The reason you should vote for Sanders even if you are a Republican
Disclaimer: I am not related to the Bernie Sanders ‘s campaign in any way, shape or form; I am not associated with any Super Pac. I was never in contact with him, anyone in his campaign. I am not a supporter of any political party or candidate. This article is to help filter the elevated noise of the campaign this year.
share this article with all the “Bernizens” to chime in.
First, a primer; most people believe socialism is bad; a great many have no idea why, they don’t have the slightest understanding what socialism is; those people get their cue from the press and politicians, God helps us all! To call anyone in America a socialist is extreme and the most desperate attempt to bring the individual down, to shut him up and to scare everyone away from him. Don’t take my word for it. Remember how much of a socialist Obama was! Is he still? Oh! Even after moving into the Oval Office in 2008, the Republican Destroyer machine went into overdrive to paint him as a socialist who wanted to “take your hard earned money away and give it to the lazy, the good-for-nothing, the panhandlers, the welfare recipients”. Remember that! How did Obama the socialist do?
Did he actually take your money and give it to others?
Of course not!
Did he redistribute your wealth?
Of course not!
Did he control how much you should have? Did he set any standard on where to live, what to buy? Did his administration control the means of production? Did he dictate which party to belong to? Did he prevent anyone from becoming rich? Of course not!
It may be obvious (hopefully) by now that any use of the “socialist” label in America is a strategy to scare a group away from an individual. Socialism does not and cannot exist in America. Period. What exactly do you think a socialist is like? I get you don’t like socialist but do you really know what it is about? (Sorry! I got a little carried away)
Here is what you should keep in mind; you do have a brain, right? And it works, right? Great! Here is what you should keep in mind, whenever someone has nothing to offer, he usually resorts to name calling. So, calling Bernie a socialist seems the perfect strategy (for his opponents) to offer no alternative to his solutions and to scare you away from him. But I know, the question still remains however.
Is Bernie a socialist?
The short answer is NO, Bernie is no socialist.
But he calls himself a democratic socialist!
Darn it! You got me. Wait a minute! Why does Bernie want you to believe he is a socialist? Most importantly, why has he spread such negatively perceived information about himself? After all, Bernie Sanders is an American born who has lived in the country all his life; the United States has always had a capitalist economy system. Why in the world would he want the world to know he is a socialist? What does he stand to gain from it? Granted, the label has not prevented him from having a successful political career up to this point but that’s about to change; it may even prevent him from clinching the Democrat nomination and winning the presidency. The Republican nominee he may have to face off in the general elections, should he become the Democrat pick, seems to think so. In fact, the Republicans are giddy about the very prospect of having Bernie as the Democrat nominee instead of Hillary (despite her many woes, some of which would haunt her for a very long time). The Republicans are not just hoping for the outcome; they are helping Bernie to eliminate Hillary in the primaries. The Republican Party has been running ads which have targeted Hillary in various areas of her political career and private life. The strategy is to make her unappealing to the voters; translation, Bernie would clinch the nomination. Everyone in the Republican corner is hoping for such outcome. Besides, even without the Republican’s help, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in serious trouble a) the emailgate is an evolving saga that would not go away anytime soon b) Bernie Sanders created a movement which has been growing every passing day c) Bernie began a revolution, sort of, which seems to be taking roots amidst a mobilized group, the millennials, the very sector of the constituency which may warrant his nomination. But the bigger question still remains, why does Bernie want the world to know he is a socialist? To answer the question, we took a stroll into Bernie’s past to get an understanding for his fixation on the word “socialist”.
