Bernie Sanders first came to my attention in 2002 when he was one of the minority to speak out in opposition to the latest round of what I call blind patriotic fervor. I refer to the resolution giving president W. Bush (and all succeeding presidents) authorization to use military force in the sovereign nation of Iraq. What we call the Iraq War is in fact a protracted armed conflict. Famously the Constitution gives congress alone the authority to declare war. That hasn’t actually happened since World War II. Now, the executive has usurped that power. This is alarming because the executive (the president) is the one who also executes the war. So instead of having one part of the government decide to go to war, and then another part of the government carry out that war; it’s all one person who is the complete judge, jury, and executioner of war. Not very Democratic and not the way it was supposed to be.
And along came Bernie who pointed this out as one reason for his opposition to the Iraq invasion. Hillary Clinton voted for the resolution and favored an invasion (which was called liberation). That decision and the actions that followed forever opened my eyes to the indoctrinal machinery that is seemingly inherent in our nature and the few who reject that machinery. It goes to the heart of the difference between the two candidates. It also goes to the heart of where the democratic party stands today. As Noam Chomsky points out Sanders, an old friend of his is basically a New Deal Democrat. Today that is what the modern democratic party calls a far-left liberal, and what the modern republican party and Bernie Sanders calls Socialist. The classical terms of political philosophy can be wielded very ambiguously by our glorious media complex. For example the use of the word “Socialist”. I’m a Free and Fair Market Democratic Socialist myself. And that’s where Bernie is at as well. I agree with most of his political platform. To see him do this well is a pleasant surprise. If you feel appalled by Americans who want to put Don Trump in the whitehouse, remember Bernie Sanders wasn’t even expected to get over the first campaign hurdles.
Some of the many reasons I’d never want to vote for Hillary for president: 1) Her bellicose war mongering. Iraq will go down as one of Americas biggest foreign policy disasters. Lip service for Palestinians and millions of dollars of weapons for Israel and back room approval of illegal settlements. For me being a foreign policy wonk, her hawkish nature is very unattractive. Human lives are on the line. For example, President Obama called Libya his worst mistake. Hillary Clinton was the secretary of state who convinced Obama to support (enable) the overthrow of Gaddafi, the military dictator who ruled Libya for decades. Libya is now failed state, tens of thousands have died. Like in so many other countries we have “liberated”. 2) Support of a malfunctioning economic system and a deep indoctrination into it. She won’t release the transcripts of her speeches to the commissars at Goldman Sachs. She made $675,000 and betrayed the trust of working Americans by assuring Goldman Sachs that their unethical behaviour will be allowed to continue unabated. I’d love to take a look at those speeches. 3) The Environment. One of, if not the most important issue for the continuation of the human species. Hillary has supported fracking practices in the past and now has been changing her tune thanks to Sanders pulling her away from right wing views and back to the left. I could go on at length regarding my opposition to Hillary Clinton.
The democratic party wants to install Hillary as the presidential candidate. They have devised a way of sidestepping Democracy in order to do this. It’s called superdelegates. Their are two kinds of votes in the democratic primary system. Pledged delegates, these are the votes of American citizens in voting districts who vote for the candidate they favor. Once enough people vote for a candidate in that district then one pledged delegate vote is counted. This is Democracy. Then there are superdelegates, these are powerful officials in the democratic party (senators, congressman, governors, etc.) who have a special vote that does not reflect the will of the people, but rather their own personal “super” vote. One superdelegate vote holds the same weight as thousands of votes by average citizens. This is Oligarchy, not Democracy. This is a major factor in installing Hillary Clinton as the presidential candidate, despite the will to the people. If the oligarchic system of superdelegates did not exist, the primary race would be much more fair. If democrats who are superdelegates wanted to listen to the will of the American people, there would be many more superdelegate votes for Bernie Sanders. For example in my state of Colorado Bernie Sanders won the pledged delegate vote and won the state in the primary. However all of Colorado’s superdelegates are voting for Hillary, ignoring the will of the people. This sort of thing is common practice in American government. See the numbers below and play around with the mathematical possibilities and one finds that the democratic nominee is installed by a few powerful people (Oligarchy).
With Hillary waiting to make her democratic nomination official one is left wondering if any of Bernie Sanders has rubbed off on her. Will Bernie be able to continue to force her, er I mean, persuade her to act in a remarkably progressive manner? Probably not. If elected she knows what to do to maintain the status quo. As Frank Herbert said in his novel Dune: the spice must flow. The differences between Bernie and Hillary are pretty big considering what those differences are. But they do both have similarities as well, mainly opposition to the republican insanity that has turned the GOP into a three ring circus. It must also be mentioned that Hillary would be the first female president, which is of certain significance. But Elizabeth Warren would have been better, ha.
So I am told to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton for president. This is possible, but I am very concerned about the pattern I am seeing in the electoral process in this country. The “lesser of two evils” vote. If I spend the rest of my life voting for the lesser of two evils, then how can there ever be good? What I come to realize is that getting out the vote is only the first step in actual positive change in reality. The rest of it is activating and using our civil rights to help ourselves. This requires hard work. If people are mad at the state of things they must be willing to take to the streets non-violently and communicate with their community. This is how to change the country. If folks are not willing to do this then they have only themselves to blame for their anger.