The Dumbest Anti Bernie Take Ever

Andrew Ferguson wrote a piece for the Atlantic titled, “Tyranny of the 70 Somethings,” in which he not only equates Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden, but acts as if both are equally complicit in holding the Democratic party back. His logic? Because they are both old.

Ferguson calls the Democratic party a “gerontocracy” and goes so far as to equate Bernie Sanders with some kind of a cliche version of a creepy old man.

Sanders and Biden have made themselves the equivalent of the old dude cruising the pool at Club Med in his sagging Speedo, capped teeth gleaming, knobby shoulders and fallen pecs bronzed and shiny with tanning oil, gold chains twinkling through the chest hair

We will put aside how lazy of a simile this is, and I am not even going to go into Ferguson’s blatant use of body shaming, (it’s 2019 why are jokes about people’s body types still considered funny!?) Instead let us address the biggest oversight of the article, that the only thing Bernie and Biden have in common is that they are both old. That is literally it.

Ferguson claims that Bernie and Biden are holding the party back from the agenda that would benefit young people because they are not elevating younger candidates in the presidential primary. Ferguson is ignoring the fact that Bernie is the most popular candidate with young voters because of one thing, his policies, not his age.

The “younger candidates” (keep in mind Warren and Biden are very close to the same age by the way and Harris is over 50) are not polling as well as Bernie because the younger generation has seen how identity politics fail to yield any actual results if the candidates policies suck. I may be young, but I am old enough to remember how Obama failed us.

In Ferguson’s, who is over 60 year old, mind identity politics are still the way to win elections and fix the larger social issues we face as a nation. Apparently Ferguson is one of the many people in this country who slept through the entire Obama administration or suffers from the pre Trump amnesia that causes people to forget that poverty, sexism, and racism have always been problems in the U.S.

Obama’s tenure as president proves one thing, that it doesn’t matter if the president is an old white man or a young black man, what matters is will your policies benefit the most people? We elected a black president in 2008 who also supported drone bombs and neoliberalism, did it solve the countries woes? Did it end racism? Did it liberate women?

No. The U.S. war machine is now stronger than it has ever been. White supremacy is still rampant. The wealth gap has grown between the poorest and the richest and continues to grow. A woman is still not in total control of her own body. All of this is enough proof to demonstrate that electing someone to the presidency based on identity lines instead of policies does nothing to fix our greater societal issues.

However, the most glaring oversight of the article is that Ferguson completely ignores how Bernie Sanders has been CONSISTENT with his integrity and policies for his entire political career, whereas Biden is the complete opposite.

Until a few weeks ago, Biden supported the Hyde Amendment. Bernie Sanders was marching for abortion rights in 1972.

Bernie got himself arrested to demand an end to segregated student housing at the University of Chicago.

Biden negotiated with segregationists in order to defeat integration and school bussng bills.

Biden supported invading Iraq.

Bernie didn’t.

Biden publicly attacked Anita Hill, Bernie did not.

The list of policy differences between Biden and Bernie is staggering, but to Ferguson that means nothing. In his mind Bernie and Biden are both the same, you know, because they are both 70. -\_(“/)_/-

If anyone is holding the party back it is Biden. We don’t need Biden in the race not because he is old, but because his record is atrocious and his policies are just more of the same watered down, capitalist garbage we were given under Obama.

Ferguson would do well to take his own advice, step back and let the younger people lead, this way nothing will stand in the way of us electing Bernie Sanders and we won’t have to endure hack takes from lazy, nearsighted “writers.”

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Elizabeth Warren’s Mistake In 2016

I acknowledge that in 2016 I came very intensely after Elizabeth Warren. Like many of Bernie’s 2016 supporters I was hurt by her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I think Warren has since almost made up for the error by coming forward with genuinely radical and necessary policy platforms in her presidential campaign, policies that remind us that she was once a people’s hero in the fight against Wall Street and can be once again.

Her plan to cancel student debt is as pivotal as Bernie’s Medicare for All or prisoner voting rights platforms. Her open challenges to Joe Biden on his ties to the credit card companies is commendable and so is the work she has put into protecting consumers for this entire decade. She deserves credit where credit is due.

