!.  Excerpted from a Daily Kos post titled "Should Hillary be Dem Presidential 2106 Candidate?":


Only someone who can connect with the ordinary citizen, who expresses their concerns, who shows by example to be willing not only to speak out but to fight the powers that be, who not only talk the talk but walk the walk, can arouse the youth to actively support him or her.   3 people come to mind immediately (though there are other possibilities) who exemplify the candidate they’re searching for: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders & Robert Reich, all who speak to their concerns with conviction, eloquently & forthrightly.  While known progressives, I think they’re not only not afraid to, but have the ability to also reach people of different political persuasions, including independents, certain kinds of libertarians & some old-fashioned conservatives.

Warren would be a particularly effective candidate.  She speaks with passion as well as compassion.  She’s not afraid to dress down hated Wall Street & illuminate the injustices that give advantages to the rich & corporations over the common people.  I think many people of all stripes can not only relate to what she’s saying, but see her as like someone they know: a caring teacher, nurse, aunt or friend of the family, who cared about their well-being & would stand up & fight for them.  She would be a powerful candidate, and would likely win in a landslide & have the power of the people behind her like no one else in decades, which could help sweep both Houses for Democratic progressives, & give her strong clout.  Of course, the powers that be would pour loads of money into advertising to distort her record, but I don’t think it would wash.  The public is starting to wise up to that, and Elizabeth’s unimpeachable character can shine through any attempt to smear her.  She resonates with everybody I know who’s familiar with her.  Women especially love her and look up to her as an inspiration.  She says she’s not running, and there are those who think she’d be a stronger force in the Senate.  Maybe so, and if so, we have other great progressive candidates.

Bernie Sanders comes across a bit like a crotchety old man.  But that may not harm him when he’s also known as a straight-talking person who tells it like it is.  He’s not afraid to go to areas of opposition, and he’s not afraid to talk with the opposition to solve problems.  He’s all about solving problems and has a pretty good sense of the nation’s priorities.  He knows that climate change/environmental degradation & wealth disparity/economic injustice are the very biggest issues of our time and he has good ideas on what to do about them.  He recognizes the seriousness of our national debt better than most Democrats & liberals.  I agree with him on every position I’ve seen him take, which are a lot.  The fact that he’s an acknowledged socialist could give him trouble with some segments of the population, but it has become less of a liability than it once was, especially with the young, who are more positively disposed to socialism than to capitalism.  It’s likely that many others could be moved to change their minds about socialism after being exposed to him.  His straight talk & the fact that he takes the long view on what’s best for the future will also appeal to the young enough to motivate them to back him.  He has shown some interest in running.  Since he’s not an official Democrat, I don’t know if he can or would run as a Democratic candidate.  But if it turns out he runs as an Independent or a 3rd party candidate against Hillary & whatever Republican, I’d have no hesitation in voting for him, nor would a lot of other people concerned about where our nation & worlds are headed, who realize we need a drastic change in direction.

Robert Reich has been speaking out for the little man lately.  As he puts it, he’s been standing up for the little guy against the bullies nearly all his life.  He sees a lot of bullies today putting down the rest of us, and he’s pointing out how they’re doing it.  He’s an excellent teacher, and he has these great sketches illustrating in clear, concise, easy-to-understand terms how we’re being cheated by the big corporations.  He did a great one on global warming that I’ve used a lot, which was essentially that the consequence of not preparing for & trying to avert to our greatest ability global warming if it actually comes is far more catastrophic than preparing & making the relatively modest expenses to avert or alleviate it; in fact it’s actually better to prepare & for there to be no global warming than not to prepare and there to be no global warming, because the steps we’d take would improve so many of our other environmental, health & even economic aspects.  In any case, his presentations are so good that I hopes he runs just to show them, or at least use them in support of another progressive candidate.  He’s really a smart dude, so I hope he is active in the 2016 presidential campaign.

There are other potentially good candidates.  I’ve only recently gotten acquainted with Sheldon Whitehouse.  Here is a rare mainstream politician who has prioritized climate change above all else, which more need to do, and he’s a great advocate for taking action.  I’ve also heard good things about Sherrod Brown & Alan Grayson, but I haven’t followed them or seen them in action; however, I do like Grayson’s reputation as a maverick, not being afraid to say what he thinks, or tackling the tough issues, and his realization that we need to spend within our means, all attributes that could gain converts from independents, libertarians & fiscal conservatives.  A very unlikely candidate but another thoughtful, reasoned straight talker & someone with whom I agree on almost every issue is my very own congressman, Peter DeFazio.  Finally, another guy with a reputation of being both a maverick & someone who can get things done, and a very effective campaigner is Jerry Brown.  He would be a formidable candidate.  He’s solved most of the intractable problems heavily indebted California faced.  It’s in much better shape, though it faces that terrible drought & all its repercussions, so the nation looks to Brown to see how he’ll handle it.  If he succeeds sufficiently, then I think there’s no stopping him if he decides to run.  He’s not as consistently progressive as the other people I mentioned, but he’s very effective, and that counts for a lot.  I guess a wishful candidate because he’s so intelligent, reasonable & persuasive would be Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  I have no illusions that running for office is his cup of tea, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a scientist as president, who would make decisions based on the best available science?

Let’s not get on the Hillary bandwagon yet.  We can do a lot better.  And we desperately need a sharp change in direction to correct problems that have festered, been ignored and/or aggravated for decades under a long string of corporatist presidents.  The last thing we need is another corporatist president who keeps us on the same course.  If the Democratic Party doesn’t get it right this time, they’re in trouble & our nation is in trouble, and I will be actively trying to form a new transparent, anti-corporatist, populist, pro-democratic, anti-industrial capitalist, anti-militaristic, futuristic, visionary, environmental party to not act as a 3rd party, but whose intention is to replace one or both of the major parties, the way the Federalists, Whigs & Know-Nothings were replaced in the 18th Century.  It can be done, and must be done to save our nation if the Democratic Party itself continues to fail to show clearly that is stands for the people against the corporate tyrants.  There will still be a place for the corporatists: they can take either party they want, but I’m confident that a party that clearly stands for the people can easily overcome the corporatists in a true democracy, because the vast majority of Americans are not corporatists.

If the Democrats want to remain a viable party, they need to appeal to the young (the same would apply to the Republicans, but they’re hopeless).  The youth of today are a different breed that’s not sucked into the traditional religious, 2-party, capitalist, consumerist mindset.  They could easily go for a socialist, an anti-capitalist, an environmentalist, or a 3rd Party candidate that resonates with them.  I’m not even sure they’d need to be convinced that the candidate has any chance to win.  Any candidate that doesn’t strongly resonate with the young will not get their votes.  Hillary doesn’t and none of the Republicans do, with the possible exception of anti-corporate, anti-war libertarians like Ron & Rand Paul.  In fact, if it became a contest between Hillary Clinton & Rand Paul, the Republican might get more of the youth vote.  If it were Clinton vs. most other Republicans, she’d get the majority of their votes, but most of the young would sit it out.  If it were Clinton vs. a Republican vs. Sanders, I daresay Sanders would get the most youth votes.

This nation & world can’t afford another corporatist administration.  No more talk without action: saying what they think the people want to hear, but still doing what the corporations want them to do.  The monumental issues that confront us: our debt, economic injustice, the loss of our democracy, & especially climate change, can’t wait any longer.  If we don’t make a sharp turn to the left & a big leap forward towards the future, we will be doomed to extinction one way or the other.

Of course, the onus isn’t all on the president.  It’s really on us.  We have to act, and make sure that we make our feelings very clear and no longer accept the status quo."  Daily Kos Aug 14, 2014


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