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Monday, June 13, 2016

Purity tests

It's been nearly a week since the California primary and at the time I was writing this there were still some votes not counted (roughly 20% of all the votes cast), and although Bernie Sanders has picked up some additional votes and delegates, he's not going to flip the state.

This past week I've seen fellow progressives turn on Elizabeth Warren, who up till now was seen as one of the bright shining lights of the Democratic party.  She's a villain now because she came out and supported Clinton. 

She tries to explain herself here: 

Personally it makes sense to me.   Warren may be a "liberal" but she is still a Democrat (and so, technically, I'm I) but Warren is first and foremost a Democrat.  She's supporting the ticket.

For many of the so called "Bernie or Bust" crowd this is seen as a sell out.  Time will tell if it hurts her politically or not but Warren is a smart woman and a former lawyer.  I'm sure she did the math and probably figures that in order for Clinton to win over the 30 to 40% of the party that is against her she'll need a strong liberal behind her.  

And that will lead to a future run for the POTUS or a possible VP spot. 

Which brings me to the crux of this article.

I may agree with many of the core of the so called "Bernie or Bust" movement.   To quote Thomas Jefferson; "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."  For me, all forms of government become corrupt over time.  It is in our human nature to want to protect the status quo. To prevent change...however at the same time change is necessary.  Thus we need a "storm" now and again.

Our government is no longer a democracy but a plutocracy.  I've given my reasons I can not vote for Ms. Clinton before, because I still feel that a "little rebellion now and then is a good thing."  To shake up the party, to bring change is beneficial.

What I am seeing right now in some of my Bernie or Busters is a "purity test" of sorts.  If you don't support X then you must be against us.  If you don't support Y then you must be against us.

The problem with this is very, very simple.   It was not that long ago that many in the Tea Party were calling party establishment people "RINO's" or "Republicans in Name Only."  That lead to the Republican party shifting to the hard right and lead to the current obstructionism that we are seeing today. 

This Republican purity to "traditional conservative values" has lead to the state of Kansas to become bankrupt since they have cut taxes to a point where they can no longer afford to keep even basic things like schools open.

In my adopted state of Florida it has lead to our Governor to battle not only his fellow Republicans but Democrats as well on such things as climate change (Florida is on the front line of climate change and many Republicans here go against the party's official line).   

Blindly following a political agenda in the name of "purity" can only lead to disaster.  The world is not a black and white place but full of interesting greys.  If your not willing to accept or at least listen to an opposing viewpoint, then we risk using the term "LINO's" and leading the Democratic party into the mire that the Tea Party lead the Republican's into. 

We don't need a liberal version of Donald Trump. 

Now that being said please note that I"m NOT changing my views.  I am still supporting Bernie Sanders and the movement he started.  I am still NOT voting for Hillary. 

All I'm asking is that you read your history.  Study some to avoid the mistakes made in the past.  I worry when I see calls for a "Peoples Party" because history has shown us that a "Peoples Party" really isn't for the's for purity.  Then you can have only so many "pure believers" and that leads to tyranny.

Isn't that what we are supposedly fighting against? 

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