The discrepancy between Chris Hedges’ and Jane Sander’s views of Bernie Sanders’ ignition of a “political revolution” could not be more stark. Which is it to be? Righteous indignation and judgment, or compassionate witnessing? The choice between them determines the tone of our national discourse which will, in turn, over time, shape the values that inform and direct our common future.
Chris Hedges: The 1%’s Useful Idiots
PHILADELPHIA—The parade of useful idiots, the bankrupt liberal class that long ago sold its soul to corporate power, is now led by Sen. Bernie Sanders. His final capitulation, symbolized by his pathetic motion to suspend the roll call, giving Hillary Clinton the Democratic nomination by acclamation, is an abject betrayal of millions of his supporters and his call for a political revolution.
No doubt the Democrats will continue to let Sanders be a member of the Democratic Caucus. No doubt the Democrats will continue to agree not to run a serious candidate against him in Vermont. No doubt Sanders will be given an ample platform and media opportunities to shill for Clinton and the corporate machine. No doubt he will remain a member of the political establishment.
Sanders squandered his most important historical moment. He had a chance, one chance, to take the energy, anger and momentum, walk out the doors of the Wells Fargo Center and into the streets to help build a third-party movement. His call to his delegates to face “reality” and support Clinton was an insulting repudiation of the reality his supporters, mostly young men and young women, had overcome by lifting him from an obscure candidate polling at 12 percent into a serious contender for the nomination. Sanders not only sold out his base, he mocked it. This was a spiritual wound, not a political one. For this he must ask forgiveness.
Excerpts from Rollingstone Interview:
When were you most proud of Bernie this past year, if you can pinpoint one moment?
There were so many moments where I was proud of Bernie. I probably sound silly, but that debate where he said, “I’m sick of hearing about your damn emails,” he didn’t think of that [ahead of time]. It wasn’t a plan. He’s not a politician who thinks of things and plans it all out. He just answers the questions, truthfully. I was very proud of him there because it was an easy hit, and yet all we were hearing was speculation, speculation, speculation every single day, and nobody was talking about the real issues that are affecting people’s lives. He said it, and he meant it: We’ll wait and see the process. I remember thinking, People are going to say that’s a political mistake, but it’s a principled point of view. And I don’t think it was a political mistake, because people understood: This man is for real. He’s a principled person.
What was that like for you? He turned into kind of a rockstar.
It was funny. When I started to see that, I thought, Oh, god, I’m going to have to keep his feet on the ground. What was surprising was he became more humble. He’s not a humble man, really [laughs]. But he became more humble because he felt such a sense of responsibility. It was exactly the opposite of what I was afraid was going to happen. So I really just am filled with pride. I’m the luckiest woman on the planet I think.