Bernie is so far behind that instead of being gracious in defeat, he continues to insist that he has a path forward and insists that the rules be changed to make sure he wins. Forget the millions of people who chose to vote for Hillary. Forget the will of the actual voters. He’s losing and he can’t stand it. Even if the rules were changed to suit Bernie, he still loses. This fight for equality ignores the real issues and has lost its way.
Today I listened to Tamron Hall of MSNBC interview Nina Turner about the events at the Nevada State Democratic Convention. Using a sports analogy—and very mixed metaphors—Tamron Hall asked Nina Turner why it was okay to change the rules of the game in the last inning, to change them just because they were losing. Nina Turner is a very passionate surrogate for Bernie Sanders and appears to agree with the notion that the system is rigged, the party was wrong, and people have the right to express their frustrations if they believe the process is wrong. She couldn’t really answer Tamron’s question, nor did she really try. She kept coming back to the rigged system, and how people had a right to express their frustrations.
See, there’s the thing. If they believe. I wonder how many have read the rules of the state party? Did Bernie actually understand what he agreed to when he made his deal with the National Democratic Party to run for the Democratic nomination? Did he understand and choose to ignore it? What I hear repeatedly is that the only reason Bernie is losing is because the system is unfair, that the party is in the tank for Hillary. Maybe.
Say it is. Say the national party, and even the state ones, are Hillary supporters. She’s been a Democrat her entire adult life. She has raised millions for the national party to support down ballot races. She has spent money probably better spent elsewhere to ensure that local organization is available to help local and state contests. She is working for the party and for the people.
This issue that primaries are undemocratic is ridiculous on its face. The general election is when the electorate chooses between the two candidates of the two primary parties. It’s up to the party to decide who their candidate will be. If they wanted, all the leaders could sit around somewhere and decide who that would be and just tell us. Instead, they give us a voice. But, there are rules. If we don’t like it, if it’s unfair, then get involved and change it. I wonder how many Bernie supporters knew him before this campaign? If they knew anything about politics?
To this day, I have yet to hear Bernie say anything positive about the Democratic Party. Oh wait. The states that he won are good, the others bad. If there was actual voter fraud, do you think the races would have been as close as they have? If a close race is really a win for him, then why is a wide margin not a win for her but a theft of Bernie votes? It just doesn’t make sense. That’s the thing about Bernie. He reacts. Or not.
He waited three days to post a written statement about the Nevada convention. Perhaps this is better than his earlier off-the-cuff remarks that he had to walk back (or should have, I have never actually heard Bernie acknowledge a mistake). Remember his reaction to a poorly phrased Washington Post headline saying Clinton thought he was unqualified? She didn’t. A reading of the article would have shown that, but instead, he speaks loudly about how unqualified she is for her Iraq vote (although his positive war votes are legion—why do you think he’s referred to in Washington as Bomber Bernie?) and her Wall Street ties because she said it first. Even if she had, what is he, twelve?
Whatever statement he made, or failed to make was completely nullified by the “but.” I deplore violence, “but.” We have to make sure Trump loses, “but.” I’m too busy to release my taxes, “but.” Always a “but.” Always the victim. It’s unfair. They’re cheating. Establishment evil. You know what? I remember the days when anyone over thirty was considered out of touch. When “the establishment” was the big evil. The days of the Black Panthers, the SDS, and Abbie Hoffman. When Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda were big names in liberal politics. You know what else? I grew up.
I’m still Progressive. I’m still Liberal. I still hope and work for liberal ideals and for peace. The thing is, I have also seen what happens when Democrats and Republicans work together, and what happens when ideology becomes fixed and immovable. We stagnate. We fail.
Do you know where the anger comes from in this country? Fox news. The Republican Party. This view promulgated by Bernie and his supporters that they’re all bad, all the same is what gave us George W. The media plays both-sides and we all lose.
Thinking, ideology evolve. We take in new information, we re-think old ideas. We look at context. We consider how to satisfy the biggest number of people. We learn that we don’t always get our own way, nor should we.
I once did a senior thesis on affirmative action. As part of the year-long project, I had to present my research and conclusions. Somewhere along the way, I picked up a story that I used to open my presentation that served really well to capture my audience’s attention.
It goes something like this. Once there was a basketball game. Team A against Team B. Team A was allowed the regulation five players on the floor, while Team B was allowed only four. As well as the number of players, Team A received two points per basket made while Team B received only one. At the half, Team A was, understandably, up by about 30 points. What was apparent to the officials, was that the spectators were losing interest in the game because it was obvious who would win. They decided that for the second half, each team would be allowed five players and would receive the same points for each basket. Everyone was delighted at their solution. However, Team B still lost the game. It wasn’t enough to say okay, everyone plays under the same rules when one team was so far behind.
So this proves Bernie’s point, right? No. It illustrates how Bernie wants the system to acknowledge one fault, and one fault only. He thinks that if he changes the rules, somehow manages to do away with income inequality and all the evils that caused it, that it’s all good. Unfortunately, race and gender aren’t so easily solved and will in no way be addressed by some over-arching realignment of income. He can’t change the rules without giving some thought to making sure that everyone effected by them is brought along as well.