A New Age of Activism?

A number of recent columns have “post-mortemed” (if that’s a word) the Presidential primaries. One such, in the New York Times, considered the ongoing influence of Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Sanders has yet to fully concede, although he has said he intends to vote for Clinton, and he is likely to remain a force in American politics for the foreseeable future.

Sanders’ ability to engage young voters was surprising, at least to me; a crusty 74-year-old self-described “Democratic Socialist” would seem to be an unlikely hero to twenty-somethings. Yet he clearly evoked a passionate response from young people.

In conversations I had with more than a dozen Sanders supporters, many of them told me they were either disillusioned with or apathetic toward politics before this campaign. Mr. Sanders, a 74-year-old democratic socialist from Vermont, energized them unlike any candidate before. Now, they’ll either resign themselves to voting for Hillary Clinton, redirect their efforts to local campaigns or drop out again.

The article includes a number of comments from young Sanders supporters, and describes the issues that resonated with them. Perhaps the most perceptive observations, however, came from an activist named Winnie Wong.

This month, after the primaries are all over, some Sanders supporters will try to answer the question of what’s next at an event called the People’s Summit in Chicago. The mission of this gathering: to figure out how to turn Mr. Sanders’s momentum into lasting change. One of the attendees will be a digital strategist named Winnie Wong. After working with the Occupy Wall Street movement, she helped start the grass-roots group People for Bernie, and has been credited with coining the hashtag #FeelTheBern. She said she saw a connection between the Occupy movement and the Sanders campaign.

“This is a movement,” she said. “It is not about Bernie Sanders. He’s a part of this movement.” And, according to Mr. Sanders’s most ardent supporters, that movement isn’t going anywhere.

After teaching public affairs for nearly twenty years, and consistently bemoaning the anemic participation of college students in the political process, I get really hopeful when I read about the increased youth engagement described in this and many other articles.

Wong is correct that the increase isn’t limited to the Bernie phenomenon. A number of social indicators suggest America may be at one of those “turning points,” one of the cyclical swings in political/cultural opinion that have characterized our nation’s history. If I am reading those indicators correctly (and I know I may just be engaging in wishful thinking), Sanders great contribution is that he helped focus a relatively amorphous and simmering discontent on the need to engage with and reform the political process.

You don’t have to embrace the specifics of Sanders’ proposals to recognize the importance of that achievement.

The fact that the movement Sanders sparked is progressive is especially important at a time when nostalgia and reactionary impulses have given us Brexit and Trump and their hollow promises to take the world back to a time that never was.

Virtually everyone agrees that it’s time for a change in American politics. We can argue about the nature and pace of that change, but if Bernie has sparked a new youth movement with “legs,” a movement with staying power, he will have won something that is arguably more important than the Presidency.


  1. I’m 77 and Bernie has brought back my youth. It’s time to re-read Frank Norris. Sadly, my acne has also returned.

  2. I hope the movement results in voter turnout and doesn’t prove to be only a moment of hope.

  3. What I hope is that (1) this can get past Bernie’s ego and cult of personality, which moved over into vindictiveness (2) they can start educating these newly energized folks about the real arithmetic that is involved in making lofty ideas actually work.

  4. Morton; I am 79 and the Bernie movement reminded me of the involvement, action and hopes inspired by Barack Obama in 2008. That inspired in me the most excited I have been since the JFK election; Barack’s campaign inspired me to more involvement than ever in my lifetime. I also learned how little I knew or understood about politics and that my vote IS always important. I understand the lure of the younger generation who recognize the need for change requires their action. Will the support for Bernie continue if he is not the nominee and he asks his supporters to throw in WITH HIM behind Hillary Clinton? Or will the write-ins, the “Bernie or Bust” and “NeverHillary” factions split the Democratic support and give this election to Donald Trump? We won’t get our answer till election night, November 8th.

    Do the Bernie supporters fully understand the importance of state and local elections and the need to vote out as many Republicans as possible at all levels of government if we are to survive as the United States of America? Or is Bernie Sanders their only interest in this vital election year? Again; we won’t get our answer till election night, November 8th.

  5. Aimee,

    “What I hope is that (1) this can get past Bernie’s ego and cult of personality, which moved over into vindictiveness (2) they can start educating these newly energized folks about the real arithmetic that is involved in making lofty ideas actually work.”

    Otherwise know as REALISTIC HOPE.

