It pains me to see the attacks on Markos Moulitsas for an opinion with much merit. It pains me even more that many liberals continue to fail at what we preach -- inclusiveness of all people, inclusiveness of ideas, opinions, and thoughts without fear.
Before I start my prose let me state categorically I am neither a fan of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or any of the Democratic candidates. I believe Hillary Clinton is too close to Wall Street and no longer has a real affinity for the poor or the middle-class. That is easily inferred.
Bernie Sander’s initial single focus on inequality as he ignores local and international social and military factors including the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is very problematic. I do love his inequality message along with his more redistributive solutions which are in fact the only economic solutions in an economy like ours.
Markos Moulitsas correctly identifies Bernie Sanders’ multicultural problem. Moreover what he suggests could have been Bernie Sanders’ action following the Black Lives Matter protest at Netroots Nation is spot on. Markos said,
He could have taken the stage and invited those young protesters up with him. He could’ve explained that while he would love to talk about economic issues, he was struck by their passion and the momentous struggle they face.
He could’ve turned his appearance into a substantive conversation on an issue that still receives inadequate attention. Sharing that stage would have brought him credibility and accolades no money or speech could ever secure. Instead, he turned a critical part of the Democratic base against him.
So while it may be too late for Sanders, he should serve as a cautionary tale to future Democratic candidates: An exclusively white, male inner circle will not serve you well.
I tried to address my disappointment with many of our Liberal brothers and sisters as tactfully as possible in my last Sunday essay
for the manner in which many eviscerated the actions of Black Lives Matter. The reaction to Markos telling a truth about the structure of Bernie Sanders’ campaign’s leadership is similar and probative.
The income inequality message is powerful and it affects us all. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) message requires the majority who do not have the existential problem faced by Black people and others to look beyond their own immediate interests, to look beyond an issue they are not predisposed to see, and to look at their own prejudices. It is much easier not to. It is much easier at times to project.
It is evident from his writings that Markos Moulitsas supports Hillary Clinton. He has his reasons. The reality is that they are quite rational. Hillary Clinton will likely be the nominee. She likely has the best chance of being president.
The reaction of many in our liberal base to Markos and BLM is the exact reason why she is the only Democrat likely to win. I love Bernie Sanders’ economic message. To Black and Brown and others, while the message is great, many do not see the realization of that message necessarily getting to them. (e.g., When the housing market boomed the Brown and Black population came on at the end at lost it all first.)
For Bernie to win, as he says himself, you need a revolution. A revolution requires a movement that looks like America. Bernie Sanders’ movement does not. Many supporting Bernie Sanders cannot see that an economic message is not enough. Hillary Clinton currently has a hodgepodge coalition. As such the pragmatic choice for most would be Hillary Clinton.
Do you want Bernie Sanders? Do you think his message is one that can address all Americans? An insular view will not get us there. It requires seeing America through the eyes of many. My friends, I did not see that at Netroots Nation and I am not seeing it in the reaction to Markos Moulitsas’ ‘The Hill’ piece. If you want a real change from our current monarchy there is a hell of a lot of work to be done at the grass roots in the suburbs, the barrios, the ghettos, the cities, the farms, etc. Most are rallying and blogging and not engaging broadly.