Solace for Bernie Sanders Supporters

Sanders' Healthcare PlanSo Bernie Sanders had a bad night on Tuesday. But don’t worry, he’s going to come roaring back and win the nomination! Oh, how I love to kid my fellow Bernie Sanders supporters…

As I’ve been saying for a month and a half, the Democratic nomination fight is over. I understand that others are resistant to admit defeat in this matter. But that doesn’t mean you have to let go of the Bern. In fact, it should glow in you more brightly now than ever.

Two years ago, I wrote, Advice for Young Carey Wedler. She was the young woman who had burned her Obama shirt because she was so disappointed in him as president. I was a lot nicer to her than I probably should have been. What I should have said is what we all need to remember now (and always): there is no “one weird trick” to fix your democracy.

Let’s think about Obama for a moment. Do you believe that the United States is better now than it would have been if John McCain had been elected in 2008? Or if Mitt Romney had been elected in 2012? If you don’t, you either haven’t been paying attention or you’re just being contrary. Obama has not been a disappointment to me because I never expected that much from him. What I did expect from him is what he delivered in spades: a better country than the Republican alternative would have delivered.

Bernie Sanders SupportersContinuing on, there were things that Obama did not get to do that would have been good. And those things were stopped because our more conservative Democratic representatives would not let him. So even Obama’s own presidency wasn’t as liberal as Obama himself wanted. The truth is that the Democratic Party is a very big tent and we on the left need to understand that we are not the party.

But if this primary has shown anything, it has shown that the left wing of the Democratic Party has awakened from its long slumber. It’s even possible that we have a clear majority. But Clinton had a huge advantage coming into this race. In 2008, the Democratic Party base really didn’t like having to choose between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So for a large number of people, 2016 was a chance to have their cake and eat it too. I think a lot of Clinton supporters are very much on the left wing of the party.

The primary also stands as a clear threat to the likes of Rahm Emanuel. Actual liberals who care about actual liberal policy may be “fucking retarded,” but we have enough power to end the political careers of such New Democratic idiots who have done so much harm over the last two and half decades.

What Will Bernie Sanders Supporters Do?

The worst thing that Bernie Sanders supporters can do is go and sulk in the corner. The Democratic Party is not as liberal as it ought to be. It is still in the pockets of big donors. The election of Bernie Sanders might have been one step toward changing that. But that’s all it would have been: one step. And there are plenty of other steps. As I’ve repeated again and again recently, Sanders’ amazing campaign has been part of that. His campaign has made Clinton better, the Democratic Party better, and America better.

The question is, “What are you going to do now?” Bernie Sanders supporters have a choice. They can take over their local Democratic Party. They can push for more liberal nominees. They can be more liberal nominees. But Bernie Sanders only lost the nomination. The fight continues on. What are you going to do?

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

12 thoughts on “Solace for Bernie Sanders Supporters

  1. She just burned the shirt two years ago? All that Grand Bargain and chained CPI stuff wasn’t enough of a clue? Besides, President Obama is really getting the hang of this whole gig. If it weren’t for that pesky 22nd amendment he could really hit his stride. I’m a leftist, so of course I disagree with the President on some things. I was happy to vote for him twice. Leftists, as you say, need to understand we are part of a coalition. The purists who want to heighten the contradictions should take a fact finding trip to Kansas so we can get an idea of when the liberal elections results they want actually kick in.

    • That is a problem with our system-by the time the President is properly trained,
      the person is unable to keep doing the job. :/

      • Yes — the ostensible “leader of the free world” is expected to clear New Hire orientation in, like, 10 weeks.

        • It used to be that they would have nearly six months to get up to speed. But after what
          happened in 1933 with the massive bank failure wave, they decided to move it up some.

          Of course it doesn’t account for an opposition party to throw the longest fit of any group
          of toddlers ever to exist so…

    • Exactly. What really set me off about the video is that she said she just sat back and waited for the change. I understand, because to some extent, that’s what Obama promised. But just the same, it’s on all of us. Obama’s kind of like that old Churchill comment: he’s the worst president except for all the others.

    • I don’t call objecting to murder and to the secret privatization of American education ‘purism’. I’d substitute phrases like ‘basic, simple decency’ and ‘loyalty to America’.

      I’m not suggesting that people should support Dumper to ‘heighten the contradictions’ or anything like that. But Obama’s positions are not compromises; they are impositions on behalf of the powerful. The precise amount of murders of Honduran labour leaders we should agree to is zero. The precise amount of secret privatization of American schools we should support is zero. Basic, simple decency and loyalty to one’s country.

  2. Reading on a Mac, there’s a display issue with the sidebar. Lawrence’s post spills over into the sidebar (as mine is now, too) and severything beneath this post on the front page has the right side covered by the sidebar.

      • Good post, though. I realize you are being mostly facetious but I like Obama II better than I. It’s like he finally realized that when Republicans take crazy stances, Democrats do not smell well when they cave in.

        His administration’s vitriol towards whistleblowers is odd, though. It’ll be interesting after the elections to see what pardons he grants.

        • It’s not odd, if you assume the hypothesis that his administration is more loyal to Mammon than it is to America. Oddness melts away fast. It’s like assuming that electrical charge is quantized, or that quantum forces are mediated by virtual particles.

          • I hear you, and unless Minnesota’s up for grabs in November (it usually isn’t), I’m voting for the Green Party as usual. It’s a self-defeating cycle, the hyper-militarism Democratic administrations display. As if to prove they aren’t Godless Commnie Peaceniks, they have to be just as violent as the GOP. It never works; the “soft on national security” label will stick to the party forever.

            And yet, if Clinton were to scale back Obama’s utterly pointless drone program (it serves no economic interest and motivates terrorists), the GOP would take the next shooting and scream it’s because Clinton isn’t scaring terrorists enough. It’s one of those things Democrats have to keep scaling up (like “tough on crime”) until somebody realizes it’s ruinous to continue.

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