February 01, 2016

My Case For Bernie Sanders

Before Bernie Sanders threw his hat into the ring for the Democratic Presidential nomination, I was squarely in the Hillary camp.  First of all, there's no way any of those Republican clowns will get my support or win the White House.  Plus I, along with a lot of people, felt that it was time for a woman to occupy the Oval Office now that we've broken the race barrier.  Not to mention - it was Hillary's turn.

If it was anyone else, I'd probably still be in the Hillary camp.  Hillary Clinton has spent her entire public life fighting for good progressive causes.  She tried to bring us universal health care in the early days of her husband's presidency.  She's fought for women's rights, children's benefits, and other great progressive causes.  In her first bid for the White House, after losing to Barack Obama she bowed out gracefully and supported the Democratic candidate on to victory.  As Secretary of State, I thought she did a decent job, traveling around the world and shmoozing with world leaders.  I figured she was a shoe-in for this presidential cycle.

Enter Bernie Sanders.  As an Independent, he was naturally on the fringe of relevance for much of his career in Washington as all of the attention got sucked up by the major party principals.  But all along, Bernie's case, his ideology, and his principles were exactly where they needed to be - not just progressive, but largely in the mainstream of where this country stands.  Think about it - what policies or ideas of his don't garner over 50% support in the nationwide polls?

I've been watching Bernie Sanders and following his career for years.  I've been listening to his speeches & interviews.  I've been streaming his weekly "Brunch with Bernie" segments on Friday afternoons on Thom Hartmann's show.  And I've been paying attention.  Despite anything you may hear from "opposition" research, online hit pieces, or anything else from any so-called "news sources", I can unequivocally assure you that Bernie Sanders is the real deal.  He's not bought & owned by Wall Street, corporate America, or anyone in the wealthy populace.  He's not big money establishment, and his convictions don't simply bend with the polls.  He's the ONLY politician in Washington, short of Elizabeth Warren, who sincerely wants to have government serve the interests of the people.   You can't say that about very many politicians in Washington, or even throughout the country on state & local levels.  They're all serving the interests of their donors, and hence those with money get what they want.

I believe that the fundamental problem in Washington politics, which serves as foundation of all others, is the enormous flood of money in campaign financing.  It's legalized bribery, it's out of control, and it's decimating our democracy.  All of the other problems we face start from this, and the need for campaign finance reform is paramount to everything else, including climate change.  Think about it - it's the flood of money from the Kochs and the Energy Industrial Complex which has fueled the Climate Change Denial sector.  Take the money out of politics with publicly funded elections, and no one's beholden to the Koch Brothers.

So, when you go to the polls to vote for the next president, ask yourself just one question - who is, at least going to try, to do something about this, the most fundamental problem in Washington politics? Bernie Sanders is the answer to that question.  I'm not saying he's going to get it done.  I'm just saying he will try moving our country in that direction.  It will take a movement.  It will take a revolution. But maybe, just maybe, some good things will happen if government starts governing in the interests of the people, and not the plutocracy.


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