Phyllis Reames

commented on Asher Platts Warned Us About Bernie Sanders 2016-07-20 06:10:17 -0700 · Flag
I was actually ready to be done, but since you seem to have missed the point of any of my posts, I will give you one more chance to hear what I am trying to say. You seem to think that I somehow support the democrats so you must have missed the part where I said that the only democratic presidential candidate I have ever voted for was George McGovern in 1972. I have been voting no ever since. For the last forty years, regardless of which party has held sway, we have had a widening income gap and endless war. I get that. I have voted for everyone from Jesse Jackson to Pat Paulson to whoever was running on the socialist workers party ticket in Wisconsin. I have voted green for president every time since Nader/LaDuke in 2000. No way could I ever have supported Obama. Although I admire him as a human being and was hoping he would actually manage to close guantanamo bay, he is way too much of a hawk for me. I believe that the fatal flaw in his campaign was that people saw his election as the end game and neither gave him the support he needed nor pushed him enough after he was elected, but felt their work was done. On the other hand, I have the deepest respect for progressives who have the patience to work on reforms from within the democratic party. Folks like Keith Ellison and Russ Feingold amaze me with their dedication and ability to maintain a positive attitude in the face of such adversity. I am totally willing to stand with them. My link to Bernie’s speech was not about “glorifying Bernie”, it was about listening to him in his own words instead of what the pundits who don’t get it are saying about him.
None of this is about Bernie. It is about building a movement and Bernie’s campaign has done more to mobilize people than the Mobilization of 1968 at the democratic convention in Chicago. I was there with SDS and the Chicago Seven in the streets. Apparently Bernie was too. Bernie had the stamina to hang in when I got burned out and joined the back to the land movement in 1971. (Another movement that is growing again, I am happy to say.) My perspective is that it doesn’t really matter who is POTUS until we have a real grass roots movement and the time is ripe for that. November is not the end game, it’s the beginning. What this election cycle has done is expose the underbelly of the democratic party and bring many thousands of activists into the process. I have many friends who call themselves progressives who are totally pissed at me for voting for Nader and for being clear about choosing Stein over Clinton. They are totally pissed at Nader as well. If Bernie had not followed through on his plan to stick with the “anybody but trump” campaign, the negative fallout could easily have wiped out all of the momentum of this movement by pissing off too many people. The mainstream media would have crucified him and many thousands of excited supporters would have turned away in disgust, especially if trump actually wins.
I am not good at lawyerly arguments like the ones you have outlined in your post. I would be the last person chosen for the debate team. But I do have a lot of experience as a grass roots organizer and I believe that the way to build a movement is by looking for common ground and building on that, not picking things apart over the details. Thousands of Bernie’s supporters have heeded his call to take out papers and run for local office. This is a huge opportunity for the green party to grow at the grass roots level.

You can think whatever you want. I only share all of this because I have been a fairly loyal green supporter for 20 years but after reading your negative posts I will be registering as an “Independent” when I get down to city hall next and I will be giving you and yours a wide berth. Presumably you want to build a movement. So do I. Too bad we won’t be working together. I only offer this as food for thought. Quite ready to agree to disagree.