I am a jaded observer of decades of politics and I’m as radical as any ‘Bernie or Bust’er, but it infuriates me to have good people who I used to respect posting tirades on social media about how they can’t ever vote for HRC no matter what. I’m sorry, but grow up!

I have had my share of outrage and tirades when it comes to the damned, pandering, two-faced, shiftless idiots who claim to represent us and I have voted third party many times but if I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that it has never done a damn bit of good.

The fact of the matter is that we have a two party, winner-take-all system, funded by legalized bribery. The system was screwed up from its inception. IMHO - a proportional representation system would have been much better. Then we could all vote our conscience and know our votes counted and our representatives would have to do the dirty work of forming coalitions and making compromises in the legislature. But that isn’t our system. In our system, the voter has to make the compromise or throw away their vote. To make matters worse, the voter who loses ends up with no voice at all. This sucks but it is not going to change, short of an outright revolution. Check with me on an idea about that, by the way, albeit for the long game.

I want Bernie to win and it isn’t over yet, but it doesn’t look likely to happen. If he does not win, I will vote for HRC. Yes, HRC is a corporate, pro-fracking, pandering, waffler, who shifts with the political winds. That last part is actually a good thing because we might actually be able to get her to listen, if we twist her arm hard enough. But we can actually count on her to do some good things:

  • Defend a woman’s right to choose;
  • Appoint center-left jurists to the Supreme Court;
  • Fight Republican election fraud and gerrymandering (note I said ‘Republican’ election fraud and not all election fraud);
  • Appoint Democrats to the FEC, the SEC, and the FCC;
  • Acknowledge the reality of climate change – and maybe even actually do something about it;
  • Support wind and solar instead of obstruct it;
  • NOT vilify religious minorities.

But this is all ‘she, she, she’ which is inherently bull-crap because Presidential politics is not really about the individual personalities. It isn’t about electing HRC or Bernie or Trump alone – it’s about the entourage they bring with them, the machinery that got them there, and the constituency at their back. If HRC ran as a Democrat and somehow the Republicans ran an identical clone of HRC taking the same exact positions, I would vote for the Democrat. Democrats bring in Democratic advisors and administrators and are voted for by Democratic constituents who pressure them to do things in their interest. Substitute ‘Republican’ in the above statement for the Republican corollary. That in itself is enough to make a difference.

And whatever slightly Populist things the Donald has said in the past and over the course of the campaign, he is running as a Republican and his administration will be drawn from the same old Republican machinery. And we can see that happening with Trump. It already looks like Trump is lining up the same economists that helped Ronnie trash our economy 36 years ago. Dick Cheney’s already endorsed him. Whose head are we likely to see pop up for Defense Secretary? The other Donald (Rumsfeld) maybe?

Where HRC is objectionable – foreign policy and fracking and trade agreements, especially – compared to Trump, Progressive Activists may be able to move her in a positive direction. And we might even be able to overturn Citizens United. I’m not being Pollyanna about these things – it is the simple reality that we have more of a chance of getting good things done under her administration than under Trump’s. While it may not be as good as we want, it is significant – don’t dismiss that lightly! It’s real and worth voting for.

I have no illusions – the Democratic Party has changed. A lot of damage was done by Bill Clinton when he invited Al Fromm and the DLC in and I have heard convincing evidence that all that was funded by the Kochs. Not voting or throwing away your vote on a third party is how you give in to that – the way to fight it is to get into the Democratic Party and change it.

Although I have a very low opinion of HRC, I think a lot of the outrage has been fueled by the Right. They have been dumping on her for 30 years. Although I have a lot of real concerns about her positions on trade, fracking, and war, especially in the Middle East, I think that Whitewater and especially Benghazi have little if anything behind them and are made up mostly of Right Wing smear tactics.

Regardless, can you actually tell me that any president in the nation’s history was not corrupt or disappointing in some way? For all the good FDR did, for instance, as governor of NY, he was corrupt and centrist, and the evidence that he had foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen is pretty overwhelming. And yet, he did a lot of good. That is the nature of realpolitik – the good comes with the bad.

Yes, Hillary stinks, but she beats the crap out of Trump, and although I say it every four years, this year I’m serious! If the Republicans get back into the White House, I’m out of here – to Hell with it! Because it is the end of democracy (such as it is) in this country.

Meanwhile, what are all you ‘Bernie or Bust’ers going to say if HRC wins the nomination and Bernie falls in line and campaigns for her AS HE PROMISED TO DO at the beginning of his campaign? Are you going to accuse him of selling out?

