Justice can prevail against all odds

In 2004 my partner Penny and I travelled to El Salvador as guests of the FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, one of two of the country’s major political parties). We toured this tiny Central American country for two weeks visiting many tiny municipal councils, environmental advocacy organizations, human rights organizations, women’s groups and disability groups. It was a real eye opener and a profound experience — we definitely got a crash course in El Salvadorian history.

For decades, almost all of the land in El Salvador, including all of its agricultural land, was owned literally by just a handful of very wealthy families. The population as a whole was extremely poor and the government, in the pockets of the rich, made certain that any effort at even modest wealth redistribution or land reform was quashed immediately, sometimes brutally.

By the 1970s, five tiny rebel groups were fighting to overthrow the government. They were well intentioned but no match for the brutal El Salvadorian military. Eventually, each of the five groups approached Cuba for assistance. This resulted in Fidel Castro inviting the leaders of the five rebel groups to Havana where he insisted they join forces under one umbrella as a pre-condition for Cuban support. The FMLN was born.

By the 1980s, the FMLN was on the verge of victory but US President Ronald Reagan massively increased military support to the El Salvadorian military. At one point the only nation in the world receiving more military support from Washington than El Salvador was Israel.

Into this volatile mix came the appointment of a new archbishop. The pope at the time very deliberately selected a conservative for this position — Archbishop Óscar Romero, who fit the bill perfectly. He was a lifelong conservative who had demonstrated little if any support for the public yearning for social justice. Archbishop Romero moved comfortably within ruling class circles and did not believe the church should meddle in societal conflict.

Once appointed archbishop, however, the archbishop underwent a philosophical transformation. He witnessed the assassination of many priests for the “crime” of working with parishioners to try and improve the lives of ordinary citizens. His sermons became more and more outspoken. And then it happened — Archbishop Romero delivered a sermon in which he pleaded with El Salvadorian soldiers to disobey orders to kill the innocent. He was then no longer acceptable to the powers of the day and the order was given to have him assassinated. The archbishop’s murder on March 24, 1980 was one of the most notorious crimes in modern history.

The nation erupted into full-blown civil war with neither side able to achieve a decisive military victory. Finally, an internationally brokered peace accord ushered in democratic elections. Today, the FMLN forms the democratically elected government.

The perpetrators of the assassination subsequently fled to the US. All efforts to hold them legally accountable failed. The defence was that the perpetrators could not be held accountable in American courts for crimes committed outside of America.

Then along came a young and idealistic lawyer, Matt Eisenbrandt. He and a number of like-minded lawyers had stumbled across an obscure American law — the Alien Torts Act, which specifically permits legal action in the United States even if the criminal act has been committed outside the country. The perpetrators were successfully sued and significant judgements were claimed against them.

My friend the political activist and author, Tom Sandborn, and I are incredibly honoured to be hosting Matt Eisenbrandt’s book launch Assassination of a Saint Monday, April 3, 7:00 p.m. at St. James Community Square, 3214 W. 10th in Vancouver.

In these times when the sky is filled with so many black clouds it’s so important we remind ourselves that justice can and will prevail against all odds. I urge you to join us for what will no doubt be an evening to remember. See you April 3.

Lawyer and author Matt Eisenbrandt will be in Vancouver April 3rd at St. James Community Square, talking about his book on the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero in El Salvador and its aftermath.

Posted in civil disobedience, cuba, events, justice system, law, People Power, social justice, solidarity, US politics, Vancouver | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Uber — Both good and bad news

On Tuesday the province gave Uber the green light to begin operating in BC.

If you see the world through the eyes of a consumer, this is great news. If you see the world through the eyes of a worker, this is definitely bad news.

Most of us, in Metro Vancouver at least, have had occasion to complain about the length of time we’ve had to wait for a taxi. The addition of Uber will definitely help resolve this. From a consumer point of view, the news gets even better. Uber is at the cutting edge of harnessing technology to improve the consumer experience. When is the last time you Googled customer reviews of the individual taxi driver dispatched to pick you up? Exactly — you never have, because you can’t. But Uber uses technology that literally puts the passenger in the driver’s seat.

This is all a plus for customers, but in a consumer-driven society the needs of workers are often left behind. In the case of the taxi industry, this is particularly so.

