A Postscript: Campaign for Bernie Sanders

15 Jul

Opposing Hilary Clinton: Supporting Bernie Sanders

 

As a result of several astute comments, I became aware that my prior post on why Hilary Clinton had crossed a red line that could not be erased by invoking the amoral rationale of the lesser of evils, was seriously incomplete. It overlooked the presence of Bernie Sanders as a rival candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Sanders was present in my mind while I was writing the post, but I wrongly jumped to the conclusion that he was sure to lose out to the Hilary juggernaut that has already captured huge campaign contributions (reportedly over $70 million) and has the backing of the Democratic Party bureaucracy and leadership, and hence not worth the effort.

 

What I did not take into account is the importance of Bernie’s campaign, win or lose, in raising for Americans in ways that are substantive and progressive issues involving the 40 year decline of America’s middle classes and poor, and the massive transfers of wealth to the top 1%. Clinton is addressing these issues rhetorically but her policy minders and political instincts are Wall Street crafted (without policy bite) and in the end quite compatible with the rapacious practices of hedge fund operators. The United States desperately needs a genuine attack on predatory capitalism and its increasing success in replacing republican democracy with proto-fascist plutocracy. Perhaps, Bernie Sanders will not go this far by way of critique and prescription, but his campaign deserves the full support of progressives, and hopefully his presence in the political arena will contribute to the belated awakening of more American citizens to the variety of internal dangers (racism, gun culture, collapsing infrastructure) confronting the country, developments that cannot be separated from the geopolitical militarism and geoeconomic neoliberalism that Clinton espouses.

 

My encouragement, then, is for hard campaigning on behalf of Bernie Sanders, and if he should after all lose the nomination to Clinton after putting up a good fight, a message of gratitude as well as a principled shift to the second most worthy candidate on the presidential stage, Jill Stein of the Green Party. If the Democratic Party faithful goes ahead and chooses Clinton over Sanders it should expect the defection of all those of us who insist upon a precautionary approach to climate change and a repudiation of neoliberal capitalism, as well as a genuine embrace of racial justice, immigration equity, and the sexual/gender liberation agenda. Being less distasteful on these litmus issues than the Republicans is not sufficient to warrant support.

42 Responses to “A Postscript: Campaign for Bernie Sanders”

  1. Gene Schulman July 15, 2015 at 6:59 am #

    Why waste time and energy on another loser? Even if he did win he’d be no better than Hillary. She used the same rhetoric Bernie is using now, when she ran against Obama.

    • Gene Schulman July 15, 2015 at 7:21 am #

      Here’s what’s wrong with Bernie. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/15/chris-hedges-on-bernie-sanders-and-the-corporate-democrats/print/

      • Kata Fisher July 15, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

        Gene, what is IRV? I do not know.

      • Kata Fisher July 15, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

        Gene, can you please tell me because I just do not know. IRV to me looks something that Ms. Jill is going about. I have really good feeling that she is moving in the way she is. How do you see IRV? I did try to understand this but I am in a dead end to understand it.

  2. Harvey Epstein July 15, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    I appreciate the fact that you have heard part of my arguments in response to your article, but you may be falling into the very same mud hole you pointed out in that article: sometimes a protest vote will give an election to the worst of two other choices – a vote for Nader may have cost Gore the election and we ended up with Bush II (did your vote put Bush II in office?).

    A vote for Jill Stein only makes sense if : 1. she has any realistic chance of victory on the eve of the election, or 2. if there is another candidate who is clearly well ahead of the other (in a Democrat vs. Republican showdown). Short of this, a vote for Ms. Stein means that the Republican candidate will likely need to convince only one less person to vote Republican (you can play with the numbers, but I think that you get the point).

    In a close election where the Green Party seems to have substantial support but can’t win outright, it might be wise for it to play “king/queen maker”, ally itself with the Democrats, do some “horse trading” and throw its support to the Democrats. In essence: become the Democratic “tea party”. I believe that there are many within the Democratic Party who sympathize with portions of the Green movement and would not oppose such an alliance (after some horse trading). Isn’t this what Bernie himself may be doing within the Democratic Party and in the process drawing strength from folks who might otherwise vote Green?

    Before you vote for Ms. Stein it would be best to see just how the “other chips” stack up.

    • peteybee July 15, 2015 at 8:02 am #

      Strongly disagree. To me, the Democrats are just a slicker, better-marketed version of the Republicans… the “good cop” to the Republicans’ “bad cop” — both the good cop and the bad cop are playing for the same team.

