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Bernie Sanders Explains His Plan to Fix a Broken Democratic Party


#61

I beg to differ. I believe there is clear understanding of these ‘physics of politics’ as you’ve described them. These proposals may not be aimed at countering the influence of money and power, but are perhaps aimed instead at countering the influence of progressives demanding reform of the party.


#62

I was a Democrat for 40 years. I DemExited after they cheated Sanders, and I use the name ‘Democrat Party’ because they are NOT democratic. I know others who have started doing the same.

Don’t be so judgmental. Don’t make assumptions.


#63

And who would you suggest who is better, more electable and has a better track record?

Time and again we’ve found out Sanders was acting well when we didn’t know the whole story, so maybe have a little faith, though trust is hard to find lately.

The thing that is unique to Sanders, and essential, is his willingness to listen and change. Nobody else does that.

I still believe Sanders is working for people rather than corporations. I am sticking with Sanders.


#64

Closed primaries are just another way to stop the people having a say. 42% of registered voters are Independent, more than either party. It’s stupid for us to tell them to get lost.

Corporate Democrats turn to ‘moderate’ Republicans for votes. Progressive Democrats need to appeal to Independents and those who’ve dropped out and stopped voting.

Closed primaries gave us Hillary, who couldn’t beat Donald Trump.


#65

But keep the Republican anti-abortion policy plank, Bernie. You look after the ‘little guy’ and God will look after you. Don’t leave the anti-social with an excuse for not voting Democrat. In the UK at least, abortion is only favoured by a minority, though I don’t believe either party protects the unborn children, receiving funding from their rich backers, no doubt.

I expect you cold get in without it, but with billiionaires against you, you’ll still need the Gaffer on your side.


#66

IMO, you describe the problem accurately, but are off on a tangent for a solution. With “nearly a third of a billion people having vastly different traditions, experiences and needs,” there is no way we can get them to agree in WashDC on policy, nor should we attempt it. To serve so many people of “vastly different traditions” etc. we need devolution, self-government away from the center. Perhaps by both geography and community. We honor the Scots and the Catalans for seeking their own government [leaning left] separate from the central governments of London and Madrid. We should seek the same for our governments of California and Connecticut and the rest.


#67

I should expand what I wrote ST - I’m not really all that optimistic - only marginally so. Bernie Sanders is not a saint or the leader I might wish for, but he is the person with the national stage and many good positions along with his many warts - head and shoulders above the rest. We live in a nation that has been subverted and intentionally divided by powerful forces with the ability to force compliance and eliminate opposition to their agenda, literally and figuratively.

Sanders at this point in time represents the change in course we must begin if the wish-list of the perfect is to be accomplished, even in part. Its either violent revolution or changing the minds/beliefs of the majority to achieve reform - no easy task.

I read some of the usual suspects trashing Sanders for his faults/warts as a politician, but they offer no viable alternative to changing peoples minds, or give Sanders credit for the positive essential changes he supports or his leadership - as if they want his (and our) failure. The Greens have only 5-7% support at best, not a viable going concern - the R’Cons are depraved fools and idiots, brainwashed by extremist politics, religion and vulture capitalism as “the way America is”. The Dem establishment now in control are dominated by much the same forces and are corrupt, subverted by the same powerful forces as R’Cons as most all politicians and ordinary people. - the electorate must be changed to allow further “progressive” change to benefit the 99% rather than those powerful forces that control our politics, for-profit war-machine, banker/wall st/corporate greed and usury, for-profit health “care”, education, a bought & paid-for Fourth Estate/MSM, etc, etc, etc.

I just don’t see how the political system/duopoly, controlled press, subversive mechanisms of great wealth, MICC for-profit war-machine, et al, are going to be magically changed overnight, political criminals become moral beings, and everyone will wake-up to vote Green or any other progressive/left/99% politician or government - aint gonna happen and all the wishing & hoping in the universe will not make it so.

As much as I loath the term “incremental” that seems the only way to shift the firmament of where “we” stand as a nation in a very different direction…right now the path toward a sea-change is educating and changing the electorate, like it or not, and the politician now doing that most visibly is Bernie Sanders - all the rest offer little or nothing…IMO.

The Bernie trashers/nay-sayers seem just trolls dividing US to serve some other powerful master…like the claimed Russian troll factory and all the others that serve some hidden power - corporate/banker/wall st/MICC, wholesale greed and exploitation - those who do not want ANY change in direction…just sayin, I think we must “crawl”, educate and and organize, change minds and hearts before we can run…and win…peace! Keep the faith.


#68

All hail Ecotopia, eh? My personal preference would be for a multiparty parliamentary system, with the number of representatives increased to reflect our population.


#69

Because that works so well in Israel?


#70

Clinton won both open and closed primaries. Bernie did best in caucuses. For example, he won the caucuses in Washington State, but Clinton easily won the primary in Washington, where far more people voted.


#71

The people calling it the Democrat Party are Republicans.


#72

The Senate is really unlikely. The fact that a Democrat is competitive in Alabama is interesting. No doubt unacceptable to many here, but, who cares.


#73

No. Because what we have here doesn’t work for 99% of us.


