Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ignore the mainstream media gloating, Bernie is still in it to win it

I am relieved to see that Bernie is still working on plans to appear at the convention. There appear to be rumors floating around that he must concede and endorse Hillary Clinton if he wants to have a chance to speak to a full house at the convention. They are not true. We know this because someone has "leaked" news of a conference call he had with his supporters.

What we learned from that conference call is that he's asking for all of his delegates to be there and to vote for him in a roll call vote. Yes, some people may remember that in 2008 Hillary Clinton moved to suspend the roll call vote in order to allow Barack Obama to be the nominee. Bernie is not doing that. He did not concede. He will even have attorneys present to ensure that every delegate gets a seat for that vote.

He's doing what makes total sense: use every possible angle to assert leverage on the convention and to maintain influence. If he should somehow win the nomination, that's a bonus. Why would he even bother?

Well, there are a few really good reasons. Like more than 700 supedelegates. Surely they must have noticed the following items in the news:

  1. Hillary has been slipping in the polls since being "exonerated" by FBI Director James Comey. The RCP polling average against Trump is now less than 3.6%, very close to the margin of error.
  2. Donations to Jill Stein of the Green Party have increased by nearly 1000% since Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  3. Director Comey made several statements during his announcement of the decision not to refer Clinton for indictment that directly contradict statements she made under oath to Congress. There could be another FBI investigation under way to determine if Hillary Clinton perjured herself during the Benghazi hearings.  
  4. Bernie Sanders, like Barack Obama before him, brought millions of people to the party to vote for him. Now a large contingent of Sanders supporters are organizing a #demexit after the convention. I suspect that the superdelegates would like to see those new voters stay with the party.
This is the short list. Someone compiled a list of 150 reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton. All of this and more can explain the body language of Bernie Sanders when he made his endorsement. He knows that much of this is beyond his control. But he also knows that he is the messenger for a desperately needed movement to restore democracy in our country. If he were not to use every possible angle to get to the nomination, millions of voters would be sorely disappointed.

I would like to put this in a personal perspective. From time to time, my family and I go to the mall. The mall is usually nuts and crowded, so parking may be hard to find. But I always drive by the closest spots first because I know that I have a 50/50 chance that there will be a spot close to an entrance. I only do one pass and then go looking farther away. If I get a spot close to the door, bonus! If not, oh, well.

Granted, the chances are not much better for Bernie, but we won't know if he doesn't ask. That's why he's doing what he's doing. It's not for him. What he's doing is for us. All of us.

So don't fret, don't jump ship, and let go of your anger if you have any towards Bernie Sanders. Don't go to the Dark Side. Stay with him. He knows what he's doing. He's in it for the long game, and he's not afraid of an uphill climb. Compare his attitude with that of Hillary Clinton. She had everything given to her and still endured an enormous struggle. The mainstream media doted on her. More than 400 superdelegates were on her side before the first primary. The primaries had numerous coincidences that seemed to work out in her favor. Without Sanders, she would have walked right into the White House.

Bernie Sanders doesn't have to do this. He's doing all of this because it's the right thing to do. Let us set aside any fears, condemnations and reproach we might have for him and join him, in mind if not in body, on the journey to and at the convention. For the moment, we can stop trying to predict the future and say, "I don't know". We can suspend judgment to wait and see what happens. That is what I think of as faith in action.

Faith is distinct from belief in that belief holds something to be true despite all evidence. Faith is a reservation of judgment, of holding the mind open to new information. Belief clings where faith lets go. Bernie or Bust.
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