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Why Sanders Should Take the Battle to Trump

The odds have shifted in Hillary Clinton’s favor, but the remarkable Bernie Sanders has done more for the left than anyone since the student sit-ins at Southern lunch counters or ACT-UP’s drive for AIDS medicine.

Take a simple achievement, Hillary Clinton must proceed carefully when it come to raising money. The dollars from Goldman Sachs and its comrades are politically toxic.

It is one of the transformation Sanders often mentions. Ambitious Democrats will think twice before accepting prodigious sums from Wall Street. Henceforth Democrats lacking rich treasuries have a political advantage-they are unbought and unbossed.

Bernie Sanders has promised change and he has already delivered it.

A core political question is back on the table: “are you for the people or for the rich.” Trump is rich and for the well to do.

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Another success will prove historic. The left has the funds to run candidates for President, and left strength will grow. Bernie’s feat has sporadic Black support, and mixed support from the Latina communities. These are constituencies the left can reach. Bernie’s voters represent a baseline; the left is not close to a peak. Leftwing officials will be taken seriously as Presidential candidates, and their influence will increase.

Bernie can add to the gains by breathing new life into the campaign.

Bernie should electrify the Country by attacking Republicans and Trump in particular. Sander’s solutions are better. Trump’s message is “white lives matter more.” Bernie should offer ideas for beating the party of white supremacy. Bernie should demonstrate he is better at attacking Trump than Hillary.

Donald Trump is a billionaire who likes to push people around: an old lady because he wanted a parking lot; Mexico for a wall; a student protester pushed out of his rally. The Donald is pugnacious and appeals to people by saying won’t you join me in the fight?

Trump will encourage nightstick policing, and cops will shoot unarmed people. Cities will be racked by unrest. We are beginning to make progress on reducing prison brutality. Will Trump stop it or encourage it? Trump won’t be pulling the trigger, but he will embolden those who do.

Billionaires don’t get rich by paying high wages. Billionaires bilk America and workers won’t be better off they will get a raw deal. Trump is a boss who wants to keep down he cost of labor. Wages won’t rise; profits are his game.

Non-believers think Bernie’s nomination will bring a Republican victory. It is one of the anxieties a left candidate must ease.

But Bernie enjoys many advantages. He has the- I’m-unbought –advantage and should prevail on judgment. Building the wall shows poor judgment. The Berlin Wall hurt the Soviet Union, and the Mexican wall will convert a friendly border into an international trouble spot.

Bernie should glory in his peaceful instincts. It takes courage to use diplomacy; the result is uncertain. But when it works since both parties agree, it becomes an example of cooperation. It doesn’t require force to make governments do the right if they agree to do it. Bernie is the candidate of diplomacy, and war would be a last resort. Trump likes to pick fights.

Who else but Bernie should unleash the call, “this country won’t solve its problems by electing the one percent president.” Bernie must confront Republican pugnacity it will rejuvenate his campaign.

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Nathan Riley is a columnist for Gay City News and a veteran of numerous New York State Campaigns. 

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