I really appreciate your recognition of the complexity of what happened and continues to happen. Your representation of Hilary is both realistic and accurate.
I have vacillated between ideas. On the one hand, I wish Hilary had been a cleaner candidate with a cleaner slate than she had. The scandals which swirled around did make her less electable in my opinion.
On the other hand, I feel like Sander’s followers did and are taking their revolution way too far.
I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries. I felt his idealism matched my own. But, I also understood that he probably wouldn’t win the primaries. I still think he is a good person with good ideas and I do not feel he is a mysoginist. But I have been disappointed in how many of those who have made him out to be the messiah have now mutated into radical, unreasonable people.
I read an article recently that encapsulated what is happening on the left right now and there are just too many parallels with the alt. Right to make me comfortable. I have engaged these folks and tried to understand what they have to say. But their message has deteriorated into unsubstantiated charges and wild conspiracy theories.
Some of these folks believe the Russia issue is a hoax. I actually read one apologist for Bernie Sanders actually praise Bashir al Assad. This person actually quoted him and basically said he is being scapegoated and that all that he is doing is fighting terrorists in his country. I am ashamed that I was ever an ally to these kinds of people. To be honest, I had no idea.
I thought we were on the same side. I thought the debates allowed people to see that while there were differences in emphasis regarding some issues, there was basic agreement over the issues that matter to democrats. I thought that whoever won the nomination would be good for the country. I am increasingly rethinking that.
I have marched. I have written emails, postcard, tweets, Facebook posts. I have made phone calls to my representatives. I started a resistance group the day after the election that encourages activism wherever you are. I am helping my county Democratic Party start a progressive democrats caucus. I believe that the candidates we nominate should be pushed to work for the grassroots and any candidate that seems too beholden to special interests and corporations should be discouraged. I still believe the party needs to be more bottom up than top down.
But I worry.
I worry that these new caucuses will turn into organizations threatening the unity of the party instead of unifying it. I worry that the message these groups send will be vote like we want or we will take our votes elsewhere. That would be unacceptable to me and I will not be a part of that.
I thank you for expressing the conflict within my own thinking. I too did the research. I found most of the critique of Hilary to be specious and unfounded. But, none of it was enough for me to take the Hilary sticker off my car. I argued with the true believers that if they continued to agitate and advocate “never Hilary” they were going to cost her the election. While I do think there were other factors, the FBI revelations at the end of the campaign being the strongest, I do believe Bernie supporters who stayed home or voted green were a major reason she lost the election.
I voted my ideals in the primaries, but I lined up and supported the party in the election and though I wasn’t always comfortable with some of Hilary’s positions and campaign choices, I advocated for her to be elected. I think, as you said, it would have been easier to push her toward more progressive stances. She would have been easier to persuade. Now we have the cataclysm that we feared and I am ashamed that those who should be allies, differences be damned, are now shooting at each other.
So, yes, I will start the caucus. But it will be a Democratic caucus. Any idea of hijacking the party, or taking over the party I will resist. I will drop my support if that is what we are doing. I have nothing but gratitude to my party for fighting for justice even if it is not perfect.
So, as a former Bernie supporter, I appreciate your article and wholeheartedly recommend it. Thank you for taking the time to say this.