Bernie Sanders is to be blamed for Bernie Sanders’ failure to be able to clinch the nomination. I am not referring to mistakes he may have made in the beginning; I am not referring to shortcomings, all the candidates have those; I am not referring to his lack of substance during debates, Trump seems to do fine without that; I am not referring to the delivery of his message, he is great at doing it; I am not referring to lack of enthusiasm, his campaign is the only one with much enthusiasm and energy; I am not referring to campaign strategy, his is as good as or better than most. I am referring to Bernie Sanders violating the most important principle of his campaign.
Once upon a time, there was a bright light shining on Bernie; he was accepted as the messiah, probably the last one in our lifetime to carry the message of hope and salvation and lead the People of America to the promised land. Followed by large crowds of hungry, tired, disenchanted and disillusioned people, Bernie fed every single one of his followers with “hope to believe in” and has enough left for twice as many. Seeing the salvation coming, his followers warn the non-believers of the impending doomsday – the fight between Hillary and Donald – which may end all lives on earth. Determined to save mankind, a movement #FeelTheBern was created to spread the news everywhere, rapidly.
For a while, it seemed that the Savior could redeem mankind without being sacrificed but he was soon disillusioned by his great success and began to act just like all previous false prophets. The flames, initially a symbol of the FeelTheBern movement, are fading and “berning out” the energy and the enthusiasm of the “bernizens”. Despite what initially seemed a march to save the world – the Savior went away to meet with the Pope – the movement FeelTheBern is officially over, there is no more flame; the Revolution is dead; Bernie has only himself to blame.
My wish for Bernie to become the Democrat Party nominee began to fade the day he decided to switch into attack mode; that was well before the NY primaries on April 19, 2016. The Illinois primary on March 15, 2016 was the turning point that the campaign with the “berning” flames has begun to flame out. Bernie Sanders has himself to blame for that.
But this is exclusively about why Bernie Sanders, as a candidate, is now irrelevant unless FBI finds fault with Hillary Clinton in regards to her use of a private email server when she served as Secretary of State in Obama’s first term presidency. Although I declared well before any political expert could spell nominee that Hillary Clinton would be the Democrat pick (read about it here , an article I wrote in November 2015), I secretly wished for Bernie Sanders to become the nominee. I did hint at it when I wrote the article “Can Hillary Clinton Survive a 60-degree Bern?” but my decision not to support one party or another, one candidate or another prevented me from taking a public stance for Bernie. But because I was already confident of my analysis that Hillary Clinton would become the nominee, the next best thing was to suggest that she picks Bernie as her running mate. I wrote two articles making the plea for Bernie as Vice President (Read “Hillary-Bernie the Express Lane to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave” and “Hillary-Bernie The Unbeatable Democrat Ticket”); predictions aside, what happens to Bernie Sanders in NY in particular and to his campaign in general is his own doing. I wrote extensively about Bernie (on http://peoplebranch.org) beginning with the first article on whether he is really a socialist as he likes to refer to himself.
My wish for Bernie to become the Democrat nominee began to fade the day he decided to go negative. Although I knew my wish was in contradiction with my analysis that Hillary would be the nominee , – and I am very rarely wrong – I rode the emotional, hopeful and promising aspect of Bernie as President of the United States. Just like everyone else, I found Bernie to be honest, consistent, different and even unique perhaps but there were two other characteristics (probably three) of the Senator I fell in love with:
His foresight to see the outcome of a decision before making such or backing those who do – he accurately voted against the Iraq war which was orchestrated under false pretense – His wisdom is further strengthened by his primary objective to be a “servant” of The People instead of cuddling with lobbyists and special interest groups. Bernie doesn’t make decisions which benefit him primarily; he has always, always put the interests of the constituents first. – There is just one other politician who may be able claim the same, US Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts –
Bernie is not like other politicians; he is quick to acknowledge mistakes; yes, he is still human despite his wisdom. For instance, he publicly acknowledged the mistake of having supported Bill Clinton’s crime bill which has disproportionately disfavored minorities in general, blacks in particular.
There is one other characteristic I didn’t know about Bernie, he is exceptionally funny; he has an incredible sense of humor. Bernie whispered once publicly at a rally (before the NY primaries) not to let his opponent (Hillary) know he was going to win the NY primaries (he did not) because, he reasoned, she was under a lot of pressure and he didn’t want to add any more pressure to her to which joke the crowd laughed aloud.
It’s all those things – and many others – which have attracted large crowd to his rallies. There is some genuineness in his words; he is not trying to “con” his audience; he doesn’t do doubletalk. Such characteristics are very attractive; besides, the constituents have been yearning for a very longtime for someone who would really represent them in and take their interests to Washington, a candidate for The People so to speak; Bernie fits the qualification and meets the criteria. To me personally, there are two very important characteristics Bernie and I share:
His stance on “campaign financing”; Bernie doesn’t just talk about how bad it is for politicians to solicit money from millionaires and billionaires to finance their campaigns, he sets the example. His political career has been a model for others; it is indeed possible that one who aspires to public office can reach his objectives without compromising – through solicitation of campaign financing – the sacred duty of representing the constituents. Bernie brings the model to the national stage; he is running for president of the United States and his campaign is wholly financed by the same people (the constituents) who go to the voting booths to vote for him
His aversion for mudslinging in politics. Mr. Sanders has proven time and again he was able to go on with his political career without having to demonize his opponents. In Vermont, he ran for mayor (successfully), for governor (unsuccessfully) and for US Senate (successfully), pledged to debating issues and abode by his own principles “not to resort to mudslinging” even when his opponent did. And Bernie has been very successful.
