Flexing Progressive Muscles: Step One-California

On Tuesday, a massive haul of up to 675 pledged delegates will be pulled into the final tallies of either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton from six states, notably California with over 400 all by itself. In clear violation of DNC rules that superdelegates are not to be included in totals because they are not pledged, Clinton has been claiming she has already won the nomination by including them, and in spite of these same rules, the corporate media networks have done the same and worse. Two weeks ago, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews astounded millions in a television interview with Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver, asking him how he feels knowing that several major networks are planning to announce that Clinton has become the presumptive party nominee on June 7 at 8 p.m. EDT when the polls close in New Jersey, in spite of the fact that many Californians will be leaving their workplaces at that time and will not have had a chance to vote yet. In effect, Matthews was saying, with the Party establishment’s implicit approval, that the voices of those Californians don’t matter.

Affected citizens should send a message to the corporate media this Tuesday: go take a flying leap. Beyond Tuesday, though, there are further things to think about. Many of you are frustrated and angry. Do not let your anger cloud your judgment.  Vote for the candidate who best represents your interests and will be positioned to build a future you, and those you care about, can rely on.  You may believe that Hillary Clinton is the one best positioned to do that. I have friends who are Hillary supporters, and I love them, but they are voting out of fear and distrust, holding their noses because they think Bernie is unrealistic and Hillary has the best chance of beating Trump. Let me say this: when holding your nose, you may block your eyes! Look at the crumbling, decaying structure she represents, full of desperate, cynical people clinging to the last vestiges of power they have sweated and fought over for years. Look at the bitter, embattled chairwoman who has failed to see the curtain coming down on her final act, and who has personally overseen an unprecedented lack of inclusiveness in debate scheduling and the sharing of information.  Look at the millions and millions who have voted with their feet and sworn off allegiance to party loyalty, only to be rewarded by disenfranchisement at their local polling place because of outmoded, protectionist party rules. Do you really want to vote for all the above? Because that’s what you’ll be getting. Or do you want instead to continue building a future for the progressive movement? We have begun something great, and the time is now to seize the day.

Bernie Sanders is honest, straightforward, and doesn’t say much of anything that wouldn’t have been said by FDR eighty years ago. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he’s been communicating a consistent message since 1981.  His quarter-century of service in Congress has gone largely unheralded, partly because he was an independent from a small state and partly because he doesn’t blow his own horn, but the people of Vermont know he has been extremely effective as a legislator, and they have sent him back again and again. He is behind some of the most important recent VA funding and health care reforms.

If you want a cave-in on fracking, on trade agreements, and on Wall Street reforms, vote for Hillary. If you don’t want any of that, and in addition want someone who will open the doors of political participation to independents, ensure your voting rights are protected, and who will beat the pants off Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders needs your vote now.  Beyond his candidacy, you’ll also be voting in favor of continuing what we’ve started.

Moira MacLean

Moira MacLean started out many moons ago with a law degree from the University of Oregon, but found actual law practice didn't suit her well. Since that realization (early 90s) she has assisted students with college admissions and financial aid matters and deepened her expertise in organizational development, starting and running several nonprofit organizations in human services and community mental health. She has recently been developing a consulting practice in the field while finishing a master's degree.