What should Sanders do now? Keep his word and fight for fair elections

Many of Sanders’s supporters now concede that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee and say that they will support her because the possibility of a President Trump is too awful to contemplate. There are some who believe that many of Clinton’s victories wouldn’t have been victories without the disenfranchisement of many Sanders voters, as discussed in my last post. They are urging Bernie to take it to the convention and fight to persuade the superdelegates to choose him despite Hillary’s apparent significant majority in the popular vote.

A man of his word

I don’t believe Bernie will go along with that plan. He gave his word that he would support the Democratic nominee, and he is a man of his word. That’s one of the reasons we supported him. And in the short term, a Trump presidency would take us further in the wrong direction than a Clinton presidency. Bernie will do what he can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

What about that FBI investigation?

Some of the “Bernie or bust” folks hold out hope that Clinton will be indicted. I haven’t seen the evidence, but I find it hard to believe that a Democratic Attorney General (AG) would seek an indictment when the Inspector General found that no criminal laws were broken. And I would hope that the AG would be trying to get this investigation over with before the convention  (or at least the election)so as not to waste everyone’s time and risk impeachment. So my bet is that she will not be indicted and the campaign will go forward.

Fighting election fraud

I understand that Bernie’s campaign has been slow to consider the possibility that the party establishment suppressed the vote or disenfranchised people in the primary. That’s understandable. It’s painful to think that our electoral process has been rigged and that elections we have worked hard in have been stolen. It is very reasonable for Sanders to wait until there is very strong evidence before he raises the point. He has to be able to point to that evidence as the reason to investigate. The media have done their best to trivialize Bernie’s candidacy rather than taking him seriously. Why be painted as a sore loser unless you have concrete evidence?

Al Gore chose not to request a statewide recount in Florida in 2000. In 2004, John Kerry conceded the day after the election despite strong evidence of disenfranchisement of likely Democratic voters in Ohio. Kerry said that the provisional ballots would not be sufficient to change the result. What he didn’t say was that proving that people were kept from voting (and didn’t get provisional ballots) was a bigger problem than provisional ballots.

What’s next ? Walking our talk.

No one said that the political revolution would be easy. Certainly there was no evidence that we would be finished by January 2017.  If we are serious about taking back power from big business, creating a society that works for everyone,  stalling and reversing climate change, and getting corporate money out of politics, then we have lots to do. We’ve known all along that Bernie couldn’t do it alone even if he won the presidency. We need a #BrandNewCongress. We need to move the agenda forward and build support so that we can do better in the next election. Come to the People’s Summit next weekend and figure out your next step.

We need to demonstrate the behaviors that value cooperation and human needs over profit. We don’t do that by sliming Hillary Clinton. It is not helpful to the cause to call her names and say we’ll never vote for anyone but Bernie Sanders. That will get us President Trump.

If we don’t trust Hillary, we can appeal to the better angels of her nature.  I believe she wants to do the right thing. If you can’t go that far, perhaps you will agree that she wants to be perceived as doing the right thing. So keep the pressure on. And let’s get the best platform we can in Philadelphia.

If you can’t bring yourself to vote for Clinton, focus on something else that advances the agenda. Work on stopping climate change or rape culture or racism or overturning Citizens United. Or work on getting fair election rules in your area so no one is disenfranchised in 2018 or 2020. It’s all connected anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *