With more than a little help from Robert Reich
Sanders swearing-in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I said in my first post that I was a Hillary supporter at the beginning of this Democratic primary contest. I was extremely excited, as many people remain to be, about the prospect of a very powerful and charismatic woman who was undoubtedly capable of vanquishing any contender that the Republican party could throw at us. Many of you may recall the excitement elicited by the comments of President Obama’s “anger interpreter” last year at the anal Corespondents’ Dinner. For fans of Hillary and Game of Thrones “Khaalisi is coming to Westeros!” became a mantra. I confess, it was exhilarating.
I Also Evolved
So what happened? What changed my mind? As I said last time, it started with that look in my son’s eyes. I called it disappointment, but that doesn’t describe adequately the sort of look no father wants to see in his children’s eyes, that look that says not merely, “You don’t get it,” but “I love and respect you too much to tell you that I feel you don’t give me enough credit, Dad.” He expected a different reaction from his father who had previously inspired him, a straight young man, to stand up for gay rights, women’s rights, and to be compassionate towards others.
It immediately made me realize I had let him down. It snapped me awake. The more I thought about it in the following weeks the more I realized that though I’ve always liked Bernie, what I had seen and heard of him, I hadn’t actively researched this myself. And so I started doing that.
It’s not that I came to hate Hillary, but I came to more and more deeply admire Bernie. He was dismissed by the right, the center and even the dominant left, time and again over the years, for his strong positions on issues like gay rights, fair trade policies, battling big bank corruption, but he never wavered. He has been accused of being the do-nothing candidate, but passing bills is not the only way things get done in congress.
Politifact has determined that his campaign’s claim to Bernie being the “Role Call Amendment King” is true. That may seem like a small thing, but the article admits that he has not been ineffective by any standard. The Observer has a recent article on how Sanders “gets things done,” despite the fact that a great deal of even liberal leaning media has virtually ignored or dismissed him. More on that in my next post.
I was also starting to see that not only is Sanders still very strong and active, but that his record had remained impeccable for 40 years, despite attacks and criticism. I found myself respecting the fact that he made the decision–and stuck by it–not to take money from super PACs as a matter of principle, in his battle to eventually have the Supreme Court’s Citizens United (a laughably misnamed decision) overturned and to take back elections from the billionaires who buy them.
I also came to regret that I, even if just for a moment, treated my son the way Hillary has treated young voters across the nation, both in this election and in her previous one against Obama. She dismisses young citizens like my sons as low information voters, despite the fact that they are so deeply in tune with what is going on in the world. They do not limit their news intake to FOX, CNN, or MSNBC. Her campaign and her surrogates dismiss my sons as sexist “Bernie Bros,” despite the fact that my boys are the most tolerant, loving, accepting, thoughtful, non-sexist, homo-loving, straight white men you could ever meet. And they surround themselves with friends who have equally laudable values.
They have a wealth of information at their finger tips and the drive to research it. I was wrong, Jonathan. And so was she. She says you don’t do your own research, but you do, more than most adults. You’ve probably watched both her pro-Iraq war speech online, and Bernie’s anti-Iraq war speech online. She’s got you and your friends all wrong. And I want to publicly apologize for ever exercising even a fraction of the same misjudgment.
Robert Reich’s 6 Responses to Bernie Skeptics
But I can’t argue this whole case in one or two posts. There is a lot of this research to share with you, and others have said it as well or better than I can.
Months back former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich put out this video that cited Real Clear Politics aggregate poll results. Anderson Cooper ignored these poll results, or was unaware of them until recently when he asked Hillary Clinton, “Are you buying it?” More about that and the media’s underestimating of Bernie in my next post.
The video below shows numbers from January. If you want to check the most current polls click here. You can select various match-ups and see for yourself who fares better. As of the time of this post, Sanders continues to beat Trump by wider margins. And don’t forget about Cruz. Clinton looses to him in some of these polls, and surprisingly even loses every one of them when pitted against Kasich. Furthermore in the primaries thus far Senator Sanders has done consistently better than the pollsters expected. So where is the evidence for the belief so many of us have had that Clinton was the more electable candidate?
In fact, as I finish this post, I’ve been listening to the results of Sanders’ Wisconsin win, making it seven out of eight primaries and caucuses in a row in his favor. Isn’t it odd how many in the media seem to think this doesn’t matter? They cannot consider anything as possible except the narrative they have already created in their heads. As I said, more on that in my next post.