call out the instigators because there’s something in the air
we’ve got to get together sooner or later, because the revolution’s here
and you know that it’s right…
Something in the Air
Election, 2016. Sorting out that stunning development. The Orange-haired, outspoken reality tv creature is now President-elect. I’ve done my personal autopsy on the election, and explain the upset on A) an irresponsible, sensation-seeking, media and B) a low voter turnout. My “proofs” regarding these assertions are easily enough found by looking back at how virtually every corporate news outlet, broadcast and cable, obsessed over Mr.Trump’s every repulsive pronouncement, from the denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, members of the military and even the mocking of a disabled person. I, like many others, kept waiting for the media to pull the plug on such a disgraceful candidate for President, but silly me (and everyone else who assumed Trump’s ugly, hate-mongering, divisive and self-absorbed modus operandi would be held to account). Then millions of voters who elected Barack Obama twice decided not to do the same for Hillary Clinton. Proof? Obama got over 70 million votes in 2008, and 66 million in 2012. Ms.Clinton’s vote is estimated at over 64 million, two million-plus more than Trump. Of, course, as we know, Trump took the electoral college, and those are the only numbers that matter.
Thus, the lower Democratic turnout factored heavily in the upset. While I place significant blame on the bumbling Clinton campaign, as well as the irresponsible media, I am most disappointed and angry about is with what happened to senator Bernie Sanders. While Trump spat out dubious intentions to kill NAFTA and other seemingly anti-establishment political promises, Bernie, running as a Democratic Socialist, constantly railed at the billionaire class, Wall Street, corporate greed, economic injustice, the absurd expense of a college education, and the need to reform, if not undo, 35 years of failed Reaganomics. Bernie was the only bona-fide, righteous breath of fresh air as the primary season started. Bernie was not a corporate Democrat. Far from it. In fact, he was elected senator as an Independent. But he ran as a Democrat, and for that he was undermined at every turn by the national Democratic operatives, especially Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In what quickly became a tag-team against Sanders the upstart, the outsider, the DNC and that same corrupted media conspired to keep Bernie’s voice muted, mocked and written off as nothing more than a potential wasted vote for his followers. All 30,000,000 of the grassroots voters who put him over the top in 22 primaries, donating tens of millions of dollars to his campaign, famously at an average of $27 each.
Bernie Sanders was clearly capable of beating Hillary Clinton but for the same anti-democratic, rigged primary process. Bernie, in every poll matching who could beat who, was much more likely to defeat Donald Trump. He tapped into the unarguable distrust of status quo candidates. What he accomplished, in spite of the DNC and the media-bias for Trump, clearly was remarkable.
Bernie came close, but his “revolution,” short-circuited as noted, is not over. He has a post-election book entitled Our Revolution. His grassroots supporters are still around (I am one of them) and just maybe in the next election cycle, 2018 and 2020, the revolution will be all the more forceful, well-funded and destined to start taking back our now tattered and frayed democracy.
I wish Bernie Sanders had not run as a Democrat. In what now appears to be a missed opportunity to be true to his independent, anti-establishment political proposals, he should have been the Green Party candidate. Nothing against Jill Stein, but the Greens once had a fairly high recognition factor thanks to Ralph Nader, who ran as a Green in 2000 and 2004. Of course Ralph was mocked and ignored by the media, but millions of people knew him, thanks to his decades of successful consumer protection activism. Ralph Nader is still with us, and still speaking truth to power. Since he left the Green Party, its mojo is pretty much a no-show. There’s no reason to think that the Bernie supporters would not have still heard his voice, still sent him all those millions of dollars and helped him get on the ballot in every state, as Nader did in 2000. As a Green, he’d have been free of the DNC assassins, and both the Green Party and Bernie would have made the notion of a third-party candidate impossible to ignore. After all, when he announced his candidacy a year-and-a-half ago, he was polling at about 5%. Could he have been any lower as a Green? That 5% shot up, and up and up, and did so in spite of the aforementioned rigged primary process that shuns “outsiders” even when the outsider is running in one of the two insider national political parties!
Bernie is 75 years old right now. Who knows about him running again in 2020, but the Green Party desperately needs to tap into what he started. Many of the Trump supporters responded to his trashing of the status quo politics that needed trashing. Not that I trust for a second Trump’s sincerity in that regard. That same desire for even more radical change isn’t going anywhere soon when you total the tens of millions of voters that either voted Trump or Sanders. And with the obviously absurd election of a flim-flam man, I’d like to think there’s a fertile field awaiting to be given the seed of a more honest, respectable, dignified, we the people Outsider for that Bernie revolution to again blossom.
Our Revolution. Enough of the red and blue state, either-or, two-party system.