We Should All Listen to Bernie Sanders About This

I do not expect Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic nominee, likable as he is.

But Sanders’ candidacy is more important than his prospects, because he has fearlessly identified many of the issues we Americans should be addressing–and many of them are problems that far too few of us are addressing. As a consequence, he has shaken Hillary Clinton out of her typically cautious–some would say calculating–approach, and made her a far better candidate.

In a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, of all people, Sanders said this about what he sees as the “job for Democrats:”

“Our job is not just to defeat Republicans, our job is to revitalize American democracy, bring people who have given up on the political system back into the system, and create a government which represents them rather than large campaign donors.”

I have only one quibble with that. The revitalization of American democracy is not just a job for Democrats. It is a goal that rational Republicans, Independents, Libertarians and members of the Green Party (there are some, right?) should share.

You don’t have to agree with every position Bernie Sanders takes, or even most of them, to endorse this one.

 

54 thoughts on “We Should All Listen to Bernie Sanders About This

  1. “…bring people who have given up on the political system back into the system, and create a government which represents them rather than large campaign donors.”

    Take a look at the candidates on both sides and you see the effects of unbridled money coming from just a few extremely wealthy donors controlling the conversation. He Who Will Not Be Named is one of them even though he is funding his own campaign (or so he says). He is a player who ultimately will do things solely to benefit his own interests.

    It is extremely hard to engage people in the political process when they are presented with compelling evidence on a daily basis that their voices are never going to be heard by the power brokers who are in control of the system. We all feel like we are tilting at windmills, expending time, energy and money where we are out-spent, out shouted, and out-maneuvered at every turn by those with deeper pockets and easy access.

    Frustration eventually leads to angry emotion or complete disengagement. In either case, rational participation is lacking. We all lose in the end.

  2. Getting people back into the system is a great goal for those of us still engaged, but it is not a job description. What would that job description look like?

    “Duties will include keeping oneself informed of current events including, but not limited to, local, state, and federal government activities. Successful candidate shall at least once a week telephone, write or e-mail at least one government official about said current events or contact news media concerning coverage of current events and errors made therein. Successful candidate must maintain a civil tone in all such communications, check his/her facts before contact is made, and present said facts in a logical and straightforward manner. Said candidate will be expected to vote in every election and celebrate doing so by inviting others to join in even if it means driving them to the polls. Dress optional.”

  3. It all sounds very nice, but since SCOTUS decided that corporations are people too, how can those of us without deep pockets defeat those with deep pockets.

    It sounds easy enough – just get out and vote! Unfortunately, the deep pockets spend their money wisely by constantly “educating” the masses with propaganda that promotes their own objectives of gaining even more power. They continue to gain votes from people that have no real idea that they are voting for their own enemies.

  4. @Theresa-A very similar job description should apply to candidates for office only more so. If you leave out contacting at least one government official at least once a week, you have a working basis for a a potentially viable nominee for public office. Of course, if they already are an official, they might take a good long look in the mirror once a week or just ask their kids how they are doing. Either case can be brutally enlightening.

  5. Many experienced politicos, most pollsters and the entire news media “don’t expect him to be the Democratic nominee for president,” while they praise his campaign and his ideas. It’s comfortable to keep one foot in the Clinton campaign while the other foot pulls toward Bernie. I have finally suspended my disbelief in his chances and jumped into the Bernie-believer camp with both feet. It’s much more inspiring and just plain fun to be part of a revolution, especially when you believe that it just may save the country.

  6. Bernie is the standard bearer for the American people, ALL American people. I will vote for Hillary if she is the nominee but will back Bernie till the last possible minute.

  7. Sheila is always trying to get more people to the polls. Sheila rarely tries to give people a reason to go to the polls, as she never attacks the two-party system. Sheila just comes off as a cheerleader for the current two-party monopoly.

    The Democrats should nominate Bernie. That’s a real choice. I doubt few outside the feminist ranks are going to be too energized by Hypergamy Hillary.

  8. Just finished Meacham’s “American Lion.” Andrew Jackson fought the US Bank on behalf of “the people”. Some passages sound eerily like today. Similar issues demand a similar President – a President of the people.

  9. Wayne, the only reason income tax is paid is so the government can pay the Federal Reserve interest on the money the Federal Reserve loans to the government. Both the income tax and the Federal Reserve were created at the same time.

