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Home Main Forums General Discussion Why I Am Optimistic

  • Fire with Fire (1353 posts)
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    Why I Am Optimistic

    I want to set aside for the moment the question of whether Bernie Sanders or anybody else with national name recognition kick starts a serious Third Party campaign.  Instead I want to talk about public opinion.


    Two and a half years ago, when Bernie Sanders started his bid for the Democratic nomination, the American left was invisible in national politics.  I defy anyone to claim that as of April 2015 you really believed that Bernie Sanders would become the President of the United States.  Bernie had no more name recognition than Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader or even Dennis Kucinich — none of whom ever came close to taking office.  And, to the amusement of the entire punditocracy, Bernie “bore the burden” of being a socialist which was universally deemed to be a laughably hopeless label to live down.

    Can you take a breath and contemplate how much the political universe has changed since then?


    Bernie is now the most popular politician in the country.   The word, socialist, is no longer even a slight impediment to his appeal.  Polling shows that his agenda of FDR style governmental intervention is now favored by the majority.  Sanders is about to launch his national campaign in support of Medicare for All, which will put every Democratic politician in the country on the Yes-No spot, and you can bet that most of them will side with their donors against their constituents.

    This will keep Our Revolution in the news and on the offensive into the mid terms next year.


    At this point, we have to consider the crookedness of the system and the gimmicks employed by the Democratic National Committee to get the candidate that the donors want.  That is a given.  The only way to overcome that is with massive numbers that overwhelm the gimmicks.  Coming from nowhere as Bernie did, he was unable to turn out the blowout majorities necessary to win.

    He came so much closer than anybody in power could imagine.  I think it is useful to review how it might have worked.  Step One was always to win Iowa and New Hampshire, blowing up the idea that Bernie Can’t win.  From there, he faced the Fire Wall of the South — where the African American vote is the decisive demographic.  All he needed was to get a 50-50 split in the black vote and Hillary would be toast.

    Neither happened in 2016.  Hillary “won” Iowa, which was a major blow to the Sanders strategy.  It left the presumption that Hillary was inevitable intact.  And, for now, I will leave alone how the Clinton’s “earned” the loyalty of African Americans in the south — but just note that as of Hillary’s triumphal march through the south, Bernie was still very much an unknown quantity to most Americans.

    The Iowa victory by Hillary Clinton was, according to the Editorial Page of the Des Moines Register a debacle:


    Once again the world is laughing at Iowa. Late-night comedians and social media mavens are having a field day with jokes about missing caucusgoers and coin flips.

    That’s fine. We can take ribbing over our quirky process. But what we can’t stomach is even the whiff of impropriety or error.

    What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.


    For reasons that I still support, Bernie did not want to introduce himself to America as the guy who tried to sue his way into the White House, and so the debacle — and about 15 more just like it — went down with minimal blowback.  And that is precisely why he lost — inability to win the AA vote and cheating.


    In 2020, if Bernie runs as a Democrat, he will start as the front runner and virtually the entire country already knows him.  Polling shows that African Americans have gotten to know him and he is very popular.  Of course the same underhanded shit will be coming again — and probably a lot worse.  But Bernie now has the popularity and the organized infrastructure to overwhelm anything short of just shutting down Democracy altogether.

    I don’t rule that out, either.  But if the hammer does come down, I can’t think of a better catalyst for revolution than cancelling an election to keep the people from getting the President they want.


    To return to the idea of a Third Party — I support it.  My optimism is not based on any set of tactics.  Instead, it is based on seeing how far Bernie Sanders has gone to crystalize public opinion against the corporate whoredom that rules us.  The “trend” is not just playing itself out — it is getting stronger.  Trump and the GOP are destroying their brand while the Democrats are at their lowest ebb since the Roaring Twenties.

    Yes, there are powerful forces with tons of money and lots of armed pigs that oppose us.  Thus it has always been.  Bernie has shown that we don’t have to be powerless.

    We can take power.  And we will.

    Details will take care of themselves.

    OCMI, incognito, Ichingcarpenter and 36 othersTuesday, spud demon, h-32, Pastiche, beltanefauve, Shlabotnik, Colors of the Rainbow, NothingcleverjustRay, disillusioned73, Iwalani88, Grey, hopemountain, mzh, Pam, Art from Ark, tonyl, Ohio Barbarian, chknltl, Utopian Leftist, jwirr, Baba OhReally, rampart, nevereVereven, ChefEric, xynthee, Koko, MistaP, Jefferson23, JEB, peacecorps, NV Wino, Marym625, RadicleFantast, djean111, PADemD, Haikugal like this

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12 replies
  • Haikugal (7369 posts)
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    1. That's the spirit!! I'm right there with you!

