“Where the hell have you been, Mike?!”
Oh hey, good to see you, glad to be back. To answer your question, I’ve been writing a book, working on local legislation and I had to battle a studio to get the rights to a song I wrote way back in the primaries (the studio was actually refusing to give me the tracks to the song I wrote and paid to record!!).
Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk politics. Today I am taking a break from my book to answer some well-founded criticisms leveled at Bernie Sanders over the past few months.
Let’s get started by acknowledging that the Democratic Party is an absolute joke and that Tom Perez has no business running it. His appointment as head of the DNC is a blatant slap in the face to Progressives. It should have been Sam Ronan or Keith Ellison. The DNC owes Progressives an apology, but instead they kick us while we are down.
Seeing Bernie Sanders out on the campaign trail with pretend Progressive Tom Perez talking about Unity is enough to send many leftists off the deep end.
We’re all angry!!!
But that’s not the point of this article.
What I’m going to do over the next few minutes is attempt to show you a different point of view as to why I believe that Bernie Sanders is still the most Progressive voice in all of politics.
Let’s do this!!
“Dude, how the hell can you defend Bernie Sanders?!?! He endorsed Hillary Clinton and she is literally the antithesis of everything he stands for!!”
That’s a really great point. Bernie spent months reminding us that we have got to stand up and reclaim our government from the mega-corporations that own and control it. Then after loyal donors like you and I had thrown down $253,000,000, $27 at a time, he suddenly turns tail and endorses this corporate shill.
Even though I knew for a week that it was going to happen, the day that Bernie stood on that stage with the soulless one was one of the hardest days of my life. I went to the gym because I was feeling like I was going to vomit and I didn’t know what else to do. At the gym I grabbed the heaviest weights I could find and just tried to take my anger out on them, but it didn’t help. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I was so angry and in so much pain. At that moment I felt like the last year of my life had been thrown away. I cannot tell you the tremendous agony that I felt. In the following weeks I noticed myself going through the same stages of grief that I had gone through two years earlier when my mother had passed.
It was an awful thing, but it was absolutely necessary.
I will attempt to explain why.
In order to do so we must first deal with the gaslighting distraction known as Jill Stein. I’ve heard many people say “Jill Stein is just like Bernie Sanders!”, but NOTHING could be further from the truth.
While Bernie Sanders is knee-deep in the disgusting muck of the Washington D.C. Senate floor, Jill Stein is tweeting about the establishment from the comfort of her plush estate. While I do not begrudge Jill her financial success, I do think it is important that we delineate that a non-politician, calling the plays from the sidelines, has certain freedoms that someone in the trenches does not.
PUH-LEASE don’t try to tell me that Jill is an actual politician, just because she has a pretend run for the presidency every four years. Vermin Supreme (FREE PONY PLEASE!!) does the exact same thing and he has nearly the same level of support that Stein does. Stein sitting on the sidelines talking about revolution is like a fat sports fan sitting in his recliner, yelling at the TV about how Tom Brady should have done this instead of that. It’s ludicrous. The Green Party is not a real party in America. They rarely win mayoral seats or governorships. They don’t win Congressional or Senate seats. They rarely even compete seriously for these positions.
They are NOT a real party.
I would like them to be a real party. I volunteered for them. I gave them money. I went to Green Party meetings where three other people showed up. I knocked on doors for them. I emailed them daily when I got back from protesting the DNC in Philadelphia, but never got any replies. I’m the crazy guy that was on Fox News with Jill Stein tattooed on the side of his head. You won’t find anyone who was a bigger fan of Jill Stein, but then I woke up and realized that expecting Bernie Sanders to join the Green “Party” is like me inviting Tom Cruise to come over and play Call of Duty with me. The dude has better things to do.
Why am I saying all of this?
Because many of Sanders’ biggest critics say “Instead of endorsing Clinton, Bernie should have joined the Green Party.”, a belief that was fostered by Jill Stein playing the victim on every television network that would allow her to speak.
Who can forget how Jill continued to whine “We keep trying to contact Bernie, but he won’t return our calls.” or how she attempted to divide the left against Sanders with subtle jabs like “perhaps because he’s been in Washington, D.C., too long”, insinuating that Bernie was nothing but a tool for the establishment?
These opportunistic slams were effective. As Jill continued to flood the MSM airwaves with her “Poor me, Bernie won’t answer my calls.” agenda that was clearly designed to raise funds for The Green Party, angry Sanders’ supporters gradually started turning against him and wondered why Sanders just didn’t join Stein’s ticket when she was being so gracious as to offer it to him.
