Home | About | Donate

Advice for Divided Democrats (Please Note: You Probably Won't Like It)


Advice for Divided Democrats (Please Note: You Probably Won't Like It)

Robert Reich

With the Democratic primaries grinding to a bitter end, I have suggestions for both Clinton and Sanders supporters that neither will like.

First, my advice to Clinton supporters: Don’t try to drum Bernie Sanders out of the race before Hillary Clinton officially gets the nomination (if she in fact does get it).

Some of you say Bernie should bow out because he has no chance of getting the nomination, and his continuing candidacy is harming Hillary Clinton’s chances.


Great advice. Trump must be stopped.


Sigh. Robert, Robert, Robert. How many times do we hard-core leftists have to tell you and the other apologists for the party establishment that we are in no way convertible to Hillary. We hate her, we only came into the party for Bernie, and will walk away for places like the Green Party if he is not the nominee. In addition, for her vicious lying and underhanded tactics in the campaign, we will now work hard to defeat Hillary in November. We mean to rip control of the party away from their faction of the party, and that only happens if she goes down in flames in November. #NeverHillary.


I agree with some of your argument, Mr. Reich; but the following presumptuous statement lacks any factual basis:

"Hillary may not possess Bernie Sanders’s indignation about the rigging of our economy and democracy, or be willing to go as far in remedying it, but she’s shown herself a capable and responsible leader."

What exists in her resume to define her as capable?

The real question extends into: Capable of what?

She's very capable of carrying water for the Military Industrial Complex and while painting herself as a Progressive, she's a warmonger.

She's also very capable of delivering to the Big Banks and Wall Street as seen in the way these entities "recognize" her for her "capabilities." What's the going hourly speech rate these days for one so "capable"?

A similar case could be made about what it is on her record that shows that she's "responsible."

She's responsible for defending the indefensible.

She's responsible for making a National Security decision that wasn't all that secure (the private emails).

Dangling words of praise into thin air without proving their merit is a tried and true tactic of the MSM.

Mrs. Clinton will not get my vote. I guess I'll be one of those people who votes her conscience, and if Sanders doesn't get in... I KNOW it won't be because of a lack of popular approval (or TRUE vote counts).

And what is done through corruption, deviousness, and graft is NOT something that I will take personal responsibility for. THAT is another FAKE meme meant to punish or penalize all souls for the ACTIONS of very specific (as in identifiable) sociopaths.


Who is this we? You say this not we. Yes many people do not want Hillary but this childish drama of do or die about Hillary is nonsense. Hillary is another Obama and if you don't want a Hillary presidency then all 'hard core leftists' should march on Philly and demonstrate/protest and demand the superdelegates reflect the will of the people and not the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's of the Democratic Party.

When Trump starts talking about how he believes global warming is a hoax we should all be afraid of what he will do. It shows how remote he truly is doesn't it? Trump is far worse than Hillary on many levels. He is not some rebel version of the republicans but a hard core rightist among republicans. There is a very big difference between the two. I want Bernie but I fear just what a rightwing demogogue could do as climate change overtakes us in the next few years.

Trump is saying things that had he said them earlier then he'd be less popular. That should tell you that he hasn't really shown people what he is really like. He will be a super Reagan who will destroy the EPA and prevent meaningful action on climate change ...

... And now he is talking WW3 with China. I really doubt that there would be another European war with Russia. Imagine the destruction and yet I don't discount the need to prevent the maniacs from goading each other etc.

But the issue with China is not the same kind of thing for them or us. The dance may be calling the tune with NATO and Russia but the tune in Asia is not just a dance. Trump is emotionally reckless and perhaps the worst type of personality to deal with tense military contests.


Agree genedebs,

President Hillary = WW3
President Trump = Maybe, Maybe Not ( I'll take my chances)

But better yet, on the count of 3, in November, everyone unhappy with the "2 lessor of evils", vote for, on the right, the LP, and on the left the GP. There, now that we have got TwiddleeDem and TwiddleeDumr out of the White House, may the winning 3rd party move in.


You'll take your chances based on what exactly? That is that rhetorical language disconnect that has grabbed people. They want to believe that Trump will be different than the status quo but they somehow ignore the fact that he is lying!

