Soured on Sanders

I’ve always liked Bernie Sanders. I first became aware of him when he became Mayor of Burlington and I followed his career. I think he’s a good man with good ideas. So when he threw his atheist yarmulke in the ring for President, it was a foregone conclusion that no matter who else was running, he was the guy I was voting for.

Then I started listening to him and following the campaign. I never should have.

He’s too much of a one note Charlie. Any issue out his main message is given short shrift.  The red flags started waving at me during the Democratic debate after the Paris bombing. Every candidate devoted their opening statements to the bombing. Sanders mentioned it and moved on to his main message. I was stunned.

Time Magazine

Sanders said he was “shocked” and “disgusted” by the attacks, for which ISIS terrorists have claimed responsibility, and vowed that the U.S. would lead the world to “rid our planet of this barbarous organization.” But immediately thereafter shifted back to his domestic policy.

“I’m running for president because,” Sanders said, “what I hear is people’s concerned that the economy we have is a rigged economy.”


In the beginning, even though he was anti-GMO, I wasn’t too concerned since I am not a one issue voter.  Then his campaign started gaining traction and he was giving Miss Gulch Clinton a run for her money.  That’s really when my support started to wobble big time. It made me start to really pay attention and what I saw I didn’t like very much.

First, there are his Berniebots. If what I read on the interwebs is a representative example of his supporters, then I feel sorry for him. They are such imbeciles and exude so much naivety and cluelessness, it’s astonishing.  I understand fervent support for your candidate, but these people act like cult members. It also makes me question the viability of his vision simply based on the imbeciles that populate his support base.

And their hatred for Clinton is way off the charts. I’ve never been a huge fan of hers and she has taken some positions and actions that I didn’t like, but I don’t think she is evil incarnate. Barney Frank was quoted on the site Politicsusa as saying. “All of the controversies that have dogged Clinton’s entire career are either dirty lies, whole-cloth creations, or convenient manipulations by the GOP.” They rightly opine

And now those GOP creations and manipulations are being embraced and propagated by many on the so-called Left; it leaves one to wonder who is really being dishonest and untrustworthy.

And Jesus H. Christ. God forbid you criticize anything Sanders or dare support Clinton. The wails of the righteously outraged will descend upon you. Comment boards on social media are littered with the accusations of shill and sell-out in response to anything critical of their infallible candidate. Oh and “in -the-tank.”

While I agree with most of Sanders’ agenda, much of it seems so old-time lefty and simplistic. Opponents give Clinton shit for her changing views over time. I like the fact that they changed for whatever reason. What bothers me is when views don’t change.

My views are basically the same as when I was young. But I’ve changed a lot since those days. There is a lot more nuance and less black and white. The fact that Sanders has never wavered in 50 years could be good thing, but it can also be a bad thing.

Times change and tactics and ideas have to change with those times. You can keep your core beliefs, but you should be able to modify those beliefs as times change. Now, when I hear Sanders, I hear the past, not the future. While I agree with much of what he proposes, I see him wanting those things in a retro way.

And now once again we go back to Frank, who I have always respected. (In fact, I voted for him during his first run for Congress.) Frank is most definitely not a fan of Sanders’ Wall Street stance and Slate asks what he thinks of his idea that the financial system is corrupt fundamentally and that we don’t want to merely make it slightly more stable

“Well if that’s the case it’s even dumber than I thought. The financial system is people lending money to other people so they can do things. I do think that he overstates it when he says, “they’re all corrupt.” It’s simply not true. And by the way, when it comes to specifics, the only specific I have heard is Glass-Steagall, which makes very little change in the finance system.

What Sanders basically says is, “They’re trying to bribe you.” Well what do they get for money? He shows nothing.

There have been a couple of cases of Republican senators trying to weaken the Dodd-Frank Act. Elizabeth Warren has been a much more successful defender of that bill than Sen. Sanders has been.

There was this complaint, “Oh she had contributions from Wall Street.” So did Barack Obama. So does almost every Democrat because you can’t unilaterally disarm.(my emphasis)

That last line is very important and it makes me question if he can win the general election if he gets the nod. Purity is a losing proposition. If he refuses to take the big money he’s toast. What good is purity of you can’t achieve your goals? You play the game as it’s currently structured.  You play by their rules and when you win you change the rules.

And that’s another thing,  just because you take the Devil’s corporate money doesn’t mean you have to do what he wants. It isn’t legally binding.  I say, take the money and run.

Is he helping the down ballots to help give us a majority? Nope. At least Clinton is doing that.

Sanders is running a selfish campaign and I was glad to read this by someone named Mari Brighe on a site called Bustle, which I just stumbled across. In a post titled The #BernieOrBust Movement Throws Marginalized People Under The Bus, Mari writes

The point is that if you’re happy to let a GOP candidate win the presidency because Sanders isn’t the Democratic candidate, you’re not nearly as progressive as you think you are, and you probably should examine your own social privilege. Progressive values are about equality and security for those who are struggling the most. Marginalized people in the U.S. simply cannot afford to live under a radical Republican president for next four to eight years. The LGBTQ community, people of color, undocumented workers, Muslims, people in poverty, and women would all suffer greatly under the administration of any of the GOP hopefuls. Bernie or Bust means we’re being thrown under the bus in the name of the white-male-dominated Sanders “revolution,” and we’re expected to be thankful for it.

I don’t know who my vote will go for in the NY State primary. Both have their negatives. A recent statement by a senior Sanders campaign advisor saying Greenpeace was the “gold standard” for analysis could be a deal breaker in my support for Sanders. The Greenpeace statement made me think that in picking his advisors he will surround himself with like-minded people who will only give him the advice he wants to hear. That, along with his support for useless naturopathic and other alt med treatments; his anti-nuke and anti-gmo stance, may tip the scales.

Clinton is pro-gmo, pro-nuke, along with support for renewable energy, but she is in the alt med camp somewhat.

It will be a game time decision.

Oh and finally, I used to really hate Hillary and then I saw this video. It gave me a new found respect for her. It was after  a fundraiser that was disrupted by Black Lives Matter. She agreed to meet with no press, and this is her off-script. What she said to these kids said to me that she knows the ropes and how to get things done. She gave these kids a good lesson in how to move their movement forward. The most relevant part starts at about 10:00. And at the end she give that nitwit what for.