NOTE: I first published this July 2015, when the Trump vs Sanders “joke” was being bandied about. Now, about three months from reality — the conventions/nominations of each party’s presidential candidate — the prevailing thought, accompanied by a lot of head-scratching, is “OMG, it could happen!” Last night, Hillary and Bernie debated in New York; in some polls, they are running neck-‘n-neck. On the GOP side, the field has been winnowed down from 17 candidates to three — in order, in the most recent polls: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, then John Kasich. I stand by my original title of this post, but I want to say this about Trump … He’s the #1 reason why people are more engaged — for good or for bad — in this race to the White House. I still wouldn’t vote for him, but he sure has made things interesting.
Some media people have wanted to dismiss him, calling him “the Left’s Trump,” and declaring that his only contribution to the race will be to force Hillary to address issues important to her party’s liberal faction. Yet, since May, Democratic presidential candidate Sanders’ support among Iowa Democratic caucus goers has more than doubled, and Hillary has lost eight points.
The liberal press is pointing fingers at Fox News and Hillary’s camp, accusing them of “a plot to marginalize Bernie Sanders” by scaring Americans with the evilness of socialism. Sanders, by the way, is not a Marxist-Leninist commie; he’s a democratic socialist, and Americans who know their 20th century history are very comfortable with that way of thinking and doing business.
Seriously, the comparison with Trump is probably worse than the socialist label.
Amy Poehler – Tina Fey, from the 2015 Golden Globes Awards, about the historical civil rights film “Selma:” ‘Selma.’ In the 1960s thousands of black people from all over America came together with one common goal … to form Sly and the Family Stone. But the movie ‘Selma’ is about the American civil rights movement that totally worked and now everything’s fine.
Donald Trump, from his 2015 presidential announcement speech, about terrorism: Islamic terrorism is eating large portions of the Mideast. They’ve become rich. I’m in competition with them.
Limberbutt McCubbins is one of 459 presidential candidates (that’s correct; no typo; check it out); a post on his Facebook page reads: Some of my opponents want to distract you from the issues by asking about my citizenship. My campaign manager sets them straight in a Sun Herald report: ‘But it doesn’t seem likely that he walked all the way to Louisville (Kentucky) from Canada, or Mexico, or swam from Cuba,’ notes (Isaac) Weiss quite sensibly. #MeowIsTheTime #Limberbutt2016
From a 2012 interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. In truth that’s not the case. The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.
From an April 2015 discussion at the Brookings Institution: There is a lot of sentiment that enough is enough, that we need fundamental changes, that the establishment — whether it is the economic establishment, the political establishment or the media establishment — is failing the American people.
From a 2011 Huffington Post article, “Saving Our Democracy,” after the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case: In my view, a corporation is not a person. A corporation does not have First Amendment rights to spend as much money as it wants, without disclosure, on a political campaign. Corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries and spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to buy elections.
Sanders, a grassroots candidate with progressive ideas who does not hesitate to give his opinions about issues important to the American public, wants to reform Obamacare; invest more money in education; save the climate; and protect American workers/jobs by opposing trade deals with China and other foreign countries, deals he believes have and will continue to “bleed America dry.” (The YouTube video of Sanders speaking to the Senate — detailing the history of America’s trade policies — is worth the 8.5 minutes.)
As for foreign policy — the Middle East, in particular — Sanders says the countries in that region should lead the fight against ISIS (Saudi Arabia, for instance, has the world’s fourth largest defense budget). In the nuclear deal with Iran, he praises “diplomacy over saber-rattling” but wants to review the bill — built on verification not trust — to confirm its effectiveness and strength; he believes this deal could keep the U.S. from being drawn into another Middle East war. (My opinion: It will force Saudi Arabia and others in the region to step up, be leaders, and stop supporting terrorism under the table. And hey, here’s a thought … The Arabs and the Israelis may have to learn to get along now that Iran will be their common enemy.)
True, Bernie Sanders is a self-proclaimed socialist, calling for a “political revolution” against the oligarchy, but he’s been a working politician in the U.S. House and Senate since 1991. He may not always agree with those across the aisle from him, but he takes his position and the system seriously, unlike some candidates (i.e. The Donald and Limberbutt). Wanna know why he didn’t declare as an Independent? Because he did not want to be “a spoiler,” diverting votes away from the nominated Democratic candidate and risking a right-wing Republican being elected. Sanders is a team player. The Donald? He’s a self-promoter who’s spending his bajillions to play his free-speech card. If he keeps it up, he could be responsible for his party’s loss.
I realize I may be offending some readers with my characterization of Trump as a joke, or even with the prospect of my vote going to a socialist should Sanders win the nomination. However, regardless of Trump’s accomplishments in business, his hateful comments about Mexican immigrants is but a glimpse of a President Trump. Also, it’s ridiculously irresponsible to incite racism within weeks of the Charleston, South Carolina church murders by racist Dylann Roof. Besides, the facts do not support his rantings.
About a week ago, when I set out to learn more about Bernie Sanders, my goal was to learn what kind of socialist he is as well as wade through the media’s biased reports about him to discover his substance. I believe it’s important for our electorate to be informed but not spoon-fed … which is why I’ve liberally peppered this post with links from different sources. Sometimes, the media can be like a bunch of cliquey high schoolers. They’re very protective of the popular kids. They’re not so kind to outsiders. Every now and then, they’ll throw Bernie a bone, but they really don’t want to take him and his supporters seriously.
After researching him, I’ve decided I like Bernie Sanders. I respect him. And, I agree with what he says about America’s political system becoming an oligarchy. As I said in an earlier post about Hillary, I’ve never been completely in her camp, and I can’t vote for her just because she’s a woman.
Oh, but I’d love a woman president. … In an alternate universe (I’m kidding now, folks!) Poehler-Fey would be my dream team. And, I would hope they’d create a cabinet position for McCubbins. Being a cat, he’s a lot like The Donald — Me! Me! Me! — and they’re both a couple of hairballs, but The Cat’s a lot cuter. (Truth!)
But, Bernie Sanders? He’s for real. No joke.