I support Bernie Sanders, and I’m not stupid or unrealistic
Today I read for maybe the 10,000th time an assertion that supporters of Bernie Sanders are unrealistic, that Bernie Sanders supporters will all be disappointed if they elect him because he won’t be able to bring the change he’s promising, that Bernie Sanders’ policies will be “just another example of Democrats making promises they can’t keep,” and so on and so forth. And I’d like to briefly dispel a misconception about people who support Bernie Sanders as the next president of the United States:
We’re not stupid.
I have a college education and a good job, and I’m guessing I’m not the only Sanders supporter who does. Now, this doesn’t necessarily make me smart, but it is at least an indicator of having achieved some level of learning that would indicate that I’m capable of coherent and independent thought.
And guess what? I don’t expect any of Bernie Sanders’ major proposals to take effect in the next 2, 3, or possibly even 4 years. I don’t support Bernie Sanders simply because I think he’ll magically overturn Citizens United, fix our indisputably broken campaign finance system, legalize marijuana, eliminate privately owned prisons, pass a single-payer healthcare system, crack down on Wall Street, or pass most of his other proposals within his first year of office.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret: I, like presumably most Americans who support Bernie Sanders, do not expect miracles.
What I do expect, by electing Bernie Sanders, is to have an honest president whom Americans can trust at all times to be completely sincere, and who will work as hard as he can to represent the interests of the American people. By electing Bernie Sanders, I expect that the leader of our country will actually represent me and not just major corporations who are cutting him big checks. And no, I don’t get the sense that Hillary Clinton possesses any of those qualities. Decidedly.
And you know what? Maybe the “political revolution” Bernie Sanders keeps talking about won’t happen. Maybe electing Bernie Sanders will put him in office for 4 years, nothing productive will happen, and once his term is over, we’ll be back to “politics as usual” and huge corporations like Comcast and pharmaceutical and insurance companies and huge financial institutions will go right back to doing whatever they want because hey, they run things and they have money, so who’s going to stop them, right?
But if Bernie Sanders is elected president, then maybe, just maybe, things will change. And that’s worth a vote. That’s worth trying.
(Not to mention: the Affordable Care Act was never “supposed” to make it, and remember what happened there? Also worth noting that Bernie Sanders helped write it. Implementation has been far from perfect, but he still got it passed.)
And if Bernie Sanders is elected president and this whole “political revolution” thing we all keep talking about actually does happen, then think of the possibilities. We are at a point in our history when we, as citizens this country, can legitimately make the United States of America the indisputable greatest country on earth. We have the rare opportunity to lead the world by example in showing what a government can do when it isn’t corrupt and solely focused on making a handful of individuals disproportionately wealthy.
THAT is what I’m voting for. I’m voting for the hope, the possibility, that things will change—realistically, over time. And electing Bernie Sanders will send a clear message—to corporations, to the media, to our current elected officials, and to anyone progressive who’s thinking about running for office but doesn’t believe in getting support—that enough is enough, and that it’s time to start listening to the public and not just to a board room full of campaign donors.
Electing Bernie Sanders is pushing a snowball off the top of a mountain and seeing how far it will roll.
So stop assuming that Bernie Sanders supporters are unrealistic or stupid, because we’re not. Call us hopeful, call us idealists, call us optimists, but don’t call us unrealistic or stupid. And stop underestimating us.
As a supporter of Bernie Sanders, I fully recognize that this whole “political revolution” thing is not a guarantee. But right now, the opportunity to start one is a whole lot more appealing to me than the status quo.
Learn more about where Bernie Sanders stands on the issues at http://feelthebern.org/
Great article Cody, thanks for sharing your perspective. As a recently naturalized US citizen, I’ve got to say that Bernie Sanders seems to be the only sane and rational voice in US politics today. Every few weeks I read an article or see a headline about how Bernie has been either helpful or instrumental in passing great legislation consistently for decades. He’s exactly the kind of seasoned politician the US needs right now. The US cannot risk further polarizing the intellectual left and right of this country. With first, second and third generation new wave immigrant families making up significantly higher proportions of the electorate, It would be horrific to the social fabric of this country if social inequality is not addressed.
Thanks for the kind words, and congratulations on your naturalization!
I respect your passionate defense of Bernie, and really like him as a candidate/politician myself. That said, I disagree with your bland and non-specific criticism of Hillary, and the idea that she would not tackle many/all of the same issues that make up the Democratic platform.
I would hate for the Democratic primary to lend to a fracturing of the unity we’ve had as a party under Obama. Obama’s done a lousy job unifying the country, but a great job unifying the party, and I feel like that’s a huge accomplishment for as many diverse opinions there are on some of the issues we face (internally).
I respect Bernie’s opposition to Hillary and would be happy if he were elected President, but I would urge you to be more substantive in your criticisms of Hillary so that we can have an actual debate rather than judge each other.
You might like to look at the Facebook group, Elect Bernie Thinkers, that are in the process of vetting and supporting candidates who support or think along the lines of Bernie. Let’s not forget that Presidential elections often bring in many candidates on their coat tails.
I am an avid supporter of Bernie, and would like to welcome the recent converts. I believe in hope. I buy a lottery ticket now & again, not because I expect to win all the marbles, but because its fun to think about what would happen if I did win. Same reasoning.
You can’t win if you don’t play!
Excellent article, and on the money with many educated and engaged voters.
Thank you Erik, I’m glad you enjoyed it and I really appreciate the feedback!
I am super open minded so I decided to read this but sorry I had to stop at where part of the reason you like Bernie is that he helped write the affordable care act. That in itself will prevent me from supporting him. I am currently experiencing issues from this monstrosity of a mess. Scared to see what other disasters he will come up with.
He mainly wrote the community health centers provision, and his final vote on the ACA was less than assured. Bernie believes the ACA has some good provisions, but that it falls short in other areas.
No one EVER said it was or would be perfect. It is a start…it can be changed and improved upon. People claiming Bernies hope and change is stupid, tell me they are fine with the corrupted, corporate aimed congress and business as usual in DC…..It’s not ok….it us to change….And, Bernie may not accomplish all his plans, BUT, at least he plans to try……unlike what I see in the other candidates,….
self-assessed as “super-open-minded” yet will allow a single factor of a single issue to drive you to default ?
That’s fair, and thank you for keeping an open mind – I believe that means you’re a responsible voter. I understand many have had issues with the ACA, which is unfortunate. Bernie did point out at the Iowa town hall that no major bill or initiative starts out perfectly (remember the web site? Yikes!), but will hopefully get better over time. I have not been satisfied with our healthcare system before OR after the ACA was passed, which is why I believe single payer will be a simpler, more universally helpful system.
My main point in bringing up the ACA is that he helped write a bill which many dismissed as never going to pass, which gives me reason to believe that he may be capable of doing that again. I wish you the best of luck with your health care woes and I hope you reconsider your stance, as I am a firm believer in his single-payer system ideas!
Were it not for the ACA, I would be bankrupt today. I can’t think of anything else to say, except sorry for anyone that has had a problem with it.
People need to understand that Sanders used his leverage to force the community health centers provison into the PPACA. He truly does know how politics works, and though he did not like the bill Obama proposed, he made the best use of it that was possible.
He is also cognizant of ACA troubles, and is the only candidate to even mention….changing the focus of health care away from just the systematic feeding of insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Cody: History has shown that even the best of ideas are fraut with hiccups and stumbles in the early phases of execution. Emancipation of African Americans took decades; and true equality is still a work in progress. Even the roll out of Social Security had some rough edges to smooth out. I can personally attest to the wisdom behind the ACA that is based on the Massachusetts model. The costs to care for my elderly mother until her death three years ago would have ruined me financially. But I had the advantage of my state’s “socialistic” healthcare safety net to save me from that fate.
