Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sanders Is The Best Hope For Republicans In 2016 Election

The following post is by my New York friend, Jerry Bowles. He posted it at I agree with every word he has written.

Remember the Republican attack ad that opens on a black background with a deep male voice intoning somberly: “Bernie Sanders wants to destroy the 250 years of democracy and market-driven economics that have made America the most powerful — and prosperous — country on earth and replace it with the failed Soviet Union (substitute Maoist China, Cuba, Viet Nam, Greece, Venezuela)-style socialism. (Show 1991 headline: USSR in Full Collapse, Berlin wall coming down, panic in the street). Voice: “ Bernie Sanders…disastrously wrong for America.” Or, how about the one where the guy says “Bernie Sanders wants the government to control where you bank, what doctor you see, where your kids go to school, how much money you make, what kind of job you can get. Is that the America that you want your children to grow up in? Bernie Sanders…the end of the American dream.”
Okay, I haven’t seen those ads either. That’s because the Republicans are deliberately paying no attention to Sanders because he is doing more damage to Hillary Clinton’s chances than they could possibly hope to inflict in their currently addled state and, secondly, he’s a much easier candidate to defeat if by some miracle he were to get the nomination.
Forget all those polls that show Bernie doing better than Hillary against Trump and Cruz. What Bernie supporters and many independents haven’t yet fully grasped is that Sanders is not a Democrat. He is exactly what he says he is — a socialist. Unlike Hillary Clinton, his agenda is not an orderly process of changes to existing law that increase wages and make income distribution fairer, strengthen Medicaid and Obamacare and Social Security, make financial institutions more fail-proof, expand health care options, strengthen climate change initiatives, and protect and expand opportunities for working class people. Sanders is a revolutionary who appears to have no interest in tackling difficult but achievable goals or no plausible idea of how to turn his own agenda into reality if he were elected President.
What Sanders is proposing is a fundamental, historic and unprecedented break with the market-based economic system that has guided the U.S. since the beginning. He wants to break up giant industries (like banking), a move that would leave hundreds of thousands of people without jobs and decimate the economy of New York and other financial centers. He wants to redistribute income because…well, some people have too much and some have too little. He is not interested in closing the loopholes that allow wealthy individuals and companies to game the system to get an unfair advantage. He wants to kill both the major political parties, fatally restrain free markets, and replace capitalism with a system that has only ever worked well in prosperous countries with populations of less than three million mostly white people.
Now, imagine you are the Koch brothers, sitting on a billion dollars war chest, and the only place you have to spend it is on a virtually unelectible candidate like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Into this hopeless picture stumbles an aging Trotskyite, a man doesn’t have a single coherent policy that he could achieve without a popular uprising so strong that it threatens the future of the nation or with the help of tanks. Hot damn. God really is a Republican.
 (The caricature of Bernie Sanders is by DonkeyHotey.)

1 comment:

  1. Prup (aka Jim Benton)4/13/2016 10:23 AM

    Obviously, from my guest post, I agree with most of what is said. I do not agree that Bernie is a 'Trotskyite' -- I prefer words to be used more accurately, and he's far from that, merely a muddled -- or quite possibly simply dishonest -- supporter of an exaggerated form of European social democracy. (Something which somewhat describes my own position as a long-range goal. but one which will take long, slow, thoughtful building.)
    One point that seems to get overlooked is that ALL of Bernie's solutions to what he sees as important problems will cost jobs. That may or may not change somebody's position, but it has to be considered -- and neither Bernie supporters or others on the left seem to realize this.
    Single payer is a great idea as a long range goal, again, but getting there will destroy the insurance companies -- and right now they provide one of the (least pleasant but still helpful) 'starter jobs' for people who prefer office work to home health care, security guard, truck unloader or even 'on your feet all day' shop assistants. And that's important at a time when other similar jobs are disappearing -- with considerable thanks to the Internet. We need about 10% of the number of file clerks we once did, and the need for the 'typing pool' originally came from the tradition that bosses (and men in general) didn't type. But we all grow up typing on our computers these days, so neither typing pools nor stenographers are needed.
    Even Citizens United is a major job producer. When Sheldon Adelson or a Koch, or DeLay wants to 'spend money on a candidate' they don't pile hhe money up and set it on fire at the altar of some political deity. They use it to pay people to produce ads, people from agency heads, to copywriters, to the guy who runs the proof between the agency and the client, to the guy who just runs for sandwiches and sweeps up. (And, of course, the sandwich shops hire people to service the agencies -- as do various purveyors of legal and illegal drugs, eye doctors for the strain, car services to see the female workers get home safe -- not sexist, simply an acknowledgement of likely targets -- and clothing salesmen who make sure the ad person is dressed with clothes suitable to the job.)
    None of these job losses need to be THE determining factor, but they all do need to be kept in mind.


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