An Old Scumbag’s Take on Bernie and Hillary Unifying Their Party

by on May 12, 2016 · 6 comments

in Election, From the Soul, Politics

Sanders and Clinton at the Democratic Presidential debate from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, airing Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015

By Ernie McCray

For not supporting Hillary Clinton, people like me, including millions of young people, millennials, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, have been described as naive-unrealistic-shallow-thinking-delusional-idiotic-scumbags – and we’ve been compared to followers of Trump.

I didn’t see it coming, at all, as the insults have come from the kinds of people with whom I’ve been associated politically my entire voting life: 57 years.

I’m talking people who supported JFK, as did I. We waited patiently as he hemmed and hawed and finally got around, before his life was taken, to jotting down a few ideas that gave rise to the Civil Rights Act.

And then we joyously backed LBJ who got the act passed and then down the line we supported politicos who seemed most likely, at the time, to have our backs: Hubert Humphrey; George McGovern; Jimmy Carter; Walter Mondale; Michael Dukakis…

We were all on the same page in our political battles as the alternatives for us were folks like Tricky Dicky Nixon and Gerald Ford and Papa Bush and Ronald Reagan, people who meant no one any good other than the fat cats we now call the 1%.

When Bill Clinton came along I’ll admit I kept my support in check a bit. He had too much of a “used car salesman” aura about him for my liking.

But I’m a team player and one day he looked me in the eye through my TV and said “I feel your pain” and I sheepishly gave in. But I still had a feeling that he would ditch me and my people’s struggles in a heart beat if it meant giving up something he really wanted.

I’ve got to say, though, he did some rather nice things: kept the economy relatively stable; appointed women and minorities to high positions; had a hand, with his wife, in trying to reform our country’s health care system. I had to give him his props for that.

But something still didn’t quite resonate with me and the second time he ran I voted for Ralph Nader. Before now, that was the only time I can remember being blasted for my views, or for how I voted – by folks other than republicans and dixiecrats. An old friend of mine, Gloria Johnson, a political and social activist, extraordinaire, called me all kinds of names for not giving my allegiance to Bill.

At the end of that shaming I found myself soul searching, coming to decide that maybe I should be more open minded about this guy – and then the next thing I knew some of his actions knocked me for a loop.

As a school principal I saw people suffer from trying to feed their families and find care for their children, working in places life fast food cafes, for very minimal wages, after they had lost their welfare benefits because of his “reforms.”

I saw the kids of a couple of friends of mine ending up in prison, doing serious time, as a result of the man’s “tough on crime” stance – because they had already been in trouble two times. Three strikes and you’re out, no matter what the third crime.

And now his wife is running for the highest office in the land and I don’t know really if she thinks like him on these issues but I do know that she’s to the right of him when it comes to putting our armed forces in harm’s way. Her hawkish-ness became loud and clear through her aggressive stances regarding the use of military force in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

So I don’t think my hesitancy in getting excited about Hillary and all her “experience,” is a reason for my judgement and intelligence to be attacked. A person can be only so many idiots.

Truth is: I mistakenly thought that we “liberals” had been waiting forever for someone like Bernie Sanders (and Elizabeth Warren) to come around, somebody who “keeps it real,” somebody who has put it on the line for justice and equality for a long time, somebody who could rally “those young people who don’t seem to care” that we’ve been talking about for years.

And now supporters of Bernie are being told to stop being violent and vow to support Hillary so the party can be unified and if we don’t we’ll be responsible for Trump winning the election.

Hey, you can call us names, but the bullshit has got to go: if Trump becomes president it would be due to much deeper social and political reasons than Hillary not being supported by people like me.

But do we really think Bernie would not be fully committed to seeing that Trump never sets up residence in the White House?

I’d say that, instead of calling him, among many things, a sore loser who’s desperate and mean, we should praise him for leading Hillary way to the left of the meek moderate political positions she’s held over time.

