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Monday, 20 November 2017

About alleged crime and very real retribution: Pt2, Bernie Sanders, the best President the United States never had

Ooh Superman where are you now
When everything's gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

I couldn’t help being a fan of Bernie Sanders, one of the democratic candidates for the Presidential elections in 2016.

The man with the patient and wise charisma of a friendly, aging uncle and ideas that could be described as quite social-democrat for American standards (or “liberal” in the US vocabulary) ran for the nomination of the Democratic Party. He did this against Hillary Rodham Clinton, the dead-cert favorite for this presidential race and later candidate for the November 2016 elections.

Where Hillary attracted attention with her loud voice, her attacking style of debating and aggressive charisma, Bernie Sanders seemed quiet and somewhat shy and unassuming. Almost like President Jimmy Carter in his heyday. It seemed to be a battle between a barking, angry dachshund and a kind-hearted labrador dog. Eventually the noisy dachshund won and ran for president against Donald Trump. And everybody knows nowadays what the outcome of this battle was.

In hindsight, a lot of people thought that Bernie Sanders would have stood a much better chance in the presidential elections against the blunt Donald Trump – who turned into a working class hero in spite of his blatantly rich descent and lacking diplomatic skills – than Hillary Clinton did. Clinton seemed rather part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution, in contrary to Bernie Sanders.

This American problem was to these eyes the ubiquitous intertwinedness of politicians and officials, extremely rich Americans, multinational companies and financial institutions. This resulted in an overall extremely poor representation of less influential groups in the American political landscape. 

Winning elections had become extremely expensive in the USA over the years, so every private person and company that had much funding money on offer for the candidates, got a lot of listening ears to talk to. Hillary Clinton seemed much more contaminated with this American modus operandi than Sanders.

On top of that Hillary Clinton had made a bad mistake, with respect to receiving state secrets on her private email account. This and other things in her behaviour made her very vulnerable for below-the-belt attacks, by a candidate who had made his bluntness into a weapon of vocal mass destruction.

The reason that I loved Bernie Sanders so much, was that he really seemed determined to do something about the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots in American society.

There had been almost ten years of this depression-like crisis in the United States. Years, in which the American middle and lower classes had suffered badly from the consequences and lost almost all their built-up wealth. This turned their sheer survival in a day-to-day business. 

Especially the circumstances in which the poor classes in the US had to live, had been deteriorating very rapidly. Hence the Flint water crisis and the generally lackluster way in which the American government reacted to crises of nature, that smashed the futures of many poor people to pieces.  And nobody in charge really seemed to care about this, as those poor people were not decisive for their (re-)election and for the remainder of their political career.

And at the same time, there had been five years of sturdy economic growth for the rich parts of American society, due to the flooding of the American market with cash money coming from the Fed (i.e. quantitative easing) and the ample availability of borrowing money against near-zero interest rates.

This made borrowing large sums of money almost for free for the people with access to the money and capital markets: extremely wealthy Americans, multinational companies and the financial wizards of the hedgefunds and the private equity companies.

Hence, a situation had emerged in which the wealthy part of American society could avoid litterally everything, while Joe and Jane Sixpack had to deal with a stabilizing or even dropping real income and more private and public crises than they could stand.

The American society always had a religious, almost fundamental hate towards anybody, who they saw as a “commie bastard” (i.e. a communist) and against everybody carrying the reputation of being a social-democrat (i.e. sneeringly called “a liberal”). Nevertheless, there seemed to be more room for a social-democrat president than in the nearly fourty years before.

It seemed that Bernie Sanders could have become the right president at the right time and place, in order to restore the confidence of the poor and middle class citizens in their political leaders. Just like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman had done three quarters of a century before him… But Bernie did not get the nomination eventually and had nothing else to do than withdrawing from the presidential race.

Hillary’s campaign, however, was destined to end in tears, frustration and incomprehension about what went wrong! Especially for all the people who did not see this trainwreck campaign coming and wondered where Donald Trump came from and what he had done to win the elections from a seemingly hopeless position…

Roughly two weeks ago, a story emerged that made clear that Hillary Clinton had not won the Democratic candidacy just by coincidence or as a consequence of the fact that she was so much better and more experienced than her liberal adversary Sanders.

