By Ben Tanosborn
Back in 1968, as Richard Nixon was stealing the White House from Hubert Humphrey, courtesy of southern bigot George Wallace, you were settling in Vermont hoping for a start in a political career; and I, too, was starting a business career after receiving an MBA diploma from UCLA. Quite a year that 1968, not just for us but for our country; a nation divided thanks to an ongoing war in Vietnam, and two iconic men assassinated in barely two months: Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4) and Robert Kennedy (June 6). But to the solemnity of such a tragic year, a related note could be added; a note apropos to your current/ending campaign and that revolution that supposedly you claim is taking place during this 2016 presidential election… one that in fact isn’t. Not quite yet!
Towards the end of 1968, then Philip Morris Companies, a tobacco-based conglomerate, introduced a uniquely long and thin brand of cigarettes, Virginia Slims. It became an instant success, a marketing hit which eulogized the virtue of independence for young professional women, partaking of the Company’s fashionable poison using the catchy slogan “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Victory once again for deceit and manipulation sold to American society as a noble, commercial process called marketing.
Well, Bernie, just as the bad guys won the day in 1968 (Richard Nixon and Philip Morris), the bad guys are winning again in 2016 (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump). As for that revolution you have dreamed about; well, keep dreaming, my good man. You will be honored in Philadelphia, and some of your progressive ideas might become part of the Democratic Party’s platform. But ideas they will remain, not purposeful action, for progressivism isn’t in the Democratic leadership’s bone marrow, and has forever been removed from the most deceitful couple in American politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton.
You have answered the call as America’s political prophet, Bernie, but you might not be destined to be the messiah. You’ll be tempted by the lesser-devil with senatorial leadership, so that your brigades may join the battle against the flamboyant Hun… but you may wish to consider other choices that could bring about revolutionary change in American politics, perhaps not today, but within 4 to 8 years. Think for a while, Honest Bernie, ponder on the long range benefits to the middle class you love.
Surrendering to Hillary, even under a seemingly honorable capitulation provided by the rationalization of mirages, may further sink the progressivism you’re fighting for.
Both factions of the Republican Party, the non-ideological bigopats (bigot patriots) who follow blindly Donald Trump and the traditional GOP ideologues/wealth-amassers, may appear equally harmful to a large underprivileged class, but the lesser-evil offered by Democrats is by no stretch of the imagination a political balm. Not economically and, most importantly, not in the recognition of the key ingredient for universal prosperity: peace. Democrats and Republicans have proven to be indistinctly predatory in both economic and military matters. Are you, Bernie, equally sold on peace?
I’d like to think that you are, senator. The economy is important, and a logical and fair distribution of wealth is and will always be critical in a get-along society; however, that will not happen until universal peace is attained. No; not peace under our tutelage, but peace that is arrived at through both trust and compromise! In the 2012 presidential election the most important issues were the Economy (including the budget deficit) with 74 percent; Health Care 18 percent; and Foreign Policy with 5 percent. Today, those percentages probably remain the same. And that should bring us national shame, dear Bernie! But that is the nature of the civic monster represented by the two parties that, corruptly, alternate ruling an undemocratic political system in the United States.
Libertarians and Greenies have non-belligerence programmed into their political DNA. Don’t you feel, Bernie, that the political following you have enlisted during the campaign have that same medullar love of peace? Are you going to throw them under the bus just to help Hillary’s personal ambitions? Shouldn’t you try to cross progressivism’s Rubicon, joining forces with Jill Stein and her Green Party? A fusion of Progressive-Green could become an alternative to the Tweedledee-Tweedledum marionettes that are at Wall Street’s beck and call. And peace applies as well to the Libertarian Party. The two contingents are in a position this time around to dismantle the two-party hegemony and jointly garner as much as 30 to 40 percent of the popular vote, bringing the possible demise of politics as usual, and the undemocratic Electoral College. But that will require media exposure, being “allowed” to participate in the debates.
Revolution isn’t repetitive evolution, as you well know, Bernie. Most often it takes a measure of chaos, even an anarchical spark, to bring about change. And political change is something we are in desperate need of in these United States.
Many people in the nation are counting on your wisdom, Bernie.