Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Aug 28, 2013, 11:14 PM
Number of posts: 979
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Aug 28, 2013, 11:14 PM
Number of posts: 979
I\'m a Democrat.
I have something to say about the current argument over how to unify the party after a nasty primary. I won't say that I'm giving up on a long, long shot to win, but yeah we can start looking ahead to beating Trump.
My vote is settled. If Hillary wins the nomination, I will vote for her.
To lose my vote, Hillary would have to do some things that I could never imagine her doing. To get worse than Trump I'm not even sure what she could propose...how do you get worse than Trump? Unless she's planning to repeal the Bill of Rights or give every toddler a gun, she's not going to be worse than Trump. I'm not going to say I have any specific demands to get my vote, because I think she's better than Trump in pretty much every way. And I personally think voting for a third party candidate or staying home is a dangerous waste of my right to stop a fascist before he takes over my country.
"I know I have some work to do, particularly with young people."--Hillary Clinton
I do have a lot of friends and family who are leaning Hillary, but want to hear what Jill Stein has to say. I will be campaigning to them, if Hillary is the nominee, with an effort to get them to vote for Hillary instead of Stein. We probably all know some people we'll have to reach out to and ask what would further motivate them to vote for Hillary. The problem is one of motivation, a lot of people are scared that Hillary isn't going to keep her promises, or that her plans aren't substantial enough to truly help them. The way to engage with those beliefs is not to shriek "She's perfect and you're dumb for not knowing what's good for you!" Remember how some Bernie supporters thought that was the way to advocate for Sanders? It didn't work very well!
How will unity be accomplished?
On the ground level, it's going to be accomplished by everybody who is representing her and her campaign. The part of Scootaloo's post that I thought was most productive was the recommendations on some proposals that could help Hillary win voters on the left. What's going to get people's ass off the couch to donate, volunteer, register, and show up on election day? What's going to convince cynical young people, independents, and the far left that Hillary really is going to be a good progressive President? I'll propose some ideas, none of which have to be adopted exactly as is, nor would they all have to be adopted. Some of them are flat out the same as Scootaloo posted earlier, but there are some differences:
1) Pledge to support further healthcare reform building upon the work we've already accomplished. People have strongly expressed that while Obamacare is great, the fight isn't won yet. Single payer would be nice, but even a robust public option with some other forms of relief (Further medicaid expansion, perhaps?) would be fine.
2) Come up with an aggressive plan to address college affordability. Again, it doesn't have to be lifting Sanders' plan verbatim, but some kind of plan where federal funding eases the tuition crisis is going to be necessary to keep college a reality in this country. And perhaps even more important, major student loan reform is needed.
3) Pick a good Vice President. I'm not throwing out names or ultimatums about what kind of person, but it's gotta be someone that is a solid progressive who is appealing to voters and excites the base. Don't pick Tim Kaine, go for something more exciting.
4) Work for reform within the party, particularly in the primary process. People want DWS to go (and she will) and people hate superdelegates, caucuses, and all the weird quirks of the primary season. Let's actually fix that.
5) Make a major speech on social justice, and commit to legislative and executive action within Clinton's First 100 Days to: close the pay gap, grant paid family leave, pass the Equality Act, reform the criminal justice system, and stop deportations. The good news is that Hillary wants to do all these things! Now she just needs to reaffirm her commitment.
6) Meaningfully address the positions that Hillary has held in the past that are not her current positions. This means sitting down and giving a heartfelt apology about DOMA, explaining her motivations for not opposing Keystone and the TPP sooner, talk about her Iraq War vote. Hillary is human, and she's made some political mistakes in my opinion. She can address this effectively in some capacity, and I think would got a long way with addressing the fear and doubt of all but her most ardent opponents.
7) Give Sanders a prime speaking slot in the convention, and let his delegates advocate for incorporating their agenda into the platform. The last time there was a viable socialist movement in this country, FDR co-opted it and brought them into the Democratic Party. If Hillary wants to be a progressive hero she can be one, FDR wasn't the Bernie Sanders of his day. Norman Thomas was the Bernie Sanders of his day.