  6. I think his campaign was a “realistic hope.” You see, after living in Europe the second time around, I see that they are dialed into the needs of the people over here. The taxes we pay go to things that actually give us a better life. Public transportation, roads that aren’t full of pot holes, JOBS, clean parks and streets, education that is multi-lingual & world class, and much less poverty (from my viewpoint). I don’t see homeless camps of tents anywhere in the region I live like I did in LA or Chicago or FL. I don’t see panhandlers that are begging for money everywhere I go. I don’t see homeless veterans at stop lights holding cardboard signs asking for help. I see neighborhoods that are clean and safe and police stations that are actually closed on weekends and evenings. I see happy people.

    If you see all of the things (negative ones above) all around you, your outlook on life and living will cause fear, distress and uncertainty. What a way to grow up to an adult age and know nothing but despair.

    Bernie gave a voice to those like me that want these things for America. I’ll never stop hoping that someday I can go “home” but without jobs, without healthcare, without education, without the security of living free, then we’ll stay where we are and retire over here.

    Bottom line: Corporations need to be regulated so that their tax breaks ends and the community gets their fare share. Rich people have had enough tax breaks the last few decades and it’s starting to show all around you. The middle class will be gone in 3 more decades if we don’t change things NOW.

    If nothing else, the BREXIT lies and propaganda showed that racism can win. American voters need to make sure we learn the UK’s lesson and make the country whole again while we work together to fix the problems and not vote ourselves into isolation. Think about the market’s reaction the last few days…if Trump is elected, it could be another recession unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And another civil war Revolution of epic proportions.

  7. Good stuff today. As a veteran of the great George McGovern 49 state defeat in 1972, I was very worried when Bernie first got rolling. It has panned out far better than I feared. I think in the end Bernie will become a hard working part of the Democratic efforts this summer and fall. That may be wishful thinking but maybe not. Those who agree with Bernie cannot also think that Donald would be anything but a disaster for America and the world. Time to get busy.

  8. Governing is hard work. Change comes slowly and usually incrementally. It is important for the young people who have supported Bernie to understand this and to keep focused on the goals they have set. You won’t get everything you want, no matter how good an idea it seems.

  9. One of the many things that we owe Bernie is that he has created among many liberals belief that it’s in our hands now. We don’t have to wait and whine and wail about what conservatives are doing to the country because we can do with the country.

    Ding, dong the witch is dead.

    I’m not very qualified to assess what in sports is called “the big mo”, momentum, because I’m much more a man of reason rather than emotion, but things seem possible now which didn’t before.

    As long as the current momentum results in a crushing defeat of Trump in Nov as well many Republican Congressional incumbents it will seem like a definite wind shift.

    Just in time.

    Hillary is, if nothing else, a master of the political and she also has felt the wind shift. The first major indication will be the choice of VP which I hope will be one of the Senate liberals like Warren or Bernie or Schumer or even John Kerry or Al Gore.

    When everything is in place the next and most difficult thing for us will be focus. There are so many dropped balls that will compete for attention that the risk will be attempts to fix everything at once. We have benefitted for eight years from Obama’s sense of pace and we need it more than ever as a majority.

    The other risk is premature celebration. There’s lots of work to be done and we should save the celebration for the results not the effort.

  10. AgingLGrl,

    “I think his campaign was a “realistic hope.”

    I’ve appreciated your unique input into the blog these past months and especially today. I am concentrating on your use of the word…… WAS.

    America needs help from abroad, in the same vein that German military intelligence, not the SS, attempted to find in the late 30’s from Great Britain. They needed help from the OUTSIDE to counter the overwhelming propaganda and self-censorship INSIDE their country. It was called “the Oster conspiracy.” The British failed to recognize the need to help them and what followed was WWII. I believe it could have been prevented, at that point in time, if the necessary help would have come.

  11. Pete,

    “I’m not very qualified to assess what in sports is called “the big mo”, momentum, because I’m much more a man of reason rather than emotion, but things seem possible now which didn’t before.”

    That momentum you’re talking about in sports, for the players, is not only emotional but also physical. It’s physical and emotional in politics as well….. More than just what is in the “minds of men.” And in the U.S. much of the momentum is sub-surface and not visible to the naked eye. Thus, minimizing this fact can create a disastrous chain of events because of ineffective forecasting of both the physical and the emotional. Blogs can reflect, as you pointed out, both reason and emotion……..but not the physical.

    During the American Civil War both sides used “tunneling” to offset intelligence forecasting which was being based only on surface observations.

  12. I was thoughtful today. I’ve watched the reaction of my spouse with this Brexit vote. He couldn’t vote because he hasn’t live in the UK for over 15 yrs so he’s been really upset and feeling betrayed. We were considering moving to the UK in 2017 but now we doubt that would be a good idea.

