This Business of Bashing Bernie | THE POLITICUS

This Business of Bashing Bernie

The title of Hillary Clinton's new memoir of the ill-fated campaign of 2016 is, "What Went Wrong". Since its release I cannot help but notice a huge trend of Bernie Bashing out there in the Twitter and Facebookspheres. According to these silly people, Bernie Sanders is solely responsible for the sick and disgusting administration of Donald Trump. We'd all have been so much better off last year if only Bernie had minded his own business and stayed at home in Burlington. Of course, they're taking their cue from Ms. Clinton, who puts a great deal of blame on Sanders in the book. It's almost as if the guy had the nerve to crash her coronation.
Please. This doesn't even come close to passing the giggle test.
First of all for the record, I have not read What Went Wrong nor do I have any plans to read it. If anyone out there want to lend me their copy I might give it a whirl. But other than that, I have more important things to spend my money on. However, I have read enough reviews and transcripts and listened to enough portions from the audiobook that I think I am able to give enough of an opinion on it that merits some discussion. I find it amusing that so many people (liberals and conservatives alike) think of Hillary Clinton as a pillar of progressivism. To Conservatives she is the dictionary definition of the possible rise of socialism in this country. To Liberals she is the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt. She is neither.
I realize that I'm wondering into "cracked eggshells" territory here. On the eighth of this month I made a posting on Facebook advising the Bernie haters to lay off the man, that Hillary was more responsible than anyone else for her defeat. Within one week I was "unfriended" by over one-hundred people. So be it. Here is my opinion - for whatever it's worth:
I didn't support Ms. Clinton in the primaries in 2008; nor did I support her candidacy in the early months of 2016. To my evil, LEFT WING way of looking at things, she has, for much of her public life, been more of a tired and stale old plutocrat than a real, forward looking progressive. As I see it, the sound defeat of her universal health care initiative in the early years of Bill's presidency taught her a lesson in joining them as opposed to beating them. That she is an intelligent and decent woman there can be no denying. Perhaps she would have been a great president; perhaps, having reached the highest level of public office that can be reached in this country, she would have reemerged as the fightin' liberal we once knew her to be. I really do believe that that might very well have been the case. The real tragedy is that we will never know. The pioneering broadcast journalist, Charles Collingswood, put it well. Speculating on historical might-have-beens is as futile as "throwing darts into a fog".
Though we may be beyond the point of speculation, there are a few facts that we need to own up to. Hillary Clinton was an unfortunate choice for the nominee. She was probably the worst Democratic candidate since Mike Dukakis in 1988, possibly in living memory. Most of the polls I read had Senator Sanders defeating Trump handily on Election Day 2016, while Hillary - on her best days - was barely neck-and-neck with him. I know what you're thinking and I agree. There were too many unfair disadvantages thrown in her path: Jim Comey reopening the e-mail investigation just days before the election; Russian espionage with (as is becoming more clear with each passing day) collusion by the Trump campaign; and the very fact that she is a woman running for an office no woman has ever held before - all of these things were a hurdle no man seeking the presidency would have had to overcome.  But we shouldn't miss the much larger point: She was running against a candidate who was terribly unenlightened and extremely mentally ill. She was running against a candidate whose financial corruption was a matter of the public record. In other words, she was running against the worst presidential candidate in all American history. It should have been a landslide in her favor.
It should have been a repeat of 1972, when Dick Nixon won every state in the union with the exception of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. On that most consequential year, Nixon had the good fortune to be running against George McGovern, one of the most decent men to ever seek the office. Americans don't really have a soft spot for decency. Donald Trump's triumph last year over Hillary Clinton is proof enough of that. The fact that Hillary won in the popular vote is another glaring imperfection in the system that worked against her. As long as the electoral college exists, mad men and imbeciles like Donald Trump will continue to befoul the Executive Mansion.
Idiot Nation.
The tragedy of 2016 is simply that Bernie Sanders was offering the voters of this doomed country the type of a historical vision that they had not been given since the second campaign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. Four years earlier, during the '32 campaign, FDR kept his cards close to his vest, revealing very little of the broad and drastic changes he would make in regards to the American peoples' relationship with their government. The difference between then and last year is that Bernie had the courage to represent himself, at the starting gate, as the true progressive he really is. Bernie Sanders is a radical. At a time when radical change is needed, that's not such a bad thing. I'm a radical, too. If you examined your soul close enough, you'll probably find that you are, too!
The rap that is being made against Bernie Sanders this week (and I find it highly suspicious that it took them  year to come up with this one) is that he never really campaigned hard for Secretary Clinton and that he even sabotaged her campaign....
Where do I begin?
This is complete nonsense. Bernie campaigned like a crazy person for Hillary! I witnessed it in person one year and two days ago exactly -  when he came to New Paltz, New York for a campaign rally that I attended. He was all over the country campaigning furiously and passionately for her. To even vaguely imply that he was not a team player throughout the process is slanderous. Look at the historical record. Bernie Sanders was all over the map for Hillary. Her supporters should know better. She should, too.
It didn't become clear to me that Trump would win this thing until two days before the election. On that morning I drove down to my local polling place and dutifully voted for her with as much enthusiasm as I could possibly muster. Maybe Bernie might not have been able to get enough votes in the electoral college to take home the big prize. Perhaps he might have. Again, the real tragedy is that we'll never know the answer.
The only thing we know for certain is that - for the time being anyway - we're stuck with the most dangerously unstable and corrupt chief executive in the history of human stupidity. That's something that should give every thinking person pause.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
The next time a mob of these nazi bastards have a rally waving that fucking flag, I'm going to have this made into a giant poster and show up in person.