First, I agree with you about the Empire. That is one reason I am thankful to now be living in Europe. The US has devolved into a third world nation, hollowed out, like Rome, through the burgeoning costs of expanding Empire and fighting endless wars. And based on what I am seeing in the primaries, the Establishment, the MIC, the Deep State and the Oligarchy may be impossible to defeat. Still, people of good will MUST TRY. And when you embark on such a David and Goliath struggle, when you agree willingly to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; when your heartfelt political struggles and losses start to resemble the trials of Job, then righteousness is the only thing that will keep you going. Downtrodden, desperate and outraged people do not rally around a coldly calculated long term and extremely relativist political strategy.
That said, I am still convinced that Clinton would have been worse in the long term. The destruction of the middle class, the elevation of oligarchs and neoliberal institutions, would have continued under Clinton as they had under Obama, thereby killing America while it slept.
Bernie had the right to run; nothing that was thrown at Clinton by the Democrats/Leftists was unwarranted or incorrect (unlike the Pizzagate and other CT’s pushed by the RW). Clinton was just an extremely flawed candidate. Everyone — and I mean everyone, including her own campaign -knew that . This was why they developed the “pied piper” strategy after all, because they thought she would do better if she went against a hard core right winger with an abhorrent personal backstory and demeanour.
Bernie was not supposed to pose any challenge whatsoever. The only reason he was allowed to run was because they believed him to be a fringe candidate. The Democratic Establishment had been working for years to “clear the field” for Hillary, eliminating all the candidates that they in their wisdom considered “viable.”
Even the staid Washington Monthly claimed that this was “the Democrats’ biggest mistake of 2016”:
It is widely acknowledged that Democrats in positions of authority, including but not limited to President Obama himself, worked to clear the field of significant opposition to Clinton. President Obama directly pushed Vice President Biden out of the running, and other potential contenders from Elizabeth Warren to Cory Booker were discouraged from making a run. They did this under the misguided theory that a primary free of contention would give Democrats an advantage over a divided GOP field.
The fact is that there were two populists in the primaries: Trump and Sanders. The Republicans tried their best to stop Trump, but the RNC was not strong enough or crooked enough to rig the primaries like the Democrats could. The Obama Administration had been in power for eight years and the Clinton Machine was a irresistible juggernaut of pure political force the likes of which Washington had never seen.
The GOP were thus were forced to accept their upstart, outsider, anti-Establishment, populist candidate, while the Democrats were able to force a highly unpopular candidate into the nomination against the clear preferences of the base.
Indeed, had the Democratic Primary result reflected the actual preferences of Democrats at the time of the DCCC, then Bernie would have been the clear nominee.
The problem was that the Clinton camp was in charge of the primaries (as Donna Brazile explained in her book) and by managing all communications, debate scheduling, etc., Hillary was able to keep Bernie’s name recognition in single digits for a long time, and he didn’t managed to break out until after Super Tuesday and the other March primaries. This allowed Clinton to “bank” the votes and the delegates she needed to win. This is clear from the above chart.
This was why Hillary lost.
But you still say Bernie elected Trump, and that you saw it coming. Tell me, if Hillary had ended up facing Jeb Bush instead of Trump, do you still think she would have lost?
Serious question. I have a strong answer myself, but I want to hear yours.