Quantcast
Connect with us

Robert Reich: It’s time for Clinton and Sanders supporters to swallow some tough medicine

Published

on

Screenshot of Robert Reich from the documentary "Inequality for All"

With the Democratic primaries grinding to a bitter end, I have suggestions for both Clinton and Sanders supporters that neither will like. 

First, my advice to Clinton supporters: Don’t try to drum Bernie Sanders out of the race before Hillary Clinton officially gets the nomination (if she in fact does get it).

Some of you say Bernie should bow out because he has no chance of getting the nomination, and his continuing candidacy is harming Hillary Clinton’s chances.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s true that Bernie’s chances are slim, but it’s inaccurate to say he has no chance. If you consider only pledged delegates, who have been selected in caucuses and primaries, he’s not all that far behind Hillary Clinton. And the upcoming primary in California – the nation’s most populous state—could possibly alter Sanders’s and Clinton’s relative tallies.

My calculation doesn’t include so-called “superdelegates”—Democratic office holders and other insiders who haven’t been selected through primaries and caucuses. But in this year of anti-establishment fury, it would be unwise for Hillary Clinton to rely on superdelegates to get her over the finish line.

Sanders should stay in the race also because he has attracted a large number of young people and independents. Their passion, excitement, and enthusiasm are critically important to Hillary Clinton’s success, if she’s the nominee, as well the success of other Democrats this year, and, more fundamentally, to the future of American politics.

Finally and not the least, Sanders has been telling a basic truth about the American political economic system—that growing inequality of income and wealth has led inexorably to the increasing political power of those at the top, including big corporations and Wall Street banks. And that political power has stacked the deck in their favor, leading to still wider inequality.

Nothing important can be accomplished—reversing climate change, creating true equal opportunity, overcoming racism, rebuilding the middle class, having a sane and sensible foreign policy—until we reclaim our democracy from the moneyed interests. The longer Bernie Sanders is on stage to deliver this message, the better.

ADVERTISEMENT

Next, my advice for Sanders supporters: Be prepared to work hard for Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination.

Some of you say that refusing to fight for or even vote for Hillary will show the Democratic political establishment why it must change its ways.

But the “Democratic political establishment” is nothing but a bunch of people, many of them big donors and fundraisers occupying comfortable and privileged positions, who won’t even be aware that you’ve decided to sit it out – unless Hillary loses to Donald Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

Which brings me to those of you who say there’s no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

That’s just plain wrong. Trump has revealed himself to be a narcissistic, xenophobic, hatemonger who, if elected, would legitimize bigotry, appoint Supreme Court justices with terrible values, and have direct access to the button that could set off a nuclear war.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hillary may not possess Bernie Sanders’s indignation about the rigging of our economy and democracy, or be willing to go as far in remedying it, but she’s shown herself a capable and responsible leader.

Some of you agree a Trump presidency would be a disaster but claim it would galvanize a forceful progressive movement in response.

That’s unlikely. Rarely if ever in history has a sharp swing to the right moved the political pendulum further back in the opposite direction. Instead, it tends to move the “center” rightward, as did Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

ADVERTISEMENT

Besides, Trump could do huge and unalterable damage to America and the world in the meantime.

Finally, some of you say even if Hillary is better than Trump, you’re tired of choosing the “lesser of two evils,” and you’re going to vote your conscience by either writing Bernie’s name in, or voting for the Green Party candidate, or not voting at all.

I can’t criticize anyone for voting their conscience, of course. But your conscience should know that a decision not to vote for Hillary, should she become the Democratic nominee, is a de facto decision to help Donald Trump.

Both of my morsels of advice may be hard to swallow. Many Hillary supporters don’t want Bernie to keep campaigning, and many Bernie supporters don’t want to root for Hillary if she gets the nomination.

ADVERTISEMENT

But swallow it you must—not just for the good of the Democratic Party, but for the good of the nation.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Give me a break’: Melania Trump mocked for ‘pretending to like Christmas’

Published

on

First Lady Melania Trump, sans a face mask, on Monday participated in the receiving of the White House Christmas tree, an annual event going back to the 19th century. Many wondered if she would appear, after being exposed by her former staffer and friend, using foul language to complain about having to decorate the White House last year.

In a series of damning conversations in which she also used profanity to complain about the children her husband separated from their families, the First Lady had said, “who gives a f**k about Christmas stuff and decoration?

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Donald Trump vows he ‘will never concede’ in late night conspiracy-filled rant

Published

on

Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential to President-elect Joe Biden, but is still refusing to concede.

White House aides reportedly convinced him to allow Biden to begin his transition by telling him he did not need to use the word "concede."

But that word appeared to be on his mind late Monday night.

"What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?" Trump asked while continuing to lie about the election being corrupt.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Trump supporters are slowly coming to grips with his miserable defeat

Published

on

This Monday was a reassuring day for democracy, but a devastating blow for supporters of President Donald Trump still holding out hope that he'll stay in office past January 2021.

Michigan certified the results of Joe Biden's victory, thwarting Trump's hope to overturn the outcome. And the General Services Administrator Emily Murphy finally provided Biden's team with the resources to fund his transition, a move even approved of by Trump himself, though he vowed to keep fighting:

Continue Reading