The Curious Case of The Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In

(IF YOU ALREADY KNOW THE TWISTED BACK-STORY REGARDING THE FALSE QUOTE OF JANE SANDERS AND HOW JANE PUBLICLY CAME OUT AND TOLD US THAT IT WAS OKAY TO WRITE BERNIE IN, THEN YOU CAN SCROLL DOWN TO THE SCREENSHOTS OF THE CONVERSATION WITH THE PERSON WHO INFILTRATED AND DECEIVED OUR GROUP AND SKIP THE SET-UP)

Hi,

My name is Michael E Sparks and I have spent the last year of my life trying to do everything I could to promote Bernie Sanders and the ideals he champions for our country.

I was a state and county delegate for Bernie Sanders and I have spent most of the past year traveling around to primary states canvassing on behalf of Sanders.

About a month ago I wrote THIS article, which asked people to volunteer and follow my crazy family to Vermont to convince the citizens there of what I referred to as a “Hail-Mary chance for Bernie Sanders to win the Presidency” by taking Vermont’s three electoral votes away from Hillary Clinton and forcing the Presidential race to be decided by the House of Representatives.

I stated from the beginning that it was a long shot, but for those of us who are desperate to break out of this awful Trump/Clinton conundrum, a long shot seemed infinitely better than what we felt would be certain war and hardship, if either of these two took office.

As soon as the article hit, my life became pretty chaotic.

My family and I started rearranging our work and school schedules to get to Vermont, which was pretty hectic.

Also we were contacted by an amazing group called #OpDeny270, which had the goal of organizing a Sanders write-in for the other states where a write-in victory would actually be counted.

Vermont, New Jersey, Alabama, New Hampshire, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Delaware and Iowa do not require the candidate to register in order to win a write-in campaign.

I expressed to our group that I wanted to keep our campaign separate from #OpDeny270, because time was limited and flipping a single state was already a monumental undertaking and also because most of the members of our group were Jill Stein supporters and we did not want to do anything to hurt Jill’s chances of attaining 5% of the national vote, which would qualify The Green Party for federal funding in the 2020 Presidential election and would go a long way towards our Progressive goal of busting up the corporate duopoly.

From the beginning we were very careful to be respectful of Jill Stein’s campaign.

Part of the reason why we were focusing on Vermont is that our numbers indicated that there was a very small Green Party presence there and most people were reluctantly voting for Hillary and had overwhelmingly voted for Sanders in the primary.

We crunched all the numbers beforehand, so we knew exactly what we needed to do in order to flip the state and we were absolutely positive that doing so would, in no way, hurt Jill’s chances at federal funding.

We checked the Vermont write-in laws extensively and found out that we could actually achieve our goal.

Terje Oseberg wrote a fantastic phone-banking program and imported every phone-number in Vermont into it.

People started phone-banking and Vermont residents were responding positively.

We needed to convert 25% of the state’s voters in order to achieve our goal and we were initially flipping 40%.

Terje was constantly telling us how many bankers we needed from day-to-day and really motivating people.

While waiting for my vacation time, I continued to work in my off hours canvassing for Jill Stein locally, so you can imagine my confusion when we started receiving angry responses from people claiming that they were Jill Stein supporters and that they knew that our movement was actually a plot to help Hillary Clinton.

There was no logic to the argument.

For one, I am a very public figure and everyone knows that I am a radical Sanders devotee.

I literally met thousands of Sanders and Stein supporters at the DNC protest in Philadelphia and have been interviewed by everyone from Fox News to Vox to The Washington Post regarding my passion for Bernie Sanders and the values he stands for.

The argument against our movement being for Hillary Clinton made zero sense, because getting Clinton voters to write-in Bernie Sanders was clearly intended to take Vermont away from Clinton, where she currently has a huge lead.

The entire genesis of our movement was an attempt to deprive Clinton of the Presidency and give it to Bernie Sanders, where it rightfully belonged after a rigged “Democratic” Primary.

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As we began assigning volunteers and getting organized, we were hyper-conscious of being infiltrated by people who may want to sabotage our operation to insure that Clinton won Vermont.

We were not expecting to be infiltrated by anyone representing Jill Stein, because our group is full of Stein supporters and prior to the event that I am about to explain, we thought of these people as allies.

In fact, I still do feel that Stein supporters and Sanders supporters are allies.

At least I hope we are.

The events I am about to explain leave me saddened and wondering about the intentions of some of those who I thought were on our side.

It was going to be two weeks before our family could arrive in Vermont, so we needed a canvassing coordinator on the ground in Burlington.

Let me be clear, we were absolutely DESPERATE for an experienced canvasser who was already on the ground in Vermont, who could house and train our traveling canvassers.

Enter Nicole Guerin…

In the following conversation Nicole is the gray bubbles and I am the blue bubbles.

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Nicole was the key to the entire operation.

She was exactly what we were looking for.

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Nicole was an experienced canvasser who supported Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders.

It was a perfect match!!

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As it was my job to interview the canvassing coordinator, I was extremely happy that we had found someone who was actually in Burlington, Vermont.

I immediately liked Nicole and went to the group with my recommendation that we train Nicole remotely and give her canvassing literature and allow her to train our traveling volunteers.

Then she informed us that she actually was friends with Bernie and Jane Sanders.

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Nicole and I seemed to be on the same page. I was incredibly excited to recommend her to the group.

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Nicole expressed concerns that the people of Vermont did not want any part of a campaign that could possibly result in a Trump Presidency.

I informed Nicole that we had changed our group mission statement, in light of Clinton taking a huge lead in the electoral college polls, after the Trump misogyny tape was released.

I told Nicole that we had reframed our mission and that we had accepted that Vermont’s three electoral votes were not going to be enough to stop Clinton, but that we really just wanted to honor Bernie Sanders for a lifetime of commitment to the people of Vermont.

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Nicole agreed that this approach would work much better and I had received permission from our group to offer her the position as our canvassing coordinator (not before the higher-ups in our group asked me if I was sure that she was the “real deal” about ten times and every time I assured them that she was.)

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Nicole was ecstatic.

Nicole accepted our offer and even said that she could lodge some of our traveling canvassers.

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Our group celebrated.

We now had our foot in the door.

The following day, Nicole sent me this message.

 

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It was a video from Claudia Stauber, someone who I have been a big fan of for a while now.

It was Claudia telling people that our movement was actually working for Hillary Clinton.

As you can imagine, we were all hurt and disappointed to hear that Claudia had been misinformed and was unknowingly spreading false information regarding our movement.

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I told Nicole that our movement was not related to #OpDeny270 and that I didn’t think such a huge initiative could work and that I felt like it could interfere with Jill’s 5%.

(To my friends at #OpDeny270, I have since changed my opinion in light of the amazing work you guys are doing. I now feel that it is absolutely feasible for you guys to flip Wyoming. But I have to present the truth and the truth is that I did say that it wouldn’t work when I first head about your movement.)

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At this point, things began to get interesting.

Nicole was having a crisis of conscience or at least this is what I was lead to believe.

She said that she felt bad about running a secret operation in Bernie and Jane’s backyard and wanted to talk to them about it before she went any further.

She also complimented our canvassing materials.

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Nicole reminded me again, how important the Sanders’ approval was regarding our initiative.

I didn’t say anything to her, because I believed at the time that she was laboring under an intense dilemma, but I really feared that talking to Bernie would kill our initiative, because I know that he is bound by his agreement to support Hillary Clinton.

I wanted to ask her not to talk to them, but how could I?

Asking her not to talk to her “friends” would be overstepping a serious boundary.

 

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Then things became strange.

As Nicole had offered her home for canvassers, I told her the days that we would be arriving and told her that we would accept her offer to use her guest room.

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At this point Nicole informed me that the room was full and reiterated that she was uncomfortable running a campaign that may be against Bernie’s wishes.

I knew that Bernie would be forced by his position with the DNC to denounce the campaign, but I also knew that we were packed and on our way to Vermont in two days and we needed Nicole to feel strongly about what we were doing, so I suggested…

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Nicole agreed to speak to Jane, but not to Bernie.

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I supported Nicole’s choice and went to bed that night feeling scared, afraid that all of our work would be ended by a single conversation with Jane Sanders.

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Nicole messaged me Sunday morning and told me that the Sanders family was not at home.

Then later that day, Nicole messaged me again and told me that she had spoken with Jane.

I nearly vomited when I saw the message.

I was so scared that we might offend Bernie and Jane in some way, when we had all worked so hard to honor them.

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I sat on pins and needles for several hours until the infamous messages came in regarding Jane’s message for us to cease our movement and support the candidates who are “on the ballot”.

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I was deeply saddened.

I wrote THIS article (since amended) telling everyone that our movement was over, because Jane Sanders did not approve of it.

Our volunteer group had a range of emotions.

Many were angry with me.

Many were crying and inconsolable.

I have been through some tough events in my life, including the recent death of my mother and the death of one of my children, but I was not at all prepared for the intense grief that overtook me that day.

I told my family..

“Everything aches from my stomach all the way up to my throat. I’ve never felt anything like this.”

Carrie and my daughter were also deeply saddened.

We had worked very hard to juggle our schedules to go to Vermont and thought we were doing something compassionate and decent.

Now, after receiving Nicole’s message and hearing what we believed was Jane’s request to stop the movement, I felt foolish and embarrassed.

