In 2016, we heard a range of specific arguments supporting Hillary.
She’s the ONLY one who can beat Trump!
It doesn’t matter if someone else has better policies!
We have to unite behind the Democrats and beat Trump!
Third parties can’t win!!!
Flash forward to today and guess what is being repeated by Bernie supporters on a daily basis right this minute?
Bernie is the ONLY one who can beat Trump!
It doesn’t matter if someone else has better policies!
We HAVE to unite behind Bernie and beat Trump!
Third parties can’t win!!!
I have made it very clear that I support Tulsi Gabbard more than Bernie. No, I am not being a cultist, as I accuse others of being. I focus on policies and look at each candidate’s policies quite objectively. If there is something to criticize, I openly do so, have done so and will continue to do so.
The main thing I tend to look at is how benign versus how extremely dangerous any policy is by any candidate. To date, the only criticisms I have of Tulsi are effectively benign, when the facts are examined and combined with other policies. In the case of Bernie, I do not find his flaws to be benign. I find his flaws to be inherently extremely dangerous. I have covered some of these before but let’s take another look and a fresh comparison at the most crucial aspects of their policies.
Universal healthcare. Many Bernie supporters claim that his universal healthcare proposal is better than Tulsi’s, which she laid out in greater detail this week. When viewed honestly, they are virtually the same. The difference is Tulsi is more honest and up front on the subject. Tulsi makes it clear that her plan would provide universal basic care, while leaving the door open for supplemental insurance. Some believe Bernie’s plan would eliminate supplemental health insurance coverage. That’s not true in the least. He has openly admitted that supplemental insurance would still exist beyond basic care. The difference is that he only admits this using vague language and only under direct questioning, while she says it up front. Which one is more honest?
Banking regulation and reform. Both Tulsi and Bernie support reinstating Glass-Steagall, breaking up the big banks and placing stricter regulations on risky investments by banks. However, Tulsi goes further. She proposes criminal investigation and sentencing of Wall Street/banking executives guilty of gambling with civilian money. Bernie may call Wall Street executives criminals in rhetoric but it is only rhetoric which is not reflected in his policies listed on his campaign page. The only way we will stop criminal behavior by banks and Wall Street is by criminalizing the behavior and punishing accordingly.
Election reform. While both candidates support Ranked Choice Voting and paper trails and both candidates have refused corporate PAC money for their campaigns, Tulsi is a much stronger fighter for election reform. I have pointed out many times that Tulsi Gabbard stepped down as vice chair of the DNC in protest of election fraud. It was not, as many like to claim, to support Bernie specifically. Bernie was only incidental in that case. She did so because of election integrity as a general rule. Now it is 3 1/2 years later and Bernie has been silent on the subject. Tulsi did not campaign for Hillary, while Bernie did. Tulsi did not engage in the DNC Unity Tour, Bernie did. Some will point to Bernie now supporting the elimination of superdelegates by the DNC. Now look at this comparison. In June of 2016, Tulsi launched a petition to eliminate superdelegates. See article here. Meanwhile, in May of 2016, Bernie was hoping to flip superdelegates and use them to his advantage. See article here. I will state Bernie has come out in favor of federal funding for elections, which Tulsi has not. This is something I have advocated MANY times. Yet without other reforms and someone strong enough to fight for them, funding is a non-issue. Without election integrity, there’s not much else worth mentioning because the same people, same parties will hold complete control over all else. While allowing the same corporate influence to hold influence over them.
Whistleblower protection. It has been a number of months since Tulsi Gabbard stated unequivocally that, if elected, she would pardon Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. In April 2019 she stated, “And I think that’s why this is such a dangerous and slippery slope, not only for journalists, not only for those in the media, but also for every American that our government can and has the power to kind of lay down the hammer to say, ‘Be careful, be quiet and fall in line, otherwise we have the means to come after you.’ " Meanwhile, in his 40+ year political career, Sanders has only voiced extremely weak support for whistleblowers until a few weeks ago, when he made a vague show of support for the whistleblower offering secret, anonymous testimony against Trump behind closed doors. One whose name we are apparently not allowed to know, though it is being used as a basis for the attempted removal of a sitting president. Because that’s democracy to Sanders?! The sole exception to this has been a weak statement via Twitter in May 2019 condemning Trump’s indictment of Assange but only very obviously because it involved Trump. In no way does this equate to support for future whistleblowers. His actual statement is that he would not use the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers. NOT that he would oppose prosecution of them at all. His statement regarding Snowden is that he would like to bring Snowden home and keep him from facing a long prison sentence. One must pay attention to details in wording. They are no accidents.
