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Bernie Sanders Unveils Plan To Turn Red States Blue

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Bernie Sanders Unveils Plan To Turn Red States Blue

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Bernie Sanders

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won the Kansas Democratic caucuses one year ago this week, revisited the state last month for a much-anticipated progressive gathering.

“Our vision… it is the future of America,” Sanders said in his keynote speech at the Kansas Democratic Party’s annual convention in Topeka.

Trump carried 30 states in the presidential election. Kansas is just one that Sanders believes Democrats can win back; Michigan, which Trump won by .02 percent, is another.

“The truth is, and I think anyone who objectively assesses the situation has to appreciate, that the model the Democrats have followed for the last 10 to 20 years has been an ultimate failure,” Sanders told the Huffington Post from his Senate office in Washington.

“That’s just the objective evidence. We are taking on a right-wing extremist party whose agenda is opposed time after time and on issue after issue by the vast majority of the American people,” he explained. “Yet we have lost the White House, the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, almost two-thirds of the governors’ chairs and close to 900 legislative seats across this country. How can anyone not conclude that the Democratic agenda and approach has been a failure?”

Last Saturday, Sanders and former Ohio state senator Nina Turner rallied hundreds of Nissan factory workers for a March on Mississippi. On Monday, he’ll travel to McDowell County, West Virginia, one of the poorest counties in America, to speak at Mount View High School in Welch.

Rust Belt areas like this, Sanders argues, have suffereed “an enormous amount of neglect.”

“At the end of the day, being in the minority here in the Senate, the minority in the House, having a right-wing Republican president, the only way we are going to win this—and I think we can win this―is when millions of people stand up, especially in states that Trump carried, and say: Excuse me, we did not elect you to be president to throw us off of health care; we did not elect you to cut back on the child care we desperately need,” he said.

Watch:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

IMAGE: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a federal contract workers rally to celebrate Andrew Puzder’s decision to withdraw from consideration to be secretary of labor, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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76 Comments

  1. 1standlastword March 10, 2017

    Why does Bernie still think he is the Democratic Party???

    Really! He’s flying around the country with a knife in his back–placed by the party he’s trying to resurrect!

    How hard can it be to fuel a third party NOW…right NOW!

    Reply
    1. dbtheonly March 10, 2017

      I do not understand your analogy to a bad marriage.

      I do not understand the dilemma you see killing the Republic.

      I do see significant differences between Democrats and Republicans on many issues, including, but certainly not limited to:

      The of choice.
      Gay/Transgender rights.
      The R

      1. 1standlastword March 10, 2017

        “Do you not see these differences?”
        ***************************************************************************************
        I see the current political parties doing whatever they need to do to bind their constituencies.

        Our two major political parties are like warring factions or a husband and wife that can’t end a bad marriage…a marriage of codependents: See Liz Taylor and Richard Burton’s classic film ‘Who’ Afraid of Virginia Wolfe’

        Sure, there are differences between the two parties that symbolically represent the markings on a sports field designating territory or yardage leading to a goal that determines which team wins the day.

        The problem is the welfare of the People is reduced to a sports event: one day Blue teams wins, Red team looses; the next day Red team wins, Blue team looses.

        Today, Trump is a victory for the Red team–

        If politics ever become enlightened and transcendent of greed, both sides would see that ALL of The People are One People and ALL People want the security of a home, physical health, emotional and physical safety and security in their golden years.

        Politicians, working for their paymasters play a game with the lives of people weighing in the balance and that is most evident!!

        Take for instance healthcare. There is a moral obligation but there is NO “political solution” The solution is born out of a sense of higher morality and that doesn’t involve politics of the kind they practice!

        A more enlightened leadership would respect this as basic need of their fellow humans and work together to solve the problem without engaging the competition of ‘politics’. What we have is the mentality of two-rival-sports- teams–one determined to defeat the other and only one can win while The People perpetually lose in this perpetual ‘political’ contest.

        I don’t know if a third party would solve this problem of two opposing warring factions but at least a viable third party would affect the dynamics

        The policy differences you cite amend to political agendas between opposing philosophies and have nothing to do with moral values to professional politicians which is why People continually feel violated by our modern form of government that only seems to know how to govern with divisive tactics and strategies to bind constituencies to assure political victories

        1. dbtheonly March 11, 2017

          Again I’m not sure of what you’re advocating.

          What you cavalierly dismiss as sports markings, obviously you never met an Alabama Football fan, I view as issues essential to the survival of the country, i.e. the right to vote, on indeed the survival of the world i.e. responses to pollution and or global warming.

          On one hand you echo Aaron in wishing all men might be of such good will and understanding that we might do away with Parties entirely. A laudable goal but I would point out that even the Apostles of Jesus Christ ran into conflict over the question of whether it was necessary to follow the Jewish Religious Law. and circumcision. If the Apostles could not manage it, what hope for the rest of us?

          Equally I’d point out that the few times America has been without, at least two, functioning political parties, politics became much more focused on personality. I’d cite the early 1820s which separated politics into pro and anti Jackson factions and the Confederacy which separated into pro and anti Davis factions. The Confederacy did not last long enough to see if they’d turn into parties. The Anti-Jacksonians became the Whig Party.

          I submit that organized political parties give organization and focus to any political opposition. There’s a good quote from Daniel Webster I’ll cite if this is your focus. One Party States have been tyrannical without exception.

          Are you arguing for multiple political parties? Judging by your sports team analogy, I’d guess you’re familiar with the writings of C. Northcote Parkinson on the issue. Two political parties bring stability and regularity to the system, and are much better fitted to a Congressional as opposed to a Parliamentary structure of government.

          1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 11, 2017

            Dear friend, I realize that for most Americans, the idea of governance without political parties is something that cuts deep against the grain of Westerners. Read a further impression of mine above.

          2. dbtheonly March 11, 2017

            Gladly would I defer governance of the community to a true man of God. Yourself, for instance.

            But we’ve been given a system of participatory democracy. Western it is. It’s what we have. So I’ll put the same questions to you that I put to 1slw. I’ll add another. What is our response when confronted by a number of fellow citizens who seem bent on advancement of their pecuniary gain at the intended expense of the rest of us?

          3. 1standlastword March 12, 2017

            I’d like to see a third party to alter the dynamics of the two existing parties: the one that is currently criminal in its orientation and the other that is victim of the one that is criminal

          4. dbtheonly March 12, 2017

            How can we stop being victims?

            Would a different name change the victimhood?

            Again, I’m unsure of your point or the efficacy of what I take your point to be.

    2. Dapper Dan March 10, 2017

      It would be nice if they could work together but Sen. McConnell threw the gauntlet down over a year ago denying President Obamas right as sitting President to appoint a nominee to the Supreme Court. It’s been downhill for awhile with the GOP hindering Obama refusing to work with him. Now they’ve given us a novice for President who doesn’t know WTF he’s doing. Republicans continue to coddle him, it’s quite embarrassing really

    3. Independent1 March 11, 2017

      Exactly what is it that you think adding a 3rd party candidate would accomplish other than in most elections, ensuring that in large part, votes that would have gone to one candidate, will be split away from whichever of the two main party candidates have the most similar message?

