What if political candidates had to wear the logos of their corporate sponsors?
I recently read an article entitled “The #BernieOrBust Movement Throws Marginalized People Under The Bus.” Have you seen it or heard the sentiment? Well, it got me all fired up! When I first heard Donald Trump’s hate mongering rhetoric I vowed to do everything in my power to keep him out of the White House! When I heard other Bernie supporters say they would never vote for Hillary in the general election even if Bernie lost I thought they were being selfish and idealistic to a fault. After all I am a lifelong Democrat and as much as I wish the Democratic Party was better, the Republicans are undeniably worse. I’m idealistic but I’m not stupid and sometimes we have to be strategic. But then something funny happened… As the primary progressed and I started doing more extensive research on Hillary and the Clinton administration my views on the subject started to shift. So, here is my response, respectfully:
I agree that a Trump or any Republican President would be catastrophically awful, however, the catastrophic effects of Clinton era economic policy are not to be underestimated either. Hillary’s positions on free trade, corporate lobbyists and special interest groups in government, and corporate immunity from local government’s regulations, are at the root of our nation and the world’s problems. Hillary’s stance on these issues is very clear, after all she was a corporate lawyer for Walmart and her Campaign is headed by corporate lobbyists (like her campaign manager from the Podesta Group that was recently implicated in the Panama Papers for example.) Unfortunately Hillary is not alone in this. She is in agreement with every singe establishment politician or President in my lifetime on this issue. This one issue is why both parties are in crisis right now!
Before we go any further I have to make it clear that the Bernie or Bust movement is a strategy to pressure the Democratic National Committee and the superdelegates to support Bernie Sanders and vote for him as the Democratic nomination. We know the superdelgates were bought by the Hillary Victory Fund before Bernie started his campaign , but ultimately their job is to choose the Democratic candidate who can actually win in November and this primary isn’t over till it’s over. Bernie or Bust is sincere and committed to Sanders for the long haul, yes, but at this stage it is actually the most effective way to prevent the situation you and others fear; a split left vote that could open the door to a Trump presidency. The truth is that Hillary just doesn’t have the support she would need to win decisively and neither does Trump. They could both loose to eachother, especially if another major scandal breaks or if the FBI investigation gets ugly for Hillary. Bernie is the only one who can predictably and decisively win the general election!
We need Bernie because he is the only candidate that has consistently made a point of fighting for election reforms like campaign finance reform, a popular vote, making election day a holiday, and switching to ranked choice voting. Bernie supporters are fired up about election fraud and voter disenfranchisement! We are deeply concerned that the establishment isn’t, especially after the election fraud scandals in Florida and Ohio that decided the 2000 and 2004 election for George W. Bush!!! We need a national policy that audits official vote counts that don’t match up with exit polls. We need to be able to verify that voting machines aren’t hacked!
Aside from fraud and evildoing, our election system is outdated and ineffective by design. We need to switch to a system like Ranked Choice Voting where you mark your first, second and third choice on the ballot and if your first choice doesn’t stand a chance your second or third choice would be counted instead. This process of elimination goes on until a candidate has a majority. Ranked Choice Voting is much simpler than our current system in practice and it produces results that better represent the will of the majority. Ranked Choice Voting gets rid of the need for strategic voting because it eliminates splitting the left or right votes if there are more then two candidates and it eliminates the Nader Effect. It would also increase voter turnout by undoing the need for a separate primary and it unravels the two party monopoly. Ranked Choice Voting is used by Australia, Ireland, the US Military and many other countries, states and local governments. People love it and there is already a bipartisan national movement to put it in place. Learn more at fairvote.org. Unfortunately, we probably won’t get systemic election reform until we have President Bernie in the oval office so how can we win this election with our current broken system? Most of us know that polls have consistently shown Bernie winning against Trump with much higher margins than Hillary in a two candidate general election but what happens if Bernie doesn’t win the democratic nomination? [4a] Armageddon?
