I Feel the Bern, but I am Cool with Clinton

I have been a fan of Senator Bernie Sanders since the 1990s when he serve in the House of Representatives. He has always been what he appears to be today.  Running as a democratic socialist is something that is a powerful statement in today's world, dominated by big money donors to government officials and of course the growing neo-con creep that has got us into unnecessary wars.  Bernie has always been a hero to me, but sometimes we don't need a hero if that hero will have his Kryptonite stop him dead in his tracks.

Bernie's ideas are what they always have been.  A straight up European socialist concept that I find I have agreed with much of my voting life.  He brings the idealism in his 70s that I had in college.  But that is part of why I am not so taken with him.  You see idealism in the Executive branch will not work if you don't have fellow thinkers in House or Senate.  And he doesn't.  Bernie will bring to the table wonderful concepts that will go no where.  As the nominee of the party he will alienate many of the Democrats who live in the seam between the two parties who might jump to vote for a solid Republican who may be for lower taxes and less governmental control over certain aspects of the economy.  And that would be a disaster for not only our party, but for the country moving forward.

I know people will cite polls showing Bernie having a better chance of beating any of the GOP candidates than Hillary will, but those polls are meaningless.  That is because there hasn't been a real effort to attack and illuminate Senator Sander's record to a majority of the country.  You see the early primaries are what they are, and the campaigns tend to try to focus on what the people of Iowa and New Hampshire want to hear.  Also both Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton have been fairly amicable until recently.  Now as we see the attacks on each other, we will see their numbers shift between the two of them, but with the Republican candidates.  Answering a poll question in February is very different than standing in the voting booth in November.

That is not to say there are not issues with Sec. Clinton.  She carries so much baggage from her life in the public eye that she needs a valet.  But in the end, both parties see her some to work with.  I know that sounds dumb but we must remember most political discourse is theater.  It is like pro-wrestling in the early up to about the year 2000, everyone wants to believe that the interviews are really what they think until you see the people who just called each other names are drinking in a bar.  There are members of congress who truly have animosity toward Sec. Clinton (and Senators Cruz and Sanders no doubt), but for the most part most members of Congress in both houses are patriots who put country over party and will work together.  But Senator Sanders, I believe, is too radical for many in the GOP and not a few in Democratic party to travel down the same road.

Think of this, when the Affordable Care Act was being negotiated, one aspect that I thought was an important and needed part was a public option.  Government administered insurance for the poor. Since a government program would have fewer costs it would be cheaper than mandated private insurance, it could also negotiate better pricing and reach more people.  It still wouldn't be Medicaid for all, but it would give some people a viable and controllable option for insurance.  It was Democrats who killed that.  Imagine what those same Democrats will do with Free Tuition and 12 Weeks of paid family leave.  These are great ideas but are not realistic.  My vote is going to go to the person that best matches my values AND can enact legislation to make them happen.  I don't think we can have 4 more years of a Congress whose main theme is to stop the President.

I am sorry I feel this way.  I truly like Senator Sanders and he has always really been a hero of mine. He has created a movement that has young people thinking about our country differently and perhaps this election will be a turning point for the nation to focus on changing the fundamental structure of how we do business moving forward.  Perhaps in my lifetime we will have universal health care, free college, real family leave, and be less militaristic. But we are not at a place for that radical a change.  I don't see it happening when old guard is still in power.

I hope that the energy he has created will galvanize those young people to vote more in local, district and state elections.  I hope they will show up for rallies when a Democrat who shares Bernie's vision wants to be their mayor, their district attorney or Congressman.  I hope that they will push to create a more vigorous debate about Citizen United and LGBT rights.  I hope that there will be a ground swell of support for a party of the people and not the corporations.  But until then voting for Bernie Sanders for President will not change the world and I fear will elect a Republican to the White House.  That I could not stand.  


“... And these children
that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They're quite aware
of what they're going through...”
The old guard is in power because we haven't fired them yet.

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