      I live in Maine, and we’re currently enduring the 7th year in office of what may arguably be the worst governor in the nation; and why? Because we had an idiot named Cutler, who although it was clear during the primaries he had lagging support, he still insisted on running as an Independent; thereby splitting the Democrat votes; as clearly, Cutler’s campaign agenda was much closer to that of a Democrat than a Republican. So twice a Republican has won with less than 50% of the vote. You may say then that there then has to be a run-off election, but that could be an awfully expensive proposition at the national level given all that’s involved in running an election across the nation.

      So now Maine is in its 7th year, having to endure Paul LePage’s tyrannical rule where he often doesn’t agree with even his own party’s legislative people and vetoes bills that any sane person could see were beneficial to our state; and all just because we had a 3rd party candidate get into the election when it was clear during the primaries that he or she did not stand one chance on being elected.

      1. 1standlastword March 12, 2017

        Our two party system is broken and pathetically corrupted.

        The People want a third choice and that is what’s being expressed when the ‘confound phenomena’ you mention happens.

        I believe there should be an oversight committee that is non-partisan that decides what issues should be political and what issues should be non-political: Example, healthcare should not be a political matter. The fact that it is makes it a device for the manipulation ambitious greedy self-seeking politicians–as we have seen. That fact that it is turns politics into a high stakes game between two rival parties and when one wins the other loses and the People…they never win they are exploited and left holding onto hopes and promises. Why should we gain a human right when one party is in power and lose when the other is in power: Most matters should never be allowed to become political!!!!!!!

        The RNC is more corrupt today than ever when a man with status of a street mobster sits in the WH.

        Everyone on the RNC debate stage KNEW Trump’s history and nobody challenged it because they used him for his celebrity and he used them for his personal agenda. That is nature of one of our major parties.

        The Democrats have gotten old, rich, fat, and slow of foot. They either don’t see how they are being victimized by republicans, they don’t care or they are in collusion! The Democrats have made victims of their constituents and that is the nature of the other party. ( I do believe there are too many freebies in the liberal agenda)

        A ‘viable’ third party is eliminated because the DNC and the RNC make the rules and the rules are for them while the People are just the pawns on their chess board. When Blue wins democrats are happy, conservatives are sore and vise-versa. A viable third party would moderate that two majors.

        I’m convinced by the nature of American political parties that if we don’t fix the two party system we might some day see a bloody revolution!

        1. Independent1 March 12, 2017

          Hogwash! The only thing broken about the 2-party system is that one party has become totally corrupt and needs to be fixed. If people really wanted a 3rd party why didn’t far more people vote the 3rd and 4th party choices last election??

          Sorry, 3 parties do not work in our form of government.

  2. ⭐️ I Am Helpy ⭐️ March 10, 2017

    Finally! Another beach house for Bernie! And what a coincidence that he’s getting himself in the news when Trump needs a distraction. Again.

    Reply
    1. dbtheonly March 10, 2017

      The headline fooled me. I thought there’d be a plan. Just more bluster and buzzwords.

      1. ⭐️ I Am Helpy ⭐️ March 10, 2017

        The “alt-left” disgraced themselves during this election. Not that they weren’t already fairly disgraceful.

        1. dtgraham March 11, 2017

          You’re little more than a Republican without the racism and sexism. How much would you even know about the left?

          1. ⭐️ I Am Helpy ⭐️ March 11, 2017

            Oh no, a guy who mindlessly parrots right-wing conspiracy theories, who deliberately helped fascists win, AND WHO IS AN ABLEIST BIGOT thinks I’m not a real liberal.

            Irony is dead.

          2. dtgraham March 12, 2017

            It sure is. Said by the tomato head who once told me that he didn’t even care whether Hillary was progressive or not.

            No conspiracy theories here.

          3. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 12, 2017

            OK bigot.

          4. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

            As I have always said. The only word you know.

          5. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 17, 2017

            OK you woman-hating mealworm.

          6. ⭐️ I Am Helpy ⭐️ March 11, 2017

            PS: as a Bernie or Buster, you are definitely in a position to call other people racist and sexist.

          7. dbtheonly March 11, 2017

            I am struck by the demands of the alt-left for “diversity” while at the same time declaring anathema upon those who do not agree with them down the line.

          8. ⭐️ I Am Helpy ⭐️ March 11, 2017

            The fact that they are willing to smear a charity that globally keeps about one-third of people with AIDS alive is jaw-dropping to me. They are awful, simply awful, people.

          9. dtgraham March 18, 2017

            You’re struck because you’re bast*rdizing the word and badly misusing it. Truly fixing economic and social problems has nothing to do with what diversity has come to mean and is not related at all.

          10. dbtheonly March 18, 2017

            Diversity:

            The condition of being diverse; difference, unlikeness, Oxford Universal Dictionary 1964.

            You, rightly, ask for diversity in most things, denying that there are noticeable differences based on race, creed, sex, sexual preference, marital status, etc.

            Yet you rail, and declare anathema, those of us who do not agree with you down the line. My friend, Helpy, primarily.

            You celebrate unlikeness in everything except opinion.

            You really should compare your responses to Helpy to those of the RW trolls he also sets off. They are remarkably similar.

          11. dtgraham March 19, 2017

            Put the dictionary down. No one is talking about *political* diversity. If they were, then Steve Bannon’s philosophy would be fine. The Tea Party would suddenly make sense; White Nationalists would be ok; so would the Nazis and the Fascists. Just all part of the wonderful world of political diversity that we should all celebrate eh? If you like political diversity so much, ask your little friend, ‘I am Tomato Brain’, what’s up with the pathological hatred of Bernie Sanders? Why does he think that the left are “fruitcakes”, in his own words? Or is that standard operating procedure for the alt-stand for nothing?

            BTW, you need better internet friends. Let’s just say that “OK traitor” and “OK sorry you’re a Nazi” don’t exactly help to bolster your arguments. Yeah that’ll close the deal. Sure. He’s called a loon by some on the left and the little septic filler by some on the right, for a reason. Read through his “contributions” on any given day.

            If I gave Tomato Brain the same responses that almost all of the right wing trolls give him anymore, I’d never respond to him. You haven’t noticed that? He’s apparently not even worth it to them. What RW troll responses?

          12. dtgraham March 12, 2017

            I wasn’t a Bernie or buster and I said that…and you know that. I also know that lying is one of your few talents.

          13. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 12, 2017

            Yes yes, you only helped poison the well on behalf of fascists, yet somehow think you’re better than them. Weird, because you look like identical garbage from here.

          14. dtgraham March 12, 2017

            And all of your insulting comments about Bernie during the primaries didn’t huh. What if he had won? My goodness, all of the media talking heads would have been excitedly repeating I Am Tomato Head’s insulting comments about Bernie on air. Woulda poisoned him I tell you.

