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Sun May 15, 2016, 10:32 AM

Entering Philadelphia

“It is beneath human dignity to lose one’s individuality and become a mere cog in the machine. In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. It is slavery to be amenable to the majority no matter what its decisions are.”
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi


Last night, I hosted had an informal meeting of local leaders of grass roots political leaders from a three-county area of upstate New York. All of those attending were registered Democrats. Most are from communities in which Democrats are the minority among voters, with republicans being the majority, followed by independents.

While we met to discuss several upcoming elections, our primary focus was to try to find common ground, in preparation for a area Democratic Party meeting. At issue is, not surprisingly, people’s opinions about the presidential primary. We are in a region of the state where the majority of Democratic voters support Bernie Sanders. Virtually everyone at my house has been active in the Sanders revolution.

At a recent Democratic Party meeting, there was “lively” debate about our state’s primary, and its implications. Although the map of the state shows that Bernie won almost all of the upstate, Hillary won in terms of numbers. The majority of people in our region believes that there was some “hanky-panky” involved. (And this was before Nevada.) This is equally true among members of the Democratic Left -- many of whom have been attending Democratic Party meetings in our area. One fellow’s pronouncement -- “I like to participate when I get fucked” -- sums up the general feeling.

There are, of course, some Democrats who voted for Clinton. They do not deny that there are, at times, underhanded activities with elections. It’s as American as apple pie. They were convinced that both Trump and Cruz posed such a threat to this country, that people in our party need to speak in one voice in opposition to them. Indeed, they believe that Trump represents fascism, and Cruz theocracy, and that each one poses such a threat -- particularly in regard to the US Supreme Court -- that the Sanders revolution will need to unite with the Clinton campaign, for the common good.

There are also people, including one of my top advisers, who support Bernie, but think that by the time of the Democratic National Convention, we will need to support Hillary as the much lesser of two evils. From what I’ve seen -- from an admittedly small sample group -- those who feel this way tend to be over 50 years old.

Now, to me, anyone under the age of fifty is a “kid.” I’m not hip to all the names young folks use t identify themselves. But those who are approximately 34 to 49 seem less inclined to be willing to consider compromising at this time. And those 18 to 33 are even more intent on “Bernie or Bust.” However, age does not appear to be a factor in people’s desire to go to Philadelphia in July, for the convention; all of those planning to attend are part of the Sanders revolution, and want to engage in peaceful demonstrations, if Clinton gets the nod.

As often is the case, I agreed with everyone and no one, simultaneously. I fully support everyone’s right to decide for themselves what to do in July and November. As Gandhi often said, I believe in anarchy, so long as it is well-organized. I also disagree with those who tell others what to do.

We need to have trust in each other’s ability to weight the facts, and come to their own conclusions. There is plenty of time, between now and the convention, for each of us to evaluate who we will or will not vote for. And there’s enough time between July and November for people to re-evaluate, based upon current events. We need to have trust in that process.

Trust in the process does not equate with trusting the system. Our political system is corrupt. National politics is rotten to the core. But as a growing number of citizens recognize that the system has become a pile of compost, we can nurture new life that grows from that decay. We must have the patience of gardeners.

There is nothing “wrong” with Sanders’s supporters supporting Hillary Clinton if she is given the party’s nomination. A person can do that in good conscience. Likewise, there is nothing “wrong” with a person who decides that supporting Hillary would require them to butcher their conscience, and opting not to vote for her. Likewise, there is nothing “wrong” with not deciding either way at this time, and keeping all options open.

It is wrong to tell a person how they “must” cast their vote. It’s wrong to consider those who would vote for her as sell-outs. It’s wrong to tell someone that they must ignore their values and beliefs, and vote for a candidate they despise. Neither one of these options works, or brings about good in the long run.

I’ve said that, to say this: if you are concerned with the direction our nation is heading in, please come to Philadelphia. Come and voice your opinion. The first of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights speaks to citizens’ rights -- as groups or individual -- to speak their mind publicly.

We need to exercise that right. More, we need to understand that with rights, come responsibilities. No matter what your opinion of the two Democratic candidates may be, come to Philadelphia. It promises to be an important event in our nation’s history. And no one else can speak for you.

