Not an election, a rebranding
Editor of the Reformer:
Watching Bernie endorse Hillary Clinton brought on a feeling of diminishment. Not resignation, not acceptance, but diminishment.
Why? Bernie diminished himself by endorsing HRC because HRC does not appeal to our higher ideals, or the progressive policy goals of Democratic Socialism, which are essentially the goals of the FDR's New Deal. The New deal was conceived to slow the erosion of the working and middle class into the permanent underclass. The progressive Democratic Party Platform, recently hammered out, is an ephemeral and superfluous document, and may or may not be followed as a guideline by the candidate, and is relatively meaningless.
Bernie's endorsement amounted to echoing the lesser of two evils trope. Economic populism was a foreign concept to the HRC neoliberal mindset of austerity and rugged individualism for everyone except the privileged classes. So, if HRC wins the presidency, the question becomes, which HRC will show up? The neoliberal, corporate Democrat, we know so well, or a politician that has evolved on the issues with machine like calculations and expediency, and now has come to represent the needs of "the people."
Political courage is in short supply, and HRC's run in with the FBI is a case in point, It's a good thing that HRC was not an indicted, because that would have been a major drag on her campaign. Imagine how long Bernie's campaign would have lasted if he had been under investigation by the FBI? There are different standards of justice, depending on how much power, wealth, and influence you have. What kind of paranoia fueled the desire to have an e mail server outside normal State Department channels? This was not convenience, but paranoia.
So now, the establishment Democrats have a candidate who escaped indictment, but still appears to be guilty in the eyes of the public and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic party sorted out that prickly Sanders campaign using coercion, lies, and voter suppression. I thought only Republicans did that.
Bernie's mission now is to take on the corrupt Democratic Party establishment and keep progressive ideas alive. Bernie's endorsement of HRC could very well be the stimulus that permanently shapes and forms a new Progressive Party. The Democratic Party has selected the weakest and most flawed candidate in generations and the possibility of losing to a hateful and crazy candidate like Trump is very real.
The campaign between HRC and Trump has become a rebranding contest. The contrast of candidates in a Bernie/Trump race would have been profound and clear. The realty that presents itself now is not so clear, and that is the problem.
Steve Belczak, Westminster West, July 15