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Dear Bernie

 

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Dear Bernie,

I was one of the gullible liberals who thought and vehemently argued for months on end that you could win the Democratic Primaries fair and square. After all if a rookie billionaire with zero political credibility and a spotted past could win the Republican nomination, why wouldn’t an unimpeachable United States Senator be able to do the same in my party? We both know the answer(s) to that, don’t we, Senator? You chose the high road when all was said and done, but was that the right road? I have no doubt that your entire career and this ill-fated campaign in particular were driven by a desire to lift the exploited, the downtrodden, the poor and the excluded to their rightful place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. In which case, Senator, you are now squandering the opportunity of a lifetime to change history in a way no one else can, or ever could, or will ever be able to even try.

You may be telling yourself that once you failed to win from the outside, the smart choice was to fight from the inside. You may be taking great pride from that lefty progressive platform you managed to negotiate. When was the last time any President felt hamstrung or guided in any way by the party platform? Ninety-nine percent of the public doesn’t know what the party platform looks like. It’s an empty achievement, and you probably know that. There will be no fight for fifteen. There will be no free college. There will be no extended family leave, no pay equity and certainly no single payer health care. And there will be no end in sight to the steady hemorrhage of middle class jobs to slave labor countries. But I’m sure you know this too, Senator.

Nobody is going to bother the venerable Wall Street institutions hanging around our collective neck like a rock. Nobody is going to lose sleep over the Silicon Valley technology cartel, which is quickly acquiring more power than the biggest bank ever had. And there will be war, Senator Sanders, as sure as I am sitting here and you are sitting there, there will be war. With a little bit of luck, it will be an old fashioned cold war that will further impoverish the nation and strip citizens of even more civil rights. If luck runs out, and it will, Americans will again die in some God forsaken desert with an unpronounceable name, to “protect our freedom”.

How do you feel, Senator, when you watch the swarm of millionaires and billionaires coalescing around the candidate you endorsed? Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffet, Mark Cuban and now Meg Whitman, are all praising your former opponent and promising to fund her campaign. Heck, even the Koch Brothers seem sympathetic to her cause, not to mention the deluge of conservative purists crossing party lines spontaneously or after being actively wooed by the Democratic candidate running on the most progressive platform ever. Your preferred candidate said that our cause is her cause, and this must be why hedge-fund managers rewarded her with something like $50 million in campaign “donations” (so far). Do you think any of these powerful interests give a rat’s ass about our political revolution?

Have you noticed, Senator, how the only places where your name is still spoken are Trump rallies? The much touted shift to the left in the Democratic Party ended abruptly when the television cameras were powered off in the Wells Fargo arena in Philadelphia. The impressive array of professional exploiters of humanity, and the planet we live in, who are stepping all over each other to swear allegiance to the Democratic candidate is matched only by the unbridled enthusiasm of the hired guns of the corporate media. There will be no campaign finance reform, no end to fossil fuel indecency, no end to fracking and drilling and pillaging and slashing and burning, but it will all take place with the utmost respect for stately decorum. Was this your vision for our future back in April of 2015, Senator? It wasn’t ours.

Our $27 voices have been silenced when you decided to suspend yours, and frankly Senator Sanders, I don’t think that decision was entirely up to you. This was not a regular primary season where one can barely tell the difference between campaigns before they all merge into one bland compromise. As you said many times, this was indeed a revolution. Yes, you sparked the flame, Senator, but we build the fire. It wasn’t yours to do as you please with, and you were certainly not empowered to deliver “your supporters” to the subjugation of the status-quo. To put it in terms everybody understands these days, we funded this revolutionary venture with our hard earned money and our feet, and you, Senator, had a fiduciary responsibility to your shareholders.

We lost one battle and you conceded the war. We can’t undo the loss, but you can undo the concession to some extent. You can at least try to make things right for people whose $27 investment represents a week’s worth of food. On a personal level, you have much to lose if you do this, but when you fan the flames of revolution (even a political one), personal sacrifice is baked into the cake. You should have known that, Senator, and you should have made peace with that from the start. I have to confess here that I am not entirely surprised by your decision. Your acquiescing response to subtle and not so subtle efforts to coopt this political revolution, by what I consider unsavory actors, was in my mind a harbinger of things to come. And things came.

I’m not asking you, Senator, to get out there and campaign for “the other” movement propped up by millions of small donations from people who can’t afford to donate either. I am asking you to recognize in your heart of hearts that the road of our political revolution does not go through another Clinton administration. I am asking you to recognize that eight more years of keeping people down, while fraudulently posing as their champion, are far more devastating for our revolution, this nation, and the world at large, than a Trump administration could ever be.
These are desperate times for most of us, so I am asking you Senator Sanders, to remember that you have a responsibility, nay, a duty, to stand up one more time and help us keep hope alive, Sir.

