Brent Budowsky: What Hillary needs to hear

Brent Budowsky: What Hillary needs to hear
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I hope this column provokes a strong reaction from my brothers and sisters in the Democratic establishment, against whom I dissent in large measure today despite my history of working for Democratic leaders in Congress.

I am breaking rank and going rogue by warning with blunt and uncompromising words that the Hillary Clinton campaign has gone astray by failing to offer a clear and inspiring vision about the kind of presidency she dreams of and lapsing into attacks against Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE for advocating powerful change and progressive reforms that many liberals and independents believe in.


The message she needs to hear is not one invented by me but the message I give voice to here, from the young women and men who choose Sanders over Clinton, from the students who believe in the Vermont senator and are insulted in the Wednesday Washington Post by the superficial slander that they support him because he is “cool,” from the political independents who are unpersuaded by Clinton that she can be trusted, from the Americans who hold Congress in contempt and believe the establishments that run America are corrupt to the core and from the voters who are economically hurting and want their dreams to be brought alive again by their leaders — not talked down by cynical politicians who say their deepest dreams are “naive” or “unrealistic.”

So here’s a memo to Clinton and The Washington Post, whose editorial page once fanatically championed the Iraq War and now mocks Sanders.

Young people do not support Sanders because he is cool. They support Sanders because they believe he is real, honest and authentic in an age when politicians are obsessed with who gives them the money to purchase their policies and buy television campaign ads laced with platitudes, spin and often falsehoods.

Young people and many independents and others support Sanders because he believes in the power and nobility of the dream, while cynics claim those dreams are “naive” and “unrealistic” and should be abandoned before the battle to make them come true has even begun.

Thank goodness the Roosevelts and Kennedys never heeded such words of caution and calculation when they waged their heroic, uphill and ultimately successful battles to create Social Security and Medicare.

Of course single-payer healthcare will not be enacted during the next president’s first hundred days, but it is a dream that’s come true for citizens in democratic nations around the world. It should be praised and not mocked; why can’t Clinton support adding a public option to ObamaCare, as President Obama himself proposed?

Instead of conducting focus groups about what position to take, Clinton should convene a private meeting with 10 young women who support Sanders to chat about their dreams, views and aspirations.

There are reasons why Sanders is opposed by virtually the entire political, Wall Street and corporate media establishment that for many months has turned coverage about America’s decision to choose the next leader of our great nation into an idiot’s delight of nonstop homage to the bigoted insults and phony conservatism of Donald Trump.

These establishments, which are courted by Clinton and challenged by Sanders, are among the most distrusted institutions in America.

The message that Clinton needs to hear — and needs to understand — is that despite her overpowering and overwhelming advantages of money and power and the virtually unanimous support from the Democratic establishment, it was Sanders who won the most important battle of the Iowa caucuses by fighting her to a draw.

Instead of attacking Sanders for having dreams too great, the former first lady should share with the nation the dreams she has, without fear or favor about which interest group might be offended. She should speak of her dreams with passion, principle, courage and authenticity with her voice, as Sanders does with his.

Let the Democratic National Convention rise and roar with unity and delight, with Clinton and Sanders cheering together a campaign-defining keynote address by the progressive conscience of the Senate, Elizabeth Warren.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sens. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors blog and reached at