Monday, April 11, 2016

Too much, Bernie

A friend of mine wrote the following letter to Bernie Sanders.

Dear Bernie,

From the very beginning of your campaign, I was a strong supporter. Early on, I made a contribution of $100 to help in the effort. I was impressed by your honesty, your decency and your authenticity. In the first debate, when you told Hillary Clinton that the "American people had had enough of [her] damn emails," I cheered your putting aside political expediency in favor of straight talk. The next day, my wife wrote a letter, which was published in the New York Times, expressing her enthusiasm for the quality of the discourse that was evidenced by the participants in that debate. The contrast with the puerile and undignified Republican debates was overwhelming.

As a registered  Democrat in New York, I had every intention of voting for you next Tuesday. However, the tone you have taken since last week has changed my mind. Despite my admiration for the campaign you had waged up to that point, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that by attacking Hillary Clinton as "unqualified" and your more recent though milder attacks on Secretary Clinton and her husband, you  risk providing ammunition to the Republican nominee that will result in a great disaster for our nation--a Republican president. 

The shift of my one primary vote from you to Secretary Clinton will go unnoticed. I live, after all, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where you will prevail in a landslide but you need to hear from a formerly strong supporter that you have gone too far. Your campaign no longer serves your party, your program or your ideas. Your campaign now serves Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or whichever so-called moderate may emerge from a contested convention in Cleveland. 

With sincere regret,

 I particularly like the line "Your campaign no longer serves your party, your program or your ideas".  This is not a criticism of Sanders' ideas, but of his campaign; I fully concur with this analysis. Actually, both Sanders and Clinton should prefix each debate and public announcement from here on out with a statement that he/she will wholeheartedly support the eventual Democratic nominee, and that either Democratic candidate is totally qualified to be president and is far superior to any possible Republican nominee. Both candidates should limit their debating statements to matters of policy differences, no matter the provocation from the "moderators" or the press.

Readers of this blog know that I have been critical of the Democratic party and its office-holders on many, many occasions. Nevertheless, this election is extremely important -- perhaps historic -- because of what is at stake ... I'm sure I needn't belabor you with an enumeration. While neither Sanders nor Clinton are perfect politicians, the Republican party is so completely deficient in just about every practical and moral way, and its continued dominance of Congress and possible capture of the presidency so terrifying, that we must respect Sanders and Clinton at all times, and continually remind ourselves that defeat of the PTR is and will be more important than either of them as personalities. If only they would remind themselves of this fact more often.

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