March 29, 2016

Some notes for Bernie backers

Sam Smith

Whatever happens at the convention, you are already the most important new movement in four decades. Don't give up. Just consider it a slow Bern.

Hillary Clinton is deceitful, manipulative and corrupt. On the other hand, it will be a lot easier to get good things done if she is in the White House rather than, say, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. She not only will name several Supreme Court justices, she won't build a Mexican wall, be mean to women, blacks and gays, or slash things like healthcare, Social Security and food stamps. So if Bernie doesn't get the nomination, support Clinton as the preferable crooked alternative.

Politics is not religion. This is not about your personal virtue or salvation; it's about the best way to save the country. And in politics, the lesser of two evils is often the best choice you have.

Besides, Clinton doesn't believe in much so the strength of the Bernie movement will have much more effect on her than on Trump or Cruz.

This is not just about an election, it is about a huge cultural change. Check out views by party, ethnicity, and issues and you will repeatedly find a great divide is age. We wouldn't be having the sort of problems we do if everyone was under 45. So hang in there. Time will be on your side. It's just that we can have a lot of trouble before it gets there.

We haven't had a decent counter-cultural movement in this country since punk rock was flourishing. Don't forget music and symbols as part of your efforts.

Organize by issues, not by ideology. When liberals became a semi-private culture that dissed people like older and poorer whites, their power evaporated and they gave the Donald Trumps a constituency.  Get it back by organizing around issues. Go after the bad guys at the top, but convert rather than condemn their supporters.

Form active and visible cross-cultural alliances. The older crowd is often stuck in the comfort of their self-identity and the groups that support it. But change is greatly boosted the more friends we find and work with that don't look like us. For example, a young, white, black and latino action alliance backed by labor unions could really shake things up. 

Above all, don't give up just because of what happens in the primaries. Take all those email addresses and phone numbers you've collected and build a new movement for a new America.


Anonymous said...

You're being incredibly naive in listing the things Hillary won't do. It is precisely because folks such as yourself cling to so unjustified a faith in Clinton that it is a near certainty that she'll. too. emerge as what Glen Ford described Obama, 'the more effective evil'. It is because she is so completely in accord with the neo-con military agenda launched by her husband, Bill, savaged advanced under GW, and subsequently maintained and elaborated upon by Barry that we all ought prepare for the inevitable culmination of same with the eruption of World War III under Hilary.
As regards the three pending international trade deals, consider them as good as signed by a president Clinton. Her campaign blatherings aside, she has invested too much of her time (not to mention the millions of dollars others have invested in her) at State negotiating and advancing their progress to reverse course now.
And to conclude, what about the Supreme Court? Just look at the golden opportunity Obama is blundering right now.
Consider his past two nominees, all 'pragmatic' corporate vetted sycophantic 'centrists'. Jesus Christ, the essential differences between the justices on the court, in real terms, are negligible. Think Hillary is going to be any different. No, she is going to offer up nothing better.
It is suicidal to continue the endorsement of this corrupt
duopolistic system. Bernie's new followers would be wasting their time and the Bern will be eventually extinguished if they remain affiliating with it. No, the writing is on the wall, time to redirect and devote those energies to a party that authentically embraces their values. Time to go Green and support Dr Jill Stein.

Anonymous said...

"Take all those email addresses and phone numbers you've collected and build a new movement for a new America."
Sam, don't you realize that all of those addresses and numbers are now, or soon will be, under control of the DNC.
Despite all of the hype about 'grassroots', from the moment Sanders hired Revolution Messaging, Bernie's campaign has been essentially a top down affair. It's focus all along has been about generating lots of cash, compiling demographic data, and manipulating social media. It is basically the same strategy employed by Obama during his two runs. And why shouldn't it be, many of the operatives are veterans of the Obama team. As far as that goes, the consultants behind the scenes of all the Democratic hopefully are really one sort of happy family.
Political mercenaries hired to orchestrate one huge public relations charade intended on creating an illusion of choice.

Anonymous said...

If Bernie were really interested in his 'revolution' then Why wouldn't he take her up on the offer?:

Imagine how strong the Green position could be, or would have been, with the participation of those now so enamored with Sanders. Their engagement could create a political wild fire of authentic revolutionary dimension. As things stand, we're only likely to experience nothing more than a controlled Bern. Everyone knows what that is, it's where the most wild and volatile elements are incrementally eliminated through carefully managed and controlled means.
Not unlike a safety valve or the like, something to vent or exhaust a dangerous build up of pressures. The Democrats are experts at the process. That is why folks claim the Democratic Party is where movements go to die.