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, and I’m also thankful our system did not leave you bankrupt. I’m blessed with good health but I know that many are not as lucky as me, and it’s important to me that people can walk into a hospital for regular checkups to ensure they don’t have cancer or other diseases before it’s too late. I hope that whatever happens, our country continues to move in the direction that will help ensure that possibility.
And I’m sure that Donald Trump appreciates your support…
If you have one and only one reason to vote or not vote for someone we are doomed
The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect and Bernie has said that. He is not running on the ACA, but Hillary is. Bernie is in favor of universal health care and getting the insurance companies out of making decisions about what care people get. He envisions a system for all people that is similar to Medicare. It might interest you to know that Medicare is far more efficiently run than any private health insurance company. The overhead cost is around 3% while the private health insurance industry has overhead costs of upwards of 16%. Private health insurance alone, which is what we had before Obamacare, was among the most inefficiently run industries in the US. Obama and the Democrats worked very hard to make a step in the right direction by approving the ACA. They acknowledged from the get go that it wasn’t anywhere near a perfect solution to our health care problems. Now 17 million people are insured who could not afford insurance before. So don’t condemn the ACA because it is not a perfect solution. It was the best that anyone could hope to get passed at the time. And now we have a person who wants to move on with the work to get everyone insured as a basic human right. That one person is Bernie Sanders. We must get to Universal health care or private insurance and pharmaceutical companies will bankrupt many more people and Americans will continue to die because they are denied health care.
I have to agree with the others. Your assertion that you are open minded was stymied by a single fact that you don’t agree with. Try reading the article all the way through first and then voice your opinion.
As far as the Affordable Care Act…. I would say it’s a good start in the right direction. The only thing I oppose is the penalty for not having coverage. If you don’t have a job or income it’s great, but if you do and still can’t afford it because premiums are so high, you get penalized.
I don’t think it’s the ACT’s fault, but the big pharma and insurance greed that is to blame.
Discussing the ACA is like what Bernie says about entering the Middle East: even talking about it is “a quagmire within a quagmire” lol
If you don’t have income, then you qualify for Medicaid and it’s free ! Before
ACA if you had any
Assets such as owning your home, you we’re not eligible.
So it has been a life saver for many.
So when you remembered that Hillary defended the ACA and criticized Bernie for wanting to change to single payer, thus scrapping Obamacare, your mind opened back up, right?
Over the past few months, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has released details of changes he would make to the federal tax code. His plan would increase marginal tax rates on all taxpayers, through higher individual income tax rates and two new payroll taxes. The plan includes several provisions aimed at high-income households: it would raise the top marginal income tax rate to 54.2 percent, tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income, replace the alternative minimum tax with a new limit on itemized deductions, and expand the estate tax. In addition, the plan would create a new financial transactions tax and move the U.S. toward a worldwide tax system by ending the deferral of foreign-source business income.
Our analysis finds that the plan would increase federal revenues by $13.6 trillion over the next decade. The plan would also increase marginal tax rates on both labor and capital. As a result, the plan would reduce the size of gross domestic product (GDP) by 9.5 percent over the long term. This decrease in GDP would translate into an 18.6 percent smaller capital stock and 6.0 million fewer full-time equivalent jobs. After accounting for the economic effects of the tax changes, the plan would end up increasing federal tax revenues by $9.8 trillion over the next decade.
Click here for full details: http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-senator-bernie-sanders-s-tax-plan
Your reply is extremely misleading. Sure it will raise the top marginal income rate, but that will only affect the top .1-.01% of Americans. Of the many citizens reading your comment, none will face income tax rates that high.
Here are the tax brackets in the US: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/tax-brackets.aspx
Here is Bernie’s taxes related to his healthcare plan: https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/
Businesses will save more than $9000 dollars in healthcare costs PER EMPLOYEE.
In addition, high progressive tax rates were great for the US 1936-1981. Nobody but hardcore neoliberal economists disagree on this fact. The ultra-rich have robbed the middle class 1981-2016, and Sanders’ plan is a return to the proven success of the Post-WWII “Golden Age” of the US.
Stop lying so blatantly.
Not to mention that personal tax rates will go up for the middle class (I’ve read to be estimated at as little as $1.67 per week), but insurance premiums, co-pays & prescription drug costs will DISAPPEAR! I’d be happy to pay a little each week for comprehensive coverage rather than paying MORE THAN MY RENT each month & still have series not covered!
My problem with returning to the Golden Age is that so many other programs (expensive ones like open welfare, support of undocumented immigrants, and the ACA) have come into existence or been expanded that nobody will be able to pay the bills, no matter how high taxes go. And to let the government run health care is a nightmare. Ask any veteran how that works on the federal level.
I’m still waiting for a fiscal conservative who can wean the USA off of entitlements and put Americans back to work in middle-class jobs. And when I find them, I’ll be sure to vote for them.. twice.
Someone needs to explain that when Hillary says Bernie wants to raise taxes on the “middle class”, she’s talking about people who make more than $250,000 a year. I don’t think that’s most of us.
Brian, why are you talking about “entitlements”? Social Security doesn’t cost the Treasury anything, it’s totally self-sufficient. It’s also far more efficient than anything else you could replace it with. It actually puts money *into* the economy rather than sucking it out.
Medicare is only as expensive as it is because the US is the only country that does not use its leverage as a mass buyer to negotiate costs with providers. Even without doing so, a single-payer program would cost significantly *less* than the current system does, saving some 30% or so in administrative costs. Americans pay more in taxes alone for healthcare than any other OECD country (except Sweden & Luxembourg) asks of its people – but in those other countries, they get healthcare in return. In America, you pay all those taxes and get nothing unless you fork over more money to insurance companies and providers. No one in England even knows what a “co-pay” is. And they get better health care than Americans do.
But, most importantly, we already have the money. Cheaping out isn’t a matter of fiscal management, it’s a political decision. People who call themselves “fiscal conservatives” are never fiscally prudent, they always “cut costs” that actually were there in the first place in order to save money. They are people who do not like the idea of your taxes actually paying for the things you thought you were paying taxes for – to serve the public.
The United States is not broke – it *can’t* go broke. Until people understand this, the entire discourse will be controlled by liars.
The tax foundation has an interesting board of directors. They might present themselves as a nonpartisan entity, but the board is made up of people whose sole purpose seems to be helping wealthy individuals and corporations pay as little as possible in taxes. Numbers are just numbers until someone with an opinion moves them around to suit their purposes, Democrat or Republican.
Horse hockey, but thanks for the trickle-down spin.
Is anyone reading Jack serving’s reply? Read it and then read it again.
Spot on. I am encouraged by the diverse demographic that is responding to your blog, as well as other platforms. I am counting on ALL of you to get out the vote, so that I have a chance to cast my vote for Bernie in June! Rallying in New Mexico…Go Bernie!
Comcast and pharmaceutical and insurance companies and huge financial institutions will go right back to doing whatever they want. No they won’t, they will have moved to another Country.. Unemployed millions..
I doubt its as simple as that. Bernie being the president of the US isn’t a big enough shake up to actually drive massive US corporations out of the country/market. I think he will be able to find common ground with most big corps because it is strongly in their interest that the US economy and political structure remain stable (even if their fav GOP candidate doesn’t come in to power)
If Comcast wants to give this market to GoogleFiber, I am okay with that. In reality, no large US corporation wants to leave the US market (unless they are undergoing a tax inversion). The unemployed millions are coming regardless of the result of the 2016 presidential election. Technological unemployment is a reality the public/politicians/corporations will have to face in the very near future. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment
You are using that link incorrectly. Technological advances do not destroy employment. New types of employment emerge.