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Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply Entering Philadelphia (Original post)
H2O Man May 2016 OP
Merryland May 2016 #1
H2O Man May 2016 #2
hootinholler May 2016 #3
apnu May 2016 #5
hootinholler May 2016 #36
H2O Man May 2016 #40
H2O Man May 2016 #6
apnu May 2016 #4
H2O Man May 2016 #7
Zynx May 2016 #8
H2O Man May 2016 #10
Demsrule86 May 2016 #11
Fawke Em May 2016 #12
snort May 2016 #28
Fawke Em May 2016 #32
Champion Jack May 2016 #33
bahrbearian May 2016 #17
Zynx May 2016 #34
bahrbearian May 2016 #35
H2O Man May 2016 #41
H2O Man May 2016 #37
bahrbearian May 2016 #43
artislife May 2016 #24
Doctor_J May 2016 #9
H2O Man May 2016 #14
ViseGrip May 2016 #13
H2O Man May 2016 #15
Merryland May 2016 #16
H2O Man May 2016 #20
Merryland May 2016 #26
H2O Man May 2016 #30
jpmonk91 May 2016 #45
farleftlib May 2016 #18
Merryland May 2016 #19
H2O Man May 2016 #21
Barack_America May 2016 #22
farleftlib May 2016 #25
kgnu_fan May 2016 #29
H2O Man May 2016 #27
Barack_America May 2016 #42
H2O Man May 2016 #44
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2016 #23
H2O Man May 2016 #31
Todays_Illusion May 2016 #38
H2O Man May 2016 #39
jpmonk91 May 2016 #46
Scuba May 2016 #47

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:36 AM

1. beautifully said. n/t

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Response to Merryland (Reply #1)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:41 AM

2. Thanks.

I wrote it, before seeing reports on Nevada. I wasn't sure if I should still post it. But perhaps it will make more sense to some of the people who question why there is such a large divide.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:49 AM

3. Your post this morning is like the fresh air when you open the outhouse door

Long ago I served on submarines. After a two month stretch of a patrol underwater, when we surfaced and the fresh air was pumped into the boat, it smelled horrible. We were so used to the foul smell of an operating sub's atmosphere that fresh ocean air, one of the cleanest gulps of breath there is in the world, tasted horribly fouled.

I think that for many this election is like that. We no longer know what good air smells like.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #3)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:54 AM

5. That is an amazing way to put it. (nt)

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Response to apnu (Reply #5)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:37 PM

36. I was letting my Appalachian roots show. n/t

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Response to apnu (Reply #5)

Sun May 15, 2016, 01:22 PM

40. I agree!

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #3)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:55 AM

6. Thanks you!

After writing this, my son and I watched Jen Senko's "The Brainwashing of My Dad." I'd urge all DUers to watch this extraordinary film, and consider the tone of conversation on this forum.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:53 AM

4. K & R!

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Response to apnu (Reply #4)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:55 AM

7. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:57 AM

8. So long as it remains civilized and people abide by the vote at the convention.

If this turns into another 1968, where the convention undoubtedly handed the election to Nixon, I'll never forgive the Sanders supporters.

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Response to Zynx (Reply #8)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:00 AM

10. I trust the

Clinton people to behave in a civilized manner.

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Response to Zynx (Reply #8)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:01 AM

11. That is exactly what this posts means.

Bernie Sanders supporters believe they have a first amendment right to have Sanders as their nominee...look at how they behaved in Nevada.

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Response to Zynx (Reply #8)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:02 AM

12. We don't need your forgiveness.

Taking back the party from the banksters is messy. We have other things to concern us rather than worry that Zynx won't forgive us.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #12)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:51 AM

28. Can you really live with that?

Zynx not forgiving you? I'm struggling to go on.

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Response to snort (Reply #28)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:05 PM

32. Hee hee.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #12)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:11 PM

33. Lol

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Response to Zynx (Reply #8)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:13 AM

17. Well at least Nixon was more Progressive than Clinton

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #17)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:23 PM

34. Now you're just inventing alternative realities out of whole cloth.

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Response to Zynx (Reply #34)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:28 PM

35. With Nixon we got the EPA, with Clinton we got Fracking.

P.S. and Hillary's Wars are still going on , no end in sight.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #35)

Sun May 15, 2016, 03:15 PM

41. True.

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Response to Zynx (Reply #34)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:56 PM

37. Interesting.

I began noticing people using Nixon as a measure of how liberal various candidates are since around 2004. At first, I tended to think of it as similar to comparing various politicians -- almost exclusively republicans -- to Hitler. Perhaps this was due to my believing that Nixon was the most repulsive criminal in our presidential history. I suppose that Reagan and Cheney raised the bar on that.

It can be difficult to try to measure politicians from different eras. It is similar to trying to compare boxing's heavyweight champions from different eras. Both seem to be rather subjective exercises, at least in my humble opinion.

