Thursday, May 26, 2016

Diane Ravitch Brings Sanity to the Clinton vs. Sanders Debate

If you care about education, you should vote for the Democratic nominee. If you care about the future of the United States, you should vote for the Democratic nominee. If you care about children, income inequality, the environment, the rights of women and LGBT people, sensible gun control, Roe v. Wade, expanded health care, keeping nuclear weapons out of North Korea and other nations, and other issues issues that have moved this country forward, you should vote for the Democratic nominee.

If you care about unions, including your own, you should vote for the Democratic nominee. If you have any doubt that Trump will eviscerate unions, just remember his call to eliminate the federal minimum wage.

I have said numerous times on this blog that I support Clinton, but should Bernie win, I will support him.

Unfortunately, there are few vocal Bernie supporters who feel the same way (I speak here only about the most vocal--already, 72% of Bernie supporters say they will vote for Clinton. That will increase should she win the nomination, just as Hillary supporters moved to Obama in 2008).

Look at the list of Supreme Court nominees that Trump has put forth. Nan Aron, of the Alliance for Justice Action Council, said: “Their opinions demonstrate open hostility to Americans’ rights and liberties, including reproductive justice and environmental, consumer and worker protections. They have ruled consistently in favor of the powerful over everyone else. They would move the needle even further to the right on the Supreme Court.”

Is there any doubt they would destroy unions and teaching as we know it?

Diane Ravitch has emerged as a voice of reason in this debate. She has questions about both candidates and their positions on education, but she clearly understands what is at stake here. While refusing to endorse either candidate, she said:

The overwhelming majority of denunciations are directed at Hillary. Some of our readers are as vicious towards her as Donald Trump is. If you read the comments, you would think that Donald Trump is much to be preferred over Hillary because she is allegedly dishonest, corrupt, a war-monger, a tool of Wall Street, etc. The demonization of Hillary is often times over-the-top, angry, and hateful.  
This internecine warfare is not admirable. It should stop. It helps Trump. One candidate will emerge from the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. It will be the candidate who gets the requisite number of delegates. It will be either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. When the convention chooses the candidate, I will support that candidate.
Amen to that. Neither candidate is perfect, but either is far, far preferable to Trump, on virtually every issue important to the 99%. 
Sure, you can vote for whomever you please. Or you can choose not to vote at all. That is your right. But the reality is that there will be only two nominees with a chance to in the presidency. Voting third party, sitting out the election, or voting for Trump as some kind of twisted "protest" vote will only decrease the mandate of the Democratic candidate should he or she win. 
This isn't about voting for "the lesser or two evils". It is about voting for the candidate who will better defend the rights we have struggled for over the last 50 years. That this will be the Democratic nominee should be without question for anyone who values liberal ideals.
This isn't about "ideological purity". There's nothing pure or noble in refusing to vote for the nominee who best represents progressive ideals and has a realistic shot at the presidency.
Diane Ravitch gets it. I hope you do, too.


ed notes online said...

If we care about education and vote democratic we end up with Obama ed policies which were worse than George Bush -- even by Ravitch comments. So admittedly we will be better off under Trump on education but I would take this one off the table. Hillary has a horrendous record as a supporter of ed deform since the early 80s -- they are neo-liberals.
I had this discussion with Unity Caucus people at the UFT election vote count. There was an edge of hysteria over Trump. What if it were Cruz? Or Paul Ryan? Would there be any less hysteria? Could we live with Paul Ryan? Or any Republican? Every election cycle there is hysteria from the Dems. My response to the Unity people was - OK - you can have Hillary - this time. But it is over for the Democrats the day after she takes office. It is time for a real 3rd party movement to challenge the Dems who capitulate to the corporate deform movement - a tea party of the left.
Tell them - don't come back in 2020 and pull the same crap.

Mr. Talk said...

I certainly understand your concerns about ed deform. I don't agree that teachers will be better off under Trump at all. His Supreme Court nominees would ravish union protections once and for all. There would be no union left to defend. And this goes not only for teachers, but all public sector unions. Most of the decline in middle class pay is due to the decline of unionism, and Trump would see to it that the job got finished. Even so, it's hard to see how Bernie would be preferable to Clinton on education; he voted for the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998, he did not seem to know that charter schools are publicly funded, and he seems to support Common Core, albeit without monetary incentives.

Obviously, I understand that education issues are important, but I can not be a single issue voter in good conscience. None of the candidates are strong on education, but Trump would be a disaster. So I look to the other issues. I will vote for the Democratic nominee, no matter who it is, because the lives of many, if not most, people will suffer under a right wing Supreme Court for decades. I have no doubt the Bernie or Hillary will appoint justices who will protect the rights of the people, so either of them will get my vote.

I have no problems with a third (or fourth or fifth) party, but as of this election, they have no chance of winning. We must deal with the world as it is for now, not as we wish it to be. The Democratic nominee, whoever it may be, has a chance to move this country forward, which is why I will vote for Hillary or Bernie no matter what.

ed notes online said...

So I can live with Hillary as the alt but am thinking beyond to the future. We can't keep being held hostage. If out of the Bernie story something more permanent emerges we will be better off.