The New York Times columnist, Charles Blow, thinks “Bernie or bust” is “bonkers.” As the Sane Progressive explains in the short video above, the movement to “vow” to either write in Bernie Sanders or vote for the Green Party candidate on November 8th if he’s not the Democratic Party nominee has the corporate media pundits “baffled.” Her expression of support for this movement is useful but insufficient to explain how those essentially demanding Bernie Sanders be the Democratic Party nominee are “the adults in the room” as the expression goes.
Aside from the fact that Senator Sanders surpasses Hillary Clinton in every poll that matches up against the three remaining Republicans in their primary race, Democrats supporting Secretary Clinton for President are playing craps with the Party’s chances of success in November. Under investigation by the FBI, it’s possible Secretary Clinton could get indicted for something. Whether she is indicted for mishandling classified information on her private email server or for selling influence through the Clinton Foundation, it doesn’t matter. If she does get indicted and she ends up the Democratic Party nominee, the Republican candidate for president and right-wing super PACs will make that a key reason why she should not be the next President. If Clinton becomes the nominee, the Democrats will have a good chance of losing the general election in November; and those on the left refusing to vote for her will not be responsible for that potential defeat.
It’s not the Bernie or bust pledge-takers who are “bonkers.” The supporters of Secretary Clinton are bonkers if they nominate a candidate as flawed and dangerous as she is. “Dangerous” is a strong word, but consider the following three issues on which Clinton would 1)accelerate climate change, 2) replace democratic self-government with corporate self-government and 3) potentially, accidentally start a war.
1) Both Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump support increased hydro-fracking for natural gas. Climate change activist Bill McKibben has explained, “fracked gas is not a “bridge fuel” to some cleaner era, but a rickety pier extending indefinitely out into a hotter future.” In a more recent essay, he points out, “Our leaders thought fracking would save our climate. They were wrong. Very wrong.” Or, as climate change activist James Hansen puts it, “We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control.” Democrats supporting a candidate at this late stage of climate change, who wants to expand this dangerous form of extreme extraction, are irresponsible at best and “bonkers.” Voters taking the Bernie or bust pledge are essentially “demanding” a candidate who will not destroy our climate. They are the adults in the room.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. ~abolitionist Fredrick Douglass
2) Secretary Clinton supports the so-called “free-trade agreements.” Her supposed “opposition” to the TPP is disingenuous. If this “agreement” is rubber-stamped by Congress this year, she will not likely pull out of it if elected in November. Like the President before her, Wall Street is paving her road to the White House with $100.00 bills knowing that she will push their agenda which is corporate rule around the world. The fascistic, Obamatrade treaties (TPP, TTIP & TiSA) coming down the fast-track will replace democratic self-government with corporate self-government when it comes to regulating the behavior of foreign-based, transnational corporations functioning in the United States. Both Senator Sanders and Donald Trump oppose these agreements. When it comes to preserving democracy, either candidate would be preferable to Secretary Clinton in the White House. Anyone supporting a candidate, who supports these agreements, is “bonkers.” Again, Sanders supporters demanding he be the Party nominee are the adults in the room.
I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad, just as I did when I was Secretary of State. ~Secretary Clinton
3) Secretary Clinton and her supporters tout her experience in foreign policy as her greatest advantage over Senator Sanders. However, she is the candidate of choice for the military-industrial complex. Steve Weissman, veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, has argued, “Hillary embodies this liberal imperialism and will do her best to groom the new political generation that sees itself as liberal to follow her into endless war, especially in the Middle East. That is why she is so dangerous.” Additionally, Clinton has called former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who had been a practitioner of a bloody foreign-policy realpolitik, “surprisingly idealistic.” Democrats willing to vote for a candidate as hawkish as Secretary Clinton may as well vote for a Republican, but that’s not the only consideration when choosing the next President to manage the foreign policy of the United States.
Secretary Clinton is prone to making “mistakes.” The list of her “mistakes” include:
- Her vote to support the war against Iraq,
- Her claim she was under sniper fire at the Tuzla, Bosnia airport,
- Her role in mass incarceration,
- Her use of a private email server while Secretary of State,
- Praising Nancy Reagan’s AIDS record just last month.
What liberal, conservative, libertarian or progressive wants a Commander-in-Chief who continues to make “mistakes?” The voters taking the Bernie or bust pledge are not “bonkers.” That term is best suited to those voting to have a mistake-prone, hawkish, pro-fracking supporter of anti-democratic, so-called “free-trade agreements” the next President, not the voters vowing to never support such a Democrat-in-name-only for President.
Bernie or bust opponents will point to the social issues on which Clinton would be better in the White House than Trump, but that is the “blackmail” they have been using for many election cycles. That form of argument comes from both sides of the aisle of the “political duopoly.” That term was coined by Charles Ferguson, director of Inside Job and author of Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Corporate Corruption and the Hijacking of America. In the Huffington Post he points out, “[F]ar from being in an era of brutal partisan warfare, as conventional wisdom holds and as watching the nightly television news might suggest, the United States is now in the grip of a political duopoly in which both parties are thoroughly complicit. They play a game: they agree to fight viciously over certain things to retain the allegiance of their respective bases, while agreeing not to fight about anything that seriously endangers the privileges of America’s new financial elites.”
Voters taking the Bernie or bust pledge are the adults in the room pledged to oppose the insanity of continuing to do the same thing (vote for a candidate of the political duopoly) and expect things to change. Unlike the supporters of Senator Sanders, who will vote for Secretary Clinton in the general election if she ends up as the Party nominee, they “won’t get fooled again.” The sooner Democrats wake up to this movement, the better chances the Party will have winning the general election in November behind Senator Sanders. All progressives and liberals want a woman in the White House, but the United States needs a political revolution against the political duopoly that threatens the climate, democracy and world peace.