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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/17/19

Only Bernie Can (And Will) Beat Trump: Retro Man Against the Twenty Democratic Impostors

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At last, after nearly three years of gloom, since the early summer of 2016 when Bernie was out-muscled from the Democratic party nomination and the inevitable denouement was set on its course, the depression has lifted!

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Bernie is in, and if anything, compared to his run three years ago, he finds himself in much more favorable territory, based on any number of measures, not least because of the alternative narrative he himself, and through prominent disciples who have picked the baton from him, has created and spread far and wide in the body politic. The heresies and unorthodoxies of his last run are mere commonplaces now (wealth tax, Medicare-for-all, $15 living wage, free college), to the extent that the media should find it easy to depict his policy prescriptions as so much ho-hum, not much different than, oh, say, Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.

But make no mistake about it, Bernie is the only candidate on the Democratic side with a radical agenda that takes on the perversions of capitalism, while all the rest of them""every one of them, to some extent or other""continue to offer, in the best Clintonian tradition, paeans to American exceptionalism. It was precisely this obeisance to exceptionalism""America is already great, in the words of Michelle Obama, or Hillary Clinton, whoever said it""that crashed the political system last time around, and it is precisely this naïve, faithless, robotic, uninspired, spectacular ode to exceptionalism, whether it comes from the mouth of Cory Booker or Julian Castro or Beto O'Rourke or Kirsten Gillibrand, that would guarantee Trump another four years.

Despite what the establishment liberal media would have you believe, in a din that hasn't let up for two years, Trump is in exceptionally good position to retake the White House in 2020. Since 1980 presidential incumbents have been reelected every time, with the sole exception of Bush the first in 1992, and that was only because of the Ross Perot candidacy and the challenges of a fourth consecutive term for the same party amid the turbulence caused by the end of the Cold War. Time is rapidly running out on a recession before 2020, and Trump only needs to be slightly underwater, just below fifty percent approval rating, to stride right back in. Ohio, Florida and North Carolina seem to have become lost causes in normal circumstances, and while Virginia belongs to the Democrats, Trump only needs to win a couple of the old Democratic Midwestern states to win the electoral college (though he may well lose the popular vote again).

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Every action he has taken since inauguration has been with an eye to getting those necessary Midwestern electoral votes. If the economy doesn't flounder, he's in""and we can expect the usual liberal justifications and excuses about why that happened, though with the myth of Russian collusion out of the way, it will have to be even more twisted explanations. Measured according to liberal pieties, Trump's performances""his rally speeches, State of the Union addresses, and extempore press conferences and sit-downs with the media""are unmitigated disasters, because linguistically he doesn't come up to par. But measured according to what he needs to do to win again, based on the solid parameters of his established constituency, he is in terrific shape.

Trump is going to wipe the floor with inauthentic candidates like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, but on the other hand he will have no words with which to counter the ideological salvo that would come his way in the form of a rejuvenated Bernie Sanders. If we get a match between these two, as we should by all rights have had in 2016, then it will be a miracle in politics, where these things are usually just one-off occurrences and don't have any great odds of happening a second time.

The last two years should have proved beyond any doubt that Bernie is the one to take on Trump, and not any of the pretenders. We have had two tracks of "resistance" going on in this period of time, and it's important to pause at this moment, now that Bernie has announced, to consider where his renewed declaration to capture the presidency fits into this bifurcation.

One, the fake neoliberal resistance, hardly worth the name, indulging in paranoid conspiracy theories about Russian interference and various forms of blame and fear-mongering""and yes, even their own version of race-baiting and narrow-mindedness, only directed at the race they disapprove of""all in order to excuse the legacy of nearly forty years of neoliberal economic policy, resulting in the dire inequality that was the cause of Trump in the first place.

In other words, the very people""the technocratic "meritocrats" ensconced in the coastal and other gentrified enclaves""who were clueless about why Trump won were offering what they sleekly appropriated as the resistance, complete with fake nostalgia ("we are better than that"), indifference to or intolerance of the "deplorables" (meaning the half of the country that is poor and uneducated in the norms of genteel behavior), and a knee-jerk arrogance toward their own role in the political calamity that has come about.