      • Kata Fisher July 15, 2015 at 9:04 am #

        A note:

        Strongly disagree – and I do not like those stickers.

        It is reasonable to attend to individual and corporate conscience into more (wrong and right) consciousness to the choices and behaviors.

        individual conscience can be attended just as corporate conscience can for better or worse.

        You may or may not attribute all bad behaviors to one groupthink-team.

        If you (or one) can reason/attend to more human behaviors/choices – you are not creating an evil groupthink-team.

        Do some chunking on groupthink/s. That helps with overlaps between leadership and management – if you consider to evolve / develop to anywhere.

      • Harvey Epstein July 15, 2015 at 11:52 am #

        Do you have an answer to all of this that will effectively and realistically move our country forward, or is your voice just one of protest which will end up helping the overt “bad cop”? Is it a revolution you seek, or an evolution into a more reasonable world?

        I agree with healthy protest, but from my view it needs to be made in a constructive way. If you can’t figure out how to do it within the existing system then there is a great probability that most will just view you as a “fringe” type person and ignore your cries in the void.

        Try this one on for size: perhaps Hedges is wrong. Now I agree that a totally clean, honest, unbiased politician is probably an oxymoron, but you have to deal with what you have. I suspect that even Hedges has feet of clay (or perhaps it is only one of his little toes). But why on earth would Bernie be doing any of this if he really did not intend to implement some change in the establishment,
        want to improve the lives of the average person, etc. ? Nader said “What’s not to like” about some of what Bernie said. So, really, “What’s not to like”? Why would Bernie raise these issues? Just to sew dissent within the party? For what realistic purpose would he do that? Doesn’t he seem to be moving some arguments in directions you (perhaps) and Nader like? I like some of that movement and I suspect that even Hedges does, too (if he can believe Bernie).

        Bernie has every reason not to want to end up like Nader. What voice does Nader really have left? Not very much. If Bernie can’t make huge changes, he at least still wants to be in Congress where his voice has any chance of being heard in a national forum. He is drawing large crowds. I have great respect for Nader, but who is really listening to him? Not many, but his voice adds to a crowd no longer led by him.

        My suggestion of a Green Tea Party seems to be a way for change to occur. Not the only way, but one way. Green tea is supposed to be good for you. Perhaps the upcoming elections may be a good time to drink some.

        I believe that changes will occur only if the established parties feel that they will be out of power permanently. Short of that we just get the “same old -same old” and like you, I do not like that. It is not working. Green tea sounds healthy to me. Got any better ideas?

      • peteybee July 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

        @Harvey Epstein,

        Yes, I have several answers.

        Firstly, you actually said the most fundamental thing that I believe when it comes to progressive reform in the US:

        “I believe that changes will occur only if the established parties feel that they will be out of power permanently.”

        So the problem here is that, despite Bernie Sanders being fairly close to my ideal candidate, he vowed to support whoever becomes the Democratic nominee. Thus he is zero threat to the Democratic establishment. Thus he is, so long as he commits to the Democratic party rather than being an independent, less of a viable vehicle for change than a third party candidate such as Nader or Stein, who at least can make a credible threat to be a spoiler, and one day, maybe not this cycle, a winner.

        Secondly, I think we all recognize that the US two-party system is a bit of a trap. As it turns out, most other modern democracies outside of the US recognized this too, and a technical solution to the problem of “picking the lesser of two evils” has long ago been invented and successfully implemented, even within the US in some places. It is called “Instant Runoff Voting” (IRV). I strongly urge you to read about it!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting

        In my opinion, a prerequisite for faster social progress in the US would be implementation of IRV. The way for this to happen would be more widespread recognition that the two main political parties in the US effectively act together to PREVENT serious change.

        As a practical matter, once the recognition is there, IRV would likely need to be implemented first at a town/county level, then within states, before it could become an amendment to th US constitution. This would be a multi decade process, but that’s life. I don’t really see another way. Even if one of the D/R parties were killed off, another would take its place in our winner-take-all system.

  3. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    A note:

    A reflection: “Oscar Arnulfo Romeo”

    I was in spiritual warfare for serval days now – and just today I was reflecting on that name.

    And then they there is something else I am having reflection on along with that name – but this is only ecclesiastical relevant / not civil relevant.

  4. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    I have to write this down: “While they are killing … they were given over to Satan.”

  5. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    I have to write another thing “Liberation Theology is not Theology it is Church Letter.”

  6. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Another thing: ” The Church is missing a Letter.”

    • Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

      Another thing: “The Church wants the Letter back.”

