Don’t Take My Vote for Granted Next Time

“(Elizabeth Warren) said that when Perez won the party post early this year, ‘the very first conversation I had with him [was] to say, you have got to put together a Democratic Party in which everybody can have confidence that the party is working for Democrats, rather than Democrats are working for the party.’” – quoted by Nick Visser, HuffPost

Well, we have a mess here and that’s for sure. The question is: How do we fix it?

Look, I voted for Hillary Clinton because I felt I had no choice last November. Our only other option was Trump. And. Yeah. Don’t even get me started on THAT one. There was a lot of pressure put on progressives by the Democratic party to vote for Clinton. We were guilted. Those, like myself, who had been Bernie supporters were especially guilted. In fact, some people STILL blame Bernie’s supporters for this mess – which is kind of like blaming the victim of a purse snatching for having a purse.

It’s been bandied around a lot that Clinton lost because she was a woman. But no, I wasn’t reluctant to vote for her because she’s a woman. I would have eagerly voted for Elizabeth Warren, for instance.  I was reluctant to vote for her because I didn’t think the Democratic candidate, or those who counseled her, recognized the need to get out and talk to the disenfranchised, homeless, poor, and unemployed. There was the same old emphasis on getting campaign money from the rich and powerful and sort of ignoring everyone else. This is not to say that I thought the Democratic candidate didn’t care about the poor, but that she seemed sort of oblivious to them, you know?

People have suggested that Bernie Sanders shouldn’t have tried to run as a Democrat because he’d never really been a part of the party machine – he hadn’t “paid his dues” to the party like Clinton had, I guess – and it’s been suggested that he should have run as a third party candidate. But if Sanders had run as a third party candidate he would have split the progressive vote – and how would that have helped our country? So 1) Sanders couldn’t run as a Democrat and expect to get the party’s nomination and 2) he couldn’t run as a third party candidate without splitting the progressive vote. How do we fix this cockamamie system?

Progressives need a presidential candidate in 2020 who can be a voice for the middle and lower classes – someone, like Bernie Sanders, who reaches out to the “common folk” and walks their walk with them.

As I see it, we have to either do an over-haul on the Democratic party which is supposed to be representing us, or we throw it out altogether and create something entirely new. But I’ll tell you this:  In the next election, if the Democratic party refuses to transform itself, it should not take my vote for granted. Guilting me isn’t going to work again.

(Here’s an interesting article from the Huffington Post: Elizabeth Warren Says 2016 Democratic Nomination Rigged for Hillary Clinton. )

A Political Vent (you might want to skip this one)

I voted for Hillary Clinton in November 2016. Because Trump.

But I wanted Bernie.

Hillary Clinton is telling us now that the lack of respect from Bernie and his supporters “hurt.” But the manner in which the Democratic party (under the leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz) ignored Bernie Sanders, ignored the huge rallies and the enthusiasm of his supporters, “hurts.” Clinton’s narrow-visioned, egocentric take on the presidential election is proof to me that she should never have won the Democratic nomination for President. I wished then, and I wish now, that Clinton would have stepped aside when she saw the wave of enthusiasm that Bernie had behind him. He would have won the presidency and we wouldn’t be dealing with what we’re dealing with now.

I remember thinking “big deal” when Clinton won all those states in the south in her race to win the Democratic nomination. I knew those southern states weren’t going to vote for Clinton in the general election. Winning those southern states meant nothing. I could see that it was the northern states, the Pacific states, the states in the northeast – the blue states – that mattered in the race for the Democratic nomination. The southern states were going to vote Republican in the end. They were not going to vote for Clinton in November.

If Clinton had really had the best interests of the country at heart, rather than her own single-minded, blind, dogged determination to be the first woman President, she would have seen that, too. But she didn’t. The fact that she STILL doesn’t see it is testament to me that she should never have been the nominee for President.

Clinton did a terrible disservice to our nation by not stepping aside and letting Bernie Sanders lead the charge. To feel “hurt” because he didn’t drop out of the race right away has me shaking my head. The presidency of the United States is not some prize to be won by the biggest ego. Neither is it supposed to be a job promotion to whoever gives the most money and time to her (his) political party. The President of the United States is supposed to represent ALL Americans – not just Democrats, not just Republicans, and not just the wealthy and powerful.

And for those of you who are posting a defense of Clinton and telling your readers they aren’t allowed to respond to your post in a negative way: tough bananas. This is still America and I am still allowed to openly disagree with you.

Please can we have a viable candidate in 2020?

 

Today’s Assignment

Class,

Here’s today’s assignment: Tell me what you most respect about your choice of presidential candidate, what you think are your candidate’s greatest accomplishments (please include specific examples), what you consider your candidate’s greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses, and why you think your candidate would make a good President. Avoid any reference to an opposing candidate (you will lose points if you do this) and personal attacks.

Have fun!

Mrs. Terrell

***

I will be voting for Hillary Clinton this election. Although I went to the Democratic caucus as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and would like to have seen him win the Democratic nomination, I have to admit that Hillary Clinton has won me over in the last month. The morning after the second debate I woke up realizing that I really WANTED to vote for Hillary Clinton. There was something about the way she handled herself during the debate that really impressed me. She was criticized by some for being too unemotional – but it occurred to me that if she’d shown emotion, she would have been criticized for being an “emotional female.” I liked, too, the way she talked to individuals in the audience face-to-face – I liked how she talked to the Muslim woman and addressed her concerns about discrimination.

What I most respect about Hillary Clinton is her commitment to doing what she thinks is the right thing to do – her “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” attitude about the issues that matter to her. She’s been demonized, threatened with bodily harm, lied about, and ridiculed – but none of it seems to phase her. She keeps her eye on the goal and keeps moving forward.

