Calling the Election Like it is

Bernie Sanders’ enemies have been trying to take the shine off of his invitation to speak at the Vatican. They claim they’re concerned about protocol but they’re only angry because they think it might increase his chances in this election. They are out of touch with our times.

To put things in perspective, Senator Sanders has become part of a conversation that was in progress before most of us were born. This is a conversation that will continue regardless of who wins this election. Sanders is naturally a part of it because of the policy positions he’s maintained throughout his career. By the same standard his political rivals are not part of it, due to the policy positions they have maintained throughout their careers. Nevertheless they demand equal attention from the Pope. They covet his public approval even as they refuse to cooperate with him.

American politicians have generally been dismissive of Pope Francis’s advice, but they don’t seem to realize that when they act as if the Vatican’s invitation is a compliment to the Senator they reveal a grudging respect for him. This is the central irony of this ironic campaign. They don’t take Francis’s advice seriously but they want his approval for political reasons, or in this case they want to deny his approval to Sanders. It seems that for them the pope is merely one of the trappings of power—he’s the Pope-figure. He exists to acknowledge the eventual nominee, but the nominee’s policies are none of his business.

This irony came into view when Donald Trump exploded in anger at the suggestion that building walls instead of bridges is not Christian. Trump could have changed this policy if he really wanted the Pope’s approval, so the fact that he didn’t change it is telling. Apparently his faith, like his plan to build a wall, is a political strategy. Therefore, to question his faith is to question his electability.

Then Trump’s supporters in the media raised irony to a new level. When the Pope tried to clarify what he thought was a misunderstanding on Trump’s part, they declared a victory for Trump! They apparently thought this was a wrestling match. The problem is that when a religious leader appears with a warning, it is not the place of those being warned to declare the victor. That’s a decision for future generations.

I’m not writing this article to convince people to vote for Senator Sanders. The majority of Americans are already voting for him. The problem is they are being cheated out of their vote. What I’m trying to do here is put this battle in its proper context.

The candidate who appears poised to claim the presidency labors under a series of misunderstandings about reality. She has no capacity for appreciating this conversation. Her level of blindness and deafness is breathtaking. I call on this candidate to step down.

Hillary Clinton, you are lacking in vision and imagination. I believe you have sold us out and then smilingly destroyed the evidence. Why else would you manage your server the way you have?  How dare you expect us to vote for you when you disrespect us like that? You and your minions have no solutions. You have only personal greed.

Together we represent the way forward. You do not. We have a candidate who can lead us in the right direction but you are standing in our way. I call on you and your minions to step down.

Pope Francis has not endorsed a candidate or offered an opinion about a candidate. This article represents my own opinion.

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