Saturday, September 12, 2015

"Unelectable" ?

Too many of the USA's Democrats and so-called "progressives" get right up my nose. Some of them are even trying to undermine the current push for change by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. They whine that he's "unelectable", too old, too white, too socialist, not good enough on such and such platform...and so on. Don't they realise that by declaring him "unelectable" they are doing disservice to the very stances and policies he stands for - and which they themselves are supposed to stand for?

"Unelectable"? He'll only be unelectable if enough of us don't vote for him. Perhaps that's what the "unelectable" brigade wants. If the word unelectable is repeated widely and often enough in connection with Sanders, that's what he'll become. I have to conclude that these detractors simply do not want the changes they profess to want. I do seriously wonder whether many so-called progressives are really conservatives in disguise - Trojan horses.

During US election campaigns those candidates who are labelled "unelectable" can become that way by a deliberate, orchestrated repetition of that label loudly and often. Every time someone refers to Sanders as "unelectable" or a "long-shot" it's tantamount to an outright attack on his campaign.

"He's unelectable"...then will follow something along the lines of (mix and match):
He's (in hushed tone) a socialist (shock horror!) He is actually a self-termed Democratic Socialist - different animal altogether.

He's too old (ageist)

He's Jewish (racist)

He doesn't look presidential - what does a president look like?

They cannot say his poll numbers are low - they are not and are still climbing.

They cannot say he can't raise money - he's doing so, all the time, from small donations.

They cannot say he doesn't have name recognition - if someone doesn't know who he is by now they've been asleep for the past few months. It has been pointed out that Sanders is doing better than Barack Obama was in early fall 2007 - around the same time in the 2008 race for the presidency.

Nobody can say with any certainty that "He can't win". If We The People truly seek change, we'd better stop listening and reading about Sanders being "unelectable". After all, that's just a term tossed around by paid and amateur pundits. We have to get ourselves out of our communal stupor and support him - all the way to the presidency!

Words from a very good long piece by William Kaufman at Counterpunch (where the majority of articles on Bernie recently have been slyly or openly negative):
The Sanders Paradox: a Brief for Bernie
Sanders’s campaign, whatever its flaws, is thrusting front and center to a mass audience a whole series of principled, critical demands and issues (many of which overlap with those raised in splendid isolation by Jill Stein and the Green Party), the realization of which would markedly advance the material well-being and future prospects of ordinary Americans: $15 an hour minimum wage; union card check to expand organizing rights; improved Medicare for all; expansion (not retrenchment) of Social Security; revamped progressive taxation to reduce income inequality; a Wall Street transaction tax; a rapid transition to renewables to combat climate change; opposition to the ecocidal, neo-fascist TPP, NAFTA, and WTO; an end to the militarization of local police forces; cracking down on hate groups; free tuition at all public universities and colleges to alleviate student debt peonage; paid family leave; and so on. If realized in the aggregate, these demands would challenge the neoliberal logic of the prevailing order.
Do, please, go read the whole article.


mike said...

Though you may be agitated at the negatives thrown at Bernie, that's part of the vetting process for all candidates. Hillary is succumbing to her pernicious antagonists over relatively minor offenses, which seem way over-blown when compared to the major detrimental concerns apparent in her GOP challengers. I'm definitely a Bernie supporter, but I am sympathetic to Hillary's plight. On the plus side, the pull-back from Hillary is a push-upward for Bernie. My take on Hillary is that she is trying to establish a one-size-fits-all platform and image to draw-in a larger voter pool. Her staffers have reputedly attempted several image make-overs toward "personable". Bernie on the other hand, is what he is and hasn't deviated from his script, and that script has a long history of credibility.

