Scared Of President Trump? Then You Should Really Feel The Bern

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The case for Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for the 2016 US presidential election is overwhelming, and not just when you apply basic common sense, writes Liam McLoughlin.

Those who get their kicks from neo-fascism, US imperialism and massive wealth inequality must be chuffed with the presidential frontrunners. For those who think the world is in a bit of pickle, it’s Bernie or bust.

Don’t get me wrong. Donald Trump is obviously a top bloke, what with his huge cock, his immense respect for “pieces of ass”, and his nuanced understanding of walls. It’s just I’m not sure a man who wants to date his daughter should have access to nuclear weapons.

And as for Hillary Clinton, it would be wonderful to see a feminist in the White House. Who better to represent first wave feminism, which famously fought for the legal rights of disenfranchised arms and fossil fuel companies; second wave feminism, which agitated for a diversity of Wall Street voices and issues; and third wave feminism, which promotes equal opportunities for disastrous foreign policies like those in Iraq, Libya and Syria?

Did I mention that Hillary Clinton is a woman? Yes, Clinton = feminist , just like Trump = dignified statesman.

US Presidential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. (IMAGE: US Embassy, Flickr)
US Presidential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. (IMAGE: US Embassy, Flickr)

With polls showing 64 per cent of American women find Clinton “not honest and trustworthy” and 61 per cent of US women aged 18-29 prefer Sanders, it might be time for Hillary to remind voters of her irrefutable biological status as a woman.

If you’re worried about the Thousand Year-Reich of Donald Trump, you would be wise to cross your fingers, knees and toes for Bernie.

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A recent average of the major American polls has Sanders beating Trump and Cruz by significantly greater margins than Clinton. Clinton beats Trump by 10 per cent, Cruz by only 3 per cent and loses to Kasich by 6 per cent, while Sanders beats Trump by 16 per cent, Cruz by 10 per cent and Kasich by 1 per cent.

Candidate favourability ratings are also indicative. On average Clinton has a net favourability rating of -14. Unless the general election suddenly deploys golf scoring, this seems like bad news for Clinton 2016. Sanders’s score is +6.

Another factor to fill you with Trumpophobia is detailed analysis of a Clinton vs Trump matchup called Unless The Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means A Trump Presidency. The piece discusses the main reasons why Clinton is the worst possible opponent to Trump, and why Sanders would fare so much better. The key point is while Trump struggles on policy, he specialises in personal attack politics. Clinton’s background is Trump’s wet dream:

“She gives him an endless amount to work with. The emails, Benghazi, Whitewater, Iraq, the Lewinsky scandal, ChinagateTravelgate, the missing law firm recordsJeffrey EpsteinKissingerMarc RichHaitiClinton Foundation tax errorsClinton Foundation conflicts of interest“We were broke when we left the White House,” Goldman Sachs… There is enough material in Hillary Clinton’s background for Donald Trump to run with six times over.”

US presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Donald Trump. (IMAGE: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)
US presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Donald Trump. (IMAGE: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)

In contrast, by all accounts Sanders is the cleanest politician in American politics. Trump would have little dirt to work with and be forced into humiliating policy debates with Sanders, who will play “world’s greatest statesman” to Trump’s “world’s greatest prank”.

Add to this the fact we are living in increasingly anti-establishment times and Trump, bewilderingly for a man with immense inherited wealth, plays this card very well. His populist attacks against Clinton as the establishment candidate would hurt her, but do nothing against our man Bernie.

I should also mention the FBI criminal investigation into the mishandling of classified materials on Clinton’s private email server, which could derail her campaign at any moment. A Los Angeles Times piece reported federal prosecutors are planning to interview Clinton and her close associates, “though the timing remains unclear.” There is a real possibility than Clinton could be indicted for her actions.

Imagine. Clinton is the democratic nominee and Trump is the Republican nominee. Clinton is interviewed by the FBI in mid-late 2016 and perhaps even indicted. Americans go to the polls on November 8 and Trump does a dystopic Steven Bradbury, sailing across the finish line as his opponent falls over, becoming the last President of the United States.

Setting aside this pretty realistic nightmare scenario, the mainstream media and your Clintonite friends will quote electability and pragmatism at you ad nauseam, mainly because the moral case for Bernie over Hillary is undeniable. Clearly even on the pragmatic front they are clutching at establishment straws.

Us Democrats presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. (IMAGE: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)
Us Democrats presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. (IMAGE: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)

Six months of Sanders outpolling Clinton against Trump puts paid to the electability claim, and there are two strong counterarguments to the infuriating line: “Bernie is a dreamer; Hillary will actually get things done.”

Judging by her illustrious record, the main thing Clinton would do is entrench the power of her stakeholders: Wall Street bankers, fossil fuel executives and those inside the military-industrial complex.

Former Bill Clinton advisor and Sanders supporter Bill Curry has an excellent response to this pragmatism malarkey. Appearing on ABC’s Planet America last week, he said this:

“The most recent polls in the last week say that Bernie Sanders would defeat Trump by more than Roosevelt beat Alf Landon, by more than Reagan beat Mondale; it would be the largest landslide in the history of American politics, and it would sweep both houses in. And then we get healthcare for all, a living wage and clean government.”

With Democratic control of both houses, Bernie would actually get loads done. As a tease, please enjoy this list of Sanders’ progressive policies that could well become reality. They range from tackling income inequality, to free college education, universal healthcare, attacking political corruption, seeking racial justice, empowering First Nations peoples, pivoting away from militarism to diplomacy and seriously addressing climate change.

You may hope for greater equality on a peaceful, liveable planet.

You may just fear seeing the White House renamed Trump Tower 8.

Either way the pragmatic course of action is to Feel the God Damn Bern.

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Liam McLoughlin

Liam McLoughlin teaches English, politics, and media, and writes a bit. You can find his stuff at Situation Theatre or on Facebook and Twitter. He still can’t decide which quote is more profound: Karl Marx’s “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness” or Stewart Lee’s “David Cameron and Ed Milliband are about as different as two rats fighting over a courgette that has fallen into a urinal. The main difference being that the David Cameron rat is wearing chinos, in an attempt to win over the youth voter”.

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