The Art of the Grift
Although they would never admit it, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Jill Stein actually share a lot of economic views with Trump… at least on paper. They claim to oppose destructive trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP, are against the disproportionate influence of big banks and globalist corporations on the electoral process, and want to revive the manufacturing sectors that made a thriving middle class possible. Where they diverge from Trump is on the implementation of solutions.
If Sanders, Warren and Stein actually cared about achieving these goals, they would acknowledge the common ground they share with Trump and, more importantly, the American public. Instead of antagonizing and undermining him before he even gets sworn in, they would at least attempt to work with him on the problems that they all agree need fixing, and save their fighting words for the issues on which they fundamentally disagree. The end result won't be the Nordic-style socialist Utopia they envision, but all that matters is what's best for Americans... right?
Well, no. As it turns out, they-- just like everyone else in Washington-- don't have the slightest interest in solutions or in adhering to their principles. It's much easier to swindle and extort the public by making compromise impossible.
I’ll start with Sanders. Although he’s been in Congress since 1990, he managed to successfully paint himself as an outsider and a champion of the working class. When the rigging of the Democratic primary was revealed, and his devoted supporters treated as if they were drunken hobos crashing a fancy dinner party in the Hamptons, it was heartbreaking. When he conceded without a fight, I was almost certain that he or his family were threatened with the Vince Foster treatment.
I needn’t have wasted a moment of worry or sadness. As revealed by Wikileaks, Sanders apparently made an agreement that he wouldn’t attack Hillary Clinton personally during the primary. A memo to John Podesta (see the Spring Earned Messaging Concept attachment) from all the way back in December 9, 2015 indicated that that Sanders was expected to concede by the end of March 2016, at which point he would be campaigning alongside Hillary. But since his campaign picked up a lot more steam than anyone expected, he rode his gravy train for as far the Party would allow it go... straight to his $600,000 vacation home on the banks of Lake Champlain. If he wanted money and attention, he certainly got it. In retrospect, perhaps his supporters should've been more suspicious of a man who managed to amass a fortune while in office, unlike most senators, who were millionaires before they went in.
Next, there’s Elizabeth Warren, who some in the media are already hoping will be the second coming of Hillary in 2020. She won her Senate seat in 2012 on the promise of reigning in the big banks… and yet there she was on the stage of the Democratic Convention, giving a fiery speech against the wickedness of Wall Street while endorsing their most compliant servant. Warren is like an ugly and awkward high school nerd who claims to hate the popular kids but then quickly abandons her fellow geeks the minute the head cheerleader offers her a seat at lunch. Is it any wonder the Berners shouted her down with heckling chants of “We trusted you!” during the convention?
Warren probably thought that if she played nice with Hillary Clinton (and let her copy her exam in math class) that she would get to sit at the cool kids’ table forever. But the big yellow-haired badass who took over the table hasn’t forgotten how he was berated by Warren at the cheerleader’s request, and if the nerds have even an ounce of sense, she won't be allowed to rejoin them.
And last but not least, Jill Stein. For quite a while, she played the role of straight-talking granny with integrity rather well, even acknowledging the threat posed by a Hillary Clinton administration. But now she's decided to reveal her penchant for cash and publicity by spearheading a ridiculous recount effort that only serves to sew anxiety and maintain our current level of national discord. Naturally, the target amount she's seeking as a fundraising goal keeps getting higher and higher. If she really gave a shit about the integrity of the voting process, why isn’t she pushing for a recount in states like Nevada or New Hampshire that Hillary Clinton narrowly won, or perhaps California, New York or Virginia, where it’s possible many illegal immigrants voted? Or is she afraid that would reveal actual fraud?
I suppose such duplicity on the part of Jill Stein is expected when you consider that her investment portfolio is in direct opposition to the core tenets of her anti-corporate, anti-Pharma and anti-carbon platform.
This new Holy Trinity of Sanders, Warren and Stein are not a refreshing alternative to Clinton Democrats. Any rational left-leaning person should shun them, especially if they were among the many that got “berned” in the Democratic primary. These three proved themselves to be grifters just like the Clintons; the only difference is that their tactics appeal to the ideals of their marks rather than their cynicism, which makes their betrayal quite a bit worse.