Not yet, please

Jeff Golden

I have a suggestion—plea is a better word, honestly—for anyone who really likes what Bernie Sanders is saying and doing in this campaign. If, like me, you feel better represented by Bernie than any major party presidential candidate in memory, lend me your ears.

What I have to say keeps coming up for me as I listen to Thom Hartmann’s daily talk show. I like Thom a lot, but he’s giving me heartburn when he tacks on to his strong support of Bernie a proviso that he’ll definitely be supporting Hillary if she’s the nominee (upcoming Supreme Court nominations, dontcha know). It brings back a line from Goodfellows or some such film: “I got two words for you—shut the #@% up.”* Not forever, but for the next twelve months or so.

We’re on the front end of a primary campaign right now. Primaries are supposed to let voters find and support candidates they truly believe in, the man or woman they most want to see elected, before the meat-grinder of establishment power politics kicks fully into gear. And miracle of miracles, that’s what we have this time around. If Bernie is speaking your truth, did you imagine that a candidate like him could reach critical mass to the point that major media can’t entirely ignore him? I didn’t. It’s a gift from the progressive gods, and it’s up to us to make the most of us.

Which is NOT what we’re doing when we spend time playing odds-maker about his chances, or musing out loud on what we’ll do if he isn’t nominated. If Bernie’s describing the country you want to see, you have one and only one job in this primary campaign: to support him ferociously, without the yeah-buts, to give his campaign the resources you can, and to let anyone who’ll listen know why you support him. Period.

There are at least two reasons to do this:

And there’s no downside to focusing exclusively on Bernie and why he should be president. That whole devilish lesser-of-two evils argument that rears its head again and again, the one Ralph Nader pulled us into twice? If Bernie doesn’t win the nomination, we’ll have three months before the general election to wallow in that one to our hearts’ content. That’s longer than plenty of countries take for their whole election cycle.

I’m for Bernie. If you are too, that’s all you, and the people you can influence, need to know right now.

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