*Full Disclosure* The author of this piece, supported Bernie Sanders in the NY primary*
Good evening folks. As we have all seen from a combination of the results in last weeks primary in New York and the primaries held in 5 states Tuesday, a Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump match up in the general election is pretty much guaranteed. Oh, the joy.
As I sit here, thinking about the conversations and online interactions that I have had about these 2016 presidential primaries, I have to say that this outcome is disappointing for principled progressives. Bernie Sanders is pretty much wrapping up with very little chance of securing the nomination, laying off staffers and concentrating on California. A Sanders-Trump match up would have been interesting. Now, we will see a match up between a center-right Democrat and a billionaire real estate mogul.
The fact of the matter is that despite what many on the progressive side have said, Sanders did not push Clinton to the left at all during the primaries. Clinton was able to secure wins in several states without having to account for the Goldman Sachs speech transcripts, and getting away with whoppers about her record. To say that she was pushed left, is delusional.
Futhermore, what needs to be said is this: It already looks like Sanders is staying in the race to keep people engaged when he wont win. The purpose is to convince his supporters to fall in line and support Clinton in the general election. He is already toning down his rhetoric for that purpose. While I can respect what Bernie Sanders has done in the context of this election in putting issues at the forefront, this is where I get off.
Sanders may have to “play ball” and still support the Democrats in the Fall, but I as a voter, do not. I do not owe Hillary Clinton my vote. To pivot away from principle, and support a centrist Democrat after witnessing a strident and unabashed left wing populist win millions of votes runs counter to most of what I support. Sanders was derided throughout these past months as “too far to the left” when some of the proposals he put forward were exactly what we need at this time. To the most reactionary elements of our society, even those who advocate reforms can sound like revolutionaries. Don’t think that its a coincidence that the only state that Sanders won last night was Rhode Island- the state with an open primary.
Now here we are, with millions of people alienated. Bill Clinton attacked millennials for not voting in the 2010 elections, and President Obama told Black Lives Matter to “stop yelling” The unmistakable intent of both the former Democratic president and the current president condemning their own base is tell the young voter to shut up, and to silence the activists. The point, is to hush, and vote Dem. Regardless if the person running has any intention of working to alleviate any of the issues people are facing as citizens.
The harsh reality is that today millions of people feel as though their window of opportunity for a decent life is slipping away. Whether it be un-affordable housing, crushing school debt, or wages that struggle to keep pace with prices, so many areas of people’s lives are under duress. For those who want to gloat about about Clinton’s win, I hope you like neo-liberalism. You are certain to get more of it. As for this writer, my vote will not be held hostage. Jill Stein of the Green Party is getting my vote this fall. Some folks may like their neo-liberalism as long as it co-opts the language of intersectionality, but I am not going for it. I know, of course many people won’t agree with this outlook, but it is what it is.
I will be talking more about this on my radio appearance on Independent Underground Radio and News on Thursday, April 28th, 2016 at 9:15pm. Peace.
-Marc W. Polite