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90

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Steven FindlayAllanSteve2PeterMargalit Gur-Arie Recent comment authors
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Steven Findlay
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Steven Findlay

This is both an interesting and scary dialogue, launched by Margalit’s unconventional political musings. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course. But there’s a lot of conspiracy theory stuff here (rigged election, Hillary as a thief and treasonous, etc) that’s over the top and borderline troll drivel. And I’m at a loss to see how this particular post gets at the differences between the candidates on healthcare, the main topic at THCB. On that front…if you have a passionate interest in improving healthcare in the U.S., Hillary is the clear choice…if you can tolerate her on other issues, where… Read more »

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

I will take “unconventional” as a compliment, so thank you, Steve 🙂 First, this post was not about Mr. Trump. Not everything is always about Mr. Trump. For example, I would rather discuss what Julian Assange told the Dutch TV yesterday…. 🙂 This post was about my frustration with Senator Sanders’ abdication of a role he willingly assumed. Perhaps he failed to think through all possible outcomes and plan for the future of what we saw as a fresh new beginning. Either way, I am extremely frustrated by his decision, which at face value, seems to prioritize the longevity of… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Do you think Bernie would have brought us closer to Medicare For All By teaming with Donald Trump?

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

There was no realistic way for such “teaming”, although in the long run, the people who supported both will have to find a way to come together. I do however think that Bernie could have broken the Democratic Party bloc of votes in this election, therefore giving Trump the ability to not compromise with Republican “values”, as represented by Paul Ryan & Co. and shift back to saying stupid things like single-payer seems to be working fine in Sweden and Planned Parenthood is delivering important services to women and people should use whatever bathroom they want to use, in addition… Read more »

Allan
Member
Allan

Steve, what is over the top is the selective blindness of those that support Hillary Clinton who lied to Congress, who became fabulously wealthy as Secretary of State not keeping an arm’s length distance from the monies paid to Bill Clinton and the Clinton foundation. If one traces the money donated one seems always to get back to some pretty awful people that benefited greatly from their gifts to the Clintons. Anyone that wishes can go to Judicial Watch and read her emails and get a time line of her awful deals. I don’t have to repeat them on this… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Yea, Judicial Watch. Why not just quote Rush Limbaugh.

Allan
Member
Allan

Let’s look at what Judicial Watch actually does. They sue to get government documents released. That is pretty much what they do, but when the documents aren’t released they write briefs to the court saying why they should be released and get them released. Clinton said that she released all emails that weren’t private. She didn’t and Judicial Watch sued over and over again to obtain these emails that keep coming in. That demonstrated that Clinton lied and it also demonstrated a bunch of other lies. Judicial Watch doesn’t make this stuff up. They release the data for the public… Read more »

Peter
Member
Peter

“They sue to get government documents released. That is pretty much what they do”

You only need to read Wikipedia on this organization to understand it exists to target democrats, specifically, the Clintons and Obama. It’s one claim to fame suit, with the Sierra Club, against a Republican (Cheney) is the only one listed, I suspect it was a meager attempt at covering it’s tracks as a right wing attack group.

I don’t hold democrats harmless, but I can spot a fake “unbiased” organization. It should be renamed as “Democrats Watch”.

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

Of course it is, Peter. It’s a conservative watchdog. There are plenty of progressive ones (most of the media is masquerading as such, at this point). This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at what these groups manage to unearth… on both sides. If it’s legit, then we need to pay attention. Corruption at the top, regardless of party affiliation, hurts us all.

Allan
Member
Allan

Wikipedia can be edited by almost anyone. Judicial watch went after Bush as well. At one time I believe it was targeting Democrats, but today it is an equal opportunity player. That is why I like them. I don’t care what political party they go after to maintain good government. I hope they succeed in making government more transparent. Clinton refused to release her emails, lied to Congress and wasn’t transparent. Lack of transparency is what Judicial Watch seeks out. Her time at Secretary of State while her husband was giving speeches at $250,000- $500,000 a pop is something that… Read more »

Allan
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Allan

Margalit, we seem to come from opposite sides looking towards the same ends, but a different means to get there. In this case, however, we seem very much aligned. It appears you cannot vote for nor do you want a thief, liar or treasonous individual who admittedly has loose connections in her brain as President. Coming from the other side (I am not a true Republican and I find most politicians unworthy of their positions) I feel the same. We need to send a message to both parties that the American people want a change of both parties. Is Trump… Read more »

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

Yes. And I think there is some beauty in the fact that we are coming at this from opposite sides (although I’m not sure if there really are “opposite” sides here). The traditional Republican/Democratic division is probably obsolete today, and if nothing else, this election is making that pretty clear. Perhaps a bit unrelated, but what surprises me is the “true conservatives” willing to give up the Supreme Court, along with all their sacred principles, just to make sure that their financial arrangements are not disturbed. So maybe we end up with two different parties Labor and Capital 🙂 Seems… Read more »

