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Left To The Imagination

OK, Liz Warren, you win.

I think I’ve finally been ground down.

It’s not really the special election losses. We came damn close here in Georgia with Jon Ossoff, even though I knew he wouldn’t win. The only reason that Ossoff had any juice (well, besides the allegations that the election was a referendum on Trump and it became a national campaign as a result) is that he almost cracked 50% and nearly won in the first election against a fractured Republican field.

It’s not the daily thinkpieces about Democratic dithering when it comes to picking hills to put troops on.

It certainly isn’t Greens or Bernie hangers-on that are starting to make sense to me.

There was so much intrigue that caused Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016. Voter suppression, hacking of machines, Russian skulduggery,  the Comey Bomb and good old fashioned American sexism were proximate causes. So hold your horses with the corruption nonsense and the DNC plots etc., ad infinitum.

Since we are a party in the woods, I say it’s time to get the hard left swing out of our system and find out once and for all if Democrats are truly losing elections because they fail to inspire. It’s an experiment whose time is come, since we truly have nothing to lose cause we ain’t got nothin’ at the moment. Perhaps I will be vindicated in recommending a slow hand and creeping gradualism. Or, and I hope this is the case, perhaps I will learn something new about the character of this country. But we will not know the answer unless we try.

Parties are generally heavily change-resistant. There is a hierarchy and a career path to obey, and you don’t usually get your shot by not putting in your time. Let’s think about Sanders for a second. Firstly, Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat. Secondly, he has done nothing significant within the party machine. And after a brutal slugfest with Barack Obama in 2008 and dutifully serving as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton deserved that nomination more than anyone. Now I was no Clintonite that season-I thought her followers were off their rockers, and I had to write off several capable bloggers like Taylor Marsh and the folks at Corrente because I couldn’t brook the resentment and the conspiracy, not dissimilar at all to the way I reacted to the Bernie brigades.

But there’s a contemporary hole in this rule about the conservative nature of parties, or so it would seem. Donald Trump showed you could come out of nowhere, go full retard and win. Now of course, the same forces that caused Hillary’s defeat that I outlined above were in play for his victory. Yet, perhaps in his unorthodox win there’s a message to us on the left-that there’s room to move, that people are hungry for rarer species (or, this could simply mean that Republican voters are stone cold stupid-maybe both things are true). There’s certainly no better time than now, when people are having more trouble than ever making ends meet, to tell them that the government is coming to the damn rescue using all available trucks to meet the emergency. That dynamic may be a major factor in Trump’s win-the straightwhitechristianmale supremacist axis is getting out-birthed and out-educated and the people who support that system were looking for a savior, not a politician-and Donald…and it makes me grit my teeth to say this…played the part with aplomb and people bought it.

People are generally panicky in America right now, no matter who they are. A level of responsiveness, immediacy and throwing off of caution could benefit anyone willing to say the right things-and with any luck, carry enough people with them to do the right things. I’m willing to stop the fretting that I have been doing to see if the idealists are actually onto something, and should that gambit fail, I’m gonna riot.

Socialist Distortion

I’m not a lefty who will shrink from the socialist label. Modern right-wingers have made it into a smear, a detraction from someone’s character. They’ve been aided by a historical fear of just about anything progressive in this country. You name it- women’s rights, black rights, anarchism, the antiwar movement, communism, socialism, labor reform, anything that threatened the status quo and the Establishment was there to squash and scatter it. Yesterday’s Establishment runs a direct line to today’s conservatism.

People like to pretend we are a pluralistic society but those of us who think differently about the way things are and should be know better. It’s benefits are primarily skewed towards white, Christian, petit-bourgeois males. Doubtless there are a number of other intersectionalities that are also in play but those are the main oppressive forces in America.

Socialism is so unpopular, we only have one person who will admit to being a socialist in the United States Congress. And perhaps it’s no longer as much a dirty word as it used to be, considering the run he had against Hillary Clinton. There is hope upon the horizon. Our new voters’ minds are more open and they aren’t as afraid as we X’ers are. Their music tastes are execrable but their political proclivities are A-OK with me.

