- Politics and Social Issues
Betrayed by Bernie - The Dream Shattered
Bernie Sanders, the Independent turned Democrat, the man who many young Democrats rallied behind in large numbers, is about to drop the hammer of a lifetime on his supporters. Reports are out that Bernie will not only endorse Hillary Clinton for President, but also campaign with her. Some pundits are even speculating that Bernie might be handed the Vice President spot, if only to shore up Mrs. Clinton's voter base and bring his supporters to her side of the table. The observer can easily see that the past year has been extremely hard on Mrs. Clinton. Along the campaign trail, Sanders events dwarfed her rallies in both enthusiasm and attendance. Sanders was energizing voters while Clinton was repeating her age-old progressive talking points. Many Sanders voters, in fact, seemed to support Donald Trump and his message of no more entrenched politicians. The established political class is emerging as the enemy of all voters, both Democrat and Republican, at least that's the message Bernie was driving home. Hillary Clinton won't be prosecuted for her e-mail transgressions, yet the court of public opinion has become increasingly agitated at the way the events unfolded. She is being portrayed as someone "above the law" and voters aren't happy with it. Her numbers have been steadily dropping over the last year and she desperately needs a lifeline of some sort to divert attention away from her negatives. So, here comes Bernie to the rescue, sort of.
Its been the biggest non-Hillary story inside the Democratic Party that Bernie Sander would not exit the race, even though there is no chance he could claim victory. Yes, Bernie supporters have filed multiple reports of fraud by the Clinton camp in at least 5 states. And yes, Hillary Clinton does not have enough of the votes from the statewide primaries. And yes, the Superdelegates have been in her camp since day one. The entire process for her to reach the nomination was supposed to be quite easy, yet it was just the opposite. The fix was in, and many wondered why Bernie wouldn't just concede, just go away and let Hillary get on with fighting the Republicans; even though she could still be charged with perjury, her nomination is going to happen. Bernie went on record time after time vowing vocally that he would not drop out of the race until the Convention. At least that's what his supporters thought, when in reality he wouldn't drop out unless he received some concessions. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news to these young Democrats who felt they actually had a candidate that had ideals. Bernie the idealist is nothing more than another wolf in sheeps clothing looking to increase his own stature. Give him something to build a personal legacy on, and he'll happily get behind whomever the Party tells him to.
Major news sources are already reporting that the two camps will be coming together next week for a joint campaign event in New Hampshire, right in Bernie's backyard nonetheless. And yes, much to the dismay of many Sanders supporters, Bernie did say recently that he would vote for Mrs. Clinton. He stopped short then of endorsing her, but the writing was on the wall. Now sadly, it looks as if he will be going full establishment and carrying the party water. Despite all of the hype Sanders made while on the campaign trail about being different, when it came down to it, his own quest for power won out. Yes, to the layperson it appears that Bernie negotiated with the Clinton campaign vigorously to force her to shift her agenda to get closer to his agenda. Oh, there was also those veiled threats by the Democratic Party of punishing Bernie if he didn't ""get his supporters in line." And yes, Clinton did cherry pick the list and hand him a few small victories such as adopting his free college tuition plan, yet she did so with the caveat that is was really part of her campaign's plans all along.
It's All About the Party
The Democratic Party leaders have not been shy in vocalizing their disdain over Sanders' refusal to drop out of the race and endorse Hillary. He was greeted with Boos at a recent meeting with House Democrats who are tired of his holdout. In a prepared speech, Sanders tried to hijack the Democratic Party platform by detailing areas where he’d like to see the party go further left. He specifically wanted to see documentation that the Party would oppose trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership and wanted a more aggressive stance on fighting Global Warming. He also made demands that a direct endorsement of a $15 federal minimum wage be added. These notions, although very polarized, do fit into the mindset of many Democrats, but when he broached the subject of greatly reducing the role the superdelegates have, he was met with staunch opposition. Bernie Sanders, the man who claimed he was for the people, was playing politics at a level that his supporters would find unacceptable. He used the endorsement as the proverbial "carrot on a string" in trying to manipulate the Democratic Party to bend to his will. They really don't care about him, just his voters.
Reaction to Warren Endorsing Clinton
If it can be used as a crystal ball to see what will happen once Bernie goes full-Hillary, the reaction by his supporters to Elizabeth Warren endorsing Hillary should be watched closely. Just a few short weeks ago, Bernie Sanders supporters literally came unglued on social media when Elizabeth Warren endorsed Hillary Clinton. Many thought she was cozying up to Mrs. Clinton to get the Vice President nod, which seems like politics as usual. The Sander's supporters who are mostly against the establishment saw this as just another move in the big game. They felt betrayal and used by the establishment. Warren’s longstanding criticism of the increasing influence corporate America has come to exert in molding the country’s economic policies aligned her particularly well to Sanders’ position on Wall Street reforms. Hillary is the poster child of how influence is buying this nation. Warren has also been critical of Hillary's patronage of big banks and her Wall Street speeches are still looming on voters. In 2004, she had even called then-senator Clinton a “puppet” for corporate America. Some see her endorsement of Clinton as necessary to stop Donald Trump from claiming the Oval Office come November, but many believe that Warren has betrayed her progressive agenda by siding with someone whom they essentially see as a corrupt and warmongering political leader. Needless to say that the expectations will be worse when Bernie lines up to pay homage to the queen.
Bernie or Bust
So, Bernie Sanders is about to put himself squarely in the crosshairs of the people he claimed to champion. His people are about to ravenously turn against him, and with no champion left on the Democrat side, may be coerced to support Republican newcomer Donald Trump. Bernie is already being called nearly every name in the book on social media, with sellout, shill, traitor, and puppet being near the top of the list. Instead of being "one of us" in the eyes of the regular voter, Bernie is becoming "one of them." This shouldn't surprise anyone but it does. Bernie Sanders has been a politician for most of his adult life and politicians play politics, some better than others. Well Bernie, I applaud you for such a great show - no one could have seen this coming, especially those who followed your leadership from the beginning. Of course, once the actual endorsement happens, another chapter will start to write itself. Stay tuned.