            Just because I’m not one inch to the left of Genghis Khan politically, like you, is no reason to punish me for not being the same. I hear you just want to solve problems and not punish people for being different.

          15. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 12, 2017

            “We don’t care about racism and if you don’t do what we say we’ll betray you yet again”.

            Exactly what I was saying, thanks for demonstrating again what utter garbage you are.

          16. dtgraham March 13, 2017

            “We don’t care about the populist progressive/left philosophy, and if you ever push someone like that on us again, we’ll rig the DNC against him or her just like the last time.”

            Exactly what I was saying. Thanks for demonstrating again what a corrupt corporate establishment tool you are.

            Those chants of, “I’m with her?” Unfortunately for Hillary, they were talking about Elizabeth Warren.

          17. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 13, 2017

            OK bigot. Thanks for sharing your bigot opinion. I will never not despise you.

            I hope that helps!

          18. dtgraham March 13, 2017

            I’m just bigoted against those who can’t make up their minds what they are. Are you a fruit or a vegetable, I Am Tomato Head? Pick one dammit.

          19. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 13, 2017

            Yes yes you’re dumb garbage, I already knew that.

          20. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

            A bigot calling others a bigot. HA!

          21. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 17, 2017

            OK Adolf

          22. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

            You promote racism. I don’t know your color or care. You don’t know what racism is. You are just a name caller.

          23. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 17, 2017

            OK Ivan

          24. dtgraham March 18, 2017

            During the 1988 Democratic primaries when Jesse Jackson emerged as a viable contender against establishment-backed Michael Dukakis, an ardent supporter of Jackson’s bid was Bernie Sanders. He was mayor of Burlington at the time. During a Democratic caucus, Bernie gave a speech in support of Jesse Jackson while Democrats in the room literally turned their backs on him and as he walked off stage, a woman slapped him across the face for supporting Jackson.

            Bernie was one of the very few elected officials to cross racial lines and openly endorse Jesse Jackson, ultimately helping Jesse to win Vermont against Dukakis by one delegate in 1988. Jesse Jackson made it closer to the presidency than any black person before him with some help from Bernie.

            Do you even know any of this? Do you have any idea what you’re talking about?

          25. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 18, 2017

            OK bigot

          26. dtgraham March 19, 2017

            Are you OK?

          27. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 19, 2017

            See previous post.

          28. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

            If you had seen some fo my replies to Helpy you would know , I am a middle of the road Republican. I voted twice for President Obama and would have most likely voted for Bernie. I would never vote for a Clinton. I would have voted for the devil or Hitler before her. I voted for President Trump. Bernie would have been my choice. The Democratic Party is out of touch. As for Helpy, that person only knows how to scream racism when some one is against what they say. We are all racist’s in Helpy’s view.

          29. dtgraham March 18, 2017

            Thanks for the support. It’s ironic that a middle of the road Republican might be more of an economic populist than some of the “Democrats” here.

            As a Republican this may not resonate with you but I’ll say it anyway. As the United States continues on it’s long slow journey towards high levels of poverty and very high levels of income inequality and social stratification, combined with very low levels of inter-generational upward mobility, it sets the stage for more demagogues of the right to come along in the future with cheap, easy, but false answers based on fear, division, and mistrust.

            Your problems are the fault of the welfare queens or the Hispanics or the lazy blacks or secularism or the gays or abortion or the “47%”, etc, etc….. Desperate people will often reach out to that rather than the Democratic corporate establishment message of don’t-rock-the-boat incrementalism and acute moderation.

            What IS the answer to righting the ship and getting people’s attention, is old fashioned economic populism of the type that Democrats once knew and people like Bernie Sanders never forgot. That’s where the Democrats’ future lies in my opinion, and a future that they continue to ignore at the country’s peril.

          30. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

            I have said it before Helpy, you don’t even know what a racist is. I have seen real racists and they are nothing like what you believe. You call all who disagree with you racist. You hurt the people that want to see racism removed from society by creating it. If racism was removed from our society you wouldn’t have a life. Your hate shows through.

          31. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 17, 2017

            OK traitor.

          32. dbtheonly March 11, 2017

            I’d point you to my response to 1slw, below.

            Do you agree that the issues I cite are differences between the Democrats and Republicans? If not, which?

            Which of those issues do you consider unimportant?

          33. dtgraham March 12, 2017

            I think you mean this list:

            The right choose
            Gay/Transgender rights.
            The right to vote.
            Responses to pollution.
            Tax cuts for the rich.
            Wall Street Regulation.
            Congressional Ethics.

            They are all important but there are two problems here. One being that I think too many voters didn’t see enough differences on 3-4 of these issues, between the Republican and Democratic nominee from last year. It’s not that there weren’t any, but you had to strain your eyes to see them.

            The other is that the list should be expanded. How about healthcare as a human right based on need and not based on ability to pay? Medicare-for-all for example. Hillary talked a good but vague surface-level game on the issue, but she later revealed her coolness towards it, bordering on flat out rejection.

            You could throw in tuition free post secondary education as well. I see the merits, but even I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. As long as it’s easily accessible to all.

            Addressing excessive levels of income inequality should be on that list, and affordable child-care might be too.

            Trade policies should also be a difference that should be on your list. Ironically, it was Trump who stole the populist message on trade. Prior, the Dem’s position on trade had morphed into the Republican message over the years and become the same, until Bernie Sanders came along.

          34. dbtheonly March 12, 2017

            My list was specifically labeled, “Including, but certainly not limited to:” There are dozens of issues, but I had to draw a line somewhere.

            I disagree that you had to strain your eyes to see the difference between Hillary and Trump. How much of the Trump nightmare would have been duplicated? Where to start? Pick your Trump “gaffe du jour”.

            Protection vs. Free Trade has been an issue for at least 100 years. The problem with protection is that it raises prices for everyone for the benefit of Big Business.

            I’m truly ambivalent about free college for all. Mainly ’cause I can’t shake the idea from the Wizard of Oz that the diploma doesn’t make us smart. We’re smart all along. Still hiring offices use diplomas as a weeding mechanism. What happens when all have them? What then becomes the determiner?

            How does one address “income inequality”? Be practical. What really can be accomplished?

            And that was my greatest complaint about Sanders. He sounded good, but he spoke in buzz words and platitudes. He never convinced me that he had practical plans to achieve the lofty goals he spoke about.

          35. dtgraham March 12, 2017

            At least he HAD lofty goals. There were never going to be any practical plans from either one of them to get around the Republicans, who controlled everything else.

            The only possible way would be to use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to keep pounding on his issues until public opinion became so strong in favour of them that a handful of nervous Republicans in swing districts might reluctantly climb on board for some of them nearing an election. I know, there aren’t a lot of swing districts left in the age of gerrymandering.

            Hillary wasn’t going to accomplish any more. The problem with her was that her version of “getting things done” was code language for setting the progressive/left bar so low that almost anything counted, as long as it got done.

            Trade is an issue that would take more thought and words than I’m willing to devote. Going to be signing off here soon.

