Bernie

Communists protest in Union Square

As a genuine carrying member of the Old Left I receive lots of emails asking for money.

Prior to the last mid-term elections I was asked to support some Congressional or Senatorial candidate in some far away state because the sun would not rise over the Republic if the G.O.P. took control of the Senate by winning in Kansas, Wyoming or wherever.

Few if any of the “progressive” candidates I am asked to support with my retirement dollars are very “progressive” IMHO.  They are Democrats – which is supposed to make them appeal to my better angels.

Now I have never been fond of the “new left”. I always felt there was something missing from the agenda. It took me a while to figure it out. You must forgive me but occasionally I can be dense.

I watched the Yippies, the hippies, free love, Summer of love, LSD, Hair up close and personal. There was only one thing missing.

None of the hippie, Yippie, free love, anti-war crowd gave a rat’s ass about workers – which is probably why so many of the workers voted for Richard Nixon. They didn’t care about workers because they were in college and probably never worked. Tricky Dick knew if he did away with conscription the crowds of demonstrators  would melt away. If we still had conscription and were taking your kid off of the streets and dropping him in Kandahar or Damascus do you think we would be in our 15th year of war?

Along came St. Ronnie on his horse who began dismantling unions – and he did so without a peep.  Soon our Supreme Court consisting of a majority of demi-fascists will have the opportunity to put a final nail in the coffin of public employee unionism.

So where is the left in America?

Bernie.

Sanders, the independent self avowed socialist is the only candidate advocating Medicare for all, a  single payer health care system which will cover everyone.  He is the only candidate advocating the break-up of “too big to fail” financial institutions and the re-imposing of the Glass-Steagell  Act. Bernie is the only candidate advocating a free college education at state universities.  After all, what good is a state supported university if the taxpaying residents of the state have to borrow exorbitant amounts of money to attend it?  Bernie is the only candidate supporting a minimum wage of $15 per hour and higher taxes on the 1%.  He speaks with passion about closing the gap between the very wealthy and everyone else.  Yes I know.  It’s class warfare.

In short, Sanders is running on bread and butter issues.   He is the candidate speaking out for higher taxes on the wealthy, for closing the gap between the 1% and the rest of us; in support of a living wage for all who work full time.  In support of a true national health care system or Medicare for all,  In support of free higher education rather than student loans which the banks made sure you can’t escape even if you die.

While they pay quiet lip service no Democrat runs openly on these planks – only socialists.

And certainly not Hillary Clinton.

Recent polling suggests Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is not only ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire, but is neck-and-neck, perhaps even ahead, in Iowa. That these early states are shaping up as competitive shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. Voters break late — many aren’t paying close attention until a few weeks before their state’s contest.

So Hillary did this week what she does best – she went on the attack dispatching her daughter to New Hampshire where she declared that Bernie wants to take everyone’s health care away.

“Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance,” she said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “I worry if we give Republicans Democratic permission to do that, we’ll go back to an era — before we had the Affordable Care Act — that would strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance.”

Of course she knows that is not true – Medicare would cover everyone.  Chelsea Clinton has a masters degree in public health from Columbia. She knows exactly how what she’s saying obfuscates the issue.  Hillary repeated the comments on the morning talk shows.

Hillary also opposes breaking up the big banks and bringing back Glass-Steagell.   Of course she does.  She takes plenty from Wall Street and her husband repealed the Glass-Steagell Act.

Clinton’s recent domestic policy offensive fails on two fronts. Nobody really believes that a woman who served on the board of Walmart when her husband was governor of Arkansas and who made millions of dollars  giving speeches to big banks and private equity firms is a populist Democrat.  And nobody really believes that a Medicare-for-all plan single-payer system will destroy Medicare.

In the end none of it matters to Democrats.  Even if the party wins the Presidency it will not win control of the House or Senate.  Any Democratic President will be fighting a holding action for at least the first term.

Meanwhile most of the left today is in a state of distraction, seemingly obsessed with social issues which, in my opinion should not be it’s priority if it expects to win.  The liberal elite, led by celebrities loudly complain how Hollywood star women are not paid as much as Hollywood star men, how the Oscars passed up Straight Outta Compton and croon endlessly on the bravery of Caitlin yadayadayada.

I have trouble feeling sorry for people with a hundred million dollars in the bank who feel slighted.  Notice that they don’t support socialists.

The rest of the millennial generation seems to feel way too entitled and self absorbed.  spending  too much time on the Kardashians, none of whom can sing, dance or act other than in their sex videos or on the latest beefs between rappers.

Do you think the one percent give a rat’s ass about gay marriage? The issue serves their purpose, splitting the voters and distracting us from the issues which affect the vast majority – like buying members of Congress with lots of campaign donations.

If the “left” spent as much time fighting for healthcare for all, free higher education, a living wage, higher taxes on the ultra-wealthy and reining in Wall Street as it spends on fighting “transphobia” we would have had a better nation by now.

