Monday, May 11, 2015
Invest in Activism, AND Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Grassroots
Now that Bernie Sanders has announced his candidacy for president there seem to be a lot of people that might be expected to support him raising concerns about him. Many of these concerns are legitimate but he is far better than the candidates supported by the traditional media and the political establishment controlled by corporations.
Once again there are a surprising number of people that want real reform virtually admitting that there is little or no chance of electing a president that isn't under the control of multinational corporations. I know that if it is possible it won't be easy and that we will need major changes and support from the grass roots level.
It seems to me that the best way to go about this is to support the candidates that represent the real grassroots issues and cover the issues as well. However when some of these candidates have legitimate problems they shouldn't be ignored and skepticism should be maintained when donating to candidates and letting them decide how to use donations, which may not always support the issues. As I indicated in several posts including Elizabeth Warren steals credit from real grass roots efforts some grass roots candidates are actually manufactured by the traditional media and they try to find ways to convince the public to donate to campaigns that aren't likely to support their interests.
One of the leading critics of supporting Bernie Sanders is David Swanson as indicated in this excerpt:
He may have a good point when it comes to not donating money to candidates. In the long run we should probably have election reform that finances institutions like Project Vote Smart (which should be improved and accountable to the public) that asks candidates questions which should be controlled by the public or other institutions that control the debates and invite all candidates to have a chance to be heard, not just those supported by the corporations that currently finance candidates.
However I'm not completely ruling out the possibility that we could have a large enough grassroots effort to give a real candidate a chance to win; although if this is going to happen they'll need support from the grass roots along with efforts to focus on the issues. Both Clinton's and Obama have demonstrated that they have no intention of addressing the concerns of the vast majority of the public; and as I have indicated before, Elizabeth Warren is no better although the media has created much better propaganda on her behalf. Now that they're in campaign mode they make a lot of promises and do their best to seem sincere; but we've seen how that turns out once they get in office and quickly hedge or abandon the promises unless they're held accountable by an alert public.
However Bernie Sanders really did rise from the grassroots starting decades ago and he has kept in touch with them since then. He is almost certainly much less likely to start breaking promises almost as soon as he gets in office like Obama.Some of his critics have indicated that he has become less attentive to the grass roots now than he has two decades ago; but he seems to cater to the political establishment much less than other politicians, I suspect because attentive grass roots efforts from Vermont are helping keep him honest.
Another good reason why we shouldn't abandon them is because they can do an excellent job increasing the profile of important issues and help grassroots candidates at the local level win more. As I indicated previously The media isn’t reporting it but Grass Roots candidates are winning some local elections and both Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders can help increase attention to this and help more get elected; and if enough of them help then either Bernie or Jill might actually have a chance of winning.
And as I indicated previously Jill Stein addressed many issues in 2012; “viable” candidates didn’t; by pointing out some of the issues that were suppressed by the press in 2012 it might encourage more people to abandon traditional media and candidates. Also they could create a track record that could help draw additional attention to the tactics that the media uses to rig the coverage of candidates and ensure that only those supported by corporations get positive coverage.
The media has already begun doing that with Bernie Sanders by indicating that he doesn't have support in his home state, Vermonters skeptical of Bernie Sander's candidacy. This is the typical kind of coverage that they provide to make it indicate that he is already a loser while they present their own candidates in a much more optimistic light and decline to cover issue.
If Bernie runs a good campaign with help from the grassroots there are several possibilities that are more likely. One is that he will actually win, assuming enough people wake up and recognize how they've been manipulated. I don't completely rule this out especially with ongoing protests on one issue after another.
Another possibility is that he could force Hillary to address more issues more effectively. Even though she almost certainly won't keep promises if she has a choice, we will have a track record to show the public. Or she might use more dirty tactics and ther3e will be a track record of that as well. In this cases then her deceptive track record could help boost third party candidates, including Jill Stein, assuming she gets the Green Party nomination again, by showing how deceptive Hillary is.
Also Bernie Sanders has filled out past questionnaires from Project Vote Smart unlike the majority of high profile candidates that get adequate coverage from the traditional media. He hasn't filled out the one from 2016 yet but it is still early, so I'll give him time and tweet him to keep him honest. Jill Stein has also filled out the questionnaires in the past.
Perhaps the biggest Difference Between Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders as some people have pointed out is their position on Israel, bringing military money to Vermont and supporting the troops by bringing them home. Bernie Sanders should take his own advise; “If you think it’s too expensive to take care of veterans, then don’t send them to war.”
If the problem comes down to choosing between Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders then I would probably choose Jill Stein; however this seems unlikely. Also the better both of them do the more likely we are to have a good debate; and I don't get the impression that Bernie is nearly as phony as Obama Clinton or even Warren.
If it were a choice between Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders that would be a much better choice than we've had in the past; but until them we shouldn't be divided over those two.
However no matter who wins the presidency there is an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that we will need an active electorate paying attention to the issues, holding candidates accountable, reforming the system including pushes for instant run-off elections and proportionate representation and alternative media outlets.
Bruce Gagnon: Sen. Sanders Running Against Hillary 05/04/2015
How the Establishment Is Trying to Deep-Six Sanders’s Campaign 05/02/2015
My attack from the left on Sanders, Taibbi, and Swanson 05/01/2015
The Problem With Bernie 04/30/2015
Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders, the TPP "Corporate Coup d’État" & Writing to the White House 05/01/2015
Is Bernie Sanders Just Another Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? 05/04/2015