Hillel Damron
Writer, filmmaker and blogger

Evolution not Revolution

There are eight reasons out of ten for me to like Bernie Sanders, vote for him, and recommend him to be our next president. And yet – I will vote for Hillary Clinton. Here’s why: While I feel the burn/bern of revolution still inside me; and while it fondly reminds me of my younger years, when I was rebel, with or without a cause; unfortunately, I don’t believe in revolutions any longer. I believe in evolutions. Even the French revolution had failed, to the greater degree. And Obama’s revolution, too. Remember “Yes we can!” (i.e. Feel the Bern!) We are all Americans; no blacks or whites; male or females; democrats or republicans. Etc. We will unite, in Washington and elsewhere. I voted for him twice, and I’m proud of it still. But this revolution failed miserably. And at least on this score, things are worse now than when Obama took office.

Yes, he did object to the war in Iraq, and so did Sanders (and so did yours truly). And he did bring our troops home, largely, if not entirely; especially not in Afghanistan. Indeed, I do trust Sanders more than any other candidate not to go head first into any foolish war again. As well, he might be the only candidate, regarding Israel, who will be able to cut Netanyahu down to size, and will not be afraid to stand up to the AIPAC-Adelson-Republican coalition, where even Obama – except on the Iran Nuclear Deal issue – has failed to live up to expectations. Hillary, as secretary of state, did give Netanyahu hell once. And to her credit even tried, though naturally failed, to negotiate a Two-State solution. But if elected, she might appoint someone named Bill Clinton to be her emissary to the Middle East, and maybe – just maybe – will finally bring a livable, even if not peaceful, resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I trust his chances better than anybody else on the planet in this regard.

I like that Bernie is older than me, and that his honesty and fiery rhetoric appeal to young people. And I like that he is Jewish, at least by birth and heritage, if not by practice. I don’t mind that he is an atheist, not at all, though for myself the definition of secular humanist will fit better. Unlike him, I am a member of a Jewish congregation, and at least observe and celebrate the Jewish Holidays. But I’ll give him a pass on that. And I like also that he’s defining himself as a Socialist Democrat. As I’ve defined myself for many years, since leaving the “socialist” kibbutz where I was born and grew up (and where, in a different kibbutz though, Sanders “lived the experience” for a couple of months). But I don’t believe a European Socialist Democracy will work here in America. Even more so, it has no chance whatsoever of ever becoming a reality. It’s a pie in the sky.

Furthermore: According to well-regarded economy scholars, if implemented, together with his tax and free collage plans, he will bring some 30 trillion-dollar deficit to out treasury. Topping even the three leading Republicans irresponsible economic plans. Staunch liberals such as Nobel Prize winner in economics Paul Krugman in the NY Times thinks so, too. “I… point out that this is a pretty big deal: Four former Democratic chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers have put out a letter warning that Bernie Sanders’s economic program contains a very worrisome amount of voodoo,” he wrote. He further cited Austan Goolsbee, formerly chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, now at the University of Chicago, as saying that Sanders economic “evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.”

Yes, young people like to believe that if only they will bring down Wall Street, everything will be all right. (I suppose that the “Occupy Wall Street” movement ignited Sanders idea of running for presidency.) Free collage education – check. Single health care system – check. But I rather stick with Obamacare. It is his single most important internal achievement – to which, by the way, Hillary had put the groundwork – and it took a major fight to bring it about. (The battle not over yet, mind you.) It is proving economically viable, and helps millions of people get the healthcare they need. I trust Hillary to “move the football forward,” and improve on it.

I like that Sanders is not overly religious. It’s about time we extract religiosity – God help America and all that – from our political life and our leaders. And I have to admit, come to think of it, that I don’t remember Hillary mentioning God to often herself. Fits me. Like her husband, she’s too cleaver for that. And yes, I like that she is a woman. About time we have a woman president. It might improve a lot of things here. Bring much-needed progress to the workplace. Especially, I like her stand on the proliferation of guns in America. And dislike Sanders position on the matter. I dare say that for me, it is the single most important issue of all. With Hillary in the White House, maybe there are chances for better gun control laws.

And so, with Hillary can-do pragmatism and experience, both on foreign affairs and internal affairs, we at least get someone tasted, with scars to boot, but with a much better chance than Sanders of getting things done. Of moving the Republicans in Congress a step or two closer to reality, and towards sanity. And remember, come hell or high water, she has Bill on her side. That’s two presidents on one ticket. It’s a double-show. So for these reasons, mostly, despite my affinity with Bernie’s personality and message, this blogger is endorsing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for President.

About the Author
Hillel Damron is the author of novels, essays, and short stories—one which won the 2011 ‘Moment Magazine Memoire Contest.’ He studied films at the ‘London Film School’ and became the film director of TV documentaries, a feature film, and video shorts. He was the Executive Director of the ‘Hillel House at UC Davis'. He was an elite IDF paratroops unit officer who was wounded in battle; he was born in kibbutz Hephzibah to parents who survived the Holocaust.
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