Good riddance. We don’t need monopolies that distort markets, overcharge the population, and throttle advancement while freeloading off of things that only exist in the first place because taxpayers funded all the R&D. Americans created and paid for the development of the internet and yet have crappier service than anyone in Europe does. The financial institutions do not invest in creating real jobs and products, but just in moving more money away from the people who really earned it (people who do actual work in real jobs) and into the pockets of rich people (rent-seekers) who have a pathological need to have MORE. (And they use that money to buy legislators and further distort the market and intensify their ability to cheat the public.) The pharmaceutical industry can’t charge such extortionate prices unless the United States Government protects its monopolies, on the argument that otherwise they can’t afford the costs of R&D, even though much of the R&D for new drugs and treatments is actually funded or even performed by the United States government.
If they leave and take all the (remaining) jobs they supposedly create to other countries, the US government can recreate those jobs right at home. We can open up the communications market they have been stifling and have better internet service at more reasonable prices. We can simply produce all those medical treatments in America without paying extortionate prices to third parties. We can stop suppressing education of doctors and nurses, too, and broaden the talent pool while still paying them reasonable salaries. And we can insist on having proper market regulation and stop privileging corporations whose *only* purpose is to make money at the cost of destroying our environment as well as our economy.
Please, please, let them leave!
If you know the truth you will be better off. If Bernie’s plan was in place today,
Everyone would have healthcare. His healthcare plan would put more money in every ones pocket except for insurance companies executives, (United healthcare’s CEO made 68million and paid 540million in lobbyist money) That’s just one company, not to mention shareholder money. How much direct healthcare would that pay for? $15. minimum wage, more money back in the economy. I don’t want to hear that is a bad thing. Look at Seattle Washington. In Europe McDonald’s employees make at least $20 per hour. A big mac is .60 cents cheaper than in Boston. That’s not opinion, it is fact. Free tuition to public colleges, that is not new. We had that in most states until the late 70’s early 80,s. Again fact! 170 of this nations top economists agree his plan would not be good for the economy, it would be GREAT! I will vote for and do all I can to see Senator Sanders as our next POTUS. If for no other reason, the fact he is the most hard working, tireless, honest public servant of my lifetime. I am a 60 something year old Vietnam veteran. I am a patriot and I love my country. My government has been hijacked. Politicians are now legally bribed to do the business of their corporate masters. I personally have had enough. If the richest among us has to pay more taxes, they will still be the richest among us. Trickle down economics is a lie. the richest piss on us and the main street media tells us it is raining. There is so much more to say. i could talk about profit prisons, isis, infrastructure and so much more. I will stop here because I am getting angry and need a break! America do your research if you do i am confident we will overcome.
Which will simply create opportunity for many small businesses to fill the gap in service. That is the dumbest argument ever. If they leave the American market, they lose everything. We are the richest consumer market in the world. They need us, we don’t need them. Our economy is not a piggy bank.
Reblogged this on daringbelief and commented:
Great thoughts! Keep it positive! Keep believing!
I am an undecided, left leaning, Independent, reading everything I can get my hands on about both Bernie and Hillary. I understand voting for the hope that things will change. I think that is what we voted for when we elected Obama. And, despite the odds and constant fight, Obama managed to bring about many good things. I believe Hillary will continue on that path. She is realistic about how much of a fight it will be. The next Democratic President will face a GOP congress at least until 2022 thanks to the re-drawing of the voting districts. There is no arguing that point. That’s 6 years Congress can continue to ignore what Americans want. Their jobs are secure until then so no matter what message we send to them it will fall on deaf ears until their jobs are in jeopardy. I think we need a President with experience, who knows all of the ins and outs of Washington (not just as a Senator), who has a proven track record at fighting, and winning against those odds. I like Bernie, I like his ideals and what he wants to accomplish. But, so far, I am not feeling that he will be able to accomplish what he is promising.
Are you just afraid of getting your hopes up, only to be disappointed? Because Hillary’s platform is already disappointing to me and we’re still in the early primaries. She is basically admitting she won’t fight because it’s going to be too hard. Where does that leave us? She’s going to the negotiating table, already in a compromised position. Does she think the opposition is just going to meet her there? No. She will slide even further to the right by the time it’s all said and done. I think we need to resist that defeatist attitude and stop being afraid. If you agree with Sanders, vote for him and let’s see how far he can go.
Also, I would question whether her track record in Washington (not just as a senator) is as “proven” as you assume. What did she accomplish as Secretary of State?
Lastly, I just can’t take any more duplicitous, opportunistic, bought politicians. No one can say that Sanders is anything other than what he appears to be. He has taken the harder, longer high road. He refuses to be bought.
As the author states above. “What I do expect, by electing Bernie Sanders, is to have an honest president whom Americans can trust at all times to be completely sincere, and who will work as hard as he can to represent the interests of the American people. By electing Bernie Sanders, I expect that the leader of our country will actually represent me and not just major corporations who are cutting him big checks. And no, I don’t get the sense that Hillary Clinton possesses any of those qualities. Decidedly.”
I completely respect your decision to vote whomever you choose. But your assertion that Congress will remain in GOP hands is wrong. Right now, there are over 400 of the 500+ seats up for reelection in congress. If Bernie wins, it will ne because of high voter turnout and those voters are looking for change across the board. Us ‘Berniecrats’ will be voting for progressive Democrats to fill those empty seats. So yes, if Hillary or a Republican is elected, you can expect many more years of GOP gridlock in congress. But if Bernie is elected, we will once again have a Congress that works for the people.
Yes! You are the first person I have seen make this perfectly sensible observation. I am confident that when Bernie wins, he will sweep in a significantly more reasonable Congress.
One-third of Senators will be up for re-election this year, so no, they don’t all have six years. One third of them will be up for re-election the following year. How many Democrats remain in the Senate during that time will depend entirely on how well the Democratic leadership defends our values and serves the public with real, concrete improvements in both morale and in the condition of Americans’ lives. Obama’s leadership lost us control of the Senate, and Hillary promises to follow in Obama’s footsteps.
Note that Senate seats cannot be gerrymandered, the entire state votes for each of its Senators and it doesn’t matter which districts they win or lose in as long as they win the entire state.
Yes, gerrymandering hurts in the House of Representatives, but they are up for election every two years and many Republicans are in office not because they are popular or had an advantage in gerrymandering, but because the Democratic National Party refused to go after them even when they were beatable. The current leadership of the Democratic Party is neoliberal, and they would rather lose to Republicans than win with Democrats who will actually try to return us to some semblance of democracy and service to the public.
Give the public someone to vote for and they will come out to vote. Until the Democratic Party is willing to do this, we will be on dicey ground every time.
Bernie Sanders is running on issues that the vast majority of Americans support, from 70% on some issues to 90% on some others. That includes many, many Republicans. Hillary has already said she is not willing to fight for much better than what we’ve already got and that it’s unrealistic to try – she would rather negotiate from a position of weakness than from strength. She’s already trying to knock down the movement for a $15/hour minimum wage to $12 – anyone with negotiating skills knows that’s absolutely not what you do if you actually want to reach the best offer from the other side.
We can’t afford four more years of neoliberalism, it’s losing us our whole country.
Wish I could edit: Er, one third of Senators will be up for election two years later, not the following year.