    Irvin, my life is pretty boring for now but I hope that after visiting my family in August, I can come back and start working again. The low unemployment rate makes competition tough for me as an single language speaker.

    Marv, I was sad that Hillary won the Dem nod because I really hoped that Bernie could seal the deal. I’ve been following Bernie since Obama’s election because he spoke for what I thought America stood for. As soon as he announced, I got my Bernie bumper sticker that sits on my desk to remind me what could have been.

  13. I would love to see this sense of activism turn into something other than memes on the internet. I have been particularly inspired by groups like Periods for Pence and the creative LGBT community responses to issues in the last few years.

    One thing that I saw was that Bernie has asked people to run for office. I would love to see progressive politicians be his legacy, though most will soon find that compromise is far more difficult than activism.

  14. AgingLGrl,

    You’re the most valid participant in the blog. You can understand the U.S. both as an INSIDER and an OUTSIDER.

    Living in the U.S. I can’t feel and see completely from the OUTSIDE or I would have to be a hermit, which in some ways I am. So I have to give in somewhat to the INSIDE in order not to be completely ostracized.

    So now my only choice is to start a mini-revolution here in Jacksonville while I still have my health. I’ll be 79 in a few months, but in my last poll, the oldest anyone guessed at my age was 67, most were lower than 65.

    Havel created the Civic Forum. I’m going to go with the Ethical Forum. http://www.EthicalForum.net. Wish me good luck! I’ll need all I can get.

  15. Unfortunately, Lenny Curry our Tea Party Mayor here in Jacksonville wasn’t eligible for recall until last month. You have to be in office in Florida for at least a year.

  16. The appeal of Bernie is the exact same appeal that Obama once had – hope for change. Obama reneged on that deal, and the very last thing you can expect from Hillary is change.

    My students are intelligent children of privilege, and they are deeply, deeply pessimistic about their futures. My best is applying to med schools in Canada and intends to renounce her US citizenship as soon as her Canadian one comes through.

  17. That was nice Marv but I learn a lot from the rest of you too. Thanks for the complement but I’m afraid that seeing America from outside is really a struggle some days. I miss “home” but given the choice between living there and living here, I have to admit, I feel so much safer here. Because, GUNS.

  18. “appeal of Bernie is the exact same appeal that Obama once had – hope for change. Obama reneged on that deal, and the very last thing you can expect from Hillary is change.”

    I’m sure that this is heart felt but IMO a not very accurate rendition of history.

    Change happens. President Obama promised to keep up with it. What President Obama’s promise created was an unpredictable, because it was unprecedented, backlash from those people least able and willing to keep up, or even understand the need to.

    He didn’t renege, we the people did by our actions in elections and response to political entertainment. We made it clear that collectively our heels were dug in.

    What will Hillary do? It’s up to the same us. She’s a politician and we live in a Democracy. You do the math.

    The context of this discussion from Sheila’s lead in is are we changing towards openness to change? Willingness.

    She apparently senses that we are and I agree. We will be more certain though after Nov.

    I suppose we could wish that history had been kinder and given us Hillary then and Obama now but history is rarely kind.

    Bernie is not going anywhere. Neither are Warren and Schumer and Obama and Biden and the women on the Suprene Court.

    The movement won. The acceptance of change won. Bernie won.

    That can no longer be denied.

  19. The following is from a Report I submitted to the City Council of Jacksonville on May 11, 1993. It was a warning not to risk the solvency of the Police and Fireman Pension Fund from what was being pitched as the Mayor’s Renaissance Plan. At that time, my warning was not heeded and the City is now insolvent to the tune of 2.7 billion dollars. The City of Jacksonville had no deficit at that time.

    My report started with a quote by Daniel Webster from his famous reply to Hayne on January 6, 1830. I believe it relates now to all America not just Jacksonville, Florida.

    “When the mariner has been tossed for many days in thick weather, and on an unknown sea, he naturally avails himself of the first pause in the storm, he earliest glance of the sun, to take his latitude and ascertain how far the elements have driven him from his course. Let us imitate prudence, and before we float further on the waves of this debate, refer to the point which we departed, that we may at least be able to conjecture where we are now.”

    America’s severe political problems have been aggressively mutating for decades. Band-aids won’t work now. Donald Trump only highlights the FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES that have occurred.

  20. Pete,

    “The movement won. The acceptance of change won. Bernie won.
    That can no longer be denied.”

    On what basis of fact do you make such a statement? I’m all for your conclusion,

  21. Ron,

    Thanks for the input. It’s a shame that we will be losing someone like your student. There will be many, many more like her. They will be sorely missed.

