The trouble with Bernie Sanders

It’s a family tradition that I am related to two presidents, which is certainly not my fault. Family folklore has it I am indirectly descended from the clan of the one-term nobody named Franklin Pierce (the usual comment is, “who?”) and directly descended from James Madison. The latter has the distinction of being the very first American president to lose the popular vote and win the presidency.

So far there have been five presidents who have done that. I won’t go into the details of how these acts of political legerdemain were pulled off. Each happened according to the political machinations of the time, and each was largely different from the others. You can look it up. The point is it happens, and we all know about the fifth, most recent, most dreadful instance of the phenomenon.

In any case, as a son of the first instance and a victim of the fifth, I take the whole thing personally. If I am on the brink of seeing it happen again then this time I have a thing or two to say about it. What I have to say is going to piss some people off. Again, that’s not my fault, that’s the fault of the phenomenon. There simply isn’t any way on earth to talk about Bernie Sanders without pissing someone off. So be it.

Bernie Sanders and I share 99% of the same political DNA, but it’s not unlike the way chimpanzees and I share 99% of actual DNA. That is, I like him okay and would prefer him to Donald Trump, much the same way I might like a chimpanzee okay and prefer him to Donald Trump. A literal monkey in the Oval Office is a far, far better alternative to the corrupt disaster that’s currently there.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think Bernie could do a better job than a chimp. I think he could. I also think he might not. That remains to be seen of any of them. I do know this: Bernie Sanders and any of the other current Democratic candidates will be a million times better than Donald Trump. Anyone who says any of them “are just as bad as Trump” is an idiot.

Donald Trump isn’t just the worst president in history, he’s worse than the worst human being you ever met personally in your entire life. He isn’t just a bad guy, he’s a monster, a psychopath, a rapist, a thief, a liar, an amoral, narcissistic gangster who would betray his own mother for money. He’s also prepared to risk your life, my life, the lives of your children and the lives of every man, woman, child and animal on the face of this earth for the sake of his vanity. Don’t you dare say the “corporate Democrats” are just as bad. Don’t you dare. No one is worse than Trump. No one.

The human race may not survive another four years of Trump. It’s just that simple. Global warming cannot be ignored any more, and Donald Trump not only ignores it, he’s making it worse. He isn’t just your garden variety climate science denialist either, oh no. Trump is so stupid he doesn’t even understand what global warming is. He thinks it has something to do with clean air and clean water. Like I said, Trump is a monster. He’s also a moron.

Meanwhile I’m hearing some very alarming things on social media. I’m reading a lot of comments from people who are saying that if Bernie Sanders doesn’t get the nomination they are going to vote for Trump. They are saying, in effect, that this will be their punishment to the DNC and the Democrats for not nominating Bernie. They are, in effect, holding the future of the planet hostage if they don’t get their way. The adolescent impulse that makes them say this staggers the imagination. Given what Trump is and what he is going to do to us with four more years, this cut-rate Bond Villain nonsense isn’t just immature, it’s positively evil.

I’m also hearing a lot of people say that if Bernie gets the nomination they won’t vote for him. Again, this is stupidity in its purest form. We simply cannot hand the presidency back to Trump. We simply can’t. The identity of the next president is incidental, trivial really, next to the fact that it simply must not be Donald Trump.

My personal favorite for the nomination is Elizabeth Warren. If she doesn’t get it then I will be 100% behind whoever does. That’s how all of us should be, because we are facing a monolith of unity in the Republican Party. None of them are confused about who they are voting for.

Right now Donald Trump is historically unpopular. The only way he can win is to win a plurality, and the only way that will happen is if we are anything less than monolithic ourselves and we split the party.

I will be the first to aver that the mirthless, monochromic, self-righteous, money-seeking cabal that the Democratic Party has become needs to be seriously overhauled. And I believe it will be. But this is not the time. We need to defeat Donald Trump first, no matter what. You can’t reform Wall Street’s hold on the party if we are all dead. A person dying of thirst in the desert can’t afford to quibble because the canteen of water they are offered isn’t Evian.

Political reform takes time. If you don’t have the patience for it you’re in the wrong game anyway. There will be other elections where we can take the time and enact the reform that needs to be enacted. We must defeat Trump this time. Nothing else matters if we don’t. Maybe it’s the DNA of the two dead presidents rattling around in my chromosomes speaking, but we must preserve, protect and defend the presidency of this great Democratic Republic, and we must unite to defeat Donald Trump if we are to survive.

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