Robert Reich’s letter to Bernie Sanders

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, June 9th, 2016 - 47 comments
Categories: International, Left, political alternatives, us politics, vision - Tags:

Bernie Sanders bird

Former Secretary for Labor for Bill Clinton and heavyweight democrat Robert Reich has posted an open letter to Bernie Sanders on Facebook. From US uncut:

The only thing I can think of doing this morning is to write a public note to my friend, Bernie Sanders:

Dear Bernie:

I don’t know what you’re going to do from here on, and I’m not going to advise you. You’ve earned the right to figure out the next steps for your campaign and the movement you have launched.

But let me tell you this: You’ve already succeeded.

At the start they labeled you a “fringe” candidate – a 74-year-old, political Independent, Jewish, self-described democratic socialist, who stood zero chance against the Democratic political establishment, the mainstream media, and the moneyed interests.

Then you won 22 states.

And in almost every state – even in those you lost — you won vast majorities of voters under 30, including a majority of young women and Latinos. And most voters under 45.

You have helped shape the next generation.

You’ve done it without SuperPACs or big money from corporations, Wall Street, and billionaires. You did it with small contributions from millions of us. You’ve shown it can be done without selling your soul or compromising your conviction.

You’ve also inspired millions to get involved in politics — and to fight the most important and basic of all fights on which all else depends: to reclaim our economy and democracy from the moneyed interests.

Your message – about the necessity of single-payer healthcare, free tuition at public universities, a $15 minimum wage, busting up the biggest Wall Street banks, taxing the financial speculation, expanding Social Security, imposing a tax on carbon, and getting big money out of politics – will shape the progressive agenda from here on.

Your courage in taking on the political establishment has emboldened millions of us to stand up and demand our voices be heard.

Regardless of what you decide to do now, you have ignited a movement that will fight onward. We will fight to put more progressives into the House and Senate. We will fight at the state level. We will organize for the 2020 presidential election.

We will not succumb to cynicism. We are in it for the long haul. We will never give up.

Thank you, Bernie.

Bob

47 comments on “Robert Reich’s letter to Bernie Sanders ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    It’s the same letter I’d write too, and not too far away from a comment I posted a few or so back.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/trump-in-bern-out-hillary-home-and-hosed/#comment-1179929

    But the question is now … what is the best strategy to ensure the momentum is maintained? If Bernie just folds quietly the establishment will be happy for him to fade into obscurity.

    Personally I think he should take it to the Convention. Let the Democrats take full responsibility for their choice of candidate … so when they do elect Clinton, a flawed candidate with big legal and popularity problems … it will be crystal clear where the accountability lies. No-one in the Democrat establishment will have any wriggle room.

    If Sanders was so far behind that in the unlikely event all the super delegates voted for him he could still not get over the line … then conceding now would be dignified and reasonable. But at this point my instinct is that having taken is this far into the face of the establishment … there is not much to be gained by backing down now.

    Frankly if the Democrats want a non-contested Convention they need to make it worthwhile for Sanders and the impressive movement he has triggered. Not the other way around.

    • Kevin 1.1

      Absolutely.

      How depressing it must be for those progressives and young voters, whose political activism has now been ignited, to have to vote for Hilary Clinton.

      Take it to the convention and don’t give the bitch a free ride.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      I agree.

      Hillary’s server problems do not sound that minor. It cannot be assured that she will have no problems with the fallout. And Bernie deserves some senior role no matter what.

    • Lanthanide 1.3

      Sanders is an outright hypocrite. Months ago he was saying that superdelegates are unfair and should be removed from the process.

      Now he’s relying directly on those same superdelegates to overturn the will of the democratic party voters.

      Hypocrite. Traitor to the Democrat party.

      • RedLogix 1.3.1

        So what is Sander’s alternative here? Drop out of the race?

        Then you’d label him a whining loser who didn’t like the rules. I just love it when people set up ‘ no wins’ like this.

        It is of course perfectly reasonable to enter and run a contest even when you don’t like some of the rules. In this case if Sanders did win (exceedingly unlikely) he might be in a position to see the super-delegate rules changed, but just dropping out eliminates even that small chance.

