Advance Sanders' cause at ballot box in November
To the editor:
If Sen. Bernie Sanders had asked me whether he should run for president in the Democratic primaries, I would have told him to save his energy for the U.S. Senate. Fortunately, he didn't ask me, and as the enthusiasm mounted, I was thrilled to meet young people who were inspired by his campaign. I was just as happy to see people of my own 1960s generation who were "feeling the Bern" in a way few of us had felt since the anti-Vietnam War days of Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern.
Back then, some of us held our noses and voted for the "lesser evil." Others were repulsed by Hubert Humphrey, who represented both Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and Great Betrayal. After all, we had voted for Johnson because he promised to keep us from going further into Vietnam.
Many sat it out or voted for a minor party candidate. The rest, as they say, is history: the bombing of Cambodia, Watergate, the gutting of social welfare programs.
What kind of history do we want to make this year?
I'm hearing some of the same rhetoric of almost 50 years ago: that the Democratic candidate is irredeemably compromised, that a vote for her is a step too far.
Bernie's campaign has truly opened a "new frontier." For the first time in my political life, it's been OK to say, "I'm a Democratic socialist." His new group, "Our Revolution," and the campaign "Brand New Congress," which supports the down ticket, have now been launched in meetings throughout the country.
The energy is there. But to sustain the momentum, we need an administration that will not throw more obstacles in our way than we have now. And we need a Supreme Court with a majority friendly to the Constitution. Think of working to stop the deportation of millions of our neighbors vs. working for better health care or to take back the House in the mid-term elections.
Bernie's not asking us to vote for a "lesser evil." He's asking us to vote for the greater good.
Maxine Phillips, Great Barrington, Maxine Phillips is the volunteer editor of "Democratic Left," a publication of Democratic Socialists of America.