Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hillary, Bernie, JFK, and the advantage of big ambitions over small potatoes

John F. Kennedy knew how to think big. Bernie Sanders' thinking
is closer to JFK's than Hillary's
The Clinton camp's beef with Bernie Sanders seems to be that Sanders is thinking too big, whereas Hillary is "pragmatic." But look closely and what you will find is that by "pragmatism," the Clinton camp means the hope for a few incremental fixes, achieved without the consent of a hostile Congress. 

Hillary will, um, “improve” the clunky camel of a cobbled together, better-than-nothing Obamacare system, rather than replace it with Medicare For All, as Sanders wants to do. She’ll help make college loans somewhat less onerous, as opposed to Sanders, who seeks to make them superfluous, with free tuition at public colleges.  And so on.

But make no mistake. Congress, or at least the Congress controlled by Republicans, hates Hillary with a vengeance. It has been ginning up hatred of her at least since she was seeking the nomination in opposition to Barack Obama eight years ago. Think about the Hillary-hating catch phrases of the past, and possibly of the future if Hillary gets the nomination. They will rise like zombies from the grave: "Whitewater." "Troopergate." “Vince Foster.” "Liberal." Any move Hillary makes will have to be in spite of Congress, rather than in concert with it.

But won’t Congress oppose Sanders, too? Yes, if it’s the same Congress we have now, they most certainly will. But the wave of the future — as evidenced by the enthusiastic turnout of young people for Sanders — demonstrates that he speaks for where America of the future wants to go, and not for tinkering cautiously with the rattletrap mechanism that is American government today. Inevitably, if enough people make demands, lawmakers will go along in order to keep their jobs. That's why the difference between Sanders and Clinton is so important.

Sanders will fight for change. Hillary, if the publicity is to believed, will fight only for incremental fixes. And that reflects a shameful lack of ambition for the future of our nation.

Can Bernie Sanders deliver all, or even most of what he promises? Probably not, at least not in the short run. But then, it’s also not a sure thing can Hillary can deliver even modest fixes.

Significant change will only come when a mass of voters stand up and shake the walls and the rafters with their demands for change. Yes, change will come slowly even after Americans demonstrate their passion for change. But that was always the case. To quote John F. Kennedy when he spoke of his own huge ambitions for America….

“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. “

And that’s why I’ll be voting for Sanders in my own state’s primary. If Hillary gets the nomination? Yes, I'll vote for her in the general election, because even her small potatoes ambitions for America are better than the unconscious Republican ambition to destroy America.

But make no mistake. If America is ever going to change for the better again, it will be Bernie leading the charge, and not Hillary fiddling with the lug nuts.


Comrade Misfit said...

Hillary is campaigning as though she's running for the 4th seat on a county commission. She doesn't get that running for president means that one has to inspire people if one wants to truly win.

JFK got that. So did Reagan and Obama and FDR. An inspirational candidate would have wiped the floor with Dubya.

Clinton might beat Rubio or Cruz or Jeb. She'll get fucking crucified by Trump.

Cirze said...

Of course, to inspire voters, one must want to be actually effective at making changes in their lives.

Obama was inspirational IMHO.

He just was acting.

Most of the Democrats left in the flock are not going to buy a fake inspirer again.

Thus, Bernie is perceived as the candidate who campaigns most honestly.

We can hope again.

Love you!

Ten Bears said...