            Excessive income inequality comes at you in hundreds of ways. In looking at other countries, it’s at least partially resolved through the progressive tax system, which can be used to craft various social programs that act as a ladder or helping hand for those in the lower economic classes.

            Programs that are everything from soup to nuts, including even universal healthcare progressively funded. Child care benefits ranging from affordable day care to direct cash payments to parents (Canada), keeping tuitions free or low, much higher minimum wages, single payer healthcare, pharmaceutical programs, help for students, larger public pensions for seniors, etc…

            These things indirectly transfer wealth from the upper income to the lower income, but that’s the idea.

          36. dbtheonly March 13, 2017

            “The only possible way would be to use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to keep pounding on his issues until public opinion became so strong in favour of them”

            Please tell me you see how that can look like, “Wave the magic wand and hope” to me. It didn’t work for President Obama. What makes you think it’s be any different this time around?

            “Hillary wasn’t going to accomplish any more. The problem with her was that her version of “getting things done” was code language for setting the progressive/left bar so low that almost anything counted, as long as it got done.”

            Thank you. I know of no other statement that so clearly enunciates the differences I see between us.

            Any step, even the smallest, in the right direction is an accomplishment. Moving, however slowly, toward the goal is, in fact, moving toward the goal. If each small step is not what we would consider total victory; total victory is made up of numerous smaller victories. You disparage Hillary, and the rest of us, for not achieving the goals which your earlier quote acknowledges are impossible to achieve under the current circumstances. I assert that a small victory today is enough for today and we can begin to build on that victory tomorrow.

            Better to light one candle than curse the darkness.

          37. dtgraham March 14, 2017

            Right. Keep doing the same things and hope for something different. Obama didn’t push any envelopes when he had the chance. He preferred to lick a few stamps.

            Look at the collapse of the Democratic party since 2010, both federally and state wide. Is one candle working? We can talk about the inadequacy of the banking regulations, the Gitmo non-closure, and a few other things from the 2009-2010 time period, but the most damaging was the health care reform. The Dems had wave turnouts for them in Congressional and Senate races in 2006 and 2008. That support collapsed in 2010. What happened?

            Personally, I think that the ACA was the last straw for many. It’s better than what was and insured more people, but is a warmed over Republican Heritage plan from the 90’s that was heavily dependent on private insurance companies, the best that he could have done with such huge majorities in the House and Senate from 2009-10? He was so eager to please Republicans that he even ditched the public option right away for no apparent reason. More than one poster here has made this comment. Remember the criticisms back then about the Capitulator in Chief? There are people with ACA policies that have $15,000 deductibles (they count as “insured”) and it also left far too many people completely uninsured.

            The thing is, you have to at least demonstrate what you believe in and show that you’ve fought the good fight. You can always come back later for something less.

            “I assert that a small victory today is enough for today and we can begin to build on that victory tomorrow.”

            How did that work? How have the electoral results over the last 7 years vindicated that? It’s all been, or is getting, reversed. Your tiny, incremental, get-things-done version of progressivism is badly flawed. You need to inspire people to get engaged and become involved electorally. This won’t do it for many. Too many. They need to see more than Republican-lite. Was Social Security done in tiny increments? How about Medicare? How about Medicaid? How about the voting rights act? You always need to show that you’re fighting for more than mere scraps. When you control all branches of government, you’ve got to fight like hell to produce more than scraps, and people need to see that you did.

            Go back and look at Hillary’s strong opposition to including Medicare-for-all as a desired goal in the Democratic platform last July. How many progressives will that get worked up? She actually said that it would, “leave people worse off.” That must have come as news to seniors. She sounded like a Republican for gawd sakes. How about her support of fracking and attending fracking fundraisers? Her ambivalence toward banking regulations, preferring instead to talk about shadow banking (insurance companies). Nice diversion for her Wall St friends. Her outright rejection of any re-instatement of Glass-Steagall. Her rejection of free college tuition. Hillary once voted to advance a bankruptcy reform bill that would have made it more difficult for borrowers to discharge their debt as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. Remember that? How about refusing to say whether or not she would extend the Obama WH lobbyist ban?

            Look, I liked some of Hillary’s other positions too, and she was superior to any Republican from my point of view. I just think that the Democrats need more than that.

            I think this is a worthless argument though because I don’t believe you want anything more than tiny steps, even if more could be gotten. You’re feigning a disingenuous argument. The corporate beltway centrists control the Democratic party and the party is paying a heavy price for it. Which means that a lot of people are too and they’re all that matters.

            On another thread on the weekend, ‘I Am Tomato Head’ actually argued that he admired Obama for trying to compromise with Republicans for what even he described as an excessively long period of time, even after it became apparent that their feedback loop made it hopeless. He said he admired him for sticking to what he referred to as centrist principles, and never stop trying to compromise with them no matter the end result.

            THAT’S THE PROBLEM. It’s not the Sanders part of the party. Don’t you get it?

          38. Independent1 March 11, 2017

            You do realize right, that it’s quite likely that Bernie’s outlandishly irresponsible accusations that went on for weeks about Hillary’s lack of being a qualified candidate, and his other personal attacks oh her, are quite likely what helped Trump get elected??

            By creating a group of left-wing nutcase people who BERNIE caused to hate Hillary so much that they were hellbent on voting for 3rd and 4th party candidates!! If you take a lot of the votes 3rd and 4th party candidates got and give them to Hillary, Hillary would have won the election easily.

            Bernie Sanders is as much if not more at fault for Trump’s win as Comey and the Russian interference in the election.

          39. dtgraham March 12, 2017

            Many still seem to think that Hillary should have been allowed to run unopposed, and any primary opposition to her from another Democratic candidate was somehow responsible for Trump. Funny how that doesn’t apply to the Republican primaries. You saw the shots that Trump took during their primaries. Much worse than what Hillary got. Hillary must have been one special snowflake of a candidate. If Bernie had never run, do you honestly think that another Democratic candidate wouldn’t have engaged in the usual criticisms of his/her opponent?

            Bernie’s unqualified remark was in response to Hillary’s mocking of him for not knowing the precise accounting mechanics for commercial and investment bank separation. She was a lawyer in an entirely unrelated field, and she wouldn’t know either. It was a cheap shot and, if Bernie had won, would that have hurt him in the general election? There’s a lot of hypocrisy here.

            Hillary sabotaged herself with her actions in the years prior. She should have been straight up and extremely careful about how the CGI and Clinton Foundation activities were conducted when she was Secretary of State. She knew that she would be running for President again and perception is important, if nothing else. Bernie refused to make an issue of those “dam*ed e-mails”, but did you think that the Republicans and voters also wouldn’t?

            I might also add that Hillary both fought against, and advocated certain policy positions that made it very difficult for the progressive/left to warm up to her. She wouldn’t even call herself a liberal, and made that clear to Chris Mathews. I saw the interview. She also wouldn’t even commit to extending Obama’s WH lobbyist ban. That’s how arrogant she became.

