My Sister’s Skeptical Bernie Can Win

Bernie Sanders’ supporters are intelligent, thoughtful, and well-spoken. This post, by Rolf Pechukas, which I recently read on Facebook is an excellent example of the kind of insight that is needed to bring about the changes we all want.

logo bernie sanders

Rolf Pechukas / Facebook

my sister’s skeptical Bernie can win, and unconfident he could effectively lead – she says “He seems like a bit of a big talker without necessarily having the wisdom and willingness for hard work to back it up. Although I support his socialist values, have also often thought that Hillary might be more successful at actually pushing change through – on minimum wage, women’s issues, and other very relevant social inequality issues. Not sure Bernie would do that well.”
then she included this link:…/-Friends-don-t-let-friends-vote-f…

I responded:

yep, I read that too
(for what it’s worth, from the same site, posted yesterday:…/…/1/21/1472840/-Maybe-Bernie-Can-Win )

I share a lot of your feelings
I have gone back and forth on all this stuff, too
for the first few months, I didn’t even give Bernie a second thought
I never thought he had a chance
I was excited to back Hillary, for all the reasons you said

plus, I am comfortable with her articulateness, her grasp of very complex issues that even a lot of egghead pundits struggle with, and her comfort level at the very highest levels in international politics (she knows all those people)

she has a ridiculously impressive resume
and we *need* a female president, asap
(and if you vote for Hillary, a small part of me will be secretly glad that one of us did)


I’m a Bernie’s guy
(and sorry in advance if I go on too long)

but I think he has at least 2 things going for him:

1. the truth

like you said, ‘maybe he’s right’
people can feel this

I wouldn’t underestimate the power of reality
it has a visceral pull
it can only be denied or obscured for so long

the system IS rigged
billions of people around the world ARE suffering for corporate profits
the planet IS ramping up for storms, migrations, famines, plagues
privatization of schools, jails, hospitals, cops, the military IS hurting people all over the country
senators, congressmen, judges, administration officials, even presidents ARE in the pockets of big business

and NONE of this is in the national interest

he voices the outrage that so many of us feel
not because he’s a big softie liberal, or because we care so much for our fellow man
but because the country, even the planet, is being looted
and that’s not OK

2. the people

he’s got an army behind him
when you tell the truth, that’s what happens
and there’s no limit to that potential support

b/c everyone IS in the same boat
like it or not

and popular will, like the truth, is a powerful thing
it’s maybe the only thing we have
to force government to be actually representative
or corporations to actually do good business
it may be our ony real leverage

and Bernie is ‘wise’ enough to get this
he has said it explicitly

Obama wasn’t
Hillary isn’t

so when I look at him, I don’t really see him at all (although I like the gruffness/accent/hair)
I see the two tidal waves behind him – truth, and people

I see a demand for rightness, and sanity, and common sense
an insistence to steady the crazy tilt that we’re on

and I think the gravity of that simple necessity
will pull people toward him, from all over the political spectrum
it already is

he polls twice as strong against Trump as Hillary
and similar margins for the other Republitards

as far as ability to get things done, I’m not so sure their records actually bear that out

for one thing, she is widely disliked on the Republican side
he’s earned real respect, and real friends

40 years of honesy will do that
vice versa with Hillary

she led a failed crusade for healthcare reform in the 90s
I remember that episode
it was backroom private negotiations with big pharma and big insurance
the public was shut out
nobody liked that at the time – it was weird – the President’s wife? closed door sessions?

and of course it failed
they had absolutely no incentive to give any concessions
she had no leverage

she and Bill have been buddy-buddy with Wall St fat cats (Rubin, Diamand, etc etc), many of whom served in Bill’s administration
they are corporate Dems

so Bernie is right when he says it’s difficult to take a bunch of money from people, and then not be owned by them

Obama had this same problem
he took big money from Wall St
had a bunch of Wall St insiders in his administration (Summers, Geithner, etc)
and then was so pissed off when he couldn’t get them to behave

now I don’t know if Bernie can
but I do know he is not beholden in the same way
he is not cozy in the same way
and he is not naiive in the same way

I think he correctly identifies where the only other power is (popular will)
and who the real enemy is (global corporate extractionism)

he has proven he can get legislation through BY working with repubs
(it’s a pretty impressive record, btw – check it out):…/bernie-gets-it-done-sanders-recor…

Hillary’s, by contrast:…/did-hillary-clinton-have-her-n…/

when I think of them as Presidents, I imagine Hillary, working her corporate connections, trying to bully the other side of the aisle, bieng capable but hawkish overseas (she pushed hard for Syrian intervention, btw – Obama luckily resisted her:…/did-hillary-clinton-think-a-milit…/ )

I imagine Bernie, gruff and disheveled, but with that disarming occasional smile, and surprisingly funny occasional jokes, actually leading, in surprising and ingenious ways, like he did in Congress
and working to squeeze corporate America between himself and the electorate
I imagine him stoop-shouldered and rumpled overseas, but canny – and human – and on the side of the actual inhabitants of those countries, not a power-broker with their leaders, like Hillary
and other countries will respect, and like, that – you can’t help it
I imagine him being quite popular aorund the world, like Pope Francis

I imagine him being what we all hoped Obama would be
yeah, it would’ve been cooler in the young, black package
and too bad he’s not a woman (although he has signalled Warren as VP) (!)

but he’s been a spearhead
not just a gadfly
for 40 years

I think he’s wise enough to see what *must* happen, crafty enough to figure out how, and congenial enough to work it through

and you put that combo, with reality, necessity, and a popular movement behind it, and maybe you get some real progress
or at least the return of a little sanity

my 2¢

love you


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