So many had worked so hard so hard and for what?

I asked Nicole if I could “use her words” to explain to everyone why we needed to stop the movement and she said that it was okay.

Dave Weigel, at the Washington Post, had been speaking to me on the phone every couple of days and had flown into Vermont to interview me regarding our movement.

I told Nicole to go ahead and do the interview on my behalf.

Nicole told Dave Weigel that there was “no story” and that the movement was over.

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This is the part where Nicole said that it was okay to use her words to let people know that our movement was over.

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I thanked Nicole for speaking with Jane Sanders and told our group that the movement was over.

Our group unanimously said that they would continue on the movement with or without me.

I told them that I admired their spirit, but that I had already canceled my trip to Vermont and that we had all contacted work and school and told them that we would be in as originally planned.

It was an incredibly chaotic turn of events for our family and for our volunteers.

Nicole informed me that she was grieving too.

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I thanked Nicole again for her efforts.

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Nicole read my article and told me that she was not comfortable with me going public with her words.

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She then told me that she went back to talk to Jane Sanders and that Jane had told her that I shouldn’t use her words.

At the time, I thought this was kind of odd, but as I was grieving, I told myself that I was just reading too much into it.

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I reminded Nicole that she had given me permission to use her words.

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I told Nicole that I did not feel that it was right to summarize, especially when she had given me permission to “use her words”.

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Nicole told me that she visited Jane a third time.

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I told Nicole that I was upset about all the misinformation coming from Stein supporters on our efforts and she agreed that it had been ugly.

I told her that the whole thing had soured me on The Green Party, but I still planned to vote for Jill.

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And those  was the last words that Nicole and I spoke to each other.

Jane Sanders tweeted and said that the conversations were fabricated.

The people in our movement were incredibly angry.

Nicole immediately left our volunteer group.

I told the group members that we had to give Nicole 24 hours to tell her side of the story and we would not make any public statement until that time.

We asked Nicole publicly to make a statement and she did not respond.

Then someone sent us this.

Notice the date, October 13, around the time that Nicole said that she needed to talk to the Sanders family about our movement.

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And then of course, Jane Sanders graciously came out and let the world know that Nicole had been lying to our group all along.

Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jane for letting us know that our movement was accepted and for giving us permission to follow our hearts and write in Bernie Sanders on our ballots.

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Sadly it appears as if Nicole infiltrated our efforts and fed us lies.

I take full responsibility for this, as I am the one who trusted her and told others to trust her.

I find it deeply troubling that people who we felt were on our same team, went to such great efforts to undermine weeks of work from people who wanted nothing more than to honor Bernie Sanders and his lifetime of fighting for our collective rights.

Has the left become so fractured that Jill Stein supporters are going to great efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders supporters?

And if so, who wins?

The establishment wins! That’s who!!

We all know what it has been like dealing with Hillary Clinton’s deceptive Super-PAC, Correct the Record and now it seems that the victims of these tactics have began using them on others who are on the same team.

And for what?

We made no effort to change the minds of Stein voters in Vermont.

We only tried to flip the Hillary voters to write-in Bernie.

Why would anyone attack such a pure and honest movement?

Apparently we are not alone.

Our friends at #OpDeny270 sent us this (you will have to click it, as every time I enlarged it, the script became too blurry to read).

They say that this is a phone-banking script that some Stein supporters were using to undermine our efforts in Vermont.

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this script and I am not interested in pursuing some sick war with other people who share the same Progressive values as we do.

I do not think that a war between Stein supporters and Sanders supporters is advantageous to our collective cause, so I would like to take this opportunity to ask that we all take a breath and rejoin forces against the establishment.

When elephants fight, the grass suffers.

I am quick to forgive, but in light of this new information, I will be focusing exclusively on Bernie Sanders Write-in and down-ballot candidates.

I know that Jill Stein did not put anyone up to this.

I know that all candidates attract all kinds of people.

But this event has left lots of people deeply injured.

I would expect something like this from those who support Hillary Clinton.

I never expected anything like this from those who support Jill Stein.

Addendum: After our story was released last night, Nicole released a statement admitting guilt and apologizing.

I have empathy for Nicole and it was very difficult for me to go forward with this story, but our group was implicated in something that we were innocent in and the people deserved to know the truth.

We all wish Nicole all the best going forward and we are grateful for her for being an adult and owning up to her actions.

We encourage ALL people who are not happy with their ballot choices to write-in Bernie Sanders as a protest to a rigged election.

Regardless of who you vote for in the Presidential race, please vote in Progressives in all down-ballot races.

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Jane Sanders DID NOT SAY To Not Write-In Bernie Sanders

JANE SANDERS NEVER SAID NOT TO WRITE IN BERNIE SANDERS.

WE WERE FED MISINFORMATION FROM SOMEONE WHO HAD INFILTRATED OUR RANKS AND GAINED OUR TRUST.

THE STORY OF HOW THAT HAPPENED CAN BE FOUND HERE.

THE VERMONT BERNIE SANDERS WRITE-IN IS STILL ON AND WE ENCOURAGE ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE UNHAPPY WITH THEIR BALLOT CHOICES TO WRITE-IN BERNIE SANDERS NAME AS A MEANS OF PROTESTING THIS RIGGED ELECTION.

