Thursday, March 31, 2016


Isn't it time to put an end to this foolish and potentially self-destructive trash talk among Democrats?

I'm truly alarmed by the discord amongst those of us who basically agree with everything the good Senator, Bernie Sanders, has to say. There are those, on the one hand, who agree with what he has to say but are also willing to pay serious attention to Hillary Clinton's candidacy, given her personal tenacity, her intelligence, her years of experience, her carefully considered--and, yes, reworkable as appropriate--policy positions, her in-depth knowledge on an impressive range of topics vital to this nation, and more.

There are those, on the other hand, who love Bernie Sanders (as do I) and dismiss Hillary out of hand (as I do not). They suggest, coyly, that they might not vote for her; some even go so far as to say they would never consider voting for her. They seem willing to buy into the bill of goods the Republicans have been selling about her for decades: that she's untrustworthy, greedy, domineering, self-promoting--the stereotypical caricature of the woman most feared by weak men who feel threatened by female power. They castigate her for accepting speaking fees which I've no doubt they'd be happy to accept themselves, were they to be offered. They blame her for working within a "system" of which they disapprove, but which happens to be the very "system" upon which, like it or not, this country has functioned for more years than any of us can remember--and that's unlikely to change overnight, short of a far more dangerous revolution than the one Bernie Sanders envisions. They label her "warmonger" with seeming blissful disregard for the dangerous and critical complexity of a world in which terror, civil war, territorial aggression, and ruthless brutality thrive.

Well, I myself harbor a hatred for violence of any kind. I myself recoil at the futility of war. I myself rail against injustice in all its forms--whether racial, social, or financial. I was brought up, in Europe, in a family dedicated to the socialist causes I still unabashedly embrace. I'll match my credentials against anyone's. And I resent it, frankly, when those holier-then-I presume to question the candor and authenticity of my values and compare them unfavorably with their own, as though I were blind to their superior wisdom.

Let's not trip ourselves up over our own righteousness. There's truth to the Voltairian premise that "perfection is the enemy of the good." The fact that I can't and don't expect the proximate fulfillment of every one of my social and political aspirations does not disqualify me from thoughtful analysis and nuanced judgment.

Needless, here, to evoke an alternative future for this country, should our obtuse mutual disrespect open the door for ANY Republican candidate in November. Write your own scenario, on the national or international stage, for generations yet to come. As a reminder, though, two words should strike a note of salutary caution for us all. Well, three: the Supreme Court.

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