            She ran a brutal campaign and hardly gave any reasons to vote for her, as well. She was constantly at Wall St, fossil fuel company, or Hollywood fundraisers. Her whole electoral modus operandi seemed to be, “look at Trump, you votin’ for that?” She never once visited Wisconsin or Michigan in the general; not once. Since she got it handed to her by Bernie in both those states during the primaries, you’d think that might have taught her something. She was far too overconfident. She just gave the election away. One that she had every right to win.

            I think you know that I respect you and I respect your opinions, Independent. Even when you disagree with me the odd time. I guess I just come at this from a little different perspective. I’ve had a lifetime of seeing and experiencing politics a little differently.

          40. Independent1 March 14, 2017

            ” If Bernie had never run, do you honestly think that another Democratic candidate wouldn’t have engaged in the usual criticisms of his/her opponent?”

            In 50 years of watching Democrat campaigns for the presidency I have never encountered a candidate that ran as deliberately nasty a campaign as Bernie Sanders, not only filled with nastiness but with outright lies!!! And a campaign strategy based on pie-in-the-sky proposals that were essentially unattainable.

            And the answer to your question is ‘I don’t believe any othe andidate would have harped on the nastiness that Bernie did, not just for one or two campaign stops but for weeks on end.’ Nastiness that was totally uncalled for!!!!!

            And as I said in my original post Bernie Sanders is as much if not more responsible for Hillary’s loss as Comey or the Russian interference!!!!! PERIOD!!!!!

          41. dtgraham March 14, 2017

            So what what his nastiness outside of responding to her mocking of his interview, and his wanting her to reveal her Wall St speech transcripts? Do tell. Be specific.

            BTW, thanks to Wikileaks, we now know that there wasn’t a non-disclosure agreement and we know exactly why Hillary wouldn’t release those transcripts. It was precisely for the reasons that Bernie and his campaign suspected.

          42. Independent1 March 14, 2017

            Feel the Bern, indeed: Sanders takes the low road with nasty Clinton tweet, undermining the promise of his campaign

            But in the final hours of plausible Illinois victory, it appears that the Sanders campaign was willing to stick it to Hillary’s campaign however they could, with whatever last-ditch desperate measures they could find. In doing so, it compromised on its beliefs for the sake of practical gains—which is literally the entire thrust of its argument against Hillary Clinton, the summation of Sanders’ repeated calls for a political revolution. And his supporters’, too: Where Sanders’ name, at a Clinton rally, will get polite, forbearing applause, Clinton’s at a Sanders rally gets jeers and boos. Clinton is paving the way for eventual reconciliation with a political partner. Sanders is sowing a resentment that could have devastating general electorate consequences.

            http://www.salon.com/2016/03/16/feel_the_bern_indeed_sanders_takes_the_low_road_with_nasty_clinton_tweet_undermining_the_promise_of_his_campaign/

            A dark turn for the Sanders campaign

            Sanders is increasingly embracing the tactics he once decried. Rather than trying to unify the Democratic Party behind its almost certain nominee, Hillary Clinton, he is ramping up the attacks against her. While once Sanders refused even to mention Clinton’s name, now he doesn’t go a day without hitting her.

            And the focus of his attacks is always the same — that she is too close to Wall Street, that she has flip-flopped on trade, and that she was wrong on the Iraq War. In Ohio last month, he said, “I proudly stood with the workers! Secretary Clinton stood with the big money interests!”

            In recent days Sanders has hit Clinton for taking ontributions from oil, gas, and coal lobbyists. He regularly criticizes her for having a super PAC and for taking money from Wall Street. And last week he even attacked her for joining with George Clooney to raise money for the Democratic National Committee. Now he’s going after her for being a flip-flopper, which he says is “why a lot of people don’t trust her.”

            https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/04/01/dark-turn-for-sanders-campaign/iQXKhLKcLadSzNhbxo2WOI/story.html

            FLAT OUT LIES!! AND ON AND ON WITH THE LIES!! ONE AFTER ANOTHER!!

            Sanders’ backers employ nasty, guerrilla tactics in bid to flip superdelegates

            The increasingly nasty public tone of the Democratic presidential race is also playing out behind the scenes, with superdelegates committed to Hillary Clinton facing a barrage of abusive and threatening emails urging them to switch allegiance and back her opponent, Sen. Bernard Sanders.

            The guerrilla tactics include vows to try to oust Clinton supporters from office or threats to withhold funding from the Democratic Party.

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/7/bernie-sanders-backers-employ-nasty-guerrilla-tact/

            AND ON AND ON WITH THE NASTINESS!! YOU ARE SO BRAINWASHED YOU CAN’T THINK STRAIGHT!!!

          43. dtgraham March 15, 2017

            In your 5th and 6th paragraph, what’s wrong with those accusations? They’re all demonstrably true. There’s no debate on that. What lies? Hillary always has been the silly putty of American politics. I don’t see what the problem is with joining George Clooney to raise money for the DNC but……

            This is exactly the opposite. You can word searches along the lines of, “what Bernie should have said” or “Bernie’s missed opportunities” and you’ll get a lot of reading. His message was outstanding but he was an awful retail politician. He so often didn’t take it to her when he had the chance, and he had so many chances. I used to get frustrated watching him in debates. He was too nice about it and he was too focused on his message and platform to criticise his opponent in ways that he should have.

            He joined that race in April of 2015 with no illusions that a 74 year old Vermont Senator would defeat the Clinton machine with that kind of name recognition, money, and the entire DNC behind her (we were to find out just how corrupt the DNC was). He just wanted to shift the debate and hopefully move things in a different direction.

            He was very anxious to not have the Democratic party return to the center-right, triangulating, overly-eager capitulators to Republicans that the party was in the 90’s. That was the reason for him to hang on so long to get whatever he thought he could get. He wanted to pressure her to the end.

            The thing with Hillary was not so much her congenital moderation at all costs. It’s that she’s malleable and shapeless, taking on the imprint of whoever presses hard enough against her. That’s what Bernie was trying to do.

          44. Independent1 March 15, 2017

            And it wasn’t just Bernie it was Bernie’s dirtbag supporters that added to the nastiness which all rubbed off on HIllary:

            BBC Trending

            Bernie Sanders supporters get a bad reputation online

            I’m into Hillary, obviously, but I genuinely thought she did really well tonight,” Ms Nussbaum wrote.About a half an hour later, she followed up with this: “Man, the Feel The Bern crew (as opposed to Bern himself) is such a drag. Say anything pro-Hil & they yell ‘bitch’ & ‘psycho.’ V idealistic!”

            Others – including a number of prominent members of
            the media – followed with their own reports of seeing Sanders supporters deploying vicious rhetoric towards anyone questioning the Vermont senator or his backers.

            Author Sady Doyle said her tweets about Sanders supporters resulted in “several hundred angry notifications in a 24-hour span from that cohort,” she wrote. “Someone also said *I* should die if I thought some Bernie supporters were kinda sexist.”

