Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bernie Sander's ‘revolution’ is dead. What next?

By: Gulamhusein A Abba 

Nothing comes without a price. To achieve a just and desirable goal we sometimes have to make great sacrifices and pay a heavy price. 

 It is no use pretending. The ‘revolution’ is dead – Benie’s revolution. Whether the real revolution will die depends on what we who supported him so passionately decide to do.

Bernie’s ‘revolution’ was killed by none other than the President of the US, Barrack Obama. He struck the fatal blow by prematurely announcing his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. By doing so he effectively robbed Sanders of his chance of persuading non-pledged delegates to switch from supporting Hillary to supporting him.

The Democratic Party has a vested interest in perpetuating itself as it is now. Millions of Americans, especially the young, have come to realize that the Democratic Party is nothing more than the second side of the same coin. The Republicans and the Democrats are both ruled by the rich and the powerful and they both are beholden to them.

It is against this that the people wanted to revolt. Bernie initially so rightly put it, it was not about electing this person or that. But now he is reduced to focusing on “Doing whatever I can” to defeat Trump, and, by implication, electing Hillary. What the people wanted was a revolution against the status quo. What they wanted was to make America a better place, electoral reform, a reversal of the flow of wealth from the poor to the rich, an end to fracking, universal health care, free tuition in colleges, making an ‘adjustment’ (as Bernie pit it) in our relationship with Israel, putting an end to supporting corrupt dictators who so wantonly disregard human rights, abandoning going round the world toppling popular, freely, democratically and constitutionally elected leaders, to name but a few of their aspirations.

In Bernie, this army of passionate millions, saw a General and they flocked round him, contributed what little they could, cast their ballots at the primaries and attended in unprecedented members at his rallies.

After Obama’s endorsement of Hillary, Bernie changed his direction. The argument is that the country cannot afford to have Trump become the President and all efforts should be to prevent him doing so and the only way to do this is to strengthen the Democratic Party and stand unitedly behind its nominee. Sanders did not want to be a ‘spoiler’, a second Nader.

We have heard this argument again and again. Yes Hillary is the face of Wall Street. Yes Hillary is opposed to universal health care and almost all the aspirations of Bernie and his supporters. But for now, to prevent Trump becoming the President, one must resign one’s self to choosing the ‘better of two evils’.

If we dance to this tune, there will never be the revolution this country needs and what we, the supporters of Bernie so passionately worked for.

The question looms: What else could Bernie do? He could have fought on till the voice call at the Convention. He could have decided to take his vast army with him to another political party closer to the issues that trouble him and his vast army of like-minded soldiers. Or he could have fought on as an independent.

If that resulted in handing over the President’s chair to Trump it would be Obama, Hillary and the delegates that would be to blame for shutting their ears to the demands of the people and being focused on maintaining the status quo and on making “history” for a second time by electing, for the first time, a woman as the President of US!

The defeat of Clinton would be good for the nation in the long run because it would make the Democratic Party realize that it cannot take us for granted. It would make the Party more receptive to the wishes of us common folks in the future..

Here was a chance to usher in a real revolution in an orderly, peaceful and constitutional way. The Democratic Party blew it. And, in the end, Sanders succumbed.

Trump’s win would be disastrous for the country. Nothing comes without a price. To achieve a just and desirable goal we sometimes have to make great sacrifices and pay a heavy price. 

Now it is for us, the citizens to decide. Are we going to allow ourselves to be suckered in once again by the argument that if we do not support the nominee of the Democratic Party we will be handing over the country to the Republicans? Or are we going to take our destiny in our own hands and do what we can to make America really great?

We do not want Trump to win. But we do not want Hillary to win either. So let us free ourselves from these two streams of the same source and start helping a third party become a force to be reckoned with. Or just make the Democratic Party realize that it cannot take us for granted, and do this by not only not voting for the Republican candidate but also not voting for the Democratic candidate.

This is not a call not to vote. Your vote is valuable. Use it. Vote for a third party or an independent or, if possible, cast a blank ballot. The point is not to elect this one or that but to cast a protest vote.

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