My inner journey with Sanders (to date) Phase 2
I left off Phase 1 of my journey with Bernie's announcing informally on Thursday, April 30, 2015, that he would run for the Democratic nomination for President. http://caucus99percent.com/content/my-inner-journey-sanders-date#new The informal announcement was amazingly terse and rushed, ending with Bernie's saying something like, "I have to go to work now," as he headed toward the Capitol building. Jon Stewart mocked the manner of the informal announcement with the already played out "grumpy old man" schtick.
The purpose of such an announcement, I assume, was to get people donating. Certainly, no directions were given to his supporters. I had thought he had a great chance of winning as an Independent, but much less a chance as a Democrat, but a chance, nonetheless. However, I was willing to donate to a long shot, just to make sure Americans heard Senator Sanders' message.
By the time of his informal announcement, I had already made one or two donations. I kept donating and started fundraising, But, things already seemed .....odd. His supporters were to meet with each other and decide how to support him and then to meet with each other to watch his debates. As a supplementary tool this would have been fantastic. As the only tool, it was.....puzzling.
People were scrambling to write their own leaflets, to get them translated into Spanish and other languages. As I met one obstacle after another to jumpstarting my own participation and enlisting others, I began to wonder why, for example, his campaign was not putting leaflets online in various languages for us to print out. Where was his Correct the Record website? Obama had had one; Hillary had one. Where was Bernie's?
Although Hillary kept her hands clean, as she had in 2008, Hillary's surrogates and supporters were all over the place attacking Bernie. Where were the facts about Hillary? Where was the campaign's fight against the ludicrous campaign schedule? While thousands of people stood on line for Bernie's rallies, why was no one handing them voter registration forms to fill out for collection as they entered the venue and a leaflet about primary voting in their state. Wasn't I donating and fundraising precisely so that his campaign could do these kinds of things?
Why was Bernie just writing off the early South Carolina primary and not paying enough attention to the other early states? His criss crossing the country and holding early rallies in places like L.A. when the California primary was not until June had me scratching my head. So many question that went unanswered. I formulated a variety of my own theories so that at least some of these things made sense in my own mind. Mostly, I just kept my mouth shut about them and continued donating and fundraising, attending meetings, etc.
After the California primary, I came across, for the first time, a New York Times article that had been published April 3, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/04/us/politics/bernie-sanders-hillary-cli... Is it true? As we all know, media vacillated between ignoring Bernie and undermining him and the NYT was among the worst offenders. Also, given the timing, the motive for the article could certainly be: "No, no one is cheating. Bernie has been losing this primary 'fair and square.' No, it's not media's fault, either. Bernie doomed his own campaign from the off by never actually intending to run to win." Nonetheless, dear diary, the article rang true to me because it seemed to answer all my questions. I got uneasy, then angry.
At first, I could not reconcile my reactions to the New York Times article with my willingness all along to do all I humanly could, just to make sure as many people as possible heard his message. What was my problem? Then it came to me. Bernie asked me to donate, raise money, attend events, etc. to support his run for President, not simply to support his promoting his message. I always knew he could lose, but I never knew he assumed he would lose. I never knew that he was not doing all he possibly could to win and giving his Senate duties a greater priority than his wife and other campaign advisors wanted. His fundraising emails certainly gave me no clue of all that.
In a different context, taking money for a reason other than the stated reason or the reason conveyed implicitly to the mark is a crime, namely, taking money under false pretenses. Worse, because I solicited donations from others without disclosing that Sanders had gone in not actually intending to do more than spread his message, I feel that I induced them to donate under false pretenses; and I feel I owe those donors an apology, maybe even a refund. Dearest diary, I still am not sure how to feel about all this.