#74

So let me get this straight. Some people don’t have a tradition of clean air or water, while other people don’t need to have a living wage. Some people will never need access to affordable health care, and others don’t need public transportation. Some people cling to the tradition of public schools, just because those have proven to be the best. Some people have experienced being fired or not promoted because of gender or skin color or national origin, but the rest of the people need not worry about these things.

No, the problem is NOT that “with only two allowed parties (note: which isn’t true), elected officials can’t …represent …people having different traditions, experiences, and needs”.

The problem is that the U.S. system of government is a corporate oligarchy, and has been for many decades. The problem is that there aren’t even two “parties”, just two departments of that oligarchy pretending to be parties for the purpose of splitting people up based on “traditions, experiences, and needs” - i.e. social issues and divide-and-conquer emotional issues. Social issue crumbs - from either department to its emotionally primed “base” don’t matter to the 50+% of American workers earning less than $30,000, without public transportation, affordable healthcare, reliably trustable water and air, and un-tainted food.


#75

Oh yes! If a nation is going to change the form of government from Corporate Oligarchy with pretend “parties”, to Parliamentary Democracy, then the absolute worst model must be copied!


#76

But the point is that these are parties putting up nominees. A few decades ago the nominees were mainly selected by the people at the convention. Now, they are selected by voters. But why should someone not registered with a party have any say in who the party chooses as a nominee. I don’t see any reason for that. If a person who is independent wants to vote in a primary then they can register with a party. If they don’t register with a party then then they should have no say in who the party nominates. In some primaries Republicans and vote in the Democratic primary and vice versa. Are you telling me that makes sense.


#77

Sanders has a few good suggestions (like making voting easier, greater transparency in campaign finances), however many of these show a lack of information on his part, information he might have if he had been a part of the Democratic Party for years. He repeats the same-old-same-old without objective analysis. 1. It is simply wrong that the “superdelegates… have the power to control the nominating process and ignore the will of voters.” He claims they are 30% of delegate votes - in 2016, 712 unpledged delegates out of 4,767 was 14.9%. They have never been used to override the vote of people cast in primary elections or caucuses that elect the pledged delegates. They were a democratizing reform of the party made in 1980 - to create a separate category of delegates and enable grassroots activists to run for the pledged delegate slots without competing with Democratic elected representatives and state party officials (which, by the way are also elected by state delegates). 2. He’s right that people should be able to select their party up to 30 days before the election; however, the Democratic Party doors are open to anyone who wants to join right now. His campaign dropped the ball in 2016 by not informing their supporters in states with closed primaries that they needed to register as Democrats to vote for him in the Democratic primary. And “open primaries” may enable independents to vote in the Democratic primary, but they have ALSO enabled more numerous Republicans to cross over and vote for their favorite opposition candidate (the one they most want to run against in the general election). This may have happened in the Michigan open primary in 2016 which Sanders unexpectedly won. 3. Caucuses should be done away with entirely, as the reforms he suggests are impossible to implement. Sanders likes caucuses because he did better in them than Clinton, but they are undemocratic. Only the hardiest of activists can fully participate and fewer people actually vote in the caucuses. In Washington state in 2016, they held a caucus as the official means of nominating and Sanders won it. However, they also held a primary election in which thousands more voters participated and Clinton won it handily. The more democratic primary elections are conducted by the more than 3,000 counties in the country under the supervision of states and state laws; the political parties and candidates (e.g., the DNC) have no involvement in those elections. Caucuses are run by the political parties and are more susceptible to manipulation.


#78

Some of the people calling it the Democrat party are Republicans. Many others who call it that are not. I oppose today’s Republican positions more strongly than the Democrat party leadership does, and I call it the Democrat party.

Democratic is an adjective, and today’s Democrat party is anti-democratic, so it is an adjective it has actively rejected and does not deserve. I’ll call it democratic when it becomes democratic.


#79

Your reply is straight out of the Dixiecrats’/Democrats’/Republicans’ advocacy and defense of the failed concepts behind the 10th Amendment. Given human nature and our tendency to want to manipulate and control everyone and everything the concept of unaccountable exercise of power at the local level has proven time and time again to be a failure and only institutes unaccountable fiefdoms of local politicians serving the rich and their bought and paid for elite is not just undemocratic it is patently indefensible! Government at all levels must be accountable. The problem is that accountability at all levels has been stopped by the power of money. As someone who grew up under the Dixiecrat/Democratic Party of the 1950s and 60s let me assure you that these so called 10th Amendment solutions only create more problems by instituting more oppression and decimation of our very imperfect Constitution at all levels of politics/economics/corporate governance.


#80

I agree largely with what you are saying but I think you are missing the point of Sander’s motives. He has no interest in making improvements in the election process. His only aim to make it easier for progressives to win. That is why you are finding objections to his points. It is easier for progressives to win in caucuses and in open or mixed primaries rather than in closed primaries , and the superdelegate is a way to whip up anger against the establishment even though superdelegates have never determined the outcome of a primary. So everything he says makes perfect sense if you want to nominate a progressive an not an establishment candidate. He has to live therefore with being a hypocrite for the bigger objective of a progressive candidate. He supports more democracy but caucuses are the least democratic of the type of elections. His supporters are willing to go along because they know caucuses give progressives a better chance of winning.