Saturday, August 19, 2017

Trump's End Game--Retain Power at all Costs






The mystery of why Trump made his second statement about the Charlottesville demonstrations might not ever been solved. Who after all can look inside Trump’s demented brain? But there is good reason to speculate.
Trump's 180 pivot is not easily understandable from any rational perspective. Why make a correct statement that condemned “white supremacists” for the violence that led to one death and then two days later say among other things that white supremacists/nazis  contain some “ very fine people?”  Why describe a false narrative “You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side.’ Why say these things knowing that the same "other side" also were chanting Nazi era
slogans such as "Jews will not replace us"when your own daughter and son in law are Jewish as are many members of your cabinet, Madness right?

One explanation for Trump's seeming madness--his doubling down on racism and siding with the fascistic core of his base is that he is now sees himself as cornered as he believes some kind of indictment by the Mueller investigation is likely to occur before the 2018 mid terms. While Trump,understands that his pardon powers will protect himself and his family from the legal jeopardy it will not protect him from impeachment which will inevitably occur if the Democrats succeed in taking over the House in the 2018 mid terms. Trump and his strategists know that the block to the Democrats sweeping the 2018 remains race. According to a voter study report- well before the 2016 election “there was increasing alignment between race and partisanship, with white voters without a college education shifting sharply toward the Republican Party.” As Vox concludes
“to win back the working-class white voters, Democrats also have to find a way to make race and immigration less salient.” Trump’s presidency in other words as the Mueller investigation closes in is going to be an alt right presidency. As Bannon confided to Robert Kutner during one of his tell all exit interviews--“the longer they  (the dems) talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.” While the strategy is not yet working it may yet if the Dems become far too shrill and allow Trump to divide them on key issues like affirmative action and civil rights laws. The 2018 Congressional map is stacked against democrats as a Fivethirtyeight report  concludes,


“Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.”


We will have to see if Trump’s effort to sow racial division and hate will succeed. It is his clearly not only his only option. Another much darker  calculation behind Trump’s racist turn is indicated by Colbert King in the Washington Post. Trump is preparing to characterize the Mueller investigation as an attempt at a  “silent coup” --and is readying his media lieutenants such as Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage accordingly. Rush informed his vast audience of followers that the Washington establishment is involved in a “silent coup” against Trump. “These people are trying to take this president out,” Savage warned his followers that “the left” is out to take down Trump, Savage threatened, “If it’s done through Mueller or any other source . . . there will be a civil war in this country.”


Remove Trump from office, Savage said, and “that is what’s going to happen in this country.” He added, “You have not yet seen mob violence in this country. . . . You haven’t seen the thing I’m telling you is coming in this country.”

Strap in for a rough ride. Nazis could be marching yet in the streets of Washington DC. That is if he does not go to war with one of several nuclear armed countries on his short list.  It ain’t over yet. The country will pay an increasing price for voting in a racist traitor who cares not a jot for anything except money and his own ego.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A New Message and Ethic Needed to Challenge Trumpism

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat It is hard these days to wake up and not feel some degree of nausea and shame about being an American.  How do we live with the just the idea of a president who lies on a regular basis and seems to be  the only one in his administration who disbelieves that the Russians meddled in our election. Place on top of this ugly reality his withdrawal from the Paris Climate accords and , his cruel efforts to take health care away from between 12 to 16 million people and you end up with what can be loosely termed a "hot mess."This is without even considering the Muller investigation which the closer it gets to implicating Trump's inner circle in colluding with the Russian government to steal the election the more the president lashes out and attempts to obstruct justice.

How did we find ourselves at this awful historical moment and how do we move beyond it are two fundamental questions we cannot avoid asking, Naomi Klein provides some answers in her latest book No is Not Enough. In it she argues that “Trump is not a rupture at all, but rather the culmination — the logical endpoint — of a great many dangerous stories our culture has been telling for a very long time...That greed is good. That the market rules. That money is what matters in life. That white men are better than the rest. That the natural world is there for us to pillage. That the vulnerable deserve their fate and the one percent deserve their golden towers. That anything public or commonly held is sinister and not worth protecting. That we are surrounded by danger and should only look after our own.”