  22. Marv, I think the sense of Sheila’s lead in is that there is a seismic shift underway in the US from conservatism towards liberalism. It’s not yet matured but it’s a change in momentum.

    “Virtually everyone agrees that it’s time for a change in American politics. We can argue about the nature and pace of that change, but if Bernie has sparked a new youth movement with “legs,” a movement with staying power, he will have won something that is arguably more important than the Presidency”

    I’ve said that I feel it too but the confirmation of it will, I expect, occur in Nov when Republicans largely get sent packing.

    Bernie changed the political conversation in America.

    I think that he and we got way more from him than anyone expected.

  23. After the elections in 2012 the Republicans conducted what they referred to as an autopsy. I thought that was an interesting description as you only conduct autopsies on dead things. As it turns out that may have been the appropriate term. The Republican party–at least as it once was–is dead. Now the Teapublican party is reeling, and, after the coming Trump massacre will be dead as well. I hope that what rises from the ashes is a reasonable, sane party that once again knows not just the meaning of compromise, but that has the courage and willingness to do so. It may be a vain hope, but one I cherish nonetheless. The autopsy is over. The cause of death was suicide. Now it is time to bury to corpse. R.I.P., G.O.P.

    Props to Aging Girl for a great post.

  24. I’m glad for the energy Bernie Sanders inspired for progressive issues, but even if he had won the majority of delegates, the president alone can’t pass laws without TWO houses of Congress which agree to them. Senator Mitch McConnell saw as his task in office as political – to keep Obama from re-election and oppose whatever Obama wanted even if Obama proposed legislation (like Obamacare) originally proposed by Republicans.

    We learned this lesson the hard way AGAIN when the voters elected Glenda Ritz to replace Tony Bennett as State Supt. of Public Instruction, only to have Mike Pence and GOP legislative majorities strip her of authority to fulfill her duties. If you want change, it takes more than electing one person. It takes a TEAM to coordinate both the legislative and executive branches of government.

    Neither Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, John Gregg, or Glenda Ritz can fulfill their core campaign commitments if the Congress and state legislature are determined to frustrate their every move. So ask YOUR candidates for Congress and the legislature who THEY are supporting for President, Governor, and State Superintendent, and then you’ll know if you have a team or warring parties.

  25. What’s sort of interesting in an abstract sort of way is to compare Obama and Bernie. My impression is that in terms of ideas they are not so far apart.

    What makes them appear different are their responsibilities and perhaps their personalities

    Bernie as a Presidential Candidate has no responsibilities. He can act the dreamer that he is and can say anything that he wants to and the only consequence is that he gains or losses supporters. He doesn’t have to do anything in that role. (Of course that’s not true in his role as Senator but it is true of all candidates who aren’t incumbents.)

    Obama once elected had to be President of all of we the people and had to deal with a hostile Congress and Supreme Court (until Scalia died) and had to actually accomplish things and deal with a world not of his making.

    Plus he can be nobody but his pragmatic self.

    How would you like to sit around a table and have a couple of beers with the both of them?

    Boy, I would.

  26. The Democratic Platform Committee REJECTED adding single payer to the party platform this week. Ah yes, the Democratic Party Establishment Plan if you cannot afford Health Care – Go Home and Die. Health Care for all in America is not a Right, it can only be purchased.

    From my own experience growing up in Chicago I knew Bernie was going to have a rough road. Control of the Party Apparatus is critical, it can be a Boss Tweed, Stalin, a Mayor Daley or the Clinton, Wasserman-Schultz Clique. The ability to dole out access, favors, jobs, power and money is the key in controlling the Democratic Establishment Party.

    There was a term in the old Soviet Union – Nomenklatura. This was the party elite which controlled appointments and resulted in patron-client relationship. In Chicago we referred to it as having a sponsor. If you had any expectation of moving up in the party, protecting your position loyalty to the sponsor was paramount. Those that stepped off the path lost the support of the Party.

    So as long as the Democratic Establishment Party of the Clinton’s and Wasserman-Schultz remains in control do not expect reform. As Paddy Bauler a Chicago Alderman once said –
    “Chicago ain’t ready for reform yet”.

  27. I think Louie that my faith in Democracy is stronger than yours because I believe that we the people get the government that we deserve.

    Throughout the Bush years we didn’t ask for much and we got less.

    I will always look at the Obama years as our collective recovery. The best that we could expect from the strongest possible tension between liberals and conservatives.

    Bernie and Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer and others broke that tension and led the tug of war winning of liberalism. I give Bernie the most credit.

