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General News    H2'ed 8/5/16

Reaching Beyond the Candidates with Bob Koehler

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BK: You can't be a successful politician without being a pragmatist. Bernie wasn't going to give up on the Democratic Party. His campaign pushes the Dems as far to the left as they've been in 44 years, since McGovern ran on an anti-war and pro-sanity platform. That's an enormous accomplishment and Bernie deserves our utter awe and respect for this. His endorsement of Hillary keeps him as a viable force in the Democratic Party. That's crucial for all progressives. If we have no influence among the Dems, we're lost. If we can't challenge -- and terrify -- the Democratic establishment, we're lost. Power finally has to come home to roost. The best hope progressive organizations, dealing with a wide array of issues, have is to find support in the Democratic Party. So let Bernie endorse Hillary and let the rest of us fight for our issues both inside and outside the party.

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JB: Perfect segue, Bob. Thanks! So, how exactly do we move 'beyond the candidates" as you put it? Easier said than done.

BK: There may be a million answers to this question, Joan. Obviously there are many, many organizations out there fighting for important causes. Maybe everyone who is frustrated by the choice of candidates available should realize that casting a vote is only a miniscule part of what it means to participate in a democracy. I think all of us need to take at least one action -- one risk -- on behalf of the future this election season. We should take one risk on behalf of ending war, creating environmental sustainability, ending poverty or some other crucial issue, we hadn't planned to. Step into the change! At the very least, we should keep making sure the Clinton campaign is aware of us and keep challenging her.

JB: What a lovely suggestion. Concrete moves toward more participatory democracy. I like it! Anything you'd like to add before we wrap this up?

BK: Just this: Change is percolating on both sides of the aisle! The time has never been more ripe to recreate who we are and what we stand for. The moral arc of the universe is bending! Let's enjoy our freedom to participate in this change.

JB: Thanks so much for talking with me again, Bob. I always enjoy it but this time I actually feel a little more optimistic. And these days, that's not so easy! So, double thanks to you.


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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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