While Klein has found some compelling words to explain why a narcissistic billionaire maybe driving us all off a potential cliff. but does not give us any robust sense of hope that we can eject him from the driver's seat any time soon. Klein's
"solution" if that is the right word seems to be a feel good one--the left has to "pull together" and not divide up into "silo interest groups".  “The trick is going to be to stick together, and have each other’s backs as never before.” Really? A set of cliches that might be good to share with a set of nervous teenagers who are anxious about the future--but is this a real plan--does this suggest really in the words of her title that "No is Not Enough"?

To really beat Trump the left needs not just an emotional kumbaya moment but a real plan. We cannot simply rely on the fact that Trump's national poll numbers are down to historic low of 36 percent, we need to keep in mind that according to Gallup in 17 states Trump is 50 percent or higher job approval ratings. While the beginnings of the democrats fight back are evident in their latest "A Better Deal" message that was announced to very little mainstream press news coverage on July 24th, it fell short of what is required in several ways and was immediately panned by the wildly popular Morning Joe show as "bland" and "vanilla. The New Republic rightly saw a basic contradiction at the heart of the document in that while there is a recognition that the economy is rigged against the middle class, it expects the American worker to pull himself up by his bootstraps and get the training he or she needs to seek higher wage jobs. The new democrats proclaim that their "better deal is not about expanding the government." As Bustos et al (for CNN) commented " That position betrays a continued acceptance by Democrats of a decades long Republican talking point that demonizes government, adopts the idea that taxes are too high and puts blind faith in the "free market."


It is past time to remind people that big government got us out of the 1930s depression, won the second world war, built the national highway system, got us to the moon, developed the prototype for the internet and GPS. Big government is managed by annual appropriations bills that have to be scrutinized by Congress. To demonize big government to essentially give up on democracy and decide that it is too challenging to put controls on it that reflects the national interest. To really begin to respond to the demands of a global economy and the need to create secure middle class jobs democrats should set out a plan that requires government to be a partner in the need to create a green economy. The dems should be honest in setting out the stakes and that the GOP alternative is to place the nation's wealth in fewer and fewer hands--as the one perccnt squeeze the middle class even further in their pursuit of ever more gargantuan profits. We must in short replace a wildly out of control individualistic ethic that would strip health care from tens of millions of people because they want younger people to be "free" not to pay into health care, with a communitarian one that accepts the mutual obligations of each generation to contribute to the national good.
Senator Elizabeth Warren said it well "there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody…Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” For the last two to three decades there has been very little paying forward and a lot more concentration of wealth in a few hands.

The democrats' challenge will not be easy. They are badly in need of a leader who will speak from the heart and who will not shy away from words like "opportunity", "fairness" and even terms like "economic justice." Democrats will need to have the confidence of their convictions and lean on their talented friends in Hollywood and Madison Avenue to come up with the words, video and music that can help convey the message. Some will argue that until they do get the messenger a new Barack Obama, Bill Clinton or JFK that the democrats new message will not be able to break through. There is some truth to that point --charismatic leaders do have their often decisive role to play but the Trump emergency means we cannot wait around and hope that the man or woman on the white horse will show up. There is plenty of talent that is already there in the democratic party. That talent is more likely to emerge once the old guard--- Nancy Pelosis, Steny Hoyers and Chuck Schumers (all in their seventh decade) decide that is in the long term interest of the party and the country for them to step aside.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Trump --Our First Mafia President Shows His True Colors

For those who were eager to know how a Trump presidency would work out and who might fantasized that the golden haired casino owner would be making decisions around a  table Apprentice style. Or board room style,  work with Chuck Schumer and Paul Ryan and apply his business acumen to form partnerships, build coalitions in order to move his transformative "Make America Great Again" agenda through the Congress, we now have the reality of the first 120 days. Based on the last three months we now have a few hints that the reality of a Trump administration is radically different from the TV fueled fantasy that his supporters probably had in mind. Turns out that Trump wants to closely align his administration with Costra Nostra principles. So the question on the table is whether Donald J Trump is our first Mafia President?  There are lots of signs that he well might achieve this historic if dubious historic title. After all something must have rubbed off from his friendship with the true master of intimidating enemies and hoodwinking the authorities, Roy Cohn. It was Cohn after all who used to defend Mafia bosses and must have helped him find the  mobsters to work on his building projects as this article makes clear.

