by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Bernie Sanders supporters could truly be on a revolutionary mission – if they choose to accept it. “They must not support or vote for Hillary Clinton in November and they must say so loudly and clearly.” Should their idol endorse Clinton, then Sanders’ people must reject him, too. And, if Sanders’ folks are blamed for Clinton’s defeat, these attacks “should be considered as a badge of honor” for sending the Democrats into the dustbin of history.
Freedom Rider: Sanders Supporters Can Bring Down the Democrats
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“If they follow tradition and vote for a conservative Democrat they will have made a mockery of their demand for change.”
Donald Trump’s ascension to the Republican presidential nomination has created an enormous rift between the Republican elites and the rank and file. This process is a welcome development that could lead to the end of that party.
While the Republicans implode Hillary Clinton moves towards the Democratic party nomination by moving ever more towards the right. She and former president Bill Clinton have made it clear. They intend to get votes from independents and Republicans who can’t stomach the idea of a Trump presidency. That has been her modus operandi throughout her political career. She bragged about being a teenaged Goldwater girl and now brags about killing in Libya.
She ignores the Bernie Sanders phenomenon because she has no reason to do otherwise. From the moment he started his campaign he said he would endorse her if she won the nomination. Of course Sanders followers might change the trajectory of history by refusing to go along with the charade. If they stand firm they can also send their party into the historical dustbin where it belongs.
Trump’s supporters epitomize white nationalist sentiment but they are also driven by personal need. They have been left behind by the machinations of both parties. The trade deals concocted by Republicans and Democrats have taken the living wage jobs they expected to have forever. While they prosper more than any other group in the country they still feel affronted by their change in fortune. They don’t care about the imperial project and wouldn’t mind if Trump made good on his pledge to cease invasions and regime change plots.
“They should know by now that their party cannot be reformed.”
Democrats on the other hand are less likely to send their party packing. They have been hypnotized by years of lies which have allowed wars, austerity, and mass incarceration to be considered acceptable, small prices to pay to keep the Republicans at bay. Black voters in particular are so fearful of Republican victory that any Democratic Party policy, no matter how damaging to them, gets the go ahead.
The election of 2016 should be historic not just because two people who are disliked by millions will run for president. It should be ground breaking because it will mean that Americans who love to think of themselves as independent will finally live up to that self-image.
The Sanders people in particular claimed to want a revolution. Now is their chance to make good on this assertion. Their task is a simple one. They must not support or vote for Hillary Clinton in November and they must say so loudly and clearly. They can vote for another party’s candidate or write in one of their own. They may exhort Sanders to deny her an endorsement. Any tactic will do. But if they follow tradition and vote for a conservative Democrat they will have made a mockery of their demand for change.
Liberal Democrats who like to think of themselves as leftists must put up or shut up. They should know by now that their party cannot be reformed. It must be done away with for good. The duplicity of the Democrats is fully on display for everyone who really wants to see it. On the one hand they will use the infamous Koch brothers to strike fear, raise money and keep their voters in line. Will they continue to do that now that Charles Koch has declared Hillary Clinton to be possibly more acceptable than Donald Trump?
“Black voters in particular are so fearful of Republican victory that any Democratic Party policy, no matter how damaging to them, gets the go ahead.”
In reality the Bernie Sanders campaign held more pretense than reality. Sanders isn’t really a socialist and neither are most of his voters. Yet they found it appealing to be connected to a candidate who gave them political cache. Neither are Sanders or his supporters revolutionary. The word revolution was more of a marketing ploy than anything else and continued the mirage of the possibility for change.
Sanders was always the sheep dog, as Black Agenda Report said in 2015. That does not mean his followers have to follow suit. The necessary rejection of Hillary Clinton will also mean a rejection of the man they admired and voted for if he does as he promised and endorses her.
Sanders voters can be the revolutionaries they aspired to be if they loudly and publicly state that they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton. They will need a great deal of determination as they will surely be scapegoated, guilt whipped and blamed for her defeat. But those attacks should be considered as a badge of honor in what may well be a revolutionary effort.
Of course if people “felt the Bern” only because they hoped for a better Democrat then this effort is for naught. By now everyone should know that the corruption in the Democrat party cannot be cut out. The party doesn’t want to change itself and makes sure that opponents end up just driving the sheep.
It is time for the Sanders supporters to make good on calls for revolution. They can do that by actively and openly denying Hillary Clinton the presidency. When they are called spoilers they must proudly own the charge and declare that they meant what they said. They are fighting for a revolution.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.