Why (or why not) to vote for Bernie Sanders

I realised yesterday how to summarise Bernie Sanders to other Australians: he’s Gough Whitlam.

If I’d ever crossed paths with him when he was alive, I’d have fucking salaamed the bloke.

It’s amazing how much love people can have for a leader who actually leads.

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You bring up incredibly good points. I’ll put together a response in a little bit and post it here.

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Here’s how I like to summarize Bernie Sanders to other Americans.

Bernie Sanders is similar to Consumer Reports magazine. You can trust Consumer Reports’ reviews more than most other magazines because they receive most of their money from subscribers instead of the industries that produce the products they review.


He’s fair dinkum.



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[quote=“awjt, post:99, topic:59394”]
I am aware on a vague level that grassroots movements are:

  1. unpredictable

  2. harder to run successfully[/quote]

Well, after intelligently observing Howard Dean’s grassroots campaign as you have, I can certainly understand your skepticism. However, there’s some critical differences between Sanders and Dean. There’s also a very different grassroots dynamic (offline and online) between now and well over a decade ago.

Grassroots may certainly seem unpredictable on a micro-scale, but I haven’t found that to be the case on a macro-scale in the last decade where they’ve culminated together to push forward major, mutual agendas. Grassroots movements (often collectively) are fiercely strong and quite successful due to their nature (see below).

Unlike astroturf and other disingenuous campaigns, true grassroots movements tend to be surrounded by people that are fiercely loyal to the overall cause. And, very importantly, the core of the grassroots causes themselves are based upon transparency and honesty (more on this important dynamic below as well).

People that participate in astroturf can be incredibly unpredictable. There’s very little actual loyalty among astroturfers. Astroturfing participants can easily be bought and turned against the very goals they were enlisted to fight. There’s nothing more fun and enlightening than picking the cross-referenced brains of exiled astroturfers whose loyalty can be bought for a few bucks. Not to mention how easy it is to position moles into place who happily collect money while also collecting vital strategic information.

Lack of loyalty is a bitch nowadays. Hahaha…

Pundits and astroturfers often lack any real heart or genuine fortitude behind their efforts because they know they’re full of shit and many of them are cowards anyway. Some might even dare grow a conscience over time and then the campaign is really screwed. At any moment, they turn into whistleblowers and bring the campaign down (or stunt it drastically) by simply telling the truth. That’s a 2015 dynamic they can’t properly contend with anymore. Once the lies are exposed, they stay exposed and damage control isn’t what it used to be.

For example:

People that join grassroots movements aren’t like this and don’t do this. For one thing, there’s no catastrophic lies to expose against a truly grassroots agenda anyway. If there was, then it wouldn’t be deserving of a grassroots movement in the first place, would it? An agenda based upon a pack of lies isn’t the foundation for a progressive, grassroots movement in the first place. There’s quite a lot of power, stability and predictability in that dynamic.

For example, check out this huge list of of half-truths and lies that astroturfers use and watch them get systematically destroyed one-by-one with facts and evidence:

The astroturfers can only come up with so many lies over time that keep getting shot down until they simply start running out of plausible half-truths and lies and start sounding absolutely ridiculous. They lose all credibility eventually.

At that point? They are exposed, very vulnerable — and people like my compatriots and myself move in… for the kill. It’s just a matter of time and careful, diligent watching…

a different morphism than typical big-donor corporate campaigns, like Hillary’s and all of the current R’s.

Thank goodness for that.

Since overall grassroots movements are based upon facts, transparency, evidence and truth – they have tremendous (and predictable) staying power. If one group fails and peters out with flawed methodologies, other groups will pick up the slack (with perhaps better leadership and structure) and continue fighting.

Actually, this often happens in parallel with multiple grassroots groups working towards the same goals in concert (unknowingly or otherwise). It’s like a harmonic, self-healing system. One goes down (perhaps unpredictably) while others (predictably) keep going until the overall goals are reached.

That gives grassroots an overall much stronger resilience in the long-game than more corporate, disingenuous, monolithic approaches. A monolithic approach runs into a “hitch” and it can be ‘game over’ until an entirely new structure is put together. Also, since corporate approaches are often seated upon dishonesty and tricky-dicky marketing — they tend to have to rename their entire agenda and ditch all the “old” participants who have had to slither away with damaged reputations, etc.