    Pretty soon we’ll leave the primary stage of the Presidential election cycle with one candidate per party and the presumption now is Hillary and Donald, a clear no brainer for liberals.

    You’ve declared a complete loss for liberalism but I just can’t see it that way. I really believe that history, the only way to know, will report this as the inflection point and I personally believe that there was never any realistic hope for more.

    Perhaps it’s a half full or half empty perspective but I see stars aligning. When I think of the Republican possibilities that were eliminated and what’s left I couldn’t be happier. If the Hillary presumption turns out correct my next anticipation is her running mate and I’m looking very forward to drinking that celebratory beer even if it’s only half of one.

  28. Pete,

    “Marv, I think the sense of Sheila’s lead in is that there is a seismic shift underway in the US from conservatism towards liberalism. It’s not yet matured but it’s a change in momentum.”

    It must be my negativity, but I didn’t read anything to close that in what Sheila said. Here’s what she said,

    ” A number of social indicators suggest America may be at one of those “turning points,” one of the cyclical swings in political/cultural opinion that have characterized our nation’s history. If I am reading those indicators correctly (and I know I may just be engaging in wishful thinking), Sanders great contribution is that he helped focus a relatively amorphous and simmering discontent on the need to engage with and reform the political process.”

    Sheila isn’t even sure we’re at the “turning point.” How can you have a seismic shift if you’re not even at the turning point? For decades every time the Republicans “screw-up,” the progressive media and others yell, “they are through.” Everyone celebrates and then it comes again, since no one does a damn thing to stop it. Why do you think we’re in this stinking mess? You have to do more than celebrate. “Wishful thinking” is not much of a weapon and the New York Times is not representative of the political moods in the South, Southwest, and much of the Midwest. But this is just my analysis. You have yours. And so does Sheila.

  29. As so many others have stated in today’s blog, I also hope that the younger generations continue to stay involved and realize that it will require their demand for change to actually bring about change.

    Marv, I wish you luck with your mini-revolution in Jacksonville. Please keep us posted about your progress when you can.

    AgingLGrl, would you mind telling us what country you are living in? For some reason I thought it was the UK. Many times you state the same opinions of our government as my high school friend who has lived in Vienna for 25 years. He speaks of how those living in Europe can’t believe how stupid/crazy/ignorant our citizens have become. The rest of the world must shake their heads in disbelief on a daily basis.

  30. Perhaps Marv you require trial credible evidence and I’m thinking of much more subtle cultural signs. I also purposefully try to avoid the condition that liberals get indicted for as being whiney and never happy because there are always problems to be solved, nothing is ever perfect. Perfect politics is an oxymoron, a goal never achievable.

    As I said earlier I’m willing to settle at this point in time for credible signs of recovery from the miasma of conservatism. If we’re going in the right direction everything else is a problem to be solved and we can.

    Disagreement to me is a healthy thing and others with opinions different than mine a sign of human diversity not a challenge.

    Feel free to continue to worry as will I. I’m just less worried than I used to be.

  31. I’ve said before here that Bernie consistently says this is not about him, but about the movement, but both the Republicans and the Hillary Supporters (not to mention the press) pretty much ignored that.

    The reason Bernie is still fighting isn’t because of his big ego and cult of personality (not that I doubt that he enjoys his position and success). He is still fighting for the movement, fighting to keep Hillary from moving back to the right (like rejecting Medicare for All – why not accept Medicare for anyone who wants it?). I am still concerned that she will move back to her neoliberalism, and in that case I wouldn’t vote FOR her, but I would still vote AGAINST Trump (which is the same thing).

    The other thing that you all don’t understand, although it was alluded to somewhere above, is that most millennials have been struggling to the point that they feel like they don’t have much to loose. And if Hillary doesn’t understand that, then she may indeed most of their votes!

  32. Personally I think that’s it smart to avoid government single payer until we fix the real problem. Only the very wealthy can afford American health care and fewer every year. Messing with insurance is not going to fix that. In fact it would make it worse.

    ACA was the opening salvo in involving the government in health care insurance for working people but it was meant to be a baby step and look at the reaction to it. In fact it was business backing away from providing health care insurance as a benefit that created the hole that it filled.

    We do need to keep making progress on the right of everyone to good health but it needs to be a systemic and systematic assault.

  33. Mental Giants:

    You sound reasoable! Wink wink!

    Brilliant, Marv!
    The movement us unseeable by the naked eye, and then quoting something from a 1990-something Florida City Council meeting as evidence of something worth mentioning.

