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Monday, August 8, 2016

Time for talk is done


Ruth Conniff, editor-in-chief of The Progressive, was a passionate Bernie supporter. She attended the Democratic National Convention and was mostly disgusted by the proceedings.


She writes:

The purest expression of Clinton’s philosophy came when she described how she remembered her own mother, who was cruelly abandoned by her parents at a young age, and how she was reminded of her mother’s story when she met a little girl in Arkansas who sat on the porch all day in a wheelchair, desperately yearning to go to school. Clinton set about fighting for the rights of disabled children to get the same access to public education as their non-disabled peers.

“Simply caring is not enough,” Clinton stated, in what could be her credo. “To drive real change you have to understand both hearts and laws,”


“It’s a big idea, isn’t it?” She continued. “All children with disabilities deserve to go to school . . . How do you make it happen?” Answer: getting heavily involved in policy details.

This is Clinton’s core belief: Life is tough. You want to make things better? Don’t complain, get in the fray, fight, engage, compromise, persevere.

The Bernie delegates, God bless them, are not quite ready for Hillary or the pragmatic, compromising realpolitik she represents. And you can hardly blame them for feeling whipsawed by their experience at the Democratic convention.

On Thursday night, no sooner had the great Reverend William Barber finished his sermon, calling on everyone present to join together to revive the heart of America, and walking off stage to thunderous applause, than General John Allen and his military retinue marched in to declare: “America is the Greatest Nation on Earth.” General Allen endorsed U.S. military ventures around the globe. “We will oppose and resist tyranny and we will defeat evil,” he declared.

The Sanders campaign has already achieved a lot, she writes.

To win, Hillary Clinton needs the Sanders voters. And she knows it.

“Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition free,” Hillary declared in her address. “We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.”

The interesting question now is not whether Bernie Sanders voters will hold their noses and vote for Hillary. Most will.

The more interesting question is whether they will stick it out and stay involved in electoral politics.
“We all know that Donald Trump is a racist demagogue,” said Peter Rickman, a Bernie delegate from Wisconsin and the Working Families Party co-chair in the state….

If enough Bernie people are willing to work within the party, with the suits and the hacks and the phonies they detest, long enough and hard enough to take over the Democratic Party and force it to fulfill its progressive ideals, they could transform American politics.

And when they do, their movements against fracking and destructive trade deals and an end to U.S. military aggression abroad will be edited together with the heroes of the other great social movements of history into a sappy video montage at a future Democratic national convention.