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Karp writes: "The two major presidential candidates, notoriously, are as well-hated as Sanders is well-liked."

A Sanders rally in September, 2015. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A Sanders rally in September, 2015. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders Is the Most Popular Politician in America

By Matt Karp, Jacobin

24 October 16


Bernie Sanders is the most-liked politician in the United States. What does that mean for the future of left politics here?

he general election campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has gone pretty much as everyone expected: a months-long carnival of the absurd and the grotesque, culminating in Trump’s self-destruction and Clinton’s methodical march to power.

Quietly, though, something less predictable has happened. Bernie Sanders has become — by a considerable margin — the most popular politician in the United States.

Earlier this month, an Economist/YouGov poll found that 59 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Sanders, while only 33 percent hold an unfavorable one.

Female Americans like Bernie (by a count of 60 percent to 39 percent). Male Americans like Bernie (58 to 36 percent). Black Americans like Bernie (67 to 21 percent). White Americans like Bernie (57 to 36 percent).

Dozens of other surveys yield similar results. Nearly everybody, it seems, likes Bernie — but why? And what can his personal popularity tell us about the future of the social-democratic “political revolution” Sanders would like to ignite?

The current political moment makes Sanders’s immense popularity all the more striking: today, most Americans look upon their political leaders with intense skepticism if not open disdain.

The two major presidential candidates, notoriously, are as well-hated as Sanders is well-liked. According to The Huffington Post’s poll aggregator, about 54 percent of Americans view Clinton unfavorably; for Trump, the number is 63 percent and trending even higher. The Donald, it turns out, is an extremely unpopular populist.

But Clinton and Trump, despite their historic unpopularity, are not outliers among the larger American political class. According to the same Economist/YouGov poll, the favorability numbers for congressional leaders and rival candidates are just as dismal:

In the large and general swamp of public opinion about politicians, only Barack Obama (+10 percent) and Joe Biden (+11 percent) can raise their heads above the waterline. And neither one — despite not having faced a competitive election in four years — approaches the approval rating of the junior senator from Vermont.

Sanders hasn’t always been so well-loved. When he kicked off his campaign last spring, he was virtually unknown, barely registering on national surveys. Even after months of hard campaigning, last October Sanders’s Huffington Post favorability remained at about 37 percent. That’s about where Tim Kaine or John Kasich stands today — a respectable number for a second-tier politician not yet well-known enough to be comprehensively disliked.

But over the last twelve months, everything has changed. Even as the primary campaign grew more contentious — and the leadership of the Democratic Party closed ranks to defeat the left-wing insurgent — Sanders actually saw his national favorability numbers rise higher and higher.

By February, he was the most popular candidate in the field, and by June, he had become the most popular politician in the country. Now removed from the presidential race, Sanders is more popular than ever. (Sanders’s numbers are most dazzling in polls of all American adults. But even among the older, more conservative population of registered and/or likely voters, he remains exceptionally well-liked.)

For the liberal commentariat, Sanders’s large and enduring popularity is something of an embarrassment. During the primary campaign, a chorus of pundits agreed that America’s apparent love affair with the left-wing senator came down to just one factor: he had not been attacked by Republicans. This mantra, accompanied by a dismissal of polling data and an abuse of historical precedent, formed the core of the “electability” argument for Clinton.

Sanders, in this view, was (and remains) some kind of endangered species, a helpless creature saved from his natural predators by the protective embrace of the Clinton Democratic Party. Like a socialist spotted owl, Sanders could exist only on the sufferance of his noble and self-sacrificing liberal patrons. “I know you may not be there for me now,” as Hillary Clinton has told young Sanders voters, “but I will be there for you.”

It’s absurd, of course, to suggest that Sanders never sustained hits from the Right (mostly of the red-baiting variety). But far more damaging were the punches from the Clinton campaign and its allies, who sought to portray Sanders as the tribune for a reckless, naive left, constitutionally unfit to lead the country.

In this effort, Clinton was able to summon the considerable institutional and intellectual resources of the Democratic Party. Before a single ballot was cast, 180 of 232 congressional Democrats had already endorsed Clinton, compared to three for Sanders. And when polls in Iowa and New Hampshire showed the Vermont leftist gaining on the front-runner, Clinton’s allies got in formation.

Democratic senators joked about hammers and sickles. Democratic congressmen mocked Bernie’s call for “free lunches.” And Democratic propagandists in the media — essentially, the entire salaried pundit class — coordinated their efforts to savage Sanders’s “irresponsible” platform, denounce his “extreme” vision of popular politics, and paint his supporters as confused children who were also, in all probability, violent and cultish misogynists.

In other words, Sanders may not have seen the worst of the radical right, but he did absorb an unprecedented hurricane of attacks from the organized center, America’s most powerful and well-connected faction. While the Clinton campaign itself often avoided direct assaults on Sanders, allied forces in the professional media were more than up to the task. Their goal, as Tom Frank has recently made clear, was not just to weaken Sanders as a candidate, but to disarm and delegitimize the growing left-wing movement behind him.

Yet through it all, his national popularity climbed higher and higher. Among political independents, whom the center tends to regard as something like the sacred foundation of American democracy, Sanders’s favorability now stands at a shimmering 62 to 30 percent.

Needless to say, this is not a typical trajectory for losing presidential candidates. Ted Cruz, often described as Sanders’s ideological mirror image, has a national favorability of -31 percent (The numbers for Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush are just as ugly). Nor have previous liberal upstarts — from Howard Dean to Jerry Brown — achieved anything comparable to Sanders after they came up short.

So why is Sanders still such a favorite — not just among leftists, but with the country as a whole?

The simplest explanation, though it seldom occurs to those whose paychecks argue otherwise, is that he stands for popular things. The two most strongly supported policy reforms in America — aggressive financial regulation and a much higher minimum wage — were front and center in his campaign. Social Security expansion and free public college, although scarcely on the national radar before Sanders championed them, are now hugely popular, too.

Just as important, Sanders stands against unpopular things. For over twenty-five years, about 60 percent of Americans have consistently said that the country’s wealth distribution is unfair and that the wealthy pay too little in taxes. In the past decade, an equally robust 60 percent majority has expressed dissatisfaction with the size and power of major corporations. Another 60 percent believe major donors exert far more influence on Congress than regular people.

Americans loathe the thing called “Wall Street” almost as much as they loathe the thing called “Ted Cruz.” National surveys regularly find large majorities saying that Wall Street banks do more harm than good. This April, even Republican primary voters in New York and Pennsylvania agreed.

Of course, national polls also generally find that Americans dislike “government,” and are wary of “government trying to do too many things.” For mainstream Democrats, these results prove that what the country truly wants is not any of the things it has asked for, but what Democrats would prefer to give it anyway: fiendishly convoluted tax credit schemes and impenetrable “market-based” health reforms.

After all, what could be less like “government” than a more byzantine tax code and mandatory enrollment in the administrative hell of a federally supported private market? It’s almost as if 60 percent of Americans are right, and the policy agenda of the Democratic Party is not dictated by public opinion, but by the ideological preferences of its donor class.

Like a socialist Kool-Aid Man, Bernie Sanders burst through this wall, his pitcher filled to the brim with populist rhetoric and unabashed wealth redistribution. He broke all the invisible Democratic rules about how to talk about the economy: he didn’t make unconvincing efforts to belittle “government,” he didn’t talk a lot of guff about “small business,” and he didn’t shy away from language that might cause some Republican to utter the deadly hex word “entitlement.”

Even at the level of style, Sanders avoided the robotic syncopation and corny parallelisms that have come to define professional political speech in the twenty-first century. A lifelong independent, Sanders was blissfully incapable of producing “Democrat Voice.”

Instead, he railed hoarsely, repetitively even, against “the one percent,” while promising direct benefits for everyone else. In other words, he tossed out the Democratic Party playbook and built his campaign around attacking what Americans hate and embracing what Americans like. It wasn’t enough to win the party’s nomination, but it has been enough to make him the most popular leader in the country.

None of this, it goes without saying, means that 60 percent of Americans belong to some kind of silent socialist majority. Popularity does not equal ideology; public approval does not entail political commitment. Nevertheless Sanders’s unpredictable success — and his sky-high favorability, even in defeat — tells us something real.

It’s one thing to track national preferences through abstract survey questions. It’s quite another to test them in the heat of a real campaign, against a live opposition.

Across the first six months of 2016, Sanders took the best punches that an organized Democratic elite could deliver. This furious assault, aided by Clinton’s overwhelming institutional strength, was enough to subdue his long-shot primary bid. But so far, it has utterly failed to discredit the political vision that animated his candidacy.