Allan
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Allan

I don’t think such agreement would be possible on a theoretical level. This country functions best under a capitalist free market system which meets the needs of both labor and capital. (Take note that American salaries are much higher than most places and salaries generally represent labor.) However, we have significant abuses, but I believe a lot of those abuses are tied into our politicians that take money and power and provide some very rich people and industries with favorable legislation. That is not good for labor or the small businessman that can’t compete. Bernie brought up a lot of… Read more »

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

I’m sure we have disagreements and I’m sure we always will, and I am very sure that this is exactly how it should be. Once we find something we can agree on, we should act. And right now we agree that we have no voice in government. Everybody, the entire spectrum of honest people, regardless of social and fiscal views, whether they acquiesce or strongly object, from Princeton academics to gas station attendants, everybody agrees that we lost the essence of our democracy. Why we don’t all rise like one is beyond me…

Allan
Member
Allan

You are honest about where you are coming from and don’t pretend to be something else like so many others do. Yes, our agreements are great, but we agree on good government and are willing to compromise both attempting to change the dynamics that represent a force other than the people. I’ll be that our endpoints are the same and we could agree to policy that would reach those endpoints.

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

100% 🙂

Steve2
Member
Steve2

So you are offended by the billionaires surrounding Clinton, an you response is to vote one of them into office. The sleaziest crook we have had run for office in ages. A man with no depth of knowledge on any issue, and few real policy ideas. A guy whose economic advisers are all billionaires. Too bad you were never an intern. You learned that no matter how bad it is, it can always be worse. “Fraudulently posing as a champion” should be stamped on Trump’s ass.

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

“no matter how bad it is, it can always be worse” – that’s how they always keep the people in line, don’t they? I am not “offended” by her billionaires or her ever increasing war mongering chorus of lunatics. They have their interests to protect. I get it. Insults aside, I think what we are witnessing here is another shift in the alignment of our major parties. It happened several times before, and I think it could be happening now, if and only if, Clinton does not end up in the White House. That’s the outcome I am seeking. Sanders… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

“As for Trump, sometimes one nail drives out another… That’s where I’m at….”

“Trump’s Economic Team: Bankers and Billionaires (and All Men)”

Yea, but the “new nail” looks the same as the old.

If Americans really wanted change they’d vote for a third party. Americans have proved they don’t want a third party – not even the Libertarian Party.

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

I don’t care if they’re all men…. or women…. or anything in between…. or if they’re beige or russet, or whatever…. And nails usually all look the same. It’s how we use them that makes the difference. America can’t just switch overnight to a third party. I don’t even know if we need three parties. Two good ones will work fine. Parties have morphed and changed positions over the years or broke and coalesced in different ways. We need sea change over the next few years. This election has put something in motion. I don’t want us to squander the… Read more »

Peter
Member
Peter

Margalit, it’s not just that they are white men, check their credentials – it’s the usual suspects. You fooling yourself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/business/economy/donald-trump-economic-team.html

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

I’m not, Peter. Heritage foundation & Co. He needs the RNC. He needs the data, the money, the ground operation and as many “supporters” as he can get, which is not many. Where would a construction/TV guy come up with a political infrastructure in 12 months (or ever)? There is no way to mount an independent campaign that can do more than act as a spoiler in this system we now have. I suspect he picked the Republican party because it is the weakest link right now. I suspect he doesn’t give a damn about “conservative values”. I am not… Read more »

Peter
Member
Peter

How can you think a guy from Goldman/Sachs and a Hedge Fund manager who made billions on the sub-prime mortgage collapse are going to spearhead an economic/political revolution? Goldman Sachs was in the middle of the mess while John Paulson profited from it.

John Paulson – “I believe our tax situation is fair.” He also voiced his “displeasure” with Occupy Wall Street. He’s the 1% for Christ’s sake.

Now you think Bernie, who would work inside a Hillary administration, turned traitor, while you align yourself with the worst bunch of establishment flimflammmers ever assembled.

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

Peter, I don’t think Bernie turned traitor. I think he chickened out and I think he gave away something that did not belong to him, and hence caused us to lose a great opportunity. To stay with the table analogy (where we reside under said table), Mrs. Clinton is not going to kick the table, Bernie, once offered a little chair at the far end, declined to kick the table (maybe he’ll work to convince the feasting dignitaries to throw a little more food on the floor for us). Will Trump kick the table? I don’t know. Maybe not, but… Read more »

Allan
Member
Allan

Margalit I keep hearing statements about Trump where the woman’s voice is discounted. It’s amazing, but in NYC where Trump built his skyscrapers, I believe he had more women in executive positions than any other builder of similar size. I don’t think he cares very much about the sex or race of people that surround him, rather he judges them based upon their abilities to move his company in the direction that makes money. Once again neither one of us care for these arguments that play the race and gender card. They are meaningless concerns when one is looking for… Read more »

