Nov 2, 2016

How I Learned to Hate Mainstream Politics and Miss Bernie Sanders

The attempts by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, their camps, and their supporters to destroy each other through negative campaigning have been so ineffective, it might be time to put the strategies of both their campaigns to rest for good. Here we are 6 days from the election and we're back to the virtual tie/slim Clinton lead we had heading into the conventions. We could have skipped the last several months of mudslinging altogether. Neither candidate has convincingly moved polls in their favor our out of their opponent's favor. All that money on consultants and television spots and a big convention and data mining has essentially been wasted. All that time memorizing quips for the debates, creating social media memes and writing commentary for the partisan press has essentially come to naught. And what's worse, the candidates are more unlikeable than ever.
"I think we should fit Hillary Clinton for an orange jumpsuit. Then again, if you gave (Donald Trump) an enema, he'd fit in a shoebox." Sen. Alan Simpson
What's the point of attacking Hillary Clinton when she's already one of the most thoroughly vetted and well-known public figures of our time? What's the point of attacking Donald Trump when he has constantly worn his personal faults on his sleeve? Does either side really think that the electorate is unaware of their opponents' negatives? Ironically, you know who used a different strategy that actually posted results and worked better than anyone could have expected it to?
Bernie. Frickin'. Sanders.
"Bernie Sanders should replace Lenin in his tomb." - Sen. Alan Simpson
I don't think anyone would call me a Bernie man, but what he did in the primaries should be studied and replicated by every presidential candidate moving forward. He found a way to resonate with voters using issues that most candidates fail to connect on at all, but they happen to be the exact issues that presidents are supposed to wield influence over. I also don't think a vote for Hillary Clinton is going to have anything to do with indicting Trump for sexual assault, harassment or ripping off his workers, and I don't think a vote for Donald Trump is going to get to the bottom of Hillary Clinton's inability to competently use email or whether she really did put essential classified data at risk, yet these are the issues that the campaigns and their supporters seem to be obsessed with. What was Bernie talking about the entire time? Jobs. Education. Health care. Geopolitics. Trade. Environmental stewardship. I know that both Clinton and Trump have positions on these issues that they have occasionally attempted to air, but the rhetoric always descends back towards attacks and avoidance. Heck, Clinton spent almost a year avoiding the national media, and look where it got her -- a campaign mired in negativity with very little enthusiasm, and we're just six days away from the election. It leaves one with the impression that Donald and Hillary care about Donald and Hillary, and that the only two people who really care about Donald and Hillary being elected are - again, Donald and Hillary. I get the feeling that Bernie wouldn't have wasted so much time attacking Donald Trump, but continued his invective against the traditional centers of power in politics and finance. It might be a misleading message, but at least it's a message that's about him, and what he would do for us, the voters. I disagreed with him often, but I miss what Bernie brought to the campaign.

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