This fake resistance has pretended for two years that FBI-affiliated figures are bound to deliver us from Trumpist hell, when the domestic spy agency ought to be the most untrustworthy American institution of all, based on its century-long record of anti-liberal tyranny. Consider SNL's two-year long recurrent fantasy that special counsel Robert Mueller (embodied in Robert de Niro) is about to haul Trump and his associates off to jail any minute, a delusion about the valorized "intelligence community" that will soon implode.

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The second resistance track""the only authentic one""was spawned by Bernie's movement in 20152016. It gave us Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. It gave us bold ideological alternatives like the Green New Deal, which is a potent metanarrative to sweep in the whole slew of legitimate grievances against rapacious capitalism, and it gave us honest opening conversational gambits about the role of AIPAC in American foreign policy or accountability for acknowledged war criminals like Elliot Abrams. It gave us the much-needed retreat of Amazon from New York City, reversing decades of abject cave-ins by cities catering to arrogant technology firms which leave a landscape of ruin and inequality in their wake, feeding freely at the public trough when they are the last entities in America deserving such special consideration.

The legitimate resistance has offered, in these two years, many occasions for self-reflection about the limits to and even counterproductiveness of identity politics taken as an end in itself.

The entry of Bernie Sanders into what had so far been an utterly demoralizing spectacle of self-interested politicos, making over their public images in terms of what they think the Democratic constituency needs to hear in the wake of Bernie's authentic revolution, is likely to supercharge the real resistance, so that the next two years, until November 2020, are going to illuminate and clarify the public discourse to an even greater extent than the last two.

This comes in the wake of a shameful performance by American media across the board, in trying to pull a fast one over the electorate, as they obsessively ranked the potential of Democratic candidates for the next go-around.

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Anis Shivani is a fiction writer, poet, and critic in Houston, Texas. His debut book, a short fiction collection called Anatolia and Other Stories, which included a Pushcart Special Mention story, was published in October 2009 by Black Lawrence (more...)
 
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4 people are discussing this page, with 13 comments  Post Comment


Michele Goddard

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What a great article. You hit on so many truths here especially about the complicity of the establishment Democrats in the march towards tyranny. The attacks on Bernie from the esatblishment Dems and Hillbots leave little work for Trumps devotees or the media, but they are more than happy to contribute. It is clear and obvious that many people in desperately pior rural areas who voted for Trump are voting against their own interests. But you are absolutely on point that the mega rich democrats, the elitiests who readily join the deplorable disparaging band wagon are just as detatched and condescending toqards their OWN supporters. Telling them what to do in classic top down democracy. The only thing that will change the dynamic is exposing these fakers as you so aptly do in this article. The revolution is about waking people on the left and the right up and making them realize they have all been sold a fraud. The only thing I might argue with you about is Trump rolling right through. You are definitely right that if a lame candidate like Booker or Harris is shoved to to the front by the media and the DNC that we are sure to get 4 more years of Trump. But I've talked to a lot of people whose real world, personal life experiences do not match the rhetoric Trump bloviates about. This is Bernie's secret weapon. When Bernie poses the question to former Trump voters, "Is your quality of life better or worse now than it was 4 years ago?" Trump's propaganda fails. Bernie's grass roots speech is truer where the rubber meets the road. And in speaking to a lot of people who voted for Trump last time around, the curtain has been pulled back. For some it has been ripped down and set on fire. But now we face a second front. The establishment Dems. Thank you for being one of the eleoquent and brave people who are working to pull down that curtain.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 11:37:24 AM

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You are absolutely correct.

Bernie would have destroyed trump in 2016 and is the only candidate who will in 2020.

Why? Because I believe Bernie is the only one who trump fears because he knows Bernie is the real deal and not an opportunist Republicrat like most of the others who he will be able to mock and belittle with his infantile stupidity.

Bernie's ideas are, and have always been, mainstream with the 99%, D and R. And trump knows it.

Bernie Sanders gets cheers at Fox News Townhall

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 5:07:45 PM

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pablo mayhew

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It does seem that Bernie Sanders had a legitimate shot at winning the 2016 presidential election, but that ship long since has sailed.

Sanders has no chance in 2020. Among other things, how will he explain owning three homes and an inconsistently bulging bank account on an annual salary of less than $175,000?