Nothing “progressive” will come from any of it. Hillary is just another corporatist.  Bernie may be making waves but I wouldn’t bet on him winning the Presidency.

After all he is a “socialist”.  If he wins the nomination he will be a “Marxist”.  He’s a career politician who supports social democratic policies similar to those in Europe, particularly the Nordic countries; he is not a revolutionary.  Even if he won he would be saddled with a Republican House and Senate.

And soon you will hear Bernie is too old at 74 to be elected to a first term. No stamina.

And he is a Jew (though “not very religious.”)   There are tens of millions in this nation who would no more vote for a Jewish President than a black President.

Success will be measured not by passing progressive new policies but by our ability to keep from descending into all out American fascism.  So call me when a couple of hundred thousand are ready to demonstrate against gross economic inequality  – I’ll bring the red and black flags.

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Protests Then: Union Square

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About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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15 Responses to Bernie

  1. DesertAbba says:

    Wow, wish I’d said that!am

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jfwknifton says:

    And the scary thing is that Great Britain seems intent on going down the American route, although we do still have our National Health service and relatively generous Social Security. That is not to say, though, that the future will not be difficult as money runs short (although not for everybody, of course).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s a frightening world we are bequeathing. Perhaps we’ll be surprised and find ourselves with Sanders and Corbyn in the future. Somehow I doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beetleypete says:

    You always manage to sum up the issues nicely, Frank. Like Sarah, I fear that Sanders has no more chance of winning than Corbyn has of leading the next UK government. Selfishness always prevails in the ballot box, regrettably.
    (I do have a red flag tucked away somewhere. Sadly, it will be gathering dust, long after I am gone.)

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ms. V says:

    Europe is feeling the “Bern” — although as a mother of millenials, I feel you’re giving them too little credit. Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Invictus says:

    “So what does identity politics have to do with the Left? Let me state firmly what should not need restating. The political project of the Left is universalist: it is for all human beings.”
    –Eric Hobsbawm–

    http://vi.uh.edu/pages/buzzmat/hobsbawm%20identity%20politics.pdf

    Like

  7. The main problem with the “non-Communist left” in the US is that it is run by CIA left-gatekeeping foundations. Frances Stonor Saunders broke the silence on this reality in her ground breaking 1999 book Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Answering that article would take a full post and still may not cover all of the bases; quite frankly I really have no interest. I consider myself a democratic socialist. Trump appears to me to be an authoritarian egotistical rich guy -not surprising considering he was born with a golden spoon in his mouth. I don’t see too many wage slaves, other than white ones, screaming for Trump. Indeed there is a politics of resentment at play – among far right bourgeoisie whites who feel they are “losing their country” and want to make America “great again”. What ever that means.

      It began with George Wallace, continued under Reagan and reached a fever pitch with the election of a black President – the foreign born, Muslim one. Nixon deeply resented the Kennedys, Reagan resented the “eastern establishment” – nothing new since desegregation.

      After all, why wouldn’t a poor white wage slave vote for the socialist candidate? There is a choice. That would certainly be in his best interest. Because somehow that might benefit the “other” – so he votes for the billionaire who has driven civil discourse to a new low – the lowest common denominator.

      The article you referenced mentioned everything but racism.

      Regards and thanks for reading.

      Like

  8. archecotech says:

    Very interesting take on the democrats, would be interested to hear your views on the republicans. Myself I’m neither, I vote my mind after researching and watching carefully not to the words, they are cheap. But the actions behind the words. For myself I see a capitalist – poor choice, a closet communist, a constitutionalist, a failed business person with a chip on their shoulder, and several pastors want a be president……….but only one stands out in my mind. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Well as a leftie I wouldn’t vote for any of them. The GOP has moved so far to the right as to make Mitt Romney look like a statesman. The party is filled with what I consider to be crypto fascists – but that’s just me. The capitalist is Trump – an authoritarian with money which I consider a dangerous combination.

      I like Bernie – who is not radical but only seems to be in the current American context. As I said – he likes Norway and Sweden and considers himself a democratic socialist. Unfortunately I don’t realistically think he can win the nomination. The presence of Hillary Clinton is suffocating. Regards.

      Liked by 1 person

      • archecotech says:

        I must admit I’m a bit surprised. If I remember correctly your roots are from Russia or at least a Eastern European one. I suspect the thoughts of fascism rattle you. You yourself have faced this but American have never had to look this in the eye.

        I agree Trump in the long run would be a disaster, most of the others right behind him. I’m not sure Bernie’s a good idea either since not everything can be for free, there is always a price. Hillary should be in prison, where she belongs. The only choice I see is Ted Cruz, the reason I like him is that he’s a Constitutionalist. But then I could be totally wrong as well. What do you think of him?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. toritto says:

    Arch – You have me confused with someone else perhaps? I was born and raised in Brooklyn of Italian immigrant parents. And everyone outside of the tea party hates Cruz. He’s a “constitutionalist” when it suits him. Regards

    Like

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