    The 16th Amendment authorizing income tax became effective on February 3, 1913, and the Federal Reserve Act was enacted on December 23, 1913. The Amendment needed to come first, as a central bank scam won’t work without income tax. The Federal Reserve Act also legalized Federal Reserve Notes as “legal tender.” “Legal tender,” is not money. It’s just something you are legally authorized to tender as money.

    Where does the Federal Reserve get the money to loan to the government? It makes it up.

    Literally.

    Makes it up.

    Jackson knew this. Everybody in America used to know this. America got really dumb after a couple of generations went through public schools, so 1913 was a good moment for the thieves to pounce.

    Do you feel morally obligated to pay part of your income to a private company for the sole purpose of letting rich banker scheming thieves get richer?

    Income taxes don’t go toward government funding and operation. Learn how the government works. Income taxes are diverted to the Federal Reserve. The IRS is a government funded collection agent for rich New York and overseas bank owners.

  10. Things that I find heartening about this upcoming Election Day: there is no conservative candidate doing well over the long term; both Bernie and Hillary are emphasizing their closeness to President Obama; and both are trying to out liberal the other. All great indications that the great enlightenment has begun.

    Being left behind are the bureaucrats who judge government by cost rather than investment; the power starving and their armament and their king: God; the haters; and those who feel entitled to knowledge for free, no education required.

    Hallelujah, the dark ages are done and the only lasting damages are our huge debt, the instability in the Middle East, the resurrected racial strife here, our largest collection of personal armament in the world, our still 2X healthcare costs, a completely inept and impotent Congress, and a destructively irreversibly changed climate for the next millennium.

    An expensive experiment in demagoguery.

    Thomas Edison is said to have opined that he never had a failed experiment, he learned something from every one. Hopefully we are smart enough to remember this one forever.

  11. “Sheila is always trying to get more people to the polls.”

    The ultimate complement to passionate supporters of democracy.

  12. Pete, your 8:56 is an utterly vapid response. No thought could have possibly gone into it.

    Is it too difficult for you to learn how central banking works, or do you profit from central banking?

  13. Pete:

    Your 9:00 is a fallacious comment that presumes the thing it would try to prove. You foolishly presume democracy is a government worth having, but you don’t show how a democracy necessarily results in a government in which it is pleasant and comfortable to live.

    Democracies can have a range of living conditions for the government, from blissful to miserable. You’re old enough to know this, and you should be man enough to address it.

    You simply chickened out by lobbing a vacuous slogan, as empty as a picket board, and hid behind it. DARPA needs to enhance your firmware.

    The real point you need to prove is why this democracy deserves support. You made no effort at all to undertake that labor.

  14. Is this a legal response to combat the extreme spending by outside groups? Networks and stations set a fixed, across the board, limit on how much money they will accept from a single advertiser per month (or some other time period) for their own station or network. Is it possible to set that limit to not impact non-political advertisers while still having a meaningful effect on political big spenders? Would it be possible to get the public willing to demand such a change?

  15. Is Bernie Sanders the George McGovern for a new generation? I was part of the generation of young Democrats that (For very good reasons) worked for Gene McCarthy and later for George McGovern. That was a heart felt crusade. And we lost 49 states. I LOVE Bernie but I do not want to loose 49 state again. Love is only part of the equation.

  16. ” “Our job is not just to defeat Republicans, our job is to revitalize American democracy, bring people who have given up on the political system back into the system, and create a government which represents them rather than large campaign donors.”

    I have only one quibble with that. The revitalization of American democracy is not just a job for Democrats. It is a goal that rational Republicans, Independents, Libertarians and members of the Green Party (there are some, right?) should share.

    You don’t have to agree with every position Bernie Sanders takes, or even most of them, to endorse this one.”

    O.K., Ms. Kennedy:

    Will you now pledge not to support any candidate who receives contributions from large campaign donors?

  17. I have blogged from the beginning of his candidacy that Bernie was unelectable but valuable in the mix since he will move Hillary to more liberal positions on the real issues confronting America and its people today. So far, I think such assessment is correct. She will be the Democratic nominee and she sounds better on the real issues Bernie has posed every day. She will win in spite of the Midas Brothers (aka the Kochs) and their libertarian zillions, upon which one can hope she will appoint Elizabeth Warren Secretary of the Treasury. We can then look forward to real reform which, I hope, blunts the present and continuing corporate control of America fueled by Wall Street, the Kochs and other such apostles of greed.

  18. I have been on the Bernie Bandwagon for a few years. I was excited when he decided to run for President. His track record as a Congressman and Senator are there for all to see and it dovetails into his platform. Bernie admits he cannot do the job alone as President, but the Democrats have to come up with candidates who do not cower in fear from being called Leftists or Democratic Socialists.