Sanders is compromised, and therefore vulnerable. He lacks integrity. Hillary Clinton proved in 2016 that Sanders will sell out, if the price is right.



Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 8:02:17 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Its early but every poll I've seen has Bernie and Biden at the top and I the others are lagging so far behind its not even close. Bernie is trending up and has raised far more than the others. Anyone can look at each candidate and point out issues that may be a liability for them. I disagree that Bernie's money will hurt him. The fact is he voted against Trump's tax plan which benefitted him. He never said people shouldn't make money. He is just trying to get a system where everyone pays their fair share and people who work 40 hours a week arent living in desperate poverty. How can most Americans disagree with that? Also, I just watched his Fox News Town Hall. He was flawless and the crowd was energetic and supportive.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 1:56:49 AM

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I suspect Bernie Sanders will run into problems explaining why he kowtowed to HRC in 2016, rather than standing up to her when he possessed a much larger following, as well as the perceived moral high ground. It suggests to me that HRC may have dirt on Sanders, as she is said to have compromising material on so many political figures in Washington and elsewhere.

I was fairly enamored of Sanders until he conceded to HRC. I realize that he likely was threatened into doing so, but given his rabid following in the summer of 2016, and his high-profile mainstream-media access, it seems clear that he could have brought attention to the election fraud perpetrated by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, rather than folding without a fight.

To my way of thinking, it made him look guilty of something--something that he definitely did not want Hillary Clinton broadcasting to the world at large.

Whatever the exact details, and despite what was or wasn't said between them, HRC clearly had leverage over Sanders in 2016. That fact, in itself, should prove sufficient to damage Sanders' chances in 2020, once Trump or one of the other Democratic Party candidates grabs that handle and begins exploiting it.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 3:11:16 AM

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Michele Goddard

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I respect your feelings on his capitulation to HRC. Emotionally for those invested in him, and specifically after the loss to Trump and all the gloating, terror and chaos that followed I admit to being upset with him too but there ia a much simpler explanation to his capitulation than the one you suggest.


When people are upset and confused about a situation its much easier to accept a conspiracy or "hidden" reason why it happened even when there is no evidence to support it or even if there is evidence AGAINST what they suggest if the end conclusion is not the one we want to hear.


We want to believe we can "put the pieces together" and figure out the "real reason" someone did something or something happened. Sometimes a good lie, or in this case "theory" is better than a bad reality. But first let me address your suggestion of "dirt on Bernie".


When HRC emails were released they revealed she would have done anything to become President. Her campaign, like most, conducted opposition research on the other candidates, and Bernie being the greatest threat I'm sure she did extensive research on him. We must also remember that she was aided in all her efforts by the DNC whose long established network of connections is extremely powerful and reaches into every corner of the country. She was also the Secretary of State and had other resources she could possibly tap. We also know she discussed in her emails that perhaps her campaign should make some use, although not overtly, of the history of predjudice against Jews in the south in order to boost her support in those states over Bernie.


That sounds more like someone grasping at straws because they couldn't find something. If she had found anything on Bernie it would have made much more sense politically, at least in my mind, to release it to the press through a "source" rather than hold onto it and commit a crime which could be blackmail/extortion. She could have easily finished him if she had something so damaging.


It also doesn't make sense that Bernie would back down to her because if this evidence but then enter the race again this time. In case you haven't noticed, the establishment Democrats hate progressives as much, if not more, than they do Trump and if Hillary had the information back then you can rest assured the DNC has it too. If she threatened him as you suggest with damaging info, and he knows he will be the target again this time, why try again?


As I said, theories are easy to use to console ourselves because they don't require answers only the posing of questions. As long as those questions can't be answered we can cling to our theory that something happened other than the ugly truth that we are avoiding.


Now, that being said, I believe in some so called "conspiracy theories" because the narrative that is presented, often by a government which we know has lied more than it has told the truth, does not make sense in light of what evidence is known. We know about false flag operations like Operation Northwoods and the Bay of Pigs Invasion and on and on, so I'm the last one to argue that we should believe or trust anyone in government, but all I'm asking is that you consider that there is no evidence to support what you are proposing and there is evidence to suggest the opposite of what you are propsing.