  7. Harvey Epstein July 16, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    @ Peteybe

    Just saw your comments about IRV. That system has holes in it that bother the dickens Out of me.
    I am glad that we do agree on a number of issues but with IRV, as is discussed in your citation, it tells me that if, in the first round of ballot counting there is universal agreement as to who should be number 2, that candidate is eliminated and we then end up with a contest among first choices that perhaps most voters really dislike.

    Have I missed something or was your citation too simplistic?

    Please rethink your views on the reasonableness of Nader or Stein becoming a “spoiler” – I again call your attention to a Bush II possibility coming out of that. Waiting several more decades for a Third Party to come into power is distasteful to me IF one has a reasonable chance to ” horse trade” by drinking some Green tea or Libertarian tea, or some other beverage. Remember that we may never see a Third Party with any real chance. Even TR could not pull that one off and he was, for a time, viewed as the president of the world.

  8. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    I have to write this down: “While they are killing … they were given over to Satan.”

    “While they are killing Church Leader they were given over to Satan.”

  9. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    “While they are killing Church Leader they were given over to Satan.”

    “While they are killing Church Leaders they were given over to Satan.”

  10. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    “Oscar Arnulfo Romeo equals Pope”

  11. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    “Viagano equals Pope”

    Fr. Vigano is as same as Pope (I do not understand this).

  12. Kata Fisher July 16, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    A reflection:
    “A note to Andrew – I have accidently sent that e-mail. It was just there.”

    Andrew was my spiritual director with other few folks @ LU

    “spam ticket” – I still remember that.

    • Richard Falk July 17, 2015 at 3:09 am #

      Kata:

      Please do not submit this kind of serial comments, especially when the subject-matter is unrelated
      to either the posts or the main themes of discussion. You are flooding the website with material of
      very limited relevance1

      Richard Falk

      • Gene Schulman July 17, 2015 at 4:56 am #

        Amen!

      • Kata Fisher July 17, 2015 at 6:22 am #

        “To be Bishops of Rome: I do not consider you clowns.”

        Professor Falk,

        I will explain this:

        Church has asked the people to stop illegal aids and weapons to the oppressive Governments for decades now. Father Oscar Romeo Anurlfo, Bishop of San Salvador/ the Bishops of Rome has asked these people certain things. These people were kindly asked, and it will be almost 40 years that that letter was written.

        Church wants that letter back.

        To be Bishops of Rome – what can be said? I will boycott your illegal visit to this land! Never to say that? Pope Francis needs a spiritual retreat to clean up his head – he does not need to be coming to this land but to BSD.

        His coming to The US is as same as clown walk on his hoops.

        Boycott US official visits to your lands – you people – and get rid of all US products?

        Professor Falk: BDS is done in a wrong way – you people are BDS’ing a wrong government: Israel.

        Israel is in the same cut as EL Salvador was at the time that Father Oscar Romeo Anurlfo was killed (just for example).

        I do not know Professor Falk, but I believe you may reflect on things that were said over the time. The time is up – elections are about to be in full swing, and folks get distracted from things that are of relevance: cleaning up local area/US and give them more relevant and more human approaches.

        They have more crises then can handle – I can not even believe that they can do it on their own – so I believe that “BDS US” is the way to go along (with and/or) along with the “an selective election!”

        Let me know if you find this legal thing to do because I would love to see that implemented (in works) to replace evil things with things that are of relevance.

        Ms. Jill was jailed – why was that? I believe that she has put too the much unnecessary effort – but she can flip that over and have a successful election. I really, really like her. US could go green more effectively by a revolutionary election.

        Revolutionary election is what one may like to hope for. One can settle for evolving one, as well. But it will be just yucky in the end.

        I think one can open door to revolutionary election, Professor Falk.

        Hi, Gene: I hope you have a wonderful morning. BDS’ing a wrong government, is great!

        Cheers (champagne glasses) @ sweatshops!

      • John July 17, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

        Dr. Falk,

        Are you aware that your articles here are still being republished at foreignpolicyjournal.com, and without a link back to the original source?

        See “Opposing Hillary Clinton, Supporting Bernie Sanders – Foreign Policy Journal”

        Good article, and I agree. Being less distasteful than the
        GOP on issues vital to Progressives is not enough to merit support for Clinton.

        Personally, finding this first at an anti-zionist truther blog, though, just poisons the message.

        Z

      • Richard Falk July 17, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

        Thanks for the message. I am not aware that FPJ is ‘an anti-Zionist truther blog.’
        The moderator has written an important book advocating two-state solution. Also, I
        know my posts are being re-published on various websites, but I have no control over
        this.