    Hillary has had to tack to the Left in response to Bernie. She recently announced her opposition to TPP, and the Keystone Pipeline, which Sanders has long opposed. We do not need a cautious, triangulating, focus group Hillary as the Democratic Candidate. The Left has been looking for a real candidate for years to say what Bernie is saying loudly. Do not let this opportunity pass you by Bernie Sanders for President, vote for the Real Thing.

  19. Gopper: your growing desperation shows.

    If you have a viable alternative to anything in use today lets see it.

    Democracy? Banks? Our Constitution? Capitalism? Campaign financing? Two party politics? Sustainable energy?

    Your incessant whining is deafening. And defining.

  20. Louie: “We do not need a cautious, triangulating, focus group Hillary as the Democratic Candidate. ”

    Why do you feel this way?

  21. Pete:

    Your lack of ability to engage in intellectual conversation shows. You expect everyone to agree with you, which usually occurs here, but you fold when your work is shown to be deficient and you are pressed to prove your points.

    All you have are slogans. Your side won’t get anywhere when it is as thin as paper and just as weak.

  22. Pete:

    In response to your 9:43, do you have the research that proves we do need “a cautious, triangulating, focus group Hillary as the Democratic Candidate?”

  23. A leftist liberal living in Carmel, IN my vote is drowned out by the tsunami of Republicans at the polls with whom the churches are co-conspirators.
    My personal determination is not to waste my vote but to use it by voting straight ticket in opposition to any candidate waving the flag of “conservative” and, to register my protest against what is, in Carmel, a one-party system.
    Maybe someday “Boots-on-the-ground” Republicans will be ousted so that we will continue to have American world peace brought by the likes of the Obama administration.

  24. Pete, “We do not need a cautious, triangulating, focus group Hillary as the Democratic Candidate. ” I feel this way for a few reasons. Would Bill Clinton have been elected the first time around if he would have said – I am going to have NAFTA passed, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, the Telecommunications Act, DOMA, and trash Glass-Steagall?? You might have well as voted for Bush the Elder.

    We do not need candidates who change course because of polls and focus groups. We need candidates who believe and have the track record of what they say.

    Jerry – “Bernie was unelectable but valuable in the mix since he will move Hillary to more liberal positions on the real issues confronting America and its people today.”

    Hillary should not have to be levered to the Left- She should have been there to begin with. Bernie Sanders is electable he has proved this many times.

  25. Gopper:
    I would agree that Hillary Clinton is not an ideal candidate for POTUS; however, I have actually started wondering of the republicans, based on their field of candidates, are just not interested in the office of president. By comparison to the republicans, Hillary is much more appealing to voters than any of the republicans – on a large scale. Bernie Sanders too. I don’t understand why the republicans run a campaign for “leader of the free world” by demonizing whole groups of people (and potential voters) and narrowing their appeal to poorer uneducated white working people who are threatened by the rapid pace of changes taking place in society.

    I think they are happy to have control of most state legislatures and congress (many won by gerrymandering and voter suppression) where they can serve those special interests that fund the campaigns without fear of voter backlash.

    One possible outcome of increased voter turnout might be a rush to create additional barriers for voters the republicans don’t like.

  26. Everyone: my point with Louie was that IMO one difference between Hillary and Bernie is that she is the penultimate politician that her husband is and democracy is designed for. That’s what Louie’s quote described.

    Politicians specialize in getting things done. Ideologues specialize in pontificating.

    I happen to agree that Bernie’s ideology is just what the country needs but I am of the opinion that Hillary would accomplish more of it.

    My biggest concern about her is that with her we might risk in terms of gender equality what President Obama revealed about us in terms of racial equality.

    We have paid a monumental price for right wing extremism. Would the price be as high for left wing extremism? Is Bernie a left wing extremist?

    My opinion is no and no but while it appears that we can out vote right wing extremism now we still have to restore what they broke. That requires good politicians. Perhaps 8 years from now we will be better able to afford some left wing ideology.

    I see Hillary as following in President Obama’s footsteps and I believe that history will regard him as one of, if not the, best.

    That I believe is what the country needs now. Now that the voters in 1951 deprived us of our best choice. Third term Obama.

  27. Gopper:

    “you fold when your work is shown to be deficient and you are pressed to prove your points.”

    Let’s see. Try it.