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Here is the original story, with the false quote removed.
Sanders
It’s a chilly overcast day here in Indiana and I just received some news that was kind of devastating.
And just to be clear, it was politically devastating, not REAL LIFE devastating.
Everyone in our home is happy and healthy, as we all grope along slowly, trying to deal with the craziness that life throws at us from day-to-day.
My family is giving me a lot of space.
Occasionally Carrie comes up to me and squeezes my shoulder and then drifts away.
They know how I am.
They know how personally I take all of this.
I drove to the coffee shop with my laptop and sat down to break the news, tears resting just behind my eyes.
My lap-top is covered in “Ask me about Bernie Sanders” stickers.
As I opened it up, a little black boy came up to me, maybe 10 years old and said..
“I’m mad about Bernie!!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I’m mad that he’s not in the election anymore. I love Bernie Sanders. I’m mad about it!!”
As I fought back tears, I was able to choke out an ironic smile, swallow hard and find the words..
“I’m mad too.” I said.
writein3
I was hesitant to tell you about the little kid, because it sounds made up, but that really happened to me, just now, sitting here in Indiana and I know it’s politically incorrect to point out that the kid was black, but that’s relevant to me for a million tiny reasons.
Because wasn’t that one of the lies they told about Bernie?
They said that black people didn’t like him.
They said it was just a bunch of young white kids and that our movement wasn’t real.
So when a little black boy in Indiana comes up to me and says that he is “Mad about Bernie.” it means something to me.
It’s why I scrapped the entire opening to this article and just wrote down what happened instead.
Because “I’m mad about Bernie.” too.
I’m really incredibly angry about it.
And it sucks to see our voices taken from us.
And it sucks to see our movement divided and watered down.
And it sucks to be told a million times a day that I should vote for Hillary Clinton because that’s what Bernie asked me to do or that I should “grow a spine” and vote for Jill Stein because she has a “similar platform”, never mind that one candidate cheated millions of people who I care about out of a fair election and the other is running a campaign that is simply not very organized and not nearly as effective as it could have been.
But all of that will shake out on November 8 and I still have not even begun to explain why my heart is spinning at 33 1/3 rpm today…
writein4
Today we were headed to Vermont to canvass for Bernie Sanders.
A few weeks ago I wrote a quirky little article about how Bernie Sanders could win Vermont and theoretically throw the election into the House of Representatives, force a second round of voting and then have the new House vote him in to become the President of the United States.
I didn’t discover the idea, Dawn Papple did.
My article just called people to action and the idea spread more rapidly than I ever thought possible.
I did a lot of research before I wrote the article and if you understand the intricacies of how the House would have most-likely voted, you would have seen that Sanders had a way better chance of winning this way, than I initially stated.
I’m incredibly honored that so many people read the article.
My goal is to be an activist writer.
I want to develop a large enough group that we can direct our legions correcting the injustices we see in our country.
I want the establishment to fear our collective voice.
I want to carry on Sanders’ movement through collective activism and apparently it’s working, because in between the thousands of people telling us we could never do it, other people started to actually volunteer.
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We worked hard behind the scenes in hidden Internet groups, screening out potential saboteurs and checking people’s past volunteering to see if they were legitimate.
We were actually concerned about the Clinton campaign finding out about our movement and trying to block it. In fact there were a few people who contacted us asking questions, pretending to be volunteers, that actually worked for the Democratic Party.
It was pretty exciting, being in a secret underground movement, but also it produced a lot of anxiety.
On top of dealing with fears of Clinton sabotaging our efforts, we were getting tons of anger from Jill Stein supporters, which was really frustrating seems how we ARE(!!) Jill Stein supporters and our movement’s official position was to encourage people to vote Stein in every state but Vermont, a state with only a few hundred thousand voters, specifically targeted as to NOT interfere with our goal to get Jill to 5% nationally, so the Green Party would get federal funding in the next election cycle!!!
We were getting attacked from all sides, which of course meant that we were actually onto something, but it was also very stressful.
But we ventured forth, thanks to our incredible team of volunteers.
We actually developed a cool little system where we would coordinate traveling canvassers with Vermont residents for shelter, someone wrote a phone-banking program that was just as good as the one we used on Bernie’s site and imported every phone-number in Vermont into it…
And PEOPLE WERE ACTUALLY PHONE-BANKING!!!
We had an amazing canvassing coordinator on the ground in Burlington and others en route from around the country to help knock on doors.
We even had The Washington Post flying into Burlington to write a story about our initiative.
We had well-written, simple to understand, literature to pass out to people and most importantly we had an incredibly high success rate of voter conversion.
40% of the people we spoke to in Vermont preferred writing-in Bernie Sanders over voting for any other candidate!!
Our movement was peaking at just the right time.
Our goal was to get the population converted in the last week before the election, so that the Clinton campaign wouldn’t have time to react.
Everything was perfect!!
Except for one thing..
Bernie didn’t want it.
He told us so.
And although I am rebelling against Bernie in my refusal to vote for Hillary Clinton, I really don’t feel comfortable showing up in his back yard and pissing him off.
If Bernie Sanders yelled at me, I’m pretty sure I would burst into tears.
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To be honest, Bernie didn’t tell us.
It was Jane who told us that Bernie doesn’t want this.
Our canvassing trainer has been close friends with Bernie and Jane for her entire life.
So even though she was out canvassing with her team and getting positive responses, in her heart, a feeling of dread was growing.
“What if Bernie didn’t appreciate what we were doing? What if her lifetime friend became upset with her over our ‘gift’?”
Last week, she shared these fears with me and said that she wanted to talk to Bernie about this before we went any further.
I told her that Bernie would be forced to stand against our movement, due to his position with the DNC and I asked her if she would be willing to speak with Jane Sanders instead.
She agreed and headed over to visit Jane on Sunday afternoon, as I sat here in Indianapolis, with my traveling canvassing crew (my poor kids and my incredibly patient girlfriend) waiting to hear if we were hitting the road or not.
Here is what she said…
(THIS SECTION HAS BEEN REMOVED. PREVIOUSLY THIS WAS A SUMMATION OF A MESSAGE THAT OUR CANVASSING COORDINATOR, NICOLE GUERIN IN VERMONT HAD SENT ME THAT BASICALLY SAID THAT JANE SANDERS WAS ASKING US TO STOP OUR WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN FOR BERNIE SANDERS.
JANE SANDERS HAS SINCE TWEETED AND DENIED THAT THIS CONVERSATION EVER HAPPENED!!
I APOLOGIZE TO JANE FOR OUR SOURCE BEING INCORRECT.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON AT THIS TIME.
AS EVENT COME TO LIGHT OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AND WE FIND OUT MORE, ALL WILL BE REVEALED.
AT THIS TIME IT SEEMS THAT OUR ORGANIZATION WAS INFILTRATED BY THE MEMBER OF A RIVAL CANDIDATE IN AN ATTEMPT TO SABOTAGE OUR WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN.
WE WILL KNOW MORE IN THE COMING DAYS.)
So that’s that.
We offered a gift that is not wanted.
We are trying to force something that is not there.
We are misguided in our efforts.
I’ve had so much anxiety about traveling to Vermont.
All these canvassing trips we made in the past year scared the hell out of me and I thought we were done with it.
I was hoping to move into the acceptance phase of my grief and here I was heading out to canvass for Bernie one last time, reopening the wound.
But he doesn’t want it.
At a certain point I have to accept that I am just a crazy person when the very person I’m fighting for tells me that my methods are not a good idea.
Activism without proper guidance is destructive.
The road to hell being paved with good intentions and all..
Congressional Democrats Hold News Conference Opposing Fast-Tracking The Trans-Pacific Partnership
So we unloaded the car.
We aren’t going to Vermont.
Everyone is relieved and sad.
Because this is more than just the end of our crazy little movement.
This is the end of the denial phase of my grief.
Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be President and “I’m mad about it.”
But I’m also incredibly sad about it and I know that you are too.
Or maybe you are of the mindset that Jill Stein will save us.
I’m envious of you if you believe that.
I once believed it too.
But those feelings will have to be addressed in another article.
For now, I will just say that I really think you should vote for Jill Stein if you believe in her platform.
And if you really want to write Bernie in, then it’s your vote.
But he would prefer that you didn’t.
And whomever you vote for, I beg you to stop fighting with others who see things differently from you.
I know you are “mad about Bernie.”
We all are.
Let’s all take our collective rage out on the down-ballot Republicans and vote them out of office on November 8, so Bernie Sanders can be head of the House Budget Committee.
There is still a way that we can win.
But it won’t be from writing him in.
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What Are Jill Stein’s ACTUAL Poll Numbers?

DEM 2016 Philadelphia

I wanted to take a moment to address some rumors that have been circulating involving the corporate media lying about Jill Stein’s poll numbers.

There is actually a way that you can check polling numbers against donations, that are declared by the candidate, in order to see how accurate the poll numbers are.

It is no wonder that so many distrust corporate media, after the way they manipulated information in favor of Hillary Clinton in her race against Bernie Sanders.

By and large corporate media are not to be trusted, but when it comes to polling, they are historically quite accurate and in the case of Jill Stein, because she doesn’t accept money from corporations, you can actually gauge her popularity by looking at her donations, much in the same way you could with Bernie Sanders.

First, we need to establish that the magic number is 5%.

5% of the vote is what is needed for the Green Party to receive federal funding in the 2020 Presidential election cycle.

This would mean that the Green Party would receive somewhere between $10-$20 million, in the next cycle, which would give them a huge advantage in their attempts to compete with the two corporate parties.

Now that we recognize how incredibly important it is to vote for Jill Stein in this election, let’s see where she actually stands currently.

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In 2012 Jill Stein ran for President and received just shy of 1% of the vote and raised just shy of $1 million dollars.

We see in the above Open Secrets chart that Jill has raised nearly twice that in her current Presidential run.

As Jill’s donations tend to run fairly commiserate with her poll numbers we can extrapolate that for every million dollars that Stein’s campaign raises her poll numbers will go up one point.

So if Jill Stein raised $1,000,000 in 2012 and was at 1%, then Jill Stein would be at 2% currently, because she has raised approximately $2,000,000 in this cycle.

But don’t despair, a recent upsurge in Stein donations shows her to be at nearly $3,000,000 at present day (this article was written on October 9) so Jill Stein should be polling at around 3%.

Corporate media polling shows her at 4%.

So the formula holds up.

Let’s remember, the ALL IMPORTANT number is 5%.

Without that, she will not get federal funding in the next election.

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Although I submit that corporate media is not to be trusted, in this case, it is the people who tell you that Stein is really polling competitively, who are actually causing the most damage to her campaign.

If people believe that Stein is polling at higher rankings then she actually is, then they will be less likely to phone-bank and canvass for her.

If people are expecting Stein to actually win the Presidential election and then on November 8 they see that she only pulls a small percentage of the vote, they are likely to think that the voting was rigged and that there is no point to continuing on with politics.

They will walk away with a bad taste in their mouth and that would be extremely unfortunate to lose Progressives to apathy.

It is much better to know where we actually stand and be able to take massive action.

Right now is a very important time for the Green Party going forward.

There is only one month left before election day and if all Stein supporters can get out and knock on some doors, then the Green Party will hit the 5% and qualify for federal funding during the next cycle.

The next time someone tells you that corporate media is lying about Jill’s polling numbers, simply go and look at the financial data that HER CAMPAIGN has supplied and you will have a pretty good gauge of where she is at.

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If you are anything like me, your radical leftist politics have left you in a social media echo-chamber.

This happens to people who are outspoken about their political views.

Those who disagree often are afraid to speak up, so they stop following you or just remain silent.

Echo-chambers can be extremely dangerous impediments to rational, logical thinking.

For example, if you see hundreds, or even thousands of Stein supporters every day in your Facebook feed, you may get the idea that Jill Stein is actually winning the election.

Yet, if you walked out your front door, you could probably walk for hundreds of miles in any direction and never see a Jill Stein sign or bumper-sticker.

It’s hard to know what reality is, when we are so able to create any reality we want in our smartphones and laptops, simply by finding thousands of others who agree with us.

Six months ago Bernie Sanders dominated my Facebook feed and when I walked out my front door and drove to work, I would see Sanders signs and stickers everywhere I went.

It was clear to me that my reality extended past my echo-chamber.

In fact, Sanders raised $238 million dollars from individual, non-corporate donors and had an incredibly active team of volunteers.

It is safe to say that Sanders volunteers literally called every phone in America and knocked on every single door.

When you compare $238,000,000 to $3,000,000, you see the incredible uphill battle that the Green Party has ahead of it, so don’t be fooled by people telling you that the work is already done and that Jill is actually polling higher.

She is not.

Take a drive.

Look around.

Jill Stein is a virtual unknown outside of leftist political circles.

If you want to change that, you will need to get out and go share Jill’s awesome platform with others.

Simply yelling into your own echo-chamber will not help her.

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Before we wrap this up, let’s talk about writing in Bernie Sanders and how this affects Jill Stein.

In full-disclosure, I am part of a movement to write-in Bernie Sanders in Vermont.

I am NOT part of any other write-in Sanders movements, but I do not actively oppose them either.

