The Democratic National Convention 2016: Be Like Bernie Sometimes politicians live in bubbles. Surrounded by yes men and only those that agree with everything he or she thinks, incredibly poor decisions can be made. In 1980, there was no one around to talk common sense to Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy. With the Republicans running a candidate that Democrats thought would be a drop kick to beat, Teddy decided to run against a flawed sitting president for the nomination of his party. The Kennedy mystique still held an almost irrational sway over many in the party of Jefferson and Jackson. Dreams of a return to Camelot did not die with Robert Kennedy, but rather died on a darkened dirt road on a small island in Massachusetts named Chappaquiddick in a haze of alcohol and stupidity when Ted Kennedy drove his car off an old wooden bridge. Eleven years earlier, Ted had killed one of his brother’s former campaign workers named Mary Jo Kopechne. The American people might have forgiven the accident itself, everyone has moments in their life they regret, but it was his cowardliness afterwards that was unforgivable. He ran from the accident. He left that poor girl in that vehicle and pretended he had never been there. It was an unforgiveable moral lapse. There was no one surrounding Kennedy that could make him understand that the American people were not going to put an individual behind the wheel of this country that they could not trust to drive their children home from school. So, Kennedy, even though he had not given up the skirt chasing and alcohol abuse that had led to the accident, ran for president. It was a nightmare of a campaign, painful to witness. Yet, President Carter had to spend millions to fend off Kennedy’s ill-fated efforts. It created a division in the party that needed to be healed at the convention that year. The Carter forces, who had given Kennedy a primetime speech, hoped that the Senator would mend fences and push the entire party behind the president. While he said some of the right words, for a few brief moments at that hall in New York City, he channeled the dream of Camelot and stole the convention. With his final words, “For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” the audience broke into applause for forty minutes. The rift in the Democratic Party that year never healed. Many Democrats stayed home or voted Republican for the first time. Jimmy Carter limped out of New York and went on to defeat against Ronald Reagan that October. Ted Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, Mr. Liberal, was one of the three or four reasons that Carter did not get a second term and helped give birth to the Reagan revolution with its huge out of control debts caused by trickle down economics. Many bad trends regarding middle class income and economic prosperity began under Reagan whether some among us admit it or not. The dream Senator Kennedy spoke of died under the weight of his own hubris that year and has taken decades to recover. Bernie Sanders is no Ted Kennedy. He ran in 2016 to remind many of the dreams the Democratic Party once held. He was a little known senator from a small state that might have been known by only avid C-Span watchers and myself. I attended one of his first town halls in Ames, Iowa. There were still plenty of seats available and I think I was the youngest one there by twenty or so years. It seemed in many ways like a Don Quixote tilting at windmills-like campaign. An aging socialist with almost no money and little cosmetic appeal facing off against probably the most well financed candidate for president this nation has ever produced. Damned if he did not almost do it. He re-awoke the dreams so many in the Democratic Party hold so dear. He made so many things that no longer seemed possible seem possible again. He reminded us that there is dignity in work. If you work full time, you should not live in poverty no matter what the job is. College should break the financial backs of those who seek to improve themselves. Wall Street doesn’t own our hearts nor represent what is best about America. Many of the things that were commonplace before 1980 were possible again. It would have been easy to have gotten bitter and screamed a pox against both party’s houses. Bernie didn’t. It would have been easy to slam Hillary as just a puppet of Wall Street. Bernie didn’t. It would have been easy to pull a Ted Cruz, try to stick a knife in your opponent. Bernie didn’t. Bernie Sanders showed a lot of class this week at the Democratic National Convention. Many claim Bernie sold out. Most of them are just pot stirrers that never listened to Senator Sanders at almost any of the debates and just like making waves. You cannot sell out when you have said all along that Hillary Clinton’s ideas are closer to yours than those on the right and that you would support whoever in the party claims the brass ring. Bernie is a politician. Being a politician is not a dirty word. Politics is the art of the possible. In order to get certain pieces of legislation through, he never insisted on an idealistic purity test or he would have remained a party of one in the congress and gotten nothing done. He understands, unlike Kennedy in 1980, that so much is at stake in this election. The next president will probably name at least two, maybe three Supreme Court justices. The fate of millions who have gained health coverage under Obama hangs in the balance. Global warming, education, the rights of gays and lesbians, and the treatment of those in the margins of our society; so much is at risk. He has always understood that it is better to take half a loaf than to throw yourself on the ground, kick and scream because you did not get your way. You might leave a legacy of a Trump revolution in your wake. So, Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary at the DNC. While he might be happy with no loaf at all, he understood that many in this country cannot afford to have the last few crumbs shaken out of their pockets, the poor, the weak, the outcasts, and those whose skin color or religion is not yours. If you truly care about the people, you sometimes swallow hard. It is called class. Many of the Bernie or bust bros and babes at the convention showed that they have no class. They are elitists that can survive four more years of trickle down economics and having their rights snuffed out. Too many of us can’t. Hillary might not pass the purity test, but she will fight to maintain all the achievements of the Obama administration and push for advances in areas that even Bernie might not have been able to achieve. She might be more business friendly than the bros and babes like and is a bit too hawkish when it comes to military affairs for my taste, but you cannot act like a five-year-old having a temper tantrum because you did not get the ice cream you wanted. You are the kid that wants to take your ball home because you did not get your way. Boos, catcalls, walk outs, and burning the American flag accomplishes nothing. Don’t walk away from the table because you are having a hissy fit. Don’t blame others when someone else sits down at the table and tries to take the food away out of the mouths of those whose need every morsel on their plate. Show some class. Be like Bernie.
