This country is apparently ready for a political revolution and it’s heading to The Light Side or The Dark Side, depending on your point of view. Republican, conservative, Democrat, liberal may all become obsolete terminology.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both carry huge negatives but Trump has been able to maneuver The Pivot without any opposition from the right and start attacking Hillary, the presumed Democrat candidate with a big war chest from big money donors. Bernie Sanders is right behind her and says he’s going all the way no matter what happens in the California primary.
According to ever shifting polls, Bernie shows a wider margin of votes over The Donald than Hillary in a head to head. Hillary was comfortably ahead of Trump but now various polls show her just barely ahead, a statistical tie and even a point below him. As much as Trump has riled the decency factor, Clinton has stoked the trustworthy flames and that Bern-ing smell is the big honesty grade that many Americans have given Sanders.
If it is Hillary vs Trump, most voters will hold their noses, pray or get drunk and vote or maybe not vote at all. Many will stay home and watch the Circus elect a new ring-master as the media will wring their hands until they see something “normal” occur. And that “normal” would be pre-ordained, pre-selected Hillary Clinton voted in so that “business as usual” can return. A low voter turnout will not get you a Revolution. A big voter turnout is what’s needed to move this country, either way. That is scary but at least its movement. We as Americans are going broke and bust as income inequality is finally an issue that won’t go away unless an apathetic or fearful populace allows itself to be once again snookered or bamboozled.
Trump is targeting Sanders voters as Independents since many are ex-Democrats who have given up or are just waiting. The Clinton coded talk and neo-liberal policies of the past are re-assuring to a big segment but Sanders is leading a working class and youth insurgency. He also has white males, many of whom hate Hillary and will turn to Trump to send the message they have been longing to send. Democrat officials are getting antsy and gave Sanders five picks for the DNC platform committee, Hillary got six and DNC head Wasserman-Schultz retains four. Bernie picked activists and not insiders. So now it’s game on and appropriate that Philadelphia be the Democratic Convention city, remember 1776 and all that?
And where has Elizabeth Warren been all this time? There are sparks and barks coming from her now as she attacks Trump on behalf of the Democrats. If she’s for real, she’s been playing a long game and would not challenge the DNC hierarchy and Hillary’s momentum. When Democrat insiders cry about Bernie, at least he and even Elizabeth are standing up to fight. Over the years of centrism, stasis and status quo, Democrats have laid down like dogs refusing to fight and take advantage of any political gains. Warren may have to help broker the Democrat Convention when everyone thought it was the Republicans in need of resuscitation.
On the other side, short of the fantasies of a third party, a brokered candidate or bringing out a retired General (a la Eisenhower), Republicans are so desperate to gain control of the White House they are in the various stages of Donald denial and Trump acceptance. American voters should sense that air of desperation. A Trump beat-down in the general election will also bring down many Republican office-holders and slap down those Tea Party jihadists, who have been willing to blow up the political process over right wing ideology.
Hillary Clinton is going to have to answer for a long list of issues and she’s been trying to keep up with Bernie like reforming the Federal Reserve and getting Dark Money out of political campaigns. Hillary has Syria, Libya, Honduras, Haiti, Clinton Foundation donations, Free Trade Treaties, the for profit prison business, the criminalization of poor segments of the population over the failed war on drugs, her Wall Street benefactors, and her hawkishness since she is perceived as the candidate of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex.
All this talk about making America Great Again ignores the fact that it was two huge expensive wars that split then united the country as the USA rebuilt its infrastructure and assisted the rest of the world in recovery. Now America has been through an endless war on terror that has ruined our economy and social structure while enriching the money brokers and top 1%. Instead of Eisenhower maybe it’s the next coming of Franklin Roosevelt. It was right wing business elements that considered some kind of coup against FDR’s people policies.
Trump cannot create jobs from thin air and isolationist Wall building is not sound economics, nor is insulting trading partners and international political allies. Going it alone is going it all alone. The globalization factor has been established and many jobs will not come back and without immigrants are Americans willing to get that dirty for promised low end jobs with no benefits? Bernie’s vision has a big price tag but it’s viable by clawing back corporate profits stashed away and corporate taxes not paid at all and curbing the military excesses by being smarter and transparent at every level. That exchange of wealth from the 1% back to the 99% will not hurt the uber-wealthy and it will be spent by those who need it back into the economy. Prosperity with Peace, Re-Build the Infrastructure, Human Dignity are pretty good talking points.
Hillary Clinton is going to have to up her game versus Bernie, as in truth and honesty, because the integrity issue is up in the air. Bernie has a puncher’s chance, but Hillary fights like Floyd Mayweather, not pretty to look at, avoiding serious confrontation until the bell rings. Trump awaits the Democrat nominee in November. He’s fought only chumps so far, as a bully. That’s why the fight game is called the sweet science.
Something’s got to give, only the uninformed and the fearful want things to remain the same. We need a huge voter turnout folks, HUGE.
Alex Jacobs, Mohawk, is a visual artist and poet living in Santa Fe.