Capt. America said...

I hope Bernie doesn't follow the example of Al Gore and give up without a bitter, prolonged, last ditch fight, and I hope that your advocacy of the lesser of two evils does not make that more likely. Too soon, too soon.

Anonymous said...

Regarding those gathered email addresses and phone numbers, the following article bears consideration:

Anonymous said...

The Cybogology article hopefully posted above (here it is again, just in case: makes mention of the company NGP VAN and their connections to the Democratic National Committee. They are the company implicated in the so called data breach incident between the Clinton and Sanders campaigns. Though temporarily causing a minor stir at the time the incident was quickly swept under the carpet, as it were, and duly forgotten. Perhaps the scandal was shut down once it was realized just what kind of embarrassments might surface?
Not quite sure what to make of the matter, we offer this little gem from the Campaign Insider section from the Sept 11, 2012 issue of Campaign and Elections:
For those who might be unfamiliar, Revolution Messaging is the firm presently managing the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Ah, the political game. And on it continues...

justsomeguy05 said...

Depends which state you live in. If you live in a NON swing state, why not vote Green ?

Anonymous said...

This is like telling the troops at Gettysburg- don't overly concern yourselves if we lose, we can constructively engage with the CSA over time and we will at least abolish slavery in the North, half a loaf. Unlikely that Clinton gets elected given she has placed half the party and most independents on her enemies list, but if she is elected, impeachment probably commences in January, 2017.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Sam, but I can't vote for Hillary.

There'll be more wars causing more terrorism causing more domestic repression and so on.

I won't have that on my conscience.

KM said...

In 2008, much of the argument for Obama was that "it will be a lot easier to get good things done if []he is in the White House". Sam Smith, to his credit, saw right through him. (On the other hand, he advocated for John Edwards.) So it is sad to see this longtime enemy of both Clintons promoting the idea that she would not be harmful. If one feels one has to vote for the lesser evil, pray that Trump is the Republican nominee, because he is well to the left of Clinton (which is why neocons have been lining up behind Clinton). Whereas choosing between Cruz and Clinton would be difficult. They are equally evil, so, as usual, it's just a question of style again in our antidemocratic duopoly.

Sylvia Valls said...

You're being incredibly naive in listing the things Hillary won't do. It is precisely because folks such as yourself cling to so unjustified a faith in Clinton that it is a near certainty that she'll. too. emerge as what Glen Ford described Obama, 'the more effective evil'.EXACTLY... COULD NOT HAVE SAID SO BETTER MYSELF. I WONDER WHETHER A SANDERS-STEIN TICKET WOULD NOT FIT THE BILL RIGHT NOW! MORE CHANCES OF SOME LEVEL OF DIALOGUE!!

Anonymous said...

I hate that you wrote this and I feel Clinton is the absolute last choice. I wish we could ban Clinton from ever holding any office especially the office of president.
If Trump or Sanders had Ron Paul for VP they would be elected.

Clinton is guilty of breaking at least five laws:

If either Trump or Sanders started demanding she be indicted for her crimes she might not get the pass she will get if they do not start demanding it.
Hell all of us should demand she is indicted.
Why and how can you ask anyone to vote for her especially if she is a criminal.
As much as I dislike trump he is the lesser evil. Even with his rhetoric about the wall- that is less evil than Hilary and the war pushers.
Hilary uses sandy hook as a platform even though sandy hook has been proven to have been a government exercise.
I cannot imagine staying in this country if hilary becomes president but I cannot afford to leave. I do not feel safe in my country. Do you?
She already has blood on her hands.

Anonymous said...

The only way the DNC will understand how progressive voters feel is to vote with one's feet. Thus, after I vote in the Democratic primary this year, I am leaving the party (after 30 years). It is clear to me that the democratic party does not represent the interests of the average American anymore. They represent what corporations want at the people's expense.

A good example of how the Democratic party is focused on supporting corporations versus the average person is how the government bailed out the banks. One thing that would have helped many people would have been to force the banks to refinance people's mortgage one time at no cost. However, not only did the average person get fleeced by the original mortgage because of inflated housing prices, they got fleeced again paying for a refinance they should not have needed in the first place. Prudential got in trouble for churning insurance policies and the government basically allowed the mortgage companies to churn mortgages.

Have you ever heard anyone comparing illegal insurance churning practices to the recent mortgage churning practices at any time during the great recession? Neither did I. Well, that's how much the average person's financial interests were considered ...