If you are convinced that having two liberal candidates against one conservative would split the vote and throw the election I have good news for you. Bernie Sanders is not Ralph Nader! We don’t have to look very far to offer another possibility. Just next door in Canada, Justin Trudeau was recently elected Prime Minister. Trudeau was able to defeat the conservative nightmare Stephen Harper despite the fact that Canada has two major leftist political parties and only one conservative party!!!  In Canada the population is fairly evenly split between the three parties. Actually the Conservative party of Canada had just over a third of the votes in the previous election. In contrast less than a quarter of Americans are still registered Republican so they had it worse than we do! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won by championing a bipartisan progressive agenda like Bernie’s, not a moderate one! His very first promise as prime minister was to guarantee election reform like I described above!!! We have a right to vote, to have our votes counted and to be free to vote our conscience without fear of wasting our vote!!!! Lots of countries do it differently and it’s time we had a president willing to fight for real democracy!
Hypothetically, what would happen if we had an election with three major candidates like Canada? Our political demographics have changed dramatically in the last 8 years so let’s look at the numbers. 26% of Americans are registered Republican, just under 30% of Americans are registered Democrats and over 40% are now Independents. [4b] (This is not counting those who live in states with closed primaries and changed their registration to Democrat to Vote for Bernie in the primary so the real Democrat numbers are lower and the real Independent number is higher.) Surprised? Now lets say that Hillary is the Democrat, Trump is the Republican and Bernie is the Independent. If most people would vote their party line, the winner would be Bernie Sanders with close to 40% of the vote and he could even win by double digits! Hillary would get second place and Trump would get third. Factor in strategic voting and a more detailed analysis and Bernie still probably comes out ahead, but we can be sure this would be a fight and that nobody would be throwing away their vote. Truth be told Bernie has significant Republican, Democrat, Green and Libertarian support so he could actually win an over 50% majority, even in a three way election by bringing in voters who don’t usually vote or who usually throw away their vote on candidates that don’t stand a chance.
Now lets look at another scenario briefly: Trump vs. Clinton and Bernie drops out. Let’s say Trump gets just 10% of Independents plus the Republicans. In this scenario Bernie’s voters split up, Bernie Democrats vote for Hillary and Bernie Independents vote Green or Libertarian. The results: Trump wins with 36%. Hillary gets second with 30% and Green and Libertarian candidates get a record showing but still are in a distant 3rd and 4th place with roughly 15% each. This unfortunate scenario is why I think that Bernie Sanders is not only the moral choice but also the strategic choice! Don’t drop out Bernie!!!
Now, strategy aside, lets get back to the issue at hand. Is the Bernie or Bust movement a privileged luxury for the white middle class? Is Trumps social agenda worse than Clinton’s economic agenda for marginalized peoples? For the first time ever we have two candidates, Bernie Sanders and shockingly Trump as well, that are standing against disastrous free trade deals and and unaccountable big banks. Both Sanders and Trump are calling to stop the TPP and free trade agreements that send our jobs overseas and both are calling to audit the Federal Reserve, which has never happened before. [5,6] The surprising popularity of both of these candidates is due to the fact that the people know how directly devastating these free-trade and global scale banking monopolies are for marginalized peoples! (Granted Trump only seems to care about marginalized whites and his honesty or capacity to do anything, good or bad, is questionable at best. Why would Trump the Billionaire be on our side of this issue? Because his empire was ruined multiple times by these banks and the inside engineers of the recession. They profited, Trump went bankrupt.) The fact that Trump is on the right side of this one is the reason that he could actually win the support of enough Independents and Republicans to beat Clinton. The people know that the establishment is looking out for corporate interests and corporate control of our government. The progressives have been fighting globalization for a long time now. The conservatives have been fighting big government. Now many people are realizing that these are two sides of the same coin. The people don’t believe that the establishment has their best interests at heart.
These free trade deals and big banks have given multinational corporations the right to exploit the workers and the environment of third world “developing” countries with total legal immunity! Individual countries under the TPP would not have the right to hold corporations like Monsanto and others legally accountable or to ban GMOs or Monsanto’s pesticides if they deem them to be destructive. Countries who sign on loose the right to set their own minimum wages or workplace safety laws. ”If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.”  Free trade agreements by definition sign away our rights to control our local economies or to protect our workers and our environment . The reality of this is so ugly that it must be implemented overseas where Americans rarely if ever get a glimpse into the underbelly of our consumer goods. Please read up on this in more detail! In practice, this is literally slavery overseas minus the room and board! This is the legalization of the rape of our planet to a scale that has never been seen before! This is hundreds of garment workers locked into and unable to escape burning factories in Pakistan and Bangladesh.  This is a Brazilian river running red after a dam burst at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil, unleashing 50 million tons of highly toxic mud and mining waste.  This is the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank making third world countries sign away their rights to education and health care in order to qualify for a loan to fight famine. This is American and Western corporations getting the contracts to rebuild these countries’ infrastructure in our own image and to the detriment of entire ecosystems and indigenous communities. This is Globalization, the modern face of Colonialism. This new era of free trade is the Clinton’s biggest legacy. The TPP, NAFTA, the Colombia Free-Trade Agreement, and The Panama Free Trade Agreement are just the tip of the iceberg! 
