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This Is How Change Happens


This Is How Change Happens

John Atcheson

Remember back in the primaries when Hillary Clinton, backed up by a chorus of elite media surrogates, told us how Sanders' proposal for universal health care was pie in the sky?

Remember when Paul Krugman wrote a column called "How Change Happens" in which he called Sanders' proposals "happy dreams" and lauded the virtue of incremental change?

He wasn't alone; the entire Democratic establishment and the elite media went after Sanders with the same meme. Nothing ratcheted up their ridicule more than Sanders’ proposal for universal health care.


What wasn’t mentioned is that for the first time Democrats have shown their willingness to support Sanders. What you see here is a presidential Sanders who is able to get things done for Democrats now that it has been shown that Democrats will accept Sanders as their leader. It is long past obvious that the poor/working class/middle class people of the country will elect Sanders in a landslide now that Trump has shown just how greedy, corrupt and self serving oligarchy really is.

People want change with a passion and after seeing how Trump and the Republicans have betrayed them, they trust Sanders to serve their interests instead of the interests of oligarchy!


Like Don Quixote, “Boinie” goes tilting at the windmills of Democratic indifference and the hostile Republican majorities in both houses in congress as well as u-no-who in the White House. Just because “Sancho” has about 1/3 of the Senate Democrats assisting him means nothing.

John Atcheson with all the inscrutable logic of a Chinese fortune cookie writer then says:
“Oh, this Bill is unlikely to pass in this Republican Congress, but it will completely change the terms of the debate about how we do health care in America. And having initiated the debate, universal health care in the US is now inevitable. Getting it is no longer a question of if, rather it is now a question of when.”

Can’t you just see the secretary of health and human services, multi-millionaire physician Dr. Tom Price, having a field day with “Boinie’s” latest efforts, with the Republican majority functioning as an “Amen corner”?


" They trust Sanders to serve their interests instead of the interests of the oligarchy."

That statement is exactly why the 1% people that really select the POTUS will never allow Bernie in the oval office!


Their problem is that Trump has been a fiasco and now the ‘mood’ of the citizenry is visibly against oligarchy. Trump has virtually rampaged and plundered with rare abandon. Not even Republicans trust him nor respect him. Trump is simply greedy not smart. Trump has ruined it for the 1%.


yeah, change always happens when a minority party gets to grandstand on a bill with no chance of passage in order to rope in their persistently gullible flock.

no, atcheson, this is how change doesn’t happen. GOP does the same thing when they’re out of power. All of a sudden, every social trog bill they can think of comes pouring out of caucus; because they know it won’t make law.

Both parties pull this crap. Democrats have it down to an art form, though, because their voters are far more gullible and desperate than the GOPs. Universal healthcare has been threatened by a Democrat for OVER 50 YEARS! And where is it? (crickets).

Enjoy the illusion, those of you who can. Just remember with each dance of this dance, you murder your own people.


The Democrats are too divided to have one leader. Sanders is leading the so-called progressive wing of the party although he isn’t really a Democrat strictly speaking which limits his influence in the party. Chuck Schumer being the Senate minority leader is the most influential Democrat in Congress. Nancy Pelosi is second most influential as the Democrats have less power in the House. Barack Obama is probably the most admired politician among all Democrats. And among the left center Democrats there is still a lot of respect for the Clintons. The Democrats will not really have a leader until the winner of the 2020 presidential primary emerges. There are probably about two dozen people who are seriously considering running. Typically a center left candidate wins although some candidates are a hard to categorize with regard to which wing of the party they are in. With regard to foreign policy there is little division among Democratic politicians. One of Sanders’ main problems is that he strongly disagrees on foreign policy with much of his base. I think that is why he will not even mention the war in Afghanistan. I think he feels much of his base wants the US to withdraw and that his view is that would be a big mistake. Politically, focusing on single payer allows him him to get his base excited about an issue without mentioning foreign policy. How long he can walk this tightrope remains to be seen. His base so far has largely looked the other way when it comes to foreign policy but at some point some his supporters may decide they want a candidate that they can support on foreign policy.


I call crap on calling this group ‘Center Left’ of 'Left Center."

They are NeoLiberals and NeoCons. They are Center Right while the Republicans are Right Right.

What actually is Center Left is the so-called Progressive Sanders wing.

This attempt to eliminate discussion by acting as if a real Left doesn’t exist is disgusting. I expected it when Republicans act like Obama and Clinton are Socialists. But it is just as disgusting when Center Right Democrats, like Lrx, do it too.