Stein used Sanders and his grieving supporters as a tool to promote herself when she knew full-well that she was not running a serious campaign. She took money from the disenfranchised while pretending to run for president and worst of all she tried to make Sanders look bad in the process.
We all know what would have happened, had Sanders been foolish enough to accept Stein’s offer. Sanders’ supporters (about 20-30 million people) would have voted for him. Traditional Democrats (approximately 40 million people in 2016) would have voted for Hillary. And Trump voters would have still voted for Donald Trump and Trump would have won BY A LANDSLIDE due to the left vote being divided.
And who would have been blamed for the Democrats loss?
Yeah you got it!!
But let’s sail away to the land of rainbows and unicorns and engage in some magical thinking just for fun.
Let’s imagine that Bernie would have actually won as the Green Party candidate. I know this would have never happened, but let’s just imagine that he would have for one second.
If Bernie had won on the Green Party ticket his presidency would have been even more impotent than Barack Obama’s was. He would have been opposed at every turn, because he would have inherited a House and Senate that HAD ZERO GREEN PARTY MEMBERS!! The establishment Democrats and Republicans would have opposed him at every turn. They would have been furious that he had dared disrupt their little corporate shell game and they would have made his presidency completely ineffective.
“Well he could have signed executive orders!!”
Executive orders for what?!
Literally every single Progressive item on Sanders agenda needs Congressional approval to become law. If you think Obama had it rough with the GOP opposing him, I hope you realize that Sanders would have had it ten times harder with the entire government against him.
So Sanders did what he said he would when he infiltrated the Democratic Party. He played by their rules and endorsed the candidate who “won” the Democratic Primary, not because he wanted to, but because it was the most strategic move he could make in an extremely difficult situation.
It’s also important to remember that he did not just GIVE Clinton his endorsement. He sat down with her team and hammered out concessions beforehand. He TRADED his endorsement for her promise. It’s logical that you would say “Clinton is a liar so why would he even trust her?”, but he didn’t have a lot of options. If someone has a gun to your loved one’s head, you may not trust them, but you had better try to work something out, because you are in absolutely no position to negotiate.
Bernie did the only thing he could do.
He traded his endorsement for platform concessions, then he went out on the campaign trail and attempted to lock Clinton into keeping her word by saying “Secretary Clinton knows the importance of…” night after night, making it to where everyone would know if she lied.
It was an extremely difficult thing to do, but Sanders did what was best for us.
It really angers me that some refuse to engage logic and see that.
“Okay dude, those are all really good points, but Bernie was being cheated and he just sat back and let it happen. He should have spoken up! When Bernie was cheated, we were all cheated. It’s Bernie’s job to stand up for us.”
It’s actually our job to stand up for him in this case.
I was there on the ground in Iowa for the caucus and was able to see some of the shenanigans firsthand. I don’t want to get into details about all the election fraud that took place during the Democratic primary, but if you believe that Bernie Sanders is supposed to lose all his power by marginalizing himself against a corporate Democratic Party that is worth billions of dollars and literally controls the media and nearly every aspect of this country, then I submit that you haven’t thought this through.
If Sanders would have been so foolhardy as to say “I’m being cheated in this election.” then he would have given the media exactly what they wanted. They would have marginalized him as a fringe, paranoid candidate and his campaign would have been less effective.
Sanders knew all along that the establishment was looking to discredit him, so he had to walk a very narrow path. Had he called the Dems out for their cheating, then he would have lost any chance he had for platform concessions, while simultaneously diminishing his power in the Senate.
The Dems are a club. Bernie has been finding ways to work with them and get legislation passed for decades. This legislation changes lives and helps millions. Had he returned to the Senate having embarrassed the Democratic Party, they would have kicked him off all of his subcommittees and he would have been completely powerless. As it stands now, they are scared of him. They are trying to pretend to embrace his ideology while he tries to pull the entire party to the left.
People like me and Jill Stein have the luxury to sit on the sidelines and scream the truth about how disgusting the Democratic Party is. If Bernie Sanders does that then he throws away all of our $27 donations and in case you were wondering what all that money you donated got you, it got you an entire party that is shaking in their $500 shoes over Bernie Sanders and if we keep applying the pressure then we might actually be able to get a few things done with that fear.
Bernie Sanders is literally the ONLY person that cannot step up and talk about how he was cheated. If he does that all is lost.
It is OUR job to stop election fraud.
Bernie Sanders is not in a position to do that.
He is our voice on the inside.
He has to play by a different set of rules.
“Wow dude!! My head is so firmly planted up my own ass that I never even thought of that. Still, I wish Bernie would have just contested the convention.”
