Friday, May 20, 2016

Sanders' Continued Campaign Is a Gift to Trump

Hypocrisy and an overweening ego seem to be showing themselves to be two main aspects of Bernie Sanders' character.  In some ways, he and Donald Trump are cut out of the same egomaniac cloth, Trump simply being much more flamboyant in his own self-worship.  Sanders claims to want a significant political change in the country, but he seems to be only too happy to assist Trump's campaign rather than give up a primary contest he cannot win.  In his ongoing temper tantrum, he seemingly would prefer to tear the Democrat Party apart and put Trump in the White House - a man who is the antithesis of what Sanders claims to want and support - solely because of his huge ego.  A column in the Washington Post looks at Sanders' destructive behavior which is only serving to help Trump.  Here are excerpts:
Bernie Sanders is playing a dangerous game. If he and his campaign continue their scorched-earth attacks against the Democratic Party, they will succeed in only one thing: electing Donald Trump as president.
I say this as someone who shares much of Sanders’s political philosophy; I, too, for example, see health care as a basic right. He has run a remarkable and historically significant campaign, pulling the party to the left and pumping it full of new progressive vigor. His crowds are almost as big as Trump’s and perhaps even more enthusiastic. Most important, he has brought legions of young people into the political process.
But he hasn’t won the nomination.  Hillary Clinton has an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates, earned by her performance in primaries and caucuses. In the aggregate, she leads Sanders by about 3 million votes. The will of the party is clear: More Democrats prefer Clinton over Sanders as their nominee.
Instead of accepting this obvious fact, the Sanders campaign is behaving like a 2-year-old who can’t have ice cream for breakfast.  . . . Now the Sanders people have gone further and are deliberately stoking anger and a sense of grievance — less against Clinton than the party itself. This is reckless in the extreme, and it could put Trump in the White House.
I do not believe I am being alarmist. The RealClearPolitics poll average has Clinton narrowly leading Trump, 45.8 percent to 42.5 percent; a Fox News poll released Wednesday actually showed Trump with a slight lead. At this point in a presidential year, general-election polls usually don’t mean much. And yes, Democrats have a built-in Electoral College advantage. But it would be foolish not to plan for a tight contest in which every single vote counts.
Clinton is a better campaigner than many people give her credit for, but she has two major vulnerabilities that Trump will seek to exploit: Many people do not find her trustworthy, and she has been a leading member of the political establishment for decades.
Trump’s central flaw is much more serious — he is completely unfit for the job of president and could do great damage to the nation both domestically and internationally. But clearly many Americans are in an anti-establishment mood. The question is whether they are so disgusted with traditional politics and politicians that they will cross their fingers and take a flier on Trump.
I hope not. But the Democratic nominee will be all that stands between Trump and the White House. It is possible to believe Clinton would be far from an ideal president and also believe she must be elected because Trump would be an unthinkable disaster.
Given this context, Sanders and his campaign are being shamefully irresponsible. . . . if he means it when he says he will do everything in his power to keep Trump from being elected, he has to do more than just modulate his rhetoric against Clinton. He and his campaign must stop attacking the Democratic Party in a way that might discourage voters in the fall.
Any respect I had for Sanders is now gone and I now view him as a threat to the nation's future,  He needs to put his ego aside and end his campaign now. 

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