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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/18/15

Make The Pledge! It's Time to Fight Back Against Hillary and the DNC

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Message Michael Blecher

Bernie Sanders in black and white
Bernie Sanders in black and white
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I will not in good conscience vote for Hillary Clinton if she is the nominee and nor should you. I know that for some, they may stop reading after this sentence and completely dismiss this idea but I hope you kindly hear me out before you reject such a proposal. I wish it wasn't like this. I wish I didn't obsess over politics and know so much more than probably the average citizen, but I sadly do and I know the Clintons are not good people. I know that no informed person could possibly be a fan of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The representation of these political figures is in complete opposition to one another. Furthermore, I fear that by voting for the Clintons, and having this "lesser than two evils" mentality, we are continuing to enable the Democratic Party to turn their back on the people that they are supposed to care about. And after yesterday, when the DNC decided to further rig the election in Hillary's favor, I can finally say definitively that it is time to say no more.

How much further to the right does the Democratic Party have to move until we courageously say enough is enough? The Republican Party has moved so far to the right in the past 16 years that George W. Bush could have been perceived a Democrat during this election cycle. After all, he denounced islamophobia, supported immigration reform, reauthorized the Voting Rights Act, and wasn't very much a fiscal conservative. In fact, he embraced the role of big government in many aspects. Yet would we be okay voting for George W. Bush if he was on the Democratic ticket? He would definitely be perceived as the lesser of two evils when compared to Trump. But can't we see the flaw in this mentality when we consider such a hypothetical? We have been voting for the lesser of two evils for decades but where has it gotten us? If we continue to vote for a person simply because they have the Democratic label next to their name, we lose the little leverage we have in influencing our party to move in the direction we see fit? Why should our candidate do anything to help us if they know we are going to vote for them regardless?

We may be able to see an example of what I would call logical reluctance when we examine Jesse Jackson's frustrations with the Obama administration. Jesse Jackson expressed disappointment in how little Obama has done in the past several years to decrease the high homicide rare in the African-American community in Chicago. Jesse Jackson would even go on to endorse Jesus Chuy Garcia for Mayor of Chicago despite the fact the incumbent he would be running against was Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's first White House Chief of Staff. Obama logically endorsed Emmanuel and he would go on to win a highly contested mayoral election against Garcia. Emmanuel is now embroiled in scandal as he likely turned a blind eye if not help actively cover up the fact a Chicago police officer disgustingly and unjustly killed an unarmed black citizen. Has Obama called for the mayor's resignation? Has Hillary? No but why should they? When they have such overwhelming support from the African-American community regardless of their actions, why should they show any sense of fortitude and risk alienating a political ally when the alternative has no consequences? Our decision to vote on a certain candidate based on fear that the status quo will be disrupted, and chaos and anarchy will soon follow is benefitting no one.

We continue to display something psychologists call loss aversion. We fail to realize that chaos is already all around us, that the status quo we so desperately cling to is disgraceful. How many more people have to go into poverty, work multiple jobs, obtain tons of college debt, die in foreign conflicts that were likely motivated by corporate interests in that geographical region, or lose everything they once owned at the hands of a corrupted Wall Street for us to say enough is enough? No more complacency. No more staying silent and nodding our head as the Democratic Party continues to betray us. I urged everyone to take this pledge immediately. By making this pledge, you are promising to write in Bernie Sanders name in the general election regardless if he is the Democratic Nominee. We need as many pledges as possible. We will then send the overwhelming amount of signatures to every Congressman, media outlet we can find, and political activist out there. The DNC has taken shot after shot at the Sanders' campaign. It is time we fire a shot back. This isn't some game. This is a battle for democracy. Will the people get to decide the outcome of the election or will it be corrupted political parties and the media, who have decided to blackout Sanders' campaign? My only hope is that this new display of corruption by the DNC will light a fire under all our supporters.

The Democratic Party has tried to rig this election at every turn (limiting the number of debates to only 6, scheduling them at dates and times when most people will not be home to watch, filling the Iowa debate with Hillary supporters, endorsements going to Hillary Clinton from leaders of unions despite the fact most rank and file members wanted to endorse Sanders, endorsements going to Clinton from political figures despite the fact the views of such figures align much more with Sanders' views, the way the DNC silenced Congresswoman Tulsa Gabbi for wanting more debates, etc.). To me it is wrong that well-respected political figures like Elizabeth Warren are discouraged to endorse Bernie Sanders because it could have career implications. This election is not about electing Bernie Sanders but having the courage to take democracy back from the corrupted machines of political parties, from the media, and from the wealthy donors.

It saddens and deeply troubles me how few elected officials and renowned political activists have displayed the revolutionary spirit and bravery they probably once displayed years ago in this election. For the first time in decades, we have a candidate talking about a political revolution, and many of the people that got into politics or activism with this goal in mind have become too cynical, apathetic, corrupted, selfish, or cowardly to throw their support to a figure that will likely do significantly more for the communities that these politicians and activists claim they care about. If these figures will not show such courage, and if so-called liberal news reporters on channels like MSNBC won't do it, it is then up to us the people.

We spend so much time obsessing over Trump's hateful rhetoric and denouncing it but why are we not doing the same when it comes to the atrocities the Clintons and her surrogates have committed? The big donors that are in Clinton's team have included private prison companies, people who have displayed their own Islamophobic hatred, and financial figures that engaged in the very greedy and malevolent practices that we often condemn. We talk bad of Trump but wait until you speak to the millions of Haitians that have suffered greatly from the earthquake several years back and still haven't seen a dime from the so-called charitable Clinton Foundation. Millions of dollars have gone into the pockets of the Clintons and the American companies affiliated with them, but little has gone to rebuild the infrastructure, home or lives that were destroyed by the earthquake.

Or wait until you speak to Yugoslavians and others who will tell you that the Clintons exaggerated the atrocities that occurred in Kosvo, and American involvement in this conflict made the conditions much worse, led to the deaths of many more people, and their homeland is still in ruins cause of it. Bill Clinton was even accused of getting involving in this conflict to divert attention away from the Lewinsky affair, or perhaps they did it so them and their allies could make profits off this area years later. Where is our outrage that Hillary Clinton named a former Congressman who blamed Jewish interests and the Jewish media" for his defeat onto her 2016 leadership team? Or the fact our former Secretary of State and close friend, Madeleine Albright who is currently campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Iowa was caught on video saying this about the Serbians. I could go on and on like I did in another article, discussing everything from the way the Clintons destroyed welfare, so much so that Peter Edelman resigned, or how Bill Clinton has a profile of someone that looks more like Bill Cosby than Bobby Kennedy but I would be repeating myself.

Instead, I'm going to end this article in two ways. First, I will make a promise. If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, I will do everything in my power to retake a party that has been stolen from us. It starts with more people taking the pledge I mentioned earlier. Democrats should be wary. We are becoming more and more organized every day. A new fragment of the political party is forming as I write and my hope is that I continue to see the expansion of what I like to call the 21st Century Democrat Populist Party, which is a group that actually cares about the poor and middle class, and that will help minorities and not just state recycled rhetoric. What happened to Emmanuel in Chicago will soon be happening to many elected Democrats. We will find primary challengers to run against you, refuse to vote for you in the general election, and protest in all peaceful ways we can until the old guard realizes their time is up. The second way I will end this article is with these song lyrics from Bob Dylan.

"Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'."

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Michael Blecher was working as a research assistant at several psychology labs before becoming a political activist. He canvassed in six different states for the Bernie Sanders' campaign, and his activism has been covered in The Village Voice (more...)

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