  28. “By comparison to the republicans, Hillary is much more appealing to voters than any of the republicans”

    To you. Nationally, Hillary is a joke who will get crushed by Trump. Hillary has no appeal outside of anyone who’s taken a Women’s Studies course.

    Sanders will lose to Trump, too, but at least it will be a good election. Hillary is so bad, so utterly unacceptable to any decent person, that it may be 1861, all over again. America just can’t afford a Hillary presidency, and everyone knows that.

  29. Consider the great contributors to the American Dream that have been deamonized by the madmen extremists.

    President Obama
    Bill and Hillary Clinton
    Nancy Pelosi
    Jimmy Carter
    John, Robert and Edward Kennedy
    Bernie Sanders

    Here’s another, Al Gore, with as consice a description of our current biggest threat as I can imagine.

    http://youtu.be/m0ow1ZYPUr8

  30. One advantage of the right wing extremist’s reliance on single channel entertainment rather than news is that they only hear what they want to be true.

    Thus Gopper really believes that he and his gang of thugs are unopposed.

    He and they will be utterly surprised in about one year.

  31. Many evaluate political results by the metric campaign promises kept. Perhaps that’s appropriate as one measure but it’s far from the only important one because life happens while we plan.

    First events determine actions more than plans do. Stuff happens and must be accommodated. Politicians must be accountable for their handling of the unplanned and unanticipated.

    Also democracy requires accommodation. What a candidate would like to be true regularly collides with reality and compromise is the only thing that gets you some of what you want.

    Thus the capability to get is not the same as desire or want.

    At the end of the day real accomplishment trumps the abstraction of wanting.

  32. Gopper: neither Trump nor Hillary have been nominated yet. If they are nominated, let’s see which one looks, sounds and acts more capable of leading the US on the global stage. I’m not saying that Hillary doesn’t have her problems, but she certainly has a record of public service, experience in elected office and as Sec. of State. Trump thinks he’s wealthy and entitled to be president; wait until the conversation starts about his “leadership” during the bankruptcies he created. What else does he bring to the office?

  33. I’ve always understood Sheila to advocate high number of people participating in a democracy who were informed. Unless I’m mistaken, Sheila feels rather strongly about the public being uninformed, as most people who advocate a democratic system.

    All of this tends to be elephant in the room. When you have full participation of well-informed people, it’s harder for the demagogues and ideologues to win. Heaven knows, we have a lot of them in this state, which by the way also ranks rather low in voter participation.

  34. “I’m not saying that Hillary doesn’t have her problems, but she certainly has a record of public service, experience in elected office and as Sec. of State.”

    Hillary has no record of anything. She got her senate seat in New York through name recognition and dirty dealings to get on the Democratic ticket, and she got elected because NY is a Democratic state.

    She got her job as Secretary of State as a campaign deal with Obama to drop out of the primary in 2008. Hillary went on to be the worst SoS in America’s history, riddled with scandal and murder of SoS staff.

    Hillary got her job at the Rose Law Firm because of her husband. Hillary was thrown off the Watergate investigation because of corruption, deceit and incompetence.

    Hillary is entitlement personified. She’s accomplished nothing. She just feels entitled to the best the country has to offer.

  35. “When you have full participation of well-informed people, it’s harder for the demagogues and ideologues to win.”

    Unfortunately, many people consider Stewart, Colbert, Maher, Oliver and MSNBC to be legitimate forms of news.

  36. Gopper; MSNBC is under new management, try watching it now as it moves closer and closer to the right so it is much closer to your taste these days. Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews would be of no interest to you; the only liberals left (no pun intended) on MSNBC at this time.

  37. Well behaved women do not make history …

    It would appear that her server was more secure than
    Banks, Department Stores and the Federal Gov. or
    perhaps the hackers find Hilary boring, who knows …

    This blog to say the least, has been entertaining today.

  38. Gopper @3:26 … “Unfortunately, many people consider Stewart, Colbert, Maher, Oliver and MSNBC to be legitimate forms of news.”

    What’s wrong with that? With the exception of MSNBC, these you mention do nothing but expose lies, corruption, deceit, self-dealing, propaganda and general idiocy. And you do realize Stewart and Colbert have moved on to other things, right?

  39. Gopper’s foxination with American politics will continue on its trajectory of desperation peaking on Election Day 2016. Then it will turn worse under the realization that his entitlements as a middle class white Christian male were all empty promises from the folks who bought his vote. It will be very difficult for him to accept that females, foreigners, fornicators, all colors, even those without armament and heathens to Christianity have the same rights as he.