Even in defeat, Sanders has successfully established a premise, a vocabulary, and a program for social-democratic politics in America.

The premise is almost revolutionary: our society is now controlled by a tiny capitalist elite, whose predatory power can only be toppled by a popular movement from below. The vocabulary is sharply radical: the system is “rigged” by the “corrupt” influence of “the billionaire class”; we need a “political revolution” for democracy to flourish. The program is aggressively reformist: it proposes to limit the power of the wealthy elite, while establishing a basic minimum of universal goods — health care, education, a living wage — for every citizen.

For now, as Salar Mohandesi has noted with some caution, the Sanders style of social democracy remains closely anchored to Bernie Sanders himself. Yet there is nothing so spectacular or superhuman about Sanders that prevents his premise, his vocabulary, and his program from being adopted by the millions of Americans who flocked to his campaign.

The battle for social democracy in America has only just begun. In the future it will face struggles far fiercer than the 2016 primary. But now we have some reason to believe, perhaps more confidently ever before, that it can become the most popular form of politics in the country. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+88 # librarian1984 2016-10-24 12:10
FANTASTIC! Thank you, Mr. Karp -- and you too, Mr. Ash.

I love the socialist spotted owl and Kool-aid Man analogies :^D

My only quibble is "It wasn't enough to win the party's nomination". Oh yes it was. He DID win the nomination.

I fervently hope that Wikileaks, or someone, will give us proof of Clinton's criminality so that she HAS to step down -- in handcuffs if need be. THEN the angsty existential dilemma of the 2016 presidential election will FINALLY have a just and good resolution -- which we all deserve for having been through this sh!t show. Give Sanders the nomination that was stolen. Give Americans hope again.

PLEASE if someone has information that will stop this disaster, get it out there -- BEFORE the coming wars.

I wonder .. will the Hillary people accept the results?
+40 # librarian1984 2016-10-24 12:19
PS We've been asking Marc for better articles and we've gotten a few. If you have a few bucks please donate.

Positive reinforcement.
+17 # bardphile 2016-10-24 15:34
YES!! RSN deserves support, not just because of a small recent spate (do 2 or 3 count as a spate?) of articles not intended to bolster Hillary (for whom I'd vote if I lived in a swing state, but that's another matter).

Are you listening, Marc? Good. Your fundraiser today said good riddance to the freeloaders--no t well-timed, since your slant has been so pro-Hillary that several have threatened to abandon the site. Don't panic. I predict that when the election is mercifully over, both civility and contributions will rise again. There's something about the Hillary-Trump choice, and the processes that got us here, that has reasonable people shouting at each other and unreasonable people having way too much fun.
-13 # bardphile 2016-10-24 15:37
Two proposals for improving the site: Fix it so that we can click into each other's profile pages, read each other's articles, and see where we're all coming from--the site is a community, after all. Also, on each profile page, if it's feasible, indicate whether each poster is a monthly contributor and at what level; and if not, list the amount each of us sporadic contributors have kicked in during the last 12 months or so.
+13 # bardphile 2016-10-24 15:40
Those of us who do contribute get damn tired of these insulting fundraisers that don't honor our contributions. We might give more if we felt more appreciated. If identified as such, the freeloaders just might be shamed into helping out. In other words, if the site is hurting financially, whatever you're doing isn't working. Time to try new stuff.
+39 # FarMor 2016-10-24 17:35
Some of us "freeloaders" are elderly and living only on S.S. (of less than $1000/month from all sources). I resent the implication that I am purposely taking without giving.
-12 # sdraymond 2016-10-24 21:06
Quoting FarMor:
Some of us "freeloaders" are elderly and living only on S.S. (of less than $1000/month from all sources). I resent the implication that I am purposely taking without giving.

I'm also retired and living on social security, but I don't think that $10 or $20 a month is too much to ask, even for those of us on a tight budget. I also agree with bardphile that it would be much better is Marc would be transparent about the budget and would list those of us who donate and the amounts. I suggested this to Marc some time ago, but there was no response.
+7 # howard9 2016-10-24 22:17
The problem with that is that any troll can easily make donations. Some of them are funded to do such things. Perhaps honest people can make comments without having the money to make donations. Others might make donations privately without allowing them to be associated with their account. This isn't supposed to be a slot machine where we comment based on how much we've donated. If it were, it might as well be the New York Times website.
+1 # LionMousePudding 2016-10-25 09:26
What's wrong with wringing money from trolls?
+9 # LionMousePudding 2016-10-25 10:45
Thanks for judging the rest of us. I get $700. I often have very little or nothing to eat by the end of the month. I could buy several days of peanut butter sandwiches with that $15. Are you asking me to go without food for a few more days a month so I am not judged here?

I do not think naming and shaming is the right way to do this. It's great for those who can afford it-- Boy, you're a better person than me. I'm a freeloader.

I did actually give $15 last month (who needs to eat? Skinny is sexy) I'm sure you think that's only fair. That's about 2% of my monthly income. Did you give 2% of your monthly income? What would that be? Do you give that every month? After all, if you gave less, you are a grifter; a freeloader. Like, thanks I love the shameful title, me most months.

I rarely do this; but my housemate was in jail so I did not have to feed him. Of course, I have not paid my other bills for a while. I often go without power, heat, or phone for a while. Probably the above commenter has done the same.

You may now hold me up as an example of 'see? they can do it!' but you know what? Some people can't go several days without eating. They really are freeloaders. Right?

Sorry if this is a bit repetitive but your Republican-like self-righteous snobbery pisses me the f--- off.
+17 # Ted 2016-10-24 17:42
OK look, most of the folks who participate in our discussions might agree that capitalism is probably the worst thing that ever happened to Humanity and will probably be the catalyst of our world's demise.

However, right now it's a necessary evil that infects every aspect of our lives including civic discussion and engagement.

Classifying participants in our discussions by the amount of money they donate is a sick idea.

Marc has a firm responsibility to keep RSN in the black and he is in the extremely distasteful position of having to constantly remind us all that if we want a place free of corporate influence like this to share ideas and opinions, we also share in that financial burden.

I make my donations when I can in amounts that I can afford and honestly sometimes I too need Marc's reminders of my responsibility to RSN. Most of the time, if I feel comfortable with mydonation status, I simply delete the obviously titled funding pleas before I even open them.

Let's not keep picking on the messenger who is only doing his best to actually keep this site online for all of us.
+5 # suziemama 2016-10-24 22:12
At one point, RSN tried giving fewer fundraising emails to contributors, but found out that donations overall dropped by 40%. It seems that the people who give regularly are also the people who donate (again) when fundraising is going poorly.
0 # LionMousePudding 2016-10-25 11:00
I really appreciate his creativity these days.
+1 # LionMousePudding 2016-10-26 21:58
You just never know what you will get down voted for lol
+6 # Caliban 2016-10-25 00:35
1. We can read each others's articles now by searching pen-names and topics on the upper right of the RSN Home or "front" page.

2. I'm pretty sure we get livelier debates on RSN than on many sites precisely because we can write our thoughts frankly without being assaulted on our Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, email accounts, etc.

3. Contribution amounts and frequency? Really?

Why? So people can say -- "I give more than you do so my opinion counts more"?

4. RSN is fine as is. Those who want more personal information than than contributors want to share should join the NSA -- that great organization where privacy goes to die.
+9 # LionMousePudding 2016-10-25 09:25
Are you f---ing kidding me? You want to name and shame? Do you really think EVERY poverty-stricke n person here wants to broadcast it? Would you like to lose the contingent that can't afford to look as respectable than others? People will leave if they are named and shamed.

If you want a page to list those who do contribute, WITHOUT listing amount, that would be fair. But don't chase the poor out.
+1 # philosurfer 2016-10-26 10:59
Or how about making it something like the NYT (where it limits how many times you can visit if you're not a contributor) and have a subscription program of $1/month? If the site is getting as many hits from individuals as said, it should go a long way to solving $$ problems. If some of us want to chip in more to cover for those who can't afford $1, so much the better.
0 # NAVYVET 2016-10-24 18:30
Apparently, Bardphile, you did not read RSN from 2015 to the Dem convention, when it was obvious that Marc Ash enthusiasticall y supported Bernie and his platform. Unlike Bernie, who promised back in 2015 that he would support the nominee of the Democratic party, Marc had to choose, as we all have, between a cold fish, Hillary, a dangerous lunatic, Trump, and a person who can't or won't present herself to the public, Jill Stein, and is the least experienced of any of the candidates. She may have lots of followers who comment on RSN--or maybe not very many since I suspect that at least a third who claim to be for Jill are Repub trolls.