Let me tell you just a little bit about the working conditions of your taxi driver. No minimum wage. No statutory holidays or benefits. No benefits at all. No protection under the Employment Standards Act. No overtime pay, no matter how many hours worked in a shift. Ditto no matter how many hours worked in a week. No official coffee or lunch breaks. Your typical taxi driver works a 12-hour day 6 days a week and brings home very little money.

Our transportation choices affect our fellow workers — BC’s decision to allow Uber jeopardises thousands of taxi driver jobs, and Uber employment is not a sustainable alternative. Instead of a race to the bottom for people who drive us from Point A to Point B, the provincial government needs to listen to Vancouver Taxi Association’s pleas for improvements for the industry that will make taxis more convenient and accessible. [Photo by Alan Turkus (CC BY 2.0)]

If the above were not bad enough, many taxi drivers are forced to purchase their job. Let me explain. Taxi licences are bought and sold. The price of the licence increases as the unemployment rate increases and the number of people looking for work goes up.

Unemployed people desperate for a job look for ways to buy one so, if they can, they might put a mortgage against their home to secure the money required. The sad part is you then have unemployed people going further into debt to buy a taxi licence.

With Uber on the horizon, taxi drivers have been trying their best to work with government to create a solution that benefits consumers but also doesn’t make the situation even worse for taxi drivers. Their fear has been that if Uber is given the opportunity to flood the market, the worth of taxi licences will plummet. Drivers who have mortgaged their home will now be “under water”. What irony! Minimum wage workers now losing their biggest, and often their only asset — their home.

I get frustrated, as we all do, when I can’t get a taxi in a timely manner. However, the inconvenience I experience pales in comparison with the devastating harm about to be inflicted on literally thousands of taxi drivers province-wide by an insensitive and heartless provincial government that has totally ignored every recommendation made by the Vancouver Taxi Association.

The next time you take a taxi, take off your consumer “glasses” and try to see things through the eyes of your taxi driver.

Posted in British Columbia, taxi, transportation, Vancouver | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A positive new direction for HandyDART

As co-chair of the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance, since last October I’ve been sitting on a task force set up by TransLink. Our mandate is to advise TransLink on HandyDART issues. The creation of this task force and the appointment of many individuals from the HandyDART community to it is another indicator of the positive working relationship that’s developed between TransLink and the HandyDART community since the arrival about a year ago of Kevin Desmond as TransLink’s new CEO.

For many years, up to and including 2016, HandyDART service levels have remained constant. Now, as part of the first phase of TransLink’s new plan, HandyDART service levels will finally be increased. TransLink has committed to raise HandyDART service levels by 15% during Phase 1, which runs three years, 2017-19 inclusive. This compares very favourably with the 10% increase in service levels for conventional public transit during the same period.

For once, HandyDART service levels will be increasing faster than the rest of the system. This is definitely needed as demand for HandyDART services is also increasing. Demographic changes already underway will mean a very significant increase in the number of seniors living in Metro Vancouver over the next decade. Also, more and more people with mobility restrictions are entering the workforce. And the increased accessibility of the built environment means more and more of these same people need services like HandyDART since they finally can access things like stores and malls that were formerly out of reach.

On Friday, February 10, I’ll be joining TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond at a press conference at the Scott Road SkyTrain station to announce this positive news.

The HandyDART Riders’ Alliance recognizes the fact that while the 15% increase is very good news, it’s only a down payment on what is needed. If TransLink is to address the ongoing, significant increase in HandyDART demand and make up for years of neglect, HandyDART service levels must be significantly increased again in Phase 2.

One of the ideas the task force is considering recommending to TransLink is a no-trip-turndown policy. This means as long as a HandyDART user calls in a minimum number of days in advance, his/her trip request would be accommodated even if it means putting more HandyDART buses on the road. The fact that such a policy is even being considered is another good sign of the progress being made due to the new partnership between TransLink and the HandyDART community.

Posted in accessibility, equality, events, HandyDART, social justice, TransLink, transportation, Vancouver | Tagged , , | Comments Off on A positive new direction for HandyDART

Inspiration in the face of oppression

As I have watched with horror over the last week or so south of the border, I am not just outraged — I’m also inspired!