So why do I think Bernie capitulated? Because unlike most in Washington, I think he is genuinely driven by ideology. An ideology of wanting the best for America. And he had to decide what to do with the immense devotion of his followers. In his mind Donald Trump was more dangerous to America than Hillary and he felt that dividing the support would lead to Trump winning. In a sense he was right but what he missed was that he had so inspired his followers in the ideas he put forth that they wouldn't do what he asked because he made people believe the ideal is more important than any politician, even him.


If you have some evidence that Bernie has ever done anything that would make him unacceptable to lead the country and you present it, I am not a Bernie devotee to the point that I will ignore that evidence. But to suggest such a grievous theory without any evidence, and in fact when there is evidence against such a theory, is an unjust and irresponsible.


We have seen the result of other reckless statements made without evidence and I doubt you would argue its a good thing. We have to have the instesinal fortitude to face an ugly truth when it comes to 2016. Hillary was extremely unpopular candidate. The party we thought was the advocate of the people, the DNC, was shown to disregard the will of the people. Hillary was exposed as an advocate Wall St. over the citizens and not against uaing racist attitides to swing voters in her favor. The DNC was shown to be utterly corrupt.


Trump was highly effective at exploiting people's emotions. There were a lot of things about why people related to Trump that disturbs us. Is the country really full of racists? Of Christian religious bigots? Of male chauvanists? Both parties were shown to be underhanded and saturated with conflucted money. These are the things we need to deal with, not an unfounded theory of "dirt on Bernie"



Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 11:54:37 AM

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

Michele...

I want to thank you. This has been, by far, the most objective and well-thought-out reply I have received from anyone on OEN in the last month or so. It's nice to know there are still people like you out there who are capable of engaging in productive discourse, which I am convinced we need much more of in this world--at present and beyond.

That said, I will not attempt to disabuse you of your thoughts or opinions. I will, though, again address this idea of "conspiracy theories," which I have viewed as immensely problematic and ultimately counterproductive for some time now.

Indeed, I maintain wholeheartedly that there exists no such thing as conspiracy theories, insofar as governmemt and politics go. The term "conspiracy theory" was weaponized by the CIA in an April 1967 memo entitled, "Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission."

.jfklancer.com/CIA.html

click here

For more than half a century, the CIA--through its complete control over the corporate mainstream-media apparatus--has used the conspiracy-theory psyop to cow critics and opponents of the official MSM narratives that the CIA espouses.

Simply put, the term "conspiracy theory" is prima facie illegitimate. It has no foundation whatsoever, as nearly every activity performed by humans in this world falls under the strict definition of a conspiracy ("two or more individuals interacting to bring about an outcome"); certainly, everything concerning government activity falls under that criteria.

The sooner we stop using that absurd, hollow and threadbare term to attack those with diverse opinions on nefarious government activity, the sooner we will return en masse to a critical-thinking stance in society.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 7:29:53 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Pablo,


Thank you for your comments and for your willingness to engage in constructive debate about issues where we disagree. This is what is missing from our political discourse and why I love OpEd.


I am aware of the CIA development of the "conspiracy theory" narrative to dismiss dissent as well as the corporate control of all main stream media. I try as much as possible to get information from other outlets because our media, both "left" and "right" is a useless stream of government propaganda offered in several flavors so the public will have the illusion of choice.


Although I am not a fluent speaker, I can listen to and understand French, Spanish and Italian news in the original language and I do so because I am suspicious that news translated into English is sanitized for American ears. People around the world are quite familiar with our country's disinterest in learning other languages so they can print almost anything in their language and very few Americans are going to put forth any effort to read it. We act like other languages are some kind of unbreakable secret code, and my attempts to learn Russian sometimes fruatrate me to the point of almost believing it but we should be forming a group of people who are native speakers who can translate original source news from around thw world. I have tried online translators but they often don't work properly and you get English words but garbled up to the point that it is difficult to get the true essence of what is being conveyed. Also, in every language there are cultural ways of expressing things that ww won't get. We need to use what news sources we can get from outside the country and find out which sources are also corrupted there etc. But above all we can use the global communication we have to start forming a global community so that our government can't tell us a lie about "insert country name" because we KNOW people who live there. Then we need to bring that first hand information here. There are many independent journalists as well working on this and I applaud then ans try to share theor work as well.


