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Wed Jul 27, 2016, 09:21 AM

 

A different view of what "Bernie or Bust" now means [View all]

I'm Bernie or Bust -- But I'm defining it differently, now that the nomination is officially over.

I'll admit this is navel gazing. You can take it with as many grains of salt as you wish. And hopefully in the spirit in which it is intended. (And also within the TOS).....But maybe it'll help provide the perspective of some of us who have "felt the Bern" and are now trying to be "Ready for Hillary."

For me, Bernie is not some guy that came out of the blue. He's not someone who I suddenly heard about over the past year and said: "Finally, a political candidate who is saying what I'm thinking and feeling.".

I've been watching him in Congress and rooting for him since the 1990's. He has ALWAYS resonated with me Big Time. He (along with Wellstone and a few others) were bright lights of hope in an otherwise bleak bipartisan landscape. Apart from those few Great Progressive Democrats, the national political scene was owned by powerful corporations, their wealthy investors and their lobbyists and the corporate media.

As someone with a natural lifetime identification with the stated principles of the Democratic Party, and an inherent dislike of the stated principles of the GOP (and the behavior and attitudes of conservatism) I root for Democrats in the bipartisan tug of war. BUT I also felt that the Democratic Party was both blowing it and selling us out big time. I also identified with "the left" and shared the frustration and anger of Bernie and his progressive peers as the Democrats went along with the Sale of the US of A, the gutting of the working and middle classes and the distorted values of Excessive Corporate Capitalism.

While Democrats wondered about why people went against their own interests and common sense and decency to vote GOP ("What's the Matter with Kansas?" I also felt like my once-moderate form of Liberalism had been abandoned by the Democrats in a variation of the same .....I won't go into the litany of specifics, but it was ongoing and unfortunately too long and too continual.

I didn't feel alone, because I realized that many people agreed with my frustration and hope for something better. For reassurance, I tried to focus on those Democrats who represented it, like Wellstone, Kaptur, Brown and some others. And Bernie....But it was also frustrating because I could not figure out why they were a tiny minority in the Democratic leadership, when their views represented so many people.

That also explains my antipathy to the Clintons, as the embodiment of the faction of "centrists" who were aligned with corporate interests.

I'm also a neighbor of Bernie's state, and know how he resonates on a personal level with his constituents, including those who don't always agree with him. I alsoknow that he really is an effective leader who is as politically sharp as they come. He would have been a great AND effective CEO of the US.

So when Bernie announced, it was like a dream come true. I was excited, but cynical.

I figured he'd be a 15 percent candidate, treated as a member of the "fringe left" but who at least would give voice to the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. But much to my delight,. he caught fire. It was not simply a horse race between two individuals -- it truly was a representation of a much larger framework.

So I got real passionate.

The past year has fueled both my cynicism and my optimism.

Bernie didn't win the nomination. But he got 45 percent. The wildfire that his campaign became did prove that the values and message he and other progressives represent are NOT A FRINGE. It is Mainstream. He showed that many Democrats....and independents....are also hungry for that message and recasting of the Democratic Party.

I also have supported and defended Bernie in the final months, as it became clear that Clinton would be the nominee. I trusted his judgement when he was being attacked for not just endorsing her and walking away prematurely. And he proved once again that he is one of the best, in terms of how to pragmatically work the political system for good causes.

I am still with Bernie in his decision to support Clinton and work to Stop Trump. And I agree with his decision to build on the movement within the Democratic Party , as well as work to reform the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction. Bernie is playing the Long Game now, and I agree with him in that 100 percent.

But I also now find myself at odds with the more vociferous Bernie or Bust types -- even while I basically agree with them on many levels.

I've had heated arguments with real-world friends who are convinced that Bernie really won...Or that he has "sold out" or worse that he was a "plant" by the DNC to give token opposition, while ultimately supporting her. I have to restrain myself from grabbing them by the shoulders and shaking them and saying "Get real! Do you know who the opposition now is? DONALD FUCKING TRUMP!"