There is a real Left and a real policy debate should not censor out one option in how to deal with our issues before the discussion actually begins.


" The story of American politics since Reagan has been one of ever increasing favors to Wall Street, big banks, the ultra-rich, and corporations at the expense of the poor and middle class, labor, our health, the environment and the climate. "

Another way of putting it is that the corporate world ‘effete’ have intensified the historical addiction to gluttony and genocidal practices through ‘financialization’ and related methodologies.

Any truly ‘elite’ human group has NEVER engaged in anthropophagic plunder like this whacked cabal.
I highly recommend the series of video interviews conducted in June called Duty to Warn. We have a growing window in which to assert a lexicon , narrative and practice of inclusion, equality, justice, respect, community engagement building from the grass roots up. I do however believe that the admonition applies that:


This is how change happens- real slow and jumping forward in fits and starts.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Citizens need to stop waiting for and following leaders and start taking action on their own.

see onedemand(dot)org for one way that citizens can take action and make change happen.

Signing this petition can also be taking positive action.


While I personally love the idea of some kind of Medicare for All, I look around at my fellow rural voters and see that a vast majority hate to pay more taxes. Some hate to pay any taxes. Some farmers will buy stuff they don’t really need in order to lower their tax bill. Then, consider that rural Wyoming has as many Senators as California, and the heavily gerrymandered situation in much of the US. It is a very tough sell to ask rural voters to pay higher taxes to get Medicare for All. It is a gamble that might keep Republicans in power.


One bright side: We get a(nother) sampling of Ds who ostensibly support MFA but who will later backpedal, equivocate, and otherwise prove themselves to be the true epitome of their party–transparently corrupt hope and change con artists.

As you predicted, their stunningly consistent track record of feinting left and moving right will once again play out, as will their fallback tactic of blaming the left when they take another electoral drubbing…and that track record is why I left that moribund morass of futility long ago.

Perhaps this time, the ranks of the left will be fortified by more former Ds who see the party for what it is: a barrier to progress.

In defense of Atcheson, he is on the right track about how change happens. Someone has to put MFA out there to get the ball rolling. Of course, the test will come if/when Sanders calls out turncoat Dems when they do their inevitable shift toward some meaningless incrementalism that benefits big insurance and big pharma. That’s a big if.


But they will also pay no premiums, have no deductibles, and have no co-pays. The net result is that for most folk, except the rich, they will pay less for healthcare than they pay now.

That’s why the majority of Americans support single payer.


"[W]ith all the inscrutable logic of a Chinese fortune cookie [Atcheson] says: ‘…this Bill is unlikely to pass in this Republican Congress, but it will completely change the terms of the [healthcare] debate…having initiated the debate, universal health care in the US is now inevitable…no longer a question of if, rather…of when.’”

Yes, given the right wing and right liberal powers arrayed against single payer, and the limited power of progressives, Atcheson’s confidence is perplexing. This does not seem like a ‘revolution around the corner’ historical moment.

Sanders and others have repeatedly argued that a strong social movement is the absolute precondition of progressive change, and that does not now exist, imo - a progressive movement exists and is coalescing around single payer, but how strong it is an open question - in my view, it has not mobilized low income populations deeply enough to make single payer inevitable.

However, it is arguable that Sanders bill is a culmination - of progressive mobilization for single payer, increased popular support for single payer, and the Sanders campaign itself.

And, as a result, it may be argued that the bill advances an important change - the penetration of the idea into the right liberal Democratic part of congress; a mainstreaming of single payer as an idea; conversely, the inability of the right and right liberal to outright reject it (instead of ‘will never ever happen,’ right liberal politicians and pundits warn about about its difficulty, mount rearguard arguments about party unity, and trot out incrementalist arguments).

So the bill and congressional support may be fairly called a win - how progressives can build on that win now is , as stated above, an open question. (I am writing an article about a thought I have - free primary care clinics that promote single payer - politicized versions of nonprofit charity organizations like Remote Area Medical.)


Yes, but higher taxes scare a lot of folks who make sure that they vote.


They need to be informed that it means a reduction in their cost.


Yes, our interests. Sanders has been this way for over fifty years., and the Wasserman- Hillary coup did not want Sanders because he is Jewish.


Yes, when people hear taxes, they are on auto pilot.


I am so glad that Sanders is well known now beyond his base fighting for decent wages, education, and of course health care.


Yes, I have met some of the crowd who hates to pay taxes- the same ones who cheer about the military, police and fire fighters but who do not want to support their pay. I guess they think we are in revolutionary war times when there was a need of a militia of sorts.