Within our own borders this policy amounts to small scale, local and sustainable companies unable to compete and the result is catastrophic job loss.  Clinton/Greenspan era economics, aka. trickle down economics, was as much to blame for the recession as Bush was and it pains me to admit it! [13,14] What happens when a country goes from being a producer economy to a consumer economy without jobs available? What happens when the stock market crashes and your pension and life savings disappears overnight? Somebody ends up with that money. It does not just disappear! The stock market is a gamble and the house always wins in the end. When families homes and cars are repossessed and people find themselves unemployed on the brink of homelessness or starvation, young unemployed people are forced to turn to crime or else enlist in the military to get by. The Clinton Crime Bill has put more people in prison than ever before.  We have more people in prison per capita than any other country in the world. How is that working out for marginalized peoples? This is the Military Industrial Complex in action. This is institutionalized racism at it’s worst! The prison community becomes America’s slave labor force and the military population ensures that we have the troops we need to ensure that uncooperative governments around the world will fall into line.
If freedom and democracy are really our military agenda then why did Hillary Clinton legitimize the overthrow of Nicaragua’s first democratically elected government? Why did she allow a military coup to take over despite reports of massive, systemic election fraud in Nicaragua?  Why did we overthrow the relatively moderate societies in Iraq and Libya while we don’t bat an eye at ultra conservative and oppressive Saudi Arabia? Clinton is the modern bearer of an oppressive and calculating strategy for American world dominance. Read the People History Of The United States of America by Howard Zinn to learn the history they never wanted you to know about.
Bernie Sanders would rather see the American working class making a living wage and going to college than going to jail or war and I think that his plan would save our country a ton of money in the long run. Obama Care already has Oregon HMO’s making record profits because of the decrease in the uninsured ER visits that come out of the hospitals own pockets.This is despite the fact we still have a long way to go and that we still have a Big Pharma monopoly resulting in unchecked inflation of drugs and medical care. Ideally healthcare and any other publicly funded institution would be not-for-profit. Medicare for all and heath care reforms could begin to put this profit share back in the pockets of the taxpayers. College and a living wage instead of prison and welfare would do the same! Reinvesting corporate subsidies and corporate handouts into tax breaks and grants for sustainable small and smaller businesses who pay their workers a living wage is a good investment.
Our people’s well-being is a good investment. Small businesses, family farms and the local economy is a good investment. Systemic change to our economic policy would get the money circulating through our communities and stop it from being siphoned away to multinational corporations, their offshore bank accounts and their shell companies. This is the kind of change that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have been advocating for decades! A strong local economy is the backbone of the kind of small government that conservatives have been looking for and a strong local economy is the kind of grassroots community oversight that progressives have been fighting for too. Thriving communities full of small businesses are the dream and they are also the backbone of economic resilience. Local business owners should know and love their town or city of operation because they live there, they should care about their hometowns local issues, they should know their employees. Regional chains make this a stretch. National and international chains make this impossible. Any time a chain sends the majority of it’s profits away to a CEO or investor that is money that disappears from the local economy. We don’t need to be subsidizing that and we don’t need to be subsidizing companies that are too big to fail! Our economic policy needs to subsidize and support businesses that keep the majority of their profits circulating back to employees and investing in their local areas.
The alternative is globalization enforced by the military industrial complex. Hillary’s regime change foreign policy directly undermined Libya and Syria’s stability and left the region vulnerable to extremist takeover. Her interventionism and meddling painted any legitimate, democratic faction of those revolutions with the stench of colonialism and undermined their credibility. Well that goes two ways. Hillary received millions of dollars from a number of morally questionable countries just before granting them all huge weapons contracts.  Is that bribery or treason, I’m not sure, but this and many other examples have collectively undermined Hillary’s credibility. I don’t trust her and the Bernie or Bust movement doesn’t trust her either. Now Hillary has the audacity to try and attack Sanders on gun policy? When he has been outspoken for gun control and against these regime change interventions from the beginning!?! Extreme poverty and war are the major causes of gun violence! Hillary Clinton’s philosophy leads to both.