I am immensely distrustful all government, especially the empire builders because they all have a history of disinformation which has now evolved into a multidisciplinary field involving psychology, sociology, technology and media.


As I said in my first response I have been called a conspiracy theorist many time because I know that narratives we are sold are to keep us passive and the requirement of all good patriotic Americans not to question is a staple they rely on. We should ALWAYS question. We should do our own investigation. We should demand evidence and when that evidence is presented we should question where it originated who has had custody of it . We must ask what group or party is served or harmed by what narrative? Our government deserves nothing less than our absolute scrutiny of it.


The thing that disgusts me most about Trump and this administration is their absolute distruction of discourse. I am curious if you believe as I do that "fake news" is volume two of the CIA playbook on dismissive tactics for dissent.


The truth is being drowned in a violent sea of false narratives and Trump's use of "fake news" has become a codified, useable strategy by his opponents who in turn, just claim Fox is fake news. So now what we have is a reiitteration of a term which allows for the complete dismissal of facts and an adoption of one's own chosen narrative. The truth is no longer subject to scrutiny of any evidence or lack of it but soley rests on the reader's "trust" in its source.


Thankfully there are some, like the people here and on many progressive podcasts who are not signing up for a team to endorse but are actually willing to ask, "Where did you get that information? What is the source?"


In a time when there are so many bought and paid for "news" outlets it will become the job of everyday truth seekers like you and I to take up the cause of journalism. There is so much information out there which is evidence of the false narratives we have been fed that has already been uncovered and we have to continue to get this information out there. So many people are still under the premise that Cilinton, Obama and Hillary were somehow different than Trump but none of them were for the people. There is so much corruption its hard to cover it all.


But we have to keep trying. Thanks for being engaging and questioning. Without the truth we can do nothing else.


Take care,


Michele

Submitted on Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:37:22 PM

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pablo mayhew

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

You seem to be a nice person, Michele. Hopefully, you will succeed in maintaining your kind spirit, despite the pervasive cynicism which defines this rude age. It's not always easy, shining it on these days. I'm sure you are well apprised of this.

Insofar as your ability to express yourself goes, I believe you are doing just fine. Very well, in fact. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Peace.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 at 2:14:16 AM

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Reply to pablo mayhew:   New Content
Among other things, how will he explain owning three homes and an inconsistently bulging bank account on an annual salary of less than $175,000?

What does this have to do with anything? The Kennedy's were/are filthy rich. I'd be more suspect that a man in his 70's who makes an outstanding salary didn't have assets.

Sanders has no chance in 2020. He lacks integrity.

Are you kidding me?? He's the ONLY candidate who does, except for maybe Warren and Gabbard.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 4:27:01 PM

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Not sure what the Kennedys have to do with Bernie Sanders, but I'll engage your logical fallacy:

Patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy "made" his fortune bootlegging alcohol during Prohibition. By the time JFK became politically active, the Kennedy dynasty had been established for three decades.

Bernie Sanders--by many accounts--was a pauper before he entered political office, a man who had difficulty paying his bills some months. Now, he is a millionaire with three homes who has hypnotized a lot of people who should know better into believing he is still "of the people."

What a colossal joke. I also notice that Sanders was all in favor of Trump releasing his tax returns. However, when the same request was made of Sanders, the Vermont senator balked vociferously at doing so. Like Pelosi, Schumer, Maxine Waters and many others in Congress, Sanders could never explain his significant assets on a yearly salary of $174,000. If he could do so, he would have released his tax returns and turned the heat up on Trump to do likewise.

So you can add hypocrisy to Sanders' negative gestalt, along with deceit, greed, and a lack of both fortitude and integrity. He will never be president.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 7:01:10 PM

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pablo mayhew

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The redacted Mueller report was released just five hours ago, and already dirt has begun flying:

click here

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 8:20:55 PM

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Michael Dewey

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Tulsi is the right pick for these times. No matter how big a long shot, no domestic issues Sanders, and her do talk of will ever get solved. Until this foreign policy changes, nothing society reaps from it will ever get solved, not do or would the people deserve anything to be solved. Take that to the eternity bank wihere you will be bitching t yourselves forever.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:36:27 PM

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