Sunday, January 19, 2020

Bernie Sanders for President

I'm tired of all the squabbling over electabily. Four years ago, I was lectured endlessly on it by all sorts of people. We have to get behind Hillary because she's electable. I voted for her against Donald Trump, but as far as I'm concerned, she wasn't quite electable enough. If she were, she'd be President. And I still hear from the same people that we need to select someone "centrist." This means, essentially, someone who hasn't got radical ideas about giving all Americans health care, a living wage, accessibility to free higher education, and the ability to unionize.

Four years ago, millions of people decided Hillary was just more of the same and stayed home. While Obama didn't fully champion any of the above "radical" ideas, he at least pretended to and ran on hope and change. Hillary said we'd never, ever get single payer health care, and that free college would mean Trump's kids wouldn't pay. In fact, "centrist" Mayor Pete is out making the same Trump's kids argument.

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary four years ago and I will vote for him in the next primary too. Bernie has been consistent in his ideology and ideas for the most part, and has improved dramatically in his notions about K-12. I understand that, to get things done, we need to dump the GOP Senate as well, but I think that can be done too.

When Obama had a blue Senate, he failed to accomplish several things he'd promised. For one thing there is no public option in Obamacare. Were there one, it might leave private insurers unable to compete. I'd be good with that. Lots of people ask what about the jobs lost. I'm not precisely broken-hearted over losing jobs devoted to finding ways to deny Americans the health care they need. Maybe we could retrain them to do jobs that serve people, as opposed to denying them. Maybe they could be teachers. Lord knows we need more of them.

One huge disappointment from Barack Obama was his failure to enact card check. This would've enabled Americans to unionize more easily. He promised he'd back and pass a bill enabling it. He not only failed to pass it, but also failed to push for it. I didn't vote for him in 2012. Of course, I'm in a deep blue state and my vote doesn't mean much. Had I thought he and Romney were competitive here, I'd have held my nose and voted for Obama anyway.

Speaking of Romney, he's viewed as a moderate Republican. I don't really know why. As far as I can tell, despite his tepid ,opportunistic semi-opposition to Trump, he supports all the nonsense the other Republicans do. Even though he backed something quite similar to Obamacare when he was governor of blue Massachusetts, he backed way off from it when running nationally. As for "moderates" running for office, look at Romney. Look at Hillary. Look at Kerry and Gore. Last I looked, they lost, so please stop frigging lecturing me about 1972. By the way, McGovern was right about Vietnam. Who knows how many lives would've been saved if we'd picked him over Nixon, and look how Nixon worked out.

Bernie stands for something, and doesn't waver. I've seen him applauded by a Fox News crowd. Bernie Sanders stands for what America wants and needs. Let them come out, like Trump does, and call him, "Crazy Bernie," or "socialist," or whatever. It's about time American learned what the word actually meant, what exactly democratic socialism is, and more to the point, that government can work for all people rather than simply Donald Trump's BFFs.

I like Elizabeth Warren, despite all the nonsense between her and Bernie. She's my second choice. I'm getting the feeling that AFT is tacitly supporting her, which is a huge improvement over Joe Biden. I see Biden as the second coming of Hillary, and a second term for Donald Trump. While both Biden and Trump spout nonsense, I think Trump's bluster will overcome Biden's more pure form of nonsense. I also do not believe Biden stands for real improvement for American working people, having assured billionaires nothing would change.

I didn't like Biden's treatment of Anita Hill, I didn't like his plagiarism, and I didn't much like his attempts to cut social security. I was pretty gobsmacked in Pittsburgh when Biden told the crowd, as for our opposition to standardized testing, we were "preaching to the choir." I had a question for Biden, and though it didn't pass muster with the MSNBC censors, I'm going to repost it here:

I recall Arne Duncan, who famously said Hurricane Katrina was the best thing to happen to education in New Orleans. This resulted, of course, in the charterization of the entire city, the loss of many union jobs, and the displacement of a large number of teachers. Fifteen years after Katrina, most New Orleans charters are graded D or F. Duncan also pushed test-centric initiatives, such as Race to the Top and Common Core; even so, NAEP scores remain flat. What was your position on Duncan's education initiatives? Has it changed? Why or why not?

I don't trust Biden as far as I can throw him. That said, I'd vote for him against Donald Trump if it came to it. I'd do the same for Mayor Pete, though I find him disingenuous and smarmy. I'd much rather he go back to his wine cave and leave us alone.

My third choice is Amy Klobuchar. Though her programs are "moderate" for my taste, she impressed me in Pittsburgh. A lot of the candidates spoke of having teachers in their families, but she's the only one who had a meaningful story of why that was important, or how teachers touched lives. She's also super smart. I saw her at the AFT convention in Minneapolis, where she held her own next to quick-witted Al Franken. I don't like her as much as Bernie or Warren, but I'd trust her a whole lot more than Mayor Pete, Joe Biden, or Donald Trump.

So yes, I'm blue no matter who. Unless it's Mike Bloomberg. I've had enough of him for one lifetime. Screw him and the room-air-conditioned SUV he rode in on.
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