Thursday, March 10, 2016

The nerve-wracking Bernie vs. Hillary primary.

At least for me it hasn't been easy to follow the democratic presidential primaries. As a pretty huge (yuge) supporter of Bernie Sanders, I have been really worried about how well he's doing in the race.

For example, on Tuesday night I tried my best to go to bed early, so that I wouldn't have to worry about the democratic presidential primary in Michigan. I wanted to fall asleep so that I could simply check the results (EST +7) when I'd wake up the next morning.

After all, I knew that if Bernie Sanders would lose to Hillary Clinton in Michigan - he was down by an average of 21% in polls - he almost certainly wouldn't be able to recover from that loss.  He would have to drop out of the race sooner or later.

The biggest reason that I've been so worried is because Hillary isn't a good candidate by almost any definition. Just about the only genuinely progressive thing about her is that she's a proponent for women's reproductive rights - and that's about it.

Pretty much everywhere else she's a right-wing republican that you can't support. That is that she's for endless wars, against universal health-care, pro death penalty,  pro wall-street, pro big pharma and for privatizing social security too.

Bernie on the other hand is simply the better candidate. Among other things, he wants to raise the minimum wage to 15$ per hour, wants medicare for all, is a staunch proponent of free college education - and unlike Clinton, voted against the Iraq war.

He's also for raising taxes for the rich, wants to expand social security, wants to help the environment, is for reinstating Glass-Steagall, wants to overturn 'Citizens United' and wants to get rid of the private prison industrial complex.

So knowing how much was at stake two nights ago, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that it wasn't easy to fall asleep. All these things were running in the back of my mind and I couldn't stop worrying about them.

Unfortunately, even though I did my best, I didn't managed to sleep for more than like two hours before I woke up again.  Even though I went back to bed, I only managed to get two more hours of sleep,  which wasn't enough.

So I decided to stay up and started following the primary results with my smart phone. I felt that Bernie had to have a decent chance, especially because he had done so well during the last two debates on Sunday and Monday.

I felt that there's no way that these primary voters could be so uninformed that they'd vote for Hillary, who's such an obvious wolf in sheep's clothing. It takes a genuinely ignorant person to vote for a compromised candidate like her.

So I started following many pages: from The Young Turks live show to CNN and MSNBC, from Daily Kos to Democratic Underground and Crooks & Liars. I kept refreshing the pages hoping for new information.

Those were very long five hours for me. I got out of bed and went back in. I got hungry and had to eat. My smart-phone ran out of battery and had to be recharged. I visited the bathroom and then got back to check the latest results.

Fortunately, after all that sweating and worrying and after all that anguish,  it turned out that I hadn't given up my precious sleep for nothing. All that pressure and feeling that that my mind was falling apart had been worth it.

That is because against all odds, Sanders had pulled off the biggest upset in the democratic presidential primary history. He had managed to win Michigan by 25 000 votes, something that none of the pollsters were able to predict.

He won, even though very few people in the media and in the press had faith in him. Most people in the newsmedia had written him off and had hoped that this would have been the evening of Hillary's coronation.

But that didn't happen and against the wishes of the establishment, Bernie Sanders is still in the game. There's a pretty decent chance that he can still win the nomination, even though everyone in the media is against him.

It won't be easy though, especially because next Tuesday we are going to have another round of crucial primaries in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. These are the states where he has to outperform those polls again.

Yet, I can only hope that one way or the other Bernie is going to succeed and win. In that case it would show that you don't need all these super-pacs and billionaire and millionaire donors who would bankroll your campaign.

Instead, this would be a winning campaign that was supported by millions of ordinary working class citizens who had finally had enough. These people with their modest individual donations would be able to best Hillary Clinton's ruthless political machine.

In the end, it would be the greatest political upset in history and one of the greatest underdog stories of all time. A victory that would show that that we can still make a difference in this world and that we as people should never give in.

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