But who can can get excited about a nice woman who has been defeated in every campaign she's ever entered except for local school board? The Greens need someone with charisma.

The angry Jillians are suffering from a syndrome historians and psychologists have recognized since the Confederacy's defeat--turning defeat of a favored cause into nostalgic fanaticism. It's not very different from the Trump supporters who, it's true, may mostly be ill-educated and get their news from Faux, but who have real economic reasons to be angry, yet shriek for the racist and jingoist 1950s white culture.

I hope you, as I did, celebrated Bernie's 75th birthday the other day! To honor him, join Our Revolution & the Democratic Socialists of America.
+17 # Ted 2016-10-24 19:24
Thank you for reminding me of the Democratic Socialists of America.

When I denounced my membership in the democratic party over a decade ago, I strongly considered DSA as an alternative, however I remain an Independent to this day.

My current support of the Green Party is due mainly to how strongly the Stein/Baraka platform echoes Sanders' stand on so many issues PLUS how the Green Party values as written seem to focus on the most pressing issues that we face today.

I am also impressed by the hundreds of Green Party members who are currently seated in or are currently running for the down-ticket offices that truly effect our government from the grassroots upward.

To those who try to minimize the importance of the Green Party's ideologies based on their complaint that the Greens are wasting time and resources running for an "impossible" Presidential bid, you should know that it is federal law that in order to be eligible to run for most down-ticket offices, a party MUST - BY LAW - run a Presidential candidate in appropriate election cycles, hence,
+2 # Patriot 2016-10-25 12:47
Navyvet, some of your comment is despicable! I and others have written countless times that we who support Stein are supporting policies we want to see enacted and a future we believe in. No one has any right to denigrate us for that!

Others list Clinton's many faults--and they ARE both plentiful and dealdy serious--then say the'll vote for her anyway. Every time I read comments like that, and comments like yours, I'm amazed anew by the ability of the human mind to rationalize what seems to me like working against its own self-interest.

I don't like guns, I'm not comfortable around them, I don't want someone to take a gun I own away from me and shoot me with it. Other people do like guns, are comfortable with them, and are competent to own them and use them safely, in legal and sensible circumstances. Neither of us has the right to denigrate the other--or the opinions of the enormous range of people in between. Almost all Americans have said, again and again, that some people shouldn't own firearms. Yet discussions of gun control almost always include roars from some people that any controls on ownership equate to repealing the Second Amendment! Then the battle is on....
+3 # Patriot 2016-10-25 12:48
If we don't learn how to disagree civilly, how to dispute one another's reasoning or perspectives without acrimony, we'll continue playing directly into the hands of those who seek to manipulate and control us. We're facing terrible times in the immediate future; heck, we've been facing terrible times for the last several decades! We've acquired the habit of attacking anyone who disagrees with us as unAmerican, treasonous, idiotic, stupid, or downright evil. If we can't even DISCUSS our differing opinions, how ever will we be able to identify the gravity of the perils we must face and DEAL with? How will we reach a consensus that will solve one problem, without creating a whole new set of different problems? How will we assure that solutions that will help most of us, won't utterly decimate a few of us?

We all acknowledge that our bodies become what we eat. It's about time we acknowledged that our thinking becomes only as good as we discipline it to become. We'll never be able to pick out the very clever idea someone else buries in a diatribe we find offensive if we're busy, while they're talking, mentally composing our verbal assassination of their character and their point of view.

If offended by others, it is NOT mandatory that we tell them so, nor does someone else's position entitle us to shout them down. We DO NOT have a right to denigrate others because we disagree with their opinions, and most of us are NOT qualified to pyschoanalyze others, either.
+6 # Patriot 2016-10-25 12:49
So, how about a little civility? A little common courtesy? If you don't like what you read, give the comment a thumbs-down, and move on. If your opinion differs, by all means, explain how it differs and why. If you find someone's remarks uncivil, tell them so, if you must, but without becoming equally or more uncivil yourself. If you have opposing facts, state them--rememberi ng, as you do, that even opposing facts CAN BOTH be accurate and what we call "true".

But lay off the unsupported assumptions of others' character, motives, intelligence, or truthfulness. PLEASE!

And Librarian: Sorry, no vowels for sale here. (grin)
0 # librarian1984 2016-10-25 13:23
+36 # wrknight 2016-10-24 13:52
"But Clinton and Trump, despite their historic unpopularity, are not outliers among the larger American political class. According to the same Economist/YouGo v poll, the favorability numbers for congressional leaders and rival candidates are just as dismal..."

And yet, these numbnuts get re-elected year after year after year. What's wrong with this picture?
+14 # Ted 2016-10-24 15:19
Pre-programmabl e computers telling us who 'we' voted for.
+5 # wrknight 2016-10-24 20:31
Unfortunately, "we" really did vote for them (at least those who bothered to vote).

There's a lot of talk about election rigging, but it's not what people usually think. It's not vote rigging - it's candidate rigging. Clinton was selected by the Democratic Party National Committee long, long before the primary elections and no other candidate was allowed to compete on a level playing field. That's how the election was rigged. It had nothing to do with programmed computers or voting.

On the Republican side, MSM rigged the election by ensuring that Trump got all the publicity and the RNC sat back and watched like rubber-neckers at a traffic accident. That didn't involve any programmed computers either.
+8 # Ted 2016-10-25 07:05
You might want to check out; for starters.

Their multi-part series on hardwired 'fractionalizat ion' of votes in EVERY voting computer is just one of many eye-openers on the many ways fraudulent vote counting IS actually a major problem along with all the other cheating methods used by the two major parties.
+17 # Eliza D 2016-10-24 17:05
It is so ironic,isn't it that pundits have said that perhaps likeability is the most important factor in winning elections? I can only conclude that perhaps not enough people "liked" Bernie to put him over the top. But I hope the electorate has learned an important lesson. We have the power to propel someone not part of the power elite into the winner's circle. I know why I like Bernie. There was no whiff of scandal about him and he never behaved like anything other than a gentleman. When he spoke about his plans, I believed him. I teach logic and I must have evidence to support my opinions. The evidence to support liking Bernie came from his actions, always forthright and courageous. About whom else could we say that? Maybe those of us who care about civility and integrity should work harder to bring outsiders into the political arena.
+7 # jimallyn 2016-10-25 00:32
Quoting Eliza D:
It is so ironic,isn't it that pundits have said that perhaps likeability is the most important factor in winning elections? I can only conclude that perhaps not enough people "liked" Bernie to put him over the top.

I can only conclude that the primary was rigged for Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders. "Not enough people liked Bernie to put him over the top"? Bullshit. The primary was stolen from Bernie by the criminals in the DNC.
+10 # tomwalker8 2016-10-24 17:36
Gerrymandering. Whichever party is in power does it. Make representative districts the law of the land and many or most of those head scratchers will disappear.
+2 # lfeuille 2016-10-24 21:11
For the House and state legislatures. Other races are at large and can't be Gerrymandered.

The problem with mandating "representative " districts is that is that what is considered "representative " in not agreed upon.
+1 # Patriot 2016-10-25 12:52
Tom, gerrymandering already is illegal--or, at least, it WAS, if the law hasn't been quietly repealed.
+2 # Patriot 2016-10-25 13:12
lfeuille, nope. Many, many offices are NOT statewide, or countywide: Mayor, County Executive, Governor, & President are universal to their entire jurisdiction, as are some state & local offices, such as Sheriff, District Attorney, Secretary of State. ALL legislative bodies are districted: city & county councils, boards of education (& many other state & local boards), &, as you said, our state & national legislatures. The most noticeable politicians--te mpting to say notorious--shou ldn't exclusively draw our attentionconcer ned about: It is those elected by relatively small groups of us to represent our needs & wants whose election we should monitor most closely.

While national policy often monopolizes headlines, what I hunt for after any election is the referenda that were on local & state ballots all over the country. I think of them as "seed" measures, because they're often harbingers of change. California, for instance, often leads the nation in change--because Californians built the ability to put propositions before their electorate more easily than citizens of most other states can. Thus, local & state California government stays very closely attuned to the public's thinking, knowing that the public will wrest control from their hands whenever they're fed up with what legislative bodies have been doing.

Find out all about who you're voting into city, county, & state legislative offices. They'll have lots of control over your life!
+10 # GoGreen! 2016-10-24 18:33
What is wrong with this picture is that people are deprived of accurate information. We are only informed of the campaigns of the two totally corrupt political parties. We only get to choose between one bad candidate and another equally bad candidate. Our task is to try and figure out which is the worst of the two and vote for the lesser evil. We do not have the knowledge to know there are other and FAR BETTER candidates on the ballot. Go on line to and read about the Green Party candidates and platform.