    God Bless Aging.girl!!
    Britan was a soverein country for 700 years. The last 23 in the EU. Not sure she wants to move there in2017 because they reclaimed their autonomy. Coo coo ka choo!

    What happened to Obama’s Hope and Change? So many of you have fallen off the wagon. You would think with those energized younger voters, who were ineligible 8 years ago, plus the Obama voters, you wouldn’t have to compromise for a lesser ‘more electable candidate.’

    Did you lose some of the Obama voters?
    Coupled with the new ‘movement’ you should be on a roll!

    Must be under the surface, unseen by the naked eye!

  34. Pete,

    We agree on most issues. Our disagreement I believe comes from focus. You’re very focused and rightly so on the election in November. Just like you and most of the others participating on this blog, I am also frightened over the possibility of someone like Donald Trump being elected President.

    But I’m focused on the Tea Party, I don’t believe they’ve had a comparative decline like Donald Trump and, furthermore, will not fade away even if Trump loses. However, both the Tea Party, as well as the Republican Party, are completely on the defensive, at least until the Convention which starts in about two weeks. I don’t believe it can’t get any worse for them. I have no doubt whatsoever that in the “long run” the Tea Party is more dangerous than Donald Trump. In no way did he create them. Also, there is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton if elected will be attacked unmercifully by the Tea Party unless they are neutralized.

    Consequently, I can’t believe that there will be any better time than NOW to take them on, especially since Jacksonville is the “spearhead” of both the surface and the sub-surface levels of their movement.

    To All,

    So many people have helped me to get to this point that it’s very difficult for me to breakaway from be an active participant. But I’m sure most of you can understand that it’s best for all of us for me to do so. I don’t want my focus on the Tea Party to stifle the conversation supporting Hillary Clinton. As Nancy mentioned, I will keep you posted as to any positive results. It might be quicker than you think. Take real good care.

  35. Marv,

    My focus was also on the Tea Party down Naples way for many years. They are an extremely dangerous cult. I was always amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people got sucked into that gang of soul thieves just because they were told that it was patriotic to. I don’t know if Fla can ever be saved now but I hope so. So best of luck.

  36. William, I’m looking forward to the day when you reveal what you’re for. Your against list us so long though that I wonder if there’s anything left.

  37. I’m reminded why I usually read Sheila’s blog in the morning….before all the tit for tat painful grinding of the topic into a fine powder by replying to the replied replied to replies which need no replies. It’s like the condition that causes night grinding of teeth got it’s own internet connection. Lordy people, make your point and give it a rest. Oh, nice post today Sheila! 😉

  38. Bernie’s op-ed in the NYTimes today is a perfect summary of his campaign. Lot’s of nifty words and ideas and not one mention of the woman that won the nomination… he just can’t even say her name. He seems to fail Elections 101: Ideas don’t get elected… people do. And he did not. So the simple notion that “his” ideas need to live on in some manner is an absolutely irrelevant. I am tired of this fight for the platform – nothing matters but winning. I get the fact that people don’t like HRC but don’t tell me that the platform matters to you if you are any where on the left side of the debate.

  39. Pete

    I am for better candidates so we don’t have to choose between the lesser of 2 evils.

    I am for a more civil discourse instead of ad hominem attacks.

    I am for having compassion for those who came here to seek a better life, or through no fault of their own, securing the border so we know who is coming and going, and making it easier for those who are productive to come and go, but not footing the bill for wveryone who lands in our country.

    I am for balancing the federal budget.

    I am for marriage equality, yet I think that rhose who for religious reasons don’t want to provide customized service to those with whom they dissagree should retain that right.

    I am for some form of fun control, but we need an honest discussion about what that should be, and it needs to include due process.

    I will not vote for Trump. He should not be President of the United States under any circumstance.

    Nor should Hillary Clinton.

    Both for the same reason. They are both more about themselves than serving the country.

    I think abortions should be limited. What is the limit? I don’t know, but if the pro choice crowd is okay with a late term abortion, that occurs after a child has slipped out too far and is aborted anyway, based on the wishes of the mother–that is too far.

    I am for personal responsibility-one shouldn’t be allowed to live on gov’t assistance for life.

    I am for Donald Trump releasing his tax returns and going away.

    I am for Hillary releasing her speech transcripts, I think she bent, broke the rules with her private server, and she should go away.

    I think Bernie os an honest, good guy, and I son’t agree with him on much.

    I think we need to stop worrying about what race people are in this country.

    I don’t think all Muslims are terrorists, but I think there are an awful lot of Muslims have taken a radical extreme view of their religion and are using that ciew to kill innocent people.

    I think people who read and write blogs like this, really don’t want to have an honest dialog with people who have an honestly different view.

