Bernie Sanders is the junior US Senator from Vermont. He’s a member of the Democrat Party and an avowed socialist. He’s a balding, white-haired gentleman and 74 years old. He’s nobody’s idea of a left-wing, radical revolutionary.
When Senator Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democrat nomination for President last May, it seemed to be a fool’s errand. Hillary Clinton seemed virtually unstoppable.
My first reaction to his candidacy was, “Awww–isn’t that cute? An elderly, white-haired socialist is running for President. Gee, it’s really true; anyone can grow up to run for President in the USA. Is this a great country, or what?”
Of course, I didn’t believe Bernie had a chance in heck of winning the Democrat nomination or even raising any funds. I kind of expected him to campaign from his walker, make a brave show of it, take a nap and quickly fade from the campaign.
I was wrong.
Bernie Sanders and his bid for the presidency are for real.
He wasn’t intimidated by Hillary. He didn’t fade, lose heart or get caught dozing. Remarkably, inconceivably, he began to close the gap in the polls between himself and Hillary. In some polls he began to beat Hillary.
And his campaign’s success wasn’t just the result of support from some college kids having fun. Bernie’s support is widespread.
Bernie’s supporters have not only voted for him in the polls–they’ve also contributed so many small donations (average of $30 each) to Bernie’s campaign that he’s raised almost as much money as Hillary’s $26 million.
Hillary received most of her money from PACs, the wealthy elite, and fundraisers organized by various “big shots”.
Bernie’s not taking money from PACs or the wealthy elite. His contributions are all coming from the “little people”.
By taking contributions only from “little guys,” Bernie demonstrates a level of integrity and commitment to “de common folk” that no other politician can match. What little I’ve heard about Bernie indicates that, despite being a politician, he may actually be an honest man. Evidence of a candidate being honest and having integrity, has to attract some voters.
While Hillary holds “intimate meetings” with a few dozen people in road side diners, Bernie Sanders is holding rallies that draw over 20,000 screaming, cheering fans and supporters.
If you judge by the size of his rallies, Bernie Sanders may be the most popular candidate in the presidential race.
• I have to admit that I’ve been surprised, amazed, and even befuddled, by his success.
I have to suppose that Hillary must be shocked, astonished and even a little terrified, by Bernie’s success. Who could imagine that Hillary Clinton could be beaten by some socialist who was seven years older than she is?
Something incomprehensible seemed to be happening in American politics: an elderly, avowed socialist was doing well in the A.D. 2016 presidential primaries.
It seemed impossible
• I couldn’t wrap my mind around the Sanders “phenomenon” until a few days ago when I saw an article by Michael Snyder entitled, “Right Now There Are 102.6 Million Working Age Americans That Do Not Have A Job”.
In that article Mr. Snyder observes:
“According to the Obama administration, there are currently 7.9 million Americans that are ‘officially unemployed’ and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are ‘not in the labor force’. That gives us a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.
“That is not an economic recovery – that is an economic depression of an almost unbelievable magnitude.”
Yes, yes, yes . . . 102.6 million working age Americans without jobs is an “economic depression of an almost unbelievable magnitude”. Yes, I get that. We’re now in deep economic do-do.
But the real implication of 103 million unemployed Americans goes far beyond whether we are or aren’t in an “economic depression of almost unbelievable magnitude”. 103 million unemployed imply that we may be on the verge of a political revolution of “an almost unbelievable magnitude”.
103 million unemployed equals nearly one-third of the total American population. Subtract America’s 75 million children (who aren’t eligible to vote) from the overall population of 320 million, and we have a remainder of 245 million eligible voters–roughly half of which voted in the A.D. 2012 presidential election.
How many people voted Republican in the last presidential election? 61 million.
How many people voted Democrat? 66 million.
If the number of unemployed Americans is currently about 103 million, that’s almost 70% more than the total number of votes received by Mitt Romney (remember him?) in A.D. 2012.
Who do you suppose the vast majority of those 103 million unemployed will vote for in A.D. 2016?
Wil they vote for Donald Trump–who is entertaining and inspiring with promises of a “return to greatness” but, otherwise, has nothing to offer the poor and currently unemployed?
I don’t think so.
What about voting for some other Republican who has nothing for the poor/unemployed other than the “trickle-down theory” where, first, government gives money to the rich and when they spend it, some of it will “trickle-down” to the middle class and poor.? The trickle-down theory is stupid. The rich already have money, lots of it, and virtually none of it is trickling down to the poor. Why would anyone suppose that by giving even more money to the rich, any significant portion of that new money would “trickle down” to the poor?