Peter
Member
Peter

Margalit, did any of the Bernie supporters REALLY think a “socialist” was going to win the White House? If they truly did then they have no concept of political history or grasp of reality. They are just left overs of the Occupy Movement. Lofty ideals, little reality. How come no one went to jail? Money moves the country, big money. Big money moves every country. You may get a bone or two but in the end it will be the same. America is pretty much middle of the road, lefty/righty. The founding fathers never intended the presidency to be a… Read more »

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

Well, Peter, he came awfully close to winning the nomination and if the game weren’t totally “rigged”, as we now have proof it was, he would have gotten that nomination. I think most people who voted for Bernie understand that small change is the best we can expect and that is a good thing in my opinion. America is a big ship. You have to right it slowly and carefully. It took decades of corruption to get where we are today and it will probably take decades to get things right again. That said, I am not ready to accept… Read more »

Peter
Member
Peter

“I’ll take the Donald way….” Well, the “Donald way” is now the same way as all other previous Republican presidential candidates and presidents – if you listened to his “economic plan” yesterday. It’s the establishment Republican plan, as his “health care plan”. Same crap, “get rid of regulations, reduce taxes – FROM A PREPARED SCRIPT. It’s trickle down deja vu all over again. Voters don’t see (cause their stupid) that the decline in the middle class started with Reagan and has never let up. John MaCain slipped out a truth in his campaign for Pres. – “Those jobs are never… Read more »

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

I agree that the “economic plan” is a bow to Republican establishment, but not entirely… I find it unfortunate that he needs to do this, but in the system we now have, there really is no route that can successfully bypass the RNC and the DNC corruption. I’m hoping for even a small step to change the system. The alternative offers no such hope. I don’t think we can criticize the scripted delivery while criticizing off the cuff remarks and at the same time praising the totally scripted other side. You can be unscripted when you preach ideology like Bernie,… Read more »

Allan
Member
Allan

Since when do the declarations of a Presidential candidate match what they do in office? …And when they get into office they don’t dictate the circumstances around them rather those circumstances dictate what the President must concentrate on and those circumstances are unpredictable. Obama might be somewhat of an exception because he didn’t care about circumstances that dictate to a new President. He followed a path that led to ISIS and revolutions throughout the middle east, terrible economic conditions because he focused on a flawed ACA instead of growing the economy, etc. He did talk about infrastructure improvement, but when… Read more »

Peter
Member
Peter

“He followed a path that led to ISIS and revolutions throughout the middle east, terrible economic conditions because he focused on a flawed ACA instead of growing the economy, etc.” WHOA Mr. tunnel vision. The middle east collapse is a direct result of the Iraq war – based on a lie. Those “terrible economic conditions” came from the Bush anti regulation era and our friend Alan Greenspan, not to mention the K-Street pay-to-play icon Tom Delay. Obama can’t do much when Republicans, for political ends only, block his every effort. If Republicans were running on THIS economy, the’d call it… Read more »

Allan
Member
Allan

Bush did us no favors and caused harm. Obama doubled down on the harm and gave us no benefit. He removed the troops that were in Iraq to stabilize the nation. Later he drew a red line in Syria that he forgot about (he shouldn’t have drawn the line in the first place), supported revolution in Egypt and elsewhere, supported the Muslim Brotherhood under Morsi and when Sisi came to power accepting all religions equally Obama turned away. Of course I cannot forget Libya that was doing our bidding, but Obama turned that nation into an anarchic nightmare. Maybe I… Read more »

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

Right, and for Peter (and myself), I’ll assign a good portion of ACA in particular, and maybe not making the stimulus large enough, and perhaps also other financial details, to the obstruction or desires of the GOP in Congress…. Doesn’t matter really. They are all the same (Paul Ryan in particular makes me shudder every time he speaks about “poverty”….). The whole bunch needs to go.

William Palmer MD
Member
William Palmer MD

I don’t know…,but when the Bernie folks began to realize that it was a lost cause, do you think he should have continued his fight by himself with ever diminishing contributions and support, and possibly having to use some of his own money? He was headed towards being an outcast in the senate too, for the remainder of his career.

Our system requires an astonishing willingness to compromise.

Margalit Gur-Arie
Member

We knew it was an unlikely-to-happen-today cause, which is different than a lost one. Contribution would have continued and I think gone higher if he took a stand… a real stand… He was already an outsider in Senate. Couldn’t get much worse and after all he is 74… Willingness to compromise from a position of strength is one thing and what happened here is quite another… When you assume the responsibility of representing millions of people, I think you should do just that, no matter how much it hurts you personally… If we are going to peacefully overcome these two… Read more »