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The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big Dreams


The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big Dreams

Sarah van Gelder

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who can get things done.

That’s what many pundits say. But, even with Tuesday’s setbacks to the Sanders campaign, it’s worth examining which is actually unrealistic—Bernie’s pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable? Or Hillary’s progressive talking points, given her deep ties to corporate power players?


Of course what Sanders could accomplish as president would depend on whether he won a close election or won by a landslide and which party controls the Senate and House. I think he appears to be a pragmatist based on his record of a being a small city mayor because his big ideas cannot be implimented on the local level. It is on the federal level and to some extent the state level that these ideas can be put into action. If he were president I think he would put forth his big ideas and would not be pragmatic because he believes things like free tuition at public colleges and univerisities and universal health care coverage are a right not just another policy goal.


So Bernie didn’t win that night
His chances now are not too bright
To win the Democratic station
And bring needed changes to the nation

What’s needed now is a good plan B
That’ll point the way to victory
There is one plainly to be seen
Jill Stein says he could be a Green

Victory (above) does not mean
He’ll ride the royal limousine
It means his thriving revolution
Will continue with its evolution

A ticket reading Sanders/Stein
could really make the polling shine
By putting people on the scene
Who’s politics are far from mean


Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one? Yes, if ones definition of unrealistic is honest and speaks the truth! The corporate pundits and whores definition of " realistic" must be that one is realistic if they lie, are dishonest, and deceitfully insouciant.

The only thing that I would argue, that Bernie may be unrealistic about, is trying to work inside the corrupt Democratic party. But I would love to be proven wrong!


I think if Hillary were in fact a progressive and in fact motivated by a desire for what is best for the majority of Americans - rather than personal ambition - she would look at her approval numbers and Bernie’s, and concede the nomination to him. If only!


The only way HRC would concede the nomination to Bernie is if somehow she could be indicted and convicted. If only!


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Sanders supporters can continue their efforts to promote the progressive agenda by establishing a #PeoplesPAC.


Sanders gets knocked for being unrealistic because the corporate, meritocratic hacks in the media have come to believe that the more complex something is, the more thought out it must be. The more provisions it has the better policy it is.

College debt is destroying people’s lives. It’s not a complicated issue. Sanders offers a simple, understandable solution and is immediately lambasted for it costing too much and being unrealistic. The media never tells people that it’s virtually the same solution put forth by Joseph Stiglitz and the Roosevelt Institute. Clinton comes up with a “debt free” college solution with a whole lot of various micro measures including the ever popular and ever empty idea of supporting innovation to lower costs. The media barely bothers to even inquire how much her plan would cost of if it would even do anything at all. It’s more complex so it must be better than simple-minded Bernie’s plan.

It’s the same thing over and over again on every single issue. Sanders isn’t unrealistic. He’s just wise enough to know that you don’t fix things with 30,000 pages of new regulations when you can do it with a lot less.


To spend trillions of dollars on weapons and wars is realistic: to spend a few billion on education, health, and infrastructure maintenance is unrealistic. State help for the poor and unemployed is unrealistic; giving billions of dollars to bail out “too big to fail” corporations is realistic.


One important and telling statistic was overlooked. Sanders has the HIGHEST approval rating among his constituents of ANY member of Congress: 83%. He works tirelessly for his people. They KNOW it and APPRECIATE it! I read one ol’ guy’s statement that he was a Republican yet ALWAYS voted for Sanders. He knew he could both trust him and that Sanders always worked for him and other Vermonters.


Senator Sanders has given every American citizen a glimpse into what real democracy looks like and what can be achieved from our concentrated activism. He alone, has taught us ‘this must be our collective effort’, we can’t just get someone into office and say - “there you go, get it done.” It is every citizen’s responsibility to remain engaged 24/7. Democracy is not a vicarious experience.
Perhaps what has petrified each party’s establishment more than anything, is proving we can raise the money to be competitive against the full throttled corruption of super pacs and the 'billionaire class. Bernie Sanders has pulled back the curtain to expose the truth. And ‘the truth shall set us free.’


This isn’t a decision that needs to be made now.

There are still 14 primaries to go.


If you are trying to say that Bernie is “trying to work inside the party”? —so he may be unrealistic—i’d say it was you who is the unrealistic one–
Bernie knows he is not on the inside and not only that he knows the “inside” is not working with him, and actually working actively against him.

Bernie has no choice—buck the “party” — but be nice. Buck Hill,— but be nice.
Don’t buck the insiders----they won’t be nice.
Bernie did not expose the real Hill. The GOP will not , be nice, So when Hill takes the pose of looking up in the sky-- Obama style–they will dump the many pails of her past shit on her head.



larry d3 words of wisdom


“At the time, rising rents threatened to displace lower-income residents. Sanders supported and helped fund the housing groups that later become the Champlain Housing Trust, which, at about 2,800 units, is now the largest, and reportedly the most successful, land trust in the country. The land trust buys and builds single-family homes and apartments, then sells or rents the homes, but holds on to the land so that the homes remain permanently affordable.”

–How do the tenants feel about this? Most people who own a house would much rather live on their own land as well, and not just in their own house. Is there an alternative? The claim in that above paragraph strikes me as a bit slippery. What if the owner can afford the land? It sounds as if they have no option to buy, regardless.


Or, we could simply forgive all debt accrued to pay tuition and living expenses at public colleges, and forgive some fair portion of the same wrt private colleges.

We can pay for it by cutting aid to oil companies for a few years. That should cover it.


Senator Sanders is wasted on the USA. Take over the British Commonwealth, Mr Sanders, please!


I think Ms van Gelder means ‘practical’ when she uses ‘pragmatic’ to heap praise upon Bernie Sanders. She’s not the only writer/pundit to use ‘pragmatic’ as a synonym for ‘practical’.

Now, I don’t recall Sanders ever referring to himself as pragmatic. Clinton, however, has used it in reference to herself; which is probably accurate for her concerning some issues.

Pragmatism, and its modern derivatives, originated in the 19th century with the advent of analytic philosophy in USA at that time; ‘pragmatic’, though, had already been in use since the 17th century. So … what’s the beef?

Simply this: nobody has any misunderstandings about the various meanings of ‘practical’. But, if I say that Trump’s position concerning building a wall at the Mexican border is certainly pragmatic but just as certainly not practical, would I simply confuse you? Or, would you know that being truly pragmatic means you have no moral values other than what works for you?

So, here’s a rhetorical question: is Bernie Sanders pragmatic or simply practical in all he does and says?


Blair: They make that choice when they buy the house! The outcome is actually more secure for them; no corporate lion can come in and buy up houses (and land) from their neighbors to raze it and put up something else, like Trump-style apartments. The land is owned by a Trust, presumably the terms of the Trust prevent it from selling the land for any kind of personal or corporate profit to anybody. So that the area will always be used for this type of housing.

If people think owning their land is more important than the assurance their neighborhood, taxes and other costs will remain as they are, then they can go buy their home+land in any number of other sub-divisions. And risk their new neighbors selling out to some commercial interest, or new developments nearby raising their property values, etc.