I don’t think “trickle down” works and I doubt that the 103 million without jobs agree with me.
Will the 103 million unemployed vote for Hillary Clinton or some other Democrats who are bought and paid for by the same oligarchs who’ve bought and paid for most Republican candidates?
Not if there’s a better alternative.
Or, will that 103 million unemployed vote for the socialist, Bernie Sanders, who promises to tax the rich and give it to the poor?
This answer to these questions is a no-brainer.
The 103 million unemployed are going to vote for the man who promises to put a chicken in every pot. They’re going to vote for a modern Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a newer New Deal.
They’re going to vote for Bernie Sanders.
They’re going to support Sanders passionately and financially.
And, that’s why Bernie is (almost) out-polling Hillary.
That’s why Bernie is attracting enough small financial contributions from hundreds of thousands (soon millions) of “little guys” to rival the campaign contributions from “big guys” to Hillary.
That’s why Bernie is drawing crowds in excess of 20,000 more than a year before the next election.
(How many other candidates for President in any previous election who could draw a crowd of over 20,000 more than a year before the election? I can’t. Ohh, there may have an incumbent President running for his second (Ronald Reagan) or third (FDR) term of office who was so well-liked that he could draw 20,000 people to a rally over a year before the next election. But, when thinking about “rank and file” presidential candidates who largely unknown to the American people, who has ever before attracted 20,000 supporters 13 months before the next election? Other than Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, I can’t think of anyone else.)
Can you name any candidate, other than Bernie Sanders, who has anything substantial to promise the 103 million unemployed? I can’t.
Can you name any significant voting bloc who has more reason to support any candidate more passionately than the 103 million unemployed have to support Bernie Sanders? I can’t.
Can you name any other voting bloc that can be motivated by rank-and-file Democrat or Republican candidates that’s even half as large as the 103 million unemployed? I can’t.
How many hardcore, lifelong Democrats are also unemployed right now? How many more are likely to be unemployed by the time we hold the next election? Given the choice between voting again for the party-line Democrat candidate and voting for the new socialist candidate, how many unemployed Democrats will break ranks and vote socialist?
What about the blacks and Hispanics who routinely vote Democrat? Given their high numbers of unemployed in next year’s election, will they vote Democrat or socialist?
I’ll bet that 25% of current Democrats could vote socialist in A.D. 2016. And I might be underestimating that percentage.
How many hardcore, lifelong Republicans are also unemployed right now? How many more are likely to be unemployed by the time we hold the next election? Given the choice between voting again for the party-line Republican candidate and voting for the new socialist candidate, how many unemployed Republicans will break ranks and vote socialist?
I’ll bet that at least 10% of our current Republicans will be unemployed by next year’s election. I’ll bet that all of them will at least be tempted to do the unthinkable and vote socialist.
And that’s why I’m beginning to see that–OMG!–Bernie Sanders is not merely a credible candidate for next year’s presidential elections–he could soon be the odds-on favorite to win!
• I am shocked, shocked I tell you!
No, really. I’m not kidding. I really am shocked. The implications are enormous.
I think we might see an avowed “socialist” elected President next year.
Of course, this country has been socialist for so long, I’m not sure we’ve been anything else since the onset of the New Deal in the 1930s (which, incidentally, happened in response to the Great Depression and a huge number of unemployed people). But, until now, who (besides a handful of crackpots) has run for the presidency as an avowed “socialist”? Virtually no one.
Being a believer in the principles found in the Declaration of Independence that we are all “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights” and that we are each therefore individual sovereigns–I couldn’t knowingly vote for any collectivist, including those who advocate communism, socialism, fascism or even democracy.1
• I won’t vote socialist. I won’t vote for Bernie Sanders.
But, I have to admit that I admire Sanders. I don’t agree with his political philosophy, but I can understand why his philosophy may be an “idea whose time has come”.
Why? Because America’s neo-fascists have been in control of this country since about the time the dollar became a pure fiat currency (A.D. 1971), Roe vs. Wade (A.D. 1973) and the end of the Viet Nam war (A.D. 1975).
Since that time, the neo-fascists have worked to enrich corporations and cut the wages of the American people. Since that time, the fascists have sent US industries and jobs to foreign countries in order to enrich multinational corporations and impoverish the American poor and middle class.
During the neo-fascists’ rule, the distribution of income has become so skewed in favor of the elite that according to a Forbes magazine article (“Average America vs the One Percent”),
“The average annual income of the top 1 percent of the population is $717,000, compared to the average income of the rest of the population, which is around $51,000.
