Since the beginning I have been a Bernie supporter; since the beginning I have said I will vote for Hillary if he doesn’t get the nomination. I was so genuinely appalled by the democratic platform I came out and said I can't support Clinton. I knew I was going to lose a lot of readers and I did. I was thoroughly excoriated, my life and physical being threatened, and repeatedly told that if Trump won I was responsible. That a 63 year old woman with virtually no structural power, has more impact on how people vote than the DNC, is ludicrous. What is being said is my position carries more weight than the Democratic elite crafting a platform that is 98% in support of the corporacracy and 2% supportive ($15 minimum wage and a re-enactment of Glass-Steagall) of the people. I seriously doubt Glass-Steagall will have any teeth at all and the $15 minimum wage is not tied to cost of living increases.
The point is this: if Clinton lost my vote because of the platform, then she is going to loose a lot of votes, because I am not terminally unique. I am one of the last holdouts. If she wants my vote than the platform is going to have to change. If she wants my vote I need to see climate change seriously addressed; especially fracking.
Clinton is being given carte blanche because of the very real fear of a Trump presidency. I am accused of being an extortionist because I strongly believe there should be a moratorium on fracking, because I think we should try and stop the TPP, and because I believe in single-payer health care for all. I am accused of being an extortionist for believing that expanding social security should be included in the platform. As I have been repeatedly informed today the political process is a process of negotiation, but as per quite the vast majority of comments on the thread, unless I accept things as they are, vote for things the way they are, it will hand the presidency to Trump. So I am to shut the fuck up and accept my very limited choices. Choices that aren’t perfect but hey you can’t always get what you want. No shit Sherlock but we can do a helluva lot better than this and I am tired of colluding with crumbs from the table. The Liberal Elite has no intention of changing economic policy but we will be tossed some social justice and we're supposed to ooh and awww and isn't this great. I've been fighting for social justice since the 70's, and the more economics has taken over, the less social justice we have. Citizens United was the final nail in the coffin.
I seriously doubt Bill McKibben and Josh Fox are going to quit fighting for the climate and I'm pretty sure they will get something about climate change into the Democratic platform when the Committee meets in Orlando. Clinton will instruct her surrogates to make the much needed concessions to win back the votes she has lost with the first platform. As for the rage, vitriol, and death threats I have received today, you would be better served aiming it at those in power writing policies that are destroying humanity. You would be better served taking that energy and working at the state level to elect progressive candidates.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT
I look to unity. Always have. I am 63 years old and make a living as a healer. I am a pagan high priestess, an activist, and I have committed my life to raising consciousness and building bridges between opposing factions and people. Yesterday, I spent several hours trying to come up with ways to bridge the divide between Sanders and Clinton supporters. Surely, there had to be something we could all agree upon. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am Sanders supporter, I’ve made no secret of the fact that if Sanders didn’t win the nomination, I would vote for Clinton because to not vote for Clinton was a vote for a Trump and the idea of a Trump presidency scared me to death. All that changed for me last night.
Given the fact that the Sanders campaign has forced Hillary to the left, and that she desperately needs the progressive vote in order to win the election, Clinton made the unprecedented move of allowing Sanders to appoint five people to the democratic platform committee. Even though I knew giving Bernie five choices would leave Clinton with six choices, and the dreadful Debbie Wasserman Schultz with four, in my mind, I honestly thought that progressive issues would be decently represented in the democratic platform. How else did Clinton intend to win the election? How else did Clinton intend to get the progressive vote she so desperately needed? My friend Rosanne looked at me with a gimlet eye, as if to say, “After 40 years of political activism and you’re still this naive?”
Proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that big pharma, fossil fuel, and defense contractors control the Democratic Party and that Hillary is their anointed one, Clinton and Wasserman’s representatives voted down a moratorium on fracking, a carbon tax, single payer health care, and stopping the Palestinian occupation. Proposals to defeat the TPP were also voted down even though Clinton has repeatedly come out against the trade agreement, (an agreement she helped to craft) during her campaign. Then again the TPP is Obama’s baby, he’s been pushing the TPP since he’s been in office, and this is obviously some kind of concession to him so that she has his continued support.
What did make it into the platform is what I call peripherally progressive and does virtually nothing to impact the ever growing economic divide in this country, social injustice, and climate change: A $15 minimum wage —not tied to cost of living increases, abolishing the death penalty, and the passage of a modern day Glass Steagall-Act to break up the big banks. Just so you know the passage of the TPP will render the new Glass-Steagall null and void. Furthermore given Hillary’s ties to Wall Street, I seriously doubt the new act will have any teeth whatsoever. As for the $15 minimum wage, it's better than a poke in the head with a sharp stick, but it certainly won't impact the very real lack of economic parity and gainful employment in the United States.