Oh, by the way. The information in this article is not accurate. Trump is ahead of Hillary---skip the two and vote for Jill and Ajama.
+13 # tedrey 2016-10-24 16:39
Here's the case for electoral fraud clearly laid out below. Lawsuits are being filed. I am no longer a sceptic, but believe the nation will never be set right unless the evidence for these claims is openly investigated. Judge for yourself and spread the word.
+1 # tedrey 2016-10-25 06:05
Close election. None of the Above or End of the Republic.
+2 # tomwalker8 2016-10-24 17:34
The disaster data is out there already. If you're a Trump supporter, you're ignoring it.
+3 # Vardoz 2016-10-25 13:07
We love Bernie. He would have made an outstanding president - another FDR. Just seeing him on Bill Maher recently brought up so many feelings in me and it seemed him too. It's too bad we have an Oligarchy that hates Democracy so much they are willing to risk a Trump presidency when Bernie could have beat him easily. The closest candidate to Bernie is Jill Stein and that's who we will vote for. We feel we must take a stand for Democracy and she is the only candidate with the same values as Bernie that's running and is on the ballot. We know HRC stole the primary and feel that it was essentially a coup that started with making her Sec. Of State to give her name recognition and status. She made a mess of things in the middle East and now wants to confront Putin, a dangerous man, with a no fly zone in Syria. Putin has an important port there and he has been doing business with Syria for years. One has to wonder if our govt. didn't have something to do with starting this conflict? We are now interested in Bernie's new organization OUR REVOLUTION. He has a large number of like minded reps that he has endorsed for office around the nation and he is working hard to change the house and senate which is also very important. Bernie is still fighting for us. On facebook o many are enraged with HRC's sabotage of the primary and with Obama sitting back and doing nothing. Any candidate that has Henry Kissinger, a war criminal, as her mentor is a very dangerous person in our view.
+51 # PaineRad 2016-10-24 13:31
There was nothing centrist about the attacks from Democrats. They were DLC - neoliberal conservative attacks.

If one considers positions of the vast majority, the apex on a bell curve, Bernie is pretty darned close to being the true centrist. Sec. Clinton is considerably to the right of that center point. Tim Kaine, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Mark Warner, Joe Manchin, Ami Berra, Collin Peterson, Heidi Heitkamp, Michael Bennet, Joe Donnelly, Patrick Murphy, Maria Cantwell, Diane Feinstein, Evan Bayh, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and scores of other Congresspeople are generally to the right of that central apex.

Let's face reality. What passes for "centrist" or "moderate" within DC circles is nowhere near the political center out in the rest of America. Americans are far to the left of their representatives on almost every single major economic and on many social issues.
+3 # Karlus58 2016-10-24 17:53
Well why aren't they voting?!
+2 # librarian1984 2016-10-25 06:39
Many are registered as Independents and weren't allowed to vote in closed primaries.

Many others, as in NY and CA, were scrubbed from voter rolls, possibly with the aid of Bernie's hacked database.

Many have given up.
+1 # DaveEwoldt 2016-10-25 11:28
Umm, Karlus58, the answer to that seems rather self-obvious--n o one is running that represents their interests or values.
+56 # Blackjack 2016-10-24 13:35
It is refreshing to read that my perceptions about Bernie are in agreement with what is reported here. Bernie is popular because he is the most authentic, articulate, and honest politician to come along in the past 50 years. He speaks truth to power with no fear of negative personal consequences. Without Bernie I cannot imagine what this election process would have been like. Even Trump picked up on some of his populist messages. JFK would have considered him to be one of his "Profiles in Courage." Too bad the brain dead Dems didn't have that kind of courage. Bernie would be ahead of Trump by at least 20 points by now.
+9 # NAVYVET 2016-10-24 19:00
Don't forget that for years he's had, by far, the highest approval rating (and lowest disapproval) of any federal-level elected legislator. His Vermont constituency loves him--even the Republicans think he's a man of integrity. All Bernie needed to do was present the same honest and intelligent mind to the nation. I wish other pols would wake up and realize that popularity isn't about who can make fancy TV ads, it's enthusiasm from the grassroots for someone with a high-values moral compass.
+2 # Patriot 2016-10-25 13:25
Navyvet, since we've been deprived of Sanders as our candiddate, that's why Stein's supporters are planning to vote for her: character and a sound plan. What we saw in Sanders, we also see in Stein. And THAT is precisely why most of the news media won't even mention her: She is at least as potent a threat to status quo as Sanders was, and look how close he came to winning even the very, very sabotaged campaign and the fraudulent primary elections! Stein will NEVER be acknowledged and given an opportunity either to succeed OR to fall on her sword, because she is at least as threatening to duopoly control as Sanders was.

At present, political success depends on attention from the public and solid funding. Sanders' attention arose mostly from internet communication between individuals and groups, and from the mind-boggling hard work of peole who heard about him, then heard him, then drew in even more poeple--and, with them, the money to pay the bills for a national campaign.

Stein is causing the same kind of reaction whenever she is heard, but, being a third party candidate, it's easier for the media to completely ignore her, just as they've systematiclly ignored all third party candidates for decades.

This election is a death-bed fight for control by the duopoly: They are not about to surrender an inch or a word to yet another threat to that control.
+50 # Moxa 2016-10-24 13:37
While Bernie's popularity has continued to grow, by July 2015 he already had a positive net approval rating and has never looked back. But he still had a long way to go to become known to large portions of the population. Many people didn't even recognize his name, well into the primary season. I am certain that he did poorly in the South because so many people had never heard of him, let alone knew that he had a stronger civil rights record than Hillary. There were so many other bad reasons he lost the nomination: women who wanted a woman president no matter who that woman might be; the rigging of the process by the DNC and the mainstream media who hypnotized the Democratic electorate into apologizing idiotically, "I really like Bernie, but I don't think he can
win in the national election." How could he NOT win when he is and was by far the most popular candidate in the United States? "Oh, but he's Jewish, he's old, he's a socialist, he's too radical." Hello!! He's the most popular politician in America.!
+2 # Patriot 2016-10-25 13:32
And, he was a sure thing for this November's election--which is WHY his campaign was sabotaged and the votes fraudulently reported. Sanders was certain to upset the duopoly apple-cart!

Folks, the votes WERE fraudulently counted. No one whose popularity rating was that high, who repeatedly polled as likely to defeat Trump in the general election, suddenly got only a fraction of the primary vote. Just won't compute!

And that's the other reason Stein has so many supporters: Some of us will not endorse with our votes the beneficiary of obvious election fraud--especial ly not when the candidate of whom there were thereby defrauded was the first decent, intelligent candidate most voters had seen and heard in their entire lifetimes.
+17 # Femihumanist 2016-10-24 13:38
All those (whatevers?), who said they liked Bernie but he couldn't win, when all the polls showed he could beat any of those Repub clowns and the big ball of B...S..t who Hillary is running against voted against him, have to face the fact that we'll be putting a mass murderer into the Presidency. Again, but this time knowing it in advance.

I oppose capital punishment except in the case of mass murderers who have the power to force other people to do their killing. It has to be AFTER a very public trial, of course, so everyone knows what he/she's done. Don't take this comment as an excuse to be a "do-it-yourself er." That defeats the purpose.
+8 # NAVYVET 2016-10-24 19:09
I designed, created and manufactured (on my hand-pulled lever buttonmaker) the Bernie buttons which financed our grassroots campaign, and I still have left-overs and still wear them next to a Black Lives Matter button, on my Bernie t-shirts and hoodie. I STILL GET THANKED, mostly by black people in my largely black neighborhood, (I'm white,)
+1 # PCPrincess 2016-10-27 12:16
Yes! I still proudly display my Bernie Sticker on my laptop. I'm a computer science major (just recently graduated) whose laptop was out at school every day for all too see.
+30 # vicnada 2016-10-24 13:42
Thank you! This is sweet vindication for my stubborn mowing around the "Bernie for President" on my lawn.
+30 # DD1946 2016-10-24 14:04
My Bernie magnets are still on my car. I may never remove them.
+20 # Radscal 2016-10-24 16:17
Yep. Our Bernie sign is still proudly displayed in the front of our home.