There were many reasons why we targeted Vermont with our movement, but chief among them, is that we wanted to be careful not to pull any Jill Stein supporters away from her, because it is important to all of us that Jill Stein achieve the 5% funding goal.

Vermont is a state of traditional Democrats and there is almost no Green Party movement there in their tiny state.

We felt that we could set a historical precedent and honor Bernie Sanders without hurting Jill’s campaign if we targeted Vermont exclusively.

In fact, I have continued to canvass for Stein here in Indiana, while organizing the Vermont Write-In project remotely and our canvassers in Vermont are nearly all Jill Stein volunteers.

You can imagine how shocked we were to hear the unsubstantiated rumor that our movement was actually working for Hillary Clinton in a covert capacity.

The rumor, which I am actually embarrassed to even be addressing, due to its ludicrous nature, stated that we were attempting to get Jill Stein supporters to write-in Bernie Sanders, in an attempt to “steal votes” from Jill Stein.

There are so many logical holes in this rumor, that it makes me sad that anyone would fall for it.

First and foremost, you cannot sway a Jill Stein supporter.

It’s impossible.

They are absolute diehards for their candidate, so the idea that you can trick them into voting for ANYONE but Jill Stein is absurd.

Secondly, the rumor really underestimates the intelligence of Stein supporters.

You actually think that there is some sort of strategy that would make her supporters “throw their vote away”?

I find it very insulting that the people who spread this rumor, think that Stein supporters are so intellectually bankrupt that some slick speech by an “undercover Clinton operative” could trick them into changing their vote.

While it is true that Clinton did use Correct the Record hired trolls to attempt to sway Sanders supporters during the primaries, she has no such motivation to do so against Jill Stein, for the simple fact that Stein is not a threat to her candidacy.

Use your logic.

Don’t turn into the leftist Tea Party.

Don’t fall victim to paranoid propaganda.

Think about it.

If you were Clinton, your ultimate outcome would be to get people to vote for you.

Your secondary goal would be to get people to NOT vote for Donald Trump, who actually stands a chance of defeating you.

Every vote for Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders or Gary Johnson is a push, meaning it neither helps nor hurts Clinton’s chances.

The one thing that Clinton was really afraid of was that a bunch of angry leftist were going to vote for Donald Trump, just to keep her out of the White House.

That didn’t happen and now she is going to win and whether you cast your vote for Stein, Sanders, Johnson or Mickey Mouse, it will have zero effect on that outcome.

So you are free to vote your conscience.

If you like Jill Stein, you should definitely vote for her.

She really needs your support to get federal funding.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, feel free to “throw your vote away” and write-in Sanders.

Your Presidential vote will be hand counted and then thrown out (unless you are in Vermont, New Jersey, Alabama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Wyoming, Delaware or Iowa. In those states it will be counted.) and your down-ballot will be recorded and counted.

There is some misinformation going around that they would throw your entire ballot out if you wrote in a Presidential candidate.

That is simply not true.

They count everything except the write-in vote.

Be skeptical of all claims.

It is very easy to tell people what they want to hear and hope that they never figure out the truth.

It is very easy to play on people’s fears and mislead them.

I hope you will take everything with great skepticism and do your own research on ALL matters.

We have a unique opportunity to take America back from the establishment by sticking together and fighting for truth.

Don’t let anyone mislead you.

We are all on the same team here.

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Trump or Clinton? Hell No!!

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Americans are angry.

But not angry enough.

They should be in the streets shutting down corporate profits.

I have visions of semi-trucks parked across interstates and major cities occupied.

I have visions of the American government trying to figure out how to stop a determined populace that responds to injustice by standing united.

I have visions of corrupt politicians and bankers fleeing America, fearing prison.

I see, in my mind’s eye, a million people marching in unison, demanding justice.

But these visions are ripening on the vine.

We aren’t there yet.

Multinational corporations rig a “Democratic” election to appoint Hillary Clinton, who is nothing more than a figurehead for corporate profits and never-ending war…

People gather around the water cooler to complain.

Racist, white police-officers, sworn to protect and serve, MURDER unarmed black men..

Maybe we take a knee at a sporting event.

Our government poisons the water supply and the food.

Innocent children die.

But hey, football is on.

Americans have been domesticated.

We are afraid.

We are spoiled.

We are pacified.

Injustice has become entertainment.

We are too busy.

We are distracted.

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As bad as all this is, when Donald Trump is President, things are going to get worse.

This is Germany 1933.

The police unions have endorsed Donald Trump.

We’ve seen what Trump thinks of protesters.

He encourages violence against them.

He touts the Second Amendment while oppressing the First.

In Trump’s America, protesters will be murdered and he will say..

“They’re disgusting. We’re trying to fix this country and these people hate it. They hate America. They got what was coming to them.”

His followers will cheer for blood in the streets.

Decades of America’s corporate greed and subsequent destruction of opportunity have led to a deep-seated desperation in our blue-collar workforce and Donald Trump has tapped into that.

Trump’s white supremacist supporters are stockpiling weapons, waiting for Martial Law, so they will have permission to kill blacks, gays, Hispanics and liberals.

They call themselves patriots.

Trump gives their movement license.

Trump fuels their fear.

Trump fills them with bravado.

“Make America Great Again” is the same code as “All Lives Matter”.

It is rhetoric that translates to “ban and bomb all Muslims.”

It is hyperbole that says “black people need to know their place.”

It is oration designed to stir the rage of people who were led to believe that it is their birthright to have superiority over others.

When Trump vomits forth hate-speech about deportation forces and punishing women who have abortions, he taps into an angry segment of our population and encourages it to creep out of the darkness.

When Trump makes fun of the handicapped, children on playgrounds follow suit.

When Trump points his tiny finger of blame, people are assaulted.

Trump is sounding the alarm to gather the forces and to round-up all those responsible for your pain and suffering.

He is the ruling-elite telling you to kill your neighbor, because they stole your crumbs.

He is fascism, come to America, wrapped in the flag.

He is paranoia personified.

Bernie Sanders was right when he said that we must do “everything in our power to stop Donald Trump.”

But you can’t ask us to vote for Hillary Clinton, Bernie.

That’s asking too much.

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This was the “Democrats” election to lose.

They had two strong candidates and the GOP could not produce a decent opponent.

A year ago most liberals would have agreed that Bernie was the better candidate, but that Hillary was still better than Donald Trump.

But Hillary lied to us.

She took us for granted and she mocked us.

She insulted us and she stripped away our voting rights.

And she cheated.

She cheated in an American election against a good man.

She cheated the American people out of $238,000,000 (the amount that we donated to Bernie Sanders).

She cheated us out of our literal blood, sweat and tears, that we shed while working tirelessly, in an “election” that we never had a chance of winning.

We sacrificed far too much to just forgive and forget.

I remember telling my kids that we couldn’t afford to do certain things, because “Bernie needs our help.”

My children volunteered with me.

We went broke, driving anywhere we could to help canvas.

Speeding tickets, gas, damage to vehicle, oil changes and lost wages.

We spent the last several months trying to recover from these excursions and millions of Americans made the same sacrifices.

The “Democratic” Party’s mistreatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters painted us into a corner.

I am terrified by the looming specter of a Trump presidency, but still I cannot bring myself to support the embodiment of everything I have spent my life fighting against.

If you were just a casual Sanders supporter (was there any such thing?) then perhaps you could just pull your Sanders sign up and replace it with a Clinton sign.

But for those of us who gave our entire lives to this movement, it is not even a serious consideration.

Sorry Bernie, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.

She simply does not deserve my vote.

Hillary and the DNC burned the bridges.

It is unreasonable to expect us to rebuild them.

Maybe if the “Democrats” lose an election that they could have easily won, then they will learn to listen to the people next time.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

A supporter of former Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wears tape across her mouth in protest on the floor at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Perhaps the protests I am looking for will not be held in the streets.

Perhaps the next great protest in the United States will be held in the voting booth, where millions of liberals, that Hillary Clinton took for granted, will stand up in the face of tyranny and choose to vote their conscience instead of caving into the fear that the “Democratic” Party is banking on.

Maybe there is finally enough anger on the left to motivate them to get off their asses and actually build a true third-party for the people.

Maybe liberals will finally start paying attention to down-ballot races and midterm elections and rejecting corporate candidates in favor of true Progressives.

Maybe people will finally learn that voting with their dollars is where the real power lies and they will abstain from buying from the corporations that destroyed our democracy.

When confronted with the “choice” between being shot in the face or poisoned to death, the intelligent choice is to choose neither.

When confronted with the “choice” between someone who threatens to use nuclear weapons or someone who claims to be so ignorant that they did not know that “C” stood for classified, the rational person chooses neither.

When confronted with the “choice” between someone who will appoint alt-right Supreme Court judges or someone who secretly supports TPP, a trade agreement that will put corporate tribunals in charge of our government, the compassionate person says “HELL NO!!!”

Enough lesser-evilism!!

Hillary Clinton is pulling a Band-Aid off slowly, whereas Donald Trump is ripping it off fast.

Either way, it’s going to hurt.

Vote for Jill Stein or write in Bernie Sanders.

In an insane election, these are the only sane choices.

Some will say that this is throwing your vote away.

Nonsense.

Throwing your vote away is when you vote for someone whom you don’t believe in.

