Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A Matt Taibbi MUST-READ: The Case for Bernie Sanders

This article is the best analysis/evaluation I've read of Bernie Sanders, stating clearly his honest-to-the-core values and his earnestness in really wanting to help the middle class and poor in our country. He is the living thundercloud from Leonard Cohen's song Anthem, finally appearing in our midst, shouting:  "I can't run no more with that lawless crowd while the killers in high places say their prayers out loud--well, they've summoned up a thundercloud and they're going to hear from me." 

The rest of us need to get behind Bernie and let "them" hear from ALL of us! ENOUGH of the forced-on-us candidates owned and funded by Wall Street!  I want a candidate who is "of the people, by the people and for the people."  If you do, too, please join me in voting for Bernie!  To hear Anthem (which I think should be Bernie's campaign song) go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDTph7mer3I

 The Case for Bernie Sanders

His critics say he's not realistic – but they have it backwards


SHORT EXCERPT:  Big money already has a stranglehold on the process of government. It outright owns most of the members of Congress, and its lobbyists write much of our important legislation. With Citizens United, buying elections is now more or less legal. Big money even owns most of the media companies that employ those pundits who are all telling us now to worry about how "realistic" Sanders isn't.

Everybody knows this. In fact, this numbing reality of how completely corrupted the modern American political process is bends the brains of those whose job it is to cover it. What happens over time is that you lose hope, and you begin to view everything through the prism of the corruption to which you're so accustomed.

When you stop believing in the electoral process, then the only questions left to interest a professional observer are who wins, and how many laughs there will be along the way. We've gotten good at thinking about these things. Cassidy's bit about Sanders harmlessly occupying the left flank and blocking more "plausible" candidates from threatening Hillary is exactly the kind of sounds-smart observation we've been trained to believe passes for political journalism today.

Conversely, we've been trained not to care about which old ladies are freezing to death this week because some utility somewhere is turning the heat off, or who's having their furniture put on the street by a sheriff executing a foreclosure order, or who's losing a leg to diabetes because they didn't have the money for a simple checkup two years ago, etc.

None of those characters make it into campaign reporting. As good as we are at the horse-race idiocy, we suck that much at writing about these other things.

Watching Bernie slog forward to an audience of political gatekeepers who wish he would stop being a bummer and just kiss more babies shames me into a confession. I find myself giving up on this process all the time.

Donald Trump, a man whose idea of policy is a big wall, was the Republican frontrunner for months, and ceded the lead to a man who wants to fight immigrants with drones. This whole thing is a joke. At times, the only thing you can take seriously about any of this is the gambler's question of who wins.


Sanders is a clear outlier in a generation that has forgotten what it means to be a public servant. The Times remarks upon his "grumpy demeanor." But Bernie is grumpy because he's thinking about vets who need surgeries, guest workers who've had their wages ripped off, kids without access to dentists or some other godforsaken problem that most of us normal people can care about for maybe a few minutes on a good day, but Bernie worries about more or less all the time.

I first met Bernie Sanders ten years ago, and I don't believe there's anything else he really thinks about. There's no other endgame for him. He's not looking for a book deal or a membership in a Martha's Vineyard golf club or a cameo in a Guy Ritchie movie. This election isn't a game to him; it's not the awesomely repulsive dark joke it is to me and many others.

And the only reason this attention-averse, sometimes socially uncomfortable person is subjecting himself to this asinine process is because he genuinely believes the system is not beyond repair.

Not all of us can say that. But that doesn't make us right, and him "unrealistic." More than any other politician in recent memory, Bernie Sanders is focused on reality. It's the rest of us who are lost.