        • weka 1.3.1.1

          +1. It would be like saying the Greens were hypocrites for standing in FPP elections while campaigning for MMP.

        • Lanthanide 1.3.1.2

          Concede to Hillary and call on all of his supporters to fully back her, and importantly renounce any suggestion that the contest has been “rigged”.

          I wouldn’t label him a whining loser for doing that. In fact, I would label him a whining loser for doing exactly what he is doing now – waging a no-hope campaign in the face of the majority who supported Clinton, and whipping up fervour amongst his supporters to a level where many of them may stay home or even vote for Trump, doing more to hurt the democratic cause than he did to help it. The next president may get to appoint as many as 3 supreme court justices – there really are very high stakes for this election.

          “In this case if Sanders did win (exceedingly unlikely) he might be in a position to see the super-delegate rules changed, but just dropping out eliminates even that small chance.”

          You seem to have some idea that the nominee gets to set the rules going forwards? The DNC set the rules.

          Of course, if Bernie went on to win the presidency, then he’d have a lot of sway in the DNC. But if he lost to Trump, not so much.

          I think both Trump’s and Sander’s campaigns are going to make the DNC and especially RNC re-consider their rules for 2020/2024.

    • Macro 1.4

      Yes Indeed!

  2. D'Esterre 2

    The Democrat grandees ignore Sanders’ constituency at their peril. And – all other things being equal – Clinton as Democratic nominee means a Trump presidency.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Remember, if Bernie ran against Trump, he would almost certainly triumph at the polls in a landslide and become President of the United States.

      To the Bankster Establishment Deep State, that is a far worse outcome than Trump.

      So Killary Clinton it is.

      • D'Esterre 2.1.1

        Colonial Viper “…if Bernie ran against Trump, he would almost certainly triumph at the polls in a landslide and become President of the United States.”

        Precisely. Which is why a Clinton nomination means a Trump presidency. Unless something unforeseen happens to skew the vote away from him.

        • Kevin 2.1.1.1

          Agreed.

          I also think that with Sanders losing out then the FBI case against Clinton will pick up steam.

    • Grantoc 2.2

      The Democrats are not ignoring Sanders constituency. They are subtly courting it and it is apparent that there is an increasing shift amongst those supporters to the Clinton camp.

      Most appear to see the threat of a Trump presidency as by the greater threat to their aspirations.

      Clinton as the Democrat nominee certainly does not mean a Trump presidency. Actually recent polling in the US suggests a shift to Clinton from Trump.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Keep making it up man, Sanders is going to take it to the line. Clinton is weak enough that she can’t close the deal.

        • Grantoc 2.2.1.1

          Thats a fantasy CV – it won’t happen.

          Sanders is being overtaken by events and is increasingly irrelevant, for better or worse.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1

            What events are you referring to?

            Clinton has many more scandals coming to light.

            • Grantoc 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Obama and Warren’s endorsements.

              A poll showing that most of Sanders supporters will likely vote for Clinton in an attempt to stop Trump from becoming president at the general election.

              Another poll (fox I think) showing a 6% swing towards Clinton on becoming the Democrat presumptive nominee.

              • Colonial Viper

                Let’s see how those endorsements and polls hold up against Clintons series of upcoming scandals

                • Grantoc

                  Fair comment

                  Equally it’ll be of interest to watch how may scandals emerge regarding Trump. The trump ‘university’ scandal for example is not going away in a hurry.

                  Maybe both candidates will be compromised in the end. I wonder what then.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    All the tabloids have followed Trump’s exploits, flops and failures closely since forever

  3. mac1 3

    Take it to the Convention. Let the people see where the two contenders actually stand. Let the people see the margin between the two. Then, let the people see the electoral shenanigans that occurred and what that actually meant.

    And then let the Democrats clean up their processes to be open and fair.

    Obama campaigned on hope, and determination. “Yes, we can.”

    Sanders can, if he goes the whole way. He can’t, if he doesn’t.

  4. Bill 4

    To the convention.

