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Bernie’s In: Early Thoughts

February 19, 2019

This is a moment of national and global crisis, and we had better conduct our nominating process accordingly—and then vote for the Democratic candidate, whoever that turns out to be.

We have about 20 months in which to widely inform the American people of the Democratic agenda, and persuade them that it’s a great idea.  This is “all hands on deck.”

Oddly enough, Homo sapiens  has reached a point in evolution at which, because of our kind of consciousness, we know that all humans are equally human, and that our shared humanity endows each of us with respect and with certain rights, such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” that cannot be removed from our personhood, no matter what.  In the practice of governance, that means democracy, community, compassion. Fundamentally, that’s what we’re fighting for, against enemies both foreign and domestic, including a fascist Republican Party.

Already, as in 2016, we are being attacked with a sustained, social media, disinformation (smear) campaign, whose purpose is to divide, dispirit, and conquer.  We must not cooperate with the aggressors. Rather, we must take positive actions to maintain our unity of purpose, keep our spirits soaring, and win.

For the author and for moi-même (your umble narrator) at this early point, trying to decide which Dem we most want for our Presidential candidate comes down to two main considerations (granted that, if we do the work required, which we will, we’re going to put a Dem in the White House):  (1) Which Dem most represents our positions on the main issues? and (2) Does the opportunity to have our first woman President outweigh other considerations?

At this point, we agree on both:  (1) Bernie, and (2) quite possibly.  But now is the time for process, and frankly we all deserve the pleasure of some months of seeing our many good Dems present democracy and our agenda to America.

So, to explore (1):

Bernie is the only candidate who signs his communications, “In Solidarity.”  For the author, whose ass was once saved by his union, that means a lot.  (Sherrod Brown has also been a champion of Labor.  Biden too, but he’s not near the top of my list.)  For myself:  Bernie is a Democratic Socialist.  I’m a Democratic Socialist. I want a DS in the White House (instead of a DF).  Waxing metaphorical, let’s get the plastiques industry out of bottle making.

Bernie sets the bar very high, as did Hillary, on the issues, record, and character. Either he will emerge as our strongest candidate, or the person who bests him will be equally strong or stronger, and will be well tested and practiced.

In 2016, B accurately and clearly identified the list of problems facing us, and the magnitude of those problems, starting with global warming and wealth obscenity. Those problems and the solutions that he proposed have become central to the Dem Party.  (That service, by itself, should get B a welcome into the primaries.)  And here’s a take on his foreign policy vision (strengthened since 2016).

I want Bernie in the campaign, for the strength of his vision and his voice, that will help get our issues and positions out, and will take media air away from T.

But it’s not just that.  More:  B knows that class struggle against the obesely wealthy is absolutely required in order to solve our problems, including sexism and racism!  And he says so, right out there.  The entrenched financial powers must be disempowered.  Wealth must be taken from them.  

B knows and says that Big Change is absolutely required, and that political change of that magnitude X can only happen if masses of people stand up and insist on it.  I’ll have trouble supporting a candidate (i.e. I’d vote Dem, but sadly) who isn’t right there with Bernie on that.  

Repeat: change of that magnitude, by means of power of that magnitude.  

(2)  Now, it may be that putting a woman into thePresidency would, in itself, be change of that magnitude; and it may be that only masses of women can actually get Big Change done.  That might be the key to marshalling the class struggle that will be required for solving global warming and parasitical wealth.  In witch case, I want a mass-supported woman President, all the more so.

For the author et moi, as in 2016, the issue of gender is very very big (I’ll restrain myself from saying “huge”), probably the biggest of all.  It comes near to eclipsing every other planet, to the point of not being able to weigh them on the same scales.  

The author voted for Hillary (as you know, dear reader, narrators were not yet enfranchised, or I would have); we want a woman Pres.  To my mind, however B must be bested on the issues, the problems and likely solutions.  If he is, probably it will be a Progressive woman who does it.  If I think it’s a tie, my vote goes to the woman, affirmatively, because she’s a woman (incl. trans).

(3)  A Bernie Automatic Disqualification?  It’s my impression that some Dems can not support B because they believe that he caused H to lose.  I doubt that he did.  To begin with, she didn’t lose.  The people elected her President.  But not in WI, MI, PA, by approx 80,000 votes, which made it possible for the EC, that institution of the slave owning aristocracy, to give the presidency to a racist Republican catastrophe.  I’ve seen no reason to think that any of those 80,000 T voters was a B supporter.  B supporters saw very clearly who T was, and voted against him. Some B supporters (women and men) were so strongly against the Clintons that they could not bring themselves to vote for H.  In 2008 there were Dems who supported someone other than a Clinton, for that reason.  (And this isn’t about not “liking” H, its about being repulsed by Clinton Republican-lite.)  I strongly suspect that some B supporters in WI, MI, PA voted for Stein, as a vote against H as well as against T (who surely would not reach 270 EC votes).  Mistake, but not because of B.

Another? I want to offer a painful thought, and I hope I’m wrong.  A few months back, in the DKos  comments, there was one, by a woman if her name and photo can be taken as indicative, who vowed that she will never vote for a “finger waving old man.”  Okay, so he and I are old, no problem.  But “finger waving” (which he does, and I don’t find it appealing either) made me wonder, I say wonder, if there are women voters who simply can not “like” B (who opposed H, preventing us from electing H, our first woman President) because he reminds them of the entire constant weight of male-domination in their lives (everybody’s lives), and maybe, here’s where it gets tricky, of a particular dominating male in their life.  A frightened Zeus, perhaps, or even a Saturn, or a Hercules wannabe. (Here’s a similar thought about not “liking” Hillary).  If I’m simply out of my gourd about that, please say so.  (I’ll happily assume that you, dear reader, like the DKos commenter, are not a Russian, Saudi, or Israeli robot.)

The thing is, I’ve spent many decades (along with millions of Americans) combating American prejudice and discrimination (it’s been a learning process) on the basis of sex/gender, color, place of origin, religion, age, or whatever.  People are deeply deeply hurt by such ignorance and malice.  They might have to protect themselves by lashing out or at least turning their backs.  But I can’t feel okay about a categorical, stereotyping attack on any person among our candidates (or the RP’s).

I simply do not have time left for that.  And yes this is an impatience that comes with old age.  Just think how much of it B is feeling at this point in his life.  (And it is a feeling, as well as an emotion—giving it at least twice the productive potential.)

Other than that, I plan to enjoy the process of seeing which woman candidate most takes my preference, and/or the author’s (I suspect we’ll have some discussion over this), away from Bernie.  And I’ll enjoy watching the Rs squirm and Herr Trompf blow his gasket.


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