“The real disparity between the classes isn’t in income, however, but in net value: The top 1 percent are worth about $8.4 million, or 70 times the worth of the lower classes.
“The 1 percent are executives, doctors, lawyers and politicians, among other things. Within this group of people is an even smaller and wealthier subset of people, 1 percent of the top, or .01 percent of the entire nation. Those people have incomes of over $27 million, or roughly 540 times the national average income. Altogether, the top 1 percent control 43 percent of the wealth in the nation; the next 4 percent control an additional 29 percent.”
Which means that 5% of the American people own or control 72% of America’s wealth. That wealth disparity will not be allowed to persist.
Incidentally, that Forbes article was written in A.D. 2012. Today, three years later, the income distribution numbers are even worse.
Thanks to a combination between the neo-fascists, multinational-corporations and the super-rich, the poor are getting poorer, the middle class is being wiped out, multinational corporations continue to prosper and the super-rich get richer.
How do the rich get richer? By working harder and smarter? Not exactly. They get richer by bribing Congressmen and Senators to pass new laws that allow the rich to “legally” predate more and more on the consumers of the poor and middle class.
We call it “political campaign contributions,” but it’s really “bribes”. The Supreme Court has declared political campaign contributions to be expressions of political free speech, but they’re really just bribes.
Those who already have enough money to bribe Congress and the Senate can get laws passed to legalize the financial exploitation of the poor and middle class. Those who don’t have enough money to bribe Congressmen will find themselves being further impoverished by the laws brokered for those who are already rich.
One of the consequences of the fascist’s bribery of politicians is an enormously unbalanced distribution of income. That unequal distribution of wealth can inspire the contempt of the rich for the poor and the jealously of the poor for the super-rich. But jealously alone, won’t get the poor to act.
However, there’s another consequence of American neo-fascism in support of corporate profits and the top 1%’s wealth: massive unemployment.
It’s one thing to pass laws that leave a man poor. It’s another thing, and far worse, to leave a man unemployed. Without a job, the poor are forced to take independent action to feed themselves and their families. Without a job, the poor are left without hope.
Our government’s neo-fascism, corporatism and super-elite wealth have worked to leave 103 million Americans unemployed. Those unemployed are being forced by their poverty to do “something” to rectify their financial position. That “something” might be criminal; it might even be something revolutionary. If socialism and Bernie Sanders seem to offer the most viable solution to rampant unemployment and an unbridled fascist police-state, then, guess what? That 103 million Americans will not only vote, they’ll fight for Bernie Sanders to become President.
Which other candidate or political party can command a bigger bloc of voting support? Which other candidate or political party can command a voting bloc even comparable to 103 million unemployed?
There isn’t one.
• I view the fascists and the socialists with equal contempt. That’s not a political opinion; it’s a spiritual opinion. They’re both, at bottom, godless collectivists. If it were up to me, I’d put all the fascists and all the socialists on an island and let ‘em fight it out to the last man－and then, hang him. A pox on both their godless houses.
Fortunately, it’s not up to me. Therefore, we shall have to somehow endure our godless fascists and our godless socialists. In fact, it’s arguable that the neo-fascists gained political power in the 1970s as a reaction to the socialists having gained power under the New Deal in the 1930s. The New Deal socialists inevitably went too far by fostering the Viet Nam war and then legalizing abortion with Roe vs. Wade. The moral majority rose up, surrendered their power to the neo-fascists, and the Democrat/socialist of the New Deal were run out of office.
And now, after another 40 years under the neo-fascists, the fascists have gone too far, taken too much money for the rich, created a police state, and left 103 million unemployed. As a result, the moral people of the US are on the verge of replacing the neo-fascists with the neo-socialists.
Of course, if the neo-socialists win next year, they’ll also eventually “go too far” and inspire another cycle of moral people overthrowing an immoral government and then watching their revolution captured and exploited by the next wave of neo-fascists.
(No one in power ever knows when to say “enough,” do they? Inevitably, the winners always take too much and lay the seeds of their own destruction.)
In any case, if Sanders and socialists win in A.D. 2016, 40 years from now, we may see yet another resurgence of fascism to overthrow socialism.
Whether that hypothetical cycle is valid or not remains to be seen.
Regardless, in the today’s context, the neo-fascists have gained power and increasingly exploited the poor and middle class for most of 40 years. In doing so, the fascists created so many exploited and impoverished people that there are now 103 million unemployed who’d be delighted to strike a blow against neo-fascism.