    What a letdown after years of subjecting himself to a steady diet of media madmen and their dream of global domination.

    Oh well. At least he has us to listen to his feelings.

    But the male master race seemed so close!

  40. After 40 years of being a member of a family, including my late father-in-law and his father, my late mother-in-law, and my late husband, all born in Bennington, VT, and all people with intensely independent thoughts and mindsets, Bernie Sanders speaks to me on a level that no other candidate from either side of the aisle speaks to me.

    Bernie Sanders does not spend time wetting his index finger and holding it aloft to determine the direction of the political wind of the moment. Sanders is not a chameleon who changes his mind through the trendy evolution of personal beliefs, changes his speech pattern, or changes his accent in an attempt to be all things to all people. He is what he is. He is what he’s always been.

    This time around I will vote for authenticity.

  41. Just saw on the news Jeb whining about Trump’s illegitimate Presidential run. My thought? If the GOP doesn’t like what they have turned into they have nobody to blame but themselves. They’ve been courting the fringe ever since Rush and Fox et al made them available. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  42. “Well behaved women do not make history …”

    Sure, they do. Your statement is flatly wrong. Lots of very well-mannered, cultured, civil women have made history.

    Some unpleasant history, however, has been made by unpleasant women.

    JoAnn, Maddow only got a show because Olbermann spoke for her, and Air America was going out of business, so she needed something to do. Olbermann was the best thing MSNBC ever had, but Obama got him canned.

  43. Peter (Pyotr?):

    I’ve added numbers to the cultural goals you have for America.

    “It will be very difficult for him to accept that [1] females, [2] foreigners, [3]fornicators, [4]all colors, even those [5]without armament and [6]heathens to Christianity have the same rights as he. ”

    Well, Pete, at last you’re honest about your Cultural Marxism. You’ve just admitted you’re working toward:

    1. Making America anti-male, destroying America’s strength and America’s families;

    2. Diluting the rightful racial mix of America;

    3. Making America extremely anti-family;

    4. Same as #2;

    5. Destroying the right and ability of America to resist and repel tyrants through the right to keep and bear arms;

    6. Making America anti-Christian, rejecting the foundational religion of this country.

    You’re a Marxist. You hate America. You hate Americans. You’re trying to tear this country down. You are, in every way, an enemy of America. America needs to treat you as an enemy.

    Your Cultural Marxist agenda tracks almost identically the points uncovered by Timothy Mathews in “The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to Corrupt.”

    To further the advance of their ‘quiet’ cultural revolution – but giving us no idea about their plans for the future – the School recommended (among other things):

    1. The creation of racism offences.

    2. Continual change to create confusion

    3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children

    4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority

    5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.

    6. The promotion of excessive drinking

    7. Emptying of churches

    8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime

    9. Creating dependency on the state or state benefits

    10. Control and dumbing down of media

    11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family

  44. Gopper:

    I believe that everything began with a Big Bang which launched a universe of energy which created matter and space time. I believe that our home evolved as the universe stabilized and life began spontaneously here. I believe that humanity was created through evolution and from natural selection.

    I believe in science as what humanity has learned from evidence reliably observed in nature and faith as assumptions about what cannot be proven. I see culture as behavior learned from observing behaviors of people assumed to be similar. Culture also evolved through natural selection driven by adaptation to the environment.

    My political priorities are democracy (not oligarchy, theocracy, monarchy or aristocracy)as the only reliable path to freedom; our Constitution as the bylaw for the government that Americans declare allegiance to; insisting on competition in markets most suitable for capitalism and oversight by freely elected public servants in markets most suitable for socialism; equal rights for all citizens; and continuous improvement (progress) in all institutions.

    A traditional American but also a citizen of the world.

    Pretty straightforward really.

    You and yours are a threat to all things American as evidenced by actual experience experimenting with your faith in American government, religion and business over the last few decades.

    Until you can provide evidence of any of this being wrong it’s my belief and I’m sticking with it.

    You are certainly welcome to provide evidence that proves any of this incorrect.

  45. Does anyone know if the scroll past function can implode from over use to get past Gopper’s comments? I don’t want to damage Sheila’s daily blog site; it begins my days and I don’t want to chance losing it to a technical malfunction.

  46. Pete:

    Yesterday, you said: “All great indications that the great enlightenment has begun.”

    The “Great Enlightenment” is a goal sought by the Frankfurt School/Cultural Marxists.

    Are you a Marxist, Pete?

    Is this blog a Marxist outpost? Have I wandered into a hotbed of Marxist discussion?

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