20 May 2016

People like me, planning to vote for Bernie in the last primaries, are not "dead enders," and we're not undermining Clinton!

Robert Reich, whom I greatly admire, posted the following on Facebook. My reply follows.

Many of you who support Bernie ask me what you should do at this point. My suggestion:

1. Continue to work like hell for Bernie, especially given upcoming primaries in California and New Jersey on June 7. Putting aside superdelegates, the difference between him and Hillary Clinton isn't huge. So far, Bernie has won nearly 10 million votes and has 1,499 pledged delegates. Hillary Clinton has won 13 million votes and has 1,771 pledged delegates. California could make a huge difference.

2. Don't demonize or denigrate Hillary Clinton. If she wins the Democratic nomination, I urge you to work like hell for her. She'll be the only person standing between Donald Trump and the presidency of the United States. Besides, as I've said before, she'll be an excellent president for the system we now have, even though Bernie would be the best president for the system we need.

3. Never, ever give up fighting against the increasing concentration of wealth and power at the top, which is undermining our democracy and distorting our economy. That means, if Hillary Clinton is elected, I urge you to turn Bernie's campaign into a movement – even a third party – to influence elections at the state level in 2018 and the presidency in 2020. No movement to change the allocation of power succeeds easily or quickly. We are in this for the long haul.

What do you think?


Ah, the breath of sanity. I'm a total Bernie supporter, but I also recognize reality. I have had to defend my position... that every last vote and voter should be able to, and should, REGISTER their preference for Bernie and his agenda until every primary (and especially in my state, the largest of all) is over. Bernie should leverage his votes and his voters for as much of his agenda as the platform, symbolic and real, on which Clinton will run, assuming she is to be the nominee. THEN, Bernie will full throatedly endorse her, and we, Progressive Democrats energized and determined to advance his agenda going forward, will support her election against the proto Fascist Trump. And we will win that, while continuing to work for reform in our party and a genuine Progressive agenda for the country.

Sadly, I've had to defend this not only against "Bernie or Bust" folks, but against Clinton supporters who seem to think her weakness as a candidate, and the fact that her neocon foreign policy and Progressive-lite domestic agenda are failing to catch fire, is somehow Bernie's and his supporters' fault. The recordation of who supports who, and what, is what primaries are for, and Clinton supporters who say we're disloyal, or "harming" Clinton, for exercising our franchise are the ones who don't seem to understand how our democracy is supposed to work.

A better test case for why a short primary season and national primary with runoff or automatic runoff should be instituted as soon as possible I can hardly imagine.

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