Something happened on the way to the book tour

Carol Denney
Monday December 26, 2016 - 01:33:00 PM

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich's article ("Rallies helping Trump", San Francisco Chronicle, 12-25-2016) conveniently forgets that another candidate utilized large rallies unaccountable to his political party; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders, a long-time Independent, suddenly became a Democrat for this most recent election and used large rock-concert style rallies to undermine the most experienced, best qualified Democratic candidate - with Robert Reich's blessing. I have yet to hear any mea culpa from Reich, who ought to acknowledge his own role, however minor, in electing Trump.

But he's not alone. Sanders supporters, in a magnificent show of denial, pressured the Electoral College delegates to revolt, a tactic which not only unnecessarily underscored Trump's victory but made eliminating the Electoral College look more partisan, therefore making it ultimately more difficult to accomplish. This followed on the heels of the Green Party's desperate recount efforts, another strategic backfire. Trump had spent his entire campaign implying that the vote itself was "rigged", a banner his opposition is apparently now inexplicably willing to carry. 

But lack of coherent strategy is the guiding principle at present for those who consciously went out of their way to insist that Occupy slogans be part of the Democratic platform and mischaracterized the strongest Democratic nominee as not just corrupt, but worse, unfashionable. The youth vote remains fickle and weak, but could have made a difference in split states or at least as part of the door-knocking, voter turnout team. Imagine an election with Senator Sanders working on behalf of his party instead of against it until the damage to the party's obvious nominee was too deep and any effort was too late. 

The misogyny so obvious in this election had its wheels greased by Reich, Sanders, and a lot of table-pounders who love the optics, the "momentum" to use Sanders' word, of large rallies and are willing to trade it for the PTA meetings and community groups where women toil unnoticed and unnoted in communities nationwide holding fragile families together and forging life-saving connections. Trump's rallies, like Sanders', were full of chanted slogans, disdain for "establishment" politics, a complete lack of childcare, and voters whose commitment to electoral politics lasts until the music stops. Sanders and Reich will still sell their books - to smaller crowds - while we are left to pick up the pieces.