    Bernie turned everything around. One of the things the corrupt don’t understand about Bernie and his supporters is that it’s about love and compassion. They just don’t get it.

    Thanks for this and a huge JPR rec!!

  • fluff (626 posts)
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    2. Bernie made a huge mistake not campaigning in the south.

    I know it was a money thing.  But he ended up raising more than enough money to have done it.  He might have been able to win this thing.  Especially since the south is more rural.  The Clintons are absolutely hated outside the cities and suburbs.

    Herself lost in 2008 by ignoring red states in the primary.  Bernie may have lost for the same reason in 2016.

    Remember, remember the 6th of November 2018.
    • duckpin (7345 posts)
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      4. I know West Virginia is not southern but I like to remember that Sen Sanders

      carried all 55 counties in the primary. Then Trummy carried all 55 counties in the general election.

      I agree with you that there are states in the Old Confederacy that will give their electoral college  votes to Bernie if they get the chance to and are not cheated out of that chance like we all were last time.

      "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
  • Marym625 (29805 posts)
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    3. Recommended by a few members for The Daily Radical

    I agree. Thank you

    It’s on The Daily Radical

    Take Action #StopFCC https://www.battleforthenet.com/breaktheinternet/ "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
  • chknltl (746 posts)
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    5. Progressive Radio may not be the highest rated but…

    …The Thom Hartmann program is the highest rated, most listened to program on Progressive radio.

    We Hartmann listeners have long known who Senator Bernie Sanders is, what he advocated for and what he wanted to see changed in our political system.

    We knew who he was long before he threw his hat in the ring. I doubt a week went by that a caller into Hartmann’s Brunch With Bernie hour didn’t beg Bernie to run for POTUS.

    When Senator Sanders formed an exploratory comittee to see what his chances might be, we listeners went ecstatic! We knew that there was nobody better for our country-nobody even close!

    No, Progressive radio never had anywhere near the kind of ratings that Rush Limbaugh comanded nationwide but of those of us who listened in to the Progressive radio channels, we knew exactly who Bernie Sanders was back then….and i’d say we are behind him to this day.



    • disillusioned73 (671 posts)
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      8. I was one of those listeners as well..

      crazy to think back and look how far we’ve come.. it’s quite astonishing if you really ponder it..

      I had become so frustrated with Obama, that I would have gladly voted for Bernie in a primary challenge in 2012 – Bernie ( as most times) went about it a lot better than that..

      "Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats." - Bernie Sanders
      • chknltl (746 posts)
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        9. I'm with you on Bernie vs Obama

        I eagerly voted for candidate Obama in ’08. I had listened to his keynote speech at the DNC for Kerry earlier so i knew who Obama was….or so i thought.

        By 2012 i fell into the trap that i had to vote for him in order to stop Romney. (I was utterly against Clinton back then, was quite outspoken against her at the time over at SV…a place i also believed in back then too).

        Had Bernie gone up against Obama for the 2012 nominee, i know for a fact that i would have backed Bernie with all my heart. Odds are Obama would have beaten him and odds are i would have grudgingly cast my vote for Obama anyway.

        No more! No more am i going to be held hostage with my vote! Either give me someone to vote for or don’t expect my support with someone to vote against.

  • Ohio Barbarian (8976 posts)
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    6. Damn. That's good. Great speech.

    Thank you for that badly needed dose of realistic optimism in these way too interesting times.

    Ignorance is the foundation of tyranny.   
  • Enthusiast (13117 posts)
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    7. Cheating by the DNC (and other secret operators) disgusted the electorate.

    They also cheated in many ways that didn’t involve casting votes or registering to cast votes.

    Hillary can write an additional dishonest book but it still won’t remove that stench from the air.


    "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Thomas Jefferson
  • NothingcleverjustRay (396 posts)
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    10. That was so great

    I had to read it twice.


  • Fire with Fire (1353 posts)
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    11. Kick because there is so much gloom and doom on this board now

    Simple question — if you believe in your heart that any meaningful change to our political condition is impossible, why do you post here?  If money is power without any limit; if people are sheep who refuse to understand how they are getting fleeced; if violence always destroys non-violence; if all power flows from the barrel of a gun — why the hell are you a member of progressive message board?

    Why are you wasting your remaining time before the unlimited power of money starves you to death?


  • mmonk (3107 posts)
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    12. In that vein