Bringing this party together is an important task that Hillary Clinton will not take lightly. But it's important that nobody is shamed for who they voted for in the primary. We all had the right to choose who we wanted, and if the nominee is Clinton, a lot of Sanders supporters will be sore for a while. Empathize with us and remind us that while we weren't on the same side, we're all still a big Democratic family. I believe that most of the Hillary supporters on this board generally share a commitment to the progressive goals that I do. Even though we don't always agree on tactics or even the issues, we have so much more in common.
The primary will be over by June. Sometime between now and the convention, I will make sure to have the nominee's logo in my signature. Bernie has not dropped out or been mathematically eliminated yet, and while it's more likely he will be than not, his logo stays unless he drops out or is eliminated. If he wins, then I expect to see a lot more Bernie logos popping up! If he loses, I'll be Ready for Hillary.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Sat Mar 19, 2016, 03:17 AM (13 replies)
Tonight I come to this board with a heavy heart, hat in hand, asking this simple question of our resident Hillary Clinton supporters.
I support Bernie Sanders because I think he's the best candidate on the ticket, and because he's been one of my favorite politicians for many years. I am a socialist, and believe like he does on nearly every issue. My support stems largely from this alignment of agreement. I believe in single-payer healthcare, free public education, strengthening social security, a peaceful foreign policy, a woman's right to choose, and equal rights for all people regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. I think Bernie shares those values and I also believe the Democratic Party shares those values. I even believe many of my Hillary supporting friends share those values.
Those of us support Bernie do so because we think he best supports our values. This is less about Hillary Clinton, perhaps the most common phrase I've heard in real life has been "I like Hillary, but I like Bernie more." DU is not really how people act out in the real world, and many times I'm thankful for that. With that being said, a lot of people worry that Hillary has not always done great in representing the things we believe in. She has changed her position on a number of issues in acknowledgment that Democratic values in these cases are correct, but I personally believe she fails to give a convincing explanation of her prior position. If she honestly said, for instance, her DOMA support was out of political expediency...I would be more willing to forgive than having to listen to distortions about how it was preventing a constitutional amendment that every prominent LGBTQ activist says was not happening.
So neither candidate is perfect, but a lot of us (about 40-45% of the Democratic electorate according to many polls) seem to have looked at both candidates and just decided we felt Bernie was better. We probably aren't going to win, but we're an important part of the party. We're nearly half of the party! And this is where my question comes in:
Do you feel our pain? Do you understand why we voted for Bernie, and why we support the causes he pushes for? Are we welcome in this party and can we work with you in a coalition where BOTH our concerns are addressed? Never again will I vote for a candidate that casts asides the needs of LGBTQ people, poor people, organized labor, or students. To make sure Hillary Clinton is a candidate that would never do such a thing, she will need the pressure AND support of people like me. This is how coalition politics works, and it's the only way the Democratic Party can ever survive.
This plea is one of understanding. Please see where we are coming from, and work with us. You'll be surprised to find how much you like us.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Tue Mar 15, 2016, 10:20 PM (109 replies)
The idea that the Clintons can flaunt the laws against electioneering and have it defended as a good thing is ridiculous. You know what, just say you don't care about those laws and that it's a basically harmless crime that's really not worth the effort to enforce. AT LEAST SAY THAT!
This primary has taught me that politics are just like sports...people will experience whatever cognitive dissonance they need to excuse their team from any scrutiny.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Tue Mar 15, 2016, 12:23 PM (3 replies)
The most obvious takeaway from continuous blowouts among black voters for Hillary Clinton is that she's going to win a comfortable margin among that demographic. For months I've thought Bernie's ceiling would be 35-40% of black voters because I felt it would be hard to win a majority. Not because black voters were too uninformed, plenty of black voters have taken a look at his proposals and said no. Many Bernie supporters suggested that black voters would be naturally primed to wake up when they found out about Sanders and his socialist platform, but that's not happening.
