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Bernie Sanders Isn’t a Radical—He’s a Pragmatist Who Fights to Un-rig the System

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/02/12/bernie-sanders-isnt-radical-hes-pragmatist-who-fights-un-rig-system


Than you. It’s not as though Bernie is Trotsky or anything. He’s just an old school democrat from a bygone New Deal/Great Society era.
The to,e is now for the Democratic Party to not only begin a national voter registration drive, but more importantly to remind the people what their government built, and counties to build and maintain. And without that infrastructure, the nation would fall apart.
The Democratic Party needs to remind the people of the USA just what socialism built for them. If they don’t, they will lose, and lose big.


I have known at least a couple of people who refused to vote for Sanders for precisely the reasons stated here—he is not progressive enough, not sufficiently anti-war.

While I am not one of those who would “vote blue no matter who” and accept just any Republican running as a Democrat (Bloomberg, Clinton, Warren, Biden, et al) and eschew “purity tests,” (What utter nonsense—that a Bloomberg would be just as good as a Sanders when they are diametrically opposite on policy) I can and must accept that while I would like to see a more socialist and less billionaire-driven economy, that not even Bernie Sanders will advocate for that. Even if he is elected president, he can only argue for the changes he wants to see, he cannot make them law by fiat. (Not even Trump can do that; all of his executive orders and rules can be overturned by the next president on the first day. This is why people such as William Barr and Mitch McConnell are working so tirelessly to make this a monarchical government.)

None of the so-called “great” social program presidents like FDR and LBJ were socialists, they were capitalists, who simply saw the benefit of taking into consideration the well-being of the less fortunate and allowing them some dignity in their poverty, their old age, their poor health and suffering. FDR brought us into WWII and oversaw our takeover of the world’s arms race. LBJ kept us in and expanded our role in the Vietnam war, facilitating the advent of the “forever war” concept to insure a thriving arms industry.

Bernie Sanders will not withdraw the U.S. from its role the world’s arms race—we can only hope he will fight to diminish it and put on us on a path to peace. In the meantime, if he can just begin the transition to a more just economy; if he can get even a modicum of cooperation from the right wing Democrats; then perhaps we can engage in a beginning to a return to what the 50s, 60s and 70s brought us—that is, an economy that gave us a middle class with an opportunity to own a home, and a car and get an education.

With today’s rule by corporate oligarchy, we can’t really hope for much more than a beginning, but we must have at least the beginning, and I don’t see anyone but Sanders working for it.


This article is correct. There is nothing, nada, zip, zilch radical about a FDR 2.0 plan for Americans.

Well look at that…just to try to get back to a status that built up Americans from the brutal 1920’s economic depression and long bread lines is both corrupt, GREEDY party officials along with corrupted corporate-strangled media want desperately to save their craven, GREEDY asses from the ‘unwashed masses’.

Heaven forbid we want to improve our planet, our lives, that Americans seek to save democracy.

Go Bernie! 2020 is ours.


Bernie Sanders is the most level headed, spokesman for the masses, that I have seen in all my years.

As the presidential candidates are eliminated, it will be telling to witness whether they will endorse a corporate bought Democrat, or see that supporting political corruption is not in the best interests of themselves, and their country, and proudly stand with the only true visionary in more than 50 years, Senator Bernie Sanders.

The path for us as voters is simple, continue to support the Status Quo political corruption that has given us massive income inequality, endless aggression by a runaway military machine that promotes the unbridled distribution of weapons of mass destruction, or, a return to sanity, honesty and integrity in the governance of our nation through the adoption of the principles of what is best for all American citizens, not just the few with all of money.


If nationalisation and social welfare reforms equates with socialism then the first socialist leader was Otto von Bismarck of Prussia.

Worth a read

It must be emphasised that nowhere did Marx distinguish between “socialist society” and “communist society”. As far as he, and Engels, were concerned these two words meant the same, being alternative names for the society they thought the working class would establish in place of capitalism, a practice which will be followed in this article. As a matter of fact besides communist Marx employed four other words to describe future society: associated, socialised, collective and co-operative. All these words convey a similar meaning and bring out the contrast with capitalist society where not only the ownership and control of production but life generally is private, isolated and atomized. Of these the word Marx used most frequently — almost more frequently than communist — was association. Marx wrote of future society as “an association which will exclude classes and their antagonism” and as “an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” . In Volume III of Capital Marx writes three or four times of production in future society being controlled by the “associated producers” . Association was a word used in working class circles in England to mean a voluntary union of workers to overcome the effects of competition. This was Marx’s sense too: in future society the producers would voluntarily co-operate to further their own common interest; they would cease to be “the working class” and become a class-free community.