Disingenuous campaigns require rampant flip-flopping. The public is getting tired of it. Just look at John Kerry. Just the perception of him being a flip-flopper helped to destroy his campaign. Lucky for Sanders, we live in a different time where disingenuous Swift Boat-style campaigns are rather easily sniffed out online and destroyed. Meanwhile, blowback for failed, disingenuous campaigns can lead to a world of pain.

Speaking of flip-floppers. Clinton already has a genuine, critical problem in that area. This will be very destructive for her as time and public debates ensue.

The old way of using lies and half-truths to destroy someone like Sanders is screwed. That’s why we’re seeing growing desperation as Sanders’ campaign (with true grassroots support) gains steam. I mean, don’t get me wrong, as they get increasingly desperate, they’ll still try lies, half-truths and other bullshit whisper campaigns to see if it floats. However, in this day and age, most of it won’t float for long and they will damage themselves in the process.

And… sometimes they damage themselves so badly, they never really come back.

We don’t have that problem with grassroots movements. A true grassroots movement isn’t going to attract most scumbags like astroturf campaigns do.

The grassroots movement (no pun intended) to legalize marijuana had a steady, consistent, truthful message for the most part. Different grassroots groups made different strides over time with various methodologies. The movement made slow, but steady progressive gains wherever it could and some of us looked at past successes and failures, learned from them and took the reins from there. It wasn’t moving from a foundation based upon lies and half-truths, so moving it forward wasn’t stifled by those dire problems.

Those gains have stayed put for the most part as well. Despite the incredibly powerful pharmaceutical industry working against us among many other powerful foes, Colorado will never be going back to criminalizing marijuana thanks to our grassroots movement.

There’s now a very predictable motion going forward as well. More states will decriminalize and eventually we will reschedule and legalize it federally. We will be getting a lot of non-violent drug offenders out of jail and we will be getting their records expunged. There was and will be setbacks, but you can expect that from any institution including corporate startups. The difference is, we’re not going to shrivel up and die… we just keep evolving with a steady and sure overall progression.

The Occupy Wall Street mission was to change the national dialog through protest. Despite huge odds and an incredibly hostile corporate media, Occupy radically changed our national dialog and it’s shaped (and increasingly continues to shape) our presidential elections as well as local politics. Before Occupy, wealth disparity was kept hidden away from most of the public. It simply wasn’t a national discussion hardly at all. That was our reality.

Today, disparity is on the tip of most American’s tongues and polls show overwhelming, bi-partisan support against wealth disparity as well as an urgent need to do something about it. We were nowhere near that kind of public awareness beforehand and that public awareness has been a predictable foundation for a lot of things including Sanders’ rise as we speak. Mission accomplished.

The grassroots, civil rights movement has made permanent gains. The fight is obviously still ongoing against voter suppression and disenfranchisement from Republicans, but the right to vote for minorities will never be rescinded. The grassroots civil rights movement tackled that goal and is now moving on against further dire, inequality issues. That coordinated, grassroots movement moved predictably towards a goal and reached it. The fight continues, but that’s the nature of humanity, unfortunately.


On the other hand, in 2015, astroturf tends to get exposed at any moment and lose tremendous steam and focus as a consequence. Leaks and the spreading of information is outpacing the astroturf campaigns.

The widely astroturfed Tea Party, for example, is now in utter turmoil. Sure, they got some crazy people into office, but in the process they’ve fragmented, radicalized and weakened the Republican party overall. If it had been a truly grassroots movement instead of being corrupted by the Koch brothers, etc. — It would have gone in a very, very different direction.

prone to eventually reach a “breaking point” as in either they plummet off a cliff, such as Dean’s scream …

Remember Howard Dean’s campaign? It was revolutionary. And a lot of it was out of his control, too

how can Bernie differentiate for the better?

Dean didn’t lose because of grassroots movements over a decade ago. He lost due to a lack of powerful, grassroots movements during that time. Unlike Dean, Sanders doesn’t have novel concepts to bring forth to the American public (except, perhaps, for a politican telling the truth).

Today, the national discussion has already been shifted to address wealth disparity via the Occupy movement. Now, whether some misinformed liberals and chronically misinformed conservatives want to thank the Occupy movement for that fact or not is beside the point. The point is the movement succeeded and we’re now harvesting the fruits of that grassroots movement’s labor.

Dean certainly gathered a grassroots campaign, and he admirably pioneered gathering funding via the Internet — However, Dean then later dropped his grassroots movement through his own poor organization. Unlike Sanders who has a tremendous history of working with grassroots movements, Dean didn’t know how to handle grassroots supporters. Sorry, but Dean’s 1973 Citizens’ Waterfront Group experience didn’t come close to cutting it compared to Sanders.

