Hillary Clinton is pushing a set of memes-- "change is unrealistic, dreamy, poetic, not pragmatic. Setting big goals is childish and naive. Hope is for the inexperienced.
I propose a counter-meme: Change doesn't happen if you don't seek it. Big change doesn't happen if you don't shoot for it. America has been built on big visions and dreams. Short sighted, marginal pragmatism is not the American way-- it's the conservative, corporate way. Hillary embraces the opposite. She's anti-hope, anti-change, while Bernie is simply seeking what already exists for the hundreds of millions of people who live in every other first world country. Basically, Hillary is saying that it is unrealistic to believe that Bernie can lead in lifting the USA from third world status to join the rest of the first world.
Hillary Clinton and her supporters are attacking Bernie Sanders for calling for real change. Paul Krugman says Bernie's unrealistic and naive. Salon writer John Avignone's article, I have had it with naive Bernie Sanders idealists,
suggests that Bernie is an ideological purist and so are his supporters. He cites Barney Frank:
" Back in 1991, when Bernie was still new to Congress, progressive icon Barney Frank said of him, "Bernie alienates his natural allies. His holier-than-thou attitude--saying in a very loud voice he is smarter than everyone else and purer than everyone else--really undercuts his effectiveness."
Let's dissect that. Frank, Co-author of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill-- a loophole laden bill-- left congress to work for the banks
-- a sell-out- but at least he waited until he left politics. Hillary, with her $225,000 speaking fees, worked for the banks before and now, she's taking millions from them.
As far as effectiveness, Bernie has been the most effective member of the senate. And he tells the truth. It's not surprising that a Hillary supporter-- a liberal (as Chris Hedges describes as "someone who betrays the stances that supposedly define them") would cite a liberal sell-out to attack Bernie.
Is Bernie being an ideological purist? I don't think so. He has a different ideology than Hillary. She, as a neoliberal, embraces corporations and embraces snails-crawl incrementalism-- an approach, when applied to the crises we face in America-- the rapid crash of the middle class, the destruction of the environment by climate change, the militarization of our economy-- the failure of our health care system to serve 130 million Americans (29 million un-insured and 100 million underinsured,) a prison system that is profoundly racist, profoundly worsened by Bill Clinton's tough sentencing policy that Hillary supported, is totally unacceptable. Even on Hillary's supposedly strongest asset-- foreign policy-- Bernie trumps her with his legitimate claim that he made the right call on the Iraq war. It's judgement, more than experience.
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The only way the middle class, the only way America will see light at the end of the tunnel is for a leader who shoots for big change. That seems to be something that a majority of Americans agree on, whether they're supporting Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders is calling for reasonable change, not wild-eyed crazy change, as Hillary and her surrogates would propose. Bernie wants Americans to have what every other first world country already has-- healthcare for all. Tell the people of the UK, France, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, etc... who already have it. Reducing the incarceration rate-- sure, that's crazy. Tell that to all the nations that have a fraction of the percentage of prisoners that we have. Tell that to the nations where wealth inequality is profoundly less-- just about any other first world nation.
No. Bernie's goals are not unrealistic or impractical-- except to sell-outs.
It's not surprising that Hillary embraced anti-change, anti-hope. Hillary Clinton has never been a progressive. She just chameleons her image (sure, why not use chameleon as a verb?) her policies to match her competition. Hillary has been a leader of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)-- a right wing, faux Democratic organization that has supported Bill Clinton's anti-middle class horrific neo-liberal policies. (I've provided the basics on neoliberalism at the bottom of this article.) DLC politicians are bought by corporations and they work to resist change, not make it happen. They throw bones to liberals who will settle for less than real change.
It's a toss-up. In some ways, attacking people who believe in real, big change is a cowardly thing to do. That's the kind interpretation. It probably applies to naive, less informed authoritarian liberals who embrace the guidance of their ministers and other authoritarian figures, like Harry Reid, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, and Bill Clinton.. But the more likely explanation for people attacking real change is because they like things the way they are. These people benefit from the system. They may have a job from a corporation which provides healthcare. They are white, so they enjoy safety from violent, brutal attacks by the police. They have embraced consumerism, and like the toys that they spend their lives on.
Young people are far more likely to support Bernie. They are looking at the problems we face in the world now. They see that incremental change will not do.
Conservatism is about resisting change. The saying, "he who is not a liberal in his twenties has no heart, he who is not a conservative in his thirties has no brain" is pretty much the message Hillary is putting out. It's a conservative message that attacks people who want to change the system. Hillary and her defenders, like Avignone, are basically embracing a traditional conservative message-- one that Hillary and her DLC colleagues have been using to try to push the Democratic party further to the right.
About fifteen years ago I posted
my quote, "The head gives the brain it's sight. The heart gives the brain it's vision,"
which has been retweeted thousands of times and is tweeted every day
for several years. My quote is an alternative to the conservative "no brain" message, which would argue that heart doesn't matter. But leadership without vision is not leadership. It is middle management. A leader must lead with heart and head. Hillary has shown she has no heart. Perhaps that is why sixty percent of Americans don't trust her.
Bottom-line, Sanders' goals are, for hundreds of millions in other first world nation, the current reality. He aspires to bring the USA into the first world. Hillary and her supporters attack him and his supporters f or being ideologues and extremists. They're not liars. They are deluded, and so accustomed, as liberals, for settling for less, that they are willing to sell out the future.
The main points of neo-liberalism include:
THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.
CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.
PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.