But the connections to the Mafia world goes even deeper than we might first have imagined.  Trump acts like a classic Mafia Capo in his administration because it suits his style of having no interest in the details of government or ideology but just in finding more ways to continue to flatter his insatiable ego and grow his thirst for power for its own sake. To run a non ideological non n strategic administration that depends on the whims of the boss as to whether we bomb Syria today, send warships to North Korea tomorrow, kick 24 million off health care or provide full coverage, is not as easy as it looks.  To do so you have to maintain tight control of your inner circle who have the authority to do your bidding. You need to have some well defined enemies to help you achieve your goals. You need an entire army of bad hombres, Muslims, media elites, fake media to get your team in shape.  As one study of the Costra Nostra has pointed out it is the Capo who for example keeps control of the group by constantly "hyping of a belief that there is an external danger to the group."

As the authors, Franco Di Maria and Giorgio Falgares  explains,

"This way of governing the organization has helped to create the right tension for members to feel not only united, but always alert, ready for attack, to serve the Capo for the good of the group." As Comey and others like SallyYates and a series of other members of the group found out is from the
 the Capo ready to discard his men when they failed to show reliability   (a failure on a psychological level, an inability to keep secret a truth, or even if a boss warned, paranoid, that certain of his men could pose a threat to him or to the entire group..Psychodynamically speaking, we could say it is the fear of the Capo that is the main mechanism of legitimation of the role and of constructing and maintaining consensus, even if all of this is, as mentioned, cleverly concealed by seeming good faith and readiness-to-help. To paraphrase Lewin, we define this modality of expressing leadership “cruelly authoritarian” or “falsely paternal.”

People like Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General  who was forced to write the appalling memo "justifying"  Comey's  memo have to possess "certain basic personality requirements. They must demonstrate willingness to be indoctrinated into criminality and cruelty, that is, the process of hardening and brutalization that the organization considers essential in transforming members into willing and trusted tools for their own criminal ends." The study goes on to locate the mysterious rage that Trump and his Costra Nostra colleagues share with respect to their victims like Comey who Trump after unceremoniously firing him while he was talking to employees out in Los Angeles and had to read about his execution on  TV is now threatened by the Capo in chief if he tells a story that contradicts the story his boss has just concocted.


"The rage expressed upon victims is the physical outcome of that process of blind devotion and unquestioning obedience to the leader which they feel."  The leader must constantly be praised as somehow extraordinary and who undying loyalty for his great courage and fortitude must constantly be shown in public and private. There must be no hint of disrespect. Alec Baldwin and others in the SNL team or the Oscar award actress Meryl Streep  who dare to disrespect him through satire are "no talent" people worthy of his base's derision and mockery. Trump the beauty queen competition maven is in their eyes at least  the final judge of all things,  including talent.

What is the point of all this energy and devotion to the charismatic leader apart from just staying in power and constantly getting even with your enemies in the Fake Media world who point out all your flaws,  inconsistencies, contradictions, and amorality?  It is the "ability to arouse admiration and consent from groups not only far removed from the criminal world" It is to make their world where authoritarian values rule, where what the leader says today is more important than any other version of reality, a world where crime pays, and morality, human decency and serving others are seen as "phony" insipid even low energy. For finally the real world is less entertaining and less forgiving than the one dreamed up by the Crime boss who even if he has not  won every battle
can force those around him to imagine that is the case.

How does it all end? Stay tuned the ending is likely to be even stranger than the Sopranos and the Godfather but like those two movies expect plenty of victims. The Capo does not go down without a good fight.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Trump and his Lies are leading us to Only One place--War


Friday, November 11, 2016

What Will a New Trump Administration Mean For K-12 Education?






As the reality of the Trump election sinks in many are now somewhat wearily reflecting on how various parts of Trump’s policies would  affect their world. In my world of K-12 education policy there is a potential for some quite dramatic change so it maybe worth spending a few moments contemplating how a Trump presidency may affect our lives as educators if only to distract us from some of the more sordid elements of this bitter election season.

Three themes seem likely to l take center stage when it comes to Trump’s views on education. A sector that he chose not to focus on very much during the campaign, preferring instead to rail against unfair trade deals and ill advised wars. From his campaign literature however it is possible to discern at least three goals that will likely drive the agenda.