Dean also relied too much on growing anger against the Iraq war, but too little on other issues which would have enabled and expanded his burgeoning grassroots supporters. He couldn’t push too hard against disparity at the time because there wasn’t a grassroots campaign that had paved the way for him and our country at large.

Look, the negative issues with his campaign in 2004 go on and on… the “scream” was just the proverbial tip of the ice berg.

Would the “scream” drop Dean out of the race today in 2015? Probably not. The media landscape (and the public’s reaction to it) has changed a bit since then.

Would his critical mistakes in regard to his lack of proper organization drop him today? Probably.

Did his nascent, inexperienced embrace of grassroots tactics kill his chances? No, it was the only reason he got as far as he did despite himself.

Now, flash forward to 2015 with Bernie Sanders. Our current reality.

• The disparity argument has already been paved by a large, very public grassroots movement that’s now splintered into hundreds of other powerful grassroots movements (like a hydra, baby). Sanders is supported overwhelmingly by these vast, multi-pronged grassroots movements throughout this nation.

Wondering how all that word-of-mouth is spreading for Sander’s huge crowds despite local media blackouts, etc.? It’s these grassroots people all over the nation doing their part. Some of whom are the same people that got the word out for Obama in order to destroy his challengers. Bernie’s got back from some of the most talented, badass grassroots activists this planet has ever been blessed with.

• Sander’s minimum wage agenda is already paved by an ongoing grassroots movement that’s already getting wages increased around the nation. Sanders is supported overwhelmingly by these very successful grassroots movements. Nevermind, Republicans. Hillary? Not so much, comparatively.

• Sanders’ past support of the LGBT grassroots movements is legendary and that movement is stronger than ever today than any other time in American history. And, they know damn well who was there with them from the beginning, and that wasn’t Hillary. Nevermind, Republicans.

• Sanders’ past legendary support of the the civil rights grassroots movement is being spread about as we speak. As we spread this info throughout communities across this nation, his support from minorities will explode. Sanders marched with MLK, Sanders went to jail for the civil rights movement. People are now finding this out and are reacting very positively in urban communities. We just had a famous rapper Tweet his support for Bernie and it’s spreading like wildfire as we speak.

• Anti-war movement. Sanders’ ant-war agenda is simply in tune with a war-weary American public who now know they were lied to by their government in order to march us into an incredibly tragic Iraq war that spawned ISIS. This movement even sent Obama/Kerry and the military-industrial complex backwards when they disingenuously pushed for war against Syria and got called out on it. Sanders voted against the Iraq war and the Gulf war (1st Iraq war). Hillary just needs to keep admitting she fucked up.

The list of powerful grassroots supporters for Sanders goes on and on…. I don’t have time to list all of them, but here’s just a few notable leaders, etc. from these following grassroots movements and organizations that have pledged to fight for Sanders (and are already doing so):

The Albany Project, Young Democratic Socialists, various Occupy movements in cities all over the nation including the very successful Occupy Sandy movement, Nonviolence International, (Ruckus Society), Overpass Light Brigade, Project Springboard, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Interoccupy, Chuy García Campaign, Girl Group Chicago, TRACERS, Changer, Not An Alternative, OWS Labor, CODEPINK, Sankofa, MayDay Space, Movement Net Lab, Down with Tyranny, Ready for Warren, Progressive Democrats of America, Occupy The Ballots, Coffee Party, Us Uncut, 99 Pickets, Occupy Faith, Occupy Judaism, Rockaway Wildfire, Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, Films For Action, Upworthy, Left Labor Project …….

And on… and on…. and on…. and on…. and on…… and on…

H is using more gimmicks like free shit to entice me to click, such as dinner-with-H drawings, free magnets, shirts, etc.
B is just asking for specific amounts, like $20.16, $3, etc.

Americans are getting tired of gimmicks. That’s why despite the lack of gimmicks, Sanders is raising large amounts of money despite the fact he’s refusing Super PACs and Wall Street bribes that Hillary is soaking up.

Sanders is sticking with the issues and Americans are responding. Hillary can stick with her gimmicks. Her gimmicks didn’t beat Obama and her gimmicks won’t beat Sanders. That’s why she’s desperately switching up her rhetoric wildly to the left. Will pandering to the left work again after the bullshit Obama pulled? I doubt it.

Hillary Clinton has a hell of a fight on her hands.

H has her minions all involved.