And what are your tirades doing? If HRC wins, I don’t want her constituency to have any illusions about her, so I’m fine with dissing her as long as you’re still encouraging everyone to vote for her and other Democrats when it comes to the general. But what I worry is that you are discouraging others from voting at all, and that will affect the down-ballot races. We need the House and Senate back as much or more than we need to keep the White House.

Throwing away your vote on Jill Stein is stupid and childish. It is basically throwing a tantrum because you didn’t get what you want. And I understand that – we came damn close to getting the real thing! But it was a lot to expect, and even Bernie would be sure to disappoint us in office in some way or worse yet, get Wellstoned … (and don’t talk to me about a Sanders/Clinton ticket – that would be a death sentence for Bernie!). Bernie disappointed me long ago when he dismissed the 9/11 Truth movement.

I have voted for third party candidates in the past – mostly Greens – but it has always been when the lesser evil candidate was safe and did not need my vote. This time, the Republicans have opened the flood gates on voter suppression and election fraud and whoever wins the Democratic nomination will need every vote he or she can get, so I’m not taking anything for granted.

No, the thing to do after HRC gets elected – if we are so lucky – is to infiltrate the machinery of the Democratic Party and turn it into the party we want, just like the damn Tea Party did to the Repuglicans. That’s not just my theory, by the way – that’s a fact. Conservative Think Tanks put together and distributed a DVD telling conservative activists how to become Republican Committeemen and take over the party and they did it. That’s how the Tea Party happened.

The progressive revolution will take time and work, but now we have some very special take-aways – we finally have reason to believe that there is a large and growing constituency for democratic socialism in this country – ‘socialist’ is no longer necessarily a dirty word!

The alternative to that legwork is to either ditch this country or get in the streets and get stomped by the jack boots.

Meanwhile while you’re throwing your tantrum, pounding your fists on the floor, your ass is sticking conveniently up in the air for Karl Rove to screw.


Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 3 years 27 weeks ago

I prefer to take advice from Chris Hedges and Margaret Kimberly. Neither of them qualify as "idiotic" unless the qualifier is idiotic. See my comment #152 here:


jamarlt's picture
jamarlt 3 years 27 weeks ago

If you yell louder and call us more names, maybe we'll agree with you lol.

Fact is, the simple crux of the issue is as follows. For 30 years, the Democratic party has slide so far to the right, on issues other than culture, they're unrecognizable. Not because of the public, it's far more liberal. But because of the donors. These guys knew that sliding to the right allowed them to look favorable to corporate donors, but they also knew that people like you would continue to vote for them under the short term argument of "Vote Dems, Republicans are worse." Especially if they kept the 'progressive' rhetoric.

Progressives are part of the reason the country has slide this far to the right. Democratic apologist like Thom Harman (he's awesome, but it's true) have bowed their heads year after year as the party ignored, used, and bashed them. You believe the short term gain at not getting a monster was better than watching the party burn and change in it's failure. More appropo, being clear to the party that votes are not perfunctory. Votes are not owned. They're earned. And now, it's led to this. Two of the most hated candidates in U.S. history. I'm done with this gimmick.

I accept your argument as fair, but what are your deal breakers? For that matter do you have any? If Hillary came out saying she was going to cut social security and medicare, sign the TPP, open the XL Pipeline, and expand fracking, and put troops in Syria; odds are, you'll and Thom will still vote for her. That doessn't bother you? Bill and Obama was willing do the former. Hillary will likely do the later items. You gotta ask. What's the use of your vote, for that matter, your values as a progressive if you're willing to select the weakest most conservative "democrat' ever to represent the face of the party.

Beyond that. it doesn't work! Republicans have taken more houses in local and state governments than in something like 70 years! Your plan doesn't work and has only served to shift the country to the right.

The issue is actually simplier than all the verbosity. If Democrats, the left leaning party in this country, the party that is supposed to represent at least 90% of the population, can't make an authentic argument that will sway the public against Donald Trump and the rest of those knuckle draggers behind him, they're they're just weak. Weak. Weak. Weak. The problem lies with the party. Not the people that say these people don't represent my values; and they won't get my vote until they do. Period. Stomp your feet and punch the wall all you want; you're rant is aimed at the wrong organization.

Mr.Wayne's picture
Mr.Wayne 3 years 27 weeks ago

Jamaflr, you could have written those words out of my own head.

I suppose I fit the 'Bernie or Bust' criteria. Bernie oozes fainess, honesty and shows compassion for the common man and woman - both at home and abroad. His decades long career reads like an open book and is a study of good ethics in government, in my opinion. It is this undeniable and lengthy track record of laboring in the public's best interest that puts the 'iron' of validity to what (in HRC or Trump) would be merely disposable "talking points".

