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Sanders Tackles Democratic Socialism, Racial Inequality, the 'Fraud' of Trump, the 'Existential' Climate Crisis, and Much More During CNN Town Hall


Sanders Tackles Democratic Socialism, Racial Inequality, the 'Fraud' of Trump, the 'Existential' Climate Crisis, and Much More During CNN Town Hall

Common Dreams staff




Interesting that Bernie has softened his stance on CIA overthrowing other governments–here’s Bernie in November 2016, in which, he clearly speaks out against CIA-led regime change. In his “town hall” he seems to only mention US military intervention. (sorry–but I Refuse to watch cnn, but from what I read in this article it does seem Bernie has backtracked)

Glad to see Bernie mention TAXING WALL STREET and wish he would also mention allowing USPS branches to allow basic banking services…I think these two items were a large part of WHY the MSM refused to give Bernie equal time during the 2016 election.

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It is a shame that Bernie has to reach out to the People though the likes of CNN, but he did a good job of getting his message platformed. Fox is surely going to pounce on this and surely CNN is playing a game to engage them to bolster their own rankings. The cynic in me sees the ploy, but Bernie must use whatever effective means he can to keep his message out front. Bernie 2020 is about so much more than just Not Trump. Let’s hope the corporate Democrats can’t take him down again in plain daylight like in 2016.



I tuned out when he started regurgitating, almost verbatim, the corporate media’s lies about Maduro. Sometimes, and this is one of them, there is only one legitimate side to a topic. Sanders, probably the best of a bad lot, came out on the wrong side of this one.



Bernie did a great job overall and it shows how much of a qualitative difference there is between him and the fake, corrupt people trying to kind of pretend to be like him on policy. Harris goes to Martha’s Vineyard and Wall Street and asks for their support, gets financial support from the same groups in the media, the Clinton types, and hires Clinton’s old team of losers. Despite that, she is supposed to be about the same as Bernie on policy? Give me a fucking break.

Her response on single payer was a great example. She was on TV and was asked about single payer. Gave a good response, when the cameras were on. However, her donors and her advisers freaked out, they probably thought, what the hell, you can’t propose any actual solutions to our problems. Solutions mean less or no profits for our donors, what the hell are you doing? Then her actual stance became clear. She was OPEN to single payer, and a public option, and a slightly modified ACA, and…anything under the sun really. When the TV was on, she says one thing, then her campaign goes against what she said behind the scenes when far fewer people are watching, using their friends in the media to get the truth out. Her campaign’s freak out and response was basically their message to the owners of the system; don’t worry, it is just campaign talk. Much more people saw her comment on single payer than will hear her campaign’s retraction. Obama, in 2008, if you remember, pretended to want to re-negotiate NAFTA (this asshole president has since done it), and when the cameras were on, he pretended to want to do that. Then, his donors and the Canadian government freaked out. When the cameras were off, someone close to him “leaked” that it was basically just campaign talk, which revealed where he really was. That retraction was on page 15 of the NY Times or whatever, whereas him pretending to want to re-negotiate NAFTA was on TV. Booker and those like him pretend to favor single payer, but they don’t, and he doesn’t seem to have taken the time to study the issue itself. So, when he gets challenged on how expensive single payer is, he isn’t prepared. The response is simple, compare the price tag of single payer to the present system, talk about how cheap and efficient it is elsewhere relative to this system. But he doesn’t do that, and he comes across as inept, which makes single payer itself look bad. I wish he would stop pretending and instead let people like Bernie talk about the issue, but he has to lie to everyone to get the nomination before he “pivots to the center” (the center being what his donors and those running his rotten party want him to do, not the center of popular opinion).

So, Bernie is eons beyond Harris and the rest of the fake progressives. I am not happy though with his comments on Venezuela. I realize, given who he is, given that he identifies with democratic socialism, the vulnerability he faces relative to other candidates in that regard. But he doesn’t have to articulate things in the way he has been. He does in fact re-enforce the way the right is framing this, and he has to think about that more. But, overall, I think he did a good job.



Couldn’t agree more. The questions the audience answered were the same tired framing we hear over and over again in the corporate media. It is obvious that the questions were either given to those people, or in a sea of possible questions, they just picked the ones that mirrored their ignorant talking points. Instead of Jake Tapper asking how he could pay for things, never ever learning and not needing to ask that over and over again, the questions could have been more informed. Not, how can you pay for single payer. Instead, why are single payer systems more efficient? Overhead in traditional Medicare (and Social Security) and single payer systems is far lower than in private healthcare, why is that? The WHO has shown the administrative overhead in private healthcare systems is always much higher, why is that? But no, Bernie will have to answer the “how are you going to pay for it” question hundreds of times from the same networks, over and over and over again. They refuse to allow the conversation to progress. Like, you are a journalist, you could in some alternate universe work for a media company that doesn’t have an incentive to mislead people, that doesn’t heavily rely on interests for ad revenue that are opposed to these things, and the people on TV could not have such a huge class bias in everything they do. They could, in other words, allow the conversation to progress, but they won’t. The details reveals their positions to be a pile of worthless garbage, and they know it. So, the conversation will remain at the base level.



The questions posed by the audience tend to be pre-screened. The one relating to Venezuela from was a person who is obviously from the upper class as she attending University in the USA.

There is no starvation in Venezuela. The elections were monitored and deemed fair. The Government is NOT refusing foreign aid as hundreds of tons of Aid comes in from China and Russia.The protestors have commited more acts of violence than has the state as reported on by Abby martin. This included murdering Chavista supporters by setting them ablaze. The entire premise of the question was false but it how propoganda propogated.