  1. Downsizing if not eliminating the US Department of Education.
  2. Promoting school choice and charter schools.
  3. Reducing the federal role in all areas particularly in relation to promoting education equity


Let’s take each one in order. The US Department of Education one of the newest agencies has been the subject of constant right wing vitriol ever since President Jimmy Carter created it in 1979 Reagan vowed to abolish it and was prevented by the irony of appointing an education secretary who was curiously interested in keeping his job and commissioned a panel to write  the A Nation At Risk report that linked our educational performance to our economy and defense in ways that resonated in the halls of Congress and most critically the business community, The report’s unexpectedly warm reception squashed all talk of dismantling the department vital to monitoring progress towards widely agreed upon goals and objectives. Lightening may well not strike twice but we should remember that Senator Lamar Alexander is Chair of the Senate Health Education and Labor Committee (HELP) and as a former Secretary of Education has shown no indication that he wants to reduce his Committee’s jurisdiction over the newly minted ESSA which he did more than most to help craft. There is no large part of the Trump coalition howling for the relatively small bureaucracy to be dismantled and plenty in the business community who would sooner have the fight be about abolishing the hated EPA. Moreover, if Trump does move to abolish the Department he would be wasting a lot of his limited political capital on confronting not just the teacher unions (a core part of the democratic coalition) but a good segment of state and local government that relies on federal grants and expertise at a time when education budgets have been shrinking. What is more likely to happen is that the Department’s budget for staff and for what might be considered non core programs such as after school, adult education, special education will be cut to pay for the new school choice and charter schools initiatives that will signal  that Trump has brought change to Washington.

Trump’s major agenda is his stated intention that he wants to add an additional federal investment of $20 billion towards school choice. That is a large sum and since it is a concrete figure you can probably place more trust that he will in fact deliver. Since the charter school movement emerged some 25 years ago there has been a strong steady increase in the numbers of charters in the US and they now educate six percent of the students in this country. But the dramatic  growth of publically funded charters in particular has not come without controversy as teacher unions and a variety of education groups complain about reverse segregation and lower standards. The ballot referendum to expand the number of charter schools in Massachusetts was defeated Trump promises to boost charter schools goes along with his belief that both parties have been far too accepting of the status quo in the American big cities. The new billions will be  reprioritizing existing federal dollars which as mentioned above is likely to come out of the hide of the budget for the historically forgotten groups that attracted the federal interest in the first place.  Politically this will be a much harder fight to overcome-first because democrats remain split on the issue as to whether charter schools may well be the tonic needed to shake up hundreds if not thousands of underperforming schools whose monopolies continue to go unchallenged and second because there may well be no need for new legislation. There are plenty of authorities in current legislation that would allow the reprogramming of these funds for charter schools, but there is every reason to believe that they would be able to pass even broader legislation in the first 100 days that would link this program to a broader anti poverty initiative that would (as the campaign literature sets out)  invite each state to “contribute another $110 billion of their own education budgets toward school choice, on top of the $20 billion in federal dollars” which someone in the Trump backroom works out to be , “$12,000 in school choice funds to every K-12 student who today lives in poverty.” No one at this point though can really say for sure how this initiative will end up looking once the various lobbying communities on both sides of the issue have had their say and then the bills get digested and eventually spat out by the relevant congressional committees.

Finally, as mentioned,  we are likely to see a new Trump administration oversee a  massive role back on the federal role when it comes to preserving educational equity for all kinds of populations not least African American, hispanic and special needs students. Currently there is a fight between the Obama administration and Republican lawmakers over the intent of the ESSA language related to the need for Title One to supplement not supplant state dollars for special populations. The GOP wants to insist that states and locals can use their federal dollars however they want and so if they decide they do not want to spend the funds they were allocating to poor schools they no longer have to because the federal dollars can make up the difference. Today it is much clearer that poor schools under a Trump administration will stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in potential funding.

So we end up with a rather dismal picture for the federal role in education as we have known it. It looks now like the recent battles in Congress that led to the long awaited passage of the landmark Elementary and Secondary School Act now renamed the Every Child Succeed Act was a herald for a large retreat from the former federal role as the funds were virtually block granted to the states with limited amounts of controls and oversight. Gary Orfield the noted civil rights historian claimed the new law stripped the federal funding of its "leverage for any national purpose." Under a new Trump administration we can expect more of the same. But as one wise saw said who helped me survive the Reagan administration as a House Democratic staffer on the brunt end of his similar “drain the swamp” anti Washington rhetoric, "there are no permanent defeats or permanent victories.". What we have in this country is a democracy still expressed in the three branches of government as well as a free press and an active advocacy community.

