Full disclosure: I'm not a Bernie Sanders fan. Perhaps it's because my memories don't stop at the year 2000 when some believe Ralph Nader's third party candidacy cost Al Gore the presidency. Those people have to look further back in time--Bernie Sanders is making us relive 1968. His determined bid to radicalize the Democratic Party, and the zealotry of his supporters, could well propel Donald Trump into the Oval Office, much the same way Richard Nixon squeaked by Hubert H. Humphrey because disaffected Democrats and Independents reluctantly rallied behind The Happy Warrior too late to carry the election.
That indeed would be a radical achievement for Sanders, not one to be proud of, however.
One of the first politicians to openly fight to end segregation, Humphrey was a true progressive from a state, Minnesota, that was truly progressive back then. His loyalty as vice president to Lyndon Baines Johnson kept him from breaking off support for the war in Vietnam until late in the election campaign.
The anti-war activists never forgave him. By the time some fell in line behind him, Nixon could not be stopped. Instead of burying the Republican Party under 12-16 consecutive years of Democratic presidencies, the disaffected Democrats and Independents provided Nixon and the GOP a life line which ultimately gave us Watergate.
Now Sanders and his supporters could very well be handing the keys to the White House to Trump. Donald Trump!!! Are they so crazed for revolution that they would send our country back in time by enabling a Republican president to be elected to work with a Republican Senate, a Republican House and a Republican-stacked judiciary? Apparently so, as quotes from The New York Times show.
Enough already! Sanders must stop attacking Hillary and focus all his vitriol at Trump.
Bernie Sanders is Jewish, as am I. He grew up in Brooklyn, as I did. He went to Brooklyn College. Me, too. But there is no joy, no pride in seeing Sanders succeed any more than he has because it would harm, perhaps fatally, Clinton's election as the first woman president. He is damaging the Democratic Party he just recently joined. He is building a wall his supporters will not cross in November to vote for Clinton if she is the party nominee.
I often wonder how Afro-Americans feel about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. How could they feel any pride when he consistently turns his back on his heritage. Earlier this week he was the lone dissenter on a case that overturned the conviction and death sentence of an alleged killer because Georgia prosecutors had systematically excluded blacks from his trial jury. This was no bleeding heart liberal decision. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. wrote the opinion and fellow conservatives Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy concurred.
Thomas repeatedly fails to see the recurring discrimination Afro-Americans suffered and continue to endure. Bernie Sanders is the Jewish American version of Clarence Thomas.
Perhaps Sanders, and for that matter any politician who wants to speak authoritatively about the Arab-Israeli conflict, should live in and not just visit Israel. Yes, Sanders spent time on a kibbutz some 50 years ago. Today Israel is much different, as are its neighbors.
Let him live next to the Gaza Strip for a month. Live with the constant threat of missile and mortar bombardments and the uncertainty that attack tunnels are being dug under your very back yards. Then, spend a month in Gaza and see how Hamas has transformed the land into a military zone among residential communities, how Hamas has diverted home building material into tunnel construction, how Hamas indoctrinates children to hate Israelis and Jews.
Perhaps then Sanders et al would understand why Israel is justified in retaliating not just in kind but in force when Hamas or its surrogates strikes. Hamas wants to wipe Israel off the map. Wants to kill Jews. Israel just wants to live in peace.
Let's be clear. I abhor actions that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has taken. It is appropriate and acceptable to criticize Israeli policy. But it is neither appropriate nor acceptable to question Israel's response when its enemy is sworn to its destruction. Survival trumps a proportional response to terror. Only a fool engages in combat hoping for a stalemate.
I am not a one-issue candidate, but Bernie Sanders' position on Israel has made me more sympathetic to many of my co-religionists who vote Israel right or wrong. In a close election, Jewish voters in New York, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey and other states who are repulsed by the influence Sanders is trying to wield could pull the Trump lever and send our country into an abyss we could be in for generations.