally buy guns. That’s absolutely insane and absurd.
  3. Many are racist. I don’t think we ought to be nice to racists.
  4. They’re disingenuous. Republicans aren’t trying to solve any problems. Every position on the GOP platform is calculated either to piss dumb people off so that they’re not paying attention to how crooked the Elephants are, or to make sure they can raise money from transnational corporations and billionaires.
  5. Their positions make peoples’ lives worse. That’s bad.

I could go on, but you get the point. If you want to read more about why I absolutely hate the Republican Party, here you go: “The Pretenders” http://chuckingrocks.com/the-pretenders/. Or this: “How the Trump Stole the GOP” http://chuckingrocks.com/drseusstrump/. Or this: “No, We Can’t” http://chuckingrocks.com/gop-no-we-cant/.

If you like what we’re doing here at ChuckingRocks.com, please help us out by making a donation. Every dollar counts. If you can’t make a donation at this time, the other way you can help us is to spread the word–so please, like, share, email, tweet, and/or retweet our posts. Remember to follow us on twitter @chuckingrocks or email us: chuckingrocks.com@gmail.com.

About The Author: Jay Scott

Comments

  • Reply Anonymous

    They did fact check Hillary’s statements about Bernie’so record this last debate. Even though Bernie was shaking his head throughout the debate the facts were correct as Hillary claimed. Americans are so afraid of Socialism they won’t vote for Bernie over Trump in an election. Trump is hoping Bernie wins so he can play the Communist card. The Republicans are doing everything they can to make Bernie our nominee. God help us.

  • Reply pamela

    Awesome post. Right on. We need to get a democrat elected no matter who. The republican party candidates are absurd and Its a bit scary that we live in a nation with people that cannot see through the absurdity of these characters. I am not close to any of those people, yet there are many of them (supporters of Trump and Cruz) and it baffles me. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

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