            Some say Sanders is the symptom, not the cause – the “Bernie bro” is just an old troll with a new name. Indeed, Sarah Jeong, a journalist who is the frequent target of sexist attacks, has received so much vitriol in the name of Sanders she set her Twitter account to private – even though she too is a Sanders fan.

            http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-35422316

          45. dtgraham March 15, 2017

            I don’t support some of the antics of the Bernie supporters, but there was one helluva big double standard in the coverage of the Bernie and Hillary supporters.

            The video is gone from the below link but you’ll have to use your imagination from the comments and headline about this 17 year old.

            https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/how-hillary-supporters-treated-17year-old-bernie-supporter/

            The only real incident of violence motivated by the “chair throwing” (didn’t happen) Nevada primary was from a Hillary supporter against a Bernie supporter. On May 14th, Wendell Pierce, a celebrity Clinton backer known for his work on the hit show “The Wire,” grabbed a female Bernie Sanders supporter by her hair and struck her in the head after a political discussion. However, the media was silent on the matter.

            However, if Nevada was any indication, had it been a male Bernie supporter who committed battery (and probably assault) against a female Clinton supporter, it would be headline news for a week and the establishment Democratic media (like the NM) would have never stopped talking about it. The treatment of Jane Sanders by Hillary supporters was also brutal.

            Pleas skim through the link below:

            https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/05/the-egregious-double-standards-for-bernie-and-hill.html

            Lastly, keep in mind Hillary’s negative numbers with Americans. People just didn’t like her. I’m sure that there were a number of Hillary voters on election day who didn’t particularly care for her, including some of her earlier supporters. Her negatives almost matched Trump’s and were representative across the spectrum.

            Are you that blinded by your political orthodoxy that you’re blind to everything? I have a high opinion of you Independent, but sometimes you test me. Aaah, maybe that works both ways.

          46. Independent1 March 15, 2017

            And the nastiness comes from the character of the man!! Bernie is totally unfit for the oval office:

            Bernie Sanders was “Unbelievably Abusive” to Employees

            Though Sanders has spent much of his life fighting for working Vermonters, they say he mistreats the people working for him.

            “As a supervisor, he was unbelievably abusive,” says one former campaign staffer, who claims to have endured frequent verbal assaults. The double standard was clear: “He did things that, if he found out that another supervisor was doing in a workplace, he would go after them. You can’t treat employees that way.”

            Criticism of Sanders’ leadership abilities is nothing new. Steve Rosenfeld, a former Vermont journalist who served as
            Sanders’ press secretary during his 1990 House campaign, wrote a book about his first successful statewide bid. In Making History in Vermont, Rosenfeld levels a tough assessment at his former boss, who passed him over for a congressional job at the campaign’s end.

            “At his best, Sanders is a skilled reader and manipulator of people and events,”Rosenfeld wrote. “At his worst, he falls prey to his own emotions, is unable to practice what he preaches (though he would believe otherwise) and exudes a contempt for those he derides, including his staff.”

            Rosenfeld quotes Sanders himself in the book as saying, “Some people say I am very hard to work with. They say I can be a real son of a bitch. They say I can be nasty, I don’t know how to get along with people. Well, maybe there’s some truth to it.”

            http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/262218/bernie-sanders-was-unbelievably-abusive-employees-daniel-greenfield

          47. dtgraham March 15, 2017

            So? So a guy who Sanders passed over for a job suddenly doesn’t like him huh. I don’t advocate abusive treatment of staff but this is all hearsay and is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. This is news to me but he had a reputation as a curmudgeon so I guess it shouldn’t come as a shock.

            IF this is true it is disappointing, but you’re missing the much bigger picture. What’s important is what a politician pushes for policy wise, not the minutiae of detail like this. You’re going to vote on this basis? I’ll take the curmudgeon over the slick shyster who fights against including Medicare-for-all as a desired goal in her party’s platform, while taking millions in donations from private health insurance companies at the same time.

            Now, you want a peek at Hillary behind the scenes courtesy of Wikileaks?

            From her e-mails, it can be gathered that Hillary was routinely pretty irritating and condescending to her staff. She repeatedly pestered them with dumb requests — like having them set her DVR to record “The Good Wife,” telling them to charge her iPad, and regularly making them fetch her iced tea.

            And there were numerous times that she would forward an email to her staff with the words “Pls print,” because apparently pressing the “print” button is just too much for Hillary to do herself. I can’t imagine that any of that was appreciated by her staff.

          48. Independent1 March 15, 2017

            And the excuses just keep coming – you’re no better than right-wingers, you just keep fabricating reality to suit your misguided agenda.

            Bernie is as nasty and abusive as I said and even worse:

            Does Bernie Sanders Have an Anger Management Problem? Sources Say: ‘He’s an A**hole’

            Others quotes in the Seven Days Vermont article were more blunt:

            “Bernie was an a***ole…just unnecessarily an a***ole”.

            “He yelled in meetings all the times. He’d yell ‘I don’t want to hear excuses! I want to get it done!’ ”

            Remarkably, in the comments that accompany the Seven Days Vermont piece there are apologists for Bernie’s bullying. “But he wants to get things done, isn’t that what we need” say some. Others proudly affirm that they would support Bernie’s “temperament” over Hillary or any Republican running against him. And others complain that Seven Days Vermont simply rehashed other, similar reports.

            If there are other, similar reports, doesn’t that indicate that The Bern has a problem?

            Chris Graff is one of those other sources reporting Bernie’s anger problem. Graff worked for the Associated Press for more than 20 years, exclusively in Vermont. His recollections of Sanders include:

            “Bernie has no social skills, no sense of humor and he’s quick to boil over”

            “He’s a ‘***ck” and an ‘a***ole’ to his staff, known as a ‘screamer and a table banger’”.

            The “table banger” reference brings to mind old black and white footage of the Soviet Union’s UN delegation disrupting UN meetings by banging on their table with their fists.

            Throw Sanders an olive drab uniform with fancy epaulettes and he’s the poster boy for third world banana republic dictatorships.

            http://clashdaily.com/2016/02/bernie-the-bully-grumpy-old-grandpa-or-just-grump/

            Why do you suppose out of 40 plus senators he worked with for years only 1 backed his presidential run??? over 40 of them backed Hillary.

          49. dtgraham March 16, 2017

            Bernie Sanders is just simply an honest New Dealer in the Roosevelt progressivist tradition. He represents a political governing philosophy that’s very common in the other wealthy countries, but almost doesn’t exist anymore in the United States. He is the latter day FDR.

            You claim to admire FDR but you don’t like what he stood for. Go read FDR’s second bill of rights from 1944. Who do you think would support that today, Bernie or Hillary? We both know the answer to that and it’s not Hillary. When you’re reduced to talking drab uniforms and dictatorships, you’re just spouting nonsense at that point and may as well join the Republicans, if you’re going to talk like that.

            It was supposed to have been Hillary’s turn and the corporate owned centrists now control the party. Of course she was going to get backed. She was fully expected to win from the get-go and many Democrats saw a possible 8 year cabinet appointment in their future if they didn’t oppose her. Plus the DNC was in Hillary’s back pocket and were totally corrupt.

