Wing-Nuts to the Right of Me, Lug-Nuts to the Left. Here I Am Trapped in the Middle with You

Readers won’t be surprised to learn that the DISSENTING DEMOCRAT looks with favor upon the prospective candidacy of BERNIE SANDERS for the Presidency. Bernie is the independent-minded U.S. Senator from Vermont who is able to meld a broad coalition of Democrats, Independents, Progressives and third-party types into repeated electoral victory.

Although Bernie has described himself as a “Socialist”, he is far from doctrinaire or sectarian. He is pragmatic and very much representative of what we have called here the “Real Democrats” on issue after issue. He caucuses with the Democrats and would have the best chance of attaining the Presidency running within the Democratic primaries and caucuses.

Regrettably, his nascent campaign could be sabotaged by the Left’s version of Tea partisans, or what we lovingly call lugnuts. Barry Goldwater, the father of the American Conservative movement, complained in his latter years that despite his credentials, today’s Republican Party would consider him as “too liberal”. The right wingnuts have so transformed Barry’s Party that Ronald Reagan has actually  been criticized as “Socialistic”.

The DISSENTING DEMOCRAT tends to support Progressives, and indeed has generally supported whosoever has had the best claim to being the Progressive candidate in the Democratic Party. In 2004, we were early supporters for Dennis Kucinich and sought to help organize for him in our State. Contacting the designated “Kucinich Coordinators”, we offered to collect precinct caucus lists from the previous election cycle and call delegates to ascertain interest in Kucinich and to encourage any identified supporters to attend caucus. This is how delegates are selected, and delegates are the ones who elect other delegates who attend the party convention to endorse candidates.

The Kucinich “organization” wasn’t interested. Pouring through precinct lists didn’t sound like fun, even if someone else volunteered to do it. No, the cool thing was to get together a bunch of people who would hang out downtown and hand out leaflets. For what purpose we still don’t know. The Kucinich folks skipped the State Convention where delegates met to actually support candidates but leafleted the State Fair where a third of the attendees came from out-of-state and where no one was selected to be a delegate.

We became very disenchanted with the Kucinich campaign from there on out.

Now we have attempted to network with Bernie Sanders people on Facebook. Recognizing, of course, that unlike our year 2004 experience these contacts were not the “official” Sanders organization, our experience deja vued Kucinich days. The loudest “mouths” (“fingers” inasmuch as we communicate via keyboard) have no political experience, don’t know how candidates are endorsed, or what is involved in a political campaign. All of which is forgivable, and remediable, but they also absolutely disdain to have anything to do with politics-as-it-is. According to these “Lug-Nuts” (“Wing-Nuts” being reserved for our Teaser friends) these wise ones are superior to all Democrats, politico and rank-and-file. The pros (that means anyone who has ever door-knocked or lit-dropped for votes) are all corrupt and just plain-folks Democrats are “sheep”.

Only the Lug-Nuts are among the cognoscenti. They are purer-than-thou and think that they truly represent the people, even though the people don’t know it yet. They will become very disenchanted when, or if, Bernie starts campaigning for grown-up votes and flesh-and-blood delegates. I fear they will then reject him as a sell-out not worthy of their holy support.

However, there is I suspect some chance that this mindset could become the pool from which the Bernie Sanders campaign draws drink. I hope not but suppose it is possible. If Bernie does decide to make a go of it, he needs to start organizing early, not only to win, but to pre-empt the crazies from establishing themselves as the face of the campaign in Whosville and beyond.


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