With all of that said, I am still a little bitter about what happened in 2016. I realize it is somewhat trivial to complain about what could or should have been, but damn it I am genuinely convicned that if she had not played the 2016 primary as cautiously as she had we would not have a Trump presidency.

Here is what I mean, because Warren waited to endorse whoever won the nomination instead of endorsing Bernie from the beginning of his candidacy she hurt his campaign, a campaign that would have easily defeated Trump in the general election. Yes, I am still a “Bernie would have won,” kind of person and truth be told I probably always will be.

It is understandable why she waited to endorse the definite front runner instead of taking a stand early on. At the time it made sense as the politically cautious move to stand for a united Democratic party against Trump. However that caution came at a price. It hurt Bernie’s ability to develop the klout needed to counter harmful talking points spewed by the Hillary people.

When Warren endorsed Clinton she went from being a darling of the Occupy alumni to another mouth piece for neoliberals, at least in the eyes of Bernie supporters who also supported her. One of the reasons that Bernie, and Warren for that matter, have stayed so popular is that several of us who came out of the Occupy movement remember them as the only public servants to demonstrate admiration and respect for the movement and its sentiments.

So Warren did not only hurt Bernie by endorsing Hillary late in the election, she hurt herself. By endorsing Clinton and by endorsing her as close to the end of the primary as she did, she synonymized her name and platform with the vomit inducing identity politics of Hillary’s campaign. Instead of having her working class values and background tied to Bernie’s pro working class platform, she attached her identity as a woman to Clinton and by doing so she helped enable the “only sexists vote for Bernie” talking point of Hillary supporters, a talking point which erases and hurts all of the non male supporters of Bernie.

Had Warren endorsed Bernie from the get go, the myth of the “Bernie bro” would have been squashed and would have had no foundation to grow. Also, with her endorsement would have come her very extensive and supportive base, but now that base is arguably very much in the establishment camp because of her hesitancy to get involved with the primary until a front runner was decided. Warren is now synonymous with supporting establishment capitalist democrats like Hillary, which is folly because Warren’s policies are arguably much closer to Bernie’s than they ever were to people like Clinton, Harris, Biden, or Booker.

I want to make it clear, I do understand why Warren didn’t endorse Sanders, but I think it was a mistake that inevitably cost Bernie the primary and damaged Warren’s reputation as a challenger of big money capitalism, which in-turn gave us the shitty general election that birthed the Trump presidency.

But what hurt Warren the most is the fact that despite her policy and platform being much more in line with Bernie’s she endorsed someone with completely opposite values to her. Warren has much more incommon policy wise with Bernie than she ever will with the Clintons and Bidens of the world. The fact she did not make that clear in 2016 not only hurt Bernie but it hurt her, because now there are leftists like myself, who do remember her public challenges to Wall Street and her bold demands for consumer protections and market regulations. Now it is hard for me to get excited about her candidacy because I still view the Clinton 2016 endorsement as an act of political cowardice. I used to think it was straight up betrayal, but after getting involved with politics as an activist and as an organizer I’m willing to say I understand why she did what she did in 2016. However let us always remember that understanding an action is not the same as supporting it.

Will Liz Warren make the same mistakes this time? It is very possible that she will. Warren clearly is a politician who acts with caution. I do not fault her for being tactical but I will fault her if that tactic comes with compromising her values. However I can say that if she remains consistent with her demands for canceling student debt and if she does not backtrack support for Medicare for all then I would be genuinely happy with a Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders 2020 ticket. However I would be thrilled by the idea even more if she stepped up and admited that not endorsing Bernie in 2016 at the beginning of the primary was a mistake.

All in all, I do want to like Elizabeth Warren, I do miss the days where she and Bernie both were patron saints of the 99%. But until we address what happened in 2016 I will always have misgivings about her. I do not think Warren is bad, at least not as much as I used to, I do think she has to answer for 2016.

My Case for #Bernie2020 Part II

Please be sure to read the first part of my Bernie 2020 argument here.