It's a weird mix. I listened to an interview with Jill Stein, and basically agree with her analysis of the nation. But I see her as a spoiler who is diverting attention from the need to Stop Trump.

My opinion of Clinton has not changed. My ears glaze over when I hear her speak. I am worried that she won't follow through if elected. I fear that the Democratic Party will "move on" from what Sanders represents and go back to the Same Old Shit...

.But, I am trying to focus on the areas in which I agree with her, I'm trying to appreciate her good qualities.....Trying to feel enthusiasm. Trying to hope that she will do what she now says she will do, in trms of progressive change and reform.

I'm polite by nature. Were I attending the Democratic convention I would not have booed. I might have even told the more diehard Bernie or Busters to cool it, because they are harming the bigger cause....But I also feel their pain and share it.

I support Clinton in the General Election. I'm not thinking beyond that for now. But I also don't want the Democratic Party to go back to being Clintonized in the sense of once again locking out real reform and change once they have our votes.

Like I said, this is personal. But I think many people are in the same boat, and going through the same soul searching and mixture of conflicting emotions.

Ultimately, I'm optimistic that Bernie has been the catalyst for a REAL CHANGE. And if we can successfully get through this election and throw Trump into the Dumpster -- and weaken the GOP -- the Democratic Party will open the doors and windows and become a real mainstream progressive alternative to the GOP.

So for me, it's Bernie or Bust -- in the Long Game

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Reply A different view of what "Bernie or Bust" now means [View all]
Armstead Jul 2016 OP
Dustlawyer Jul 2016 #1
auntpurl Jul 2016 #2
global1 Jul 2016 #9
auntpurl Jul 2016 #10
forjusticethunders Jul 2016 #16
auntpurl Jul 2016 #41
Tom Rinaldo Jul 2016 #22
auntpurl Jul 2016 #38
calimary Jul 2016 #36
auntpurl Jul 2016 #40
calimary Jul 2016 #47
B Calm Jul 2016 #3
Scuba Jul 2016 #4
geek tragedy Jul 2016 #5
auntpurl Jul 2016 #8
Armstead Jul 2016 #26
Armstead Jul 2016 #25
geek tragedy Jul 2016 #27
John Poet Jul 2016 #61
global1 Jul 2016 #6
wrightl Jul 2016 #7
calimary Jul 2016 #39
Raster Jul 2016 #11
LonePirate Jul 2016 #12
erronis Jul 2016 #51
Voltaire Jul 2016 #13
retrowire Jul 2016 #14
calimary Jul 2016 #42
retrowire Jul 2016 #46
mnhtnbb Jul 2016 #56
retrowire Jul 2016 #58
Peacetrain Jul 2016 #15
angrychair Jul 2016 #17
pnwmom Jul 2016 #18
avaistheone1 Jul 2016 #19
Saviolo Jul 2016 #20
calimary Jul 2016 #34
Saviolo Jul 2016 #43
Tom Rinaldo Jul 2016 #21
Tatiana Jul 2016 #23
fleabiscuit Jul 2016 #24
Armstead Jul 2016 #30
fleabiscuit Jul 2016 #45
PWPippin Jul 2016 #28
erronis Jul 2016 #50
PoiBoy Jul 2016 #29
Lifelong Protester Jul 2016 #31
calimary Jul 2016 #32
Armstead Jul 2016 #48
calimary Jul 2016 #49
Armstead Jul 2016 #57
GoneOffShore Jul 2016 #33
Armstead Jul 2016 #37
Avalux Jul 2016 #35
silverweb Jul 2016 #44
emulatorloo Jul 2016 #52
NCTraveler Jul 2016 #53
Armstead Jul 2016 #55
NCTraveler Jul 2016 #62
jamese777 Jul 2016 #54
Skidmore Jul 2016 #59
Armstead Jul 2016 #60