Sanders: Finally, Peaceful Regime Change
Which will make US citizens happier, safer, and better off?
- Violent regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Libya and more?
- Or peaceful regime change in the USA?
In 2008 there was wide agreement for the latter. But while the president changed, key policies didn’t. Instead, for 15 years we’ve had:
• continuous war, occupation and regime change efforts in the mideast
• secret, mass warrantless surveillance
• unlimited and corporate backed campaign funding
• civilians bombed by manned and unmanned aircraft
• The Patriot Act
• private for-profit health care
• billions in bank fraud without a single prosecution
• mass incarceration amid federal denial of medical cannabis
• secret law
• arrest and prison for whistleblowers who expose government crimes
• immunity for torture
• indefinite detention without charges or trial
If a Bush, McCain, Romney or white male Republican had been pursuing these policies for the past 7 years we’d see widespread, continuous outrage. Unconstitutional surveillance alone could quickly lead to impeachment proceedings by the opposition party.
But today instead there is no credible opposition party. And our First Black President has been impeded so unfairly that supporters wonder if, under new management, these unconstitutional, immoral policies should now be overlooked. Indeed they continue, ignored yet hidden in plain sight.
Today James Comey is best known for his many false statements about cracking iPhones. Most of us are unaware that he approved Bush administration torture twice — because instead of being prosecuted, Comey has been promoted to direct our FBI. Instead of pursuing justice for torture, the president passed a new law to keep torture photos secret. The president not only oversees the NSA’s secret warrantless spying as Bush did; he has immunized felon James Clapper, whose lies under oath denying the surveillance led to the Snowden leaks. Some feel that, through our silence, we’re offering the beleaguered president relief he obviously deserves. But what’s happened is, we have made the once-detested, disastrous, unconstitutional policies of his predecessor into a newly acceptable norm.
And now former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has actively supported mideast Regime Change and all of these policies for decades, has aggressively positioned herself as the candidate who will continue this regime as the First Woman President.
The theory: with these race, gender and party changes, no one will notice 20 continuous years of catastrophic, unconstitutional policies.
If you want these policies to continue for another 4 years or more, you might achieve that by voting for Hillary Clinton in the primary. But polls show most Americans despise her, and even some Democrats admit they’d rather stay home. Absurdly, her most effective Get Out The Vote campaigner is Donald Trump.
But actually, if you’re afraid of Trump, every poll says we should vote for Bernie Sanders. He’s the only candidate people vote for rather than against, and only Sanders beats Trump by wide margins. Let’s be careful: this year it’s not clear an Establishment candidate can beat a Regime Change candidate in November.
And let’s understand the dynamic where the more excited people are, and the more independents and new young voters participate in November, the easier it will be for the Democrat to win:
As an equality activist and person of color, I’m outraged by the idea of voting Black or Female — just as I would be over someone loyally voting White. Such voters mock Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream that we measure people by the content of their character — and that we demand a moral dimension in our leaders, reject militarism and embrace peace. By now we’ve seen our president was mistaken when in 2009 he dismissed non-violence, saying “evil does exist” and insisting military force would keep us safe — as if murdered Dr. King, whose church was bombed killing four children, hadn’t understood Terror.
Let’s not be misled by race and gender. “Black people don’t support Sanders” is a misleading and frankly racist frame. Fellow New Yorkers Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, articulate Rosario Dawson, former NAACP head Ben Jealous, and activists Michelle Alexander and Ta-Nehisi Coates matter. From Dr. Cornel West to rapper Killer Mike, we are the tip of an iceberg — but that doesn’t make us white. Millions of people of color understand we need change and support Bernie Sanders. In contrast, authoritarians of every race and gender support Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They can be found widely in the Confederate states Republicans always win. We mustn’t let their influence in the primaries cut off our opportunity for change. Voters like us in New York and California must make the difference.
This primary election season we have a simple choice: extend this 15 year regime to 20 years, while at the same time risking a tight race with Donald Trump; or embrace long overdue regime change in the United States — the one kind of regime change it’s both our right and our duty to pursue — with Bernie Sanders.