George Graham

Play Nice, Bernie

Bernie and Goliath


I admire Bernie Sanders, and I agree with him most of the time. But when he sides with the right-wing witch hunters against Hillary Clinton, he’s walking on the fighting side of me.

In tonight’s debate. I hope he doesn’t repeat his recent remarks suggesting investigation of Hillary’s emails is “appropriate” and should continue. That would turn off a lot of voters.

He was right when he said in the last debate that the American public is sick and tired of hearing about those damn emails. He would be wrong to go back on that now.

The pundits say Bernie is going negative because he is getting desperate. They cite polls showing Hillary with big leads and Bernie’s support waning.

But surely, Bernie didn’t really expect to get the nomination?

If he did, he is delusional. As he said recently, he was considered a fringe candidate when he started his campaign . And, despite the huge crowds he has attracted in the campaign, he still is.

This is America. This is the year 2015. A self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist has no chance of being elected President.

And no Democrat with so little support among minorities could win a national election.

So I hope Bernie will play nice tonight.

I don’t think Democrats – even the angriest progressives – want our representatives fighting among themselves. Leave that to the Republicans. Let them be the fighters. Democrats do better as lovers.

I hope that in tonight’s debate, the three Denocrats will show America how civilized people behave, not emulate the hooligans vying for the Republican nomination.

Of course Bernie is fighting mad. Exasperated. And understandably so.

He is right about income inequality. He is right about free college tuition. He is right about expanding Medicare. He is right about taxing Wall Street. He is right about so many things. Why doesn’t everybody see how right he is?

But this is America, and his campaign has no chance. Not yet. Perhaps in some future generation, a reincarnated Bernie will have a chance. Perhaps.

As  Count Otto von Bismarck observed many years ago, politics is the art of the possible. You do what can be done, not flail futilely against immovable objects.

The way I see it, Bernie’s job is not to criticize Hillary. There are plenty of people only too eager to do that. His job is to gently push her toward the left, awaken her “better angels,” so that when she gets the nomination, and if she wins the presidency, Americans will be better off. Push her, but gently.

She might even reward him with a place in her cabinet. That would be nice.

Click for more on Bernie’s remarks.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for