Tuesday, June 28, 2016

We're here because the Democratic elites believe we have nowhere else to go

Hardly a day goes by that I fail to read an article about some galling thing done by the elite Democratic Party bosses. Voter suppression, flipping registration, cutting polling places, taking money for voter purges and changing the rules at the convention in Nevada without a legitimate vote. I could go on and on, but it should be noted that these are desperate times for a party give no voice to the truly liberal among us.

Then I find myself corresponding with someone else about the perceived arrogance of the Democratic Party. I said, "The Impunity Party" might be a better name for them.

Then we saw how Bernie Sanders submitted more than 40 names for standing committee appointments. DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz appointed three of them. She also appointed two men who were vehemently opposed to Bernie Sanders. She appointed them to plum positions as chairmen to two important committees, just to twist the knife.

This long string of abuses can only be performed by a political party that believes it can act with impunity. Clearly there is no long term thinking in their actions. We know now after the primaries, that Bernie Sanders gathered at least 12 million votes. We also know that a growing fraction of them will refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton. At last count it was something close to 45% of those voters who now refuse to vote for Hillary. I am one of them. I will not vote for the candidate of impunity.

Notice how Hillary's attempts to reach out to Sanders supporters is very likely to fail. Why? "He brings a lot of passion, but hasn't gotten me to move on any policies." Sanders carries the vote with young people by wide margins because they know that she's really a neoliberal, someone who calls herself a liberal, but acts more like a Republican. Don't believe me?

Check out this article at Common Dreams. Here we see the true narrative of the Democratic Party. Once the defender of the working class, defender of the New Deal, the Democratic Party has become addicted to big money in politics. Once hooked on that big money, ideology and any sense of fairness seems to have left the Democratic Party. But this year, this election, its all about making history, it's all about electing the first woman president of the United States. Character doesn't matter as long as Hillary Clinton is immortalized as the first American woman president. Listening to their campaign, it would seem that sexism isn't cool, but if you support Hillary Clinton, that's OK.

Neoliberalism gave us the crime bill of 1994. It gave us the Telecommunications Act of 1996. it gave us the repeal of Glass-Steagall. It traded political support from the working class for the support of the financial class. It gave us NAFTA and a host of other "free trade" agreements that have injured the working class, stagnated wages and enriched an already wealthy cohort willing to make more donations to keep big money in politics.

True liberals are now awake to this change. That's why 1.5 million people have shown up to the rallies hosted by Bernie Sanders. That's why Sanders is polling 43% of Democrats and 70% of independents, potentially the largest voting block ever assembled in America.

The Democratic elite seem to think they've got this all locked up. They seem to believe that we have nowhere else to go. But we do.

Imagine a scenario where Bernie Sanders, having failed to acquire the nomination, walks off to run as an independent with 12 million votes. There is a very real possibility that as an independent, he could win the election in November. He could even run on the Green Party ticket and could still win. Consider that a majority of voters elected to opt out of the European Union in the UK, the "Brexit", something that no one else believed was possible, this year. No one believed that could happen. Well, it's entirely possible that we will have a choice of something other than the lesser of two evils when we go to the polls in November.

Whether Bernie wins the nomination by indictment of Hillary, running as an independent or 3rd party, however he might win, it's a truly terrifying prospect for the people who fund "the establishment". That's why all of the "irregularities" have favored Clinton. That's why Bernie is the only one flipping counties in California after it became clear that the provisional ballots must be counted for election officials to save face. That's why the press has been so breathlessly aggressive in anointing Hillary as "the presumptive nominee". "The Establishment" would so dearly love to avoid any chance that Bernie could win.

But with 30% of Americans identifying as Democrat and 26% identifying as Republican, both parties have conveniently left out 43% of Americans who can't bring themselves to identify with either one. That kind of disconnect is the best way to explain why "the presumptive nominee" for both parties have historically low approval ratings. They both have the lowest net favorable ratings in history as pointed out by Gallup:
"For his part, Sanders continues to argue that he is the better choice to face Trump in the fall. Sanders' net favorable rating among the American public is now at +9, better than either Clinton's (-17) or Trump's (-31). However, it is likely that if Sanders were to become the Democratic nominee and in turn face much more intense media scrutiny and attacks from Trump and other Republicans, his favorable rating would become less positive."
The spread between Sanders and Clinton is 26 points? And she's still the nominee? I doubt very much that everything after the word "However" would even come to pass. There is simply very little negative to work with when attacking Bernie Sanders.

Even if Clinton or Trump should become president, Sanders has sparked a movement of people to get into politics. At last count, more than 12,000 people have signed up to run for office after hearing Bernie Sanders' call for people to get involved in politics. I signed up myself. You can, too, if you want to.

Bernie Sanders is just one man. Imagine 12,000 like him, running for office, taking no big money contributions and winning a few. Even if 1% make it to office, there will be a discernible change in politics. That could make for a very interesting mid-term election in 2018.

More immediately, we also see that Real Clear Politics is now maintaining a 4-way polling average between Clinton, Trump, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. Gary Johnson in particular is polling at historical highs for 3rd party candidates around 10% in at least one poll. Jill Stein is moving up fast, as well. We could very well see one or both of them in the November debates. All they have to do is hit 15% in 5 nationwide polls.

Stein is similar in many respects to Bernie Sanders in terms of policy positions. For many people who are Bernie or Bust, Stein could see a very significant bump in the polls if Sanders should somehow concede the election to Clinton. And she would have no compunction about bringing up Hillary's history during a nationwide debate.

Liberals do have somewhere to go besides the Democratic Party. As some have said, "I'm leaving the Democratic Party, and I'm taking the kids". After this election, that is what many, many people will do if Sanders does not get the nomination. Heck, I think they will leave even if he does.
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