Say Goodbye To The Sixties
by Geraldo Rivera | Oct 14, 2015
Bernie Sanders reminds me of me 50 years ago when I didn’t trust anyone over thirty and my friends and I were going to bring “the man” to heel. The world is unfair, the war sucks, the government is owned by Wall Street and income re-distribution, social change and forced integration were urgently necessary to save the planet from itself.
All those issues are as real today as they were in the 1960’s. The difference is that we have changed. Watching the utter dysfunction and woeful partisan division of government at every level, has deflated our sense of ourselves as titans of social change, and has made clear that steering the system is a painfully incremental process. Wall Street is still reaping disproportionate profit. The racial and social divide is as big as or bigger than ever. And we can barely get along well enough to confront foreign enemies or agree on accepting refugees and immigrants or even keep the lights on and the garbage picked up.
It is said that if you are a conservative as a young person you have no heart, and if you are a liberal as an older person you have no head. These days, I don’t consider myself either a conservative or a liberal, but I am a pragmatic idealist. I still cherish the notion of a fairer world, but understand how enormously complicated is the real world.
It doesn’t seem as if Bernie Sanders got that memo. He is a charming, sincere, impassioned but utterly impractical man who has zero chance of getting elected and if that miracle were to occur, has zero chance of getting congress to go along with his socialist agenda.
Last night, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee, in fact if not in name. Hers was the voice of the old time liberal who grew up to become the pragmatically progressive First Lady, senator and Secretary of State. She knows what real world government can or cannot do. The Benghazi hoax will be gone by next November and its ruthlessly partisan promoters will be utterly revealed as political hatchet men.
Similarly, the email scandalette will be all played out by then with a finding of No Harm, No Foul.
While Secretary Clinton is not a perfect candidate and could be beaten by an assertive, competent, open-minded, inclusively moderate Republican, it is unlikely that the GOP will nominate such a person. Immigration and abortion will distort their platform, as it usually does. And those for whom those issues are defining will have no trouble picking a side.
But what about Vice President Joe Biden you ask? He has missed the train. He had a brief window of opportunity that has now passed leaving him waiting at the station.
It will be Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump, and the nation will choose between two baby boomers of my generation that went off in different directions. One, Trump, flamboyant, edgy and filled with the swagger of 1950’s-style American exceptionalism, the other, Hillary, not particularly charming and banged up, but indisputably competent and able to compromise.
It will be closer than anyone expects.
And what will happen to feisty idealist Senator Bernie Sanders? Like Dr. Ben Carson, the brilliant creationist on the other side of the political and social spectrum, Bernie will continue to rage about injustice. Both will be beloved, but neither will be president of anything bigger than a university or library.