I plan to keep it up. I doubt if I'll add an "I told you so" when the really bad things start happening after our next President delivers us to Wall Street and/or escalates the Global War OF Terror into something no one could deny is a World War.... but I doubt I'll have to.
+39 # jamminjames 2016-10-24 13:48
Well-deserved. This is what politicians SHOULD all be like: Honest, straight-forwar d, consistent, hard-working, in office to REPRESENT PEOPLE, not corporations.
+7 # lfeuille 2016-10-24 21:18
You have to wonder why more of them aren't like Bernie. He shouldn't be unique. But he is.
+26 # Texas Aggie 2016-10-24 13:55
It should be noted that Mr. Sanders positives would be even higher if he hadn't offended many of his supporters by endorsing Clinton. That turned a lot of people off and made them feel like he had betrayed them. The same goes for Dr. Warren whose numbers were missing from the table in the article.

"The two most strongly supported policy reforms in America — aggressive financial regulation and a much higher minimum wage — were front and center in his campaign. ...

"Just as important, Sanders stands against unpopular things. For over twenty-five years, about 60 percent of Americans have consistently said that the country’s wealth distribution is unfair and that the wealthy pay too little in taxes...."

HRC should take a lesson from this, but her "private positions" won't allow that.
+5 # NAVYVET 2016-10-24 19:18
He HAD to endorse her. He had promised. If he'd broken that promise I would now have doubts about his integrity. As it is, I have NO doubts. Here's one of my campaign songs--(tune "Old Smoky")--a song for 2020!


From the streets of old Brooklyn
To Vermont and DC,
Bernie’s been for the people—
Just like you, you, and me!

He takes on the greedy
Who’ve sent our jobs to hell!
He fights for fair wages
In jobs that pay well!

Bernie wants public schooling
With money for books,
For teaching—not testing
In schools owned by crooks.

Bernie looks to the future,
To each young one who sees
That the greedy deniers
Are killing our bees,

And our oceans and cities,
While they rake in the dough!
But Bernie can stop it
When enough of us know

We don’t have to be hopeless,
If we join Bernie’s crew.
We can gain the same prospects
Now enjoyed by a few:

Get a free road to college,
Fix the safety net rope,
End the burdens from banksters,
Let kids grow up with hope!

Our hopes have been stolen
By racists and war.
He says "End the old hatreds
And our country restore!"

We know how to do this:
Choose the man with white hair,
Bernie’s best for the White House,
Now let’s put him in there!
+2 # citizen2009 2016-10-24 20:13
I shared your lyrics on my facebook page may be you take off
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-24 22:41
Great lyrics/poem NavyVet.

I agree that Sanders was required by his own honor to endorse Clinton at the time. Once the truth of how HRC/DNC stole the nomination from him, I think he could have rightly reversed, but I don't damn him for carrying on.

One side benefit is that no Democrats can demonize Bernie the way they have to Ralph Nader and are currently doing to Jill Stein.
+38 # wrknight 2016-10-24 13:57
Bernie didn't need enemies in the Republican party. He had more than enough enemies in the Democratic Party.
+19 # djnova50 2016-10-24 14:03
What I do not get is the unfavorable rating of Bernie Sanders compared with Jill Stein. The Green Party platform is very progressive. The platform Bernie Sanders was promoting was nearly; but, not quite, as progressive.

I strongly believe that if the media had promoted the Green Party candidates that Jill Stein would be right up there in popularity with Bernie Sanders.
+20 # wrknight 2016-10-24 14:27
That's true. Jill's real problem was the response of most Americans, "Jill who"?

So long as the media, that controls the flow of information, refuses to acknowledge the existence and viability of other parties and independent candidates, the demorepub duopoly will continue to control our government.

If we want an alternative to fascist, corporate controlled government, we will need to get the word out that there are viable alternatives; and to do that we need a robust alternative to MSM. We need more outlets like RSN which means, "It's time to pony up to the bar, folks".
+11 # djnova50 2016-10-24 16:22
I made a small donation to RSN. I am not in a position to make a monthly donation, though. However, I do send a little bit when I can.

I do understand how frustrated some people get, though. There are at least two other viable candidates for President, which I have learned more about from the candidates' web sites as well as YouTube channels, especially, the New Progressive Voice and The Humanist Report.
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-24 22:46
It's important for progressives to support as many genuinely progressive news sources as we can. The right-wing has plenty of non-establishme nt sources, but we have precious few.

And we are seeing now that we have fewer than perhaps we thought we had.

I'm thrilled that RSN is now running more articles that can be seen as more critically assessing the DNC/HRC narratives. But I never considered dropping my support, and encouraged others to continue to even before these welcome additions.
+19 # Ted 2016-10-24 15:23
Stein's low numbers are directly correlated to the lack of name recognition, a deliberate situation enforced by corporate media.

Jill Stein's campaign has received ONE PERCENT of the corporate media coverage splurged onto clinton and trump.
-7 # Henry 2016-10-24 16:11
She also has zero experience.
+12 # djnova50 2016-10-24 16:29
Henry, if Jill Stein had the same kind of experience as Hillary Clinton, I think I'd vote for Gary Johnson. Jill has experience as a community organizer, she knows how to rally the people and would probably get more done as President, than most people think she would. For one thing, she's not Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

When Ike Eisenhower was elected, he did not have political experience. There's probably been others; but, Ike is the one I remember. There were handmade signs with "We like Ike" in people's yards. He was a Republican; but, lots of people liked him and obviously voted for him; because, he became President.
+6 # NAVYVET 2016-10-24 19:55
You don't know Eisenhower if you think Ike had no political savvy! He was good buddies with FDR, was called the "politicians' General" by other top brass, managed to do staff officer leadership for most of the war, which ensured that he stayed behind the lines and engaged rarely in combat. I campaigned for Ike at age 15-16, liked much of what he said and especially his denunciation of fellow Republican Joe McCarthy--which came late, after a lot of damage--but only historians remember him as a self-promoter. Even worse, when he was naive he was taken in and easily manipulated by sinister warmongers like the Dulles Brothers--who caused the break with Fidel Castro and set up the Bay of Pigs stupidity which JFK inherited and which was a forerunner of all the mistakes of Vietnam & Iraq. Ike authorized the CIA with all its secrecy and gave it as a fief to Allen Dulles.

I was in high school, college and became a naval officer during Ike's 2 terms--and believe me, I paid attention to politics, was an activist, got arrested for civil rights activities as early as 1956. I was a Republican until the Goldwater convention of 1964, but a LaFollette Progressive Republican at a time when Southern Democrats were like the Tea Party! (Progressives were socialist, suspicious of war, totally anti-monopoly.) Ike was often a disappointment and a danger to our Constitution because he lacked the one political experience he needed most, but didn't have, elected office.
+2 # DaveEwoldt 2016-10-25 11:42
Navyvet, there's a difference between political experience and political savvy. Jill has experience at the local level and savvy at the global level. Unlike Hillary, Jill's savvy is what we need in a time of rapidly converging global crises.
+3 # lfeuille 2016-10-24 21:28
She is good at rallying people who already consider themselves progressive. She really hasn't tried to connect with the larger group of people who like progressive ideas, but do not think of themselves that way or may not even know the ideas are progressive.
+2 # DaveEwoldt 2016-10-25 11:44
lfeuille, that is the one criticism of Dr. Stein that I agree with--but it's not a show stopper. Most of us here could help her with that, as it's not that difficult to reframe most radical terminology into the common sense that it is.
+12 # Ted 2016-10-24 16:48
"She also has zero experience."-Henry

And as every single President before her she would be given a huge budget and unlimited resources to surround herself with a cabinet, consultants, advisors, and any all possible support to fully and skillfully accomplish the policies and ideology that we elect her for.
+1 # Femihumanist 2016-10-24 20:56
I also never hear anything from, or about, her between elections.
+2 # DaveEwoldt 2016-10-25 11:46
Femihumanist, I think that just means you're not paying attention. As a Green Party member, I hear about her, and the actions she's involved with, all the time.
-7 # ericlipps 2016-10-24 19:57
Fist yo8u have to get noticed by the media. They simply haven't noticed her--nor is that hard to understand, with her at 2% in the polls in late October.
+5 # wrknight 2016-10-24 20:36
You can't get a high rating without being noticed and you claim that you can't get noticed without a high rating.

And you don't see anything wrong with that picture?
+3 # lfeuille 2016-10-24 21:25
Not entirely. Bernie had low name recognition when he started and was mostly ignore by the press. He went around the country talking to ordinary people who related to his message and gradually built be a following that couldn't be ignored. She hasn't done that, but it is a given that the press won't promote leftist politicians. They have to make it happen. The MSM isn't going to change. You have to go around them, not rely on them to get your message out.
+2 # Patriot 2016-10-25 14:00
Greens had to spend more than $580,000 & too much time just to get the Green Party on this year's ballot, &, as a less-recognized party, with a constantly, unjustly & inaccurately derided presidential candidate, have a considerably smaller budget to operate on than Sanders had when he began his campaign.