The writer of this shocking story was the unsuspected chairwoman of the Democratic Party, Donna Brazil. She claimed that Hillary Clinton “wheeled and dealed” herself into getting the democratic nomination, by using “every dirty trick in the book” and lots of other cunning tricks.

The following pertinent snippets came from the political magazine Politico and were written bij Donna Brazil, the chairwoman of the American Democratic Party:

I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested.

Debbie [Wasserman Schultz, the previous chairman of the Democratic National Party - EL] was not a good manager. She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party—she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was.

“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”

That wasn’t true, he [Gary Gensler, the Chief Financial Officer of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign – EL] said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s [Democratic National Committee] books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

Gensler described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.

Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that.

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

Right around the time of the convention, the leaked emails revealed Hillary’s campaign was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes

The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead.

I told Bernie I had found Hillary’s Joint Fundraising Agreement. I explained that the cancer was that she had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee.

There you have it. The to these eyes most suitable candidate for the American presidency was sidelined before he even stood a chance. And this happened by a candidate that was as close to being charged with corruption as she could be. That is at least when everything that Donna Brazil stated, is indeed true.

It is stated by the red and bold snippets from Donna Brazil, that the victory fund was not eventually for the official winner of the nomination, but was used instead as a private piggy bank at the disposal of Hillary Clinton. And Clinton also purchased a make or break decision with respect to the party’s communications manager and the decisive vote with respect to the other executive staff and anything else important in the DNC. No questions asked…

The candidacy of Bernie Sanders was now in fact a car with four empty tyres and no gasoline on board. The race was over before it even started.

Bernie Sanders was an “unamerican”, almost European candidate in his charisma. No self-inflicted, overly brown tan, no “wintersports” teeth, no voice that could shatter glass in a jiffy and no $1000 haircut. Summarized, he was a little bit older looking and not so smooth as the Clintons, but with the battle scars of a few decades in politics. He seemed an elderly politician with a lot of experience and (to these eyes) the wisdom to make the right decisions and not one who would start yet another useless war.

I  am convinced that Bernie Sanders would have been a really good president and a very acceptable candidate for the overlooked workers and poor people all over America, who had suffered dearly from the Second Great Depression

He was not hit so hard by scandals and not so contaminated with the stench of Wall Street money as Hillary Clinton was. On top of that he seemed a nice and honest guy to these eyes and a decent chap. But we all saw what happened in the months before the official nomination of Hillary Clinton as presidential candidate in the national elections. By controlling the money flow from the victory fund and by increasing her influence within the executive levels of the Democratic party itself, Hillary Clinton could “rig” the democratic elections, without acting illegally.

Hillary Clinton, however, was not liked and sometimes even hated by many low class workers and “white trash” and also by many – normally democratic voting – middle-class people within the party’s grassroots. People, who hated her husband’s filandering and his shameless lying about it. 

Or people who disliked Hillary’s arrogant charisma and distractedness from the likes of Joe and Jane Sixpack, in favour of the ‘fat cat’ bankers on Wall Street. In spite of the fact that Hillary Clinton could count on the black votes in the United States, it was not enough to save her from the angry majority, even though everybody anticipated that in advance. I believe that many votes for Donald Trump were in fact votes against Hillary and Bill Clinton and against everything she stood for in reality...

So many Americans – including the very religious Republican voters from the deep South and South-East and the Democratic “pentitos” who were deeply disappointed in their own party’s candidate – decided to vote for “Pied Piper” Donald Trump. 

Trump told them his stories about shutting out the Mexicans with a wall. And he promised them to tell their truths and opinions, about mass production outside the US and dumping of iron on the American market, to the Chinese government. And, last but not least, he promised to bring factories and jobs back to the United States, away from the low wage countries.

The fact that Trump himself was an accident-prone businessman at best and was not very diplomatic in his utterings against women and minorities, did not scare his voters away. And so Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States and scared the shit out of many people all over the world. 

We will never know if Bernie Sanders would indeed have become a better president than either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Nevertheless, I think that Bernie Sanders is the best president the Americans never had.

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