There’s no denying the fact that President Trump is a racist, a misogynist and an outright liar. Nor can there be any denying that he is narcissistic. His executive orders issued in a flurry over the last week or so are counter to all the values I hold. Why, then, am I inspired?

Two nights ago I watched Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez’ independent global news show, Democracy Now!. They had extensive film footage of the demonstrations at airports that manifested almost instantaneously upon news of President Trump’s executive order banning entry by citizens and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations. These were not small demonstrations!

The American Civil Liberties Union jumped into the fray immediately. Membership applications to the ACLU spiked and donations soared. The rule of law was brought to bear. Judges issued orders overturning important aspects of Trump’s executive order. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired by Trump for refusing to defend the travel ban.

Corporate America, rarely a friend of progressive movements, spoke strongly against this anti-immigration order. Starbucks committed to hiring 10,000 refugees. Google, Nike, Airbnb, Lyft, Coca-Cola, Facebook and others all denounced Trump’s executive order and/or issued statements about the important contributions immigrants make. Trump’s first presidential approval ratings are the lowest of any president since Gallup started doing such surveys in 1953 when Eisenhower was president.

Senior Republican leaders, including senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham have spoken strongly against President Trump’s immigration order. It’s unheard of for senior Republican senators to speak against their president.

I am strongly convinced that there is a silver lining to this very dark cloud.

A massive progressive movement is taking shape. I predict it will sweep Trump from office. He is a fool and a petty tyrant. The people are wise. Wisdom will prevail.

And in the aftermath, we will have the opportunity to construct a much more humane and democratic system than the one that brought this petty tyrant to power. One step backward, two steps forward — for the people are always inspiring.

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The power of progressive consciousness

With greater and greater frequency lately, the right wing is using one-offs to move public opinion. They are using stories and anecdotes appealing to our emotions and focused on a single person or incident in an effort to stop us from making higher and better choices for all of us.

A case in point — undocumented immigrants. A higher and better analysis would take into consideration all of the many positives that come from “illegal” immigration, positives such as economic stimulation, better lives for all who flee horrendous situations in their home countries, and the jobs and services performed by a willing migrant workforce that would remain unfilled without these individuals. The right wing counters all of this with one anecdotal account — a violent act, say, such as an assault committed by one migrant — while the overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants contributes very positive things to society.

CBC Radio’s The Current recently featured a fascinating interview with Paul Bloom, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University. His book, Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, is all about the need to think and reason clearly about the problems we face, and base our decisions and policies on compassion and, most importantly, facts. We need to rise above empathetic, emotional reactions whenever the right, or anyone, pushes our buttons with simple, one-off stories and narratives.

As we look south of the border to the year about to unfold, let’s hope that popular mass action based on rational thinking and compassion will not just slow Trump down but stop his agenda in its tracks.

I’m already heartened to hear about the sit-in in the office of Trump’s pick for attorney general, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who has taken action in the past that is obviously racially biased. Dignified in demeanour and dressed in suits, the protestors, who included Cornell William Brooks, president of the NAACP, were determined to sit in Sessions’ office until his nomination was withdrawn or they were arrested. Unfortunately, the latter came first.

I’m equally heartened by the huge march for women’s rights on Washington DC January 21, the day after the president’s inauguration. With women, men and young people signing up daily, it may be the largest inauguration demonstration ever. “Sister” demonstrations are springing up across the US and Canada, including Vancouver.

By coincidence, the march and inauguration happen just days after Martin Luther King Day this year. Already more than 150,000 people are registered. Could it be that the numbers will swell to even more than Martin Luther King’s 1963 march on Washington when he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech — the largest demonstration in the nation’s capital so far?

I am not just optimistic — I’m predicting that we will witness in the coming months the awakening of progressive consciousness on a scale not seen in decades.

The silver lining to Trump’s election will be the convergence of the kind of rational compassion Bloom advocates and the activism for justice we’ve been witnessing lately. It will be the North Dakota water protectors, the Black Lives Matter and Idle No More people, and all the environmental activists we’ve been seeing in the streets coalescing times 10.

Posted in Canadian politics, civil disobedience, feminism, Indigenous sovereignty, refugees, social justice, solidarity, tar sands, Trumpism, US politics, Vancouver | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The power of progressive consciousness

Letting the light in for the New Year

As the year has wound down, it’s time to look back on it and forward to 2017.