I support Bernie Sanders and his 2020 candidacy. I am also one of the first people to admit he is not perfect, and by “not perfect” what I mean is that I do agree with certain people that he has taken some very crappy stances on some very important issues.

So in my persuit of truth, scrutiny, and integrity as a lefist organizer I would like to address the largest reservations that I, a very adamant Bernie supporter mind you, have about Bernie and how we might address them.

1. His FOFSTA/SESTA Votes

This is one of most pressing reservations I have about Bernie at the moment. It cannot be ignored that the passage of both these bills has put the lives of sexworkers at an exponentially higher risk. Bernie should be held accountable for voting yes on these two bills.

But let us review previous Bernie controversies;

When Bernie was disrupted by Black Lives Matter organizers, he gave them the stage and effectively yielded his speaking time to them. When debating Hillary Clinton and asked the question “Do black lives matter or do all lives matter?” Bernie unequivocally answered “black lives matter.”

When the news broke of sexual harassment on his previous presidential campaign, Bernie 1. Apologized 2. Hired a new campaign manager. 3. Has met with the victims of harassment from his campaign. 4. Promised to be more attentive about the issue of instituitonal sexism.

When confronted about his vote on the 1994 crime bill, he admitted it was a mistake.

If there is any politician who responds to popular pressure and actively corrects their stances, it’s Bernie Sanders. I am confident that if we can correct issues with white supremacy and sexism in Bernie Sanders’ campaigns, we can correct his stances on sexwork.

It should also be noted that every democratic candidate for president who sits in either the house or senate voted in favor of these bills. We should not single out Bernie for something that was clearly systematically perpetuated. Further, if Bernie had voted no on these bills the Hillary bots would have mercilessly ostricized him as a supporter of human trafficking. The fact of the matter is FOFSTA and SESTA was a “damned if you do or damned if you don’t” situation for Bernie Sanders.

We need to be organizing to protect sex workers, and we must also make sure we are still pursuing the most material gains for the most people.

2. Electoral politics never solves anything and Bernie will sell us out if he becomes president.

First of all, leftists who reject electoral politics are one of the reasons that conservatives have been able to do things like strip women of access to abortion and poison our planet. Also if electoral politics never solved anything then the GOP would not be dedicating so much of their resources to oppressing black voters. I do share the sentiment however that elections in America as they stand represent a system that will inevitably perpetuate colonialism and racism no matter who is president because it was born out of colonialism and racism. This however is more of an argument in favor of overall systematic change (revolution) and is less of a conclusive argument against Bernie. I share the sentiment that revolution is the only way to abolish capitalism and purge the systems it props up to oppress women, lgbtq, and non white people. However, when we ignore elections or skip out on voting, we get presidency’s where women’s reproductive health is at stake and where oil fracking poisons our water wells. Also, to assume anything will be definite such as Bernie selling us out is nearsighted. To assume that conjecture will become definite fact is in of itself a logical fallacy and logical fallacies have no place in organizing.

3. Bernie is just another old white guy

First of all this is not a real criticism, it is a description. Secondly, no. The historic significance of electing our first jewish president, especially one who is actually to some degree critical of Israel, would not be more of the same. Also while I do think that a presidency that is filled by a queer woman of color would be a historic boom, it would not neccearily be a reassurance of good policy. Barack Obama was our first black president, but did his presidnecy see the quality of life improve for most black Americans? Did he give the whole working class the material gains we were hoping for? Do we have universal healthcare or free public college? Did having a black president end white supremacy and stop the police from slaughtering unarmed black people in the streets and their homes? Was obama not a worse deporter in chief than George W Bush?

It is important that we elevate people from oppressed communities into positions of leadership, however we must be looking at the effects of their policies in the process. What would Kamila Harris’s election mean for women if she compromises on sex work, as she did (like Bernie) on the FOFSTA and SESTA votes? What would Julian Castro’s election do for latinx and indigenious people if neoliberal policies are still pursued? The identity of our president will always be signficiantly less important than their actual policies and the presidency of Barack Obama is proof.

4. Bernie is too old.

This one is just flat out agist. Some of the best world leaders have also been some of our eldest. Nelson Madela of South Africa and Jose Mujica of Uruguay were well into their senior citizen years when elected to public office and both served as some of the most effective international leaders in recent memory.