Throwing your vote away is voting for Donald Trump, a hate-monger who’s been spending daddy’s money and filing bankruptcy and charging it to the American tax-payer, while telling the people who are footing his bill that their poverty is the fault of other poor people.

Throwing your vote away is voting for Hillary Clinton, a warmonger who rode her rapist husband’s coattails into politics by representing a state that she wasn’t even a resident of, while supporting fracking and taking millions from the fossil-fuel industry.

With either one of these fools, you are doing more than throwing your vote away.

You are throwing your planet away.

You are throwing your dignity away.

You are throwing innocent lives away.

Neither have any business stepping foot in the White House and I do not and will not recognize their authority.

If you are insulted by your corporate “choice” for President, I suggest you exercise your Constitutional right to open rebellion.

Join with me in pledging to fight whichever one of these criminals is unfortunate enough to take office.

Let’s commit to being real activists.

Let’s commit to taking back our government.

Let’s lose the battle and win the war.

Hillary or Trump?

I choose neither.

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Jill and Bernie Sittin In a Tree D-E-M-E-X-I-T

jillandbernieHey everyone.

I’m going to do things differently today.

Instead of writing an article and being concerned with structure and pacing, etc…

I’m just going to ramble some thoughts on this whole mess of an election in 2016.

You know, like an actual blog..

First off, I miss Bernie.

A LOT!!

That’s a strange thing for me to say.

I mean, I never experienced anything like that.

I’m kind of cynical and I actually thought I had pretty much experienced everything that I was going to experience and would spend the remainder of my days repeating the things about life I enjoyed with some variation to keep it interesting.

But I didn’t know that I could get swept up like that.

I don’t know what to compare it to, because I never experienced anything remotely as beautiful or intense…

The feeling of being part of something that could really change the world.

The feeling of being on a team with millions of people.

The feeling of having the establishment actually scared of us.

I barely slept for a year and I didn’t need sleep.

Now we collectively go through this grieving process and it’s incredibly chaotic, because you’re in bargaining while I’m in anger and then you’re working on acceptance, while I’m in denial…

I wish I had answers for people, but I don’t know half the time.

I’m tired of being angry and I’m tired of being sad, but I don’t want to let those things go, because I fear that those are the only things left.

I’ve tried to impart my viewpoint on these matters, because I desire very deeply to help those I care about in the healing process.

Sometimes it helps.

Sometimes it just makes people angry.

And oh, just in case you stumbled in here and don’t know what I am referring to, I am talking to people who worked their asses off on the Bernie Sanders campaign and really believe in the ideals that he stands for.

Many are going through a sort of withdrawal.

If you weren’t part of it, then just stop reading.

There will be nothing that makes any sense to you in here.

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When I stood in the middle of FDR park, watching people crying all around me, as we watched our democracy raped on a movie screen, because the “Democratic” Party locked us out of the convention, while our guy was in there, biting his tongue and supporting someone who he knew was corrupt…

 

When I saw all those people crying, I just tried to breathe it in and let it do to me what it may.

And it changed me…

It intensified me.

I knew right at that moment that there was NO TURNING BACK!!!

Because millions of people put their blood, sweat and tears into this and we were treated very poorly.

We were mistreated by the “Democratic” Party.

I mean I don’t know what we expected…

Infecting their party like that.

We weren’t invited.

They had those rules in place for a reason, to keep out people like us.

In retrospect, I’m not sure why we expected to be treated fairly.

I guess it was the name that threw me.

I guess I thought Democrats would be democratic.

I used to be so naive.

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I attended the Indiana State Convention as a Democratic delegate.

It was an odd thing to wear that badge and represent their party, because at that point I was already extremely angry at the “Democratic” Party, yet I wanted to help Bernie, so I was doing the same exact thing that he did.

I was crashing the Party and trying to make some changes to it, because I recognized that there were millions of people who needed help and I recognized this corrupt political party as the best possible vehicle for it at this time.

I know there are lots of people on the Internet who love to post memes about how you can’t fix a broken party and Jill Stein has become fond of saying that, but it’s simply not true.

Almost anything broken can be fixed.

Bernie Sanders knew that.

That’s why he ran as a Democrat.

But there are so many repairs that need to be done.

This is going to take years.

But pretty much every American under the age of 25 voted for Bernie Sanders, so time is on our side.

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At every point of the process to becoming a county and then a state delegate, it was completely obvious to me that I was not part of their group.

They all had perfect hair and expensive suits and all in all were just way more put together than I am or would ever actually want to be.

I seriously cannot imagine looking that polished.

I am lucky to have socks that match.

But Bernie gave license to that.

He was running for President, looking like a mess.

I felt somehow excused for messy hair and the occasional spaghetti sauce stain.

We don’t have time to worry about our hair!!

We have a world to change!!

Anyway, the Democrats were very kind.

They humored me.

They showed me how to fill out the forms and all.

It was clear that we were a nuisance.

One they hoped would go away soon.

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I went to the convention here in Indiana.

This was literally THE LAST thing I wanted to do with my weekend.

It was like we didn’t even exist.

They had some insider’s club and all they talked about was Hillary Clinton.

They never even mentioned Bernie Sanders’ name.

I saw a girl with tattoos and piercings on her face.

“She must be one of us.” I thought.

I went and talked politics with her and her dominatrix friend.

We became fast friends.

A blind man came up and was trying to navigate through the chairs.

I got up to help him.

He was also a Bernie delegate.

It was the misfits that powered Bernie’s campaign.

It was people like us…

The Imperfects.

And there are more of us than there are of them.

But they cheated us..

And here we are.

Trying to sort all of this out.

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Jill Stein has become the denial phase of Bernie or Bust, a methadone to ween us off of the hero(ine) that is Bernie Sanders, but she is not heroin enough to save us.

I have actually been a Jill Stein fan for a number of years.

My girlfriend jokes with me about how she knows that I am in love with Jill Stein, but I’m actually still in love with Bernie Sanders.

I have Jill Stein stickers on my car and I’m going to vote for her.

Jill Stein is a wonderful revolutionary voice.

She’s by far the best candidate we have left and I think you should vote for her if you want to, but realize that you are voting for her in protest and in hopes of furthering the party’s name, not because she has a chance at winning.

And those are EXCELLENT reasons to vote for her.

America is desperately crying out for a third-party and ultimately I hope that one day the Green Party will be THAT party, but they aren’t ready right now, with just a few weeks left before the election.

“But if Jill could win, then we could defeat the establishment and…”

No. Sorry. That’s not realistic at all.

Even she has been saying that, when she says

“Sometimes you have to lose elections to build your power.”

She isn’t even trying to win.

She’s pretending to try to win, so she can rally people and increase the strength of her party and THAT IS SMART.

In fact, it’s good politics.

But she’s not actually competing in this election.

If she were, then she would have a ground game.

She has raised 1.9 million dollars.

Bernie Sanders raised 228 million dollars.

Jill Stein is running a PR campaign and right now that is EXACTLY what she should be doing to get her party into a position to compete seriously in 2020.

Green party candidate Jill Stein speaks at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, Colorado.

But if you think Bernie Sanders should have endorsed her, then you are missing out on the plan, that I believe even Jill Stein is in on (why do you think she came to Vermont to meet with Bernie before the Clinton endorsement?).

It would have been unwise for Bernie Sanders to endorse Jill Stein.

That would have been the worse thing he could have done.

That would have thrown away all the work that he did fighting the Democratic Platform Committee.

He got them to agree to things that they hated.

And you will make the argument that they are just lies and none of them will come to fruition, but you will be wrong!!

Because Bernie Sanders is the most powerful man in Washington now and he has their word on the platform and if we all vote smart in November, we will have Progressive control of the House and Senate and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE PLATFORMS WILL COME TO PASS!!!

That means we will have a national $12 per hour minimum wage.

That means we can overturn Citizen’s United.

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Bernie Sanders and his millions of followers went in and pulled a complete insurrection of the Democratic Party platform.

It is literally the greatest political coup in American history and he did it so subtly that no one noticed except for the Democratic establishment and he made it to where they could not even fight him, by the nature of how he appeared to play ball with them.

I used to have this karate instructor who told me to meditate on the phrase…

“The softest thing cannot be broken.”

I sat and repeated that to myself for years and never began to understand it.

Bernie Sanders taught me what that phrase means.

I wish Bernie would have pulled us all aside and said

“Psssst…here’s exactly what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”

Then everyone would have supportive.

But he has to play the game and he played it at a master level.

Have faith.

The man has been fighting for you for fifty years and now suddenly he steers you wrong?

The man has so much integrity, that in the end, your criticisms actually expose more about you than they do about him.

And did you notice that all of the people close to Bernie ran over to Jill Stein and endorsed her, after Bernie endorsed Hillary?

Do you think maybe that this was BY DESIGN!!!

Do you think maybe that the plan was for Bernie to move the Democratic platform to the left in exchange for helping Hillary win in 2016, while those close to Bernie are supposed to help the rise of the Green Party simultaneously?

That’s why he started Our Revolution.

It’s to support down-ballot Progressive candidates REGARDLESS OF PARTY!!!

 

If we work hard to develop the Green Party then we have an insurance policy against Hillary’s lies.

If she breaks the platform promises then her favorability, even among die-hard Democrats will plummet and the Green Party will be in a position to win in 2020.