If you support Stein, NOW's the time to make a contribution toward her campaign.

The Green Party's ON the ballot in 45 states & Stein's a CERTIFIED write-in candidate in 3 others, enough to enable her to win the Electoral College. If voters want what Stein stands for will VOTE for the only candidate who REALLY supports what they want, she just might win.

NOT voting for Stein because "she can't win" GUARANTEES that she WON'T win. Voting for her doesn't mean she WILL win--she'll do that, as will every other candidate--only if ENOUGH voters vote for her.

This is NOT the year to sit home & say, "I don't like either Clinton or Trump, so I'm not voting." Or, "I used to vote, but nothing important to me ever actually came to pass. My vote apparently doesn't matter." OH, YES!! EVERY vote matters: We can reshape the entire government of our country by voting for every single Green & Progressive on our ballots, from local offices to the White House--includin g Stein for President!

If nothing else, PLEASE vote for Stein as the ONLY candidate who will stop war & concentrate on climate change & protecting the environment!
+11 # Radscal 2016-10-24 16:24
Quoting djnova50:
What I do not get is the unfavorable rating of Bernie Sanders compared with Jill Stein. .

I think it's all the negative propaganda the Clinton Machine has been dumping on us. They are clearly upset that so many actual progressives refuse to go "With Her," that they're giving Dr. Stein the Full Nader Treatment - plus.

Here on RSN we see the comments about Dr. Stein being "anti-vax" and "conceited" and nothing but a "spoiler." John Oliver devoted a whole segment last week to misrepresenting her, especially her plans on evacuating Student Loans.

Here's the Stein/Baraka rebuttal to Oliver's BS:
+12 # Ted 2016-10-24 16:54
I know right?

Oliver's shztick was especially aggravating because of how he completely glossed over the fact that if we could bail out wall st as we did., we should obviously be able to bail out the victims of predatory student loans, somehow.
+7 # Radscal 2016-10-24 17:15
Yep. And as Stein/Barak note, this is the same John Oliver who devoted a segment to how easy it would be to pay off personal medical debts, and even did so to show us.
-4 # Robbee 2016-10-24 19:42
Quoting Radscal:
[quote name="djnova50"]What I do not get is the unfavorable rating of Bernie Sanders compared with Jill Stein.

I think it's all the negative propaganda the Clinton Machine has been dumping on us./quote]
- sure - CM always say they know who jillie is?

or is it? - # Ted 2016-10-24 15:23
Stein's low numbers are directly correlated to the lack of name recognition, a deliberate situation enforced by corporate media.

in other words - media is dying not to mention jillie? - dying to keep her name off the front page? the hell with ratings?

or could it just be? - few folks ever heard of her? - and of those few who have? - 39% dislike her?

there is only one person responsible for jillie ducking the dem primaries - jillie

bernie wasn't a dem either, before he chose to run against 2 other progressives in the dem primaries - jillie needs to see the wizard - get some heart - find some courage

or maybe to know her is to dislike her? - the less she gets out? the better for her image?

lets keep spinning this until we come up with an excuse that makes us jilliebots feel all better about our jillie? shall we?
-7 # ericlipps 2016-10-24 19:59
Oh God, not this again.

The "Clinton Machine" is a mirage. If it were as powerful as people here imagine, it'd be Hillary who was finishing her second term, not Obama.
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-25 16:15
I guess you missed that two of the six media conglomerates that provide 90% of the "news" we see are amongst HRC's top ten contributors.

Or that the emails and other documents show complete collusion between everything from the Ny Times and Washington Post to the President of NBC with HRC/DNC.
-3 # NAVYVET 2016-10-24 19:33
Jill simply can't win elections. She's lost--by landslides--eve ry one she's run in for county, state and national offices, and local offices other than school board. The Green party is, bluntly, amateurish. It doesn't know how to do grassroots, since so many of the members are academics with no political experience but a lot of white conceit & naivety that sticks out like a sore thumb (ALL the ones I've met). Jill is a Green--good ideas, but bewildered when she tries to make them palatable to the people who really are suffering. Although they got a lot farther, the Greens faded away in Europe for similar reasons.
+5 # Ted 2016-10-24 19:45
You might want to check your facts, European Green Partys are extremely strong and active.
+6 # wrknight 2016-10-24 20:59
"Jill simply can't win elections".

So, NAVYVET, are you a proponent of the two party system? If not, what have you done to help a third party or independent candidate win an election? Or do you just sit around and mope about not winning, so there's no point in exerting yourself?

I get really annoyed at people who just whine that so-and-so can't win so they won't vote for them. Of course they can't win with all of the nay-sayers saying they can't win and refusing to help them or vote for them. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

So, if you are not a proponent of the two party system, get off your butt and help someone else who you can admire and trust win public office. And stop whining that they can't win. I don't want to hear that shit again.
+2 # librarian1984 2016-10-25 06:46
NavyVet, I used to love your posts when Bernie was in the race. That's why I am so disappointed to see you backing Hillary.

Aren't you angry about the election theft?

Aren't you worried about her desire for war?


I think Stein has high negatives because the Clinton people are angry with her.
+5 # Ted 2016-10-25 07:09
Scared of her collecting Bernie's numbers, more likely.
+3 # wrknight 2016-10-25 09:12
You're right, Ted. There's a common belief in this country that any third party or independent candidate is a spoiler who will cause the lesser of two evils to lose the election. Ralph Nader is a classic example where they say that George W. won because Nader took so many votes away from Gore.

What people fail to take into account is that in 2000 we had two good candidates and one bad candidate. That made is easier for the bad candidate to win. However, today we have two bad candidates and one good candidate which, logically, should make it easy for the good candidate to win.

But, unfortunately, logic doesn't appear to be one of the strengths of American voters.
+1 # librarian1984 2016-10-25 09:45
I watched a news show yesterday where a correspondent interviewed people in the middle of PA, the conservative part. Of the five people he talked to, 1 Trump supporter said he wouldn't vote because Trump had told him it was rigged, so what was the point? One was for Hillary, one was still undecided, leaning toward Trump, and TWO were for Jill Stein!

When the interviewer came back to the studio the people there laughed,'Oh you probably found the only two Green Party supporters in PA! haha'

I sure would love to wipe that smirk off their faces.
+4 # DaveEwoldt 2016-10-25 12:14
Navyvet, I've pointed this out before in this forum, and I think it might have even been to you, but there are a number of Black Panthers running on the Green Party ticket for local and state offices. Anyone with an open mind and a progressive bent realizes that the Green Party offers a realistic alternative to the two right wings of the Corporate War Party.

The Green Party also tends to appeal to intelligent Republicans as about half of the Green Party's Ten Key Values express or support traditional Republican values--strong local economies, personal responsibility, conservation, democracy, decentralizatio n, equal opportunity, even social justice.

While the Green Party's overall approach might be too academic--a valid criticism I've been working on for decades as a Green Party member--it does grassroots so much better than the astroturf of the two major parties.
+14 # johnborksales 2016-10-24 14:07
I love Bernie.
I would have voted for him.
But, maybe popularity is overrated.
Just like when you go to your high school reunion and find out that the most popular boy & girl are not do so well. And, the nerds are now are highly successful in life. However, with Bernie, hios voice will still have the impact for significant chance in the USA!
+14 # Ted 2016-10-24 15:36
I apologize but I'm a little confused,

How could popularity of a presidential candidate be overated in a democratic presidential election?
-19 # seeuingoa 2016-10-24 14:34

Bernie still has to give us a very, very
good explanation for double-crossing his
supporters by endorsing Hillary, the
Wall Street darling.
+27 # Moxa 2016-10-24 15:23
He has given a very clear explanation. He isn't double-crossing anybody. He is doing what he always does: acting with integrity. Look, I'm voting for Jill Stein, because I do not like Hillary Clinton. I don't have to worry about helping to elect Trump because I live in New York, which is as blue a state as you'll find. Bernie is in a different position. He is responsible to the whole country. And as he sees it, Trump would be far worse than Clinton in terms of getting any progressive legislation through at all. He is simply being sensible. Also, by supporting Clinton he will have a better chance of influencing her down the road. He could be wrong in these assumptions, of course. But that, I believe, is his thinking. He's doing the best he can under the circumstances. It is rather simplistic to point to a man who stood up to Clinton for over a year, knocked himself out for the good of this country, and was so persuasive that he became the most popular candidate in America (on his own terms) and accuse him of double-crossing his supporters. You can interpret his actions that way if you want to or you may disagree that he took the best plan of action. But to "double-cross" someone there has to be an intention to do so, and his intention is quite the opposite, as always.
+6 # futhark 2016-10-24 19:31
Votes for Dr. Stein are still the best way to communicate to the Democratic Party that their nomination of Hillary Clinton was misguided and that an increasing number of voters are not going to just go along because she is the "best" of the two evils with which the duopoly have presented as choices. We are ready to exercise out liberty to select candidates that are free from the taint of evil, be it Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein. If the Democrats play fair with the American people and withdraw the Clinton nomination in favor of Sanders, they may get my vote. Otherwise, Dr. Stein is my choice.
+4 # DaveEwoldt 2016-10-25 12:23
Yep, Moxa. As a former Bernie supporter and a current Stein supporter, I can't say that Bernie didn't do exactly what he said he'd do right from the very beginning.

