Category Archives: Bernie Sanders

Us Versus Them

“Love it or leave it.”

I was told that often when George W. Bush was president while making valid critiques of his presidency.

This us versus them mentality that plagued the Bush presidency was infuriating. There was only one way to be patriotic. And that was by supporting Bush. In my view, protesting a war that would harm our country and other countries was an act of patriotism. America was founded on dissent after all, and standing up to tyranny. By protesting tyranny in the form of Bush, I was the definition of patriotism.

But in the view of Bush’s supporters, the only way to be patriotic was to support him unquestioningly.

Bush’s supporters could not grasp that there were other ways to be patriotic.

And Sanders can’t grasp that there are other ways to combat corporate greed. This line in the sand he drew with the Democratic party is a study in us versus them thinking.  Further, it’s a slap in the face to every Democrat who has fought for election reform, Wall Street regulations, the ACA, CHIPS, and the myriad of other issues that help families such as paid family leave, reproductive freedom, etc.

This mentality has concerned me greatly about his campaign. It was a big reason I did not vote for him.

Us versus them is polarizing. Us versus them shuts out viewpoints, when we need to listen to people who do not agree with us and weigh the merits of their concerns. Us versus them is authoritarian my way of the highway thinking. This characterized Bush’s presidency. This is why I worry that Sanders would be a liberal Bush president.

This us versus them polemic was wrong during the Bush presidency, and it is wrong now that Sanders is employing it. I am on the side of working families, but I do not believe Sanders’ plan will work. Thus I voted for Clinton. And I am tired of a vote for Clinton being painted as a vote for Wall Street. I extensively researched Clinton’s platform. Nowhere did I see that she would fight for Wall Street over families.

I am also furious to learn that he is attempting to steal Clinton’s superdelegates. Sanders is trying to make a case that polls show him doing better against Trump in the general election to use that to convince the party to back him in a contested convention.

First. Clinton has 3 MILLION more votes than he does. Clinton also has more popular votes than Trump. Hell, Clinton has more popular votes than any candidate in this race. I voted for Clinton. I would be furious if he stole the nomination from her. I would also have a hard time seeing this as anything but a white man stepping in and saying he could do it better than a woman. A woman whose resume is a lot more accomplished than his. With this in mind, how could I possibly trust Sanders to fight for my rights?

Second, political scientists agree that polls that show match ups between two hypothetical contestants are to be taken with a grain of salt. But Sanders is asking Democrats to bet on that flimsy piece of evidence. Further, Clinton has been continuously attacked by right wing Republicans. Sanders hasn’t. I wonder how well he will fair once he is in their cross hairs?

Third, Sanders has built his campaign off fighting corrupt politics, but if this is the tactic he is going to take, how does this not make him just as corrupt? More people have voted for Clinton than him. That’s democracy. Further, considering one of the uninformed critiques people have about Democratic Socialism is that it’s taking something that someone earned and giving it to someone else, well, he’s proving the stereotype and hurting his cause.

This is just confirming the fears I had about a Sanders presidency. It confirms my fears that people who don’t agree with him will have their voices marginalized. It confirms my fears that he would take an obstructive my way or the highway approach to government. It confirms my image of him as a liberal Bush.

 

Alone Among My Social Support Group

Until a few weeks before the primary in my home state, I was seriously debating whether to vote for Clinton or Sanders. Both had pros and cons and for the most part I was simply glad that in my very red state, I actually had the chance to vote for someone where my vote could actually matter.

A few weeks before voting I swung firmly into the Clinton camp, and there I’ve stayed. What factored into that decision was articles like this that explained that Sanders doesn’t have a workable plan for how he will put his platform in place. Clinton does. Further, Sanders is a one issue candidate when the problems facing our nation are multifaceted and complex, and I feel that Clinton understands that in a way that Sanders does not. And what really concerns me, looking at things from a long term perspective, is that should Sanders get into office and fail to bring about the revolution he promises, the failure of his presidency will be blamed on his economic policies and not a flawed president.

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Hillary or Bernie?

The primaries are upon us. Usually Texas gets into the primaries so late the candidate is already chosen, though 2008 was an exception. But they moved up the primary dates this time, so there’s a chance my vote would matter (anyone in Congress doing something about our messed up primary system, btw?)

Obviously, the Republican candidates are all so scary that I can’t fathom voting for any of them. So it’s down to Hillary, Bernie or O’Malley, and let’s face it, O’Malley likely isn’t a serious contender. So I find myself going back and forth between Hillary and Bernie. There’s a lot of things I like about both of them. I like the progressive agenda they both support. I like Hillary’s autism platform. I like how Bernie is most definitely not in the hands of Wall Street. All told I’m still upset that Elizabeth Warren didn’t run because I would have voted for her no contest, but she didn’t, so I left with Hillary and Bernie. Both of whom have some serious cons for me.

Hillary

-I’d much rather the first female president not have had a husband who did it first, granted in some ways this would make her more prepared than most people for the White House. And while I was reading Gloria Steinem’s latest book, she pointed out that plenty of men have had other family members in the White House, such as Jeb Bush, and using those family connections to further their political careers is not looked down upon. And Hillary is a an established and experienced politician in her own right.

-Bill Clinton is really a double edged sword for Hillary. I strongly feel that the Monica Lewinsky affair was a personal matter between Bill, Hillary and Monica. The allegations of rape and sexual harassment, even though most have some credibility problems, one does not, and the possibility that he did rape a woman troubles me.

However, Bill is not Hillary. And it’s not fair to judge her for Bill’s actions.

Of course, there is the question of whether or not she is enabling his behavior. I do think until the Lewinsky Hillary was in the dark. And there haven’t been new allegations, so it’s hard to say she’s enabling if he truly has stopped.

But the whole thing doesn’t sit well with me.

However, if she wins the primary, I know she’ll fight for women’s reproductive rights, child care, equal pay, and a lot of other issues that will help women, things that all of the Republican candidates are against.

-Voting for the Iraqi War. I remember there being plenty of information casting doubt on the weapons of mass destruction claim and it was obvious that Bush was fearmongering the nation and whipping them into a war frenzy. The Iraqi War has had disastrous consequences that we are dealing with to this day, such as ISIS. I was devastated when we bombed Iraq because I knew it was wrong, and it’s something I have a hard time forgiving.

Bernie

-Really the big thing for Bernie is his record on gun control isn’t as solid as I would like (I really like O’Malley on this). And yes, Texans for gun control do exist, but we’re few and far between.

-While I’m not sure I want Hillary to be the first female president, I’m not ready to let go of the idea of finally having a female president.

And yeah, writing it all out it looks as though I’m leaning towards Bernie. But the primaries are still a bit away.