There is a left-wing constituency that cuts across all races, although polling only indicates it is about 25% of voters claim the label "liberal." Obviously there are some "moderates" who prefer terms like progressive or simply call themselves moderate despite clearly having left-leaning beliefs. There are people like that in my family, for instance, who are "moderates" who vote Democrat in every election and support things like single payer healthcare. Many of those people are Hillary supporters, and they do sincerely believe in a lot of liberal values. This is not to impugn moderates as bad in any way.
My working theory is that black people have similar ideological breakdowns as white people, but nearly all vote Democrat because it's the (sometimes) anti-racist party and the Republicans are racist. Actual results have shown Sanders winning 16% of the black vote in South Carolina and 23% in Nevada, while some polls have suggested his national support is closer to 25%.
Sanders is getting high numbers of white Democratic voters, but remember most white people are not Democrats. So he's getting a majority of a minority of white people. I wonder if, when comparing his numbers to white voters as a whole including all the Republicans, he's not down closer to that 25% metric. If about half the country leans Democrat and he's getting about 50% of the in many places...then yeah, we're looking at 25% again.
I think this is also borne out in what you see in the Hispanic vote. Plenty of polling shows Sanders closer to 40% among Hispanic Democrats, more than among black voters but less than among whites. This actually fits well with the above evidence, as higher numbers of Hispanics than black people are Republicans, even though they lean more Democrat than white people.
A candidate like Sanders basically has to max out with liberal voters and win some left-leaning moderates to win a primary. In a one-on-one race like this one, it gets extra hard. I'm not throwing in the towel yet, but demographic reality does seem to be catching up to us.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Sun Feb 28, 2016, 10:00 AM (40 replies)
Moses, like Vermin Supreme, was a protester. Moses, like Vermin Supreme, was a Jew. Moses, like Vermin Supreme, quit the protesting business to pursue other endeavors...Vermin entered politics while Moses entered the Plague-summoning business. These are some weird fucking coincidences that should encourage religious Democrats to support the candidate most similar to Moses. Go Vermin.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:28 AM (0 replies)
The Dolores Huerta incident yesterday was another disturbing reminder of the rancor on both sides of this year's Democratic Party divide. Sanders supporters, some of whom I suspect were Hispanic, wanted a neutral translator. While I think she would have been sufficient, this is not an insane request. I do think it was wrong to prevent any translation from being done: if the options were Huerta or nothing, everybody in the room should have demurred and let her do it. Passion gets in the way of reason sometimes. Instead they chanted "neutral" until the chair (mistakenly, I think) simply decided to proceed in only English.
Huerta was upset and heard something that didn't happen, and then mistakenly spread that impression on Twitter. Other Clinton surrogates (even some that I suspect knew it wasn't true) decided to spread the false story for no other reason than making Sanders and his supporters appear racist.
This is where I take issue: not with Dolores Huerta herself, or even the Clinton campaign overall, but with some supporters who viewed this unfortunate misunderstanding as an excuse to attack and nothing more. It wasn't rooted in actually caring about Dolores Huerta, at this point it became an opportunity to score political points. Through the last few months, every little controversy has been spun to smear millions of Democrats as terrible people in some way. Look, there are some awful Sanders supporters. But our camp is no better or worse than the Clinton supporters. When you get a group of millions of people (polls indicate that the Democratic electorate is split almost 50-50 now...) then you will get some awful people in that group. I have been attacked on social media by Clinton supporters at times; this doesn't mean that all her supporters are bad. I have friends who I respect very much that are in fact employed by the campaign. It's not so hard to have friends on both sides here.
Yet instead we have people generalizing at every opportunity. I won't let my side off the hook, because we have plenty of people that tend to default towards "all Hillary supporters are right-wingers" and whatnot. I'll admit that when I get angry about something, I might express agreement with that sentiment. There's a lot of passion in this primary and at time we're all going to let emotion get in our way, and we say and do some pretty irrational stuff. Yet I have seen on DU and elsewhere a default to this by Hillary supporters with incidents like what happened yesterday. All of the sudden we are "BernieBros" that just hate women and Hispanics, ignoring the fact that at worst Bernie draws like 35% of both of those groups; I know Latinas on both sides of this primary divide and I wouldn't call any of them sexist or racist.