    I thik the same about full time fox news/evangelicals/tea party extremists.

    I watch fox/msnbc/cnn and listen ro all sides.

    I like Mitch Daniels, coted for Mayor Peterson, like both Bushes, think Mitt would have been good, lile Paul Ryan.

    I like people on both sides who are well rhought out positions. I like Dr. Kennedy.

    I like people who can state their position and give you limits, boundries as well.

    Thanks for asking

  40. William, long list.

    We have a primary process that selects candidates democratically. We don’t have to select the lessor of two evils, only the most qualified of the candidates.

    I love civil discourse.

    No other country has absolute border control why should we? The way to keep immigrants out is to have lousy government and no opportunity like N Korea.

    There is not an institution on the planet including families and corporations that don’t take advantage of debt as a financial tool. Why should US government be the only one?

    The government can’t legally pass laws based on any religion.

    You gave no reason why HRC is not fully qualified to be President.

    Abortion is limited to about 1/4 of the population. What right do you have to decide for them?

    What happens to people who in your opinion have outlived their need for government financial support? Death panels?

    HRC admits to an error in judgement for following her predecessors email technology. No harm no foul.

    We are all one race, the human one.

    Muslims are doing the heavy lifting on combating Muslim extremism.

    I also have a problem finding honest debate.

    Opinions are not equal. Some are based on more substance than others.

    Thanks for taking a stand.

  41. Ah Pete-
    Paragraph at a time.

    Many people on both sides do select lesser of 2 evils, or this year, for dems, the most electable, in place of their preference.

    There are definitely other countries who have complete control of their border, and definitely those who don’t offer a free education, healthcare, etc., to those who enter without permission. We need to have a handle on that.

    As to debt, what is the limit? Fiscally responsible people limit their debt. Cities, counties, towns, states must balance the budget. Companies balance budgets. Families, ditto. Those that don’t. suffer the consequences, or the federal government bails them out.

    This is the second most important part of the whole thing- the first come later.

    The bail out- we had to borrow more money to bail out the banks. Thats the whole Bernie thing. No one had oversight. No one said you can’t borrow more than you can pay back, you can’t buy more rhan you can pay for.
    Somebody has to forgive unpayable debt. Families, corporations, cities, EU? Who forgives US debt?

    My question is – what is the limit? Someone needs to set the limit.

    As to religion, there are most certainly laws. And the question becomes: when does another’s right trump someone’s religious right? Good people can disagree.

    HRC for Pres? She’s eligible for sure. Qualified? Subjective. Best candidate? That’s why we vote. Not too many that are enthusiastic.

    Abortion: my issue is at what point does the right of the unborn child trump the right of the mother who is charged with his/her care?

    No one who is pro choice will ever take a stance on limiting abortion rights, just as no one in rhe NRA will limit gun rights. I am for both.
    Outliving gov’t assistance. You’ve hit a nerve.
    I don’t have a job, or a husband with a job, can get a free abortion if I choose, but I get more money if I have another kid, so I have another kid.
    I am qualified to be a manager in my mind. I can’t find a job as a manager, and I don’t want to take a lesser job, so I will keep on taking gov’t assistance until I get a managers job which I have stopped looking for.


    County pays me $24k to be a maintenence employee. Family of 4. Qualify for assistance and medicaid based on fed. Poverty limits.
    Financially better than spouse working.

    Could get job that pays 25k. Child care would cost 15k. Could collect unemployment, stay at home and net more than 10k.

    People use the system.

    Why should we pay?

    So many ways to use the system.

    HRC error in judgement? She knew exactly why. When voting for pres. aren’t you voting
    for judgement? If not, for what are you voting?

    The predecessor thing doesnt work because the technology and rules and laws were different. You should know that.

    No one had their own server. No one ever, ever would have, or will ever need that. No one in or out of govt, would do that, and you have ro ask why.

    We are soing the heavy lifting vs terrorism and taking the blame. We and we alone are doing the airstrikes.

    I enjoy an honest debate. I won’t engage in personal attacks. I am honestly interested solutions and limits.

  42. The Tea Party will not fade into the sunset. It is not, was never, and will never be an entity. It is an ideology born somewhere in Eastern Eurasia in the year GKW (Dog knows when) It migrated to France/England/Germany/Spain and managed to polarize men into never ending warfare. Divide and conquer was its mantra but there was no way to control the non ending fragmentation resulting in cannibalization. When there was no one there to subdue, it would turn on itself. Any means of division: Hair color, height, sex, age, and then they hit on religion. Still does. But nowhere nearly as good as race. It ingested the Holy Roman Empire and brought it to its knees. But the Church prevailed and routed their numbers. They retreated to Scotland where they encountered like souls with ancient connections: The Irish. Time for another endless war. Hell, let’s stake this shit to Appalachia. And then to Pulaski. And then to Indiana.

