Okay, allow me a little hyperbole. He’s not an abstraction. Bernie Sanders probably has a higher IQ than my cat, or me, for that matter. It’s just that he is gifted by nature with the appearance of a crazy professor, but he’s not been given a concomitant dose of professorial sense. Here is his stance on the “issues”:
Create decent paying jobs.
Oh really. As if Americans want to pay for decent paying jobs. We have met the enemy and he is us, us with the pockets full of extra cash that we saved because we spent 25% less on a pair of pants made in Mexico than we would have if we bought a pair made in New Mexico. The fact is, we do not want our neighbors to have good paying jobs: we deny those jobs to them every time we go shopping. You want to spend $200 on a pair of New Balance sneakers made in the USA or $40 on a pair that looks the same but is made in Macao?
Combating climate change to save the planet.
Oh really. That’s a laudable goal, but Americans won’t pay for it unless you force them to, and then you’ll get voted out of office. Don’t forget, Americans left Great Britain in 1776 because we didn’t like paying taxes — taxes that the British levied to help pay for the enormous cost of protecting American colonists from the ravages of Native Americans who were pretty unpredictable. You have to start by getting Americans to respect the United Nations again. That won’t be easy.
A fair and humane immigration policy.
You don’t say. Sanders says this will be done by dismantling deportation and detention centers; issuing ‘whistleblower visas’ to immigrants working illegally but who report workplace irregularities; ‘ensuring our border remains secure’ — oh boy. Everything in his plan sounds okay, but upon examination, can you just imagine for a minute how many lawsuits there will be if we allow — even encourage — immigrants who can get visas by reporting their employers? And what does a “secure” border mean to Sanders? Nice words. But policy?
If a black President can’t change what happened in Missouri, neither can Sanders.
Fighting for affordable housing.
Hold on while I get up off the floor…I’m sorry, but this one had me laughing. Housing is affordable when one of two conditions exist: a.) the government goes on a massive housing program; or 2.) the private sector goes on a massive home-building program. The former won’t happen; the latter will only happen if zoning regulations are rethought and if we make it worthwhile to the private sector. Oh, and we could see about restricting the purchase of second homes, which is driving up the cost of housing considerably. But a second home is part of the American dream, so this will never have the support it needs to become law.
Fighting for women’s rights.
I’m with him on this one, for sure, but we first have to ask ourselves why pornography is the #1 activity on the Internet worldwide. It is really a form of rape, and needs to be seen as such. Then we can start talking about “rights.” Let’s first let them be women and not objects.
Working to create an AIDS and HIV-free generation.
So are we all, Bernie. This is not too original, but it strikes the right bells.
Caring for our veterans.
Well, here you hit the fly in the ointment. We have so many veterans that our military’s share of the budget will continue to crush us and stifle new social programs. The best way to care for veterans in the long run is to stop making new ones. But sure we should care for the ones we have; the VA clinics are synonymous with poor care. Some even think the VA system is as bad as Canada’s health scheme.
General Electric must pay to restore the Hudson River.
Why? I agree that PCBs are nasty and that the Hudson needs to be dealt with responsibly, but why GE? They applied for and received permits for every drop of crap they poured into the Hudson. New York State and the Federal Government both okayed everything they did. So we’re supposed to punish GE for that? If that’s the case, then we should retroactively charge every municipality that gets its water from rivers for cleaning up the municipal water supply, poisoned by legal sewage dumping over the years.
Supporting historically black colleges and universities.
Would you also support historically white ones? And does this not clash with your earlier focus point of racial justice?
Ending the Race to the Bottom.
This is from Sanders’ own web site…I’m not making this up: “We must increase the minimum wage not only in the United States, but in Haiti and throughout the world. That’s exactly what Senator Sanders will fight to achieve as president.”
Medicare for all / Strengthen and expand Social Security.
Universal health care in this country would be incredibly expensive. Our taxes, already high because we continue to borrow money to fund our stupid wars (and so we have to pay interest on all that borrowed money, which limits the effectiveness of every tax dollar) would be unbearably high if we all had to pay for universal Medicare — and a stronger Social Security. Something has to give.
You can’t compare the United States to any other country. I’m no exceptionalist, but think about it. We are the world’s police force, and have been since 1900. We have to fund hundreds of military bases all over the world; we have to pay millions of military pensions, fund hundreds of clinics, and prop up scores of countries financially because they wouldn’t tow the line for us if we didn’t bribe their governments. Germany doesn’t have the defense costs we have, nor does England, nor does Russia, nor does China: in fact, our defense costs are larger than the next six big defense spenders on the planet put together. Do you really think we can afford to act like Europeans with our social programs if we continue to be the world’s police officer?
Sanders is simply an idealist who stands not a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting any of his agenda enacted into law. Worse, should he be elected, he will be the source of a tremendous disenchantment among the idealists in the electorate. They may become so turned off from politics that we are bereft of anything but cynics. We need the enthusiasm and the love of politics that the Sanders fans so passionately show: but we need to temper idealism with realism. We can be idealistic about incremental change, too.
April 20, 2016