But anyway, this is not about millenials, intersectionality, or even socialism per se. I tend to ramble before I get to a point. If you are reading this, you are used to it and excuse me with kindness.

This is, however, about Bernie Sanders and how he needs to shut the fuck up and ride into the sunset.

Let’s put aside that I was on Team Clinton. No, let’s not. I chose Clinton because I felt that most people weren’t quite ready for what Bernie called a revolution, which wasn’t all that revolutionary (hard-core socialists think he’s a fraud). You see, in America the principle of mutual aid does not hold as much weight as the principle of self-reliance. What’s funny is that without the mutual aid we do offer each other, there would be no one who thinks they are self-reliant. Rugged individualism is romantic fiction, a remnant from a bygone frontier era that there’s no need to go back to.

Anyway, Bernie wanted to pull a lot of stops out, trumpeting trillions in new spending and bold legislation to immediately improve the lives of the average American, which you would think was a good thing but helping people through politics is a tough row to hoe in a country full of people who only think about themselves. Clinton was more of a gradualist, which I felt was more saleable to potential GOP allies and to a public wary of the sea change Sanders was proposing. So I went with my head instead of my heart, practicality over ideals. I saw the GOP Frankenstein that became Donald Trump and I couldn’t allow it to get near the office of the president so I picked who I thought was the safe bet.

Someone evidently thought that a woman with brains and balls was threatening and conspired to have her destroyed by innuendo, guilt by association and whispers, though. Enough white Christian petit-bourgeois males were waved off of voting for Clinton in part because of her husband’s peccadilloes and his perceived (real and otherwise) corruption-her ignorance of electronic security was an extension of that corruption. Nevermind all the corruption surrounding Donald Trump-let’s focus on the eeeevil Clinton (who we can’t separate from her husband because we’re sexist pigs!!!). And then you had someone like Trump on the other side of the ledger who somehow tapped into a wellspring of really heady hate and resentment that the WCPBMs were harboring. I did not see this perfect storm coming, and perhaps my head was wrong in that respect. Even though she technically won the election, she was not able to prop up the blue wall in the northwest which had been economically hollowed out when the industrial revolution packed up and went to east Asia.

I thought Sanders would be done in by the fact that he was out as a socialist, and then my jaw dropped to the fucking floor when I witnessed what the Establishment did to Hillary Clinton.

Sanders would have gotten off easy compared to the hatchet job they did on her.

If I had to do it again, I’m not sure what I would do, knowing what I know right now. I believe it is past time for a woman president, but perhaps Hillary was not the right person for the times we live in.

Oops, I did it again. Let’s try one more time to stay OT.

Bernie Sanders needs to shut the fuck up.

He successfully used the Democratic machine to make his bid for nominee while maintaining his Independent (non) affiliation, and now he’s out there questioning Democratic candidate bona fides as if he was never part of it. In the Wall Street Journal, of all fucking places, he does Georgia wunderkind Jon Ossoff no favors by refusing to say whether or not the kid is “progressive”.

If there’s one thing we have learned about Bernie Sanders, it’s that he believes his own hype. He gladly makes bland blanket observations about the divisions in the party he used to get famous-“Some Democrats are progressive and some Democrats are not”. And then instead of giving a smart non-answer answer to a surprise question about Ossoff’s progressiveness from a hostile news outlet, he decided that it was more important to be guileless than to politely decline the ambush. “I don’t know,” he says.

Some help you are, dude.

Listen, Bernie, we need to stick together, and you need to tell your fans the same thing. We need to flip seats-badly-and we don’t have time for purity tests. You leave that bullshit to conservatives, OK? Get on the team or shut up about it. It’s a big deal down here in the South when a seat flips and you should have canned talking points ready when people ask you bullshit questions if you want to continue to be an elder statesman of the lefty movement.

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