It’s about change, not Sanders, Trump or Clinton

It’s about change, not Sanders, Trump or Clinton

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Bernie Sanders should quit the Democratic Party race and run for president as a true Independent. Donald Trump should apologize for his campaign rhetoric that continues to sound more and more racist against Mexicans and Muslims. Hillary Clinton needs to turn against the evil cabal of establishment insiders who run this country with power and money.

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania, City Hall Reporter, (1976-1992)

Ray Hanania, City Hall Reporter, (1976-1992)

I don’t believe Donald Trump really is a racist who hates Muslims or Mexicans. But, I do think he’s stupid.

For a successful businessman who has won the respect of audiences as the host of a very successful TV reality show series, (The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice), Trump sure has tripped himself up.

Even if his words about Mexicans and Muslims have been misunderstood, twisted, distorted and politicized – this is a political campaign, folks – you would think someone with his smarts would address the issues convincingly to reassure a concerned public and set the record straight.

Trump could make a persuasive argument that while he wants to stop the gang murderers like El Chapo and other drug dealers and killers from entering the United States by building a wall (which we already have anyway), he is not anti-Mexican and he supports the immigration of Mexicans, the majority of whom oppose El Chapo and the vicious Mexican drug lords, too.

Trump wouldn’t have to struggle to explain that while he wants to make it tougher for violent extremists to enter the United States from Muslim countries, the Middle East and the Arab World, he is not against Muslims and Arabs who love this country and would work with the Muslim and Arab world to build up our alliances and mutual defense.

Trump hasn’t done any of that, though, and that really has been his big failure as a presidential candidate.

My first choice for president, though, has been Bernie Sanders. But as the days go on, it’s clear that Sanders is being pushed out of contention by the ultimate establishment insider, Hillary Clinton.

Second to Sanders, I always thought Trump would be the perfect choice for president. I like the fact that Trumps ays what he believes, instead of lying to us about important issues the way Clinton and other establishment insiders lie to voters all the time.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plus, I understand how American Democracy really works. There is no “100 percent” in American politics. No one candidate can totally represent everything you believe.

I identified with about 80 percent of Bernie Sanders’ issues, 70 percent of Trump’s issues and 60 percent of Clinton’s issues.

It’s still possible that there might be a Sanders’ miracle between now and the General Election in November, but I’m just not sure. Maybe Sanders should run as a Third Party candidate. I think he can win.

If you eliminate the marginal candidates in the Libertarian and Green Party – who can never get significant votes to win anything – a contest among the big vote getters like Sanders, Trump and Clinton would give Sanders a real shot of winning and pulling of a “Harold Washington.”

Yes, Harold Washington is both a person and a noun in American politics. Washington was a third party outsider in the 1983 Chicago Mayoral Democratic Election Primary who was polling far behind both incumbent Mayor Jane M. Byrne and the popular Cook County State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley.

But Byrne and Daley split the “White” Democratic Machine vote, and Washington won with the backing of his core constituency, African American voters, and a significant slice of the up-until-then small independent voters. Washington got 37 percent of the vote, Byrne got 33 percent of the vote and Daley got 30 percent of the vote.

I knew Washington very well and interviewed him many times during that election. I can tell you Washington never expected to win. He wanted to win. But it wasn’t until near the end that he realized he could win. Washington had run before and lost, doing about as well as the Green Party and Libertarians might do if they combined their votes in this coming presidential election.

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sanders is a lot like Harold Washington. He is a true progressive. He is principled. He stands for fairness and for justice. He represents the down-trodden, those who have been pushed outside of the system by people like Hillary Clinton.

I thought Trump might be that person, someone who could speak for the voiceless majority that has been marginalized by insider clout, the outrageously record dollars being spent by insider Political Action Committees, and by incumbents who use their power in office to bribe voters with perqs and favors.

Jane Byrne was the outsider once, when she beat the Chicago Machine and ousted Mayor Michael A. Bilandic in 1979. But she quickly surrendered to the very “cabal of evil men” who controlled Chicago that she vowed to destroy.

Harold Washington stuck to his guns for four years battling Chicago’s White majority establishment which organized 29 votes to prevent him from exercising his full powers as Chicago’s first African American mayor. When Washington finally beat his foes in 1987, by being re-elected, he was in office only seven months when he died of a heart attack.

Chicago Mayor Harold Washington speaks during ...

The Late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trump could have been the knight who slayed the insider establishment dragon. But the fight to win the nomination in the Republican Party was so vicious, brutal and dizzying that when he did step out of the smoke, his rhetoric was so disgusting and racist that it might be too much for even him to walk it all back.

Clinton is bought and sold as the ultimate “establishment insider.” She knows how to carefully craft her words to make voters think she is saying something that she really isn’t saying.

She sees the weaknesses in the issues of her foes and panders to those issues. And she has relied on the loopholes that have weakened the Democracy in this country, relying on the backing of Super Delegates to overwhelm the powerful campaign Bernie Sanders has mounted.

Does anyone really believe that Clinton can do a better job than President Barack Obama or even her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Obama and Clinton were both good presidents, but they both have many failings. And there were times when they both could have done more, but they thought instead about their legacies.

The choice for president comes down to this for me:

English: Hillary Clinton Speaks to College Dem...

English: Hillary Clinton Speaks to College Democrats (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If Bernie Sanders can do the right thing, drop out of the Democratic race and run as an independent, I and I know millions of other Americans will support him.

Sanders might not get 50 percent of American voters, but he can get the largest plurality, as Washington did in 1983, and defeat both Trump and Clinton in the November General Election.

If he doesn’t, and instead compromises his principles by endorsing Clinton, then voting for Trump might be the only remaining option, a radical option for sure but maybe the only way to reboot the corrupted American system of false Democracy.

Trump has already done America a great service by tearing apart the Republican Party which over the past 16 years has become more radicalized, more extreme and more unDemocratic. Destroying the rights of individuals is not a good strategy to defeat terrorism. The Patriot Act hasn’t saved America from the terrorists. Invading Iraq hasn’t defeated the terrorists and made America safer. The economy is still a mess even if it has improved a little under Obama, who has been hamstrung by the Republican rejectionists.

No candidate will ever be able to make 100 percent of the people happy. Nor can any candidate give any voter satisfaction on 100 percent of the issues that the voters support.

So the best we can hope for is to get as much of what we believe in through one candidate, or see the entire system thrown up into the air like a Monopoly Game Board with the chips and pieces flying all over.

In picking up the pieces and starting the game over, we just might do Democracy right.

But it can’t really be worse than it already is for those of us Americans who believe in true justice, true fairness and an American way that has long ago lost its way. It’s worth the risk to find out rather than following the same old proven path of failure with an establishment insider like Hillary Clinton.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. Send him your thoughts by email to

This post has already been read 7567 times!



Columnist, blogger at Illinois News Network
Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley).

Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992).

The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.