Mr. Sanders became interested in politics at a very young age; according to him, it was the ascension of Adolf Hitler to power in 1932, nine years before he was even born in 1941, which got him to think about the importance of politics. Bernie pondered how one man could change the world for good or for evil. Other than having joined the Young People’s Socialist League (YPSL), a branch of the Socialist Party of America (SPA), there is no record of Bernie having participated in any movement which would have raised eyebrows; rest assured, FBI would have had been all over it (see my tweet on how FBI targeted Martin Luther King who was fighting for the most basic of human rights). Besides, the primary objectives of the group (YPSL) were to increase voter turnout of young democratic socialists and influence issues (common to most regular people) which impacted the group. Whether Bernie is a socialist (even with his own admittance) is debatable unless one considers his unwavering stance for equality and social justice as such. Social issues have always been very high on Bernie’s radar; he is a leading voice on issues such as income inequality, racial discrimination, inequity in the justice system, universal healthcare, parental leave, climate change, LGBT rights, and campaign finance reform. In other words, Mr. Sanders wants The People to be represented.
While others in Washington talk continuously about issues, Bernie works tirelessly to introduce legislations and implement policies which benefit The People. For instance, Bernie doesn’t just talk about the issue of discrimination which has plagued the black community; one would say that Bernie comes really close to understand it. Already at a young age while studying at the University of Chicago, Bernie was very active in the Civil Rights Movement, protested against the university segregated campus housing policy forcing George Well Beadle (the University president) to open an investigation, protested against police brutality towards blacks and attended the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Mr. King gave the memorable “I Have a Dream” speech. Bernie is not all talk and protests; he was convicted of resisting arrest during a demonstration against segregation in Chicago’s public schools and was fined $25, all of which happened at a time period of heightened racial tensions in the country, the 60’s and 70’s. Is it what Bernie means to be a socialist? If this is what Bernie’s opponents perceive socialism to be and yet wants to destroy him, they are on the wrong side of history; they badly need a primer course on “socialism according to Bernie.”
There has not been a period in time when the country as a whole (minus a very few) or various demographic groups did not want some of the same changes Bernie proposes. Who would object to having healthcare coverage, be it acquired from, provided or paid for by the government or the employer? Which group would want to live constantly under police brutality? Which group would want to be discriminated against on a permanent basis? Which group would want to be deprived of equal treatment in the justice system? Which group would not welcome being able to go to college without the fear of being indebted for life? As it is blatantly obvious by now, it looks like Bernie Sanders’ view on social issues is not any different than the rest of us, most of us at the very least; so, why in the world would he want to be known as a democratic socialist (Read my previous article on the topic)?
Having spent his youth years (the early 20’s) immersed in the socialist doctrine, it is not difficult to understand that young Bernie was impressed and influenced by the doctrine and his adult life has certainly been impacted by it. However, there is nothing in the life of the Senator which would give pause to any logical individual vis-à-vis his belief, his aspirations and his ambitions. Besides, Bernie grew up in the Jewish doctrine; his parents are Jewish and were among the few who fled Germany before Hitler ascended to power and began the cleansing. Bernie learned at a very young age that the oppression of a minority group could be the beginning of a much sinister outcome. The Jews suffered the most horrific outcome of discrimination – the holocaust – in the hands of the Germans. So, it is no surprise Mr. Sanders has always been very vocal against discrimination of any sort. As mentioned in my previous article, Bernie does not change his stance based on political wind. He has wholeheartedly dedicated himself to fight for equality and justice. Bernie’s unrelenting determination in the pursuit of equality, equity and fairness in our society is what seems to be at the roots of his belief that he is a (democratic) socialist; after all, those issues most societies cope with regularly are not just at the basis of the socialist systems (he became indoctrinated in) but they also define the very essence of socialism.
It was during his mayorship years (1981-1987) that Mr. Sanders began to label himself a socialist, a label which was eventually picked up and used by the press. No one knows for sure the reason Bernie suddenly decided to label himself such; be it part of an experiment or to simply confirm that to meet his constituents’ needs are more powerful than a label or to fight for the constituents is socialism, Mr. Sanders has since embraced shamelessly the socialist label. To his opponents’ dismay, Bernie has chuggled along his political career with great success despite the label. Said success must have re-assured the Senator that a label does not define an individual.