What concerns me more than people comparing the differences between Nixon and Clinton is a growing belief among a number of Democrats (and members of the Democratic Left) that Clinton is this era's Nixon. And no, that cannot be attributed to the rabid right-wing attacks on Bill and Hillary over the decades. If anything, the attacks on Hillary reflect that the republicans despise her in a manner similar to the way Democrats despised Nixon -- and that is not dependent upon if their beliefs are accurate or not.

Many intelligent, honest people -- fully capable of evaluating facts -- view Hillary as a corrupt politician, who is backed by unsavory elements of our society. This is especially true among those who lived through the nightmare of Nixon's presidency.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #37)

Sun May 15, 2016, 04:25 PM

43. Thanks for giving me the words.

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Response to Zynx (Reply #8)


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 10:59 AM

9. Your Gandhi quote is on point. I shake my head when the hillarians excuse her 65 year

 

opposition to same sex marriage with, "well, most people were against it then too". IMO they are insulting Hillary and themselves with such a position, by shouting from the rooftops that their only principles are what is popular at the moment. Disgusting doesn't begin to describe them.

Thanks for the post

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #9)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:05 AM

14. Thank you.

Well said.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:03 AM

13. "before Nevada".....and trust in process is the same as "system".

 

Nice try though....

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Response to ViseGrip (Reply #13)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:08 AM

15. I was tempted

to change the title to "Entering Nevada." The system is indeed corrupt. By the "process," I am not referencing the political system -- I am speaking specifically of the Sanders revolution. No matter what happens in the primaries and convention, we need to continue to trust in the movement.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:10 AM

16. Bernie has been the needed spark

for what will become a revolution in the form of his presidency, or a revolution in the formation of a third party. He may or may not like it, and should Clinton be selected, he may or may not support Clinton formally or informally - but he has struck a great big national chord that cannot be unstruck. (mixed metaphors? sorry)

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Response to Merryland (Reply #16)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:20 AM

20. Interesting!

I believe the Sanders campaign has accomplished two huge goals: first, it has brought together a wide range of progressive groups and individuals on common ground; and second, we have begun to Occupy the Democratic Party. The response of the establishment has been ugly. I can fully appreciate why so many intelligent, thoughtful people believe that there may need to be a third party.

I tend to see the elites as a form of parasites .....barnacles on the good ship.I'd prefer that we pry them off. I believe that the Democratic Party is the rightful property of the progressive and liberal party members. I note that it is the elites and their lap dogs who most frequently say, we are not true Democrats if we think for ourselves, and try to remove us from our rightful place.

However, I try to keep an open mind. I absolutely agree that we are engaged in a revolution, in an attempt to reach higher ground. The exact path we take remains to be seen.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #20)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:36 AM

26. I'm with you on that - I don't want a third party

until and unless we can't pick off the barnacles that have attached themselves to our beloved Democratic party - the party of FDR, who really did care about the people and was considered a traitor to his class.

How do we get rid of the parasites is the issue, if they are get-riddable. When the head of the DNC supports sleazy payday loan operations and the chief candidate admires Henry Kissinger, we've got our work cut out for us!

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Response to Merryland (Reply #26)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:03 PM

30. Great question.

I was shopping for groceries a couple days ago, with my youngest daughter. A gentleman who I am acquainted with approached me, and said (approximately), "I have really enjoyed reading your blog." My recent OPs on DU:GDP are copies of those articles, which are being "shared" on a increasingly wide range of internet sites.

I thanked him, and was ready to continue shopping. He followed me, and said, "I am probably going to vote for Trump, because I can't stand the Clintons. But your articles really make me think. I guess I could vote for Trump or Bernie." I wasn't sure what to say, so I resorted to, "Oh. That's interesting."

As I went from the display of apples to oranges, he said that he finds himself thinking about the topics I discuss in the blog, even when he isn't on the internet. I said, That's good." He then said, "It's not that I agree with you on everything, though." And I said, "But you will, Brother. Not yet, but soon enough, you will."

He looked a bit surprised. My daughter said, "This is an example of 'Good Old Patrick's" arrogance." We all laughed for a second, then he said, "I really hope that we could find a time to discuss this stuff more."

The Sanders's campaign is opening more and more people's eyes and minds. And really, we are still just in the organizing phase. We've accomplished a heck of a lot. And as long as we continue to keep fighting the Good Fight, we will win.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #20)

Mon May 16, 2016, 03:06 AM

45. I agree

The revolution is the most important thing. I think it will hold politicians from both parties to thier actions and words or atleast that is the idea anyway. Kinda like how us protesting the keystone pipeline pressured the president not to go through with it.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:14 AM

18. I feel as though it's fate

 

that the Dem convention is to be held in Philly this election cycle. The second American
Revolution (peaceful that is) belongs in the cradle of liberty.