Moreover when you say WW3 you remain focused on the status quo for Europe no less. What about the very serious aggression of China in the Pacific? The Chinese took Tibet or have people forgotten? China is now becoming unassailable economically and potentially capable of a rapid mobilization militarily. They want what they want and the neocon fools are busy playing career moves on a European/Mid East chessboard but the dangerous days are coming in Asia instead.

Fight for Bernie and your votes in Philly but not voting for Hillary if she gets the nomination (illegitimately) will only help Trump.

Beware of Trump... You don't elect a billionaire oligarch to battle against oligarchy. You don't elect a demogogue to defend your freedoms either and you don't elect a climate change denier to fight climate change.


Having Hillary in the WH will not make changing the Democratic Party any more difficult, but if she loses, I will become much more difficult yet. What you are proposing, whether you are aware of it or not, is the old Leninist "sharpen the contradictions" (aka "the worse, the better") tactic. History shows that it absolutely does not work - it only brings catastrophe.


I'll take a poison pill before I vote for Hillary. If my vote for Jill Stein is the poison pill, at least it might bring some kind of change. I cant take 4 more years of a neocon puppet, wearing democrat clothing, in the WH. I am ready for a bomb to drop on DC. If it is that buffoon with the bad hair, it is the DNC's fault for running such a bad candidate.


Your "President Hillary = WW3 is totally over the top, idiotic, rationality-free nonsense. Hillary is simply promoting the same US/western imperialist interests that every US president since the end of WW2 has done. Its it vile? Yes. Does it oppress the down-trodden working class around the world? Yes.

But will it start WW3? Uh....No.

And I find it odd how the number one threat of out times - global warming - strangely falls totally off the list of priorities among the "Sanders leftists for Trump".

Read this:


Now read this:


Lots of other similarly stark differences between Trump and Hillary too.


Yeah well your childish dramatics are no help to other people. Voting for worse is not logical but you don't care huh? Yeah okay. What do you not remember about republicans in the White House? I am curious! What do you not remember about having republicans running the country?


"I can’t criticize anyone for voting their conscience, of course. But your conscience should know that a decision not to vote for Hillary, should she become the Democratic nominee, is a de facto decision to help Donald Trump."

But your are Mr. Reich, that is the same rationale used against Vietnam War protesters, they were de facto aiding the Viet Cong and Ho Chi MInh. Thoreau was de facto siding with the Mexicans. What about the Berrigans?

I will not vote for this woman:

I voted Green last time, I'm surely not voting Hillary this time. The prospect of four to eight years with her crowd is too much to contemplate. Trump most likely will end up slightly to the right of George W. Bush.


Good points - I really like Sanders and am holding out hope he can still be the candidate, but just like the Trump brownshirts, a large number, maybe a majority, of Sanders supporters seem have moved into this rationality-free twilight zone where clever sayings and over-the-top emotion-driven hyperbole are replacing any kind or rationality. It is becoming pretty damn frightening.


Doesn't this sound like the Boy Who Cried Wolf? If Trump is elected, the Democrats have nobody to blame but themselves. You can only point your finger at the opposition for four decades, cry that the end of the world is coming if he's elected, proceed to implement the opposition's policies once elected, and then expect the electorate to believe you.

Trump appears to be who Reich described. He's a thug. With respect to those on these pages who will vote for Clinton should Sanders fail, HRC is a machiavelli. I see her as far more dangerous.

A lot of Sanders supporters will vote for Hillary, especially if they identify as a Democrat or typically vote Democratic. The Supreme Court will become a huge campaign issue after the conventions, and probably during. The chance to swing the court to the left with multiple appointments in the next four years is a credible argument with much merit. But the chances to grow a democracy movement in the next two years are also huge, changing the face of Congress, providing an avenue for addressing SCOTUS by amendment, and electing an FDR Democrat in the alternative Party that rises up from the ashes of the 2016 election.

It is non-affiliated, Independent, young and new voters who will show their independence on the question of voting for a Democrat, Republican, alternative party candidate, write-in, under-voting or just plain staying home, on Election Day.