Bernie needed 1900 delegates to contest and he only had 1845. That’s not something he could control. The goal was to sway 55 delegates to be able to contest the convention and the DNC knew that this was his goal, so what did they do? They started trying to disqualify his delegates. They were looking for any reason at all to discredit them. At first they started trying to disqualify them by saying that they didn’t have the proper credentials, but Sanders was prepared for that. He brought a team of lawyers with him and they were all over this shady DNC trick, so then the DNC started trying to disqualify Sanders’ delegates for petty offenses like holding up signs. It was an absolute disgusting attack on democracy.
Bernie did everything he could, but he COULD NOT formally contest the convention.
Sanders’ detractors like to use this as a way of trying to make him look like a sellout. There is nothing in the way Sanders handled the DNC that would indicate that he had any inkling of “selling out”.
Do you remember the tremendous pressure that the Dems were putting on Bernie to step down? Do you remember how Congressional Dems openly booed Sanders during his speech? Do you remember how he said “Boo all you want. I’m going to continue to work to transform this country.”? Do you remember how he held a live stream during this intense pressure and everyone thought he was going to concede, but instead he pissed off the Dems even more by calling upon his followers to run for office?
Bernie refused to concede and went all the way to the convention. He even won the morning roll call (please don’t tell me that he didn’t. I was a Sanders state delegate. I was there at the convention when it happened. It was absolute pandemonium!!). But then the Dems used their nuclear option and called in the $uper-delegates.
Sanders used a brilliant strategy. He requested that Vermont go last. I stood in FDR park with 40,000 of my closest friends and watched these professional criminals dismantle the last remaining pieces of our democracy. It was sickening. My girlfriend turned to me with tears in her eyes and said “This is just like The Hunger Games.”
After all the $uper-delegates pledged against Sanders he could have conceded. That’s what any other candidate would have done.
Instead Sanders did something unprecedented. He grabbed the microphone and suspended the rules of the convention. This was a brilliant strategic move. By suspending the rules he put himself in position to take over the nomination should Clinton be indicted. Sanders had no way of knowing if James Comey was capable of actually doing his job or not and by suspending the rules he actually gave himself a chance to win should the FBI indict Hillary.
An interesting side-note; Comey, a conservative, did not prosecute Hillary Clinton.
Clinton fans said that this proved that Clinton was innocent.
Sanders fans said that this was proof that Clinton had pressured Comey and he had succumbed to the pressure.
I have a different theory.
I believe Comey refused to prosecute Clinton because he knew that Sanders would have wiped the floor with Donald Trump in the general election, as well as bringing out a record number of voters and this would have flipped the House and Senate to the Dems.
Comey didn’t prosecute Clinton because she was a weak candidate and she was the Republicans only chance to win.
Comey’s announcement that the investigation was reopening a few days before the election, when they had three worthless emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer, all but confirms that this was the GOP’s plan all along.
“Wow!! Mind blown!! I never thought about any of this. Still, most of Bernie’s delegates struggled to get the money to make the trip. That really hurt. If he was going to concede, I wish he would have done it before the convention.”
He didn’t concede. He never had any intention to. Sanders’ plan was to contest the convention, but we all saw that the DNC was intent on winning by any means necessary, even if it meant they had to disqualify his delegates.
But the presence of the delegates (as well as the presence of thousands of protesters) gave Sanders some leverage. He needed us there to show the establishment that we meant business. Also, he didn’t know for sure how the convention would play out. He may have needed those delegates should he have an opportunity to contest.
I know firsthand how incredibly difficult getting to Philly was. I was so broke that I couldn’t afford a plane ticket or a hotel room. I actually drove 28 hours and slept on an air mattress at a friend’s house. We exhausted the last of our funds to be there. It was one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences of my life and I only went as a protester (I was a Sanders county and state delegate, but opted to promote more qualified people for the national delegate position. My friends rocked it on the inside while I stayed outside and did television interviews to promote our cause).
It sucks that so many uniformed people blame Sanders for not contesting the convention when everyone on the inside knows that the DNC made this an impossibility, but let’s turn the table on this question and look at it from a different perspective.
Bernie stated repeatedly that his campaign was about millions of people standing up against the establishment. Perhaps the pilgrimage to the east coast was a right of passage for true revolutionaries. Considering all that Sanders did for us, I feel that going to Philly was the least we could have done for our cause. Instead of asking why Sanders asked so much of us, perhaps we should be asking what we can do to have a bigger impact in this revolution.
“Okay, okay…I didn’t know all that, but still Sanders is a sellout. He even said that he believed the story about the Russian hacking.”