Of course, and it’s good that Weisbrot shoujd point it out. Sanders is a compromise candidate, and the leading compromise candidate for the presidency, by a wide margin.

Trump’s flamboyantly offensive persona and waves of MSM disinformation stop people from recognizing that most of the elected Democratic Party have been criticizing Trump from the right on a range of issues, particularly those around the military and foreign policy. Calls for unity have been overwhelmingly one-sided, with the well-funded right-wing minority insisting that the party’s post-FDR class-aware base relinquish its values.

This is far from a matter of various left factions agreeing with Bernie Sanders on every single point----as though such a thing were even feasible. It’s a matter of recognizing the authenticity of a record created over decades and a position at least basically aligned with humanitarian efforts.

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Since 1980 the labor share of national income has sunk by 15%, and that is $2.3 trillion or $2.7 trillion, about $18,000 per worker in the lower-earning 90% of workers. This is a huge shift, a snatch, a swindle, a purloining of income. Worker pay could be close to $15,000 to $18,000 higher, and this election should focus on a campaign to raise wages and inspire voters to vote. Sanders’ plan comes the closest. Dems should promote higher wages for 90% of the workers. The Social Security report 2018 on wage income states that 90% of wage earners, or 150,406,206 workers, earn less than $100,000 in wages. Each of the 150 million workers could earn $18,186 more each year and we re-established the 1980 distribution of income ratio. The median household income in 2018 was $61,937 (USCensus) and it could easily be $81,937. A $40,000 individual worker income could be $60,000. Poverty would be greatly reduced. Sanders’ program comes closest to achieving the restoration of income distribution, and he is feared because of it. Many reports including the CBO, the Washington Center on Equitable Growth, EPI dot org, detail this shift, and Olivier Giovannoni at Levy Economics Institute, part 3 of his labor share essays. Here are the key instruments to drive up wage income: A higher minimum wage, a higher Earned Income Tax Credit, a formula for labor union rights reform, corporate rules putting workers and community on corporate boards, and a direct government job creation would tighten the labor market, all five policies, would force wage incomes higher, back to the 1980 level. Also capital control measures (foreign investment) and rules that prevented the exportation of factories to low-wage nations rules would be part of the reform. Tariffs that restored trade balance, also. This package would restore the income distribution of 1980. Yes, inflation would also increase, but it could be blunted with price control measures until the surge subsides and prices naturally reach a new equilibrium. We need lower prices on several key issues: healthcare, housing, childcare, and subsidies to transition to green energy. A complete picture for reform will inspire hope, votes, change. My blog: Economics Without Greed, Part Two.


I have been hearing from non-political friends “Bernie is too extreme.” As if… I tell them. I like your analysis.

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I would think it is pretty hard for anyone to claim that Hillary Rodham Clinton would have been as bad as trump has turned out.
I only have one, or a few elections left in this old bag of bones, and they will be for Bernie.


Perhaps, but it all depends on how you define “as bad.” I think there is an argument to be made that she has already been worse, having completely and almost singlehandedly transformed the Democratic Party of FDR and LBJ into a facsimile of the party of Reagan and Bush. This, of course, has allowed Republicans to move more and more toward fascism, and the plutocracy that they have always sought.

She and Slick Willy have brought into the party more and more former Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats like Pelosi, Schumer, Perez et al, who fight against social programs with the same fervor as the Republicans once did. There is no more pretense—we must have conservative capitalism and only conservative capitalism, nothing else is acceptable, and we must fight any and all progressive change.

Don’tcha love how they scream that “Bernie is not even a Democrat!” but they love and cherish every former Republican who comes in to turn the party further rightward?

So what if Hillary had been appointed last time instead of Trump? There would have been no “perfect call” to Ukraine, perhaps, but the Democrats would not today be even discussing a communist concept like Medicare for All, but might very well be right now talking about how much and how soon to cut Social Security. The Democrats would continue to move further right with no protest or expressions of dismay, because after all, we don’t have Trump! How much better could we have it than no Trump? Democrats would be free to move more to the right with no protest whatsoever, because “lesser evil.”

The only party that can really bring fascism into full bloom in the U.S. is the Democratic Party. No, not by being fascist themselves, but by allowing and enabling the Republicans to do it while they sit by and do nothing to stop it.

That is what Hillary Clinton has done so well.