    The actually of this line of thought has never been simply put: Arrogance is only narcissism unbridled. (Narcissism is the decease and arrogance is the spawn.) It was Germany that initially turned on Germany and slew its old and infirm. Once killing was legitimized, it was unleashed onto the world. When there are no more enemies to kill, death turns to its neighbor. ” My only regret is that is no more world to conquer.” In his final hours, Herr Adolph kindly patted children on the cheek as he sent them to sure death. These were those he called his children for they were born of single mothers, mostly Nordic Blondes, whom he solicited to serve in govt brothels manned by his SS. ( it is well documented that the Hitler Jugend were some of the most vicious fighters in the fight for Berlin.) It was hard for the Allies to kill them but the SS killed everyone who would not willingly go to their deaths.

    When there is no one to fight they turn inward to devour one another. D.C. Stephenson was dethroned when he tortured and killed a white but not for the thousands of blacks/Jews or Catholics whose demise he had engendered.

    We are led to believe that this latest movement sprang from nowhere: The grass roots. That much is true. Winter does not kill grass. Only a grass killer. But wheat is a grass. We have found the enemy and he is us.

  43. William,
    will you leave your bubble long enough to embrace the facts you declare? have you any idea of the advances in electronics during the span of the terms of Obama and “W”? Nixon couldn’t have had a personal server. You are, along with the knuckle dragers on the Hill on the Hill, are comparing apples to oranges. Today, every govt agency had its own server. So HRC was precocious. Go figure.

  44. William, here’s what I learned a while ago. I am not that important to the Universe. It does not in any way care what I wish to be true. I am noise to its signal to use engineering terms.

    So I’ve given up defining it in my terms and accepted it’s terms completely.

    It’s a very liberating place to be.

  45. Perhaps Earl put it better.

    “Arrogance is only narcissism unbridled. (Narcissism is the decease (sic) and arrogance is the spawn.)”

  46. There are times to avoid using the financial tool of debt and they are before it becomes the only tool left. Bush used up those times without regard to the eventual perfectly predictable outcome. So Obama did what virtually every serious macro economist recommended. Save the sinking ship. Save it from Bush.

  47. Thank you for another excellent post. You highlighted one important thing that many Hillary supporters and most of the media neglect, Bernie is merely the symbol of an idea. Donald Trump is a cult figure whose supporters forgive him any utterance. Bernie’s supporters aren’t following that aging lefty (although latter day New Dealer is a better description), they are responding to his message. His biggest personal draw is his integrity. He spent his life espousing these ideas.

    Bernie is no fool. His future in the Senate is bright as a committee chair if the Democrats retake the Senate. However, if he just says “good try, I lost, whatever Hillary wants”, he becomes just another politician in it for himself and loses his integrity– and his supporters. I don’t think he initially believed that he would get this far. Now that he did, he can come to Hillary and tell her that a sizeable minority of the party is tired of being ignored. If, and only if, he can come to his supporters and say that Hillary heard them and responded in some substantial way, will he be able to get them to come around and support Hillary.

    There is another aspect of symbolism that the Clinton people have to understand (and to some extent I think they do). Hillary, although having one of the most impressive resumes of any presidential candidate that I can recall, was still a symbol herself. The symbol of “why not” or “not Y”. I know many feminist boomers that preferred Bernie’s ideas, but wanted to see a woman as President (granted, that woman had to be reasonably good, not a Sarah Palin). If you add these people to Bernie’s supporters, you can start to see a Progressive majority replacing the New Democrats that had taken over the Democratic Party. I see a progression from “liberals are bad” (Bill Clinton) to “liberals are well meaning, but naïve and can be ignored” (Obama) to some sort of acceptance as a major force in the Party (Rep. Carson).

    Comparing Obama to Sanders is also interesting. After the campaign, Obama asked his people to stay together — and have rallies and sign petitions (some saying things like I support the President’s health care plan — whatever he finally decides it should be). Bernie asked his people to stay involved and run for office. In that, change is born, although Obama’s army is also still around in many versions.

    On the matter of change, it may come in increments, but not because of the people who preach going slow. Change comes from those who dream big, who “dream dreams that never were”, then with persistence, change comes, either incrementally or like a wall falling down (i.e. marriage equality), but it comes from those “impractical dreamers”.

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