Is it possible to believe when something seems shady?

Matthew Classen, Editor in Chief, Our Times

Matthew Classen, Editor in Chief, Our Times

The speakers at the DNC were inspiring. I could have done with a little less Trump bashing and more focus on what a the Democrat’s vision for the future may look like. That said, the modus operandi of the Democrat’s message was integration, unity and inclusion. Bill Clinton’s story about how he and Hillary met, how they courted and how they eventually got to their positions by fighting the good fight for all Americans and how her presidency would be an extension of that mission, was fantastic. Michelle’s speech, Obama’s speech and Bernie’s speech all left the audience with a clear impression that the higher sense of collective self was being represented, and that that would be the road the Democrats would take into the future under a Hillary presidency. I really want to be on board with this. I want to believe that this really is idealism made manifest, with the direction and strength to get us there. I want to trust in Hillary and to know that the establishment that supports her are true and genuine in their motives. The thing is, I’m finding that difficult.

This is a non-political publication. At the same time, we promote, among other things, democratic values and principles, and that these fall under the umbrella of human rights. These are the values and principles that we uphold. So tell me how, if democratic values are of paramount importance in civilized society, that we are meant to support Hillary Clinton when Wikileaks revealed what has been long suspected all along, and that was that the DNC was actively working against Bernie Sanders and his bid for the democratic nomination for president? What about how the DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (whom Clinton refers to as a “longtime friend”) resigned after the leaks to serve as honorary chair of the Clinton’s campaign’s 50-state program to help elect Democrats around the country? What about Election Justice USA’s recent report that significant voting irregularities occurred during the democratic primaries in key states, and that these irregularities disproportionately affected Sanders’ vote totals, and that if there had been no irregularities, Sanders most likely would have won the primary contest over Clinton? And what about the role the media has played? Notice how the Wikileaks narrative quickly became about who could have hacked the documents, rather than about how the DNC actually worked to subvert the will of its own constituency?

The 2016 presidential campaign has had one significant element that has served as the rallying cry for both parties, and that is that the system is rigged. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders tapped into that for maximum effect, because people inherently know that the system is rigged, that big money has bought our democracy and that the government no longer represents the will of the people. Many Sanders’ supporters vehemently feel that Clinton is a part of the rigged system which is why we saw all the booing antics during the DNC. When Wikileaks releases clear evidence that the DNC actively subverted the democratic process, when Wasserman-Schultz takes a senior position within the Clinton campaign after resigning in disgrace from the Wikileaks revelation,when the media spins the story so that its about Russia being the culprit of the hack instead of that the DNC’s ethics and motives are fully suspect, when voting irregularities like voter suppression in districts that clearly favor Sanders occur, then I think I can be just a little bit skeptical for why a person should automatically jump on the Hillary bandwagon when it’s so clearly a part of a rigged system.

This is what the #sandersorbust/#neverhillary crowd are saying – that Hillary is a part of the rigged system, the election was thrown in her favor by her cronies (e.g. Wasserman-Schultz) and that supporting her is counter to their values as democratic citizens. This publication does not take a position either for or against the #sandersorbust/#neverhillary crowd. That said, one could understand how they could feel the way they do, and how so many could be so disenfranchised by the political process that they will vote for Jill Stein, or sit it out altogether, which would all but ensure a Trump victory come November. This is a natural result of the rigged system – people becoming so disenfranchised that they would rather sit it out, or vote for unelectable candidates of conscience. People like me want to believe in Hillary, but something is shady.

Your comments or counterpoints are always welcome.

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