Yeah, and they are failing very badly already. Just one pathetic example is the recent slimy, underhanded attempt to paint Sanders as “too liberal” by one of Clinton’s operatives. That raised a lot of eyebrows from progressives all over the nation. The more the Hillary camp inadvertently admits they’re the old, stale status quo that won’t change shit, the more people are going to take another look at Sanders.

And, frankly, that’s their worst nightmare. Bernie Sanders is like a single payer system for health care. The more people find out about it and understand how it works, the more they support it. Clinton is in a catch-22. She can’t continue to attempt to ignore Sanders as his campaign continues to grow and attract media attention. But, she doesn’t want to challenge him on the issues because he’ll destroy her with his past track record and progressive stances up against her wish-washy, two-faced (and increasingly obvious) pandering.

Also Clinton’s “minions” are pale in comparison to the numbers of grassroots supporters that Sanders has. Sanders’ supporters are people that will speak about the issues (and how they are sincerely important to them and their family) instead of simply parroting hollow, soul-less talking points developed in a pandering marketing lab.

Even if Hillary was to end up with a higher quantity of devoted “minions” (which she won’t), she doesn’t have the quality of die-hard supporters that Sanders has. People with a genuine message of bottom-up support for Sanders instead of the typical, blow-hard, top-down, punditry-bullshit platitudes and politics-as-usual we see from Hillary’s camp.

would it even be useful to do anything different email-wise and web-wise?

I think the grassroots online campaign is already doing quite well with word-of-mouth. The main driver? The issues.

The issues are the foundation and Bernie has those down solid. I think spreading Feel The Bern memes will be good, but some of the most popular things I’ve seen is where Sanders’ camp simply states his position on major issues via Twitter, etc. — and it resonates and goes viral from there.

Clinton can pander and pretend to do the same thing, but unlike Sanders, a lot of her record (and massive funding from Wall Street) betrays her. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders doesn’t have to pander and lie to the public because his solid record and history backs him up.

The truth is setting Sanders’ free and at the same time it’s a dangerous shackle for people like Clinton.

The Republicans? Truth is cyanide to their campaigns in this day and age. Even the powerful fossil fuel industry can’t astroturf its way against a much more informed, interconnected public with much more access to counterspin.

That’s why we’re seeing incredible concessions starting to happen here and there such as network neutrality, a more powerful FCC, gay marriage, Republicans finally admitting climate change is real, the stalling of things like the TPP and disparity as an actual public platform even for some Republicans, etc. — They’re screwed.

Times have radically changed.

The old song and dance used to trick most of the public. Lies could be repeated often enough to indoctrinate a less-informed public much more easily even just 7 years ago or so. In 2015, some of those dynamic rules have changed.

Thank goodness, a lot of the status quo are still only realizing how much the dynamics have changed in 2015. They’ve gotten sloppy, too much hubris… while Sanders is hungry, seizes opportunities and sees his opportunity to pounce.

Sanders will win because of all these grassroots movements aligning to enable him — just as he will win as he symbiotically enables them as well. Far from being a hinderance in 2015, grassroots will help him to win. Meanwhile, I think Hillary has some old emails, leftist pandering and gimmicks to attend to…

Alot of a… sharks out there…try’na take a bite of somethin’

What’s hot

Lot of chameleons out there…try’na change up


On that note… @Kimmo too…

Bernie Sanders calls rivals’ cash dash 'a national disgrace’

Bernie Sanders on Tuesday is knocking his fellow presidential candidates’ last-minute cash dash before the FEC deadline, calling it “a national disgrace.”

“It is a national disgrace that billionaires and other extremely wealthy people are able to heavily influence the political process by making huge contributions,” he said in a statement. “The Koch brothers alone will spend more than the Democratic and Republican parties to influence the outcome of next year’s elections. That’s not democracy, that’s oligarchy.”


Hmm, I wonder if there’s an Australian pollie who’s experienced and staunch enough to get an updraft from the coming #Bernferno

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That is the correct reading. When Don Imus interviewed Howard Dean post-mortem, Imus asked him about how everything changed with the scream, and Dean’s reply was, “The wheels came off when we didn’t win Iowa.” Long before the scream. So, Dean was fully aware of the systemic problems far earlier than the scream, which was just the coup de grace. He was well aware that the grassroots movement that he started with had morphed into something else. Turf turning into astroturf? Something like that, as the Vermont-based grass was pulled up and replaced with a national campaign of a nature that had never before existed… and ended up being astroturf.

