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
Lefty, feminist, progressive, pro-choice, pro-humanity, pro-environment, anti-corporation, resister.....