Bernie has the power to swing republicans in a way not seen since J.F.K. on the other hand the anointed one is extremely polarizing. If she was to get the nomination we would lose the White House in 2016. If Bernie gets it he will bring moderate republicans and independents in. It is my belief that it would be enough to overcome the gerrymandering. When it starts to fly, Hill has to much baggage and will drown in it. Rightly or not. Bernie 2016 for my grandchildren. Izzy thank you for participating in the process. More people need to.
If we fail, we fail. But it is far better to try, and fail, than not to try at all. We have to take a stand sometime. This is the first real chance we have had in my lifetime to address what we all know is really wrong here. With today’s instant communication, we can overcome the sophisticated propaganda machine. My first vote was for Reagan- I hope my last will be for Sanders second term. We won’t get this confluence of circumstance again. If we don’t beat them now, they will assure that nobody ever tells us the truth from the inside again. If we succeed with Bernie, it opens the door to getting them all out of power and assuring our children’s futures for generations, until they forget the lesson as we did with FDR.
I agree with everything you’ve said about Bernie Sanders. His ideas are fantastic and absolutely realistic. However, a point of clarification: I do not agree that ‘we have the rare opportunity to lead the world by example’ in this. The sad reality is that we are decades behind other European countries in implementing fare and basic human rights and controls on corruption. Since moving to England to study at Cambridge the question I get asked most often by others is this: “How can you live in the richest country in the entire world, perhaps even in history, and not have access to healthcare or reasonably priced prescriptions as a basic human right? What does your citizenship even mean at that point? What’s the point of living in the richest country in the world if you don’t have access to many of the things enjoyed by others in less wealthy countries?” I’ve never been sure how to answer this question. As a responsible member of society I was uninsured for years before coming here to do my PhD. Here, I see doctors for free and have never paid more than £7 for a prescription. Their basic cable package is limited to £150…per year, no one pays more than £25 per month for the highest priced cell phone plan (most pay £10), and banks don’t charge fees for using other ATMs because that would be ‘unreasonable.’ People aren’t forced to work overtime hours without compensation for it and maternity leave is full-pay for three months and extends up to a year with partial pay, besides paternity leave. We have access to drugs here for chronic health issues for free that pharmeceutical companies in the US charge a fortune for, ensuring that American citizens go untreated for things they would never be left to go untreated for here. There is a reason Bernie Sanders keeps mentioning other countries in Europe and I’m delighted that someone has actually noticed the difference across the pond. Bernie’s ideas ARE realistic…I know this because I currently live in a country where they are reality. But they won’t become a reality for Americans unless we stop buying the lie that it can’t be any different and that changes like this are not possible. We have some serious catching up to do with the rest of the world if we want to be able to maintain that America is one of the best countries to live in around the world.
Thanks for a great piece, Cody. I think the quote from Jon Stewart isn’t as strong as it could be – it’s not simply that the others are scripted and stage-managed, it’s also that their policies are unpopular and undemocratic, and it’s all we hear anymore. We’re not used to hearing actual liberalism defended, even by Democrats, anymore.
My thoughts exactly. Maybe there’s more to Stewart’s statement in context.
camilobarahona: I’m not crazy about any of the candidates when it comes to the Middle East, but Sanders is at least better than all the others and he’s not crazy about regime change the way the neoliberals and right-wingers are. But the main thing is that his domestic policies help to restore power to the real mainstream, and that means we may be able to rein-in the warmongering, so it’s still progress from where we currently stand – and no other candidate offers that.
“What does your citizenship mean?” Pretty good campaign slogan.
On issues, I’m equally split between Bernie and Hillary. But remember, this not the most important race (as long as we elect a Dem Pres). The REAL races are in the House and in the Senate. Because without them (as we’ve seen repeatedly for 8 years) the country simply stagnates, costs keeping going up, wages don’t keep up, yada yada yada. Bernie is not the Messiah; he’s just the messenger. And since I can deliver a message as well as he can, I’ll be voting for Hillary… because SHE GETS THINGS DONE. I appreciate those who feel the Bern; I’m just not feelin’ it. May the best candidate win. 🙂
With respect, how does Hillary have a better record of getting things done than Bernie?
As a senator Hilary put forward three bills. She got one through it was to name a post office.
Bernie Sanders seems to have sponsored two that became law (naming a post office and passing a veteran’s compensation cost-of-living adjustment), in addition to his work on VA reform and numerous bipartisan progressive amendments. Sounds like a better record than Hillary.
Your point about congress is 100% correct. My question then is, who do we think can generate the groundswell of enthusiasm needed to get millions of disenfranchised voters off their asses and to the polls in November, and then again at mid-term, to fill a few more of these seats with real progressives? Who is more likely to inspire real progressive candidates to launch grassroots campaigns across the nation? I’m sorry, but it’s not HRC, and even if we agree with some or most of her policies, I think we all know that to be true. She has her core of established support, most of whom would gladly vote for Sanders in the event that he becomes the nominee, because he espouses proposals that they believe in and they trust his integrity; they just don’t have faith that his campaign can go all the way. Clinton’s base of support exists almost exclusively among “likely voters”. If Sanders wins the nomination, they will rally to him. I’m sure of it. They have no real reason not to. On the other hand, Sanders has passionate support among millions of Independents, millennials, and otherwise disenchanted voters who are entirely likely to retreat into apathy if they feel that yet another establishment, corporatist, pre-fabricated candidate is being forced upon them. It’ could lose us the general. Seriously.
This is exactly what I want to say. We don’t expect anything, but just the “Possibility”. Nothing less or more. Different people have different points of view. Different people see different things, but we hope for a better tomorrow!
Hello, Great piece! Thanks for writing what many of us are feeling.
Sorry to be that guy but I think I found a typo..?
“So stop assuming that Bernie Sanders **supports are unrealistic or stupid, because we’re not. Call us hopeful, call us idealists, call us optimists, but don’t call us unrealistic or stupid. And stop underestimating us…”
Should that be “supporters”…?
I look forward to reading your future posts. Cheers,
” I don’t support Bernie Sanders simply because I think he’ll magically overturn Citizens United, fix our indisputably broken campaign finance system, legalize marijuana, eliminate privately owned prisons, pass a single-payer healthcare system, crack down on Wall Street, or pass most of his other proposals within his first year of office.”
Either your grammar is bad or you think bernie will get those things done in his first year.
I have a graduate degree and I support Trump. All college does with most people is make them stupider with a higher degree of confidence.
We are borrowing something like $1 trillion a year now, are paying something like $400 billion a year in interest on our debt now, and Sanders somehow thinks we can spend MORE because no wealth producer ever–other than all of them–ever reacted to higher taxes with anything other than happy compliance.
I wish I could show you how dumb you are, but that blindfold makes it difficult.
Classic Trump supporter. So eager to tear others beliefs and thoughts down but completely void of any solution of your own. It is easy to point to all that is wrong with our country. The simplest of children can recognize that something is wrong. Bernie at least has thoughts on how to fix it. Trump only has hate, which is all that your comment has too. PS if we can spend $581 billion a year on war (2015 Military Budget) we can find the money for healthcare, schooling and infrastructure.
Um, we spent $2.25 trillion on those item you mentioned. So if more money is the answer, why are they not fixed??
I have plenty of ideas. Why are you so arrogant as to ASSume I am ignorant? Oh yes, you likely went to college, didn’t you, which means you have literally NO idea why conservatives believe what they do, which allows you to discrimate against us, vilify us in the same way Bull Connor did blacks, and hope for the day when you can have arrested and ideally publicly flogged, for thought crimes, and in the name of fairness and compassion.