Have we not noticed that she’s now thinking that $15.00 an hour is a better minimum wage than $12.00 for the same amount of work; that she’s trying to take on a tougher tone regarding toning down Wall Street; that she’s speaking more loudly about income inequality and walking picket lines? That’s Bernie’s influence to a large degree.

I would hope that we come to agree that any unifying of the party of the donkey, if it is to be be unified, should happen when the time is right: at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.

By the time that gathering convenes, in late July, we should hope that Hillary will be up to working with Bernie to develop a platform that’s truly progressive and fully about helping the millions of our fellow citizens who see the American Dream as a mere fantasy that’s out of their reach.

And when the convention is over our candidate has to resist the urge to play “Yo Mama” verbal games with Trump, as he, with no discernible logical reasoning powers, will win such a spitting contest with some talk about how big his hands are and how great he is in all things – with many of his flock hooting and hollering their approval in the background.

The candidate that emerges from this gathering should bypass this clown and go straight to the heart and soul of Americans and help us dedicate ourselves to “of the people, by the people, and for the people” kind of thinking – stressing as Bernie has, all along, that no one person can do this, that “We the People,” have to do it.

This old naive-unrealistic-shallow-thinking-delusional-scumbag thinks that we not only have to defeat Donald Trump, we have to do it overwhelmingly and identify ourselves as a nation that dares to fulfill its promise of liberty and justice for all.

For our children. They’re watching.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

mjt May 12, 2016 at 11:18 am

Hi Ernie, i am a fellow scumbag and i go back as far as you.

The whole political reality in America is a disappointment. Neither party addresses the money and armies of lobbyists that have invaded DC. When Obama balked at bombing Syria AIPAC sent out 300 lobbyists to influence policy.
To me 300 is an astonishing number.

The Clinton’s answer only to money. I am sorry but Hillary is as loathsome as can be.
They never saw a trade deal they did not like. Remember when Perot called , NAFTA a giant sucking sound, pulling jobs from America.
They supported incarceration, wars, what ever their masters say. They moved to New York to be in Banker’s Heaven.

Now the best part, i like Trump. Yes he is is scary, unpredictable, and flirts with megalomania.
But i see him as a political icebreaker. He is already doing damage to the Republican Party, hooray.
I believe that Donald wants to help America, i think jobs are the most important issue, because without jobs America faces unrest.
Trump will churn through political gridlock, coming from side to side, throwing the kitchen sink, and everything else. He is also not an ideologue.

I have long thought that what we need is a benevolent dictator, sometimes i think martial law is needed.
Trump is talking about appointing retired Generals to run his administration.

And lastly to all you agenda driven fools who put your self interest before America.
The time has come to take our medicine.

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Natasha May 12, 2016 at 1:44 pm

There is simply no way I can vote for her. No way at all.

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independent May 12, 2016 at 6:01 pm

Don’t worry, for every democratic voter disaffected with Hillary, there are 10 republican voters disaffected with Trump.

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Davis Foulger May 12, 2016 at 11:12 pm

I don’t know who is calling you names. It’s always a bad tactic and it’s one I try to avoid, but I’ve been called lots of names myself this year … mostly by Bernie supporters. I take a different view of things than you do. I don’t think Hillary is hawkish and I don’t think she’s the same as Bill.

She’s been progressive in deed ever since she left a Republican Party that she found to be racist in 1968, and she started to make a real contribution to the progressive dialogue when she started writing papers about the rights of children in 1973. Her first paper was not a only a starting point for the “Children’s Defense Fund” (which she helped to start, later served on the board of, and has now become a significant contributor to thanks in part to speaking fees), but is generally recognized and cited as a starting point for recognizing the rights of children. She subsequently worked to create legal clinics to help the poorly represented, medical facilities to help the poor, standards to improve rhe quality of primary and secondary school teachers, and programs to improve access to health care nationwide. Her speech “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” is generally regarded as one of the best speeches by an American in the 20th Century and is generally regarded as enhancing the rights of women around the world. And that work goes on through a combination of NGO and government programs that improve people’s lives.