  13. Kata Fisher July 17, 2015 at 6:37 am #

    http://ivn.us/2015/05/06/interview-with-jill-stein/

    I believe that this is a good article to read.

  14. Gene Schulman July 18, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Kata,

    Can’t you take a hint, even from Richard? No one wants to read your Canon Law fodder. It has zero relevance to this blog post. If you keep it up, and Richard doesn’t delete you, I’m out of here, as so many others seem to be. Perhaps that’s your intent. If so, you’re winning, and Richard is losing.

    • Kata Fisher July 20, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Here it is since I could not recall which article was it:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15th_Dalai_Lama

      • Richard Falk July 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

        Kata: You never seem to pay attention to my messages. I asked that you remain relevant to the posts
        and what others are writing in their comments, and that you avoid sending serial comments
        that crowd others out. If you ignore these guidelines I will delete your comments.

      • Gene Schulman July 22, 2015 at 12:13 am #

        Ah, Laurie made a good try, but as can be seen from Kata’s rebuttal it seems to have made not a dent in her delusions. What amazes is the energy she puts forth in penning these stream of consciousness thoughts, paragraphs long of neither rhyme nor reason. When does she have time to feed her children?

        I cannot understand why Prof Falk does not fulfill his threat to delete all this.

        I’ll check into this blog another time when I know that Kata’s pen has run dry.

      • Richard Falk July 22, 2015 at 1:35 am #

        You have no idea how many of Kata’s recent comments have been removed for reasons
        you suggest.

  15. Kata Fisher July 19, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    A note:

    I woke up this morning, and I realised something: yesterday, I said /have written down absolute truth God’s in Spirit. While it may have been harsh toward Gene, and was removed – it was not directed toward Gene. It was just truth in Spirit.

    But it was not just my individual truth in Spirit (as lay-person) but also it is a truth of International Church Roman Catholic and / or Church other then Protestant-Church.

    When I said, “I am used to disrespecting and definitions, especially since I moved here to The US – American people abused me and my children like mad dogs, act after act. This is my spiritual testimony – this is my spiritual truth.”

    I almost meditated on it – it was rolling in my mind over, and over and over again. I realized that it was absolute truth-spiritual.

    Evil spiritual of death came against me and my children – it felt as evil as satan himself. This is in fact what comes trough the population/people.

    I also understood this – and this is no baseless spiritual claim it is absolute truth-spiritual. In The US, and trough US there is such a satanic force against the Church (individual and corporate/world-wide- against international Church).

    Non-Western and Catholic Church took some satanic hits that came trough Western, Protestant Church. This fact “Theological” – so to say is relevant.

    And, in fact – I understood this satanic force in its track: it is after to paralyse the parent/Church – so that it can devour the child of the Church- her children!

    I was reminded that 2000-year-old church was gutted out in Iraq.

    Also, I was reminded wat took place in San Salvador – our Bishop Father Oscar Anurlfo Romeo who may also have been in the conclave when Pope Benedict was elected – but he was missing because he was dead. How many more of the price do we miss in conclave just because they are dead?

    Today Church has two Popes – this may just be because so much of the authentic Church is killed and we lack priest that are not in grave sins. Charismatic Roman Catholic Church that is celibate will uphold your societies – otherwise all you will see is spiritual and social darkness and death (in satanic forces) I have no doubt about this. Satanic seals and blasphemy of God’s Spirit is very bad and dark condition in irrevocable sins in a land that has no means of correcting its self (on Church level base).

    American people have to repent from all their evil against the Church Roman Catholic and other then Protestant-Church. In addition, American people have to realize condition of their domestic/local to US Church – that which is lawless and much invalid.

  16. Kata Fisher July 19, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    A correction:

    When I said, “I am used to disrespecting and definitions, especially since I moved here to The US – American people abused me and my children like mad dogs, act after act.”

    The original post did not have this part: “This is my spiritual testimony – this is my spiritual truth.”

  17. Beau Oolayforos July 19, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    Mr Sanders might be a good man in some respects, but for me at least, Resolution 498 was a litmus test. Anyone who can watch thousands of innocents being massacred, and cheer on the perpetrators – that person has surrendered, or sold, any pretense of basic human morality. Hilary is not yet equally culpable; we only fear that she eventually will be.
    Is it too late for BDS to consider a tactical adjustment? Uri Avnery regrets, in one of his pieces, that BDS targets all of Israel, whereas his own, original effort was to boycott only settlement products, knowing, as he does, that an overall boycott would tend to galvanize the Israeli populace.