You may want to recall from time to time that you were not born omniscient, and saying NEENER NEENER NEENER every time someone disagrees with you is neither dignified or intelligent.
You must be very young. There was a time when everyone understood that paying your taxes was the price you paid to serve the public good. Unfortunately, we’ve had corporatist government so long now that no one even remembers that it worked really well, because corporatist government doesn’t serve the public.
Remember, we became the richest country in the world through strict regulation and high taxes on the rich. And *everyone* got richer as a result.
Also, the US government can not go broke, so stop worrying about how much we spend and start worrying about what we are spending it on. And why we aren’t spending it on the public good.
My goodness!! The things you learn on the Internet. Please explain to me how a government cannot go broke.
Are things peachy in Venezuela? Argentina? Zimbabwe?
Whatever you have in your brain is dangerous, because matter that dense risks creating a singularity.
I am correct, am I not, in assuming you paid money to some children of Sixties to compress your thought while getting high, hence the term higher education?
You have a few flaws in your argument. 1) fewer paid federal taxes today than in the past years to which you refer. 2) The US can absolutely go broke. Have you not seen the plights of many other countries in Europe and S. America over the past years? Taxes are other people’s money, it is possible to run out of other people’s money. If you need me to explain how that can happen, I will.
The issue is not that we do not have enough money, it is that it is spent on the wrong things. That’s economics 101. You seem to think that we need to spend MORE (or that is what Sanders is advocating). That is untrue. We simply need to spend money differently and on other things. For example, my father is a veteran. For some reason Republican congress members seem to think that we don’t have enough money to support our vets. However, by simply engaging in fewer wars that we cannot win, we could re-allocate that money to supporting current and past troops. We could pay for better training (British service members receive longer training periods), more breaks for on duty soldiers (again, British soldiers return home on a regular basis) which would lower PTSD rates and therefore, lower medical support needed after their returns and help stem the production of soldiers who are unable to work after they return from war.
If “wealth producers” were indeed producing wealth, it would be easy to agree that we should continue to support them. However, they are not producing wealth for the vast majority of citizens in America. Again, economy 101: If a business cannot survive without tax breaks or bail outs, than they shouldn’t be in business. That’s capitalism. Our tax money that was given to banks to bail them out should have been put towards useful things. My credit union did not fail, nor did it take a handout from the government. Life would have gone on without big banks. Taxes should ONLY be used for things that help EVERYONE. Like roads, police, health care, and education. These things help everyone because having a well-educated, healthy, and safe population leads to advances in technology and science which leads to a productive and wealthy (and okay, I’ll say, superior!) country. Patriotism! Businesses that are unable to be strong on their own DESERVE to fail and leave in their place, a space for new businesses to start. There will always be a need for business–why let people who cannot take care of their own house reap the benefits from our taxes? Economics!
I have no student loan debt, as I went to community college and then a state school and then my graduate degree in the UK. I own my own house. I don’t need anything “free”, however, I am aware that there are people who currently do.
There are people in Flint, Michigan who actually paid real money for poisoned water. Those people are going to need medical care and for their children who have suffered brain damage, life long support. That’s just one example. It’s not Republicans vs Democrats, it’s the system VS the people. They didn’t make their water poisonous. Businesses and government working together did. And now we, as a country, have to take care of them.
I’m sorry to say, but you are blind. I understand: you think immigrants are robbing us and you want to pass the blame. It’s hard to cope with the idea that people you have elected into office are actually the ones who are doing the damage. Trump will be no different: he outsources workers. The t-shirts he hands out at rallies are made in China.
I’m not saying a business man in general might not be a good answer, however, Trump is not that business man. He’s not a good enough business man to make America profitable. He’s not a good negotiator and would not do well in diplomatic settings. His sexism is what makes him popular amongst male voters, however, his temper tantrums at being interviewed by a female Republican show that he has no ability to remain calm in times of stress. Being president, I think we can all agree, is stressful. He would buckle under the pressure, push the red button, and then raise your taxes anyway—to pay for the war he starts with whatever country annoyed him one day.
That is the truth. If you do feel that college has made you “stupider”, I am sorry. I agree, college education is not for everyone and you must have wasted a lot of money on a degree that has not helped you in any way. I am the first in my family to attend college, but certainly my parents were not stupid. They are not voting for Trump either.
Help me understand how adding 5-10 million legal competitors to a job market which is already weak and filled with people who have simply given up on jobs is going to help ordinary Americans. Not Mexicans–I don’t doubt it will help them–but AMERICANS. People born here.
Trump is a Democrat. His policies would have seemed obvious in the 1960’s, and MLK, Jr. and Cesar Chavez would have proudly backed him. There is nothing the slightest bit racist about taking care of people born here.
And if you think Sanders is not talking about increasing spending, please help me understand the economics of “free” healthcare, “free” education, and the like. Every nation which has implemented socialized medicine has been forced to ration care. It is the ONLY way they can cut costs, because unlike the private sector, the public sector has no inherent reason to be efficient. All they need are tax dollars.
And as Gerald Ford said, a government big enough to give you everything you need is quite able to take from you everything you have.
We are borrowing something like $1 trillion a year now, and Sanders will OBVIOUSLY make this much, much worse.
Every single nation, huh? Can you please cite a source for that?
“I have a graduate degree and I support Trump. All college does with most people is make them stupider with a higher degree of confidence.”
A statement which includes a prime example of your argument. Nice.
I wish I could content myself with a content-free world. It must be so easy repeating memes, thinking old thoughts, and adopting a tone of moral and mental superiority without feeling any need to demonstrate it.
We already have more government than we can afford and debt piling on top of debt. Bernie Sanders wants to add more government programs and he’s coming after your wallet. We have too much taxation and over regulation which adds to the cost of doing business. Four more years of a socialist in the White House would be the final nail in our coffin.
If we can spend $581 billion a year on war (2015 Military Budget) we can find the money for healthcare, schooling and infrastructure.
That is a lame argument. The US spends a combined $2.25 trillion on those services already.
The interest on our national debt will exceed DoD expenditures within a few short years. Help me understand how spending something like a third of our national taxes on servicing national debt is intelligent.
We do not have too much taxation, we have too little expenditure on the things we pay taxes for. Government should serve the public, not just the aristocracy. In fact, Constitutionally speaking, the US isn’t supposed to *have* an aristocracy. This is about having a government by, of, and for the people, and nothing less.
SO I take it all you people arguing against Social Programs are not going to apply for Social Security when you retire. Because if you do you are officially a hypocrite!
That’s a stupid argument. If you pay the SS tax you have the right to receive the SS benefits. I would more than willing give up my SS benefits today if I were allowed to quit paying the tax. Same goes for Medicare for me. I know I can do much better with my money than the govt!
Jason silver, let me tell you something that my father told me when I was young. It is served me well.
” sometimes in life it is better to be thought a fool, then open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. ”
Applying for Social Security in this instance would not make you a hypocrite. There’s a huge difference in welfare and social security. Social Security, in terms of people receiving funds at retirement age, is not a social program. The amount that one receives in Social Security benefits, depends on what they paid into in their lifetime for working. Social Security is not a social program in the same sense that welfare is. Thank you for proving my father was correct.
Ha ha, Jeremie, while your father may have been adept at repeating other people’s epigrams, he was clearly unable to spell “Jeremy!”
