So everyone knows by now that Hillary Clinton was nominated yesterday for the office of President by the Democratic National Convention. Everyone except some of the Bernie children in their first rodeo knew it was going to happen.
Unlike the last several Democratic National Conventions it did not happen by acclamation. Bernie apparently insisted on a roll call of the states to give his supporters a chance to actually cast their votes both for the record and for posterity.
And so it began. Alabama!
Two thousand three hundred eighty two votes were required for the nomination. Bernie received 1,865 with Hillary securing 2,842 including hundreds of votes from unelected “super delegates” representing the party establishment.
Vermont had passed during the roll call in order to be last. Bernie sat with his state delegates and moved that the convention nominate Hillary; in actuality it had already happened. What he did not ask was that the nomination be made unanimous which would have wiped out the actual vote count.
No. Bernie wanted the vote recorded for posterity.
His brother cast the last vote representing overseas Democrats with tears in his eyes in memory of their parents “for my brother! Senator Bernie Sanders.” Bernie lips were pinched in order not to lose it on national television.
Hundreds of Bernie supporters left the hall as the Hillary hoopla began.
And thus begins a political campaign with both candidates having the highest levels of mistrust among voters in American history.
Trump has been in Florida these last few days; there is a good chance that whoever wins Florida will win the Presidential election. Hillary was here last week. My phone is already ringing from robo-calls and requests for money. Signs are beginning to decorate the Florida roads and flats.
Last night I watched the convention after the roll call nominating Hillary. It was on from maybe 7 P.M. until perhaps midnight as I had a couple of coffees, a snack, watched while smoking a cigar outside in the lanai.
And I thought about where I came from and my dad – a white working man with an 8th grade education and a union card. And I knew why Donald Trump is so popular among white working men without college degrees.
During those four or five hours I saw one female speaker after another. Black women, Hispanic women, white women, disabled women, Native American women, “dream” girls. They talked about love, don’t hate, inclusion for gays, the disabled, Muslims, single mothers, equal pay, glass ceilings, our children, young girls all over the world yadayadayada. Rich celebrities joined in – more about equality and equal pay and glass ceilings. I guess I was to feel sorry for millionaire female celebrities.
The only male on the speaker’s rostrum last night was Bill Clinton.
Oh wait. There was a young man with a rare form of dwarfism who spoke briefly.
I did not see one representative of the lower white working class. Not one. Not one representative of a union. Not one white male from a rural area of West Virginia, Pennsylvania or Ohio. Not one white male from the rust belt created by Bill Clinton’s trade policies.
Last night there was no one in the Democratic Party addressing his issues, his concerns. Bernie Sanders had been defeated.
And we wonder where Trump gets his support.
I never was a supporter of the “new left” in the 1960s. I opposed the Vietnam War even though I served four years in the Army. The new left of the time made one critical mistake – they forgot the working class. Folks like my dad; 8th grade education, union man, who busted his ass all of his life and died of lung disease at 56. The new left was never there for him and those like him. Once the college kids got out of the draft they went home and sat on the couch.
And those lower class whites whom they ignored voted for Richard Nixon by the millions – they were the old “silent majority.” And then they voted for an actor.
Today the “Hillary left” continues to see the white working class not as allies but primarily as bigots, misogynists, racists, and homophobes, thereby condemning those often at the near-bottom rung of the economy to the bottom rung of the culture as well. A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to “check his privilege” by elite students at Ivy League colleges.
And so they wait, and they steam, and they lash out. This was part of the emotional force of the tea party: not the advancement of racial minorities, gays, and women but the demonization of the white working-class world, the culture and way of life of the deer hunters.. Obama never intended this, but he became a symbol to many of this cultural marginalization.
The less educated working classes will never be allied with the left so long as their morals are roundly mocked, their religion deemed primitive, and their economic prospects decimated; indeed the very way they talk about reality is described as a kind of problem for the nation to overcome.
The Hillary left lost the working man a long time ago. It is condescending and sounds like privileged Ivy Leaguers telling the po’ common folk what is good for them and how ignorant they are.
Our “Hillary left” seems so much more concerned by the issues I consider marginal than by the increasing income inequality and the plight of the working man. Which is one of the reasons so many working class white men, hanging on by a thread, are backing a billionaire. If Hillary loses this election she will lose it in the rural areas of the nation decimated by the trade policies and corporatism of modern Democrats.
She may lose it because working class whites in those boarded up towns are looking for someone to lead them out of Egypt and they had no one to listen to last night. Indeed, many don’t bother tuning in anymore.
A sizable majority don’t trust her promises anyway.
Bernie will return to the Senate and if the Democrats retake a majority he will wield new power as a leader of a new left whose primary focus is on the working man. There he can pressure Clinton to follow through on her platform promises. The “revolution” may continue.