Look. I’m fed up with the left thinking that they know so much about the Russian story. You don’t know. I don’t know. If you claim that you do know then you’re deluding yourself. What we DO know is that Putin has a long history of interfering with the elections of other countries, so it’s not so far-fetched.
For those of you who have went off the deep end with your Putin love, you should do some reading on what’s happening in Chechnya, where gays are being rounded up and exterminated under a dictator that Putin put in place or maybe you should talk to the family members of the thousands of Ukrainians massacred by Putin’s propped up dictator Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych.
The DNC is not to be trusted.
The CIA is not to be trusted.
Vladimir Putin is not to be trusted.
I know that it’s more fun to believe that Julian Assange is just an honest whistle-blower and to hold him in godlike esteem, especially when the US government has basically put a price on his head, but honestly you should ask yourself why Wikileaks released info that hurt Clinton, while making no effort to release anything that could have damaged Trump.
Do you believe that Trump does not have any skeletons in his closet?
Do you believe that Wikileaks could not access anything that could have hurt Trump?
What bugs me more than the Russian narrative is that the people who claim that the Russians DID NOT interfere seem to be just as misinformed as those who blindly believe the corporate media.
You don’t know.
I don’t know.
We may never know.
So let’s stop talking about it until we see proof.
“Fair enough, but you have to admit it’s sickening to see Bernie out there sheep-dogging for Tom Perez and the DNC.”
Let me tell you about my girlfriend, Carrie.
Carrie is the best person I have ever met. She is open and honest and caring and I believe every word she says. Considering that I am a cynical and jaded person, who is accustomed to doubting everyone and everything, it is kind of amazing that I believe her, but if you knew her, you’d understand.
Carrie is a person of great integrity.
So if I saw Carrie do something that seemed like it was of questionable ethics, I would assume that Carrie had a good reason or was under some sort of tremendous duress.
See where I’m going with this?
Bernie Sanders has literally spent his entire life fighting for justice and equality. He fought when no one was watching. He fought when other Senators and Congressional members booed him and walked out on him. He fought when he was the only one fighting and he fought for us before most of us were even born.
So forgive me if I don’t rush to call him a sellout just because he doesn’t do everything the way I would do it. I fully accept that Bernie Sanders has better information than I can attain through social media and shady news sites.
What I’ve been seeing with Bernie seems like he is playing a strategy game. He goes out on the road with the head of the DNC and talks about unity while simultaneously using their pulpit to preach his Progressive agenda. Then I see him using his newfound fame to talk to the media about how the Democrats need to cleanse themselves of corruption and become a more Progressive party.
Perhaps you don’t understand that America’s Constitution locks it into a two-party system through plurality voting. Perhaps you should read up on that instead of talking out of your ass about the Green Party on social media. Maybe, just maybe Bernie Sanders might know more about the American political system than you do. Maybe you don’t understand that splitting the left into two parties means that Republicans will dominate elections for so long that America will perish in the process.
Maybe this is all new information for you.
Maybe you operate inside of a social media echo-chamber with other misinformed people like yourself, who would prefer to complain about things instead of getting off their lazy asses and actually doing something about it.
Maybe YOU are intentionally naive.
Maybe that makes your life easier.
Maybe you’re the type who just likes to be contrary.
“Dude! Chill out!! You’re being agro!! I’m starting to see your points. Bernie Sanders is actually out there fighting for us in the only way he can. He is operating inside of a corrupt system while simultaneously asking his followers to infiltrate it! That’s completely brilliant!! But one last thing, you saw that mark Bernie Sanders had on his face at the convention. Clearly this means that Clinton’s goons roughed him up so he had to back down or they would have killed his family.”
OMG!! Just when I thought you were getting it!!
Would you like some Fool-Aid with your Pizzagate?!
Let’s get back to reality. Bernie Sanders has been staring down bullies his entire life. Bernie was threatened for sure. He was threatened with losing all his power in the Senate. Instead he chose to increase his power by staying on the inside and challenging us to fight along with him.
Seriously man, we can’t get anything done if you can’t deal in reality. Saying shit like that just embarrasses all of us and hurts our cause.
“Whatever man, you’re a sheeple. Continue drinking the corporate media Kool-Aid. You’re part of the oligarchy!!”
Okay man. You’re off the deep end. I’ll get you some new tin-foil for your hat. Maybe it will help protect you from chem-trails.
“Dude, you’re stupid!! That’s not even how chem-trails work!!”
You oughtta know, crazy guy.
“I’m crazy?!?! You’re the one talking to yourself and using bold-faced type to make it seem like you are talking to someone else. I’m a figment of your imagination. I don’t even actually exist!! Now who’s crazy?!?!”
Well, you’ve got me there.