I may not agree with his choice to support a pro-corporate war monger with few known ethical constraints (known election irregularities should have released him from any ethical obligation), but I sure can't fault him for keeping his word.
+25 # Radscal 2016-10-24 16:36
A bit over a week ago, Bill Maher had Bernie on. Of course, Maher wanted Bernie to convince more of his supporters to go "With Her," and he did do that half-hearted endorsement bit we've all been seeing since the Democratic Convention.

But then Bernie started talking about his reason for being there, to promote a CA Proposition to let all of us buy prescription drugs for the same lower rate that the VA gets.

And suddenly he was once again the Bernie who so energized us for the past 1 1/2 years. He spoke with the same righteous fire that we saw while campaigning, and in his speeches before Congress over the past 3 decades.

I was so happy to hear the Old Bernie again. And then I began to sob. Tears were flowing down my cheeks before my conscious brain realized what were these emotions sending shivers through my body.

So close. We came so close to actually nominating - and therefore easily electing the most transformationa l President of at least the past 1/2 century.

Stolen out from under us... stolen by a war criminal who is arguably the most corrupt politician of that same past 1/2 century or much longer.
+9 # librarian1984 2016-10-24 19:13
I thought the same thing watching him. It was when he talked about issues that he lit up again, and became the Bernie we love. I don't think I'll ever get over the sense of loss -- of what we almost had. Think of how hopeful we would all be, at this moment, if it was Sanders in those debates with Trump, Sanders being supported and driving the agenda.

I curse these enablers and msm who let her do this, who watched the theft and did nothing, who took our best hope in a generation and ground it into dust.
+8 # Greg Scott 2016-10-25 01:01
Hey Rad and Lib...sorry that just sounded good.
I saw that too and cheered...and then Maher let the asshat Andrew Sullivan get away with all the completely debunked nonsense about drug companies needing outrageous profits to fund research...whic h they mostly spend on marketing to increase profits, such as the opioid explosion that is the precursor to the epidemic of heroin addiction we are now seeing. Bernie could barely get in a word around that corporate shill.

But Bernie doesn't mope or whine, he just keeps fighting. That's why I will do everything I can to support him.

I think a lot of others are doing that too. I get hundreds of emails a day from Dems asking for donations. But I only give to them when the fundraiser comes from Bernie or Liz....I want these candidates to know who they owe their funding to.

I noticed the other day that Bernie had raised 2 million dollars in 2 days for Dem senate candidates. That's a message that will be heard.
+3 # librarian1984 2016-10-25 09:49
I think Sanders is going to be very powerful after this election, and certainly more popular than Clinton.

This shows he was right to endorse HRC, as he promised. He will be much more influential than most other pols, and more loved than the president.

It should be very interesting.
+4 # Radscal 2016-10-25 16:24
Glad to see that you, like Bernie, are targeting your support to only candidates with genuinely progressive values.

Didn't Bernie step in and point out that drug companies spend 3 to 5 times as much on marketing as on R&D?
+4 # Greg Scott 2016-10-26 08:23
I kind of stopped watching when Maher let Sullivan just rattle on with Pharmacy talking points. He should have weighed in that this was just the regular debunked drug company nonsense.

The important fact that this is the first substantive effort on a state level to reverse one of the most egregious examples of corporations buying politicians was drowned out before Bernie could get started.

The massive shift of public money to drug companies disguised as a Medicare drug 'benefit' is a signature accomplishment of the d ught Congress. Truly cynical.

Maher was happy to have the prestige of having Bernie on his show but the deal is to let Bernie make his case. Instead he let Sullivan do a 'Fox News' on him.

Lost a good deal of respect for Maher the other night.
+3 # Radscal 2016-10-26 14:31
Maher's racism, sexism, ethoncentrism, and lately ageism all come together in his rabidly pro-Zionist ideology. His fawning interview a few years ago with Nutty Yahoo ("I love that guy") was sickening.

When he tweeted early in Israel's brutal slaughters of June-August, 2014 that the people living in the concentration camp of Gaza are like "bitches" that need to be "slapped around," even some of his fans realized how seamlessly he wove his sexism and racism.

He gives atheists a bad name. At least when he called himself a Libertarian, he didn't taint progressives with his sick beliefs, but ever since he started pretending to be "liberal" or "progressive," he's helped pull the movement to the right.

The corporatism you observed is all part and parcel of that package.
+2 # PCPrincess 2016-10-27 12:26
Agreed. Just like when Bernie's brother cast the last nominating vote for Bernie at the convention. Man, I teared up so much. I, like you and librarian, and many others here, am so horribly frustrated and upset at what could have been and what we now are forced to deal with because our system, our own people, let us down. We were let down by a system that allowed election theft to occur. It is a system that I can no longer respect.
-3 # Robbee 2016-10-24 20:19
Quoting seeuingoa:

Bernie still has to give us a very, very
good explanation for double-crossing his
supporters by endorsing Hillary, the
Wall Street darling.

- bernie double-crosses no one - see - it's like this - bernie campaigned saying hill was "infinitely better" than any repug - you just didn't listen - it's not bernie - it's you
-6 # Robbee 2016-10-24 20:44
Quoting Robbee:
[quote name="seeuingoa"]BUT!

Bernie still has to give us a very, very
good explanation for double-crossing his
supporters by endorsing Hillary

- our site is rife with sloppy think

guy gives us bush2cheney was no legitimate prez means hill would be no legitimate prez - sloppy think

common misunderstandin g stems from disbelieving bernie AFTER he accepted the result of the primaries and endorsed hill

bernie is zac same great progressive he was before the endorsement

some pretend he did not then, and does not now, everyday, explain why hill would make a good prez - same as he did BEFORE his endorsement of her - throughout his campaign - "infinitely better" - explains daily why we need to surround america with progressive officeholders - because some won't listen - IT'S NOT BERNIE - it's some of us suddenly repulsed by what bernie has always said - sloppy think
+17 # 2016-10-24 14:36
From librian1984
I fervently hope that Wikileaks, or someone, will give us proof of Clinton's criminality so that she HAS to step down -- in handcuffs if need be. THEN the angsty existential dilemma of the 2016 presidential election will FINALLY have a just and good resolution -- which we all deserve for having been through this sh!t show. Give Sanders the nomination that was stolen. Give Americans hope again.
-6 # Robbee 2016-10-24 20:49
From librian1984
I fervently hope that Wikileaks, or someone, will give us proof of Clinton's criminality so that she HAS to step down -- in handcuffs if need be. THEN the angsty existential dilemma of the 2016 presidential election will FINALLY have a just and good resolution -- which we all deserve for having been through this sh!t show. Give Sanders the nomination that was stolen. Give Americans hope again.

- you really must attend some rump rallies! - it'll do you good!
+29 # Blackjack 2016-10-24 14:50
Bernie did NOT double-cross anyone! He could have whined and complained that he himself was double-crossed, but where would that have gotten him? An outsider looking in with no influence. By sticking with Clinton he has played by the rules that she decided she didn't have to play by, so he has continued to look strong while she looks weak. More than that, by playing by the rules he has opened up opportunities for other progressives running for the Senate
and House. Bernie has done the honorable thing on all fronts and that is one of the reasons he is so well liked. He offers an example that the Dems would do well to emulate in the future.
+24 # Ted 2016-10-24 15:25
An absolutely surreal line from the article;

"It’s almost as if 60 percent of Americans are right, and the policy agenda of the Democratic Party is not dictated by public opinion, but by the ideological preferences of its donor class."

Almost as if....
+11 # futhark 2016-10-24 19:12
Well said, Ted!

Things have been so arranged that the office of chief executive is virtually for sale. Citizens United MUST be nullified!

