Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why I'm For Bernie Sanders

The more I hear Bernie Sanders talk about the need for further radical change in America, the more I like what I'm hearing. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

In this video, Bernie is clearly conveying the point that unless we band together to tell both Charles Koch and David Koch that our government and nation is not for sale, we'll continue to see the destruction of this nation we call home from within. Unemployment is still unacceptably high, and even with Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), we're still seeing too many people going without healthcare due to lack of insurance or having insurance with premiums and deductibles that are too high for them to afford/pay down. He's also right in saying that we ought to quit dragging our feet and join the rest of the world in ensuring healthcare is a right for everyone, not just a privilege for those who can afford it.

Bernie's also spot on in saying that we need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and for a disclosure law that forces people like the Koch brothers to actually place their faces on messages they approve of. He's also correct in saying that the middle class is disappearing thanks to economic and social policies enacted over the last 40 years. Think of education, as one clear example, there's a pitch among leading GOP Senators and Representatives, as well as Governors and Legislators, to push for more of our tax dollars going to private schools, both secular and religious, in the form of vouchers instead of simply funding public schools. Like Bernie, I think this is absurd. Just like trying to give megachurches and other religious institutions our tax dollars to do their charity work. Look, the government doesn't need to create more middlemen and create a church-state collusion, but don't bother arguing that fact to the Republicans as they'll simply cast you off as an idiot by saying whole-heartedly that church-state collusion is in the constitution and that this was what the founding fathers intended to happen (yeah, whatever).

To say these points are radical is beyond absurd, as Claire McCaskill certainly did on msnbc. This isn't to say that Claire doesn't agree with Bernie's message, as she acknowledges that it's the clearly the right one, but I also can understand her worry given that Bernie may seem too liberal to some parts of the country. Bernie's the absolute underdog and is gaining on The Democrats' front-runner, Hillary Clinton, but I think Claire and some supporters of Hillary miss his very real point within the campaign: He's not trying to win! Bernie's more aware of the fact that he's possibly not going to get the nomination, but I think his point in running is to make people aware of what's really happening, and that we need to really fight to keep our rights, especially from the people who would love to take them from us and/or deny us them altogether. He cites the Civil Rights Movment, the Women's Rights Movement, the LGBT Rights Movement, and the Disability Rights Movement as a way to demonstrate how we can effect change by uniting together to demand and to force it. More than anything, Bernie's running in the race to start a national conversation, and by all means, that's a good way to do so, especially to help guide Hillary to champion policies that she'd like to see as national priorities if she's elected as President.

I look at what he's saying also through an historical context, and by more counts than not, he's right! By all counts I'm aware that it may be a wasted vote in the primary next June, but I could care less. Since based on the polls Hillary's practically got this locked up provided she doesn't screw up royally, or get too dragged down by Republicans in Congress on the hunt for new conspiracies to waste our tax dollars investigating. The good thing about Bernie in this instance is, other than his potential lack of political support among Democrats thus far, has far fewer skeletons in his closet, and he's not very widely known in most national circles. Not to the extent that Hillary is, after all she is married to the nation's 42nd President, Bill Clinton.

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