When he launched a bid for the presidency, Bernie re-affirmed the principle he’s been living by for decades, he will not resort to mudslinging and negative campaigns. That was then; he was not even a blip on the Democrat Party’s radar. He was a distraction; he was the Socialist (the only one) US Senator from the second least populated state (the first is Wyoming) in the country; he is only one of two Independent US Senators (the other is Angus King from Maine, the neighboring state) in Washington; he is a 75 year old man, probably grumpy. Nobody cared that Sanders was running for president. No one cared about his principle not to resort to mudslinging. His voice was too weak for anyone to pay attention to. Presidential election is serious business for grown-ups, crooks and all those who are comfortable doing backroom deal, selling the country to the highest bidder. Bernie knew he had no chance to play in the grown-ups league let alone win but true to his principle, he wanted to contribute something, anything which could make a difference for the people of Vermont, for the people of America.
His early rallies attracted just a few hundred people; since Bernie swore not to solicit campaign financing from the rich and the powerful, he was on his own and had to rely completely on the few supporters to help pay for his travel across towns (by bus, train) using the cheapest means of transportation. However, when he brought up the “radical” FREE college education for all idea and began to talk about how he’s going to eliminate students’ loans, he got the attention of an army of young graduates and college students burdened with debts and no prospect of a good job. Armed with fresh knowledge, great skills, lots of energy and unwavering hope that grandpa Bernie will live long enough to make good on his promises once he reached the promised land, I mean Washington, young men and women across the country flock Bernie’s rallies. Using social media, they’ve helped organize the largest movement in modern time; coined “a Revolution” by Senator Bernie, the ever increasing crowd of millennials (of all races, creeds, colors, religions and sexual orientations) propels the “FeelTheBern” movement to national status which has not only changed the dynamic of the Democrat Party race but has also opened up the opportunity for Bernie to aspire to and even possibly win the nomination. When the New Hampshire primary votes were tallied (Feb 9, 2016), – Bernie won a crushing victory over Hillary by more than 20 points (Bernie: 60.4%; Hillary: 38%) – it became clear that Bernie was no longer a blip on the radar but a serious candidate – to pay attention to – for the nomination. Two months into the primaries, Bernie has proven to be much more than just a worthy opponent, he may even become the next president.
Already able to smell milk in the promised land and being able to mentally savor the sweet taste of honey awaiting in the Oval Office, Bernie’s campaign manager and strategists began crafting a more aggressive campaign, – dubbed the path to the nomination – the implementation of which requires the candidate (Bernie) to adopt a more “politic like” tone; translation, to begin attacking his opponent (Hillary). Bernie obliged. Although Mrs. Clinton’s own aggressive strategy (which I warned her about in the article Who Started The Fight last January 2016) to get rid of Sanders once and for all is to be partly blamed for the rift, Bernie Sanders has violated the most important principle of his political career. He went after Mrs. Clinton with a vengeance all the while offering excuses for ditching his principle. In the Illinois primary for instance, Bernie spent over $3 million in attack ads featuring Hillary with the disgraced mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel. It did not work; Sanders still lost the primary. And the Sanders’ campaign doubled down on the attack strategy; with that in mind, his campaign watches and dissects Hillary’s every word. So, when she did not refute the “Is Bernie qualified to be president?” question by Joe Scarborough in the Morning Joe show on April 6, 2016, the Bernie’s campaign sprung to attack again; Bernie accused Hillary of something she didn’t say (although she may have implied it) and began smearing her as the one unqualified to be president. Bernie has completely parted way with a principle he has espoused for decades throughout his political career, a principle which has brought him many successes.
I can now put my secret wish for Bernie to win the nomination to rest; he is not going to. I’ve always had a very difficult time getting a grasp on the rationale anyone uses to switch strategy, to modify something that’s working or to simply adopt a brand new way of doing things all the while abandoning one which brings good results. Although Bernie’s campaign manager and strategists mean well, – they all want him to become the nominee – they’ve failed to understand that Bernie’s principle is more powerful than any strategy they could possibly concoct up.
It finally dawns on me that Bernie is not meant to be the nominee let alone become the next President. I am nevertheless disappointed that Bernie – after so many victories using his noble principle – has decided to abandon an attitude that is sorely needed in our political discourse. Most importantly, I am very disappointed that Bernie couldn’t recognize he has gotten that far in the race without resorting to negative attacks.
Bernie Sanders will not be the nominee; he’s brought the omen unto himself. He should have known better.
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