Camille Paglia captures the feelings of many of us who back Sanders, and would like to see virtually anyone other than Hillary Clinton be the Democratic candidate. I’ll ignore her attack on ” upper-middle-class professionals” and try not to take it personally. Otherwise she captures the mood:
Democrats face a stark choice this year. A vote for the scandal-plagued Hillary is a resounding ratification of business as usual–the corrupt marriage of big money and machine politics, practiced by the Clintons with the zest of Boss Tweed, the gluttonous czar of New York’s ruthless Tammany Hall in the 1870s. What you also get with Hillary is a confused hawkish interventionism that has already dangerously destabilized North Africa and the Mideast. This is someone who declared her candidacy on April 12, 2015 via an email and slick video and then dragged her feet on making a formal statement of her presidential policies and goals until her pollsters had slapped together a crib list of what would push the right buttons. This isn’t leadership; it’s pandering.
Thanks to several years of the Democratic party establishment strong-arming younger candidates off the field for Hillary, the only agent for fundamental change remains Bernie Sanders, an honest and vanity-free man who has been faithful to his core progressive principles for his entire career. It is absolutely phenomenal that Sanders has made such progress nationally against his near total blackout over the past year by the major media, including the New York Times. That he has inspired the hope and enthusiasm of an immense number of millennial women is very encouraging. Feminists who support Hillary for provincial gender reasons are guilty of a reactionary, reflex sexism, betraying that larger vision required for the ballot so hard-won by the suffrage movement.
The Democratic National Committee, as chaired since 2011 by Clinton sycophant Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has become a tyranny that must be checked and overthrown. Shock the system! Here are the flaming words of one of my heroes, Mario Savio, leader of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1964, he declared from the steps of Sproul Hall to a crowd of 4,000 protesters: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop!”
A vote for Bernie Sanders is a vote against the machine, the obscenely money-mad and soulless juggernaut that the Democratic Party has become. Perhaps there was a time, during the Hubert Humphrey era, when Democrats could claim to be populists, alive to the needs and concerns of working-class people. But the party has become the playground of white, upper-middle-class professionals with elite-school degrees and me-first values. These liberal poseurs mouth racial and ethnic platitudes, acquired like trophy kills at their p.c. campuses, but every word rings hollow, because it is based on condescension, a patronizing projection of victimhood onto those outside their privileged circle. There is no better example of this arrogant class bias than Wellesley grad Hillary Clinton lapsing into her mush-mouthed, Southern-fried dialect when addressing African-American audiences.
It does make no sense for either feminists or minorities to support Clinton considering her conservative world view and propensity to throw political allies under the bus at the moment it becomes politically expedient. Apparently some African Americans do have their doubts about her, as seen in the interruption of a recent campaign event by Black Lives Matters activists:
Youth activist Ashley Williams demanded that the Democratic presidential candidate account for inconsistencies in her record on race, specifically around comments she made about crime in 1996.
Williams said she and a colleague, whom she did not identify, contributed $500 to attend the Clinton event, which was held at a private residence and was attended by around 100 guests…
As Clinton spoke to the crowd, Williams stood to her side and held a sign quoting controversial statements Clinton made in 1996 in reference to at-risk youth, when she said “we have to bring them to heel.”
…Williams, who is from Charlotte, North Carolina, said she was motivated to protest because policies during President Bill Clinton’s administration led to an increase in mass incarceration that mostly affected black communities. She pointed to three-strike federal sentencing laws, the elimination of rehabilitative programs for drug abuse and an emphasis on prison construction as part of the destructive Clinton legacy on crime.
“Hillary Clinton has a pattern of throwing the Black community under the bus when it serves her politically,” Williams said in a statement before the event. “She called our boys ‘super-predators’ in ’96, then she race-baited when running against Obama in ‘08, now she’s a lifelong civil rights activist. I just want to know which Hillary is running for President, the one from ’96, ’08, or the new Hillary?”
Bernie Sanders has been discussing the effects of welfare reform under Bill Clinton, which Hillary has supported, on minorities:
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont began his day of campaigning Wednesday by criticizing Hillary Clinton’s support of welfare reform in 1996, accusing her of backing legislation that ultimately increased poverty levels and led more Americans to face economic anxiety.
Mr. Sanders said Mrs. Clinton helped round up votes to pass the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, the welfare reform legislation that President Bill Clinton signed into law. The senator said the bill hurt Americans by punishing poor people rather than helping them. He added that if elected he would work especially hard to lower the poverty rate of the United States, increase wages, and provide health care for all people.
“What welfare reform did, in my view, was to go after some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in this country,” Mr. Sanders said. “And, during that period. I spoke out against so-called welfare reform because I thought it was scapegoating people who were helpless, people who were very, very vulnerable. Secretary Clinton at that time had a very different position on welfare reform — strongly supported it and worked hard to round up votes for its passage.”
Mr. Sanders said that since the legislation was signed into law, the number of families living in extreme poverty has more than doubled. He said that if elected, he would work to reverse that trend.
“What we are going to do in this country if I have anything to say about it is to say if somebody works 40 hours a week, that person is not going to live in poverty,” Mr. Sanders said , adding that he would raise the federal minimum wage to $15. “Today the minimum wage of $7.25 is nothing less than a starvation wage.”
At other times Sanders has also discussed the devastation created in minority neighborhoods by the policies supported by the Clintons on crime and drug laws.