By JT Haines — June 26, 2015
Sanders is surging, and some are surprised. (Newspeak Review is not. The sentiments expressed here in 2013 are playing out as predicted.) In any case, the surge has drawn the expected consternation and in-fighting among the “left” (those willing to hope that incremental change funded by corporate contributions is going to get us there), and the left (those who believe — with some evidence — that it will not).
Which puts us in a familiar and uncomfortable place — Bush Gore Nader, Obama Romney Stein, Nolan Mills Sandman (Minnesota’s 8th 2014), even in many ways Obama Clinton ’08 — just ratcheted up yet further.
As per script, these old conversations are happening everywhere:
Is Bernie wrecking it for Hillary and the country, because Supreme Court nominees etc?
Is Jill Stein wrecking it for Bernie and the country, because Nader?
Is Bernie wrecking it for Jill Stein and the country, because inevitable folding back into establishment politics, waste of energy, etc?
Will Bernie Sanders and/or Jill Stein “cause” a rabid Republican to get elected, who will destroy the universe worse than DC Dems already have been?
Is supporting Bernie in particular for his stance on economic inequality worth it?
Is supporting Stein for her stances on basically everything worth it?
Is a chance at avoiding 9 more years of bi-partisan consensus on the taxpayer subsidized corporate takeover of the economy, the environment, and the republic, worth near term risks on some issues?
Put differently, among those who otherwise agree that a change is necessary, the question is how *big* a change is necessary, and when is it necessary, and when is it possible? If we’re being honest, supporters of each of Sanders, Stein, and Clinton all on some level have a point. But these debates are about tactics, and strategy, and individual assessments of how urgent and possible change is at this moment. They ask the question: Is addressing inequality, and climate change, and the corporate takeover of politics in a meaningful way realistic and worth the risk, not whether it is necessary. A vast majority of people seem to agree about that. So sad that individual citizens are stuck in perpetuity debating strategy and not considering together the things that would make our country better!
In any case, it can’t go on forever. A breaking point is inevitable — when you sell out the American public for 20, 30+ years, eventually the chickens are going to roost. And that’s no longer even a particularly radical suggestion; it looks like it may be happening now. The Sanders surge is just the latest sign.
For the time being, we may be stuck plodding along with many of the same conversations — on social media, in blogs, at the dinner table, at conventions — with would-be allies, until we hit the point where that’s no longer an option.
Or. Hillary could step aside now.
Maybe it’s time to add to the list the possibility that it is actually Hillary and corporate Dems that are ruining it for the country, not the other way around. Why wouldn’t we? It happens to be the truth. And wouldn’t that give us something to do for the next year? Whether Sanders, Stein, or otherwise, imagine the possibilities and the impact on the conversation. We might even stand a chance of not spending the entire year bickering with each other.
Before we blow our — oh my gosh that’ll never happen, crazy unexpected things never happen in this country (false) — lids: It goes without saying that this would be a pretty radical turn for all the reasons that are immediately running through your head right now. It would take real vision, commitment to this country, and willingness to put ones own personal interests and efforts aside.
But Hillary stepping down is the right thing to do. And, somewhere in there, I think she might even realize it. With tiny apologies to the impressive run that Hillary Clinton and her supporters have had, it’s time to add the prospect of her withdrawal to the conversation.