The Bernie movement moves on

The night before the California and New Jersey primaries, the Associated Press declared Hillary Clint to be the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. The vote tallies that came in the next day seemed to confirm that prediction.

Leave aside the fact that journalists are supposed to report the news, not make it. Leave aside the fact that not all the votes have been tallied, and won’t be for weeks. Leave aside that there have been numerous law suits filled over alleged irregularities – vote fixing, in plain language – some of which will no doubt be found valid.

Leave all that aside, and one thing still remains clear: Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic Party’s nominee. None of those “leaving asides” is going to change it at this point in the process.

Sanders supporters are faced with a dilemma. Having had a chance to support a real progressive, it’s not going to be easy for many of them to switch gears.

It would have been great if Bernie, the first avowedly socialist candidate in decades, could win the election, but that was always secondary. Bernie Sanders himself has been clear about that. The real prize lies, not in gaining the presidency, but in building a movement, and he is/we are doing that.

The ultra-right would love it if we go off on tangents because we are disappointed in getting so far without getting Bernie into the White House. This isn’t the time for that. As much as I don’t like to do this, I’m going to hold my nose and vote for HRC, because there is no other choice if we are going to defeat the rise of Caesarism represented by Donald Trump.

There may be some of us, in places like California, where Trump is so unlikely to win the general vote that they can afford the luxury of staying home, voting Green, or some other choice. We are not so lucky here in North Carolina. The fascist right tendency is so strong here that we have to do some unpleasant things to ward it off, like voting for a neoliberal hawkish friend of Big Money.  <shudder/>

When Bernie said that on her worst day, Clinton’s better than any Republican nominee, he was right. Yeah, if she’s elected, we’re gonna see a lot of those worst days. But I lived through Nixon, Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George I and II, so I reckon I can live through Clinton II. I don’t feel so optimistic about Drumpf.

Politics is no place for purity. Small gains are good if that’s all we can get. We rarely get big victories, which is awesome when it happens, every 50 years or so. Averting disaster, such as a Trump presidency, is not so good but damn sure necessary.

Read the history of the Spanish Republic’s fight against Franco if you want to know what heart-wrenching defeat is like. Or research the collapse of the Left in America after the Reagan years, the Paris Commune of 1871, or Che Guevara’s Bolivian insurrection. This is a little setback compared to those.

Time to put on our big boy/big girl shoes and fight the Right for real. This isn’t a parlor game.

Photo: Bernie Sanders salutes his crowd of supporters at a rally at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum on May 27, 2016.  |   Damian Dovarganes/AP


Bruce Arnold
Bruce Arnold

Santa-looking, motorbike-riding, book-reading, wife-loving, social working, sober-living, old white guy Bruce Arnold writes from North Carolina.