I was so upset about what did not get into the platform I was up pacing for most of the night worrying for grandchildren not yet born, for children being born, for the planet, for the tribe of humanity. Someone once told me my achilles heel was the fact that I cared. I will continue to care because if I don't then Big Brother and Big Sister win and that is unacceptable to me. I think it took tremendous courage for Cornel West, one of Sander's five choices, to abstain from the final vote on the completed platform. The words of his statement that resonated the most with me: “I have to abstain. I have no other moral option.”
That is exactly how I feel. At this moment, I have to abstain from voting for Hillary Clinton. I have no other moral option. I cannot support measures that are spun as reasonable compromise that are no compromise at all. I cannot support a platform written for the benefit of the corporation that virtually ignores every issue that is destroying my beloved country and humanity. I am a unifier but there is nothing here to unify. The price, colluding with our own oppression by accepting crumbs from the table, is too high.
Sanders and his followers have been repeatedly spun as sore losers and delusional, because they will not roll over and play dead, like Gore did after the election was stolen from him in Florida. Though in his latest interview Sanders said he would vote for Clinton in order to beat Trump, he has point blank refused to endorse her. He is taking his political revolution to the convention and he has the power, the delegates, and the backing of millions of people to do it. This is in Hillary’s court now; if she wants to win she is going to have to do a lot more than pay lip service to the progressive movement. She is going to have to take a stand and commit to real policy change.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT
Elizabeth Warren as Hillary's running mate is a terrible idea. Warren has repeatedly proven that she has tremendous power to impact policy in the Senate. She will not have that power as Hillary's Vice-President. Technically the Vice President has 2 duties - to cast the tie-breaking vote in the event of a Senate deadlock and to watch and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College. The unspoken duty of the vice president is to agree with the President and to support the president's policies. Vice president sounds good but it's a lame duck position, little more than window dressing, and will only serve to muzzle the brilliant Elizabeth Warren and the economic and social justice policies for which she stands. Warren and Clinton are not on the same page politically except in the area of reproductive choice. Economically and environmentally they are most definitely NOT on the same page.
No question the Democratic Party is split, between old school democrats — the party or die and that dreadful Debbie Wasserman Schultz — and new school democrats — we need to change the party, money out of politics, humanity and earth first. As per the narrative, if the party is split, Trump cannot be defeated. As per the narrative, that’s why Bernie needs to drop out and drop out now. Oh for heaven’s sakes. Bernie is staying in for one reason and one reason alone – “ I am going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free, and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change."
No question Hillary needs progressives to win. She knows it and the party knows it. Ergo the DNC, which is and has been firmly behind Clinton from the beginning, has offered Sanders a position of real structural power crafting the democratic platform. This is absolutely unprecedented. In case you didn’t know, the 2016 drafting committee of the democratic platform came into being as a result of negotiations between the Sanders and Clinton campaigns and Democratic National Committee leaders. The committee will be composed of five members chosen by Sanders, six chosen by Clinton, and four by the dreadful DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Bernie is not going to turn his delegates over unless the progressive agenda he supports, and has never waivered from, is solidly represented in the platform.
The narrative tells us the way to unite the party is to forget our differences — political differences that have devolved into a vicious personal attacks — and unite behind Clinton. People are incredibly angry – and well they should be. No one likes voting for the lesser of two evils and historians are in fact going to look back on this election season and call it rigged. I agree to disagree with people who think it wasn’t, but I’m not particularly interested in a vicious I’m-right-you’re-wrong kind of fight. I’m more interested in strategizing for the future. I’ve said all along I will vote for Clinton if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination and because of this Sanders supporters hate me. As a Sanders supporter I’m been roundly hated by Clinton supporters and because of the vitriol from both parties I’ve pretty much stayed out the conversation for almost a year because the smack back wasn’t worth it. However, the idea of a Trump presidency is so appalling it makes it hard to breathe. I do not for one-minute think the country would better off with the anti-choice, racist Trump as president, rather than pro-choice, inclusive Clinton, and I think the perspective that it would be, is in some instances remarkably childish and in others, smacks of liberal elitism.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan
Lefty, feminist, progressive, pro-choice, pro-humanity, pro-environment, anti-corporation, resister.....