Featuring essays by Elizabeth George on the future of our country
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A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
MEA CULPA
GIVE THE GOP A LANDSLIDE VICTORY
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART II
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART I
MONEY GRUBBING FEMALES, UNITE!
WE AREN’T ELECTING A HOMECOMING QUEEN
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
THE TOOTSIE ISSUE
Toddlers 4 President!
CRYING BABIES AND OTHER PRESSING MATTERS OF STATE
Democratic Convention 2016: How It Might Have Been
I’D LIKE TO FEEL THE BERN, ONLY…
AN UNFORTUNATE REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
On Matters of the Lie, the War, and Judgment
EGO, POLITICS, AND THE PRESIDENCY
On Getting What We Deserve
HOW JANUARY 2017 WILL LOOK
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I’D LIKE TO FEEL THE BERN, ONLY…


It was little wonder to me when Senator Bernie Sanders won the state of Washington during the March 26 caucuses here. As a resident of Washington, I went to my local caucus and I was impressed by the number of Bernie Sanders supporters who were there. I was equally impressed by the availability of lawn signs, stickers, pamphlets, and other information that the Sanders campaign had supplied. I was distressed to see that the only item that could be interpreted as supporting Hillary Clinton was a bumper sticker reading A Woman’s Place is in the House, the Senate, and the Oval Office. This certainly wasn’t good, I thought, and when I asked about it, I was told that her campaign had not sent anything. Perhaps she saw the handwriting on the wall or perhaps she just knows about caucuses. Or perhaps the truth is somewhere in between.

I had a brief conversation with a young Bernie supporter who wanted to excoriate Hillary Clinton because of her putative support of fracking (her support has to do with location and jobs as it turns out) but who knew nothing at all about Bernie’s plan to effect his revolution. That latter was not a problem for me because aside from Susan Sarandon’s disgraceful declaration that if Bernie did not get the nomination, people were probably going to vote for Donald Trump in order “to speed the revolution”, (who really cares about nuclear war, women’s health, and the Muslims in the world, right, Susan?)

While at the caucus, I couldn’t find anyone else who knew what the plan for revolution is either. Seeing that I was clearly outnumbered, I decided to cast my vote for Hillary and then join a friend for lunch. I’m not sure how caucuses work elsewhere but here in Washington, that’s how it’s done. You can cast your vote at any time. If you want to stay and try to convince someone to vote for your candidate, you certainly can do so. But it’s not necessary.

I spent the afternoon with my friend and when I returned home before dinner, it was to news that Bernie Sanders had swept Washington and was on his way to taking Alaska and Hawaii. While I was disturbed by this, I was philosophical. Obviously Bernie’s supporters had swarmed by the millions to the caucus sites. That’s certainly how the news outlets described the situation. Only….

As things turned out, according to the Seattle Times, Bernie Sanders’ “landslide win” in the state of Washington was earned with the backing of 4% of the registered voters in a caucus in which only 5.8% of the voters even showed up! Do we bang the drum slowly or, perhaps, stop banging altogether? There is now a hot argument that Bernie Sanders should have, as result of his “landslide win”, all the Washington delegates.

This made me curious. If only 5.8% of the registered voters showed up, who, I wondered, is actually supporting Senator Sanders? More important, if he turns out to be the nominee and if he is elected President, who is there to roar into action and bring on the social and political revolution? Since action means Congress (yes, I know that is certainly an oxymoron at this point), I thought it best to see who Senator Sanders’ supporters are. Who are these individuals in the House and the Senate whose ringing endorsement of his candidacy is not only a clarion call to those who are sitting on the fence about where they should cast their votes but also a clear indication of what will occur when his first piece of legislation hits the Congressional floor?

To learn the identity of his supporters, I sought the internet, that font of information. I found that, at least on the day of my search, Senator Sanders has the ringing endorsement of…not a single United States Senator. He does have the endorsement of two former Senators, though, as well as seven members of the House of Representatives and one former member. This actually isn’t bad when you consider that Donald Trump couldn’t claim as much.

I looked at Hillary Clinton next. I discovered that 40 currently sitting Senators have endorsed her, along with 14 former Senators, 168 current members of the House of Representatives, 57 former members of the House of Representatives and a staggering list of elected officials from every level of government, from Native American tribes, from foreign leaders, and the list goes on. Indeed, there were so many people endorsing Hillary Clinton that I did not have the time or energy to count them all.

What does an endorsement mean, actually? I’ve thought about this, and I’ve come up with a couple of ideas. I would posit that endorsements from sitting members of Congress are a way of saying “We are willing to work with this person” and a paucity of those same endorsements is an indication of an unwillingness or—at best—a reluctance to work with the candidate should he win the election. Similarly, an endorsement from a list of world leaders seems to say, “We know and trust this person” whereas a lack of endorsements from world leaders seems to say “We don’t know this person. We may come to trust this person but the jury is still out for us.”

Why is any of this important? Because of the promised revolution. The voter for Bernie Sanders cannot assume that a majority of Democratic Socialists or Socialists are going to take over Congress in November. Indeed, I don’t believe there are any if you don’t count Bernie and he has his eyes on the Presidency. Why is this important? Because those are the people who pass the legislation that becomes law. Those are the people who give the revolution wheels. I don’t think we have recently become the Tsar’s Russia pre death-of-the-Romanovs, heralding a real revolution involving armaments. That being the case, unless Susan Sarandon can bring on the revolution on her own, how is anything going to happen to bring Bernie’s ideas to life?

There are people who argue, “His election to the Presidency would be a start.” But what sort of start? People who say this make me wonder where they’ve been for the last eight years when no matter what proposal was made by President Obama, the House and the Senate fought him every inch of the way when they weren’t also gerrymandering districts to maintain their power as well as filibustering every Democratic piece of legislation that they could not water down into insignificance. Indeed, the dedicated Bernie voters who believe his election “would be a start” make me wonder if they were asleep when Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s first statement vis a vis President Obama was that he intended to make his a “failed presidency.” I simply do not understand why the Bernie voter seems to believe that Mitch would then embrace Bernie like the Second Coming.

The Bernie supporters will argue that Hillary Clinton would fare no better despite the number of endorsements she has, so why not “give Bernie a chance?” The reason is that his success so far—limited as it is mostly to caucus states—does not indicate a sweeping passion for the man, no matter how well-intentioned he is. It indicates only a small percentage of people who had the time, the freedom, and the transportation to get themselves to caucus sites on the day in question. These would be people who did not have to go to work, who did not need to arrange for childcare, who knew the location of the caucus site, and who had a car or access to a bus or a train to take them there.

Make no mistake. The Republican Party is utterly aware of this, which is why they are attempting to thwart Donald Trump. They know that if they can stop him before their convention, preventing him from acquiring a majority of the delegates’ votes, they will then on a second or third ballot nominate someone far more palatable to voters. No matter how conservative the other current candidates are and no matter how conservative are the former candidates, they will look like a collection of Wise Men on their way to Bethlehem compared to the Donald. Any one of them can probably beat Bernie Sanders with one hand tied behind his back. That’s what the Republican Party is shooting for, which is why they have not yet begun to attack Senator Sanders, his Democratic Socialism, or his Revolution.

They are wise enough to save their ammunition. Of course, as we all have seen, in other matters they are not wise at all.

- Elizabeth George
Whidbey Island
Washington State

 

 
 

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