            I haven’t fabricated anything. I’ve given you facts that you want to conveniently overlook. I said that I was disappointed in Bernie if these closed door anger management issues are true. Maybe he was frustrated with things; I don’t know what his issues were, IF this is true. While the comparison is not as bad, are you ready to admit that there seemed to be some pompous entitlement going on with Hillary’s treatment of her own staff?

            Here is my “misguided agenda.” These are just some of Bernie’s issues that I fully agree with: [It’s not a full list]

            ~ In July 2015 Sanders introduced legislation that would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2020.

            ~ Sanders supports repeal of some of the tax deductions that benefit hedge funds and corporations, and would raise taxes on capital gains and the wealthiest one percent of Americans. He would use some of the added revenues to lower the taxes of the middle and lower classes

            ~ Sanders supports legislation sponsored by Elizabeth Warren and John McCain to re-instate Glass–Steagall. Hillary opposed it.

            ~ Bernie proposed the Rebuild America Act, to invest $1 trillion over five years to modernize American infrastructure. Importantly, the Rebuild America Act will support more than thirteen million good-paying jobs – jobs that the economy desperately needs, paid for by closing loopholes in the corporate and international tax system

            ~ He also supports legislation that would make it easier for workers to join or form a union.

            ~ He has also said that economic growth needs to serve people and that growth for the sake of enriching the top 1% does not serve the country’s interests.

            ~ Noting that American corporations are collectively holding more than $1 trillion in profits in offshore tax haven countries, Sanders has introduced legislation that would crack down on offshore tax havens by requiring companies to pay the top U.S. corporate tax rate on profits held abroad. Sanders feels this is unfair and damages America’s economy, believing that the money used for refunds and subsidies should instead be invested in American small businesses and the working people.

            ~ Sanders believes global warming is a serious problem and action must be taken.

            ~ Sanders supports the DISCLOSE Act, which would make campaign finances more transparent and ban U.S. corporations controlled by foreign interests from making political expenditures. He has been outspoken in calling for an overturn of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

            ~ Sanders has been a leader in calling for media reform and opposes increased concentration of ownership of media outlets

            ~ Sanders introduced the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013 (S. 893; 113th Congress) into the Senate on May 8, 2013. The bill would increase the disability compensation rate for American veterans and their families.

            ~ Bernie introduced the miners’ protection act to help miners keep their promised health coverage and pensions.

            ~ He has introduced legislation to provide child care and early education to all children six weeks old through kindergarten.

            ~ Sanders believes closing corporate tax loopholes is one of the solutions to public financing of education, and has developed a plan to bring matching grants from the federal and state governments to cut tuition at public universities by more than half. He has criticised both Republicans and Democrats for failing to institute reforms that will stop predatory lending practices in the student loan market. Sanders is in favour of public funding for college students

            ~ On May 19, 2015, Sanders introduced the College for All Act (S.1373), which would use a Robin Hood tax of 50 cents on every “$100 of stock trades on stock sales” to fund tuition at four-year public colleges and universities for students who meet admission standards. In addition, the Robin Hood tax would include a .5% speculation fee to be charged on investment houses, hedge funds, and other stock trades, while a .1% fee would be charged on bonds, and a .005% fee on derivatives.

            ~ Sanders is a staunch supporter of a universal health care system, and has said, “If you are serious about real healthcare reform, the only way to go is single-payer.” He advocates lowering the cost of drugs that are expensive because they remain under patent for years; some drugs that cost thousands of dollars per year in the U.S. are available for hundreds, or less, in countries where they can be obtained as generics.

            ~ Sanders supports Roe v Wade and a woman’s right to choose.

            ~ Sanders has become a prominent supporter of laws requiring companies to provide their workers parental leave, sick leave, and vacation time, arguing that such laws have been adopted by almost every developed country, and that there are significant disparities among the types of workers who have access to paid sick and paid vacation time.

            ~ Sanders’s Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act (S.1564) would mandate that companies provide 10 days of paid vacation for employees who have worked for them for at least one year. He cosponsored a Senate bill that would give mothers and fathers 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a baby. It would also allow workers to take the same amount of paid time off if they are diagnosed with cancer or have other serious medical conditions or to take care of family members who are seriously ill. Sanders has also cosponsored a bill that would guarantee workers at least seven paid sick days per year for short-term illness, routine medical care, or to care for a sick family member

            ~ Sanders supports banning assault weapons, universal federal background checks, and closing the gun show loophole.

            ~ He has spoken out against police brutality and the uneven rates of arrest of African Americans and other minorities, saying: “From Ferguson to Baltimore and across this nation, too many African Americans and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes as if they were criminals and that is unacceptable.”

            ~ Sanders has been a strong opponent of the death penalty throughout his political career. In October 2015, he said, “I would rather have our country stand side-by-side with European democracies rather than with countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and others who maintain the death penalty.

            ~ In a letter he published in the early 1970s, when he was a candidate for governor of Vermont, Sanders called for the abolition of all laws against homosexuality. He remains a staunch LGBT rights supporter.

            ~ Sanders was a civil rights organizer at the University of Chicago in the 1960s, and has been rated 100% by the NAACP for his civil rights voting record.

            If you think that these things are a “misguided agenda”, you need to give your head a mighty shake and ask yourself what the Democratic party has become, that it influenced you to feel that way.

          50. dtgraham March 15, 2017

            Trump was called a snivelling coward, a cancer on conservatism, and you saw the incredible video of Romney blasting Trump for being a charlatan, fraud, and a phony. He got more than that too from his fellow Republicans. Yet, somehow he overcame all of this and won.

            You’re saying that Hillary just couldn’t overcome much, much, less harsh treatment from Bernie. His treatment was kid gloves in comparison. Are you kidding me?

          51. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

            I want you and Helpy to know that I am a middle of the road Republican. I voted for President Obama both terms. I would never vote for a Clinton. it comes to President Trump and Bernie I believe I would have voted for Bernie. Instead I was forced to vote for President Trump. If Adolf Hitler had run I would have voted for him before a Clinton. While President Trump may be a blow-hard and a lier he is far better than a Clinton. I only wish the Democrats had backed Bernie. He would have won and we would have been far better off.

          52. Independent1 March 18, 2017

            If you’re stupid you’re stupid. Hillary Clinton has done more for people around America and the world than any other politician alive today other than maybe Jimmy Carter. If you choose to believe the 24/7 decades of lies against HIllary – that’s you’re prerogative. But it doesn’t change the facts!!!!

    2. Dapper Dan March 10, 2017

      I would greatly appreciate Bernie to put up or shut up ????

  3. secondclassguy March 11, 2017

    I have no problem with Bernie except on the trade issue, and to me he’d be my ideal of a democrat, so i guess i have a problem with him being an independent, but the other guy from Maine is also an independent but is every bit a democrat. I wish they could just pull together on the issues most all of them agree on. Bernie still has the ability to form a solid base, that’s going to be important

    Reply
    1. Dominick Vila March 11, 2017

      I believe we need more major political parties, but I am afraid that at least at the moment, that will not solve the problems we are having. In fact, it may increase the hold that the GOP has at all levels of government by splitting the opposition.
      I believe we are in the midst of a socio-economic and religious upheaval, aggravated by brain washing, ignorance, greed, unrealistic expectations, prejudice and hatred. What we need the most is unity, a narrative that resonated with mainstream Americans, and a plan that is easily understood.