I could go on and on about how HRC is so baggage ridden and how - character wise - she is the antithesis of Bernie Sanders and how all these things conspire to hand Trump more ant-Hillary ammo than the CIA has snuck through Turkey this year...... but I think it's all been said before. An argument could be made that she does not stink as badly as Trump: this is only one forum that is proof of that..... But the fact that she stinks usually boils down to a discussion as to the degree of her stench, or the flavor. Many people feel she stinks of "bad politics and possible corruption" and they do not appear to be naive in their basis for this opinion.

My thinking is similar to what Jamarlt ended his comments with. It's NOT that Bernie or bust folks are all a bunch of naive "one candidate voters" who are throwing a tantrum cuz we didn't 'get our way'. Not at all - it's the Democratic Pary leadership that has been playing the "one candidate game" all along; while treating Sanders (and us) like a 'token' black kid they let sit at the dinner table for a photo-op. If their games alienate so many voters that Trum wins - you need look no further to see why. If you want my vote, start promoting a candidate that isn't riddled with negatives and constantly adjusting her image like a mask.

Instead, the DNC is sweeping the "good candidate" under the carpet. He's outlived his usefulness and now his votes are a commodity they hope can be harvested and used for her. This Democratic party may as well rename themselves the, "Donner Party".

Okay, so Clinton is their 'annointed one' this cycle. We've put up with this BS in the past and it has usually worked out well for the Party Bosses and the elite. That does not mean I will allow them to "cannibalize" my vote - especially since I can still see their fingerprints on the (soon to be, I'm afraid) corps.

baby88 3 years 27 weeks ago

Amen Jamarlt.

The only thing I would like to add is: when does it end? When, and more to the point, what will get the party back to being the party of the people? Thom thinks we can push Hillary to the left; it is shear fantasy. She can't go to the left; how would she do that? She breaths and thinks center or center right, all that bluster about not voting for the TPP and the XL Pipeline for example and all of the other tons of bluster.... she is not that person.

When will the liberals stop the make believe and start dealing in reality, the harsh reality that the party is in terrible shape (unless of course you like the Professional class, or the Third Way and agree with the establishment then of course have your Hillary...go for it). But if you want all liberals to be well represented by our party and our government then you need to get a grip on reality.

Absolutely Bernie or Bust.

Chris Gah's picture
Chris Gah 3 years 26 weeks ago

The Reality is Bernie or Bust.

The bust is another corporate president, which is the reality of electing anyone but Bernie.

Hillary Clinton may actually be more dangerous than Trump in terms of consolidating and advancing corporate and traditionally Republican buisness/financial policy. Bill Clinton deregulated and oversaw more mergers than either Bush.

I fear loyal Democrats will go to asleep as they alway do, leaving us disenfranchised and neutered progressives to fight for morality and justice alone. Like always. Hey, it's not Democrats out there protesting KXL and TPP, it's progressives. Without us, Democrats are nothing more than socially liberal Republicans.

It doesn't matter how refusing to vote for Clinton is described by those attempting to manipulate me in this loose-loose situation. The corrupt American political system should NOT reap and profit from the corrupt manipulative seeds it has sewn.

Believe it or not, this election is and has been in the bag for Clinton for YEARS. Donald is a patsy that is there to take a dive when the media is finished milking him. There are trillions of dollars at stake, and nothing that can be manipulated is left to chance.

Now, go back to talking about social issues like racism. Slight-of-hand is manipulation of innate weakness of the human brain, not magic.

kjuded@yahoo.com's picture
kjuded@yahoo.com 3 years 26 weeks ago

thom is rarely wrong but he is wrong about bernie. if bernie doesn't win the nomination then he should indeed run as an independent. Thom says bernie wont because he wouldn't win but bernie supporters know that he absolutely will win as an independent. run bernie run.

maryswear's picture
maryswear 3 years 26 weeks ago

I totally agree with everything you said except the part Roosevelt might have known about Pearl Harbor before the attack. Personally I don't think Sanders is any cleaner than the rest of them. I just think he is very good at riling up young, inexperienced voters. Plus the media has given him a free ride as they focus on endlessly jabbing at Clinton and crowning Trump. It will take a revolution to turn this country towards Socialism but that is way down the line. Remember the majority of citizens in this uneducated country equate Socialism with Communism and have no idea what either means. With that kind of thinking progress towards equality will come slowly. I don't think any major change will happen until there is no middle class, Social Security privatized or done away with entirely, and Medicare and Medicaid gone. Once the majority of people are racked with illness and feel the pain of an empty stomach then they will literally take to the streets. Buyer beware.... revolutions don't always result in democracy.

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