Thursday, April 9, 2020

Thoughts on Bernie

For … what feels like years now, whenever I’ve scrolled through Twitter or Facebook I’d come across someone saying something along the lines of “Only Bernie can save us.” And with him dropping out it was “as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror.” Because if he had become President he’d just decree the Bernitopia and Congress would have rubber stamped all his proposals.  You know, just like the Republicans let Obama do as he pleased and the Democrats are now letting Trump do whatever he wants, they would have just let Bernie do whatever.

Oh wait, that isn’t how the system works, in theory or practice.  If Bernie had been elected President, the Republicans would have treated him exactly the way they treated Obama.  And the Democratic Establishment would … probably go along with Bernie on some things but try to do their own thing as much as possible.  So a Bernie Presidency would have accomplished some things, but it wouldn’t have brought about the Bernitopia so many of his followers claimed.

Now if there were four or five other Bernie-type Senators and thirty or so Bernie-type Representatives, not a governing block but a significant group that the Democrats would have to woo to get stuff passed, then a Bernie Presidency would have got more done.  Thanks to all the deals and compromises needed to pass laws.  And that’s why I always figured working to get more Bernie-types in Congress was a better goal than a Bernie Presidency.

It’s the same with third parties.  I think only having two major parties causes many of the problems we face in the country because instead of finding a common ground and just going forward we lurch from one governing ideology to another every few years.  I would love if we had a third major party, but I probably wouldn’t vote for a Party X Presidential candidate until they built up a noticeable base in Congress.  (Of course, this is my current feelings.  I did vote for Nader in 2000 as a protest vote because I didn’t care for either Gore or Bush.  But I live in Pennsylvania which still went for Gore, so it’s not my fault.)

Now, is Biden the best candidate?  Fuck no.  Will he be a fantastic President?  Unlikely.  But even if he becomes the Twenty First Century version of William Harrison, Franklin Harding, or John Tyler (one of those wasn’t a President, but do you know which one?) he’d still be better than the dumpster fire currently in the Oval Office.  America wasn’t in the best health to begin with, but four years of Trump has seriously fucked us up.  Will four years of Biden magically cure us?  Fuck no.  But there’s hope we can stop some of the bleeding.  And as recent events have shown, just getting to the point where things aren’t getting worse is difficult.  It doesn’t mean the job is done, but just turning around to look in the right direction would be a major accomplishment.

So just like you don’t want to stay home for weeks on end, but it needs done to stop things from getting worse, come November, you Bernie supporters may have to vote for Biden.  But you can spend this time looking for Bernie-type people you can start working to get on ballots across the country for 2022.

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