New studies have shown 45000 Americans die each year due to the lack of health insurance. Thousands of Americans sleep under bridges and 18.5 million live in extreme poverty. In the USA some 2 million households live on less than 2 dollars a day.

US Elections are the only elections where the votes counted by private companies. They are rife with fraud as has been established in North Carolina.

There is MORE evidence of all of the things the US National security and Warfare state claims happens in Venezuela , is in fact happening in the USA and this a USA that is the richest country on the Globe and that is not being subject to sanctions by the world community. Bernie Sanders should have refused to answer that question as it was framed.



Doesn’t matter where Bernie let’s it all hang out. Point is to get Trump outta here…that is, if the Dems don’t screw things up and have learned from 2016. We should all stick together on this and remember, none of them are perfect, but Sanders is way above the rest. He needs to focus on the common people’s intellect, which is not to high, and tone down the Socialist stuff, they don’t understand.

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The reason “the people” do not understand that “socialism stuff” is because the Politicians are too afraid to talk about it. Toning it down is why they do not understand it.

The high point of Socialism in the USA was in the 1920s period and Eugene Debs did not tone it down. The people then were just as educated.



I am not happy though with his comments on Venezuela. I realize, given who he is, given that he identifies with democratic socialism, the vulnerability he faces relative to other candidates in that regard. But he doesn’t have to articulate things in the way he has been. He does in fact re-enforce the way the right is framing this, and he has to think about that more.

Bernie comparing Saudi Arabia with Venezuela is unforgivable!. Playing to the Right is a terrible strategy. Trump never placated the Left and look where he’s sitting.



As someone who supported Bernie in 2016 and was looking forward to hearing what he had to say last night I must admit I was disappointed.

I thought he faltered when it came to answering questions about Venezuela, reparations and his tax returns.
I was also hoping he would call out trump and republican’s (and dems) use of “socialism” scare tactics in a very clear, concise, powerful manner and shatter the myths . . . but he did not.



Yeah, I don’t excuse what he is saying of course, but I think that he and his advisers think that he is particularly vulnerable to attacks because of him identifying as a democratic socialist. They probably have made a decision that they want to focus on domestic issues and do not want to expend political capital on an issue like that. While I can understand the logic, I don’t agree with the way he is going about it. I would emphasize us not interfering in their country, emphasize the damn economic war, and the fact that we are supporting very radical elements there that are making the situation worse.



I agree, Non-interference would be the best way to go on that issue. Without getting too much pushback or fear-mongering of socialism.

Both Libertarians and a certain amount of the right, can get on board with that concept of non-interference.



I don’t agree with that. We should keep in mind the relative strength of the labor movement then, as well as the fact that the USSR hadn’t at that point existed, nor did Stalin (two things used to scare people). Socialism to that point was at its root about democratization, and that is why the socialists controlled large parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, they ran the city government in Milwaukee, among other places.

I do find the claims that socialism “failed” to be a bit curious, for a mountain of reasons, but I don’t want to divert the conversation. Needless to say, it is a ridiculous claim and the reality is far more complex than what you hear in the dominant media. I am sure you know this already though anyway.

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Sad world we live in that we had a guy like Trump of all people criticize (while on the campaign trail, not after) US interventions/wars around the globe but not a Liberal Democrat.

I know you know this…our foreign policy greatly impacts our domestic policy. We could pay for healthcare/education if we weren’t bombing the shit out countries overseas.



Well, Trump did do that, but like with everything else, he was full of shit. Unfortunately, he ran against a war hawk that got support from Nuland, Kagan, among others, and was proud to share the stage with Kissinger. So, whatever he was, she was objectively horrible on foreign policy. I think, if Bernie were to win, that what he says will be roughly the way he would try to govern. That wasn’t true of the two major party candidates in 2016, and certainly not the case now with most of these people running. I think though that he really has to think long and hard about the nuance needed on Venezuela. There is a way to address the situation without using a right wing framing.



In my experience, domestic considerations always drive foreign policy. Consider how the need to appease wealthy campaign donors affects our policy towards Israel/Palestine.



Bernie Sanders for President in 2020! This is the 2020 vision that Bernie Sanders has! 2020 will mark 100 years of women’s right to vote, let’s make sure we vote out all the rascists and warmongers to commemorate this important event. You lie? Goodbye! Vote 'em out! Peace

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As always Sanders avoids the biggest issue, which is the outrageous size of the US military budget, now approaching $1.3 trillion when additional areas like the $200-billion Veterans Administration budget, the hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments on the federal debt attributed to war and military spending, homeland security and the gigantic collective intelligence budget are added in. Even without all those extra categories, the straight-forward Pentagon budget alone, at $716 billion, represents 34% of global military spending, a ludicrous share especially when you consider that US forces don’t win any of their wars, and just create more chaos and slaughter and hatred of this country. If Sanders wants to have all the important things that he correctly says the country needs, like free public college for all who want it, a government funded medical care system for all, improved and secure Social Security, etc., and a real attack on climate change, he needs to make it crystal clear that the US obsession with completely wasteful and pointless (except for the arms merchants!) military spending has to be ended, our 800 foreign bases closed, and our foreign policy based upon war and bullying ended. Stop the charade Bernie! You know and we all know that you can’t have guns and butter. Lose the guns if you want my support!
Dave Lindorff, founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening!



I do not agree. People don’t understand because they don’t wantt to! Bernie needs to play it smart and tell people what he will do for them to make their lives better.