My point here is not to talk you out of voting for Bernie. If you think he’s the right candidate you should vote for him. My view all year has been that the Democratic Party has been graced with two great candidates this year. Bernie is inspirational and has great ideas. Hillary gets great progressive work done, and you’ll need to know that before deciding who you are going to vote for in November.

Vote for Bernie. Just keep in mind that he will not be nominated. That wasn’t clear a few months ago, but it is now. Hillary is only 163 delegates from the nomination. She’s going to win. It may not happen until California votes, but it will happen. She will probably take a 400 pledged delegate lead to the convention and will only need about 100 superdelegates from her current 450 super-delegate lead to win. Bernie won’t change many minds among Super-delegates. That said, every vote for Bernie will affect the platform. That’s a good thing.

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DT Shindler May 12, 2016 at 11:12 pm

I completely agree that (some of) the tenor of this years Presidential race stems from the dissatisfaction of voters — the name-calling, anger, and physical violence has been something pushed by propaganda sources like Fox “news”, and by their mouth-pieces (pick any “head” on that network, or just about any conservative talk show radio “mouth”). Unfortunately, just a LOT of people — even a few on “the left” — think that getting physical is a necessary element of protest (which probably comes from seeing too many TV news show video feeds, that focus only on that)/

As for Bernie Sanders, I think a LOT of what he preaches — and plans and proposes — is terrific. Something our country has been missing since the days of FDR. Although a case could be made for FDR being too conservative at times, if one begins to pick nits.
In fact, the one MAJOR thing about Sanders that makes me hope he doesn’t get the nomination is his support of the gun industry: being against laws that would allow people to sue those money grubbing so-and-sos that continue to make huge profits via fear and lies and ignorance in the USA.

My ideal candidate would be a mix of Sanders and Clinton. I think they BOTH have good ideas (and I’m so liberal, I think prostitution — or sex working, as it is more properly known in other parts of the world — should be legalized; it’ll take all of the criminal element OUT of the business, and allow law enforcement to protect the women– and men); but I know that politics in America, now more than ever, with so MANY conservative reps being voted into congress, is all about the art of compromise.

Sanders doesn’t strike me as a man who could do much compromising.
Also: whether or not ANY other men — besides myself — want to admit it, I think a LOT of the reason there is so much opposition to Hillary Clinton is due to the fact that she is a woman. Women face opposition and unfair treatment and inequality and violence ALL around the world, every day. But the USA is still unique in being one of the few “first world” nations (if not the only one, since Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, to name a few, have done so) to appoint or elect a female as the Head of State (President, Prime Minister, etc).

I feel certain that the reason ISN’T the lack of a viable candidate — if George “Dubya” Bush and Ronald Reagan could be handed the keys, well…

While you have more than a point or two I agree with, one has to wonder just how much irrational fear (and lets face it, hatred) of women in America has to do with the growing tsunami of opposition coming Clinton’s way (the number of online, negative, “news stories” about her email, etc., increases every day; and all from the same sources, conservative online blogs and sites and such).

Here’s hoping that you — as well as ANY and ALL of those childish people who claim they won’t vote for Clinton if she is nominated, before or during the convention — realize that statements like ” if Trump becomes president it would be due to much deeper social and political reasons than Hillary not being supported by people like me” are both irresponsible (every vote counts) and, yes, childish. Not child-like, which is a good thing. Childish.

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Ernie McCray Ernie McCray May 13, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for your feedback. Of course every vote counts. And we’ll need votes to defeat Trump and mine will be part of that. What I’m referring to when I say: “if Trump becomes president it would be due to much deeper social and political reasons than Hillary not being supported by people like me” is we Americans don’t take our freedoms seriously; we don’t look at issues with a critical eye. If we did somebody like Trump wouldn’t even dare to make a mockery of our system by running for an office he isn’t the least bit qualified for. I’d like to think that that’s not childish thinking because it’s one that comes from a person who, in his own mind, at least, is very child-like and proud of it (smile). Practically every thing I do is centered around making our world better for our children; for a hopeful future. Non-stop.

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