The Gift of Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders gave the United States and the world a great gift. He modeled the behavior of an honest politician. One who is more interested in the common good that in his power or prestige. This is a very valuable gift because people have lost faith in the idea that politicians can be honest and honorable people. By modeling this Bernie Sanders has rekindled the interest of people in politics, in being active participants in the processes and movements that make democratic systems what they are. This is an amazing gift to his country and the world.
I envision this gift to attract so many people to the polls in November that both dreams can come true: defeating Trump and energizing the 99 percent movement (with all its aggregate movements) so that Hillary will have to govern from the left of center.
I felt a lot of personal sympathy for Sanders when his face appeared on Democracy Now! as Hillary was thanking him. He was moved. She was moved. It was a sincere moment of authentic admiration and empathy. When people trash politicians as crooks, I always tell them it’s not true. I was born to an honest and honorable politician, Sen Luigi Anderlini of Italy, who, like Bernie Sanders, ran as independent in the major party of the left in Italy at the time, the PCI. He was elected in that party. He bought constituencies to that party. But he never carried a card. He was the leader of the Sinistra Indipendente, or Independent Left.
In a system of parliamentary democracy, as opposed to the presidential style of democracy that characterizes the US, my dad’s unique position managed to intermediate between the government party (the DC) and the opposition (PCI) so that the major reforms Sanders advocates today and that Italy needed at that time (the 1970s), could be done.
It struck me how Sanders managed to play the presidential democracy system so well as to acquire this pivotal yet somehow less glamorous position, and did so successfully enough to really shift the perspective of the actual nominee. As an honest politician, my father preferred the legislative branch of government to the executive.
The executive branch requires shrewedness. It requires strategizing and changing positions in the face of forces much stronger than any politician can be. It’s a good position for Hillary. She’s much more accustomed to it. Sanders must have channeled some awareness of this at the Convention. Hence his priceless gift. Modeling honesty as a political figure of such momentum and restoring faith in the process and system. This will call people to the polls in great numbers in November and put the GOP and Trump supporters in great difficulty.
Bravo Sanders. I’ll vote for Hillary. (Or maybe I’ll change my mind and vote for Jill if it really feels SAFE to do so, as I vote in California.) And I hope enough people will show up to elect Hillary and also prove that the Democratic Party has a significant left to recon with.