I'll certainly be there because I live here. I hope to see other DUers there too. I'll be under
the Bernie banner.

Agreed that we must all vote our conscience and respect the right of others to do the same.

Great post. K & R

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Response to farleftlib (Reply #18)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:18 AM

19. Ring that liberty bell! Let's fill the streets.

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Response to farleftlib (Reply #18)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:26 AM

21. Thanks!

I totally agree about Philadelphia. I'm in communication with groups and individuals from the east to west coast, who are going to be there. People have made reservations in and around the city. I'm lucky in that one of my cousins lives there; also, she can get my family & I into the convention, if we want.

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Response to farleftlib (Reply #18)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:26 AM

22. Bernie is our last chance at that "peaceful" bit.

I am convinced of this.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #22)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:34 AM

25. JFk nailed it

 

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

I pray it never comes to that.

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Response to farleftlib (Reply #25)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:55 AM

29. Hillary is one thing but the DNC gang is another. There are lots more than meets the eye...

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #22)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:47 AM

27. Interesting.

I believe that Philadelphia is important, in that it provides the progressive movement a unique opportunity to display the power of non-violence. I am convinced that our opposition -- and in this case, I am not speaking of the Clinton campaign, but those who benefit from having people like Hillary or Jeb Bush in the Oval Office -- will seek to disrupt a display of non-violent power.

Regardless of which candidate the convention selects for the nomination, the Sanders revolution will need to step it up, and increase our activities. This, too, will be a cause for concern on our opposition's part. The more effective we are, the more intense their reaction will be.

Non-violence requires that, as individuals, we take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. We are not responsible for the reactions of the opposition. Only our response to them. And I am convinced that, though we may pay a steep price, we have the ability, through non-violence, to transform this country.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #27)

Sun May 15, 2016, 03:38 PM

42. I want to be clear...

...that I am not advocating, or hoping for violence, but all around there is a palpable sentiment of just being done with the current system, with no real way to change it.

I only see the buffoon Trump, and the shamelessly corrupt Clinton, stoking the fires of this sentiment.

I feel that we are perilously close to a breaking point, on the left, the right and in the middle.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #42)

Sun May 15, 2016, 04:49 PM

44. Right.

I agree.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 11:30 AM

23. It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration. Thomas Paine

 

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #23)

Sun May 15, 2016, 12:04 PM

31. Very good!

Thomas Paine understood the Power of Ideas.

Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 15, 2016, 01:01 PM

38. H20 Man, I agree. I want to add, there is a difference between stating ones opinion and selling an

Last edited Sun May 15, 2016, 01:44 PM - Edit history (1)

idea. We should be able to state our onions, and decline defending them if we choose. If we seek agreement, or purchase of what we say, then evidence is required to support the statement.

It is ok if we disagree on some issues.

Saying I disagree is a better way to have a dialog than, you are an idiot. I have been disappointed at how stifled the dialog here is. There are the ones who can only say, you are an idiot, and the overly sensitive who can't bear to see an opinion that differs from their own.

I appreciate your post H20 Man.

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Response to Todays_Illusion (Reply #38)

Sun May 15, 2016, 01:11 PM

39. Very well said.

Thank you for this.

It is interesting to see the various OPs today on DU:GDP, regarding events in Nevada. One of the more offensive -- which is remarkably shallow, despite its author's attempt to disguise this by adding so many photos -- refers to Sanders's supporters as "assholes" because they want their voice to be heard, their values to be respected, and their votes to count. We expect such vulgarity from the tea party, but it has no place in the Democratic Party.

In order for there to be any progress, everyone has to start by believing that other people have the right to their own opinion ....that everyone is actually advocating for the positions that they sincerely believe are in the best interests of this country. For, as Gandhi noted, "Intolerance betrays a want of faith in one's position."

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2016, 03:19 AM

46. Cool post

I'm hoping my series of posts will get people to be active in the revolution and protest non violently. Anyway I want to do a non related post on inner spirituality. I was watching Bill maher one night because Neil degrasse Tyson was on his show. Well bill maher asked him if he believed in any form of God and he said yes and talked about his own personal spirituality from his work in astronomy. Unfortunately bill maher had to argue with him and took offense to his personal beliefs in God. Look I totally understand having moral issues with institutionalized religion but why personal spirituality? There is nothing wrong with personal spirituality. Cmon I mean Neil is a scientific person. What are your thoughts?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2016, 09:44 AM

47. K&R

 

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