Establishment. Establishment. Establishment.
Word has lost all meaning.
I should have been happy when seemingly millions of previously alienated people felt energized to get involved in politics. I should have been happy that these people were rallying around many ideas with which I agree. I should have been happy that income inequality was being talked about center stage.
It’s not how I felt.
If you were suddenly excited about American presidential politics for the first time because you felt motivated by Bernie Sanders, that’s truly marvelous. He said things that needed to be said, and things that probably only he, as an old white guy, could say. The message got out there, and it pushed the conversation to the left exactly like I hoped it would.
But it wasn’t necessary to denigrate those of us who have been active and involved since before we could vote. It’s not necessary to tell us we’re not “true progressives” if we even consider Hillary Clinton. That we are just mindless political drones or “sheeple.”
I support Hillary Clinton, which now apparently makes me “Establishment,” which is also apparently bad, and therefore invalidates my opinions. If caucusing for Jesse Jackson in 1987-8, voting in almost every election since then, volunteering on political campaigns, being a delegate, voting in primaries and special elections, caucusing every presidential year (except this one… sob), serving on senate district committees, and being an election judge makes me “Establishment,” then sign me up.
I’m Establishment, and you could be too if you ever chose to get involved. And the Establishment might be different.
There will always be an Establishment. Americans shape that establishment through making choices, voting for candidates whose views they support, getting involved in local party platform creation. Or, by sitting at home on Election Day bitching about the Establishment.
The problems Senator Sanders is talking about are real and they are important. I truly believe that nothing—NOTHING—will change in American politics until we have real and radical campaign finance reform. The issue isn’t term limits, which only serve to keep experience and knowledge out of office. I’m talking true limitations on fund raising, funding sources, spending, and duration as well as accountability and oversight into claims being made, plus, and very importantly, rational redistricting. Oh and restoring voting rights. Followed by voter education.
And guess what? Senator Sanders, as president, would be able to accomplish precisely none of that. Neither could Secretary Clinton. Because, as president, they don’t get to make the laws. And because people couldn’t be bothered to vote in 2010 and 2014, the people who do make the laws are in the majority right wing demagogues.
The last eight years have proven that even the most intelligent, balanced, nuanced leader cannot make real change when voters send him blinkered idiots hell-bent on obstruction. If people don’t get out there and vote blue down ticket, nationally and locally, we will remain stuck with a broken House and an obstructionist Senate. If Bernie supporters slink back into their BAH ESTABLISHMENT holes and refuse to vote on November 8 or worse, vote GOP because “it’s all fixed” or at least Trump’s a dude, or it would be “entertaining” to have him be president, then the Establishment will continue to devolve, and you better hope your sanctimony will protect you.