 The Democratic National Convention 2016: Be Like Bernie Sometimes politicians live in bubbles. Surrounded by yes men and only those that agree with everything he or she thinks, incredibly poor decisions can be made. In 1980, there was no one around to talk common sense to Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy. With the Republicans running a candidate that Democrats thought would be a drop kick to beat, Teddy decided to run against a flawed sitting president for the nomination of his party. The Kennedy mystique still held an almost irrational sway over many in the party of Jefferson and Jackson. Dreams of a return to Camelot did not die with Robert Kennedy, but rather died on a darkened dirt road on a small island in Massachusetts named Chappaquiddick in a haze of alcohol and stupidity when Ted Kennedy drove his car off an old wooden bridge. Eleven years earlier, Ted had killed one of his brother’s former campaign workers named Mary Jo Kopechne. The American people might have forgiven the accident itself, everyone has moments in their life they regret, but it was his cowardliness afterwards that was unforgivable. He ran from the accident. He left that poor girl in that vehicle and pretended he had never been there. It was an unforgiveable moral lapse. There was no one surrounding Kennedy that could make him understand that the American people were not going to put an individual behind the wheel of this country that they could not trust to drive their children home from school. So, Kennedy, even though he had not given up the skirt chasing and alcohol abuse that had led to the accident, ran for president. It was a nightmare of a campaign, painful to witness. Yet, President Carter had to spend millions to fend off Kennedy’s ill-fated efforts. It created a division in the party that needed to be healed at the convention that year. The Carter forces, who had given Kennedy a primetime speech, hoped that the Senator would mend fences and push the entire party behind the president. While he said some of the right words, for a few brief moments at that hall in New York City, he channeled the dream of Camelot and stole the convention. With his final words, “For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” the audience broke into applause for forty minutes. The rift in the Democratic Party that year never healed. Many Democrats stayed home or voted Republican for the first time. Jimmy Carter limped out of New York and went on to defeat against Ronald Reagan that October. Ted Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, Mr. Liberal, was one of the three or four reasons that Carter did not get a second term and helped give birth to the Reagan revolution with its huge out of control debts caused by trickle down economics. Many bad trends regarding middle class income and economic prosperity began under Reagan whether some among us admit it or not. The dream Senator Kennedy spoke of died under the weight of his own hubris that year and has taken decades to recover. Bernie Sanders is no Ted Kennedy. He ran in 2016 to remind many of the dreams the Democratic Party once held. He was a little known senator from a small state that might have been known by only avid C-Span watchers and myself. I attended one of his first town halls in Ames, Iowa. There were still plenty of seats available and I think I was the youngest one there by twenty or so years. It seemed in many ways like a Don Quixote tilting at windmills-like campaign. An aging socialist with almost no money and little cosmetic appeal facing off against probably the most well financed candidate for president this nation has ever produced. Damned if he did not almost do it. He re- awoke the dreams so many in the Democratic Party hold so dear. He made so many things that no longer seemed possible seem possible again. He reminded us that there is dignity in work. If you work full time, you should not live in poverty no matter what the job is. College should break the financial backs of those who seek to improve themselves. Wall Street doesn’t own our hearts nor represent what is best about America. Many of the things that were commonplace before 1980 were possible again. It would have been easy to have gotten bitter and screamed a pox against both party’s houses. Bernie didn’t. It would have been easy to slam Hillary as just a puppet of Wall Street. Bernie didn’t. It would have been easy to pull a Ted Cruz, try to stick a knife in your opponent. Bernie didn’t. Bernie Sanders showed a lot of class this week at the Democratic National Convention. Many claim Bernie sold out. Most of them are just pot stirrers that never listened to Senator Sanders at almost any of the debates and just like making waves. You cannot sell out when you have said all along that Hillary Clinton’s ideas are closer to yours than those on the right and that you would support whoever in the party claims the brass ring. Bernie is a politician. Being a politician is not a dirty word. Politics is the art of the possible. In order to get certain pieces of legislation through, he never insisted on an idealistic purity test or he would have remained a party of one in the congress and gotten nothing done. He understands, unlike Kennedy in 1980, that so much is at stake in this election. The next president will probably name at least two, maybe three Supreme Court justices. The fate of millions who have gained health coverage under Obama hangs in the balance. Global warming, education, the rights of gays and lesbians, and the treatment of those in the margins of our society; so much is at risk. He has always understood that it is better to take half a loaf than to throw yourself on the ground, kick and scream because you did not get your way. You might leave a legacy of a Trump revolution in your wake. So, Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary at the DNC. While he might be happy with no loaf at all, he understood that many in this country cannot afford to have the last few crumbs shaken out of their pockets, the poor, the weak, the outcasts, and those whose skin color or religion is not yours. If you truly care about the people, you sometimes swallow hard. It is called class. Many of the Bernie or bust bros and babes at the convention showed that they have no class. They are elitists that can survive four more years of trickle down economics and having their rights snuffed out. Too many of us can’t. Hillary might not pass the purity test, but she will fight to maintain all the achievements of the Obama administration and push for advances in areas that even Bernie might not have been able to achieve. She might be more business friendly than the bros and babes like and is a bit too hawkish when it comes to military affairs for my taste, but you cannot act like a five- year-old having a temper tantrum because you did not get the ice cream you wanted. You are the kid that wants to take your ball home because you did not get your way. Boos, catcalls, walk outs, and burning the American flag accomplishes nothing. Don’t walk away from the table because you are having a hissy fit. Don’t blame others when someone else sits down at the table and tries to take the food away out of the mouths of those whose need every morsel on their plate. Show some class. Be like Bernie.