Letter: Not a 'pure' campaign

Not a 'pure' campaign

Editor of the Reformer:

Bernie's campaign relies on truth telling, facts, and democratic principles based on decency and fairness. What's appealing about Bernie for so many people is that he is driven by ideas, not a facile image making political machine.

Hillary Clinton is a center-right politician running as a progressive. Bernie is a progressive. Bernie's positions are essentially the same as an old fashioned FDR Democrat, which demonstrates how far right the political landscape has shifted. The present day Democratic Party is what the 1950s to 70s Republican party used to be and the Republicans are off the charts. The Clinton wing of the Democratic Party has unwisely compromised and endorsed Republican policies that have harmed the American people, from punitive welfare reform, to overturning the Glass/Steagall act, to imprisoning untold numbers of non-violent offenders into the profiteering prison industry.

Bernie has the potential to be great game-changing figure if elected president. There's a reason why Hillary has echoed nearly all of Bernie's economic fairness positions and that is because they are endorsed by the vast majority of Americans. Bernie is thoughtful and has unshakable convictions and won't automatically tack right when the Republicans go more extreme. Bill Clinton tacked to the right because he was fighting for his political survival and these personal calculations undermined any hope of progressive legislation at the time. This process came to be known as "triangulation." Will we be surprised when Hillary tacks right if she becomes president, just like Bill, and just like Obama, because it's in their corporatist center/right political DNA? Her feint toward progressivism will fade because her Wall Street/hawkish monetary supporters will expect no less.

Hillary's ahead in polling right now and her campaign is betting that negative campaigning will assist in neutralizing the Bernie effect. Bernie has been described by the Hillary campaign as sexist, minorities don't like him, he's an NRA stooge, and anyway, nobody likes a socialist. Hillary may very well succeed and win the nomination. As a Bernie supporter, I will vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination, but it will be cast as a lesser of evils vote. How much lesser, who knows?

Bernie's not running a "pure" campaign, just a reasoned and passionate one. It has been said that the existence of Bernie's campaign and the work of Elizabeth Warren and others have changed the debate. As the primary season progresses and Hillary continues to call herself a "progressive," is that change for real? We will find out.

Steve Belczak, Westminster West, Nov. 3


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