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Tue May 3, 2016, 02:42 PM

 

An Australian POV: "What So Many Americans Can’t Grasp About Bernie Sanders"

From abroad, the USA looks as stupid as a bag of rocks.

Here’s the Thing So Many Americans Can’t Grasp About Bernie Sanders
The U.S. likes to brand itself 'the land of opportunity'—yet our poster boys for innovation go to Harvard
By Pete Ross * 04/25/16 * The Observer

Watching this year’s presidential nomination process from Australia has been a very interesting affair. I can’t say I’ve followed every single speech or piece of news, but I’ve certainly kept abreast of what is going on and have seen plenty of articles and commentary from people on my feed putting their opinions forward. What interests me the most are the people and media pundits who emphatically denounce Bernie Sanders and his supporters. The reasons all generally boil down to the fact that he is the reincarnation of Karl Marx and he wants to turn the U.S. into a communist state. That he is so far left of centre that he’s basically off the chart.

For those people, here’s a reality check.

Around the rest of the world, Mr. Sanders represents a point on the political spectrum that is mildly left of centre. His “wacky” ideas of free (and we’ll get to that term a bit later) education, free healthcare, regulating banks and corporations and so on are all actually staple ideas of many of the happiest and most prosperous countries in the world. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the happiest countries in the world index for 2016. The U.S. doesn’t make the top 10—but almost every single country that does has the kind of policies Mr. Sanders is promoting at some level. Looking at the other candidates, Hillary Clinton would in most countries be considered right of centre, not left. Donald and Ted? Man, those guys are so far right of centre you couldn’t plot where they exist—they’re pretty much off the spectrum.

But back to Bernie. Throughout the nomination process, Bernie’s critics always seem to be asking the wrong questions. The most common one I see is “how is he going to pay for all of this?” This question misses the point entirely. Even if economists say that he can’t, does that really invalidate everything he’s aiming to achieve? If he can’t pay for all of it and the only thing that actually gets passed is universal college education and a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, is that such a horrible thing? Why does it have to be so all or nothing? That’s why it also baffles me when people say that they don’t want the kind of revolution Mr. Sanders is pushing—the reality is that even if he is swept to victory, the amount of change he’ll actually be able to implement won’t be half of what he wants to do.

No wonder Gallup polling shows over 85 percent of you are disengaged and miserable at your jobs.

The other elephant in the room is that the current political status quo is to spend over half a trillion dollars per year on the military. So you’re against universal health care or college education because you don’t think it can be paid for, but you’re happy for your government to spend that amount of money on your military when the last time you actually had to defend yourselves was over two centuries ago? When you’re willing to sacrifice so many of the best parts of a socialist democracy in order to fund a military juggernaut that has to go out looking for things to shoot, your priorities are ridiculously lopsided. The War on Terror started with over 3,000 people being killed in a terrorist attack on your own soil. It has since cost the U.S. over 5 trillion dollars—money that could have been used to save far more lives than were lost in the first place, if they had been provided with adequate health care.

http://observer.com/2016/04/heres-the-thing-so-many-americans-cant-grasp-about-bernie-sanders/

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply An Australian POV: "What So Many Americans Can’t Grasp About Bernie Sanders" (Original post)
99th_Monkey May 2016 OP
dchill May 2016 #1
griffi94 May 2016 #2
NurseJackie May 2016 #6
sadoldgirl May 2016 #7
griffi94 May 2016 #10
DebDoo May 2016 #16
casperthegm May 2016 #8
99th_Monkey May 2016 #15
vintx May 2016 #3
Ferd Berfel May 2016 #4
RobertEarl May 2016 #5
Fairgo May 2016 #9
appalachiablue May 2016 #11
msongs May 2016 #12
Owl May 2016 #13
Rebkeh May 2016 #14

Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:52 PM

1. Can't argue with that.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:53 PM

2. I noticed a couple of things in this OP

First is that I haven't seen a lot of criticism of Bernies ideas.
I really like his ideas.

I just don't have any faith that Bernie could implement them.

Never mind for the moment answering how he'd pay for them
how would he get them thru congress.

The scond thing is that the author of this OP says why make it all or nothing.
Just a couple of items from Bernies agenda would be good.

