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The Very Dishonest Viability Argument

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Reprinted from Reader Supported News

Supporters of Hillary Clinton monitored caucus results in Iowa as the night wore on.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton monitored caucus results in Iowa as the night wore on.
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Every pro-Clinton nomination argument contains or is built around the viability argument. Expressed by an inner-child, it goes something like this: "Bernie Sanders should stop causing trouble ... Hillary Clinton is more electable ... If Bernie Sanders doesn't stop it, he will open the door for the Republican nominee."

Or, to quote Clinton digital media strategist Peter Daou, "With Bernie Sanders As Their Nominee, Democrats Can Kiss the Presidency Goodbye."

That is fundamentally dishonest, and patently anti-democratic.

But that's not the most insidious thing about the viability argument. What really makes the viability argument so toxic is that it undermines the all-important ideological debate.

What the viability promulgators are saying, in essence, is you can't afford an ideological debate, you have to hide your political perspective away, because if you don't the Republicans will gain control of the country.

That, folks, is fearmongering at its finest. What a theft, what a denial of the democratic process. The fact of the matter is that both candidates, Clinton and Sanders, are quite viable -- as their polling numbers and the results in Iowa clearly demonstrate.

Now is absolutely the time for a contest of ideas. This is it: this is the moment when the candidates' viability must be put to the crucial and essential test. If one of these two candidates is more viable than the other, let them prove that now. The nominating process is designed, at its core, to be a forum for testing and proving the viability of the candidates and the veracity of their ideas.

If your voice matters, it matters now. If you believe your candidate's ideas are stronger, carry that belief onto the playing field of ideas and accept the outcome with courage. Whatever you do, never allow the democratic process to be subverted.

The Specter of Ralph Nader and 2000

To truly drive the stake of fear into the heart of every Democrat you have only to wheel out the specter of Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential run. Again, as it applies here, a categorically false and dishonest argument.

The truth is that Ralph Nader played a critical role in opening the door for George W. Bush in 2000. Certainly there were other major factors, but Nader absolutely had an impact. That, however, has nothing whatsoever to do with the 2016 Democratic nominating process, and the people dragging Nader out now know it.

Sanders is not running -- and will not run -- a third party campaign. He has been clear, consistent, and direct on that point from the beginning. So the entire Nader campaign comparison dies right there.

If you are looking for a 2016 spoiler, look no further than Wall Street magnate and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg's threat, which is what it really amounts to, is that he will only run if Hillary Clinton does not win the nomination. Again, fear and intimidation as primary instruments of control. Further, Bloomberg's apparent comfort with Clinton reinforces the notion that Clinton is influenced and accepted by Wall Street's financial elite. It's interesting to note that Clinton even went so far as to reassure her "good friend" that it would not be necessary for him to enter the race, because she would beat Sanders herself.

The Safe Bet Is the Democratic Process

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News:

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