Bernie Sanders will be 78 years young in 2020 and I will be circulating a petition in 2019 for him to run as the Green Party President.

More people would vote him in 2020 then did in 2016 and I believe he will still be young enough to do it.

You saw him run to catch that train.

You saw him shooting hoops.

The man lives right and 78 is the new 68.

 

Stranger things have happened.

I feel your pain.

I share your pain.

If you believe in the Green Party then work hard to develop it, while simultaneously fighting for our Progressive values be it on the protest line, in your shopping habits or with your vote.

Sincerely,

Love Michael

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An Imaginary Interview with Bernie Sanders

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Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with a picture of Bernie Sanders and interviewing it.

Just to be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, this is not a real interview. I am asking the questions and then answering them the way I believe that Bernie would answer them. It is for entertainment purposes, but not ONLY for entertainment purposes.

My goal with this interview is to illuminate why I believe that Bernie made some of the choices that he made. I am, in no way, trying to say that these are Bernie’s actual thoughts on the following matters. But as Bernie refuses to comment on many of these issues, the answers reflect my speculation on what actually happened.

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The Independent Thinker: Hey Bernie! Thanks for being here today.

Bernie Sanders: I’m happy to be here.

Indie: You look great. You were starting to look pretty tired there towards the end of the campaign.

Bernie: Thank you. To be honest. I was getting kind of tired. I’ve been getting more sleep lately.

Indie: Let’s get right to the tough questions. Do you feel that Hillary Clinton’s win in the Democratic primary was legitimate?

Bernie: Secretary Clinton received 3,000,000 more votes than we did. I believe that makes her the winner.

Indie: Okay, but you’re not really here. You’re just a picture, so if we could do away with some of the stock answers and just be completely honest, that’s what my readers are looking for. So I ask you again, do you feel that you lost the primary legitimately?

Bernie: Off the record?

Indie: Sure, I’m willing to lie and say ‘off the record’.

Bernie: Well in that case, there appeared to be some shenanigans taking place all over the country. I believe we had more voters in Kentucky and I believe exit polling showed a wide disparity in Massachusetts and in several other states.

Indie: So you are finally willing to say that the results of the primary were rigged?

Bernie: Off the record, I’m willing to say that some of the results should have been looked at a little deeper, yes.

Indie: Bernie, you are a picture. Hillary Clinton cannot have you killed. The worst thing that I can imagine happening is that maybe she would send some of her goons over here to rip up the picture. So can you stop being so diplomatic, just for the sake of the interview? Or I can just keep lying to you and saying ‘off the record’ if you prefer?

Bernie: I actually prefer that.

Indie: Okay, then the whole interview is off the record. Just know that I love you and it pains me to lie to you.

Bernie: That’s very nice. Thank you.

Indie: So?

Bernie: Look. I don’t want to mince words here. Secretary Clinton had access to the same voter information that we had. You were a canvasser. Is that correct?

Indie: Yes I was.

Bernie: Do you want to explain to your readers what you were able to see on your canvassing app?

Indie: Sure. Through the app, we could see the addresses of the voters, how they were registered and who they intended to vote for.

Bernie: And what did you do with that information?

Indie: We were instructed to knock on the doors of the registered Democrats and Independents, depending on what state we were in, who were “undecided” and tell them why they should vote for you.

Bernie: So you knew before each primary who was planning on voting for me and who was planning on voting for Secretary Clinton?

Indie: Yes. In fact on election day in Indiana, people were freaking out, because initially you were down by 10 points. People kept calling me. I told them all the same thing. I told them that you were going to win Marion County by a landslide and that ultimately you would win the state by about five points.

Bernie: And how much did we win by?

Indie: Five points.

Bernie: Secretary Clinton’s team had access to the same information you did.

Indie: So what happened then? The exit polling was way off in many states. Are you saying that the DNC had the votes flipped at the machines?

Bernie: I’m saying that, judging by exit polling, it appears that there were disparities.

Indie: Even off the record, your answers are pretty reserved.

Bernie: Would you like me to be more EXTREME?!! (with this Bernie lunges forward in his chair with wide eyes and expands his hands wildly.)

Indie: No. I appreciate your honesty. Moving on…you won 22 states. But I definitely noticed some odd trends. For example, you would win by a landslide in states like Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, then across the border in Arizona and Texas, you lost by a landslide. My theory is that Clinton’s team conceded the states with low delegate counts and only rigged the states with high delegate counts. Your thoughts?

Bernie: Different states have different demographics. Secretary Clinton did very well among Latinos in Arizona and Texas.

Indie: Fair enough. But what about the closed polling stations in Arizona? And remember, this is off the record.

Bernie: What happened in Arizona was a disgrace to Democracy. People waiting five hours in the heat, just to cast their vote? That’s not what America is about. That’s not what Democracy is about.

Indie: But do you feel that the DNC was behind the closed polling stations?

Bernie: I honestly don’t know, but anyone who makes it difficult for people to vote is a political coward.

Indie: And what about New York? Many of us believe that New York was the turning point of the election. 3.2 million registered voters were unable to vote for you there, due to being registered as Independent. There were thousands of people who claimed that their registrations were switched to Republican or back to Independent, after they had switched to Democrat in order to vote for you. Your thoughts?

Bernie: What happened in New York is that the state had a closed primary, with some kind of a ridiculously long period, something like six months ahead of time, required to switch your party registration in order to participate. As a result, millions of New York voters who wanted to vote for our campaign, were unable to, due to the fact that they were not registered with the Democratic Party. This is a very exclusive club. They don’t want just anybody voting in it.

Indie: So you are saying that you feel New York was a legitimate win for Clinton?

Bernie: We knew the rules when we got involved. We decided that our best course of action was to run under the Democratic Party rules and we knew that closed primaries were part of that. Would I like to see open primaries in every state in the union? Yes, but we knew the deck was stacked when we declared our candidacy.

Indie: Do you consider closed primaries to be undemocratic?

Bernie: They are “closed” to millions of voters. By their very definition they are undemocratic.

Indie: Did you ever consider saying publicly that you thought that there was election fraud?

Bernie: It’s a very complex issue. We challenged in Kentucky and the recount came back the same as the original count. If we come out and challenge the legitimacy of the primary, then this is a very serious charge. We need evidence. How do we get evidence? A man or woman walks into a booth and does something very personal and very private. Later on, maybe someone says that the numbers don’t add up, but how do you prove it? We couldn’t challenge the closed primary in New York. We agreed to play by the rules of the Democratic Party. There was a hearing in Arizona and the court ruled that the results were valid. An appeal would have taken months and more importantly would have alienated us further from the Democratic Party, who basically holds all the cards in this scenario. Had we made any such claims, we would have been laughed right out of the campaign. It’s easy to say that we should have rocked the boat, but we were sitting in the boat. Once we realized that we were not going to be treated as fairly as we had hoped, we realized that our best course of action was to try to get the Democratic Party to agree to as many platforms that would help the American people as we could and that’s exactly what we did.

Indie: What about the Brooklyn voter purge? It seems that all of the voters who were purged were planning to vote for you.

Bernie: You knew ahead of time who the people were planning to vote for. Secretary Clinton’s team had access to the same information you did.

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Indie: Okay let’s talk about that. You concede that you were treated unfairly by the Democratic Party. You’ve been in politics a long time. You have always been an outsider. You’ve chosen to be an Independent in the Senate and ran for Governor in Vermont as a Democratic Socialist. You had to know that the Democratic Party was going to do everything in its power to stop you.

Bernie: We figured that they would make it difficult, yes.

Indie: You said over and over again that you were not just an issues candidate and that you believed that you were actually going to win. Knowing how corrupt the Democratic party has become, did you really expect that you were going to win?

Bernie: First off, let’s define “winning”. Did we gain the nomination? No. But we mobilized people. We exposed corruption in the party and now we have thousands of people running for Democratic office who are working to take the party back from the establishment. We are moving towards a living wage and Medicare for all. There is an initiative on the ballot in California which we are strongly supporting. This initiative would make everyone in America automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. We are now, for the first time in a long time, moving in the right direction for the working people in our country. I believe strongly that Secretary Clinton, with the right people in Congress, will make the right decisions to move these initiatives forward.

Indie: Okay. Let’s talk about that. A lot of people, like myself, who voted for you, can’t stomach the idea of voting for Hillary Clinton. She is literally the embodiment of everything we have fought against with your campaign. I have to say, I feel angry and betrayed by you asking me to vote for her. In fact, I refuse.

Bernie: I don’t want to mince words here. Secretary Clinton has her issues and there are many things that we disagree on, but she is not the direct opposite of what we have been fighting for. Donald Trump is. There are several things that the secretary and I agree on, whereas I disagree with Mr. Trump on practically every issue. Secretary Clinton supports a woman’s right to choose, whereas Mr. Trump says that women should be punished for having abortions, as if that choice isn’t hard enough. Secretary Clinton may have been late to the party on the rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, but at least she is now at the party. Donald Trump is a bigot and if he is allowed to nominate Supreme Court judges, we will lose everything that we have fought for over the past thirty years. I reject the idea that Secretary Clinton is my opposite.

Indie: Okay, I agree with that, but what about TPP? We know she secretly supports this awful trade agreement. Trump opposes TPP. Can’t I make the argument that it is better to have Trump than TPP?