2016 has seen many dark clouds. The election of Donald Trump was perhaps the darkest one of all. Justin Trudeau appears to have lost his appetite for proportional representation, and climate change is accelerating. No one would blame you if you’re feeling somewhat pessimistic as the year drew to a close.

However, as Leonard Cohen taught us, it is the cracks that let the light in. Perhaps things are not so bleak after all. Let’s take a moment and look forward to what might be possible in 2017.

It’s no secret that mainstream Republicans do not support Trump. It’s also no secret that he has no concern whatsoever for the rule of law in general and conflict of interest in particular. Put all this into the mix and I see the potential for a Trump impeachment in 2017. If it happens, you read it here first!

As we watched and learned from south of the border this past year, Martin Luther King’s dictum of nonviolent resistance is the most powerful weapon by far. The water protectors in North Dakota were up against a force that, on the face of it, was much more powerful than they were. Tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons were just some of the weapons the “more powerful side” had at its disposal, yet the water protectors were victorious. The takeaway for me is that we can and will defeat Kinder Morgan if we follow this inspiring example. We must make it physically impossible for Kinder Morgan to proceed while at the same time demonstrating the utmost respect for any police or security forces turned against us.

Christy Clark’s most recent media interview, by many accounts, was one of her worst ever. By contrast, the NDP’s John Horgan was interviewed on CBC Radio’s Early Edition earlier last week and he was a brand new John Horgan — polished, confident and premier-like. The NDP have a number of issues to go after Christy Clark on, but possibly the biggest one is the $2 billion-plus provincial budget surplus. It’s one thing to campaign on a platform of restraint when there’s no money. It’s quite another to ask the public to continue to say no to much-needed social programs when the money is sitting in the province’s bank account. It’s not too much to hope that the province’s very positive balance sheet becomes an albatross around Christy Clark’s neck, opening up the possibility of an NDP minority government with the Green Party holding the balance of power. No more Site C Dam! An end to Kinder Morgan!

As of late, Justin Trudeau has been choosing his words very carefully. When talking about proportional representation, he seems to be leaving the door open for a retreat on one of his most significant election campaign promises. However, the PR movement is very well organized and has been doing an excellent of job of putting letters of support on the desks of Liberal MPs. Add to this the fact that the NDP and the Green Party have continued to push vigorously for this very important change to our electoral system. Fingers crossed Justin Trudeau will do the right thing and open the door to proportional representation in the coming year.

Yes, many dark clouds are hovering above us but the cracks between them can let in lots of sunshine in 2017.

Wishing you light and happiness and peace in the New Year.

Posted in BC Liberals, British Columbia, Canadian politics, civil disobedience, climate change, economy, Green Party, Liberal Party, NDP, pipelines, proportional representation, sustainability, US politics | 1 Comment

Is Kinder Morgan going to be Justin Trudeau’s Standing Rock?

deegan-standing-rock

Standing Rock, August 31st 2016. Photo by Justin Deegan.

I’ve been one part saddened and one part outraged by the video footage coming out of Standing Rock, North Dakota over the last number of weeks as passive, unarmed water protectors are attacked on a daily basis, sometimes by police in riot gear. Police and security forces have not hesitated to use attack dogs, Taser barbs, rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, stun grenades, sound cannons and more. As temperatures dipped to sub-freezing they even increased their use of water hoses, putting thousands of men, women and children at grave risk of hypothermia.

To reduce and possibly eliminate film footage coming out of this peaceful protest, the police imposed a no-fly zone above the demonstrators. This made it very difficult for news media to cover the brutal actions of the police and security. One journalist who decided to document and bear witness is the award-winning broadcast journalist, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!. Her camera crew videoed a guard dog with blood literally dripping from its nose shortly after it had been used to attack one of the protestors. Ms. Goodman was then arrested and charged with criminal trespass. The prosecutor later increased the charge to incitement to riot. Fortunately, for those of us who believe in freedom of the press, the judge threw out the charge.

On December 4, in a victory of enormous magnitude, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that the pipeline company would not be permitted to continue with their plan to place the pipeline under the Missouri River near Standing Rock.

