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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/16/16

Hillary Vs Bernie And The Democratic Party

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In the 24-hours non-stop news cycle we're bombarded by so much spin, tough talk, political posturing and analysis that the average American voter has become so confused that over 50 percent of them don't vote in ANY election across the nation. Add that to the fact that this presidential election season is the most zany, loud and laced with so many innuendos, name calling, insults, mudslinging and shifting positions that it's enough to make you hold your head and just bawl. I can understand why voter apathy is now an endemic disease to the body politic in the United States. So while so-called "progressives" rail against the Republican Party's political cannibalism and open civil war we tend to assume that Democrats are all right.

Not by a freakin' long shot.

And the person who has exposed the Democratic Party's shortcomings in 2016 is the maverick, gadfly Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders. Just as it is on the Republican Right so it is with the Democratic on the Left. Sanders have been speaking clearly and unceasingly about some uncomfortable truths within the party and his platform has served to evoke some anger and consternation within the Democratic Party.

Let's start with the Democratic Party's establishment. Virtually ALL of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus have endorsed Hillary Clinton without giving Bernie Sanders a second look. She's all but locked up most of the Democratic Congressional and Senate delegations. And she's campaigning on a message of her capability, experience, and fitness to be president of the United States. She's drawn a sharp contrast between herself and Senator Sanders, not too much on issues or policy, but on her experience as a former First Lady and then Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. She's touring her impressive resume as suitability for the job of Commander-in-Chief.

All well and good and in these departments she has the advantage on Senator Sanders. But let's put BOTH candidates to another litmus test against the now- morphing of the Democratic Party that has largely abandoned its foundation principles of a social and economic justice contract with the poor and working poor.

Secretary Clinton continues to tell voters and the American people that she "feels their pain," that she will take on moneyed interests on Wall Street, and will even prosecute the money-grubbing class for its excesses and wrongdoing. She's said that the difference between Senator Sanders and herself is that she is the candidate who will get things done and can set in motion events that will ultimately change lives by making things better.

But the problem with that reasoning and rationale is that voters, especially younger voters, are not listening. No matter how much Ms. Clinton pushes her formidable resume, many young people are just not buying it. Granted, she may well win the Democratic Party's nomination, and the odds are that she will, but she has not yet figured out that what people and voters are rejecting is not her experience and capability, but the way that the Democratic Party has abandoned its core values. In a word, the Democratic Party has broken its promise, no, its contract with working and poor people.

You see, Ms. Clinton represents a modern Democratic Party that is just more sophisticated then the Republican Party in terms of its focus on money and class interests. The people who support the Democratic Party still believe that it embraces Franklyn Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies that were focused on uplifting the poor and working class. In fact, in today's political dispensation BOTH parties are afraid to or have run away from the term WORKING CLASS. They wax eloquently about the disappearing Middle Class and how they will help the middle class, and on and on and on again, but refuse to utter the phrase "working class."

Now enter Bernie Sanders into the mix and immediately he starts talking about the poor and working class. He starts taking aim at the financial and political oligarchies and the one percent of one percent that is at the core of social and economic inequality in the United States. So while Hillary Clinton speaks about America's dwindling middle class, now under siege by the SAME forces that have shoved the working class and the poor deeper into poverty, she echoes the Democratic Party's talking points about saving the Middle Class.

Today, the Democratic Party does not really champion the causes of the working class and the poor. It has embraced and wooed highly educated professionals in the knowledge and technology industries. And all this started when the party struggled during the Reagan years for a sense of identity and launched its own version of political internal civil war. That war culminated with the electoral victory of Bill Clinton -- Ms. Clinton husband -- who all but jettisoned and abandoned the core elements of the New Deal in favor of massive trade deals that helped killed the labor movement -- a key constituency of the Democratic Party.

It was under Bill Clinton that poverty alleviating social programs that was a safety net for the poor and working poor were gutted. It was under his leadership that some of the most draconian immigration laws were passed as a reaction to the Oklahoma City terror attack by Timothy McVeigh. President Clinton also curry favored with Wall Street the enemy of Roosevelt's New Deal. He was a master of the political art of triangulation as he co-opted one Republican program after another modifying them to suit the situation but always with the end-result of negatively impacting the poor.

So that in this presidential election cycle it's not enough to shout that Hilary Clinton is taking money from financiers and big bankers on Wall Street. By individualizing Ms. Clinton's relationship with Wall Street's big money pockets we're missing the real issue: the Democratic Party's now cozy relations with the people that Senator Sanders is exposing. Ms. Clinton is PART of the Democratic Party's DELIBERATE and conscious attempts to replace the Republican Party as the new best friend of Wall Street.

Consider only one issue that will suffice to explain this new coziness.

President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA), so-called "Obamacare," although touted as a means to insure the uninsured and help poor and working class families get healthcare is, for all its supposed blessings, PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE. In the end those who will benefit huge financial windfalls are the insurance companies and big pharmaceutical companies that helped cause the crash of 2008. The working class and poor will have to pay, in some cases more, for health insurance. Failure to comply will result in steep fines of up to $600 per working family. So in the final analysis it's these companies that will benefit the most from the ACA. Of course, that does not mean that the ACA is all bad and that it was not necessary.

By rejecting the pro-working class, anti-poverty programs of the New Deal the Democratic Party has shifted away from former core values like public education, small business advocacy, women's rights, and curtailing military adventures abroad. Hell, one of the loudest voices for the bombing of Libya and who should take responsibility for its now failed state status was none other than Hillary Clinton. She was lock step with saber-rattling Republicans salivating over taking out Gadhafi.

Today, the Democratic Party has fawning respect for Wall Street bankers and sundry speculators than it has for the poor and working class. The ruling class gets away with anything -- they plunged the world into a recession and here in America millions of poor and working class families lost their homes. NOBODY on Wall Street went to jail for their theft and crimes, instead the SAME PEOPLE who caused the problem were rewarded to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars. Complicit in all this were BOTH the Democrats and Republican Parties.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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