Correct. But also not just him; his staff as well. As a politician: smart and canny. As a doctor: not so good. As a politician-doctor: nobody had ever seen that in a Liberal. (conservo Frist was the other) As a political strategist? Nah. He had to hire that out. Those people were expensive and rare. He chose: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Trippi

Take a look at Trippi’s resume. Nuff said.

But… keep your eye on Tad Devine… we WILL see flavors of astroturf start to try to color the grass… how and when and how much is yet to be determined, but it’ll happen at some point, with this cast:

It’ll be a battle royale internally, and we will catch wind of it if we work on the campaign. Maybe we will have to organize against them to keep the whole thing real… Time will tell.

And on our side are these facts that need to be echo-chambered:

These details are what will get him selected, erh, sorry, I mean elected.

Lessig, where the fuck are you, man?


I just dropped a note on Lessig’s blog:

“Yo, Lessig. Where the fuck are you man? Get out there in front and start shilling Bernie. He’s our best bet.”

I don’t know what’s gonna wake him the fuck up, but he needs to get his head out of his butt and start helping.


Lessig has mentioned support for Bernie. I think he’s concerned that Sanders isn’t getting Super PAC money and that will end up crushing Sanders. Frankly, I’m not sure Lessig (like many others) quite understands the new dynamic we’re working with here in 2015.

Even just a few short years ago some of the offline/online hybrid methodologies and strategies we’re able to use today wouldn’t have had the same impact as we’re getting right now in 2015. I also don’t think Lessig perhaps grasps the incredibly powerful grassroots impetus that’s working behind the scenes all over this country right now.

I have tons of respect for Lessig, but I don’t think he’s the greatest strategist I’ve ever met. The formidable activists strategizing for Sanders right now are world class with quite a few successful notches in their belts.

Speaking of which, we strategized with other activists to learn from our various issues and mistakes in Colorado. Kind of similar to that “self-healing” grassroots dynamic I mentioned in my previous post.

We worked around the local TV blackout issue I mentioned here for Wisconsin. This is the numbers we would have had in Colorado if we had known then what we knew after the event:

10,000 people chanting “Feel The Bern” last night


The huge numbers are making national/international news as we predicted it would.

These numbers are going to continue to grow in ways that will make a lot of Americans begin to seriously question the credibility of political pundits who claim to speak from authority and keep claiming that Sanders can’t win against Hillary.


How did you get that picture of the tattoo that’s on my ass?


If anyone questions what kind of public speaker this man is… check this out from the other night to a crowd of 10,000 packed into a stadium.

This is Bernie Sanders remarking on the Republican billboard he saw in Wisconsin that labeled him an “extremist”:


For the 4th of July:

How Bernie Sanders fought for veterans:


The same media that discounted Bernie Sanders in the beginning seems to be having some revelations…

via link above: (emphasis mine)

How many times have you heard the phrase, “I like Bernie Sanders, but he can’t win,” uttered by people who identify themselves as progressives? The facts, however, illustrate that “Bernie Sanders can win” and nobody in politics foreshadowed the Vermont Senator’s latest surge in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Um… I wouldn’t say “nobody”…

via link above: (emphasis mine)

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there.

Unexpected by whom?

Yeah, um… Bernie Sanders can win and that’s been the case for a very long time now.


We’re in the fight of our lifetimes:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says they will raise 2.5 BILLION dollars. Her top donors are Wall Street banksters. Meanwhile, Republicans like Walker have billionaire sugar daddies.

Bernie Sanders has YOU. He’s rejected bankster money, Super PACs and billionaire sugar daddies.


Watched this last night…

Bernie Sanders is Jesus.

If he wins this election, I’m gonna start seriously considering emigrating to the US… there could be a golden age around the corner.


I’m trying to think of any past American president that genuinely fought for the middle and lower classes like Bernie Sanders will. I honestly can’t think of anyone that would really come close to Bernie.

A Sanders administration will be truly historic and revolutionary in every sense of the word.

I mean, look at this…

It will be wonderful to see the United States become something more resembling a representative democracy within our republic. If we look at the externalities of a Sanders administration, we can see that many lives will be improved and literally saved. I could feel that kind of positive energy at the CO event; hard to put into words really. I’ve been to plenty of rallies across the USA in the past and they felt nothing like that.

It’s time for the progressive naysayers to get off the sidelines and help us make history.


That’s if Bernie can keep from getting assassinated…

If the secret service can keep Obama from getting assassinated by all the racist, white right-wing nutjobs in the USA up until now, then Sanders should be fine.