There are similarities between Sanders and Stein, but Bernie has the curriculum vita to offer the voters, Stein does not. Stein has a platform I can definitely support, but she offers no pathway toward establishing her ideology once elected. It's easy to be critical of the establishment and offer alternatives, but quite another in terms of defining and outlining a realistic plan. Stein is a liberal's dream come true, but I don't think some of her offerings are feasible in today's world, particularly with her aim to shut-down American military. Noble, but her plan depends on a global cooperative that isn't at her command and would require a long duration to evolve. It seems that Bernie realizes political-governmental change is a slow process requiring stepping stones. The fact that Stein had miserable support for her previous campaign effort doesn't help her this time around, either. Her desire to be the poster-child for the untenable Green party may be admirable, but a minority, third party will not allow a victory. Bernie was wise to mainstream his party affiliation.

So far, commenter LB hasn't been able to dredge-up anything that hampers my support of Bernie...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I don't consider the "unelectable" label to be part of a vetting process - it's part of a brain-washing campaign by either Clinton supporters, the establishment DNC and their corporate media buddies, or all of those in concert.

Hillary Clinton isn't going to interest me much this time around. If she achieves the nomination by fair or foul means I shall have to vote for her to keep out a Republican president and protect what little sanity there is coming out of SCOTUS.

Ms Stein is, no doubt an admirable lady, but her party cannot even get onto the ballot in Oklahoma - and possibly in other states too, so she and The Greens are a non-event for me - sadly.

mike (again) said...

Obama was "unelectable" for far greater reasons than Bernie. Obama made it through the vetting process and, rather oddly, Obama remained "unelectable" even after he had won the Democratic ticket, and then elected president...LOL. I'd say the same thing just happened in the UK with Jeremy Corbin's election to represent the Labour Party. I suspect you are correct in assessing the competition's labeling of Bernie, but why care?! Bernie's lead on Hillary is a fact and is indicative of his popularity and success. The naysayers can label Bernie as they like, just as they did Obama. Should Bernie continue with a successful bid, the heat will become nuclear. Besides, I think The Donald and other cohorts on the GOP ticket are "unelectable".

mike (again) said...

"Unelectable" Rick Perry recognized he was unelectable...LOL. Perry's poll number was around 1%...tsk-tsk. Compare that to Bernie's stellar poll numbers and lead over his Dem competitors.

mike (again) said...

Dichotomy - something with contradictory qualities. Hhmmm...Bernie's lead in the polls and his "unelectability".

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Why care? I dunno - I just do. When those who have less time to read around the net than I come across stuff on some websites usually reliably liberal-leaning and see the word bandied about in connection with Bernie Sanders, I wonder just how many minds are being led away from his campaign. I do think the use of the word will fade - it'll have to fade if those writing it don't wish to look stooopid. It has been a word tried out during the opening act, away from which we're about to move...I hope.

Ricky P's gone - as you predicted he would a while back. Pity we couldn't have seen him in just one more debate - a last farewell to his presidential pretensions.

And yes, Jeremy Corbyn is now leader of the UK's Labour Party. Up in the Great Debating Room in the sky my hero Tony Benn will have a great big smile on his face today. :-)

Twilight said...

mike ~ I've just picked this up too

Let me join in the chorus of accolades for Democrat Cyndi Munson, who won Tuesday’s special election for the House District 85 seat in northwest Oklahoma City.

Munson, 30, who formerly worked for Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, beat Republican Chip Carter in a 2,640 to 2,268 vote, or by a total of 372 votes or with 54 percent of the vote, which comes to, in media parlance, an eight-point victory.

Maybe the tide IS actually turning, at last, even as we watch - gradually, quietly, but once it turns it will not recede again for a very long time.

mike (again) said...

Congrats to Ms Munson and the more humane citizens of that district!

The following quiz is making the rounds and I've seen it on a number of diverse websites. The individuals referring to this quiz are usually surprised that Bernie is the analog to their quiz answers.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ If it's enlightening them, it's a good thing! :-)

Anonymous said...

Je suis à 94% Bernie!
... Mais hélas, je dois aider "pilonnement Steve" ...

le kidd

Twilight said...

anonyme/le kidd ~
Ah oui - parce que Harper est de mauvaises nouvelles. Pilonnez, pilonnez!! (Or something)