With age also comes a degree of experience not seen in any presidency. Bernie has been a mayor, a congressional rep, and a senator. Very few presidents have come into the office with that degree of experience. Not to mention that, if he chooses a woman of color as his running mate, the possible short tenure of his presidency due to age increases the chances that a woman of color will immediately follow him.

Concerns about a Bernie candidacy are valid, but what is not valid is forsaking a chance to make immediate material gains. Will a Bernie presidency make the world socialist? No, but will it increase our chances of socialized policies such as medicare for all, college for all, and jobs for all? Absolutely.

5. Bernie and Internationalism

Next to his FOFSTA votes, this one has become the biggest concerns I have about a Bernie presidency. Recently Bernie tweeted about the need for President Maduro to allow in America’s “humanitarian aid” into Venezuela. Previously he had tweeted that the United States has an unsuccessful history of interfering with Latin America, but he simultaneously validated the neoliberal opposition of Venezuela by perpetuating the right wing talking point about protesters being repressed.

The protesters in Venezuela’s opposition are not protesting oppression but rather protesting because they do not like having their rich privileges infringed to fund Bolivarian social programs and because of their white supremacist hatred of Venezuela’s indigenous. The fact that Bernie would believe or even validate the right wing talking point of “humanitarian aid” is incredibly disappointing.

John Bolton and Trump have already used the guise of “humanitarian aid” to sneak guns and weapons into countries like Venezuela. This is one of the oldest tricks of U.S. imperialism. Trucks claiming to be bringing in aid are in fact smuggling weapons in order to arm the right wing oppositions, as was the case in Nicaragua and Panama in the 1980s. It should also be noted that Maduro is allowing aid into the country from the U.N? and nations not set on overthrowing him.

Now, I do not think this is something we can just ignore and it is possible to both support Bernie while criticizing Bernie for this. A valid point was made by Black Socialists of America when they tweeted “Liberals will not have the same criticisms of Bernie as Leftists will.” Which is very true. Being critical of Bernie when it comes to international matters will not play into liberal fodder about russian bots or any of that garbage spewed by MSNBC loyalists. However I think it goes deeper than that.

The reality is that I support Bernie because he will provide us with the most material gains than any other candidate will. No other candidate has reassured the public that they will fight for eco-sustainability and healthcare as much as Bernie has. However the reality is that even if Bernie becomes the first socialist president of the united states, he will still be president of the united states. I think Bernie is evidence that no matter how much good he can do, he cannot undue the hundreds of years of colonialism and imperialism which created this country. (See my second point in this post).

We can count on Bernie to help us get green jobs and healthcare, but we cannot count on anyone but ourselves to overthrow American imperialism. This does not mean I will withdraw my support from Bernie, quite the contrary, if anything it reinforces my point. When leftists say “Bernie is not perfect,” we do not mean “lets ignore his faults.” What we mean is “the rest of the work will have to be done ourselves.” This would be true even if Bernie was not running. Remember, this is not actually about Bernie Sanders, it is about us getting the things we desperately need to survive.

All in all, I am still a Bernie supporter. I am still absolutely in favor of Bernie 2020.

My case for #Bernie2020

The largest demographic of voters in the U.S. are registered independents. The most popular politician with independents is not Joe Biden nor any other democrat, it’s Bernie Sanders.

Biden, Warren, and Harris are weak. Bernie is the only politician who can win over independent voters in 2020. Harris is too much of a cop to be trusted by people of color. Warren has shown she is just a flat out racist with that ridiculous DNA test and Biden is both creepy and way too close to the previous administration, much like Hillary was, which drives independents to not vote in the first place. If the democrats sabotage Bernie they will never win the white house back again. If you think Biden is the best bet for Dems I remind you of a little bugger named Walter Mondale if you think previous Dem VPs win elections.

