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Why Bernie, with three days to go in my home state - Overactive Guilt Gland, Underactive Drive
2016 March 12th
02:17 pm
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Why Bernie, with three days to go in my home state
I thought I might write more pro-Bernie pieces the last week or two, and I haven't. At this point, I don't expect to change many minds before Tuesday.

I think Bernie Sanders is what Democrats pretend to be when they want voters to turn out. Not in every election, even, just the ones they've decided they want to win for once, which is much less than half of them.

I get a strong sense that the Democratic Party isn't really a conservationist party; it just got stuck with the environmentalists when the GOP kept putting fossil fuel industry flacks (as in the Bush family) in charge.

A few Democrats even seem to be against the New Deal/Great Society sort of governing style, and want to remind us that they are "free-market capitalists." As someone who spent his teen years deep in a right-wing Reaganite mindset, I think that sounds like futile me-too-ism. Americans want a choice, not an echo. Those who want radical marketism already have the Republicans and Libertarians singing the siren song; surely Democrats would do better electorally to run as social democrats.

When they run on anti-war sentiment, a living wage, or universal healthcare, and then don't deliver to the voters who got them into office, they lose credibility. It doesn't do any good to pretend to be of the people and then do almost nothing for those who lost their careers and their homes after the 2008 crash. The Democrats have lost credibility and with it their base.

Bernie as president can't really solve America's problems on his own. I think he should be actively recruiting candidates to run on his kind of employment and entitlement policies. But at least he's mostly advocating for what Democrats supposedly are supposed to advocate for.

It seems like Democrats lost a lot of their base with NAFTA. Nominating Hillary Clinton may get a Democrat in the White House. But if it keeps a big chunk working-class voters alienated from the Democratic Party, the victory will be minor and partial.

Now, I know people who object to some of Bernie's votes on guns, or his strong opposition to nuclear power. Lately I've even seen a little frothing at the mouth from...libertarians, I guess...because he wants GMO foods to be labeled.

I'm not going to attack Bernie for his moderation on guns, when that's reflective of public opinion. He made that deal with Vermont's farmers long ago, that he wouldn't take a hard anti-gun line. He's still somewhat in a pro-gun-control position, even compared to some Democrats in Vermont.

People who object to GMO labeling are creepy, whether they realize it or not.

But you know what? As a Green, I can respect the position that a President who refuses to renew nuclear power plant licenses is unacceptable in the present climate. If that's someone's reason for voting against him, I respect that.

But I counter that he is anti-fracking, and Hillary is so pro-fracking that she advocated for it internationally. (This is the first link I saw on Google: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/hillary-clinton-fracking-shale-state-department-chevron ) I think this in particular probably helps explain his majorities in the Kansas and Oklahoma primaries. He's the only major anti-fracking candidate, apparently.

I hope he will be more moderate on nuclear power, which is at least largely containable pollution. If he's not, well, after Fukushima, I understand. But I want a President who is anti-fracking. I do.

And I want a President who wants a living wage. And a President who proposes an FTT. We can compromise on some things. I just want him to be on the side that wants a better life, less pollution, and less destruction.

I would like you to consider voting for Bernie Sanders.



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