Our Democracy – Recent Lessons

Disclosure if you haven’t been reading my blog I am a Hillary Clinton supporter and right now I thought I should be looking forward to the most amazing convention. We are taking one step closer to the election of the first female President. This week is huge. She is the first female nominee of a major party ever. Bernie supporters are screaming and yelling anti-Hillary rhetoric with some of the vigor we heard last week. But we are also hearing them say that Trump wouldn’t be that bad. They think the Congress will stop him from doing anything that bad. Right now they are speaking about a Republican Congress. Even if that was true and Trump plays figurehead, the Republican Congress isn’t going to do anything good for this country. Oh and don’t forget the Supreme Court.

My niece has asked the political junkie in me to write a Democracy 101 book. I’m not sure I’m expert enough for that but I’m going to begin to give it a try. At least, a bit.

I’m going to take you back to 2000. In doing so I want to remind you all that we are not an actual, in true sense of the word, democracy. We are a Republic. So In 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote and he lost the electoral college by 5 the Supreme Court stopped a recount and essentially placed George Bush into the White House. I also want to remind everyone that in case of a tie – ie you vote for a third party just enough to take votes from Hillary then you put the results into this current House of Representatives power. They would decide. How do you think that would work out.

So in 2000, there was a huge excitement for a third party. It was the year that they were going to make a difference. They did. There was also a lot of confusion in the ballots, especially in Florida. The scene of the recount. It was a long period of controversy. The benefits of a third party gave us George W. Bush.

I hear the protestors this year. They want that third party. The real problem is that our system is not designed well for three parties. We aren’t a parliamentary system. Bernie Sanders himself recognized that. If he was going to run he was going to have to actually commit to a party and for him he decided on the Democratic Party. Just as an FYI, the Democrats didn’t have to agree. Absolutely inappropriate emails aside, I don’t see anything that the DNC did to effect the results.

There was a debate schedule and I know that the times were a huge issue but they broke records for viewers so I’ve never been able to figure out how that was bad. Hillary is a great debater and won all of the debates so more debates would not have hurt her. Would it have gotten more attention for Bernie Sanders, I don’t know, but he was on TV a lot and his big rallies got more attention, and more positive attention then Hillary did. The thing that Bernie didn’t do was put the time and effort in in the South or in various other diverse states. In all honesty, where he won the most was in the caucus states which is the least inclusive process, where a large group can shout or bully folks into an outcome.

There was also “issue” where Bernie was cut off of access to a database of records after they went into Hillary’s records. That incursion gets very little notice, just the piece about Bernie gets the notice.

I just heard another voter say that she wants the convention result to be that Hillary is not nominated. Ignoring that Hillary had over 3 MILLION more votes. That isn’t a few votes. It’s not the situation in 2008 when Hillary actually won the popular vote and it was the delegates that were deciding the nominee because it was this close. Again that takes us back to our Republic and the private entities that are the parties. What I hear is that there are voters there who think their enthusiasm should override the will of their fellow democrats taking away both the candidate who received not just a little a few more votes but Hillary Clinton received a lot more votes. They want to have the super-delegates who they were so against to step in and override the will of the voters because they didn’t get the result they wanted. It feels like petulant children rather than people who want to turn and get things done. Especially the vendettas against certain people. Barney Frank, was booed loudly because he became a Bernie target. Against the DNC didn’t vote in Hillary – it was actually all of her voters that got Hillary elected.

Sorry, I’m getting a bit distracted. I’m watching the convention coverage and it is influencing me as I am writing

Going back to 2000. There was one of the strongest third party pushes that I’ve experienced and the result was a  George W. Bush presidency. We lost progress on climate change. We got what I call the illegal war in  Iraq with tax cuts and no war tax to pay for two wars. This country turned to torture. We lost so much of who we were to a fear of terror. We have launched a war on a concept. It’s not fighting the Nazi’s. It’s fighting people whose goal is to disrupt and create terror. I digress.

This time we have a man whose ideas are bigoted, misogynistic, hateful, fact free – I could keep going on. We can’t let the concept of a third party distract us. We can’t let bad feelings distract us. We can’t let the idea of disruption lead us to a Trump Presidency. The Supreme Court is at stake. Our future is at stake. If you believe in Hillary’s ideas, if you believe in Bernie’s ideas then you know they are antithetical to anything that is Trump.

And, my last very personal note. Once again, a man who had hurt feelings has successfully taken a strong woman and demonized her to the point where she had to step down. It’s up to Bernie and his supporters to accept that they can’t do that with this nominee and to step up as Hillary and her supporters did in 2008, and  work for progress. You didn’t get everything you want but if you want a country that is against anything you stand for then you will vote third party or you will sit home. Get Jill Stein to 20% say – you will be handing the presidency to Trump. Just remember that ultimately Bernie fell far short despite your enthusiasm. Don’t give this election to Trump.

Give Hillary Clinton a chance. Don’t let the Republicans frame who you think she is. Remember how often they lie and how they frame the conversation. They don’t live in a universe of facts. Bernie supporters please don’t live in this world as well. Remember that polls aren’t the answer. The voters are. To have the control and the influence you want. You have to be involved not only today, not only in November, but every day, every election.

The real influence that the Bernie Sanders “revolution” can have is if people get involved. Take the Senate back, take the House back, take the state and city elections. Get involved and run. Educate yourself about the processes. Be a part of the system so we can fix it from inside. We can’t burn down our government. We don’t want to. What we do is be involved and make it work for the people, by the people. It’s not that hard.

Thank you for listening.




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