Monday, February 24, 2020

Bernie Is Radical, so Comparing His Supporters to Nazis Is Fine

I almost never watch cable news, but given the presidential primaries I'm tuning in every now and then. I am absolutely flabbergasted by what I saw in the few minutes I watched Chris Matthews. I don't remember him being insane, but who knows what's happened in the years since I previously paid attention? Bernie's winning the Nevada primary, evidently, is like the nazis invading France. We Bernie supporters, I suppose, are the nazis.

It's remarkable that a moron of that caliber has a job on MSNBC, which is ostensibly the left-leaning network. I turned to CNN a few times, and I see super smart people like Van Jones, Andrew Yang, and a young Latina whose name I did not manage to catch. It's night and day. Matthews is not a reporter, he's not an incisive analyst, and as far as I can tell, he's a bitter old white man whose bellyaching would be more suited to a low traffic barber shop than a prominent cable network.

Let's take a quick look at the things that are radical and extremist about Bernie. Most significantly, Bernie wants Medicare for All. He wants every American to have cradle to grave health coverage, as residents of every developed country but ours do. For decades, we've been snookered by the health care industry trying to protect the hundreds of billions they skim off the suffering of Americans.

In Nevada, some union leaders are incensed over Bernie Sanders. They negotiated something or other, and claim Bernie will take it away from them. However, their rank and file flocked to Bernie despite the words of these so-called leaders. Let's look at why.

For one thing, no matter how good the agreement your union may have made, if you lose your job you're up the creek without a paddle. Go work at Wendy's for minimum wage and no benefits whatsoever. For another, there is no union deal in the country that compares with Medicare for All. I don't know anyone who loves copays. I don't know anyone who enjoys getting socked with a huge bill from a doctor who doesn't accept their insurance. I particularly don't know anyone who wants to become destitute due to end of life care, or because they need full time care in a full time facility. No insurance covers that. In fact, my father had insurance for just that, and it proved to be a drop in the bucket.

Consider also that our unions have to negotiate health care. UFT has, in fact, proven to be about the best in the state. We are the only local I know that doesn't have payroll deductions for health care. However, that is simply unsustainable. When the jackasses who run what's left of MORE made a big stink about first-year city employees being restricted to HIP, they didn't consider the alternative, which was payroll deductions for all city employees. Unless we find a long-term solution, that is simply inevitable.

What other radical notions is Bernie espousing? Well, he wants Americans to have a living wage. He wants to raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. Bernie also wants college to be available to all, and he wants to forgive student debt. It's remarkable that Americans oppose any of this, particularly since we were able to bail out the big banks when Obama took office. This is precisely what MLK warned of--socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for those of us who have to work for a living.

I support Bernie, but I am encouraged by the AFT endorsement. It included Bernie, and managed to placate the many more conservative union members who prefer Biden. I'm also seeing some movement from the very top that pleases me.

This is pretty much exactly what I'm saying here. When Americans understand what Bernie is really saying, as opposed to the nonsense painted by overpaid troglodytes like Matthews, they come around. Democrats identifying as "moderate" chose Bernie over other candidates in Nevada.

I don't know what to tell union members who support Donald Trump. While he may perhaps appeal to racists, xenophobes, and narcissists, he certainly doesn't support union. He enabled the SCOTUS most Americans do not support, he enabled Janus, and that's certainly not the last bullet these right wing extremists will be shooting at us. Teachers have no collective bargaining, no tenure, and few rights in red states. That is precisely the vision Trump has for us. Why any teacher would support that is beyond my comprehension.

With MSM squarely against him, Bernie has built a coalition of working Americans who want and demand to be represented in government. He doesn't depend on billionaires for campaign money, and won't be jumping when they call. 
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