Just a few weeks ago, thousands of citizens took to the streets in Vancouver to protest Justin Trudeau’s recent announcement approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline. By all accounts this was not your run-of-the-mill, humdrum protest. Instead, it was filled with energy and absolute determination to stop this dirty pipeline. Many reminisced about the 1990s War of the Woods in British Columbia when thousands were arrested and convicted of civil disobedience in protest against massive clear-cut logging of old growth forests. The protestors were eventually victorious — the government and forest companies involved agreed to negotiate an end to this type of logging.

no-pipelines-on-stolen-native-landd

Burnaby Mountain, Nov. 17 2014. Photo by Mark Kurtz (CC BY 2.0).

I am convinced that the Kinder Morgan pipeline will never proceed. Either Justin Trudeau will come to his senses or people power, as was the case in the War of the Woods and in North Dakota, will prevail.

 

Posted in British Columbia, Canadian politics, civil disobedience, climate change, Indigenous sovereignty, People Power, pipelines, sustainability, tar sands, Vancouver | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is Kinder Morgan going to be Justin Trudeau’s Standing Rock?

The passing of Fidel: A giant who contributed so much to making a better world

castro
On Friday, November 25, the world lost one of history’s most selfless individuals. Fidel Castro passed away at the age of 90.

Born into a very wealthy family, Fidel began standing up for the underdog at a surprisingly young age. His father owned a farm thousands of hectares in size and employed hundreds of poorly paid workers. These workers would line up at a window in the family home on payday to receive their pay. As a young boy, Fidel learned of their terrible income and threatened to organize the workers in rebellion if his father did not immediately increase their pay!

The rest of Fidel’s life story is far too lengthy to even attempt to summarize here, but these are just a handful of the outstanding achievements he realized in his lifetime:

• In the Western Hemisphere (North America, South America, and the
 Caribbean) hundreds of thousands of children will go to sleep tonight on the street. They are homeless. Not one of them is Cuban.

• In Cuba everyone has free access to a health care system rated by health experts from all points on the political spectrum as one of the best in the world.

• Cuba’s literacy rate is one of the highest in the world — much higher than almost every nation in the Western Hemisphere.

• Life expectancy in Cuba ranks very favourably. Depending which system is used, Cuba’s life expectancy is often just under America’s by only a month or two. The World Health Organization, for instance, puts Canada’s life expectancy at 82.2 years, America’s at 79.3 years and Cuba’s at 79.1 years.

• It was Nelson Mandela’s opinion that Cuba did more than any other nation to bring about an end to apartheid in South Africa. By the way, Nelson Mandela was only arrested and put on trial for trying to bring apartheid to an end because of a tip from American agents working in South Africa. He then spent 27 years in jail.

• Cuba offers free education, not just K-12, but unlimited post-secondary 
education as well.

• The World Wildlife Fund ranks Cuba as the nation with the smallest environmental footprint, even after taking into consideration the size of the Cuban economy. In other words, based on per unit of economic output, Cuba has the world’s smallest environmental footprint.

Who has the better human rights record — Cuba or the US?


1. In Cuba, after Fidel’s defeat of the hated American backed dictator, Batista, there has not been a single instance of an innocent, unarmed civilian being shot dead by a police officer. In the United States, this happens with great frequency.

2. In Cuba, passive demonstrators are not pepper sprayed, tear gassed, maced, and then shot at with rubber bullets, water cannons and sound cannons. In North Dakota over the past few weeks this has occurred every night.

3. Cuba has never engaged in or been accused of engaging in extrajudicial execution of any citizen of any nation, much less any of its own citizens.
 In contrast, Obama has engaged in the extrajudicial execution of
 American citizens. Obama’s position is that he has a legal opinion that indicates he has this legal authority.

4. Cuba has never engaged in, or been accused of engaging in, waterboarding or any other form of torture.

5. Cuba does not use drones to attack wedding parties. The United States does if it believes that amongst the wedding party is an individual believed likely to commit terrorism in the future. The United States then uses the same drone to come back and strike again once certain that first responders are on scene.

