Alright, so Philly’s toast. What did we get?
We got documented proof of collusion between Hillary Clinton and Little Debbie. We got treated like shit in the person of Nina Turner, who was denied her opportunity to nominate Bernie Sanders for president; don’t miss that for what it was: a shot across our bow. Berners (nearly half the delegates) got shunned and humiliated. We got an admission from Terry McAuliffe that Hillary Clinton will flip on TPP if/when she is elected, just like her husband flipped on NAFTA after he vowed a veto. Most of all, we got the DNC’s clear and singular message: Hillary Clinton won the nomination and we’re expected to fall in line. Yeah, well, fuck that.
In response to our treatment, I’m reading a lot of idealistic but unworkable plans on Twitter. One series admonishes us to vote for Jill Stein, and I get that. The Green message is Bernie’s message, and how can you not love that? The other series of posts implore us to start a brand new political party, a “people’s party.” Honestly, I get this, too. But the Greens are already there, so why reinvent the wheel?
I’ve been an idealist before, too. I guess I still am. The poor aren’t our enemies. Nor is brown skin. Nor are scared people who need a place to hide. (And, really, is believing these things idealistic or just being human?) But forward progress demands the marriage of idealism with pragmatism. What is the most pragmatic way to achieve social justice, economic justice, environmental common sense? It isn’t splitting the progressive presidential vote by voting Green. It isn’t splitting it further by starting yet another party. That leaves us with one option: a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. It’s a plan that puts a bunch of upstarts (and a few old pros) up against the mouthpiece of the oligarchy, and that sounds ludicrous, until you realize that out of nowhere a little old Jewish man from Vermont and a bunch of young(er) idealists almost brought down The Queen. I think we can do this.
I’ve admitted in a previous post that I’m a nobody from Texas. But a group of nobodies is what every army is made of. And armies take shit out. But first they need a plan.
Hillary Clinton chose Tim Kaine as her VP. He wants less Wall Street regulation. He wants more trade deals like TPP. He’s anti-choice. And you get the real sense that he says what she thinks. If there was any doubt that she is at heart that Goldwater girl from the 1960s, Tim Kaine is your proof that those doubts should be vanquished.
Hillary is angling away from liberals toward disaffected GOP voters. Yeah, she’ll say the things Berners want to hear, but look at her convention. Look at her VP choice. Listen to what Terry McAuliffe said about her stance on TPP. (Terry is shrewd and one of the Clinton’s closest friends. His statement wasn’t a slip but a signal to free trade Republicans.) Hillary Clinton is gunning for Republican voters who have nowhere else to go. With mainstream Democrats and a few Berners, that will give her the numbers she needs.
But Hillary’s chance of winning the 2020 election will drop significantly when she goes up against a traditional GOP candidate. She will retain few Republican voters when she’s challenged by a John Kasich or Paul Ryan; and those conservative voters who lay out during this cycle will be back in the game — voting against her. She will take a double hit.
Hillary will need fresh voters for the 2020 race. She will be forced to appeal to independents and the liberal base of the Democratic Party. She knows that. We know that. We need to use that to our advantage during her first term in office.
I have no freaking clue. But my hunch is that wiser and experienced minds have already assembled the spreadsheets. Still, I love this shit, and so this is what I would like to see:
- I would like to see Berners in solid red and solid blue state vote for every Democrat on the ticket except the one at the top. I want y’all to send a message with your vote — that you are involved and you are liberal — by voting Green.
- I would like Berners in swing states to vote a straight Democratic ticket. No matter how much it stings, no matter how much you may feel like you’re voting for Satan (which, let’s be honest, you probably are), I want you to vote for Hillary Clinton. Make it your job to get her into office while your red and blue state compatriots send the message you’re dying to send yourself.
- Finally, I would like all of us on the left to send Hillary Clinton an email on Wednesday, November 9th, the day after the election:
Liberals in swing states voted you in while those of us in red and blue states sent you a message. If you do not push through our agenda, we will remember, and we will allow you to return to Chappaqua on January 21st, 2021.
Hillary Clinton needs us. But we have to flex our muscle now. She needs to know we grasp our power and that we are willing to use it.
** While we use our power to drive the new president’s agenda, we need to aggressively take positions of power in the Democratic Party. Ours is the party of FDR and LBJ. We have a proud rich socialist history that was stolen from us thirty years ago by Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council. It’s time to return the Democrats to their/our roots. But I’ll save that for another post.