Sorry I beg to differ. Bernie Sanders actually is going to save me about $5,000 a year or better. I make just a shy of $60,000. I pay $138 a week for insurance to take care of my family. I will gladly pay another 3% on my taxes in order to not have to pay for private insurance. I still have deductibles and copays,that goes away under the Senators plan. I am all well and good with descent let’s make it truthful. The way things are now profits are privatized, losses are socialized. Check out the bailout. What you’re saying basically is untrue.if more people have more money the economy does better. senator Sanders plan is spelled out well and well thought of. All of this nation’s top economist agree. Democrats are not the ones that add to the deficit. Everything the senator has laid out is paid for.if The richest people in this country pay more taxes, they will still be the richest people in this country. We need join the rest of the modern, civilized world and take care of our citizens. If I get sick or something happens and I’m out of work for a month, that would be a disaster and could cost me my home as well as my way of life. I am in better shape than a lot of people who would be thrown into turmoil with a couple of weeks without a paycheck. If you make less than $300,000 a year you will see a net increase in your pocket. my name is with this post. If you would like to further discuss this look me up on Facebook. If you think I am wrong look me up and tell me why I am wrong. I respect your opinion, I do believe that you need the facts.
Well spoken, thanks for the great comment!
Might want to correct that typo of “supports” into “supporters”, especially considering the content of the sentence and that this is the internet:
“So stop assuming that Bernie Sanders supports are unrealistic or stupid, because we’re not.”
Get rid of all the political correctness, the “I’m entitled” attitude, lower regulations, make it harder to sue, and finally, make it harder to get debt – loans, credit cards etc, and suddenly it not be so bad anymore.
Then why was the American economy richer when we had more regulations, it was easier to sue corporations, and your bank could be trusted to tell you the truth about the loans it was offering? Oh, and taxes on the rich were much higher, with a top marginal rate of 91%.
History tells me your prescription is just plain wrong.
When the marginal rate was 91% there were many more deductions. No one paid 92%. We also have much more govenment today than any time in history. Please don’t use 1/2 facts to make a case.
I was certain I was voting for Hillary until Bernie came along. Now, after watchign the debate between her and he, and seeing the raw lunay of the Trumpwagon, I am convinced that Bernie is the right candidate.
“I don’t support Bernie Sanders simply because I think he’ll magically overturn Citizens United, fix our indisputably broken campaign finance system, legalize marijuana, eliminate privately owned prisons, pass a single-payer healthcare system, crack down on Wall Street, or pass most of his other proposals within his first year of office.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret: I, like presumably most Americans who support Bernie Sanders, do not expect miracles.”
“We’re not stupid.”
So we’ve got a candidate that’s day to day talking about impossibilities that are impossible to accomplish, and not talking about what he’d actually try to accomplish within the realm of possibility as president, while you are doing the opposite, and talking about vague notions of what he will actually do, but isn’t talking about.
If you don’t think that’s pants-on-head stupid, maybe your ‘good job’ employer should evaluate your work product, because your usefulness there sure as hell isn’t translating into usefulness of political opinion. *Everyone* in the US could go on and on about how good their candidate will be, and how to ignore their outlandish promises or campaign rhetoric – is this your first cycle or something? Why is Bernie even talking about these things if he has no means to implement them and they don’t even matter to his supporters? Why not say simply “I’d like to see a single-payer system and will work towards that end, but since it’s unrealistic to accomplish as president when *not a single other senator has supported it*, here’s what I’d do first”.
Here’s the answer: It’s hot air, and yes, you are stupid and unrealistic.
(Pro-tip: Calling someone stupid is a terrible way to get your point across)
What Bernie Sanders advocates is not impossible, regardless of its difficulty. He has shown that he can work with Republicans and find common ground. Plenty of his proposals have majority support, and if he can get new people engaged in the political process, that will clearly have an effect. There are also things that are well within the realm of the President, such as nominating Supreme Court justices and controlling how the executive departments carry out the law. Nobody thinks he’ll get everything he wants done, but having someone who will fight for it, while still being able to take half a loaf, is incredibly valuable.
If the political establishment does not change, yes, the things Bernie is talking about will be impossible – until someone changes the political establishment. That someone can be *us*, or didn’t you understand that this is the main thing he has been talking about? It’s supposed to be a democracy, remember?
Thats a bit harsh, especially since the core of your argument, quoted and essentially summarized here:
“Why is Bernie even talking about these things if he has no means to implement them and they don’t even matter to his supporters?”
… sounds a bit like “hot air”
He actually does have a track record since the 70’s of implementing policy and standing on the right side of all kinds of bills and legislation. He’s been a congressman for 16 years! I would argue that, in fact, the complete opposite of what you said is closer to the truth; he is probably one of the few candidates running for president (from both parties) who actually has a quantifiable track record of implementing change in government.
Best piece on supporting Bernie i have read yet. looking for the re-blog button.
Let me make it simple. NONE of my grandchildren have health insurance. Their parents can not afford it. The ACA is too expensive.
They had full coverage before the ACA.
Bernie is a compassionate man. Only sociopaths think compassion is crazy. I make shelters to keep stray and outdoor cats in my neighborhood warm and dry in winter. People call me a crazy cat lady. I always respond by saying compassion is not crazy. Seeing suffering and ignoring it is crazy.
Thanks Cody. I think most Bernie supporters agree with your feelings!
1. “I have a college education and a good job.” So does Ben Carson. So does Donald Trump. These are more strongly correlated with social privilege than they are with intelligence.
2. “Bernie Sanders helped write the ACA.” So why is he proposing single-payer? Apparently he isn’t too happy with whatever writing credit you’re giving him (it would be at least as fair to say that Mitt Romney helped write the ACA).
3. Who a person is on campaign and who they are in executive office are frequently different people. I can see a sharp difference between first-time-candidate Obama and President Obama, and I don’t just mean the grey hair. They is no reason to believe that Bernie, or for that matter Hilary, will behave how you believe they will in the role.
4. Speaking of that grey hair, how old is Bernie Sanders, again? There is a very real possibility that he will die or be incapacitated in office, and a president who does either is no service to the people he is supposed to represent. If you are, as you claim, realistic about your political goals, why are you ignoring this potentially critical factor?
Thanks Cody …. It is your right to support the candidate of your choice … so please do so, as all caring American Citizens should … following it up with a vote.
I myself … and future PRESIDENT HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT.
Simply asserting that one is “not stupid or unrealistic” is not proof of that. And you know how I know? Because this:
“What I do expect, by electing Bernie Sanders, is to have an honest president whom Americans can trust at all times to be completely sincere, and who will work as hard as he can to represent the interests of the American people. By electing Bernie Sanders, I expect that the leader of our country will actually represent me and not just major corporations who are cutting him big checks. ”
. . . is both stupid and unrealistic. Bernie Sanders is no avatar of incorruptible truth-telling — he’s a lefty panderer who comes from a place where that’s an entirely practical way to get elected. What he offers is catnip to educated white people from big, liberal cities, but it doesn’t sell elsewhere in the nation. But they’re not popular ideas elsewhere, and they’re not so just completely awesome that people will all spontaneously change their minds the instant they have these ideas properly explained.
There’s a condescension at the heart of the Sanders movement. It’s a common one to educated white liberals: that they *know better* than other people, and if they could just shout loud enough eventually everyone would acknowledge this fact. But it isn’t true. The vast majority of the country does not agree with Bernie Sanders about hardly anything, and they are completely in earnest about this. And you know what? They’re not stupid, either.