The other undemocratic element in American elections is the interference of the Deep State, manipulating media outlets to give their chosen ones loads of free publicity while ignoring and/or disparaging those that would challenge their power.
+7 # boredlion 2016-10-24 16:50
Also on the Presidential ballot, in at least nine states, are the Peace and Freedom candidates, Gloria La Riva (a socialist) for Pres. & Dennis Banks (co-founder of the AIM) for VP.

The states are California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa,Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington.

For more info, see
+10 # Ted 2016-10-24 18:19

it's absolutely incredible that in a nation that conciets to be the world leader and missionary for the spread of democracy, a vast majority of us are not even AWARE of who is running for office and what they stand for.

The Green Party has recently begun an educational outreach on the benefits of "Ranked Choice Voting" which could open up a vast amount of choice and options as to how WE, the citizens of our country, can take back control of how OUR nation is run.

Check it out;
+18 # margpark 2016-10-24 17:11
Bernie raised $2,000,000 in 24 hours just recently to support Democratic candidates for office. He is not over by any means.
+2 # Greg Scott 2016-10-26 18:31
I tossed in my $27...

Those candidates will pay attention.

Good move Bernie, I was kind of hoping you'd start to leverage your crew to influence other candidates.

Count me in Bernie...
-5 # tomwalker8 2016-10-24 17:31
I jumped on the Bernie bandwagon as soon as I became aware of it. As an unemployed elder American, my prospects for re-employment were disimal. Still, I donated money to Bernie's campaign. Since then, I've (reluctantly) had leisure time to more minutely assess Hillary's qualifications. In all honesty,my support for Hillary is driven partly by my Trump revulsion. But the more I learn the more I Support Hillary because she is so eminently qualified to become president of the USA. Is she likely to disappoint me at times? Put that in the bank. When she does I will skewer her for it. But I firmly believe she has what it takes to become our next, most historic, president. I'm with her.
-2 # dipierro4 2016-10-24 20:08
1.) “I know you may not be there for me now... but I will be there for you.”

Interesting. I recall 2008, when she told a group of New Hampshire voters -- after winning the NH primary -- "I'll always be there for you because you were there for me." (If not word for word, that's very close.) I still am outraged that a President should "be there" for some Americans more than others, as her personal reward. And I'm disgusted that her personal affirmation was more important than the needs of Americans. Has she changed? I'm not confident. I hope I'm wrong.

2.) Black Americans like Bernie (67 to 21 percent). White Americans like Bernie (57 to 36 percent).

Black voters tanked Sanders' campaign and gave the nomination to HRC - not to mention how BLM publicly abused Sanders. Frustrating. I know this is offensive of me, but the voting figures speak for themselves.

3.) So why is Sanders still such a favorite...

Granted, Trump and Clinton say things complimentary of Sanders' positions. But overall, the voters weren't receptive to Sanders' vision. HRC surely didn't win because she's personally liked!

He polls well now in part because he isn't a threat; Trump and HRC both speak well of him. And even though he's not a warm public personality, he's a fond memory compared with Trump, HRC, and Kaine. (Pence can appear human, but his policy views should give fear to any sane person.)

Most importantly, he's 74 years old. New leadership must emerge from younger generations.
+9 # Moxa 2016-10-24 21:01
"Rather, the voters weren't receptive to Sanders' vision."

That is not why he lost. He lost because people were convinced by the media he couldn't win, or because they didn't know who he was, or because they were hellbent on having a woman president. I know this because I volunteered for Bernie and spoke to hundreds of Democrats. He was always high in the polls--not in the head to head polls against Hillary (for the reasons stated above), but he was always miles ahead of both her and Trump in the net favorability ratings, and he always did much better against Trump than Hillary did. It was gross ignorance and cowardice that defeated Bernie.
+6 # cmp 2016-10-25 00:48
Since it is such a GREAT conversation going on here about Parties --- I thought I might share who (some have called) our Foundingest Father of them all --- just what he had to say about Parties.

This is from his Farewell Address. I selected the excerpts from it that applied to his thoughts about the formation of Established Political Parties: (.. And, I do believe, that many good, progressive people in this community will relate to most (..if not all) of his points. (

~~~ George Washington; Farewell Address; First Published on September 19, 1796 ~~~

~ " .. In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations , Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentati ons; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection...

+5 # cmp 2016-10-25 00:51
.. All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

.. Cont:
+5 # cmp 2016-10-25 00:52
.. I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations . Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

.. Cont:
+5 # cmp 2016-10-25 00:53
.. Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

.. Cont:
+5 # cmp 2016-10-25 00:54
.. There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume." ~

.. Isn't it funny, how the Owner's have so deeply entrenched this concept of Parties (.. limited to their two, of course) on the American psyche?? .. And, by the way, Washington's Farewell Address has been read on his birthday, from the Senate floor, for the last 117 years straight..
+3 # librarian1984 2016-10-25 06:56
Wonderful. Thanks.

Funny how the strict constitutionali sts ignore the things they don't like.
+4 # Patriot 2016-10-25 14:37
Sanders surely must know this speech by heart, because he steadily reminded us that the election he sought was to forward progressive policies--it never was about HIM or any PARTY. I imagine that, while gratified by a report such as this article contains, he's nevertheless alarmed by it, too.

He said, repeatedly, "If I ever tell you who to vote for, don't pay attention to me." Despite his firm but frankly doubtful support of Clinton, he still NEVER has asked or instructed us to vote for her. He's merely explainedHIS reasons for supporting her, & said that he thinks they're reasons why WE should, too.

However, I can't support the person who accepted a nomination sheknows she did not win by vote of the populace, but by campaign sabotage & fraudulent vote-counting. Sanders almost always has had & will have my support, because I trust his integrity & respect his erudition on issues of policy. Clinton never will have my support, unless a miracle happens & she becomes a genuine Progressive & eschews criminal war.

Because I supported Sanders' platform of domestic & foreign reform, I will vote for the only candidate still in the race who supports it, too: Jill Stein. To further the Progressive movement Sanders began, & to support Stein if she becomes president (or restrain whichever other atrocious candidate does), I also will vote for every Green or Progressive candidate on my ballot, even for moderates, if necessary.

Go, Bernie! Thanks for everything! GO, JILL!
+1 # newell 2016-10-25 05:33
Bernie was a game changer but two things should be remembered. One is that change comes from the bottom up and Bernie would be the first to say that no one person, including himself, is irreplaceable. Secondly, he would never condone the hate, now directed at Hillary by so-called progressives.
+4 # Ted 2016-10-25 07:14
Bernie also said that it is incumbent upon the candidate herself to win us over, and that we should not listen to him or anyone who tries to tell us to vote for her.
+1 # Patriot 2016-10-28 02:43
Newell, it's not hate: It's disgust, distrust, anger, dismay, alarm.
0 # Activista 2016-10-25 12:52
Interesting list - and given the decades old anti-democrat/a nti-Clinton FOX propaganda (that some repeat here) - the negatives are really not surprising - in some sense they are positive giving mass media propaganda.
When Bernie becomes more prominent in Democratic Party his negatives will go up as Republican media will attack this "socialist".
We need a political system like in Finland - Social Democracy - and Bernie is supporting the concept.
-3 # kyzipster 2016-10-26 08:55
Exactly. A person would have to be asleep to not understand why Sanders is popular. He was never considered a threat and was never attacked mercilessly like most Democratic candidates. They even produced a movie to try and bring Clinton down, conservatives have been preparing for this election for years and Sanders was never on their radar. Had he won the nomination there would have been a full on assault in the right-wing media, it would look very different.

I think he could have won the election but it would have been very close. It might be worth considering that his losing the nomination puts him in a very good position to make a difference, because of his popularity. Sanders and Clinton can now play good cop, bad cop. Sanders can help pave the way for real progressive politicians to be taken seriously in the future. The success of his campaign has forced the media to take him seriously. That's not a small change imo.
+6 # Doc Mary 2016-10-25 14:09
Most Americans (at least in the Democratic Party) were smarter than the pundits - they ignored the epithet "socialist" and recognized this was old-fashioned FDR policies. Which is, after all, what the Democratic Party USED to stand for.

I do have to relate a funny conversation with a young fan during the primaries. I said that I knew that Clinton carried more baggage than a lot of people thought (from decades of right-wing propaganda and - unexpected for me - quite a bit of misogyny when it came to the possibility of the first female president - she seemed to remind men of their mother-in-laws.)

But, I said, the Republicans would also have a field day with Bernie - they would try to paint him "Red."

The student said, "Red? But he's not a Republican - he's a Democrat."

It seems the definition of "red" has changed over the last couple of decades ...
-2 # LionMousePudding 2016-10-26 22:08
Rather than Never Trump; how about bring back Better Dead Than Red?

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