It's Bernies supporters who curse incrementalism.
I've seen them decry that thousands of times right here on DU.

It gets brought up constantly that Hillary would not do enough and that
not enough is as good as nothing.

This OP wasn't very well thought out.

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Response to griffi94 (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:59 PM

6. Great response. Thanks!

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Response to griffi94 (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:07 PM

7. Yes, you demand a lot in the beginning.

You don't start compromising 50% down.

Secondly with Bernie I am sure that the TPP
would be vetoed.

Thirdly, most of us want him at least to try, and
not just start out with "no, we can't".

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #7)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:15 PM

10. Being realistic about what's actually possible

is not quite the same as no we can't.

Whe asked why didn't Bernie clarify if for no other reason
than so his supporters would know what he might actually
compromise on.

Words mean things.
Bernie campaigns in pronouncements.
Free college. Free healthcare. Higher tax rate for the 1%

I'm for all that stuff but Bernie can't deliver a single one of those things
so before I vote for him I want to know what his fallback position is.

And the answer he gave about a mass march on Washington is just so much confetti.
The Republicans don't care how many people march.

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Response to griffi94 (Reply #10)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:57 PM

16. by labeling it "not possible" you make it so

There was a time when people said things like, "it's not that I'm against inter-racial relationships, it's just that so many other people are and I don't want my kids to have deal with the hatred and ugliness they'll have to face."

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Response to griffi94 (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:07 PM

8. Let me help

I've seen plenty of criticism of Bernie's ideas. You haven't heard about the "free stuff" complaint/insults? Or the "how will he pay for it?" complaint?

Don't have faith he could implement his ideas; As the OP said, it doesn't have to be all or nothing, so not all of them have to be implemented, but at least there is a candidate willing to stand up for us and try. It's really up to us to help him carry out the proposals. It's not Bernie vs Congress. It's all of us working together to demand change.

Bernie supporters get that it would be a challenging road. Again, as I said above, I'll take a challenging road full of set backs and a few victories, so the Democratic Party reverses course; shedding the fracking, bad trade deals, regime changes, Citizens United, no fly zones, and cozy relationships with Wall Street, while embracing things like Glass Steagall, healthcare for all, and college for all.

And no, Hillary would not do enough of that. Or any of that.

This OP was very well thought out and I commend it.

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Response to griffi94 (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:21 PM

15. If Hillary's only problem was her incrementalism,

 

that would not be so bad.

If Bernie was POTUS, he'd need to operate incrementally as well. That's
just the way things work, esp in DC, as Bernie well knows. Look how long
it took him to get meaningful reform and upgrades to our Veterans Services.

Hillary's much bigger problems have to do with her unelectability, her dishonesty,
her being under FBI investigation, her hawkishness, her Wall St & corporatist
pandering, and the fact that she gives away half the store as a starting point.
Add to that that she's merely a faux-progressive of convenience, not conviction,
and it's not a very attractive picture.

Bernie's serious about his progressivism and thinks big and is not afraid to
take on the PTB; traits Hillary totally lacks.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:57 PM

3. Bring on the excuses! nt

 

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:58 PM

4. yep - unfortunately most Americans are

unable to get past arms length in their thinking and empathy

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:59 PM

5. No wonder, indeed

 


No wonder Gallup polling shows over 85 percent of you are disengaged and miserable at your jobs.

The worker is abused and treated not much better than slaves. Bernie comes to help and not even Obama takes the time to research Bernie. As if he even cared!

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:14 PM

9. People ask me if I am Canadian...

It's become a social nicety to give americans an opportunity to hide. I always admit it, Australians love us like their favourite drunk uncle who always wants to drive the car and throw the baby up in the air and wave his gun round when he's ben drinking. Uncle Sam has been on a bender since 2001...

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:11 PM

11. K&R *HOPE THE BERNIE CAMPAIGN TAKES NOTE* of the Australian's POV, Well Said!

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:12 PM

12. bernie's campaign is based on all-or-nothing. him him and more him. his way or the highway AND his

is a massive supporter of spending $$ on the MIC so long as he gets benefits in return for his vote

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:14 PM

13. K&R

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:20 PM

14. Knrnt

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