Does Bernie have a different definition of socialism?
Contrary to his opponents (Mrs. Clinton and the Republican Party) and the press who have a very sinister definition of socialism, Bernie’s embrace of the label is to convey a very different message. Bernie considers himself a socialist because he is the only politician (we know of) who puts the interests of his constituents before his’; this is not to imply Bernie says that he does (like all politicians do) but he really considers himself a servant of his constituents, much less can be said about any modern politician. Pick one; pick any.
For instance, when Bernie ran for mayor of the city of Burlington, VT he campaigned against the unpopular plans by the powerful Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau who wanted to convert the industrial waterfront property owned by the Central Vermont Railway into expensive condominiums, hotels and offices. Once elected, Mr. Sanders successfully supported a plan to redevelop the waterfront area into a mixed-use district featuring housing, parks, and public area, a move which benefits the city (the constituents) instead of the powerful developer. Under Sanders, Burlington became the first city in the country to fund community-trust housing. – A community trust is a nonprofit corporation which develops and manages affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community – Sanders’s administration balanced the city budget and even brought sports (a minor league baseball team, the Vermont Reds, then the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) to Burlington. Under Sanders’s leadership, Burlington sued the local television cable franchise to reduce rates for the customers. In 1987, U.S. News magazine & World Report ranked Sanders as one of America’s best mayors. And today, Burlington is regarded as one of the most livable cities in the country. To Bernie Sanders, that is socialism; to Bernie, socialism is to put the constituents first.
So, is Bernie socialism bad?
The answer is probably obvious; his opponents are well aware what Bernie means he is a socialist but why do they want you to know he is a S O C I A L I S T? What would they gain? That’s also obvious. Most (if not all) Americans expressed aversion for socialism; even those whose aspirations to become rich are near impossible (without a miracle) would prefer not to have the socialism system. – although such is impossible in the United States – Bernie’s opponents are well aware that the structure of our government makes it impossible for any president to introduce socialism (or any other doctrine) in our system of governance. It is really a moot issue; why then do Bernie’s opponents want you to believe he can move the country towards socialism? Out of desperation most likely! It is probably their last hope to stop the Bernie’s movement, to bring his populist march to a halt. It doesn’t matter that a great majority supports Bernie; it doesn’t matter he may be able to make good on his promises (he has in the past); it doesn’t matter he cares deeply to address the needs of the constituents.
Bernie’s greatest sin is that he cares for the constituents, politicians shouldn’t. Good politicians are selfish. Great politicians are liars and selfish. As it is becoming obvious with each passing day, the politicians in Washington couldn’t care less about the needs of the people; they couldn’t care less about the wish of the people; they simply couldn’t care less. Bernie’s movement threatens to change all that; Bernie challenges the status quo; Bernie’ surge opens people’ eyes. Which politician is stupid enough to care for those who vote him in office? Which politician is dumb enough to want to do good by the constituents? That politician must be a socialist; here in America, we hate socialism. Granted, Bernie doesn’t help his cause either; he wants to be known as a socialist.
As mentioned in Part One, it is really very disingenuous that the press continues to go after Bernie and scares the constituents away because he claims to be a socialist. The press never cares to ask him what he means by it; his answer would be illuminating; it would shed light on a label which may cost him the nomination. That would be disastrous for the myriad of supporters he cultivated through the “feelthebern” movement.
For the first time in the history of presidential elections in a very longtime, opponents see only one flaw in a candidate (Bernie Sanders), he is a socialist. That may be a good thing; after all, it seems that socialism may be the very cure to apply to the ills of this country and Bernie is the only one for the job. No wonder both his own party and the other make an unlikely alliance to defeat him; ironically, Bernie stands for the people. What do his opponents stand for? Why would anyone want to smear someone who stands for The People? You need not be a genius to figure it out, or do you?
Bernie is no socialist; he is a man of The People which may spell socialism in America.
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