Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Be still my beating heart - where to go from here?

What a long and difficult day it was yesterday. It would seem that Sanders has capitulated to Clinton. I can hardly believe what has happened, but it's done. His campaign is finished, as hard to believe as it may be. This article may ramble a bit as I'm still trying to gather myself up, so please bear with me. 

I think there is still plenty of fight in him. I can see him as Senate majority leader if we can take back the Senate. It is possible that we can take back the House, too. I know, some of you say that both parties are broken, but I say that there is hope. Read on let me share some ideas with you.

I cannot pretend to know what Sanders had in mind. He says that he knows Hillary Clinton and has known her for 25 years so there must have been some level of trust in her on his part to give him reason to do what he did. I do not see his acts as betrayal. I believe that he really does have a plan.

From the moment I read the news, the words of Sting were running through my mind, from his song, Be Still My Beating Heart (video):
Be still my beating heart
It would be better to be cool
It's not time to be open just yet
A lesson once learned is so hard to forget
Be still my beating heart
Or I'll be taken for a fool
It's not healthy to run at this pace
The blood runs so red to my face 
I've been to every single book I know
To soothe the thoughts that plague me so
I sink like a stone that's been thrown in the ocean
My logic has drowned in a sea of emotion
Stop before you start
Be still my beating heart

Yeah, that was me. From the moment I read the news of Clinton's nomination, I had to stay focused on work while that news was swimming in the back of my mind.

Is she really as bad as some people make her out to be? I don't know. Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. I want to believe that there is a compassionate bone in her body, really, I do. But for now, I don't believe it and I can't see it in her.

The irony of her victory is plain to see. She was caught sneaking around with her emails. She did that so that she would not have her emails subject to the FOIA. She just wanted to avoid scrutiny. She has won the nomination and if she wins in November, she will have the most scrutinized presidency the world has ever seen. We can bury her office in more FOIA requests. We can follow every bill she is even thinking of signing. Adding further irony to injury is that we would not have known about her transgressions with email without the Freedom of Information Act.

I believe that there is still a way forward. Let her have our vote and keep Trump out. For everyone else down ticket, make sure that anyone who ever supported Clinton gets voted out and replaced in the remaining primaries. Let us make life difficult if not unbearable for any elected Democrats who supported Clinton. Let them get the business end of the primaries in the next mid-terms. We can do it, really, we can. I would make an exception for Bernie Sanders and here's why. I believe that he will be her most ardent critic.

Let us take over state and county level party machines. Let us do to the Democratic Party what the Non Partisan League did to the Republicans in the state of NorthDakota early in the last century. But this time, we do it to every county and every state. Let's make sure that the conservatives and neoliberals among us have only one place to go: the GOP. Then let them deal with their own demons while we deal with ours.

I trust Hillary about as far as I can throw her. But I'm not completely convinced that she is evil. Confused, maybe, but probably not totally evil. I see her as someone who is completely convinced that she must rely upon big money in politics to win elections and become president. For someone of her character, yes, big money is required. 

I can recall reading comments by someone who read the diplomat cables originally released by Wikileaks years ago. That person said based on her reading, that Hillary Clinton really cared and wanted to help. I don't recall the specifics of the example that person cited, but it does indicate to me that there is hope.

Half the DNC delegates have walked out as of yesterday. The establishment has lost face with their move to get Clinton nominated. People do not trust either party now. Clinton's numbers are going to sink further still. Same with Trump. As people seek alternatives, it may well become apparent that Sanders has given us a gift, one that won't be revealed without our hard work.

Sanders has told us before that real change doesn't come from the top down, it always comes from the bottom up. I am still Sanders and I plan to write him in if I still can come November. I will always remember the fire and the hope he kindled in me. I still have it. But I carry that flame knowing something that he said long ago. This is not about him. This is about us.

Bernie Sanders really does have a plan. I'm sure that he has thought this through many times before he acted. He really believes that he did the right thing. He may have seen or heard of actual threats to his family and friends and his campaign. He may have decided that Clinton's backers want it bad enough that he had to let it go. We don't know. Only he knows. So he has now set the gauntlet for Clinton. This will not be a cakewalk for her.

Clinton is going to have to make the case that she is genuine. She is going to have to unite the party on her own now. It matters not what comes out of her mouth. What matters now is her action. She will face enormous resistance now and after the election. I have seen comments suggesting that Berniecrats have made progress in several state Democratic Party organizations. There are at least 12 very good Berniecratsrunning for office. That is just the beginning.

I think that Sanders truly believes what he says about change and how it originates. Let's consider what might have happened if he had fought and won. Would he have a firm foundation to operate upon as president? Maybe. 88% of the seats in Congress are up for election this year. Will they be voted out? Not likely. Their re-election rate is about 94% and their approval rating is about 11%.

That is a reflection of us. That is a reflection of our level of participation in politics. If Sanders had won, would we become complacent, thinking that change comes from the top? Perhaps. But by his action, he is forcing us to become more involved. We must build a firm foundation from the ground up. Yes, that will take more time. But if we're not committed now, will we ever be?

We are waking up from a dream, only to realize that we're the ones in the bathtub filled with ice and water, one missing kidney and a sign floating in front of us that says, "Call 911". We've been rolled. This is not about Sanders and it never was. What Sanders wants us to realize is that we don't need him to win. We might want him, but he's not our savior. He's just a messenger and he's OK with that.

It is time for us to stop sucking on the pointed finger for comfort. We must now follow it to see where it leads. I believe that finger points to freedom, justice and equality.

For anyone who thinks this is over, it's not. Not by a mile.
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