Foreign policy. I am going to keep coming back to this and coming back to this. Tulsi has stated as her foreign policy that she would meet with other national leaders whom the US does NOT agree with. She has demonstrated that she will do this through her meeting with Assad, so it’s not just talk. She knew she would suffer political and media repercussions because of that and still did so because she felt it was the right thing to do. Sanders has never taken such an action. On his foreign policy page, I once again encourage people to pay attention to details in wording because they are NOT accidents. These words have been on his page for months with no editing. On his own foreign policy section of his campaign website he says he will “Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people.” Now, the questions become: 1- What are “pro-democracy FORCES”? Who decides who is “pro-democracy”? The US? You mean like the 2016 primary, which he is still silent about? 2- Why is “force” even a word in that sentence?! There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways that statement could have been made without using the word “force”. 3- If he says he “will work WITH pro-democracy forces” the obvious unspoken implication is that he would work AGAINST anyone considered NOT “democratic” in some way. So, do we support diplomacy and peace? Or do we strive to continue US Imperial rule?
Russiagate. I already pointed out that Tulsi Gabbard stepped down as vice chair of the DNC in protest against election fraud by the DNC. Not once has she voiced support for Russiagate that I have heard. She has responded to questions on the subject stating that we need to insure the security of our elections by any hostile actors. That can be foreign or domestic, including by our own political parties. Sanders, on the other hand, has promoted Russiagate ever since the 2016 DNC convention, going as far as saying his own followers were influenced by Russian propaganda if they even questioned Hillary Clinton. He still continues this after the Mueller loss in court to a Russian internet agency, followed by Mueller’s comically tragic display in front of Congress. Today, Sanders’s foreign policy page says, “ In the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, democracy is under threat by forces of intolerance, corruption, and authoritarianism.” Note that this CANNOT be construed as meaning corporate or domestic influence, seeing it is included in his FOREIGN POLICY page. This statement also further cements my comments regarding his general foreign policy. I have stated many times and will continue stating that if Russiagate is allowed to continue, it will lead to increased risk of war with multiple nuclear powers. It has already led to and will continue contributing to massive increases in “defense” spending, censorship and neo-McCarthy accusations against anyone and everyone who has contradicted the Russiagate claims. All of which leads inevitably toward true fascism. I think we’re close enough and should see the dangers. If it does not scare the hell out of you, it definitely should.
Yet none of this matters to Sanders supporters who have descended to the level of Clinton supporters in 2016. They will continue closing their eyes and ears to any questions, any doubts, any evidence which does not fit within their cognitive dissonance. They are fixated on a name like a sexual fetish or a religion. I have personally been called names, been accused of not being a Progressive, been called a Russian agent/bot/asset/etc. Interestingly, I have been called a sexist. Again. Just like in 2016, when I supported Jill Stein. I’ve been called a Trump supporter, a racist (note Tulsi is a woman of color), anti-American and those are the nice things I have been called.
I fully expect this to continue escalating and behavior to get worse rather than better. Debates will make no difference, they will merely act as cheer leading competitions, as they usually do. Bernie supporters will wear blinders as they have already ignored the fact that debate moderators have unfairly targeted Gabbard far more than Sanders. Corporate media has attacked her, calling her a Russian asset.
If beating Trump is truly the goal, rather than some emotional spasm being sated, Gabbard is the logical choice. Many Trump supporters still support him because the only choices they see are him or an Establishment Democrat. To them that is not a choice. Some will oppose Sanders because of his campaigning for Clinton and then traveling on the DNC Unity Tour. Others will oppose him because of his Socialist claims. Meanwhile, they are not blind. Trump said he opposed regime change wars, which he has not withdrawn from. He has disappointed them on many fronts. Thus, Gabbard is gaining support from the right as a veteran who opposes regime change and from the aware on both sides who support universal healthcare and oppose the Clinton cronies whom Gabbard has stood up to openly, showing strong leadership skills. What we need are Socialist-leaning POLICIES, NOT LABELS. The labels will be fought against harshly, while the policies have wide support.
So, is this about policies for you? Or your emotional fixation? Is it about labels or actions? Is this about beating Trump? Or claiming opposition which is not truly opposition? Stop making this about your FEELINGS and get your head in the game.