AMERICA MUST NOT LOSE
By Don C. Reed
With her overwhelming victory in California, Hillary Clinton has secured the Democratic nomination. She has more delegates, more super delegates, and millions more votes than Bernie Sanders.
The Senator from Vermont may still hope to persuade Hillary’s super delegates into changing their minds. While it is possible that a few might reverse their commitments, it would take a landslide of vote switching for such a scenario to have any real impact.
A greater battle is upon us now.
Anyone who thinks Donald Trump is guaranteed to lose has clearly forgotten the power of money.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s “ Citizens United“ decision, which classifies money-giving as a form of free speech, there are essentially no limits on campaign donations, if given to a Political Action Committee.
Just one multi-billionaire like Sheldon Adelson could flood Trump super-PACs with enough money to finance the bulk of his campaign.
If Democrats enter this battle divided, and a President Trump picks the next Supreme Court Justice(s), we lose our chance to get rid of Citizens’ United for the foreseeable future.
If, however, we pull off a strong victory at the top of the ticket, and change the balance of control in the United States Senate, there could be a Democratic majority in the Supreme Court for the first time in decades. It should be entirely possible to overturn “Citizens United”—and dam the tsunami of dark money, currently drowning the democratic process.
We dare not ignore history’s lesson. Ralph Nader‘s 2000 campaign cost us 97,488 votes in Florida, allowing the victory of George W. Bush, who won by a mere 537 votes. Studies have shown that of those who voted for Nader, half would have picked Gore, and only a quarter gone over to Bush— had not Nader stayed in the running.
Whereby Nader gave us Bush the second, who gave us the invasion of Iraq, massive tax cuts for the rich, an enormous national debt— and the Great Recession.
What devastation could a Donald Trump Presidency wreak upon America?
This is not about the accomplishments of Senator Sanders, which are real and substantive. He has boldly advanced his core beliefs; his victory will last.
Bernie will know best how to leverage his success into influence. Already he has been allowed to select one-third of the members of the platform committee, a major concession to him and his policies. Previously, the entire fifteen committee seats have been chosen by the Democratic National Committee Chair; this time, Hillary chose 6 members, Bernie picked 5, and Chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz selected only 4.
Of this concession, Sanders acknowledged, “we will have the representation on the platform drafting committee to create a Democratic platform that reflects the views of millions of our supporters.”
Inevitably, there will be friction, and disappointments; Sanders came in second, and cannot expect to dictate to the next President. Consider the reverse: if Bernie had won, would he allow Hillary to control his policies?
This much we can know: Bernie Sanders’ campaign has shifted the path of the nation. Because of his tenacity, the fight against income inequality has become not desirable but mandatory: it is the cornerstone of the Democratic party.
The goals of Bernie’s candidacy— and his lifework—are best served by fighting beside every Democrat now.
Because America dares not lose to Donald Trump.