Bernie Drones and Bernie Volunteers

The “senior digital organizer” of Bernie Sanders for President volunteers Aidan King, has this to say:

“I was so excited about Obama. And I still think he’s done amazing things. But I wanted more follow-through,” says King, listing “drone strikes, kill lists, NSA spying on Americans, the expansion of Bush-administration policies, a failed drug war, failed foreign policy,” and the increasing influence of money in politics as his main concerns. “I put a lot of stake in authenticity,” he says. “And I’ve been exposed to Bernie’s politics and his honesty since I was in diapers.”

Was this last week? Was Senator Vitter there?

Because here’s Senator Sanders announcing yet again this week, as he’s done before, that as president he would murder people with drones. (Yes, he only favors the good drone murders, not the bad ones, exactly what Obama says too.)

There’s actually no knock on Sanders’ honesty here. There’s no indication of inconsistency, no reason to imagine he’s lying. He may be 100% USDOD-grade authentic. But what about his staff and volunteers? And what about journalists? Is it responsible journalism to publish an article on people working for Bernie in order to end drone murders and not include any mention of the fact that Sanders is in favor of them? Is it responsible, for that matter, to be reporting on candidates’ volunteers prior to and instead of ever reporting on what those candidates would do if elected? The Nation does lots of great reporting, but its interview of Sanders pretended 96% of humanity and 54% of the federal budget didn’t exist, and the magazine has never made up for that by reporting on Sanders’ foreign policy. So all a Nation reader gets is the golly gee report on the dude just out of diapers who is putting in long hours to end drone strikes by electing Bernie.

“I was so excited about Obama.” There’s an opening remark that reveals a similar level of misguided ignorance in the past. “And I still think he’s done amazing things.” One has a heck of a time imagining what those are and how they outweigh what comes next. “But I wanted more follow-through.” More follow through? On what? He then lists drone strikes, kill lists, NSA spying on Americans, the expansion of Bush-administration policies, a failed drug war, failed foreign policy, and the increasing influence of money in politics.” He surely doesn’t want more follow through on any of these crimes and abuses and outrages. He wants them halted.

And so do I. So why should I give the poor guy a hard time? Millions and millions of people aren’t doing a damn thing for the world. They’re sitting on their butts watching TV while Rome burns. Several political candidates openly want to radically enlarge the military (yet again) and launch any number of wars. Why pick on Bernie?

I’m not picking on anyone. I’m well aware of such obvious facts and numerous others. I think such facts are good things to know, no matter what you decide to do about them. I’d just add a few more. You want to spend the next many months calling people on the phone and telling them Bernie is against drone murders, knock yourself out. I just think you should do it with open eyes. You shouldn’t actually believe what you’re saying.

I’m also of course, as we all are, painfully familiar with the argument that Bernie simply must secretly agree with the progressive views of his volunteers, but that in order to get elected he has to put on a pretense of sucking a good bit, whether it’s to please the public or the media or the military industrial complex depending on the variation. We were told the exact same thing about Obama. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. You can’t pretend someone secretly agrees with you and then expect him to keep the promises you fantasized.

If you look at the facts and adopt for just the moment the crazy hypothesis that you’re more or less right about Bernie’s authenticity but wrong about his closet anti-militarism, you’ll find that he’s nowhere near as bad as Obama was, is, and shall continue to be for well over a year more. No mere human is going to out warmonger Hillary Clinton, though Jim Webb and a whole crowd of Republicans will try. You can make more or less the same argument you make to yourself to justify volunteering for Bernie, after facing the facts, as you made before.

So why do I care?

Because there are activists working night and day, strategically, courageously, with pure principles and endless dedication to actually end drone murders, and they need your help, and they need it now. They have built the awareness of these horrors that has led to volunteers wanting to end them. But volunteers volunteer in the wrong places. Instead of joining the peace movement and educating, organizing, lobbying, protesting, reporting, suing, artistically moving, and nonviolently resisting drone murders and the militarism that is risking war with Russia prior to the next corporate-bought election in the U.S. — instead of following the path that has tended to effect change over recent centuries and needs to do so in Paris next month if the climate is to have any hope, they instead dedicate themselves to one candidate or another, start making apologies for them, start living out fantasies about them, and start arguing with other peace activists who are working their fingers to the bone for some other candidate, or with activists who haven’t gone all election yet in a year that has no election in it.

If we ever have real elections we’ll need people to work on them, and there’s always a chance working on them now will help bring that about, and if you’d asked me months ago I’d have said the media would never let Sanders get this far. So, if you want to do the election thing, go ahead. Do it with Sanders who disagrees with you. Do it with Jill Stein who agrees with you. Do it with one of the others. But do it with a bit of honesty and with awareness that it’s not the only thing you could be doing.

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  • wunsacon

    Sigh.. Yes, once again I’ll very probably be voting for Jill Stein….because you’re very probably right.

    Our trigger-happy foreign policy is “counter-productive”, at best. It would be great to save half that budget and redirect the savings elsewhere. It’s juicy, low-hanging fruit.

    • Michael Meyer

      Thanks to David Swanson’s persistent presentation of facts
      regarding Bernie’s voting record,platform and policies
      and his timely reminders about the Green Party’s existence,
      I’ll be voting for Jill Stein for President of the United States of America
      in the November 2016 elections.

      Thank you David !

  • Carl_Herman

    Right on the mark, David; thank you. All we’ll ever ever ever ever ever have is some version of “hoping for change” until these .01% War Criminal psychopaths at the tops of both parties are arrested for unlawful Wars of Aggression and bankster looting.

