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Moral Compass

by on July 31, 2016

On the back of The Speech, by Bernie Sanders, one of the promotional quotes is from Sarah Silverman.  It says “[Sanders’] moral compass and sense of values inspire me.  He always seems to be on the right side of history.”

The same Sarah Silverman told Bernie Sanders delegates and supporters that they were being ridiculous for supporting Bernie during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.  Silverman was a Bernie supporter – in fact, a surrogate who introduced Bernie at events.  Perhaps Silverman lost whatever moral compass she once had.

In the introduction of The Speech, Bernie says “if we don’t stand together today, working Americans will continue fighting an uphill battle just to make ends meet and the end of each month.  We cannot settle for establishment politics and stale ideas.  Now is the time to transform America.”

The time has come and gone where Bernie endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, and she was nominated by the Democratic Party (the part about Hillary delegates behaving badly is a different story).

Bernie supporters appear to be split – and it’s hard to say at what ratio – over following him to Clinton, or following his admonishment that “we cannot settle for establishment politics and stale ideas.”  It’s one or the other.

The standard argument for going from a Bernie supporter to a Hillary supporter is that we have a two party system, we are stuck with a two party system, and that Hillary is not Trump (I never hear arguments in favor of her policies, whatever they are).  The moral argument, such as it is one, is that Clinton is not Trump, and we’ll know how to push her around on policy (as if!).

The arguments against supporting Hillary are long.  Besides the conservatives who hate the name Clinton, progressives and other Democrats with a moral compass pointing to justice also call for Clinton to be prosecuted for actions while Secretary of State, or at least to just go away.  The moral compass here points in the opposite direction of her policies – the ones we know – like deportation and bombing.

I’m not saying the sudden Clinton supporters don’t have a moral compass.  The compass points against Trump.  It points to the regressive status quo.

I don’t think the Bernie Sanders progressives, now looking to Jill Stein as the progressive candidate, expect to win an election, or intend to ruin one.  Rather, the point appears to be to make a moral statement against Clinton and for progress, and at the same time catch the attention of those who count votes, so that they might look up and say ‘gee, what happened?  All these people have a moral compass pointing toward progress.’

Either you can heed Bernie’s call work with Hillary, or you can heed his call to “stand together … [w]e cannot settle for establishment politics and stale ideas.”  It’s one or the other.

It’s in our hands.




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