How sweet, hmm? We’re seeing some justice. By supporting the injustice of out-sourcing industries and jobs, fostering a police state and enriching the rich, America’s neo-fascists have built the means of their own destruction.
• I don’t like socialism.
But, on the other hand, I despise fascism. Therefore, although I fear this nation becoming even more collectivist, I wouldn’t be particularly upset if 103 million unemployed socialists could wreck the top 1% who are (or at least tolerate) the neo-fascists who delight in their growing wealth and the growing police state.
• If there are 103 million unemployed Americans, Bernie Sanders’ campaign to become President may signal a radical, revolutionary change to American politics. This potential revolution might turn out to be reminiscent of the French Revolution of the late 18th Century, the Bolshevik Revolution of A.D. 1917 or the New Deal of the 1930s.
If so, this next American revolution will be fed by multinational corporate profits, an income distribution scheme that’s not merely unjust, but fundamentally wicked, growing police state to protect the rich—and massive unemployment.
If a political revolution is in our future, that revolution will be built on a moral foundation. America’s socialists ruled from the onset of the New Deal in the 1930s until they finally went too far with Roe vs. Wade (A.D. 1973) that authorized abortion. Roe vs. Wade motivated the “moral majority” to rise up and overthrow the socialists. That moral majority gave way to the immoral fascists.
Since the early 1970s, the neo-fascists have increasingly ruled until they finally went too far by creating a huge class of unemployed. The neo-fascists have become increasingly and intolerably immoral. A new “moral majority” that includes 103 million unemployed is springing up to enforce the moral obligation of ensuring that virtually all Americans can have jobs.
Now, the 103 million “moral majority” of unemployed may be on the verge of overturning the last 40 years of neo-fascist rule by voting for a socialist. I have no love for the socialists, but I have to admit they currently occupy the moral high ground. You can’t run a moral government in an allegedly prosperous nation that doesn’t provide adequate jobs for the vast majority of the people. Insofar as the neo-fascists have caused or allowed massive unemployment, they have behaved immorally and deserve to be defeated.
For the moment, Bernie Sanders is the natural leader of the 103 million unemployed.
If he does well in the upcoming Democrat Debates (first one, Tuesday, October 13th), just might be our next FDR. If he does poorly, his campaign may falter.
But, for right now, in the Sanders campaign, we just might be witnessing the beginning of a political revolution of historic proportions.
1 To begin to understand collectivists, first consider some other forms of government:
In a “monarchy,” one man (the king) is sovereign. All else are subjects.
In an “aristocracy,” a limited number of men and/or their families are the sovereigns. All else are subjects.
In a “collective,” all of the people combine into a single, fictional, collective entity that is the presumed, fictional sovereign. No single man (monarchy) or group of men (aristocracy) is/are the “sovereign/s”. Everyone is a subject with no rights to resist the will/law of the fictional, collective sovereign.
Who declares the fictional sovereign’s will? The government. As spokesman for the fictional sovereign collective, the government can do anything it wants to anyone. In the context of a collective, none of us has any significant or unalienable Rights that the government must respect. Government can rob you, rape you, kill you at any moment government finds convenient. Government is your absolute master and you are, at best, a subject, serf and more likely, a slave.
Most would be surprised to learn that a “democracy” is a “collectivist form of government－but it is. The will of the collective/sovereign is found by voting. Whatever the majority of members of the collective vote to do today, is the law. No individual member has any inherent rights to resist the will of the collective. If the collective votes to take your home, car, boat, savings, or life－too bad for you. Your only right in a democracy is to vote. Other than that, you’re nothing but a serf, subject or slave.
I favor the “republican form for government” (expressly guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States and in the Constitution of The State of Texas). In the “republican form of government” every living man, woman and child is a sovereign. We are all, each of us, individual sovereigns. Our individual sovereignty flows from the unalienable Rights (first declared by the Declaration of Independence) with which each of us is endowed by our Creator/God. Because our fundamental rights flow from God, no earthly man or government can lawfully deprive us of those God-given, unalienable Rights. That makes us each a sovereign.
Governments always serve their sovereign. If you’re an individual sovereign, government must serve you. In the “republican form of government,” the government is our public servant rather than our public master.
The United States of America began based on the principle that you’re a sovereign, I’m a sovereign, every individual man, woman and child were individual sovereigns and the government had to serve the sovereign people rather than exploit them. The Supreme Court declared in Chisholm vs. Georgia (A.D. 1793) that we are a nation composed “sovereigns [plural] without subjects”. I’m one of the very few people who advocate a return to the “republican form of government” guaranteed in our Constitutions.