    Corporate media will find mind-controlled zombies to spew “hope” and never state the “Emperor’s New Clothes” obvious facts of unlawful wars.

    We the Awake will continue to provide choice 🙂

  • jadan

    I would never run for president, and if asked, I would not serve. I am too pure. That’s right. I must protect my ideals from over-exposure to the toxic reality we live in. The “war on terror” is a huge fraud created by the false flag event called “911”, as anyone with any common sense knows, and I simply could not direct it as commander-in-chief. I’d have to be true to my ideals and tell my fire breathing military that the whole thing has to be cancelled. No more drone strikes, and that’s an order, you maggots! I’d have to close all overseas bases and slash the military budget by at least 40% to start. I simply could not initiate any wars and be responsible for any more murders. I understand that I am not qualified for the office on account of my ideological purity. For this reason I must vote for some one else to lead. Hmmmm. Who could that be? My candidate should reflect my purity, as far as possible, though I understand that he or she will be sullied to some degree. My candidate should reflect my own status to some extent. Since I am politically irrelevant because of my purity and way out there on the fringe, I want similar irrelevance in my candidate, though not total irrelevance. There are so few pure candidates out there. I know! Jill Stein! She’s 99% pure and, like me, politically irrelevant. She’s got zero chance of being elected, so her ideals will never be crushed and humiliated. I feel ever so much better now that I am politically engaged and part of the process! Now I can just relax…..

  • truthtime

    And that is why I will not vote for Bernie Sanders on some false ‘hope’ that he’ll somehow reverse direction on arming criminals like Netanyahu or advocating use of Drones, etc.

    Jill Stein at least has the conviction not to steer clear of the root problems.

  • MysticMichael

    I wish I lived in a world where I could afford to cast a vote without a second thought as to whether or not it would likely have the tangible effect on public policy that I would hope. Unfortunately I don’t live in such a world. I live in a world of imperfect choices where, in order to have any constructive effect, compromises must frequently be made. Actually, we all live in such a world. Some of us accept this reality, and act accordingly. Some of us do not.

    If I was convinced that Bernie Sanders could not win the Democratic nomination and/or the general election, there’s no way I would vote for him in a million years. But I’m convinced that he can win, and hence, my vote will not be wasted – as it would be by voting for Jill Stein, as much as I may agree with Green positions. For this reason, a vote for Jill Stein is equivalent to a vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, just as a vote for Jill Stein would be equivalent to a vote for the Republican in the general election: In a two-party system, a vote for ANY candidate – other than for the most acceptable candidate who has a realistic chance to actually WIN – is equivalent to a vote for the least acceptable candidate who has a chance to win. I figure that I simply don’t have the luxury of casting my vote for the sake of making a symbolic point..when I might have used it to affect the balance of actual power instead.

    For similar reasons, I don’t permit myself to even consider voting on the basis of single issues. No matter how important that single issue may be, I insist upon viewing it in context of all the other issues – because that is how life itself presents such issues – as part of a complex tapestry of considerations. What I’ve heard from Bernie thus far is that he would not rule out the use of drones, though he would seek to draw the program way, way back from the abuses of the Obama administration. To me, the sheer fact that a president would consider using such a weapon does not necessarily, in and off itself, automatically lead to widespread, indiscriminate murder at the hands of the feds. I believe that the OP is engaging in a bit of exaggeration and hyperbole here that does nothing to establish his credibility, nor his sense of proportion and reason.

  • I salute Sanders for working with Ron Paul and others on this piece of language that was inserted into the massive stimulus and Bankster theft bill!

    July 21, 2011 The Fed Audit

    The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”

  • This however is where ‘Bernie’ looses most individualist, and liberty supporters in America today.

    Jul 10, 2015 Bernie Sanders and Gun Control Activist at Virginia Event In Virginia with Rep. Don Beyer, July 9, 2015

    February 28, 2014 FBI Preliminary 2013 Numbers Show Violent Crime Continues to Drop

    The FBI’s preliminary Uniform Crime Statistics for the first half of 2013 that showed that murders fell by nearly 7 percent compared with the same period in 2012 while violent crime overall fell by 5.4 percent. Source: Dept. of Justice These crime reductions continue a 30-year trend as the Department of Justice reported last year, even while the public is largely unaware of this remarkable shift toward a safer society.

    In addition, almost two-thirds of the cases examined were assaults, and, not surprisingly, almost all of the assault victims were between 15-19 years old. And this could well be an undercount, as it seems probable that a teenager may report an injury as unintentional when actually the result of an assault to avoid legal trouble or retribution

    APRIL 17, 2015 Despite lower crime rates, support for gun rights increases

    For most of the 1990s and the subsequent decade, a substantial majority of Americans believed it was more important to control gun ownership than to protect gun owners’ rights. But in December 2014, the balance of opinion flipped: For the first time, more Americans say that protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership, 52% to 46%.

  • Oct 6, 2015 Jesse Ventura Hopes Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Destroy the Democrats and GOP for Good

    Jesse Ventura appeared on CNN tonight and told Don Lemon he really likes the idea of Donald Trump “destroying” the GOP. He’s happy that the American public is finally tired of career politicians, and upon hearing CNN analysts earlier wondering if Trump will be the “destruction of the Republican party,” Ventura said, “I thrown my hands up into the air and cheer. I hope it happens.”He also hopes Bernie Sanders will be the destruction of the Democratic party too.