Except he does have majority support for many of his policies: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/06/12/bernie-sanders-says-americans-back-his-agenda-and-hes-mostly-right/
“The vast majority of the country does not agree with Bernie Sanders about hardly anything” is categorically false. Polls have shown that the majority of Americans – not just democrats, but Americans – support most of the legislation Bernie supports. The only condescension I have seen is from your comment, so please educate yourself by reading this source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/06/12/bernie-sanders-says-americans-back-his-agenda-and-hes-mostly-right/
Note also that the Washington Post wrote a scathing negative review of Bernie just within the last few days, so you can’t argue that this is a biased source, because that assertion would be incontrovertibly false. If after reading this, your views remain the same, then so be it, but unless you do, I consider your assertions to be wholly baseless and uneducated.
I’m sorry if asking for an argument based on actual facts is your definition of “condescending.”
“Let me make it simple. NONE of my grandchildren have health insurance. Their parents can not afford it. The ACA is too expensive. They had full coverage before the ACA.”
I just love it when Faux News consuming liars show up, who live in such a little bubble that they are ignorant of just how laughable their lies are. So before ACA your grandchildren had healthcare, but now that parents can receive massive credits to help insure their children, now they can’t.
Did you also receive a million dollars after responding to a Nigerian email?
No but I received a promise of100 goats and naked pictures of his wives .It was the best i could do before he gave up on me. Tough bargainers, those Nigerians.
Thought you should know that one of the options when sharing this is an inaccurate meme of Jon Stewart’s quote that states, “Bernie Sanders is a crazy pants…” instead of “The problem isn’t…”
Thanks, I’ve done what I can to fix this and hopefully it won’t continue!
Reblogged this on Bud Branch.
It is really very simple for me. Bernie has been around for awhile. He knows how the system works. But Bernie is not owned by the Banks. Hilary is owned by the Banks and Obama is too.
And on the other side, Bernie has empathy. Trump doesn’t. Trump is a racist fool whose only smart is to deceive people into buying his product. It begins and ends there.
Cruz has no idea about Australia. He has no idea about our gun laws and he has even less idea how tough our women are and how hard to rape they are. We hate people who don’t understand Australia. Bernie knows where Australia is – that;s a start. Trump thinks Australia is a new housing development without enough guns. Trump is a fool.
Hilary’s whole foreign policy is about ensuring that every foreign country has World Bank debt. If the country doesn’t have a World Bank debt she marks it down for invasion – just like Obama and George.
Hilary isn’t going to stop the TPP – the TPP is a document designed by 60 corporate lawyers to ensure that elected governments have no legal rights to protect their citizens anymore. It really isn’t about “Free Trade”, it is about global enslavement to the new Corporate Feudalism. We don’t trust Hilary on that one because she takes money from all the people who pay the 60 corporate lawyers who are designing the end of of our sovereign rights.
Bernie is good. Be like Bernie
The issue here is you are in the minority, not the majority like you postulated. MANY people who are loud about supporting Bernie currently ARE expecting Miracles.
So you are making a belief/assumption which is fine, good on you for following your beliefs. But if Bernie is making all these plans/claims knowing full well that they are unlikely/impossible as is, then he’es basically duping the public and I’m not sure why I’d trust him more than another candidate. If he’s making all these plans/claims without knowing that they’re unlikely/impossible, then he’s naive and dangerous.
The way I look at it currently is he’s basically like the Trump’s opposite. He is saying really radical, slightly crazy depending on your perspective things to gen up votes on the democratic side.
Also like to point out that having a college education and/or a job doesn’t define your intelligence.
Whoa whoa – how do you know that “MANY are expecting miracles?” What possible basis could you have for that assertion? There is literally no empirical evidence that you could present to possibly support that assumption. And that’s what it is: an assumption. You’re making a value judgment about the expectations of literally millions of people like it’s nothing. That is an extremely poor foundation for any sort of reasonable argument. You have to admit that.
I did not mean to assert that a college education and a good job necessitates intelligence, but rather intended on bringing up those characteristics as an indicator that I am at the very least someone who has valued intellectual pursuits and been motivated to excel in my adult life.
I am with you on Bernie but really intelligent people realize that all that College education offers you is second hand and often tainted knowledge that already has someone’s agenda written all over it.
Whoa whoa – how do you know that “I, like presumably most Americans who support Bernie Sanders, do not expect miracles.” What possible basis could you have for that assertion? There is literally no empirical evidence that you could present to possible support that assumption.
Also don’t lie, you literally said ” We’re not stupid. I went to college and have a good job..”
Thanks for addressing the important parts of my reply like Bernie’s actions rather than the useless parts like the scope of “MANY”. Provided a lot of value.
Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it! Let’s get coffee next time you’re in Chicago.
Reblogged this on Invisible Mikey and commented:
Still too busy to write. Mea maxima culpa. This was an absorbing discussion I found between exams. A fertile field of comments to consider.
Thank you for this great and simple piece. Appreciate it very much
Cody, I like your article, but want to add one other aspect that you left out. IF Bernie Sanders is elected President, NONE of what he wants to do will happen without his supporters backing him up. There is a reason he keeps calling this a ‘revolution’. This is going to be an ongoing, uphill battle against immensely powerful, vested interests. The election will simply be the starting point. We are going to have to write, call, protest and defy our Congress until it does what we tell it to. We are going to have to wait until further elections to continue to kick out the status quo politicians. We are going to have to be both patient and focused. It will NOT be easy. But it can, and MUST, be done, or our republic is doomed.
0 percent…..that’s how much of a chance that Bernie has at becoming President.
I agree, Bernie has a 0 percent chance of becoming President of South Africa. It’s be crazy if he ran anyway though, am I right??
My sentiments exactly. There is a frustration with the misrepresentation of his positions that forces me to not consider the other candidate. That misrepresentation is not “wicked smart”.
Cody, That was a well written, however non-committal piece of fanfare. It’s all a very fair and mature position and while I agree that something is better than nothing, I do find the ire you direct at the 1%, or the “huge corporations” as you put it a bit short sided. Bernie encourages us to envy those who have more than us and though there is no doubt that corporate America has poisoned the political well, you must understand that Bernie’s version of Christmas in America will not only not be realized MANY years down the road but it will almost certainly bring about the full collapse of our economy and create government dependency faster than any corporate corruption we deal with now ever could. We are currently trillions of dollars in debt and that’s only from spending on what we have and get now. Where are we going to get money to send every kid to school & get every person free health care? Taxing the 1%? That is very bad math. The reality is that Bernie plans to increase tax to ALL business. Huge and small alike. Whether it’s corporations being greedy or small businesses trying to survive, BOTH will rid themselves of employees they can’t afford. Then what? More dependancy on big government. Remember, Robin Hood for all his bravery was still just a fictional character, but I presume colleges teach that story as non-fiction nowadays.
Bernie has as much of a chance at becoming President of the US as Bill Cosby does. Give it up folks, there’s no way this country elects a Senior Citizen that’s a lunatic socialist.
Why not? 36 years ago we elected a Senior Citizen who was from the lunatic right. Time to balance out that mistake. And BTW, before the primaries, everyone wrote Reagan’s candidacy off, too.
*Democratic socialist, not lunatic socialist LOL. Auto correct, am I right?? FTFY
Cody, I’m excited about Bernie too; however you don’t discuss the potential consequences of nominating a candidate who may not be able to carry the general election. Or do you understand our electoral process and feel Bernie can carry the right States? You look young. Perhaps too young to have fully taken in the lesson of Al Gore’s loss to George Bush. I’d like nothing more than to be wrong, so please explain to me why I am!
You’re not wrong. If by some miracle Bernie won the Democratic nomination, the GOP would win at minimum 45 States in the general. He has no chance in the general election against any of the GOP candidates, no chance at all.
