Monday, June 06, 2016

A Twitterstorm over whether or not Superdelegates can be counted yet

I had the misfortune of walking into a Twitterstorm yesterday. Ok, it wasn't really a Twitterstorm relative to the size and scale of Twitter, but it sure felt that way to me. I had made the mistake of correcting a Clinton supporter and and was immediately subjected to a barrage of inuendo, condescension and uninformed comments all amid a swarm of other Clinton supporters. What I learned is that it's not very easy to have a coherent debate with Clinton supporters. It's even harder when you're limited to 140 characters. You're welcome to read all about it on my profile at Twitter here.

The entire argument started over my comment to someone asserting that Hillary only had 59 delegates to go to win it. The response was overwhelming as many Clinton supporters chimed in with their views. Eventually, the traffic became so intense that my account was locked and I had to change my password to get in. It would seem then that someone attempted to hack my account to silence me. Is that what we can expect from Clinton when it comes to dissent?

Their entire argument can be summed up as follows:

1. Superdelegates were counted before Obama won in 2008.
2. Superdelegates were reported in the totals even though the DNC says not to.
3. Hillary conceded that election on the night of the last primary for the good of the party, therefore, Sanders should concede on June 7th, too.

Their arguments have nothing to do with the rules and everything to do with how somebody else did it. This, by the way, is Hillary's argument about her email scandal, but that's another story.

That experience gave me the opportunity to crystallize my thinking about why I support Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. I can sum it rather quickly here:

1. Where Bernie has eschewed big money in politics and has financed his campaign with more than 8 million contributions averaging $27 each, Clinton has been jetting all over the country, hosting big fundraisers for the big bucks. Sanders has defied the money primary 14 times and won.

2. Where Sanders has an exemplary career as a politician free of the usual political intrigue, Clinton has several FBI investigations that are ongoing as we speak.

3. Sanders played by the rules, Clinton's team did not. Witness Arizona and New York. Long lines, changed party preferences, purged voters, cuts in polling places, etc.

4. Clinton had more than 450 superdelegates lined up even before she announced. There is some evidence to suggest that she bought their loyalty at the Democratic National Convention last year.

5. Clinton already had a massive advantage at the start of the race. Now they are in a dead heat nationally and in California. That means that Clinton tends to lose supporters rather than gain them. Sanders is to me, clearly the superior candidate in terms of electability.

I could go on, but the one point I want to make above all others is this: Sanders beat the money primary and could very well defeat the one candidate for the Democratic Party who lives and breathes the money primary. I want a candidate who is dependent upon the people alone. That candidate is Bernie Sanders. It's really that simple.

Where Sanders has collected 8 million contributions averaging $27 each, Hillary has received well over 30% of her financing from big money donors. As Larry Lessig of Mayday.us says, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Given Sanders sources of financing, I have a much greater confidence that he will be acting in my interests and that of the people than Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton took $13 million from Big Pharma, roughly the same amount from Wall Street and a few million more in speaking fees. Her husband Bill runs a family foundation that is supposed to be a charitable organization, but has been found to have only spent 7% of their money on charitable work. There is even evidence to suggest that during her tenure as Secretary of State, she received money from foreign countries through the foundation in exchange for arms deals.

The bottom line is Sanders has been transparent about where he gets his money, Hillary has not. if I want to know who the piper is and what tune he is calling, I will vote for Bernie Sanders. People who don't want to know who calls the tune for Hillary Clinton are well within their rights to vote for her. But I won't vote for her, even if she wins the nomination.

I sincerely hope that Sanders wins the nomination. But if he does not, I will vote for the Green Party. They are very close to Sanders in terms of policy positions. No, you can't hold a Trump to my head to get me to vote for Clinton, that's extortion and blackmail. I will vote my conscience and put my vote in for the person I believe is most likely to represent my interests as president. That person is Bernie Sanders.
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