Friday, April 29, 2016

Bernie Sanders Tells the Democratic Party What to Do. The Party Should Listen.

There never was a better time for the Democratic Party to embrace the causes of economic and social justice. Americans are clamoring for it.

Bernie talked a little trash with Hillary. Didn't work. Now he's
talking to the Democratic Party, and his message is on target:
Going left means tackling the issues Americans care about most.

Here's what Bernie Sanders just said to the Democratic Party, which he has just joined and promised to support:
The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side of working people or big-money interests?” Mr. Sanders asked the crowd. “Do we stand with the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor? Or do we stand with Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies? Now our job is not just to revitalize the Democratic Party, not only to open the doors to young people and working people — our job is to revitalize American democracy.”
There was a reason why people showed en masse -- and gave on masse, too -- to support and encourage Bernie Sanders on his quixotic quest. They liked what he represented, which was the dampening of the voracious appetites of the one percent and then turning the resulting leftovers over to the disenfranchised citizens of the working classes, including the shrinking middle.

He had the juice, and he had the issues. Now it's incumbent on mainstream Democrats -- Hillary comes to mind -- to embrace them. It's not only what America needs, it will win votes, in November and on into the future.

What happens if we don't? The disenfranchised will follow a different leader who speaks to their guts with a darker, meaner and less-focused message: Build the wall!

Bernie wants to tear down a wall, too, specifically a very well known one: the wall that separates Main Street from Wall Street.

The job we need to do? Give the people what they want, and that's a ticket to the ownership class.

Those that have thrown in with the GOP -- a wildly shrinking group at this juncture -- think you get to keep the spoils if you stop access to those who are taking your jobs away, not realizing that the GOP loves the presence of the roughly 12 million undocumented workers in the country. They just don't want them to have a path to citizenship that the GOP rightfully fears will allow them to find common cause with the Democrats. The GOP, or what's left of the business class that it represented, loves when the "illegals" drive down American wages. Letting them vote? Not on your life.

But the rubes don't see it. Why not? They've been sipping on the Kool-Aid of anti-immigrant, anti-union, anti-welfare, anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-minority madness that the Republicans -- and its messengers at Fox News and right-wing talk radio -- have been pummeling them with for the past two decades. It's The Others' fault!!

A good 20 percent of U.S. voters will fall for that, and will likely join with Donald Trump's masses, because he has added his special twist. Trump will build walls everywhere. He'd even wall out our allies in Europe and Asia if they don't play ball and let us Put America First®. For sure our allies want to be told they're second fiddle if they want to do business with us. Real smart, Donald, you ole deal maker, you.

But the rubes love it because The Others have it coming. America, Fuck Yeah®!! Especially The Others in our midst, such as minorities, immigrants, LGBTQs, and -- oops! -- women.

So the GOP-Donald mind-meld can capture maybe 30 percent of voters just because. But here's the thing: that Republican-focused vision is exclusive, while the Democratic-focused vision is inclusive.

What Bernie Sanders has done is craft a message that appeals to that very demographic that Donald Trump can harness: whites with no more than a high-school diploma, you know, those who can no longer get a union gig that lets them slip into the middle class, with a guaranteed pension and a home to retire in.

The American Dream was a dream for the white working class. If it ever existed (I thought it did), it doesn't now. And the whites want it back. Trouble is, they don't want anyone else to have it, which is just fine with them.

So, Bernie Bros, or whatever you're being called these days, follow your leader in support of the Democratic Party, pushing it left from inside, just as Sanders would have you do. Of course -- gulp! -- that means pulling the lever for Hillary at some point.

And Hillary? Listen to Sanders and go after the one percent with all your heart. This populism, in 2016, represents -- includes, dammit -- the mad-as-hell bunch we need to bring back to the Democratic Party. Doing that denies both the Donald and the GOP of their storm troopers.

It won't be easy. A Democratic Party moving left sounds very much like the welfare state the Foxnicks warn against, the state that takes care of, includes, the victims of falling wages and declining opportunity.

But what if you give them things, not that they don't deserve but that they require, that they have earned, in a modern society?
  • An education they can afford.
  • Access to the jobs the future requires, with pay that allows them dignity.
  • Healthcare that keeps them fit and productive.
  • Expanded Social Security and Medicare that removes the shadow from old age.
  • A country with the infrastructure it needs to compete on the world stage, let alone provides Americans safety and comfort.
  • A foreign policy that includes rather than excludes.
  • And, yes, a safety net that switches on in hard times.
That's a vision that can appeal to all classes. Sure, someone has to pay for it, and that's the wealthy, and we know it. Yeah, it's, er, socialist, but then it's always been. As someone said the other day, creating and funding fire departments across the country is socialist: We get together and build systems for the common good. We used to think that it was the right thing to do.

It happens to coincide with Democratic ideals, and Bernie Sanders reawakened those for us. Embrace them, Democratic Party, and reassure the white working class that they are in their best interests because it's for them, too, especially for them. They're hurting, and they need help. Give it to them.

Don't build walls, tear them down, especially those that surround the genormous bank accounts of the robber-baron class. (Yes, they're baaaack!) Then give the people what they need.

What does the Democratic Party get in return? Votes. Thanks, Bernie.

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