  18. Beau Oolayforos July 19, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    Sorry for my lapse, in giving HRC undue credit, until you reminded me that as a senator she supported the 2003 invasion. After all, as a 15-year-old, she was a loyal Goldwater Republican.

  19. Laurie Knightly July 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    Three women:

    Jill Stein, Green Party, is a Harvard trained successful physician and an advocate for health and related environmental issues. She has laudable opinions in other matters. Opinions, that is. Her only successful election has been a seat at the board meeting in her home town, Lexington, Mass – 31,000 people. The mean price of a house in Lexington is $814,000 – the median is $1,395,000. Their school system is rated as excellent. No doubt this is true considering…. Jill’s husband is also a physician. Neither Jill’s education nor experience in government administration has exceeded this board position albeit she has run for various offices.

    Cheri Honkala, Green Party and Jill’s running mate. She has been active in poverty and welfare programs instigated from her own frustration with being unable to support herself and her child on welfare. She was arrested over 50 times for breaking into abandoned homes and did try to be elected, unsuccessfully, for sheriff in a town where she was living.
    She has been highly regarded as an advocate for the poor but appears to have neither education nor experience in government.

    Kata Fisher, a receiver of prophetic anointing which propels her to rail against filthy women, illegitimate children, whore churches, segments of humanity caught in the Satanic Seals of the devil, those who blaspheme of God’s spirit and persons who have not been cleared to speak on matters of religion, etc etc. She has stated that the Holy Land belongs to Jewish tribes. Because of her connections to divine voices, she can supercede all other opinions.

    The first two women are supposed to be qualified for the highest public office in the world.
    The third was reported earlier to be making worthy contributions to this blog. Her detractors were silenced. She has been chided of late for the length, number, variation and irrelevance of her comments. She does not heed these admonitions because she cannot do so in her present mental condition. It’s absurd to think that she is capable of following directives. Even she is aware of her own confusion.

    It is not these three delusional women who baffle me. It’s their sponsors………….

  20. Color Me Plaid July 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    Joe Biden is the one most likely to advance a (mildly) progressive agenda successfully. I urge everyone to get on the Draft Biden bandwagon if only to supply still another Hilary counterweight. I think Joe’s as electable as any democrat this cycle and likely to do a better job than any currently running.

    • Laurie Knightly July 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

      Correction regarding Jill Stein:

      She was elected as one of 23 citizens from each of town’s 9 precincts at the annual Town Meeting. She won this position with 539 votes which was 20% of the total. The Board of Selectmen, Counsel, Appropriations, Town Clerk, etc are separate entities. Town Meeting meets in the spring and other times when necessary. As stated, this is a town of 31,000 people and she represents precinct 2. She has been elected twice to this position which is designated as Elected Member.

      The Town Meeting legislative arrangement is found only in the New England states. Lexington’s Town Meeting is composed of 203 members.

  21. ENK July 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    There’s another factor here. The US electoral system breaches ICCPR Article 25(b). It fails to guarantee the free expression of the will of the electors, and in fact systematically circumscribes the choices of the electors to thwart their will as expressed. When US electoral ceremony fails to meet this crucial legal standard, it merely serves the same function as the pledge of allegiance, to legitimize the state. Your options can’t be limited to trying to game the system to sneak a reformer in. That’s like counting cards in a casino – if you actually start winning, you’ll be ejected. What you do in a fake democracy is this: http://fubarandgrill.org/node/1172

    • Laurie Knightly July 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

      This is a most interesting idea. It’s problematic, however, to use very small countries like Haiti, Cuba, and S Africa as reliable examples albeit they are inspiring. Perhaps even a massive threat of no vote could have an effect. When Bernie expressed his devotion to Hillary, should he lose, that revealed everything. He should have stated that he would remain neutral. I could respect that.

      A popular vote would give states like California and New York the election. We would no longer have representative government.

  22. Laurie Knightly July 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    A reference is made in this current essay to ‘immigration equity’ as a goal. Is that where migrants who are trying to get here legally have an equal chance of doing so? Those who have a contiguous land mass to cross and can hide from the law long enough to gain a foothold, currently have immigration preferential treatment. The defense is usually that we should not separate families. Every person who is incarcerated in the US is separated from family. That’s what happens to US citizens that break the law. Equity? Justice? People from all over the world who desire/need to be in the US should be transported to the Mexican border. All those who can sneak in and bluff the system for at least five, maybe more, years, can remain. Now that’s equity!

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