But to make it all work and to achieve any kind of progress we have to participate! We have to learn from the past and make the best arguments we can based on values and reason as well as reliable data and research based evidence. We also need to listen to those of others,  and be prepared to engage with them as we all in good faith try to seek common ground.  That is what "no permanent victories and defeats" I have come to view is all about--we are all part of the same learning community on the same journey to strive to create a more perfect union.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why Trump Won






There were plenty of reasons to point fingers at some factors in this election that might help explain the Trump victory


  • The Comey "October surprise" that for nine days kept the shadow of a potential criminal investigation over Clinton’s head

  • The media’s relentless focus on the emails that had no real information to reveal but kept the pundits focused on her trustworthiness as they parsed her answers to the FBI and the numerous investigative committees and treated Trumps’ personal behavior and history of scandals as non disqualifying. The media’s refusal to take apart Trump’s lunatic tax trade policies and focus people’s attention on the harm they would do for ordinary people’s pocket books.

  • The lack of any interviewer prepared to take on Trump and ask any follow up questions that identified the false premises and assumptions and his appalling ignorance of the world and public policy.


But all of these reasons pale in comparison to Hillary’s play it safe campaign lacked a clear message. Was she running for Obama’s third term? Did she have a plan to respond to the economic devastation following the great recession that hit the rust belt longer and harder than many in the media were prepared to recognize or acknowledge? How was she going to improve Obamacare or move to a green economy? It was not that she lacked policy ideas in these areas (there were enough policy briefs on her website to fill a bookshelf) but that she did not seem to want to prioritize any one of them or explain how and why they were important in simple non wonkish terms. Her husband tried with Obamacare but did so in a way that confused rather than enlightened. Although she won the debates she lost the argument as to what she wanted to achieve as President. It seemed she wanted to try working with people from both sides to achieve incremental change but that had been tried and failed. The GOP dominated congress was not interested in incremental change. Some in the GOP indeed were more interested in prosecuting her for alleged crimes and impeaching her than they were ever going to allow her to complete any kind of legislative agenda.

How was the electorate going to get excited about any of her ideas or if any of them appealed to them (raising the minimum wage for example) the prospect of more of the same gridlock that would lead to more hot air and nothing changing. Arguably this was the reason why many democrats stayed home and minorities did not vote in the overwhelming numbers that had led to Obama’s 2004 and 2008 victories. Although this argument that Trump was dangerously unqualified to become President won the popular vote it was not enough to bring out voters in the heartland who were desperate for some kind of change that would move them from the kind of minimum wage dead end jobs to a future where they or at least their children could dream the big American consumerist dream once again.

The Trump vote largely composed of these largely white males angry at elites came out in droves for someone their perceived would not sell them down the river by making trade deals that shifted good paying jobs either south or eastwards. The fact that these jobs had permanently left the US for a complex number of reasons due to changes in technology and more flexible global supply chains seemed to escape the media commentators. But this was an election not based on facts but on a sense of grievance that a future the white American workers left behind by globalization had been once promised and had been betrayed by the elites in Washington. Trump understood this sense of grievance more so than anyone else in the GOP and knew how to employ his brand of
aggressive macho posturing to appeal to them. Never mind that the grievance mixed in racism and misogyny, whipped up xenophobia and nationalistic emotions, they lapped it up. It seemed authentic and authenticity was something that allowed them bridge the wide gulf between the billionaire's lifestyle and their own. He was a regular guy even though he flew around in his own 727 and owned golf courses and hotels he was relatable because he shared their view about outsiders and their macho values that had conditioned them to objectify and demean women and feel superior to those of different races and religions.

Trump talked their language --it was the language of a TV talk show host --short blunt and not politically correct. Even though he was by all accounts a dishonest operator in his business and personal life his language appeared honest when compared to the political speak used by the Washington politicians.  It was the language of the outsider fueled by his anger that derived not from any of the genuine frustrations that ordinary people felt about their lives but due to a personal sense of hurt that somehow the educated and monied elites had too often snubbed him for his crassness.