      1. dbtheonly March 11, 2017

        I disagree on the need for more political parties.

        Given the structure of the political system, Congressional vs. Parliamentary, two parties work much better than multiples. Unless you want to continue the discussion, let one example suffice, The US has regular elections. We know that there will be a Presidential election on November 3, 2020. Until then, barring extraordinary events, we’re stuck with the President we’ve got. We’ll have Congressional elections Nov. 6, 2018. Until then we’re stuck with the Congress we’ve got. The point of a Parliamentary, multi-party, system is that a shift in Parliamentary support will bring down the Government and trigger elections. You can’t trigger elections in the USA. Thus minor parties have no clout and no reason for existence outside one of the two parties.

        1. Dominick Vila March 11, 2017

          I did not propose a parliamentary system. I believe an additional political party representing the center may be helpful sometime in the future. I don’t think this is the time for it, however. The last thing we need at the moment is the emergence of another party, especially if it results in the left, and center-left, being more fragmented than it already is. I disagree with the opinions expressed often in Democratic circles about conservatives being in disarray. They remain as united and disciplined as ever. That’s why they have been winning. There are many reasons for the electoral debacle we just had, ranging from gerrymandering to an antiquated EC system, but there are other factors that cannot be ignored. Hillary was not a very charismatic candidate, her plan was too complex for people more prone to be persuaded by a simplistic slogan than careful analysis of issues, and the effectiveness of a disinformation campaign that managed to convince millions of fellow Americans that the economy is in shambles, that unemployment and economic growth numbers were bogus, that we are being invaded by Mexicans determined to kill us all, and that Muslims are posed to destroy the USA if we don’t kill them first. Last, but not least, political ignorance, laziness, and prejudice are among the most important causes for what is happening in the USA. Considering all this, a transition to a parliamentary system is the last thing we need. For such a system to succeed we need a mature, civil, and well educated society that is conspicuous by its absence.

          1. dbtheonly March 11, 2017

            I did not mean to imply that you advocated a parliamentary system. Merely that a parliamentary system is better suited to multiple parties.

            Whether in disarray or not, conservatives come together and vote when it matter.

            I agree entirely on you take on the election. I’m a techno-nerd and so am attracted to techno-nerd candidates. But they tend to lose elections to the, more shallow, but charismatic. I do view the Democrats as being the Center Party.

            You dislike the Electoral College. Do you also object to the Senate? It was part of the same compromise in 1788.

      2. secondclassguy March 11, 2017

        I agree, there’s that risk of dividing thereby making it easier for republicans to hold power. I’m also not sure if democrats can grow without a larger base. I think bernie should become a democrat and work with the party

  4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 11, 2017

    If I may, now might be a good time for me to offer an impression. After perusing the erudite and objective comments by those who are calm and restrained in their posts, I thought I might share from the paucity of my cup of info.
    The question of political parties was one which Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l Baha, and Shoghi Effendi were well aware of and had insight as to how a fractious humanity would devise clever systems for improving governance. Because of this, they each warned against allowing for divisiveness in the larger world be allowed to be a feature in discourse among Baha’is. There is no room for “Presbyterian”, “Baptist”, Republican”, “Democrat” Baha’is. BUT, the Baha’is are enjoined to be civic-minded, to be engaged in social affairs, but not to advocate any one Party over another. I’ve tried to follow that advice, and no doubt have crossed the line, but I’ve always attempted to be balanced, again with difficulty.
    And now, considering the matter of “To Bernie” or “Not to Bernie”, whether we should toss out the Republicans while claiming that “Democrats”, “Independents”, etc, are the chosen way, we need to think about the scope of political affairs, the genesis, the state of politics and partisanship the world over, and decide whether the current model is feasible, whether it can be repaired, and what possible alternatives are there if we decide that such is needed.

    First of all, let us consider the verse from Luke 20:25, in which Jesus makes the statement: “As for Jesus and His disciples, you may recall that He said— ” And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” (Luke 20:25).

    As I was growing up, I probably heard this numerous times, and like most Christians, I too took it for granted as just a nice admonition, but one which was irrelevant in my frame of reference. Not until years after being a Baha’i, was I made aware of its inner meaning.

    What the verse means is that Jesus never intended for His Message to be intertwined with secular affairs[my wording according to interpretations by Abdu’l Baha, who had as one of his responsibilities to elucidate on matters that are obscure in the Baha’i Writings, as well as themes in the previous Religions. As you’ll note, in the New Testament, there is NO reference to any administrative structure being established to run the affairs of Christendom—that was to be the purview of secular authorities, with “Caesar” used as a reference to such.

    Feeling a need to fill the void after Jesus passed on to the next realm, Christians established informal unauthentic innovations to deal with this void. Given that human societies had already become firmly situated and united according to clans, tribes, city-states, and regions, the need to establish “parties” along lines of clans, etc. would naturally lead to some refinement in the way of nice fancy names according to group opinions and sensibilities. Enterprising intellectuals would later formulate various political/economic theories—the human mind is quite creative and able to make adjustments and imagine new ways of seeing to the efficiency of running a society.

    And so, we have a fairly modern system called Democracy—and one which is vastly superior to Socialism/Communism, and Theocracies that exist in many Muslim countries. Unfortunately, the very foundation of Democracy sits on the notion that there have to be different parties to address the needs and outlooks of elements in society, and this a highly fractured disunited system riven with dissent and predicated on an adversarial approach to problem-solving.

    So, where to turn to for assistance in crafting something new? Perhaps, we should start by taking the best from all forms of governance thus far developed, and discard pernicious and antiquated notions that aren’t suited for this day and age. And what better place, in my lowly opinion, than to take a gander at how the Baha’is in your communities carry out their administrative affairs. In most cities across the country there is a listing or two mentioning “Baha’i” in the name. HOWEVER: Beware of listings with wording like “Baha’is of the Covenant”, “Orthodox Baha’is”, and a few other offshoots by Americans who were Baha’is, developed overactive egos and insisted on seeing things their way, sought to divide the Baha’i communities, and had to be told to hit the road so to speak, lest their dissension interfere with the urgent duty to offer a sense of hope by a united Baha’i community. How could a disunited Baha’i Community have a prayer of offering a way to unite a divided America, and world? Baha’u’llah did something special unique in the annals of Religion: He wrote with His own hand, something called a Covenant—other Messengers didn’t have the opportunity to write something that would avoid splintering of Their Religions, but did intimate to close associates(in the case of Muhammad), or expressed by metaphor in the case of Jesus when He alluded to the primacy of Peter, by saying, and I paraphrase, “Peter is the rock”.

    Again, what I’ve expressed isn’t official, and based on my own limited knowledge and puny effort.

    Peace out!

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