UPDATED: Freedom of the Press Doesn’t Mean You’ll Like What Gets Said
By Doug Porter
On Monday afternoon, the Associated Press concluded, based on their research, that Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Other media outlets quickly followed with similar stories.
She’ll be referred to as the “presumptive nominee” henceforth, and this conclusion has some Bernie Sanders supporters seeing red.
No, this isn’t about some evil conspiracy to suppress voter turnout. No, the press shouldn’t have waited on the story until June 8th… Or June 15th…or until after the convention. Some want to protest the coverage.
Deal with it, folks. The news media reduces every electoral contest to a horserace. And they want to beat everybody else in calling the finish, even when they’re wrong. It’s taken them over a year to even consider the fact that Donald Trump is a racist.
I’m sick and tired of the conspiracy mongering and boorish behavior coming out of some in the Sanders camp. Do they really think that posting recycled right wing pap from clickbait websites will change a single voter’s mind? Facebook makes me want to puke on some days.
UPDATE: Do people really think there are Clintonian masters manipulating the media? If that’s the case then we should all just give up, right? Or is it more like the shared assumptions that come from existing in a corporate media culture. Minds can be changed. Yelling at people doesn’t have much of a track record for effectiveness. But if it makes you feel happy, by all means, have at it. Just don’t expect to win.
So much for the “it’s not about the man, it’s about the movement” concept. If you’re reading this earlier in the day and haven’t voted, go vote not just for your favorite presidential candidate, but for the many other people promising to make a difference. Don’t be a dufus like the Bernie supporter appearing in Voice of San Diego’s twitter feed who said he voted for a city council candidate (supported by right wing business interests) because “he liked his job title.”
Who knows? One of the good people you vote for could be the next Bernie Sanders.
Folks railing on about a rigged Dem primary sound eerily familiar to Wayne LaPierre railing on about Obama coming to take everyone’s guns.
— Jeff Wergeles (@jeff_wergeles) June 7, 2016
It’s NOT Over
The candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders was never about a gray-haired 74-year-old democratic socialist. It was (and is) about ideas. It has its roots in the struggles for social, racial and economic justice that have been going on throughout the nation’s history. And it’s about pushing back against the forces seeking to protect the interests of the privileged.
This presidential campaign is an imperfect manifestation of just how many people want a vastly better deal than they’re getting. It’s a rejection of greed. Of racism. Of gender supremacy. Of the notion that we can somehow get ahead at the expense of everybody else. Of the notion that some people by virtue of the economic status are somehow above the law, while others with lesser means must be controlled by incarceration. Of the notion that humanity can survive by ‘conquering’ nature.
This is about We the people, not Me and Mine and My candidate. This is about the pace and urgency of fundamental change. And this urgency does not need to go away because Hillary Clinton is the nominee.
I intend to support the Democratic nominee because of the power inherent at the top of the ticket. The power at the top of the Republican ticket gives validity to everything I stand against. Whether we like it or not, presidential candidates are the driving force behind voter turnout.
(I can understand how my friends who live in non-competitive states may want to vote for a third party candidate.)
Occupy Made the Sanders Candidacy Possible
Elections are just one part of the process of change. The Sanders candidacy would not have happened without the Occupy movement. Hell, I’ll bet that Mitt Romney (Mister 47%) would have won the 2012 election, but for the growing consciousness of economic injustice. The Occupy movement has its origins in every movement for social justice that preceded it.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t start out as a fire-breathing reformer. He readily admitted that the circumstances of the time and the activism of the disenfranchised shaped the New Deal and similar policies.
Sanders supporters are correct in saying the nomination process ends at the convention, not just because media outlets say it’s over. They are wrong for saying the messenger needs to be shot.
“We” need to work harder than ever.
Should Hillary Clinton be the nominee, the course of her presidency is not pre-ordained. There’s work to be done, both at the convention and at the grass roots level.
It should be obvious by now that the “go along to get along” types in the party need to be put out to pasture. That won’t happen just because they’re wrong-headed. It takes actual time and effort.
The False Equivalence of Monsters
Finally, I need to speak to the vilification of Hilary Clinton. Some on the left feel there’s no basic difference between her and The Donald.
The underlying thinking seems to be that if a really bad person is in charge conditions for change become enhanced. History says otherwise. Millions of minorities, immigrants, union members, and women are not somehow looking forward to additional repression to galvanize them to action.
The hyperbole involved in casting her as somehow being personally responsible for US imperialism (etc,etc) serves no purpose beyond slander. (Yes, many of the policies ARE wrong.) Our government’s policies are dictated by powerful interests: just ask President Obama how easy it’s been to close the Guantanamo prison.
The repetition of the right-wing mythology about Hillary being indicted for ‘email crimes,’ ‘Vince Foster’s death,’ or (gasp) ‘Benghazi’ shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how things work in the Real World.
How can it be that all the “big corporate interests” pulling the strings on Hillary Clinton would support somebody in such a perilous situation?
And, if Dick Cheney can somehow get a pass on facing a judge and jury, what makes you think Hillary Clinton will be ‘brought to justice?’
Is Hillary Clinton Satan?
Hillary Clinton has (and will) supported policies that are, in my opinion, wrong… …policies that may/can hurt people in a variety of ways. She has plenty of bad baggage. We will need to stay on her case from Day One.
She is far from perfect. But she is not Satan reincarnated.
At the bottom of all this drivel– and I’ve been biting my lip on this for months, because I do support Bernie Sanders and what he stands for– is the mistaken notion that exposing conspiracies will change the world.
Look at the losers off in the corner babbling about 9/11, about the UN’s Agenda 21, about Obama coming for everybody’s guns via a National Guard training exercise in Texas…That’s exactly how Sanders supporters pushing conspiracy-drivel appear to the vast majority of people.
More to the point, the political process has nothing in common with a Hollywood thriller. Change is created by working hard, by working long, and by working with what you’ve got. And incremental progress is better than no progress at all, even if it’s not a correct solution.
Furthermore, we should look to the hidden benefits of Democrats controlling the executive branch. Good people get opportunities to gain experience and shape policies in ways not possible otherwise.
Oh, and by the way… Isn’t it terrific that a strong woman is poised to become President of the United States?
On This Day: 1932 – Over 7,000 war veterans marched on Washington, demanding their bonuses. 1979 – Founding convention of the United Food and Commercial Workers. The merger brought together the Retail Clerks Int’l Union and the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen of North America. 1982 – Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion in Memphis, TN, opened as a tourist attraction.
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