“The future depends upon what you do today.”
Three days after the New York State presidential primary, any discouragement that Bernie Sanders’s supporters felt should have lifted. Yes, Hillary won more votes and delegates. And yes, the system was compromised by voting “irregularities.” Yet, when we review the outcome — and the process that led to it — the Sanders Revolution is gaining strength.
Let’s start by looking at Hillary’s history in the state. After deciding to run for the US Senate, Clinton bought a home here in 1999. In 2000, she ran for the seat being vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Initially, it was believed her opponent would be Rudy Giuliani; after he dropped out, Ricky Lazio became the republican candidate. Hillary won the contest with 55% of the votes cast.
Six years later, Clinton ran for re-election. Once again, the republican front-runner, Jeannine Pirro, would drop out; the republicans then went with sacrificial goat John Spencer. Hillary set a state record by not only winning 67% to 31%, but by carrying 58 of the state’s 62 counties.
But that wasn’t the only record Hillary set in 2006. Her campaign had spent over $36 million in what was by definition a one-sided contest. More, two months after her victory, Hillary transferred the left-over $10 million she had, to her upcoming 2008 presidential campaign.
In the 2008 New York presidential primary, Clinton beat Obama, 57% to 40%. More, she won 61 of New York State’s 62 counties.
Thus, going into the 2016 primary season, it was evident that it would be very difficult to defeat Clinton in New York. Regardless of if she remained highly popular with the voting public, her associates on Wall Street would be heavily invested in promoting her campaign. The fact that Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs were paying her a quarter of a million dollars for appearances behind closed doors suggests how close their working relationship has become.
Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has never been in the Wall Street social circle. The economic elite has never liked Bernie, any more than they liked the people of the Occupy movement. When Senator Sanders entered the race a year ago, the corporate media attempted to portray him as a nutty, socialist character, who posed no threat to the establishment’s candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Fortunately, the word “socialism” no longer scares that many people. Most thinking adults grasp that Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, public libraries, public schools, and city streets and rural highways are all socialist programs. Still, to some people, the mere word conjures up images of the Soviet Union and “Red” China, Fidel and Che.
In most instances, these are aging men who came of age during this nation’s “red scare.” And, truth be told, things such as the Cuban Missile Crises were scary. It’s interesting to note that had the president been either of the two that preceded John F. Kennedy, or the two that followed, there would have been a nuclear war that would have drastically changed human history. Without question, there are times when having the right person in office is important. Like JFK, there are the right people for certain times, as well as a few who would be right at any time. Likewise, there are wrong people for any time, and there are people who are wrong for certain times. And Bernie is the right politician, right now.
Today’s current situation may not appear as “dangerous” as the Cuban Missile Crisis on the surface ….but the combination of global climate change, a weak economy, and a gross failure in leadership adds up to a very perilous time in our nation’s history. Rather, it is a time that demands a different type of leadership than the establishment provides for.
Bernie Sanders is 100% correct when he states that we need a revolution to resolve these problems. The Sanders campaign has done an extraordinary service, in helping to organize the many different groups and individuals in our country that need to present a united front. Although we are a non-violent force, I like to think of Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman’s teaching that alone, we are like individual fingers that our enemy can easily break; together, we form a powerful fist that is capable of protecting all of our rights.
How powerful? The results of this week’s primary is an accurate measure: in less than a year, a candidate who was initially not given any chance won the vast majority of the counties in our state. Clinton won Wall Street, and continues to have the support of the cocktail party liberals. The accomplishment of the Sanders‘s campaign is real power..
Yes, I certainly wish Bernie had won all of New York State. But no, I am not discouraged by the outcome. Our opposition is pretending that the struggle is over, of course, but we should not expect that they would suddenly start telling the truth. For the Clinton campaign is rooted in the establishment, and serves as an advocate for business-as-usual. It places Wall Streets greed over your and my needs.
This revolution is a long and hard struggle for change. Our opposition will fight tooth and nail against social justice. But we won’t give up …..in fact, we are just warming up.
Keep on fighting the Good Fight.
Patrick R. McElligott