6. One area in which Cuba relatively recently took bold steps in the right direction with regard to Human Rights is in the area of rights for LGBTQ individuals. The movement was championed by Mariela Castro, daughter of Raul Castro.  It was not always so. Fidel, by his own admission, took responsibility for the  fact that his government’s policies for the LGBTQ community were for many years homophobic. Today, a strong and growing LGBTQ community is making great strides and in some areas has put Cuba ahead of the US.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a very moving thought. The first reaction in Cuba to President Kennedy’s assassination was that some people in the streets began to
 celebrate loudly and happily. In response, Fidel Castro came on Cuban TV
 to tell the Cuban people, “We do not celebrate the death of a human being. If US imperialism had died, we would celebrate.” He then sent a letter of condolence to President Kennedy’s wife, Jacqueline.

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Making real “dates” for dumping fossil fuels

cybergedeon-no-fracking-no-text-800pxSome great news on the climate change front this week as Canada joins the ranks of a number of other nations in committing to a firm date by which we will no longer be burning coal. The Liberal government announced on Monday that by 2030 coal use in Canada will be a thing of the past. This will make a significant contribution towards reducing Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

What we need now are three more goals.

Number 1: A date by which we’ll phase out oil, or at least drastically reduce its use, including exporting dirty oil from Alberta’s tar sands, as the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposes. This date doesn’t need to be as aggressive as the 2030 date for phasing out the burning of coal.

G7 leaders — at the urging of Germany’s Angela Merkel — have already agreed to 2050 as the date to drastically reduce carbon emissions to 70 per cent of 2010 levels, and 2100 as the date for ending all fossil fuel use. Canada has already committed to this goal under Stephen Harper, although he dubbed it as only “aspirational.”

But why not make the goal real and fixed like the one for coal? Such faraway dates give power producers more than enough time to complete the transition to renewables. It’s doable! For instance, Elon Musk recently unveiled a new solar panel concept about to hit the market. These solar panels are visually indistinguishable from regular roof tiles and will be available to the public by summer 2017.

Number 2: We need a date by which Canada will stop exporting coal. It’s one thing to commit to ending the burning of this dirty fuel. However, as long as we continue to make it possible for coal to be burned elsewhere we are part of the problem, not the solution. Let’s make 2050 our date for this goal, too.

Number 3: We need a date by which Canada will stop, or at least drastically reduce, our use of natural gas, and we’ll stop exporting it, too. The first part of this goal could be easily tied to the 2050 target date. But the second part — exporting natural gas — is much more complex than bringing coal exports to an end.

Many developing countries are relying on natural gas as the bridge from coal to renewables. Developing countries also have much less money available to make the transition to renewables possible. The date for this goal must be coupled with significant financial contributions from Canada and other developed nations to a pool of money available to developing ones for their transition to cleaner energy sources.

We all know “dating” games are fraught in more ways than one, especially with long-term habits. But when it comes to coal and other fossil fuels, we’d be just plain foolish not to set more fixed goals for breaking up with them.

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Bernie Sanders: 2020

nightmareI just woke up from the worst nightmare I’ve ever had — Donald Trump won the U.S. election! But wait. It’s not a nightmare — it really did happen!

We will be debating and analyzing Tuesday’s election results for a generation to come. But for me the No. 1 takeaway is the outright opposition within status quo leftists (known as SQLers) to allow for real change. Let me explain.

In the Democratic Party establishment there was outright hostility to Bernie Sanders winning the party’s nomination. Hostility because Bernie would have brought about real and structural change. The irony is that all of the polling indicated Saunders — tapping into the same vein Trump so successfully tapped into — would have done much better than Hillary Clinton against Trump.

But the SQLers — whom I call pretend leftists or convenient leftists — were so opposed to real change that they preferred the weaker of the two candidates, Clinton, because the stronger one, Sanders, might actually bring about the sort of change longed for by so many people.

So where do we go from here?

For me the next step is not to criticize the right but rather criticize the left. Too often we progressives allow our movement to be held back by a leadership that is not just overly cautious but, in fact, is consciously attempting to thwart real change.

If we are not willing to offer fundamental change to the electorate, there can only ever be one of two outcomes — no progressive, left “change candidate” is ever elected or, worse, the right puts forward a “change candidate” who gets elected and we all end up living a nightmare.

Let’s turn this nightmare into a dream. Bernie Sanders: 2020

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