As a gay man, I don't have to be told about being in a minority community with harsh splits in opinion between two candidates who are hoping to have your vote. I think a poll of LGBTQ people last week had a 48-41 split in our community between the two candidates. Sometimes straight people get the notion to speak for us in ways that maybe they shouldn't, on both sides of the primary divide. I've seen a handful of Sanders supporters suggest that my human rights were a distraction, or that candidates who fought for them are distracting from economic conservatism. While sometimes this is the case (Michael Bloomberg comes to mind) it's an oversimplification that's pretty offensive. But you know what, that's a small group of supporters who don't reflect either their candidate or his stances. A few Hillary supporters suggested that criticizing her for past mistakes on LGBTQ rights was pathetic; it is even more frustrating that people who for years opposed my rights are now suddenly demanding that not voting for their preferred candidate is betraying my community. That is never your place to say. Yet this is still a small group of supporters who don't reflect either their candidate or her stances.
So please, let us dispel with this fiction that one of the candidates running represents a grand wave of racism, sexism, or homophobia. We are Democrats; if there was a major appetite for that stuff, Jim Webb wouldn't have polled at 1% or worse when he was in the race. We are going to have to unite in November: the communists and the corporatists, the "BernieBros" and the "Hillbots," are all going to have to work together to keep literal fascists out of the White House. A Republican President would deport Latin@s and silence Dolores Huerta. They would strip LGBTQ people of our rights, suppress the black vote, empower racist police officers, eliminate social security and medicare, dismantle public education, and take away the healthcare of millions. On ever social and economic issue you can imagine, a Republican (especially Trump, Cruz, and that ilk) President with control of Congress and the Supreme Court would remake this country into a fascist police state where civil rights disappear, endless war kills our young people, and the rich steal everything that isn't nailed down.
I don't care if Hillary supporters are deluded and think that I'm racist or a self-hating gay person or any of the other smears that people want to throw around. I don't care if my fellow Sanders supporters think that our opponents hate poor people and secretly want to re-invade Iraq. Those charges are not generally true, and stating such about literally half of the Democratic Party is asinine, short-sighted behavior that will harm your own interests if you can't cut it out in a few months.
I personally think that Sanders is the far better candidate, both to win the election in November and to wage a principled fight against the special interests for the next 8 years. Yet I understand that not everybody agrees, and that is why we have a long, difficult fight ahead of us. The primaries are nowhere near over, and while I have seen people on both sides fantasize about wrapping up the nomination in the next few weeks, it's probably not happening.
This is an appeal to make the time we have left, be it weeks or months, one that engages is a little less bullshit. It is an appeal to remember we are ALL Democrats who believe in helping the poor and middle class, protecting our social safety net, ensuring education and healthcare for all, protecting a woman's right to choose, restraining our foreign policy, and standing up for the civil rights of Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ, and disabled Americans.
It is an appeal that will fail, as the rancor will not end. But it is worth making anyway.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Sun Feb 21, 2016, 02:46 PM (2 replies)
3 states down, 47 to go.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Sat Feb 20, 2016, 06:57 PM (9 replies)
That's a huge positive for Bernie, with the downside being they're only counted as 15% of the electorate in the entrance poll. I suspect if they actually make up more of the electorate, Bernie has a better chance than first thought.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 09:26 PM (7 replies)
This morning Hillary Clinton got the inevitable endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign. I don't fault her for this, HRC is a well-known organization and I am sure it will benefit her. But when it comes to this endorsement, it unfortunately reinforces some of the criticisms of both HRCs involved here. Before people start accusing Sanders' supporters of throwing HRC under the bus, I should note that for much of the LGBTQ community, we've had enough of them for a long time. There are a number of systemic issues that indicate they are more interested in access for a very specific group of people, rather than full-throated inclusion for all parts of our community. Here's a sampler of the problems with the Human Rights Campaign:
Among the many complaints are a transphobic working environment; many trans employees stay closeted because they don't feel safe to be out at HRC. A major lack of diversity, and favoritism for white men, has also been criticized as well.