What can we learn from all this? Looking back, Bernie Sanders had the clearer message that could have won the race.  His theme that the elite had engaged in unfair trade deals, that the banks should be broken up and that the bankers who caused the great recession should go to jail for their crimes was responsive to the mood of the country. It told a story, one which inspired millennials in debt to their eyeballs that they deserved a chance to move forward and were being held back by having to payback outrageous loans for college, when post secondary education should be a right available to everyone and was a good investment for the society to make in its future, a much wiser investment than the enormous sums spent on the Pentagon. Sanders was set to remake the democratic party so that it could really respond to the 21st century needs of a nation that needed to continue to invest in its future and not be so beholden to corporate interests. The centrist part of the democratic party believed that Sanders represented too much of a leftward shift and moved to stop him becoming the nominee. Hillary’s was not going to give up her fight to become the first female president of the United States and the party top brass who knew that the Clintons had more access to big donors than anyone else agreed to go along. It is speculative to assess whether Bernie could have won over the independents who would use the word "socialism" as some kind of taboo word  but it underlines the point that in a change election year --the times did demand an authentic change agent not someone who believed in incrementalism as a kind of therapy treatment for a dysfunctional congress.


Hillary turned out to be not the right candidate for the times. We must now all suffer the consequences and continue the work of rebuilding a democratic party responsive to the nations needs in a time of dramatic change.


Why Trump Won







There were plenty of reasons to point fingers at some factors in this election that might help explain the Trump victory


  • The Comey October surprise that for nine days kept the shadow of a potential criminal investigation over Clinton’s head


  • The media’s relentless focus on the emails that had no real information to reveal but kept the pundits focused on her trustworthiness as they parsed her answers to the FBI and the numerous investigative committees and treated Trumps’ personal behavior and history of scandals as non disqualifying. The media’s refusal to take apart Trump’s lunatic tax trade policies and focus people’s attention on the harm they would do for ordinary people’s pocket books.


  • The lack of any interviewer prepared to take on Trump and ask any follow up questions that identified the false premises and assumptions and his appalling ignorance of the world and public policy.


But all of these reasons pale in comparison to Hillary’s lackluster campaign that lacked a clear message. Was she running for Obama’s third term or would she respond to the economic angst,  faults in Obamacare and the growing power of Russia. It was the reason why many democrats stayed home and hispanics as well as African Americans did not vote in the overwhelming numbers that led to Obama’s victory.  She had no inspiring vision to offer other than a steady hand on the tiller and she was not Trump.

White males angry at elites who they perceived were ready to sell them down the river by making trade deals that shifted their jobs either south or eastwards were prepared to come out in droves responding to Trump's aggressive macho posturing that he would finally even the score against a world that had taken away their sense of an American future they could continue to dominate. It appealed to their sense of grievance that their futures and those of their children were being blocked by not just by NAFTA like deals but by unfettered immigration. The message resonated, Trump talked their language --it was the language of a TV talk show host --short blunt and not politically correct. Even though he was by all accounts a dishonest operator in his business and personal life his language appeared honest when compared to the political speak used by the Washington politicians.  It was the language of the outsider fueled by his anger that derived not from any of the genuine frustrations that ordinary people felt about their lives but due to a personal sense of hurt that somehow the educated and monied elites had too often snubbed him for his crassness.

What can we learn from all this? The democrats cannot be a collection of “boutique issues”- that included a fast changing social agenda--marriage equality, LGBT rights and drug reform.Looking back, Bernie Saunders had the clearer message that could have won the race.  He had the message responsive to the mood of the times-and he inspired millennials in debt to their eyeballs that they needed a chance to move forward by having college become affordable once again. He was set to remake the democratic party as being more anti-trade and for a single payer health care system. The centrist part of the democratic party believed that it was too much of a leftward shift and moved to stop him becoming the nominee. But it was considered by the party poh bahs that it was Hillary’s turn and she was not going to give up what she felt as her historic destiny to become the first female president of the United States. It is speculative to assess whether Bernie could have won over the independents who would use the word "socialism" as some kind of taboo word  but it underlines the point that in a change election year --the times demanded an authentic change agent and Hillary turned out to be not the right candidate for the times. We must now all suffer the consequences.