it’s becoming depressingly clear that Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic
Party’s nominee in this November’s Presidential election, I’m no longer
passionate about any candidate. I don’t say it doesn’t matter who wins, but
neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump embraces my core values in any
meaningful way. I’m free to look at this election without any personal bias
beyond my own disappointment in the process.
there are uneasy forces afoot in the land that bear watching, and many of these
forces attach to those who support the current front-runners and probable
nominees of their respective parties.
Trump represents a large group of people—a number of whom are persuadable
Democrats and Independents—who feel cut off from their patriotic roots in the
American mythology that we are the greatest nation ever to rise upon the face
of the Earth. To these folks—the demographers have identified them as largely
white, under-uneducated, unemployed or under-employed males—Trump represents
something different, something more muscular and shrewd and, maybe
most importantly, inward-looking in a nationalistic sense. America first,
and to hell with those who don’t like it.
Clinton has said she wants to continue in the direction set by the policies of
the Obama administration. She has also drifted quite a bit to the left of Obama
in response to Bernie Sanders’ effective challenge to her presumed coronation.
She has not, however, made it clear she will stay out there on the left, once
Bernie is out of the competition. Her appeal to her party’s base, therefore, is
present Sanders supporters turn out for Hillary? As a Sanders supporter myself,
I can’t say. My present instinct is to stay at home, but we’ll see what the
campaign brings. I've always voted, and I suppose I will again.
is, who will Hillary attract? Her argument is that she will continue the legacy
of Obama while adding on some of Bernie Sanders’ proposals, like relief for
student loans, bringing corporate tax dodgers to heel, maybe even a tax on Wall
Street transactions. But it’s sure to be more of the same on many fronts. The
economy will still be rigged, elections will still be for sale, the morass in
the Middle East will continue, and the red states will still think they are
victims of a great conspiracy to take their country away from them. Hillary
haters will compete for those audiences, and some will thrive.
Bernie’s political revolution of democratic socialism won’t go away. It may
take another election cycle to realize itself, but the Democratic Party, as
many have observed, is on the verge of its own nervous breakdown, similar to
the breakdown of the Republican party establishment and the rise of the Trump
meantime, though, the country may elect Trump, who is likely to make the case
that electing Hillary is a throw-back to the past, while he is something new, a
successful business magnate who knows how to make deals advantageous to himself
and his interests. People like to hear that, especially if they’re
disillusioned with the America they
experience today compared to the American dream they were raised to believe in,
one of opportunity and abundant reward for all who buckle down and work hard.
Trump offers change, however one feels about it. Hillary offers more of the
same as if the same has been good. That’s a hard sell. Trump appeals to the
gambler’s nature. Hillary favors the security of sameness, of the familiar.
Yes, she’s a woman, and breaking the glass ceiling of the U.S. Presidency for
women is no small thing, just as it was no small thing we elected Obama, our
first African-American President. But victories need to be more than symbolic,
and, given our times of multiple crises, there’s a widely shared feeling that we
need substantive change. Like it or not, at this point in the process it looks
as if Trump is the only candidate who offers that.