Bernie Sanders: Beating the drum of political revolution

Posted on 20 September 2015 by admin

Why Sanders is a politician to watch

mike aliverniaBy: Mike Alivernia
Staff Writer

The junior senator from Vermont – Bernie Sanders – is the longest-serving independent congressperson in U.S. history and enjoys the hair stylings of a more distinguished Albert Einstein. Sanders is finally running for president in 2016, and if he gains enough traction to stay in the game until the end, he has the ability to truly rub everyone the wrong way – which attracts my interest. When he rails against big banks and tax loopholes for the ultra-wealthy, and calls for changes that include common sense and Democratic values trumping capitalistic greed, he automatically earns my vote. He’s running under the Democrat’s flag, but this temporary marriage is born of necessity rather than philosophical similarities. Bernie Sanders is as much a Democrat as Donald Trump is a Republican. If this country’s political mechanisms were not dominated by an unnecessary two-party farce, these two men would not seem so peculiar – so different from the majority of presidential candidates. Unfortunately for us, our choices are truly limited; but lucky for us, Bernie Sanders is truly different – very, very different from your average politician.

bernie sandersWe live in a country that has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major economy on earth. We live in a time that has produced the worst income inequality in America in almost a century. With these facts readily available, we still have both sides of our two-party system – a system that is not constitutionally-mandated in any way – bending over backward to defend and perpetuate this economy. An economy which has had over two centuries to morph into a self-cannibalizing, sentient creature of unstoppable proportions; an economy that boasts more wealth for the top 400 citizens than for the bottom half of this pyramid – that is 150 million Americans that cannot combine to buy what the top 400 can own.

“The Walden family alone, who owns Walmart amongst other companies, is wealthier than the bottom 40 percent of Americans.” Sanders proclaims from the stump, “We’ve had a redistribution of wealth already, and it’s gone up the chain, not down.”

What would you buy if you owned more money than 375,000 Americans? I assume – like the rest of them – you would buy yourself some local politicians, maybe even rent a U.S. senator or two. If you have not heard, the Supreme Court has recently interpreted that the Constitution condones the exorbitant “donations” that political campaigns and super-pacs take in, under the guise of campaign advertising funding. The highest court in the land has repeatedly ruled that not only is a corporation technically a person who can donate money to any politician it sees fit, but that a politician is beholden to those donating constituents – and indirect or implied bribery masquerading as donations is not illegal. As the old saying goes: it takes money to make money. It should be no harder than following this donated money trail when researching how corporate America has had their income tax cut from 33 percent of the total federal tax revenue, to 9 percent over the last 60 years; however, as documented in the New York Times and everywhere else, there are more ways to stay anonymous than not when donating to political campaigns – more loopholes for those who want to create even more loopholes: ambiguous and inadequate laws and rules to fleece the system with.

These misinterpretations of what a Democratic capitalistic system should be have sadly forced people like Bernie Sanders outside of any conventional container one could construct for a successful politician in 21st century America. Sanders has not only stayed mostly independent of the two-headed party machine, but he also views himself as a Democratic socialist. What does that mean: a Democratic socialist? Is he hunched over in his office late at night reading Marx and Lenin, while contemplating how to finish burning ‘Murica to the ground by fanning the flames of the liberal, commie fire his Muslim buddy, Obama, started? That is the connotation the talking heads will spout, to combat Sanders’ rising popularity as Americans begin to hear his message. Sanders doesn’t believe that the government should give interest-free loans and tax exemptions to corporations while fleecing the poor and middle class with student loans and overpriced health insurance. Sanders demands universal health care and universal higher education, the dismantling of the way campaigns are financed and a reboot of what democracy is supposed to mean and who it is supposed to work for. For the people, by the people – all of the people – even the poor ones.

Our culture has spent countless generations blissfully allowing ourselves to be removed from the law-making process. Instead of talking about having less government in our lives, we need to build a better, more balanced one, no matter the size. The function is what matters. This is still the greatest country in the world, bar none. How grand it would be, if we cared about feeding, housing and employing every homeless person as much as we cared about appeasing DuPont, Disney and Goldman Sachs. If we spent half as much time researching renewable energy technology as we do fracking for oil and making super neat computer watches, would we not be better off? Bernie Sanders thinks so.

Sanders represents the true essence of the French and American Revolutions, lost to us through centuries of moral attrition through corporate growth and globalization. He yearns for a true representative democracy, not our current oligarchy. He is not afraid to shine a light on institutions that are failing and rethink the whole process if necessary. Bernie Sanders is what politicians were supposed to be like. At the Sister Giant Conference on March 28, 2015, Sanders said, “Of all of the crises that we face, the most serious crisis is that we don’t discuss the serious crises that we face; that’s the issue. My radical request of people throughout this country, is maybe we’d like to spend half, maybe a third, as much time worrying about the life that’s going to face our kids and grandchildren as compared to March Madness and the NCAA finals. I’m not asking a lot.” Bernie Sanders cares about you and your grandchildren. Seems quite conservatively foresighted, for a scary socialist.

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