I respect that Hillary Rodham Clinton was a hardworking career woman who didn’t let the patriarchy or sexism stop her. I respect that she has been a pioneer and a hero to career women for decades but she is not a democrat and she is not for the people. Saying what she has to in order to pander for the votes of the LGBTQ community, people of color, undocumented workers, Muslims, people in poverty, and women is not enough and is not sincere in light of the big picture. Policies that directly undermine all human rights are destructive to all humans, all families, and especially these minorities and marginalized people that most of Hillary’s supporters genuinely care about. This is why Hillary and the Republicans will never get my vote! This is why I will research and support down ballot candidates that support Bernie and outvote incumbents that endorse Hillary. That is why I will continue to vote for Bernie Sanders for President of the USA.
NOTE: If you know of good or better sources that support my arguments or find any inaccuracies please comment below so I can make corrections.
[1a]”Panama Papers Scandal Hits the Clinton Campaign” http://www.breitbart.com/hillary-clinton/2016/04/07/panama-papers-scandal-hits-clinton-campaign/
[1b] “Bernie Sanders Was Right to Oppose the Panama Free Trade Agreement [CC]” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a25fZFKtJ7s
“How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties”
 “A Big Lesson America Should Learn From Canada’s New Prime Minister” http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/10/20/3714126/a-big-lesson-america-should-learn-from-canadas-new-prime-minister/
[4a]”Bernie Sanders says he consistently beats Donald Trump by bigger margins than Hillary Clinton does” http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/mar/08/bernie-s/bernie-sanders-says-he-consistently-beats-donald-t/
[4b] “Democratic, Republican Identification Near Historical Lows” http://www.gallup.com/poll/188096/democratic-republican-identification-near-historical-lows.aspx
 “Trump And Sanders In Agreement? The Strange Politics Of Free Trade” http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2016/04/01/trump-and-sanders-in-agreement-the-strange-politics-of-free-trade/#7f9fe8e828bc (note: please disregard the final paragraph as propaganda for big money interests. After all, it is Forbes)
[6a] “What would a President Trump mean for the Fed?” http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/24/news/economy/donald-trump-federal-reserve-audit-the-fed/
[6b] “The Biggest Scam In The History Of Mankind Explained In 7 Minutes” https://www.facebook.com/thefreethoughtprojectcom/videos/1738896179663975/
[7a] “Did Hillary Clinton’s State Department help suppress the minimum wage in Haiti?” http://www.politifact.com/global-news/statements/2016/apr/21/lee-camp/did-hillary-clintons-state-department-help-suppres/
[7b] “7 Articles To Read Uncovering Hillary Clinton’s Haiti Record” http://haitiantimes.com/7-articles-to-read-uncovering-hillary-clintons-haiti-record-14284/
 “Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance” http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-the-tpp-and-global-food-dominance/5359491
 “Workers Die In Bangladesh Factory While Making Clothes For Walmart And Others” http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/11/25/workers-die-in-bangladesh-factory-while-making-clothes-for-walmart-and-others/
 “A Disaster Prompted by Economic Activity: Brazil’s mining dam disaster, the worst in the country’s history, will continue to cause irreparable environmental damage for years.” http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/photography/2015/12/_brazil_mining_dam_disaster_toxic_sludge_and_irreversible_environmental.html
 “IMF, World Bank & WTO – Neo-Colonial Tools For Enslaving Nations” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA3kV3TIBfg
 “Bernie Sanders Answers Many Common Questions We Have About “Free Trade”” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lDqwvAMcVQ
 “Bernie Sanders Confronts Alan Greenspan” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJaW32ZTyKE
 “Elizabeth Warren vs. Hillary Clinton (2004)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12mJ-U76nfg
 “Bill Clinton concedes role in mass incarceration” http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/06/politics/bill-clinton-crime-prisons-hillary-clinton/
 “She’s Baldly Lying”: Dana Frank Responds to Hillary Clinton’s Defense of Her Role in Honduras Coup” http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/13/shes_baldly_lying_dana_frank_responds
 “Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department” http://www.ibtimes.com/clinton-foundation-donors-got-weapons-deals-hillary-clintons-state-department-1934187