    If he wants the things he’s been a conduit for to stay in the limelight, then he must keep them in the limelight. And for now, that means he keeps himself in the limelight.

    If he backs down, shuts up, or in any way ‘goes away’, the ‘establishment’ will move to bulldoze everything from the past few months down the memory hole.

    They will frame these past months in the most condescending and ultimately dismissive way they can – a kind of pat on the head before getting down to their ‘pragmatism’ and some insincere platitudes thrown at the memory of Sanders, those voters, that movement and the supposedly ‘unrealistic’ wishes and desires it embodied.

  5. Paul 5

    To the convention.
    Clinton and the establishment are hoping the movement he is part of will fade away.
    Time for a Panama Paper or a wiki leak to unveil how Clk to represents the banking and financial interests.

  6. whateva next? 6

    Well, once again I am inspired by Robert Reich, a very wise and wonderful man.

  7. mike 7

    Sanders has opened a fantastic window on where things might go from here, all of which is beautifully expressed in Reich’s letter.He has shone a powerful light on a future wherein the dictatorship of salesmen is a happily forgotten nightmare. He has single-handedly changed the environment within which ‘establishment’ progressive politicians can work. A contribution that all of us with progressive political views are grateful for.

    But, unfortunately, he didn’t win.

    More progressive people, in more states, voted for Hillary Clinton, because they wanted her to be their candidate for president. Sure, she won the politics of relationships and networking within the Democratic Party structure. No crime, surely?. But does that mean she has no vision for her country or for her people? No.

    I think, to belittle one of our own candidates before she has even had a chance to show us what she can do – to undermine a woman because she does it ‘her’ way, and not ‘his’ way is, sadly, far to common on our side of the political divide.

    I’m happy to stand with the woman progressive people have chosen to represent them after a properly vigourous struggle of ideas. There are very many young people among them, but more pertinent to me as a lefty, is the support she has received from African Americans. They’ve backed her to the hilt from a position of real need for an effective progressive politician. Those people, many of whom are at the social bottom, have seen something in her they admire, something her ‘critics’ are blind to. Bernie’s university educated white middle class fans are welcome of course, but they don’t have a monopoly on wisdom.

  8. Don't worry. Be happy 8

    Hillary is a fake. It stands out a mile. She oozes sham. To the Convention.

    • Tom 8.1

      I know you want me to write.

      One great mother, one great wife. I like this a lot, at least I can say I will be very happy, if he will have me.

      I adore both of you.

      I’m quite positive you two will figure it all out.

  9. hoom 9

    I think its notable that he won the Northern states & Killary won the South.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries_results_by_county%2C_2016.svg

    Though, Obama won I think mainly in the high-density places more than on the North/South divide & Killary got a lot of that high-density.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/2008prescountymap.PNG
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/2012_Presidential_Election_by_County.svg

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Can we please have an establishment loyalist make a comment about how Bernie Sanders needs to bow out for the good of the Democratic Party and for the good of Hilary Clinton

  11. Steve Withers 12

    I think Sanders carrying on is a good strategic move. It creates the conflict the media love to cover…and gives Clinton a chance to look dignified and presidential. Making Sanders he running mate would be an awesome idea. If she doesn’t do it, she’ll be displaying the lack of insight and good judgment that has always made me doubt her.

    Without Sanders, Clinton risks disappearing behind the shadow of Trump. As far as I can tell she’s been all but invisible but for the ‘race’ with Sanders. I haven’t head BOO about any policy of hers.

  12. Ad 13

    President Obama’s letter to Hillary Clinton:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9W0F2mz1jc

    • crashcart 13.1

      I think he has handled this very well. Indications have been that he supported Hilary for a while but he has waited until she has it locked up and then got in behind her publically. As unlikely as it was if Bernie had won and Obama had come out earlier then it would have been difficult.

  13. AmaKiwi 14

    Dear Bernie,

    If you don’t mind downsizing, we will be voting for dictator in about 16 months. Dictator is a lot more fun than president because you don’t have to take crap from a Congress and Supreme Court

    We’d love to have you.

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