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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/22/16

Bernie Sanders & His Liberal/Progressives Will Be The Deciding Factor In This Election

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Message Michael Payne

Bernie Sanders and his liberal/progressive supporters will decide the outcome of this election. That's how much power that Sanders still possesses. While he didn't secure the Democratic nomination, as many of us had hoped he would, he is going to play a major role in who wins in November.

As this contest heats up Hillary Clinton needs all the help she can get as Donald Trump continues to narrow the gap between them. She desperately needs to connect with a significant portion of those Sanders supporters, a great many of whom have so far, refused to switch their allegiance to her; that's because they see her as the Establishment candidate. So the jury is still out as to what they will do but one thing is certain; she must win them over or risk a humiliating defeat.

She and they are not on the same frequency, not on the same page. While Sanders supporters have great concerns about the direction this government is taking their country and are demanding dramatic changes, she gives every impression of wanting to maintain the status quo. She insists that things are going quite well in America, that we are on the right track, that we just need to stay the course and we'll be just fine.

How can things be just fine when our manufacturing sector has been transferred to China and other foreign nations, our workforce continues to shrink, and workers are forced to take jobs at far lower pay; we are plagued with massive military spending that prevents the funding of our many domestic needs, while some 42 million former and current college students are drowning in debt.

We watch as our government pursues its highly aggressive foreign policy which "invests" billions and trillions of taxpayer dollars in wars and military incursions for which we receive no substantive return on investment. We see this government continue to try to intimidate and dominate both Russia and China, trying to surround these nations with military power; that, of course, will never work and is the height of recklessness.

Clinton needs to shift gears and return to a true liberal and progressive agenda. Bernie is going to help her immensely; he is now re-emerging on the national political stage and telling his supporters that, like her or not, the only way to prevent a national catastrophe is to elect her and send Trump into political oblivion.

What Clinton needs to do is emulate Sander's style of campaigning; he didn't waste a lot of valuable time attacking Trump but continued to talk about all of his own initiatives and reforms that would greatly benefit the American people. And it worked very well. He didn't win the nomination simply because he started late in the game and most people didn't even know he was; but then the message that he presented to the people started to register and the momentum of his political revolution almost gained him the nomination.

In the end, even though Trump has been closing the gap, Bernie Sanders will prove be a very significant factor in this election. He still possesses a great deal of political power and it appears that he has decided that, during the last weeks of this election, he will pull out all the stops to once again energize and motivate his supporters to back Clinton.

However, Hillary can't just depend on Sanders; she needs to work hard to get these supporters on her side, not by spending a lot of time criticizing and attacking Trump but by concentrating on speaking to the most important issues and problems facing this country. In her speeches and the debates she needs to clearly outline how she will address and solve them. She should let her advisers launch the attacks on Trump by presenting powerful commercials to expose him for what he is; a total fraud and a great danger to this country.

How about former President Bill Clinton who's keeping a relative low profile? What in the world is with him, doesn't he see what is happening; that she has alienated so many liberal and progressive voters because they view her as closely aligned with the corporate world, and the banksters in particular?

He is known as a master politician, someone who really knows how to connect with and inspire the American people. He had a magical way of appealing to the majority of Americans. But he apparently is not weaving that magic in Hillary's campaign. He doesn't need to try to manage her campaign but he needs to help her to better connect with most of these reluctant voters by having her emphasize her strong beliefs relative to liberal and progressive issues.

If she does not change direction then it will be virtually impossible to convince millions of Americans who voted for Sanders to vote for her even if Sanders does everything he can in her behalf. She needs to wake up and realize that these voters she so desperately needs have had enough of the embedded Establishment. She must show how she can work with the corporate world to make things better in this country but that she will not acquiesce to their demands.

This presidential election is like no other in modern American history. On the one hand there is Hillary Clinton, a very faulted candidate. On the other we have Donald Trump, clearly one of the most, if not the most, dangerous candidates that has ever run for this high office. So when the American people think about casting their votes that will, no doubt, be a very stressful exercise; but vote they must no matter how stressful it may be.

Sanders has decided to put his reputation on the line by backing Clinton even though she is so unpopular with a great many of his supporters. That takes a lot of political courage and, by doing that, he is showing just what he is made of because, #1, he is fully aware of the extreme danger that would come with a Trump presidency and, #2, he is going to do what he sees as best for this country and its people, i.e., save them from an unmitigated disaster.

Michael Payne

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