HRC has also been accused of advancing a corporate vision of LGBTQ rights, one that lets large corporations off the hook for past and current anti-progressive actions as long as they hit a few benchmarks for treating their LGBTQ employees no worse than they treat all of their employees. Not only do these benchmarks often overlook the economic inequality fostered by these corporations (certainly an issue where they may find themselves at odds with Bernie Sanders), but in some cases it has been suggested that their standards for corporations were really low when it came to the treatment of trans* employees.
Speaking of trans* people, HRC has a really horrible record of simply ignoring their issues over the years. Not only have they ignored their issues when lobbying the elites for equal rights, they have been engaged in controversy with trans* activists for so long that many doubt that current steps towards reconciliation will ever truly engender trust in HRC among many LGBTQ people. A key flash point was in their lobbying for ENDA, HRC once appeared willing to abandon trans* equality if it would make a bill for gay rights easier to pass.
Beyond that, HRC has even gone out of its way to endorse Republicans from time to time, even if their records are murky on LGBTQ rights. I believe their thinking is that incumbent and powerful officials will provide them more access, but this can leave them pushing aside Democrats with much better records on LGBTQ issues.
The record for the Human Rights Campaign is not great: racism, sexism, transphobia, and a disturbing tendency to rub shoulders with right-wing corporations and politicians. In the face of that history, Hillary Clinton receiving their endorsement over Bernie Sanders highlights a divide in the LGBTQ community that already is playing itself out politically. Clinton finds her strongest support with older and more well off gay people, while the more youth-driven activist movements critical of groups like HRC have been more inclined to support Sanders.
There's no bus for HRC to be thrown under, since most of us LGBTQ people who support Sanders have been dismayed by HRC for years.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Tue Jan 19, 2016, 10:36 AM (37 replies)
I think the most interesting polarization between Clinton and Sanders this year has not been ideological, racial, or even based on pragmatism. Hillary Clinton does her best with voters over the age of 45, and Sanders does his best with voters under 30. There are a lot more of the former, which I think helps explain most of the persisting lead for Clinton.
I am not saying that all members of any generation support any candidate. I know multiple people under 30 who are outright working for Hillary's campaign. They're good Democrats, and so are the people over 45 who prefer Hillary. There are also great-grandmothers and retirees who are putting everything on the line to support Bernie. They're also good Democrats, as are the young people who form Bernie's passionate young fanbase.
I don't know if the Democratic Party is ready for socialism as defined by Bernie Sanders, but polling indicates most of the party (including a slim majority of Hillary voters) have a positive opinion of socialism. We're not even talking about real socialism, it's basically a form of social democracy that doesn't go much beyond the platforms of Roosevelt and Truman.
However I don't think it can be overestimated how much the generational factor matters here. Bernie appeals to young people for his variety of liberal positions (free college, single payer healthcare, legalized marijuana, less war) that the Democrats of Clinton's generation pragmatically dismissed as positions too extreme to win a campaign on twenty years ago. I think the electorate is fundamentally different than what it was then, but it goes without saying that the bulk of the leadership of the Democratic Party is made up of people who were around when that decision was made.
25 year olds aren't going to take over the Democratic Party, even if we have someone like Bernie Sanders leading the fight. Perhaps the rest of this campaign surprises me and Bernie manages to pull the upset. But if he doesn't, I suspect the left-wing ideology espoused by his young supporters will have to find ways beyond a Presidential campaign to continue nurturing itself. Perhaps the young have things to learn about basic political machinations that will only come with experience.
One day the people of my generation will run the world. We're not there yet, but we have a voice. And every year that goes by that voice gets louder, stronger, and more powerful. If we don't get a socialist like Bernie Sanders elected President in 2016 (and we're sure as hell going to try) then we will try again with somebody else in the future.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Thu Nov 19, 2015, 02:27 PM (8 replies)