I know that several of my comrades do not take electoral politics seriously. Some of them encourage either not voting or voting for Greens or Peace and Freedom party candidates. This is a mistake on their part. Aside from the blatant lack of ethics in both organizations (I will remind you all the PFP ran Roseanne Barr for president in 2012) and their candidates blatant lack of policy knowledge (see any time Jill Stein speaks) the best option we have for a left leaning presidency is Bernie. Also, as I stated above, the way to win voters over is not through party organizing, it is through promotion of policies that will actually effect them, actually benefiting their lives.

Bernie is not by any means perfect, in fact the perfect candidate does not exist and I am sympathetic to those who are disillusioned by the corporate neoliberalism of the “Democratic” party. However no socialist, even the ones who focus on electoral matters, thinks that elections are a panacea. Bernie is not going to fix it all and he has some problematic stances that need correcting, somethings that come to mind are his stance on abolishing ICE or his votes on bills effecting sex workers.

Yet people need to understand, that while no politician will save us, we need to get the most amount of resources to the working class that we can and executive policy greatly effects that. Bernie may not be perfect, but he is pro choice, in favor of persecuting and firing violent police officers, has an active history of organizing for anti racism, is more of an anti imperialist than anyone else serving in Congress, and has staunchly stated that he “is no capitalist.”

Considering our options, the reality of our political system, the blatant lack of strength in other parties, and the current political landscape, Bernie 2020 is our best hope for ousting Donald Trump, which we must remember will not be a panacea to the woes of racism, sexism, or environmental disaster. However, the effects of executive policy cannot be underestimated and socialists who underestimate it could doom us to a two term Trump presidency.

I will not be one of those socialists. I will vote for Bernie Sanders in 2020.

#Bernie2020

Read the second part of this post here

The GOP have officially become American Fascists!

S. Miller himself recently stated that there should be more inherent power of authority in the presidency, even calling the courts enemies to the presidency. Trump and his administration are painting one of our systematic checks and balances of power as an “enemy.”

The GOP also tweeted that they “stand with the president,” in regards to the 9th circuit decision.  The party is declaring undying loyalty to one official in power who is acting dangerously autocratic, instead of abstaining from a position as they should.  When I say “abstain from position,” what I mean is that when an entire party declares that they agree with a leader’s statement that his check and balance of power as an “enemy” you are then using the state to enforce the concentration of power into a singularity, which is exactly what gave Hitler, Mussolini, and even Stalin total power.  In other words, when you to delegitimize one branch of government over another you are expressing blatant contempt for balance of power, and to be contemptful of a balance of power is to be contempful of democracy.

Difference of opinion is one thing, but a disregard for the decision of a court in favor of the undying loyalty of your party leader is exactly how fascism rises and freedom is lost.  The Nazis rose by painting the legislative branch in Germany as the enemy to the furhur’s total power.  The courts are now being painted as Trump’s enemy and what is worse is that a major party is enabling that.

This does not exonerate the Democrats, their nearsighted elitism and failure to utilize populist rhetoric is exactly why they can’t hold the presidency or house very long.  But that is a story for another time.

But for the GOP to express such undying loyalty to a piece of human garbage who blatantly disregards the integrity of the democratic system is unforgivable.  When protecting the leader of your party is more important than the very concept of democratic balance of power, freedom is put on a fast track to be lost.  Clearly the GOP cares more about party than country.

The DNC has some things to answer for, but what the GOP has become can only be described as unforgivable fascism. The blatant historical amnesia is insulting to the intelligence of the American public and is endangering the very democratic system that gave them a fucking job in the first place.  

I am not what you call a patriot, this I confess, but I a someone who recognizes a failure of integrity.  The GOPs support of a president who so hates our balance of power is not only a failure of integrity it is a danger to democracy.  Shame on the GOP. Do not let them set the tone of the rhetoric. Do not let them attack our courts, our system has many problems but we cannot lose the few victories we have made and the few channels we have to defend ourselves.  So I implore all, disregard anything the administration has to say, do not legitimize something that is so eager to delegitimize a whole section of the trifold that is democracy.

Shame on you GOP, but I congratulate you on your permance in history.  You will now forever be remembered as the party that once freed the slaves, and then sold us all out.  It’s poetic, like a scene from Batman, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villian.”  Look in the mirror GOP, because you have started to look just like Harvey Dent.