Bernie: Do you know WHY the Republicans oppose TPP? Many oppose it because it is not powerful ENOUGH! They want to give corporations even more power than this disastrous trade agreement already gives them. Also you have may have noticed that our good friend, Mr. Trump, changes his position almost daily on nearly every issue. So, no, I don’t believe we can trust Trump on TPP or anything else for that matter.

Indie: So what? Hillary becomes President and TPP is passed?

Bernie: If Secretary Clinton tries to pass TPP, you are going to fight her. I am going to fight her. 13 million people who voted for our campaign are going to fight her. And I am hoping, that whoever Americans decide to vote for in November for the House and Senate, will also oppose TPP. We have a real opportunity to defeat this bill if we all work together.

Indie: I’m still not voting for Hillary.

Bernie: That’s your choice. I would never tell you who to vote.

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Indie: What are your thoughts on the Green Party movement?

Bernie: It’s a good movement. They have a strong platform. I can’t claim to be an expert on it. I think America needs a non-corporate party. The challenge they will run into, is that it takes billions of dollars to run a party and raising those kind of funds without corporate donors will be very difficult. I believe it can be done. We showed that you can run a very strong campaign without corporate donors and I wish the Green Party the best of luck. I’ve believed for a very long time that America needs to break out of the corporate two-party system.

Indie: So why didn’t you accept Jill Stein’s offer to head the Green Party? You had the popular vote. Bernie, it just kills me that you didn’t accept her offer. Please explain your thinking here.

Bernie: This is a very complex issue. It’s something that we explored and by ‘we’, I mean my wife, Jane, my friend and campaign manager, Jeff Weaver and some other key members of our staff and in the end we came to the conclusion that it would have had catastrophic results, not just for the American people, but ultimately for the Green Party as well.

Indie: Explain further please.

Bernie: Well, it’s wonderful to see that so many activists in the Green Party, many whom I suspect are the same activists who helped our campaign, have gone out and put in the legwork required to get the Green Party on the ballot in, what I believe is now 47 states. At the time the invitation was extended, I believe they were only on the ballot in 20 states. This shows me that people are serious about expanding a new party in this country and I strongly support that, but the Green Party, even bringing over our 13 million voters is simply not in position to make a serious run at taking over the government at this time.

Indie: Due to lack of funding?

Bernie: Due to many things. We already discussed that the Democratic Party doesn’t play fair. If I were on the Green Party ticket, do you think that they would be on the ballot in 40 states currently? Or do you think that the DNC lawyers would have started fighting our ballot access? And then we would have to go to court in multiple states at once and they would have stalled, which would have cost us millions. The Democrats have very deep pockets and they have been playing this game for a very long time. It is my belief that my joining the Green Party ticket would have done more harm than good, but I understand that our voters were not privy to these discussions that took place behind closed doors and due to the nature of my relationship with the Democratic Party, I was not able to come out and say too much about this, but I support what they are doing in the Green Party and I know that Our Revolution looks forward to supporting Green Party candidates for the House and Senate going forward.

Indie: Are those the only reasons?

Bernie: Those are the main reasons. Even being on the ballot in 47 states means that you automatically lose in 3 states and that is extremely tough to overcome. Had the Democrats blocked our ballot access, then we would have had zero chance and I would have not only hurt the party, but I would have split the vote, which would have allowed Republicans to have total and complete control of our government, starting with Trump in the White House, complete control of the Supreme Court, possibly keeping control of the House and Senate. And then, let’s imagine that we were able to overcome all of that. Let’s imagine that we were able to get tens of millions of dollars in donations just to fight the Democrats in court and then somehow we get on the ballot in all 50 states and we win the Presidency, do you think the Democrats would have been happy about this? Do you think that the Democrats would have been willing to work with us on passing legislation?

Indie: No. They would have blocked everything you tried to pass.

Bernie: Every single piece of legislation that we tried to pass would have been obstructed. Would I be able to look to my cohorts in the Green Party to pass bills through the House and Senate? There aren’t very many Green Party members running for these seats. The party isn’t ready to take over the government at this time. Our best hope of political revolution is to use the resources of the Democratic Party to push a Progressive agenda. Had I accepted the incredibly gracious offer from Dr. Jill Stein, we would have lost all the progress that we made in getting the Democrats to agree to our platform.

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Indie: Regarding the platform. What is to stop Clinton from just sweeping it under the rug? We have seen her lie and flip-flop on positions repeatedly. How can you trust her?

Bernie: If the Democratic Party were going to do that, why did they fight us so hard on it? They refused our $15 per hour minimum wage and opted instead for a $12 per hour minimum. They refused to oppose TPP. They refused to oppose fracking, something that we pushed very hard for. And there were several other issues we disagreed on. The Democratic platform is the basis on which all future decisions of the party will be made. We fought very hard and got them to concede many things to us, but sure, if we just sit around and ignore the promises that were made, then what will happen is that corporate lobbyists will come in and influence Congress to pass bills that work against the best interest of the people. The platform is just the foundation, but it is a strong foundation. Now we have to elect people into Congress that will support our positions.

Indie: In 2008 Barack Obama had a fairly Progressive platform. It was pretty much ignored for eight years.

Bernie: Barack Obama is a friend of mine, but in my view, he made a YUGE mistake by not holding his constituents accountable. Not me, us. Not me, us. I keep saying it. One person, alone, in this government, can do very little, but when millions of people stand together there is literally nothing we cannot accomplish. Barack Obama stirred up the people of America and then when he was elected, they went back to their lives. They didn’t run for office. They didn’t pressure their government. They didn’t vote in midterm elections. As a result, Republicans controlled the House and Senate and obstructed his Presidency. That is one of the key differences between Barack Obama and myself. Our movement is one of tremendous activism. Not me, us. That’s what political revolution is all about.

Indie: Let’s talk briefly about Our Revolution. There was some dissension in the ranks over the appointment of Jeff Weaver as head of the group.

Bernie: That’s not uncommon. In politics it is very rare to have everyone agree on every issue. For whatever reason, the media decided to take that story and blow it way out of proportion.

Indie: But setting it up as a 501c4, allowing big donors to support the movement, doesn’t this go against everything that your campaign stood in opposition to?

Bernie: That depends on who the donors are and what they expect in return. During our presidential campaign, we had Nurses for Bernie, as well as several large labor organizations, that donated large sums of money to our campaign. We also had many other organizations attempt to donate large sums of money to our campaign and we refused their donations. What’s the difference? The difference is that we did not have to compromise even a little bit to accept the donations from the labor unions. We were already fighting for labor unions. We were already fighting for equal pay for women. We were already fighting for paid leave and a $15 per hour minimum wage. These groups wanted to help with that. We didn’t have to compromise our movement. I’ve known Jeff Weaver for a long time. He is a very close friend of mine. One of the reasons why I put him in charge is I know that if some corporation or large individual donor comes up and offers him money, he will let them know that there are no strings attached and if they do not accept this, he will do exactly what he did during our campaign. He will refuse to accept the money. Jeff is a man of great integrity.

Indie: But the 501c4 filing status made it to where you could not coordinate with Tim Canova. Many feel that this cost him the win in Florida.

Bernie: Tim Canova is a good man. He is exactly the kind of Progressive we need to take on the big money interests in Washington, but the fact of the matter is that the incumbent always has a tremendous advantage, due to name recognition and having the financial support of the establishment. While it is true that the filing status prevented us from coordinating with Tim’s campaign, I do not believe that flying to Florida and giving a few speeches would have been enough to change the outcome of that primary election.

Indie: I noticed on the Our Revolution website that Act Blue was taking donations. They also take donations for Hillary Clinton. Will any of the money donated to Our Revolution go to Hillary?

Bernie: Absolutely not. Every dime donated will go to support Progressive causes and Progressive candidates.

Indie: So you agree that Hillary Clinton is not a Progressive then?

Bernie: No comment.

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Indie: I feel kind of embarrassed asking you this, but…

Bernie: I’m just a picture sitting on your desk. You’ve been sitting here talking to a picture for hours. How much worse could it get?

Indie: That’s a good point. I was…

Bernie: I just want to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Are you off your meds again?

Indie: I’ve been off my meds for years now, Bernie. I meditate and do yoga daily. I also do Crossfit and eat a strict vegetarian diet. Political activism and being creative are also part of my program. I find with all these things, I no longer need to take my meds.

Bernie: Well, the fact remains that you are talking to a picture.

Indie: Can we get back to the interview please.

Bernie: It’s your interview,

Indie: Okay, speaking of my sanity, I’m kind of embarrassed to ask you this, but my readers want to know. Did the DNC ever threaten you?

Bernie: Not directly, no.

Indie: They threatened you indirectly?

Bernie: Politics is a dirty game. I have been in the House and Senate for a long time. I’m the head of several subcommittees and I have a lot of relationships that I have developed over the years. As a result of these relationships, we are sometimes able to come to agreements on legislation and occasionally we can work together to get bills passed that help the American people. The Democratic establishment was growing tired of our campaign. They saw us as outsiders and their patience was wearing thin with our reluctance to concede and endorse Secretary Clinton. It was pretty clear that if I did not make the endorsement, then they were going to be unwilling to work with us going forward. On the other hand, we had some leverage within the party. We had 13 million voters and I wasn’t going to abandon them, so we had a series of meetings in which we got the party, as well as Secretary Clinton, to agree to push forward our initiatives in exchange for an endorsement.