The young voter is so much more savvy than I was when I cast my first presidential vote in 1976 for Jimmy Carter. They see the value of grassroots organizing for change, and I hope, will continue to fight for their future in their communities as it is the one tried and true method to create change. Occupy created a tear in the social fabric for the common, ordinary, everyday folk (the 99%) to be heard. Sanders ripped it wide open. For people like them and me, there is no going back. This election will define the size of our mass; a lot can happen between now and Election Day.


Except that past Republican administrations and congresses were quite moderate compared to the current batch of lunatic-fringe Republicans currently dominating the House, currently held at bay largely only by a Obama veto pen. Did the Bushes or Reagan ever propose abolishing the EPA?


Whenever Democrats tell me my votes for Nader were wasted,I tell them that the corrupt politicians they voted for were the REAL wasted votes. Voting for sustained corruption is an immoral act.


To ignore the fact that Trump. Is a republican is actually why he is scarier. He is a wheeler. Dealer and something of a con artist. So Trump the multi billionaire oligarch republican demoogue is not so bad? What? How would you describe Trump then? People want change and Trump was smart enough to present himself as an agent of change but what will he change actually?

Round up people based on religion? Yeah that is a change.

Build a wall like we are in the Middle Ages ...the Great Wall of Trump to keep out the barbarians? Um? Yeah that's a change (insanity often is).

Do away with the EPA? You mean deregulate corporations about having to follow EPA environmental regulations. Sort of like the worst of the trade deals but just for us at home! Plus Trump denies climate change and if any progressive allows a climate change denier republican to gain the preidency and appoint several right wing Supreme Court justices with worse ones then Heat baby Heat is our future.

Trump denies climate change... Start with that and go down the list to WW3 with China. Remember China? Have you heard Trump talk tough with China? Be warned...he thinks like an autocrat.


Ray that is just great. You want voting to be a personal statement do you? But that isn't what it is. There is no clarity of intent when you vote. That isn't the way it works. If everyone chose the person they wanted to vote for and whomever got the most votes then that would be a personal statement. However people have to compromise between the candidates who run. This time Bernie made it look so different than in times past. Usually the choice of either candidate is more like having to choose either a Jeb Bush over Hillary or vice versa. This time Bernie changed things for the first time but not Trump. Trump is extreme republicanism at its demoguery worst. He is a con artist exemplar.

So it isn't who you choose because mostly people never get to choose who runs anyway. It is all about who will be worse if they get in. Not who will be better because they usually are pretty similar about making new changes but who will be worse.

Who gets to appoint extreme rightwing justices like Scalia or Rehenquist. Who gets to push for environmental action and appoints department heads like for the EPA. Who will be worse because they do away with the EPA or hamstring. It? We all live with the OLIGARCHY already and the choice is who will make it worse and you vote against that.

The oligarchy already exists and is in place and so it is all about who will be worse and help the oligarchy.

You don't elect a billionaire oligarch to fight oligarchy... That would be insane to think that way wouldn't it?


No matter what Clinton's stated positions are on climate change (to take just one issue), at best she will apply a few cosmetic bandaids to the problem because the corporations she and the democrat party are beholden to will allow her to do nothing more than that. It will be (as she likes to remind us) more Obama: small incremental steps. The MSM calls this compromise but capitulation would be a more accurate description of it. In my experience based on the last 30 plus years of paying any sort of attention, "compromise" always moves us further to the right and those incremental steps always favor corporate interests, although maybe a little less than they would like... for the moment anyway. Trump is a maniac to be sure, and I would never vote for him. But at this point it's change and boldness or bust. Anything less is not going to cut it. I know it pisses a lot of people off but I can not and will not vote for Clinton. Or Trump. I'll vote for some alternative and take my chances.


Next, my advice for Sanders supporters: Be prepared to work hard for Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination.

Well, you got one thing right: I don't like that idea at all. No. No. No. No. No.

Which brings me to those of you who say there’s no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

That’s just plain wrong.

It's also, IMHO and with all due respect, a classic example of a red herring.

THEY'RE BOTH UNACCEPTABLE. Further analysis of their equivalence is "flogging a dead horse."
Speaking only for myself, if they are the ballot alternatives, I will look for my best Plan C.

And afterwards, I will try to find ways to help keep alive that amazing energy that I felt when I went to a rally for Bernie.