And your support for that claim is…?
I’m sure there are polls to support your claim, but be advised that there are also many polls that predict that Bernie Sanders would beat any Republican candidate in a general election campaign. I feel that we are in an unprecedented time in American politics, and the outcome of both primaries could be literally anything at this point. Many political experts at this point have stopped making predictions, in fact, because they admit they don’t have any way of predicting what will happen. So I would humbly suggest that you keep an open mind and vote for whichever candidate you feel best represents yourself and the interests of this country, and don’t worry about polls and projections and statistics… At least, not until the primaries have whittled down the field!
I think you are right. Sanders supporters seem to live in a bubble universe, one peopled only by those who agree with them. The fact that most Americans would hear Sanders stand up and say “I’m a proud socialist!” and either vote Republican, or stay home and not vote at all seems to escape them completely. Worse still are the “Bernie or Bust” crowd, who seem to think that either the Democrats select Sanders, or they just won’t turn out. When I encounter someone like that, I just want to shout “How is staying home and helping the Republican win going to help this country?”
Bernie actually has performed significantly better than Hillary in polls when placed in general election matchups against Republican candidates, so I don’t believe there’s any significant evidence that Bernie would likely lose a general election. Hillary’s “likeability” and trustworthiness among voters on both sides of the aisle has consistently been extremely low, especially compared to Bernie’s, and I’ve read that those traits have historically been extremely important factors in determining the outcomes of general elections. I actually believe that nominating Hillary would be a grave mistake when it comes time for the general election.
I would feel better trusting Sanders if he *DIDN’T* talk about all the things he plans to change. If he (and his supporters) don’t think he’s going to get any of it done, isn’t that the same as lying, or to put it in political terms, as making promises you know you can’t keep? I would *LOVE* to see Sanders put forward *ONE* thing that he thinks he can change, first day in the door, something simple, like signing an executive order forbidden *ANY* government agency from discriminating in any way against gays. He could do that, and Congress would have to pass a law (which he could veto) to override it to change such an order. Or he could pledge to commute every ‘mandatory’ drug sentence that was imposed…again, something Congress would have a very hard time undoing.
Where are these simple pledges? Where are the things he *CAN* deliver on? I don’t want another politician who’s going to tell me all the great things he’ll do once he’s in office…then watch as none of it happens.
Sounds like “hope and change” to me…
“So stop assuming that Bernie Sanders SUPPORTS are unrealistic or stupid, because we’re not.”
Yeah! Bernie needs his supports or he falls down, people! Supports aren’t stupid. Illiterate, maybe, but not stupid!
Thanks for pointing out this typo, I’ve corrected it. Appreciate the feedback!
I don’t think you’re stupid because you think Bernie will enact miracles. I think you have an unsophisticated idea of how politics work and why similar “revolutionary” candidates like Sanders failed in the past. It’s because of masculine norms that make negotiation and common ground impossible. Yep. Electing Hilary will not change that from the top down, but from the BOTTOM UP. From an entire generation of Americans growing up under a female leader. That will do more than ANYTHING to dismantle the pervasive masculine face-saving, integrity-lacking, power-displaying norms that have sabotaged Washington, Wall Street, The Catholic Church, the NFL, Hollywood and more from any REAL and LASTING change. You think the problem is government institutions and how they run. I think the problem is how the men are socialized who are in charge of institutions. I’m voting for Hilary. Because she’s a woman. And it’s the most politically smart, savvy reason that will enact TRUE and LASTING societal CHANGE.
This is literally one of the most insane comments I have ever read in my entire life. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
“But if Bernie Sanders is elected president, then maybe, just maybe, things will change. And that’s worth a vote. That’s worth trying.” It must be nice to have the luxury of saying that. But to millions of Americans the difference between an effective president and not-effective president is literally life and death for them and their families. There is no room for “maybe” for them. And “trying” isn’t enough. Politics is about compromise and cooperation–which Sanders does not aspire to. It’s also about experience. And Hillary has far more. Decidedly.
Are you referring to her “experience” sending our troops to die in a pointless war in Iraq? Because for the mothers and fathers of those troops, it was literally life and death as well. Or are you referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is being protested in nations across the globe and that she initially supported and only changed her mind about after she realized that massive public outcry might affect her poll numbers? To me, it’s about judgment. And Bernie’s is better. Decidedly.
The problem is that a chunk of his tax increases may pass but the offsetting “benefits” won’t. The whole point of the article is that even his supporters don’t expect his promises will come about.
Perfect example, his free tuition “plan”. I’ve looked for a full explanation of how that would work and can’t find anything. Just reasons why everyone deserves free stuff or convoluted discussions of grants or how there’s all this easily taxable area out there. Please explain this basic element. The university of Michigan tuition is much higher than say Cental Michigan or many other public universities. How much tuition $$ does each university get per student? Since they are different now does each get the same under Bernie’s plan? If so, does UofM get to charge tuition above that amount? If so, then nothing has changed except more taxpayer money going to universities? Can all universities charge tuition over the allotment? How is the “right” amount determined?
That’s a good question, and one that I feel our government can figure out together. What’s important to me is that the issue is at least being examined and addressed. It’s like with alcoholism: the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, right? So maybe Bernie’s solution as it stands isn’t bullet-proof, and I’ll readily concede that there’s a lot to be worked out yet. You’re right in that regard. To me, however, the fact that it’s being treated like a major issue is a major step in the right direction. I don’t think our government will pass policies that indisputably ruin our economy, I think it will be a collaborative process to reach a goal that works for us nationwide. I hope my point of view makes sense! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they’re completely valid.
” one that I feel our government can figure out together”
You have way more faith in government than I do. It would be a first.
If it does become reality it will just be another bloated government program that future politicians will promise to fix as a campaign issue.
That does not make me a cynic. Just a realist who believes government has very limited role and that too many people look to government to “do something” in areas that government has no business getting involved and by its very nature is unsuited for..
“Electing Bernie Sanders is pushing a snowball off the top of a mountain and seeing how far it will roll.”
Can there be any better way to say it?
You’ve voiced EXACTLY how I feel!!!!!!!!
That’s great, I’m glad you enjoyed the read!
I have a Master’s degree in finance. Up until yesterday, I supported Bernie because I know that we are on the wrong path and I decided to vote for the right man, even if he couldn’t deliver what he promised. I refuse to vote for a status quo candidate. Yesterday I read something that made me realize Bernie CAN DELIVER on his promises.
“Did civil rights legislation make it through Congress because LBJ and other old white men thought it was the right thing to do, or because millions of people decided to stand up and resist? Did the political reforms of the Progressive Era happen because Theodore Roosevelt believed in the virtues of democracy, or because the agrarian populists, labor organizations, and radical movements threatened the status quo? Would the right to vote have finally been given to women if not for several decades of organizing and campaigning?”
“The Sanders campaign is not about conjuring up the better angels of America’s nature. It is about creating a nationwide movement demanding real change. …When has any truly significant political change come about without the people becoming politically active and demanding it?”
When indeed? Malcolm X said, “Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.” The people are obviously angry. Bernie is channeling the anger to achieve the change that 95% of us want. We will get what it is that we want.
This is an awesome comment with a lot of great inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing!
I do hear and respect your views (shared by many of my friends! ). I am also in quest of changes, renewal of politics and a (re)waking of democracy. However I am not inspired at all by B. Sanders; not just but the irrealism application of the program, but also by its content. For me, it just uses old rhetorics of european left parties of the past; it does not convince me at all it is the path to take for progress of the future. I am very frustrated by the lack of voting options I face for these coming elections…