Indie: But they also wanted a concession.

Bernie: Yes, but we were not prepared to do this.

Indie: Why endorse, but not concede?

Bernie: What if something were to happen to Secretary Clinton, God forbid? She has various issues with her emails and such. We wanted to be in position to take over the nomination, should she not be able to fulfill it for whatever reason.

Indie: At the convention, you asked if Vermont could go last during the roll call. After 49 states had voted and it became clear that the superdelegates had pledged to Hillary, you grabbed the microphone and suspended the rules. Why didn’t you just concede?

Bernie: We didn’t want to surrender our delegates. I wish Secretary Clinton all the best, but if she were unable to fulfill her duties, we wanted to be sure that we were next in line to take over.

Indie: Okay, I’m embarrassed to ask this, but there was a rumor circulating that you or your family were threatened physically and that is why you endorsed Hillary.

Bernie: That’s preposterous.

Indie: At the convention, you had a mark on your face. I believe this was the genesis of the rumor. Care to comment on the mark?

Bernie: Let me ask you something. I assume you did some research on me before this interview?

Indie: I’m a huge fan. I’ve read your books. I know more about you than I know about all my friends put together.

Bernie: In any of that reading and researching, did I strike you as the kind of guy who could be bullied or the kind of guy who would succumb to threats?

Indie: No. I never believed any of that stuff. I am just asking for my readers.

Bernie: Sometimes we let our imaginations get away from us.

Indie: One last question.

Bernie: Go!

Indie: Can I get a hug?

Bernie: Get over here.

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Polyamory with Bernie and Jill

FINGERUPToday I needed to go into a government building.

I was told to grab a number and take a seat.

I sat down and opened my tablet.

As I pissed away my precious time looking at memes I did not understand and kittens I could not pet, I was interrupted by a loud

“Hey!!”

I looked up to see a police officer towering over me.

He continued..

“You aren’t allowed to have that in here!!”

He was pointing at my tablet.

I contemplated my next maneuver.

Who was this pathetic little man in front of me?

Without that badge and gun, I bet he wouldn’t be so brave?

Understanding the rules of society and my lack of power in the situation, I contemplated my choices.

I really needed to get those forms.

I drove all the way down here.

And now this bully was throwing a monkey wrench in my day.

There were several hours of people in the queue ahead of me and I had neglected to bring a book.

If I had to put my tablet away, I would just have to stare into space the entire time.

There was only one intelligent choice.

“I’m sorry.” I said “I didn’t know.” and closed my tablet without a trace of attitude.

He walked away feeling like a big man.

captainbern

Without anything to distract me, I was forced to watch the other people waiting.

I wondered about their lives.

A man, about my age, walked in and pulled a number.

He had a tattoo of a razor-blade across his Adam’s apple.

He sat down and pulled out his phone.

The officer had a chance to feel worthwhile again.

He walked briskly from the corner until his crotch was even with the razor-blade man’s face.

“You can’t have that in here!!”

The man looked up.

There was no processing options.

He knew exactly what to do.

“Oh, Super-Cop, eh?!!” he said, standing up.

Then he added

“I don’t need this shit!!” and then “Fuck you!!” halfheartedly under his breath as he walked away.

The cop stared daggers in the man’s back and fingered his taser.

The cop thought better of it.

The razor-blade man escaped unharmed.

fives

Eventually my number was called.

I had my meeting and all went well.

Because I went to the meeting my son will be able to get the medicine he needs to stay alive.

I wondered about what I would say to my son, had I chosen to rebel against the power-mad cop.

I contemplated a world in which some men have dominance over others and how to navigate such an unfair existence.

I thought about Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the turmoil our country as been in, as a result of our Schizophrenic presidential election.

I thought about my friends who supported Bernie Sanders in such an extreme way, that adjusting to the reality of a Hillary Clinton presidency has them angry and depressed.

 

I wondered if the same energy required to force real change in our government would doom that energy to implode if the leadership went missing.

 

 

I remembered when my friend said “Bernie or Bust is basically the Tea Party of the Left.”

I remembered being annoyed and saying..

“If you mean that we are pulling the Democratic Party to the left the way The Tea Party pulled the Republicans to the right, then sure.”

“That’s exactly what I mean.” he said “The Democratic Party has moved to the right as well. The Bernie Sanders campaign is about overpowering the movement of the Koch Brothers and the 1%. It’s directly opposite. Your movement is strong, because it is radical, but never lose sight that the ultimate goal is to move the party back to the left.”

He was right.

The Democratic Party is broken.

It’s neoliberal centrism no longer represents our values.

It’s so controlled by corporate interests, that it often neglects to represent the people.

So those who are justifiably angry at the Democratic Party have some choices to make and they have to make them fast.

November is looming.

435 House seats and 34 Senate seats are up for grabs.

The chance to usher in a new Progressive age in America is at hand.

And Bernie Sanders army of supporters are in complete control of our country’s destiny.

bernieinblack

 

But the Bernie people are angry and they should be.

They were mistreated.

They were silenced.

The election deck was stacked against them and what makes matters worse is that they are 100% correct about the flaws of Hillary Clinton.

They are right to criticize her hawkish war record.

They are right to demand her Wall Street transcripts.

They are right not to trust her, when she has repeatedly lied to them.

 

Many are angry that Sanders did not join with Jill Stein and get revenge on the Democrats for short-changing him.

But developing a third-party is a lot more than just running a President.

If you are serious about developing the Green Party, phone-banking, donating and canvassing are not enough.

If you are serious about developing the Green Party, then you need to make sure that there are Green Party candidates running for the important offices in your area.

And if there are not, then you need to run yourself.

If by some incredible set of circumstances, Jill Stein were able to win the Presidency, what would she be able to accomplish without a sympathetic House and Senate?

Do you have Green Party candidates running for Congress in your district?

 

Most districts do not.

So what’s the strategy?

How do we continue our Progressive momentum without supporting a candidate who represents everything we stand against?

We must decide and fast.

Because allowing Republicans to control Congress will absolutely destroy everything we have worked for.

What are the maneuvers that will optimize the progress we have made to this point?

Time for Independents and Greens to make some tough choices.

We only have two months to decide the fate of the world.

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So am I telling you that you should vote for Hillary Clinton?

You can do whatever you want.

It’s your vote.

I will be voting for Dr Jill Stein, even though I do not believe she has a legitimate shot to win.

I am voting for her, because I want to see more options on my ballot going forward.

I do not want another choice between a warmonger and a reality TV star.

I am voting for Jill Stein because Hillary Clinton and the DNC burned all their bridges with me.

I am voting for Jill Stein because she is the candidate who most closely represents my values.

I understand why Sanders endorsed Clinton.

He accepted the fact that the system was rigged against him, so he traded his 13 million votes towards a Progressive agenda, knowing that if we did our jobs in November, Clinton would be locked into supporting our positions or she would accomplish absolutely nothing during her one-term presidency.

Sure she is a liar, but she will not be a very effective one with a Congress full of Progressives.

As much as I hate that Clinton and the corrupt DNC’s cheating will be rewarded with the presidency, I will not compound this problem, by allowing her to run amok and do whatever she pleases.

Instead we need to insure that she works for us.

There are ways to force her to keep her word.

If you agree that Hillary is untrustworthy, then you must also agree that it is incumbent upon us to make sure we are pulling the strings that control her.

It is entirely possible to support Jill Stein and the Green Party, while promoting down-ballot candidates that further the values Sanders and his supporters worked so incredibly hard for.

If you want to vote for Jill, then you should.

Vote for Jill Stein to send a message to the DNC and Hillary Clinton that we do not approve of the way we have been treated.

Vote for Jill Stein because she has good policies.

 

Vote for Jill Stein because part of bringing the Democrats to the left is giving them competition from the left.

But how do Progressives vote in the down-ballot races where there aren’t any Green or Independent candidates to choose from?

Are we so angry with the DNC that we are going to refuse to vote entirely, thereby allowing the Republicans to keep control of Congress?

Because if we do that, we will lose everything we fought for and Bernie traded in his 13 million votes for nothing.

It seems to me that the most logical way to vote for these open seats is to vote in the way that binds Hillary Clinton to Progressive policies, while taking away her ability to repeat her hawkish patterns.

If we have Progressives in the House and Senate then we have complete control over her.

We can stop her from passing TPP.

We can stop her from declaring war.

We can even block her Supreme Court nominees if need be.

getoverit

I am sorry that I cannot stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

We all did everything we could.

Many of us went to Philadelphia to protest this heinous corruption.

I was hoping that we could get enough people there to shut down the city and for one night we actually did, but in the end there simply weren’t enough of us.

If you want to start occupying major cities and demand a Hillary Clinton indictment, then I am right there with you.

But if you aren’t willing to do that, then you are going to have to control the other branches of government and that means voting Progressives into every office.

If your area doesn’t have any true Progressives running, then you will have to make a decision on whether to vote for the most Progressive candidate or to simply run yourself.

We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to start any more wars.

We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to give tax breaks to her wealthy friends.

We will support Progressive candidates, regardless of what party they are affiliated with, because that is the only way to keep a reign on her.

Not voting is not an option.

We’ve come too far..

And this election is simply too important to throw away.

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