Her greatest accomplishments? As First Lady, her work in helping to bring health care to impoverished children through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program; as a senator from New York , her work to bring aid to the first responders who got sick after 9-11, and to bring $21 billion in federal aid to New York to help it re-build after the attack; and, as Secretary of State, her work in keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran, and in creating avenues for women, globally, to become empowered. Hillary Clinton has admitted she’s better at the “servant” part than the “public” part. She’s more a Clydesdale than a prancing Lipizzaner. She’s one of those people who has worked for years behind the scenes – forging progressive policies, working for children, the poor, and the disenfranchised.

This brings me to what I feel are her greatest strengths and her biggest weaknesses: She’s great at policy-forging, and at behind-the-scenes negotiations. She’s tenacious. When she sees there’s a need, she finds a way to meet it. But this also might tend to make her focus narrowed – I don’t know that she always sees what’s going on in the periphery – I think she was blind-sided, for instance, by the strong support Bernie Sanders amassed during his campaign. I wish she were as much “public” as “servant” – I wish she held rallies in football stadiums à la Bernie, and had the ability to rouse the troops. But if I have to choose between “public” and “servant” – the “servant” part of a politician is more important to me than the “public” part.

I think Hillary Clinton will be a good President. Maybe even a great one. I believe she genuinely cares about people, and wants to help. I believe she wants to leave the world a better place than she found it. I believe she has the intelligence and savvy and heart to do this.

todays-assignment

 

“Democracy isn’t a spectator sport.”

“Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love—be it song, sermon, or Science—blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Man, I am really going to miss President Obama. I’m sitting here, wiping the tears and snot from my face, having just listened to his speech. We have been so blest to have him at the helm the last eight years. Here are some quotes from his speech that really inspired me (and I really needed to feel some inspiration right now):

“It can be frustrating, this business of democracy. Trust me, I know… when the other side refuses to compromise… (but) I promise you when we keep at it, when we change enough minds… then progress does happen. Democracy works, America. But we gotta want it. Not just during an election year, but during all the years in between. We all need to be as vocal and persistent as Bernie Sanders’s supporters have been this election… Feel the Bern! “
– Pres. Obama

“The American dream is something no wall will ever contain.”
– Pres. Obama

“We can honor police and treat every community fairly – we can do that.”
– Pres. Obama

“Democracy doesn’t work if we constantly demonize each other. For progress to happen we have to listen to each other and see ourselves in each other and… fight to find common ground.”
– Pres. Obama

“Democracy isn’t a spectactor sport. It isn’t about yes, he will. It’s about yes, WE can.”
– Pres. Obama

“America is already great… and I’ll tell you that our greatness does not depend on Donald Trump. He’s betting that if he scares enough people he might just score enough points to win this election… He’s selling the American people short. We’re not a fragile people. We’re not a frightened people… we don’t look to be ruled. Our power comes from those immortal declarations “WE hold these truths to be self-evident…” It’s not about what one person can do FOR us, but what we can achieve together.”
– Pres. Obama

“We’re not done perfecting our union…and that work involves a big choice this November… this is not your typical election… this is a more fundamental choice about who we are as a people and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self government…what we heard in Cleveland wasn’t particularly Republican, and it certainly wasn’t conservative… (when) we turn away from each other and isolate ourselves from the world… that is not the America i know. The America i know is full of courage and optimism… decent and generous… we are challenged to do better, to be better…(as I’ve traveled around the country) what I have seen more than anything is what is right with America…I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas.. ready to seize what ought to be… I see an America of every party, every background, every faith…. who believe we are stronger together… that’s the America I know.”
– Pres. Obama

In 2012 I was a delegate for Pres. Obama at the 2012 Washington State Democratic Convention. Here I am with Cory Booker. Yeah, I was a little excited. 🙂

Cory Booker and Karen

Madcap Christian Scientist for Bernie

“Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy has always believed that those who are entitled to vote should do so, and she has also believed that in such matters no one should seek to dictate the actions of others.”
– from Prose Works by Mary Baker Eddy

Christian Scientists are expected to follow individual conscience when it comes to voting. There are no bossy britches big wigs in the Christian Science movement telling other Christian Scientists how to vote… and, frankly, trying to dictate voting choices to Christian Scientists would be like trying to herd cats, anyway. We are a… peculiar… people. (And “peculiar” might be an under-statement. 🙂 )

In 2012 I served as a delegate for President Obama at the state convention. This year I am rooting for Bernie Sanders. It is very tempting for me to explain my choice by pointing out the flaws and foibles of the other folks running for President. But it’s probably a more positive thing for me to talk about the things about Mr. Sanders that I like and respect – things that I liked and respected about him even before he announced his candidacy: He is honest; consistent in his views; fights for the humble, poor, and disenfranchised; and cares about the same things I care about. He is an upright man:

“The upright man is guided by a fixed Principle, which destines him to do nothing but what is honorable, and to abhor whatever is base or unworthy; hence we find him ever the sane, – at all times the trusty friend, the affectionate relative, the conscientious man of business, the pious worker, the public-spirited citizen…He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no mask to cover him, for he acts no studied part; but he is indeed what he appears to be, – full of truth, candor, and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path but the fair, open, and direct one, and would much rather fail of success than attain it by reproachable means.”
– 
Mary Baker Eddy’s re-working of a description found in Murray’s The English Reader, published in 1823

There’s a quote in Timequake, by Kurt Vonnegut, that I think could have easily been said by Bernie Sanders: “Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”

Feel the Bern! 🙂

Bernie-Sanders-AP77174442780-1024x724

photo by Carolyn Kaster