Burger’s Bernie Belly Crawl Challenge

Ahhh politics…and in particular the U.S. Presidential race. A lot of people will look down their noses at my forthcoming expression of opinion. Some will rightly say that a community news site should concentrate on local level politics that have more of an immediate impact on the community it represents, while others will disdain any local opinion whatsoever based on their notions of propriety or something. I disregard them, in part because I agree with the adage that all politics is local, and in part because I desire MORE community engagement with politics in general. It should be obvious, but here I insert a disclaimer that I do not portend to represent ALL of Oregon Hill residents’ opinion on anything (unless, perhaps, when I am wearing my crown).

Anyway…so yeah, currently one of the big questions is if Senator Bernie Sanders can successfully upstage Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Now, like a lot of people, I have been a fan of Bernie for a long time for many of his stands as an “Independent” in Congress (though not all of them). However, I am betting that he will not gain the nomination for a couple of different reasons. Bernie Sanders will not be on the ballot in November. I would love to be proven wrong. So much so that I am willing to make a friendly wager/challenge on this- I hereby announce that if Senator Bernie Sanders does become the Democratic Party nominee for President, I, Scott Burger, promise to crawl on my belly south from Idlewood Avenue down to the James River. (In the unlikely circumstance that I lose this bet, I will concede my loss on a date of my choosing, and upon losing, and I will fulfill my promise to do this crawl on a time and date of my choosing.)

So, if you want to help Bernie or would enjoy seeing me punished and brought low for my political thoughts, I urge you to vote in the Democratic Primary on March 1st and see if you can help prove me wrong. (By the way, I am certainly not alone in this crude speculation and if you would like to bet real money, there are already websites that will cater to this.)

Having issued this challenge, who then am I supporting in the Presidential election? Click for more…

Like I said, I sadly expect Bernie to lose to Clinton, and even if he wins the primary vote, I fully expect the corporate Democratic National Committee leaders to figure out a way to deny him the nomination. Bernie has said all along that if he does not get the nomination, he will concede and support the Democratic nominee.

So for many voters like myself, who will not vote Republican and will not vote for Clinton, what choice do we have? Thankfully, Dr. Jill Stein, of the Green Party, offers a “Plan B”. More from Stein:

We’ve seen the fate of insurgent campaigns inside the Democratic Party before. Remember Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean? The party has a kill switch for rebel campaigns in its ranks. Establishment candidates like Clinton use their corporate funding, support from elected officials and the party apparatus to trounce the radicals. They’ll use all of this corporate and organizational backing on Super Tuesday, March 1, when 12 states hold simultaneous primaries. On that day, the establishment usually buries dissident campaigns.

If that doesn’t work, the Democrats always have their superdelegates of elected officials, insiders and apparatchiks as a fallback plan. They comprise a substantial percentage of the delegates at the convention and can tip the nomination to their favored candidate, violating democracy in the process. As we know, Clinton has been busy collecting superdelegates by the hundreds.

At the same time, the Democrats benefit from insurgents like Sanders. The party uses these principled campaigns to lure the left back into the party and stop it from building an independent base from which it can truly grow–in a party like the Greens. With the left co-opted, the Democrats can then move further to the right and continue forcing their corporate and imperialist agenda down our throats, uncontested.

That I should advocate for the Green Party should come as no surprise and there is anecdotal evidence that Oregon Hill was the neighborhood in Virginia that voted the most for Green Party’s Nader in the 2000 election. Of course, hardcore Democrats still scapegoat Nader in the face of the evidence, but citizens should reject the corporate duopoly’s game of getting “the sheeple” to vote fears instead of beliefs. If nothing else, voters have the ability to look at the state polls before November’s Election Day and decide on their own strategy, including vote trading.

What would be really inspiring is if citizens won electoral reforms to allow ranking of choices for electing the President (and Richmond’s Mayor).