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We Need Bernie Sanders to Redefine Our Politics — Just Like Ronald Reagan Did


We Need Bernie Sanders to Redefine Our Politics — Just Like Ronald Reagan Did

Katrina vanden Heuvel

During the 2008 primaries, Hillary Clinton criticized Barack Obama after he cited Ronald Reagan’s presidency as an example of the impact he hoped to achieve. Reagan “changed the trajectory of America,” Obama told a Nevada newspaper, adding, “He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it.” Obama’s point was not that he admired Reagan’s policies but rather that, like Reagan, he wanted to redefine what is viewed as possible in our politics.


Reagan got in by giving America an uplifting message while peddling nonsense. Voodoo economics nailed it. He claimed that he would reduce taxes, increase military spending, and still balance the budget. He did two out of three as the budget deficit exploded. What this proves is that when it comes to politics Americans are willing to buy hogwash. What they want is a good feeling and if that comes from fantasy proposals it doesn't matter. We see several decades later that nothing has changed in that respect.


Socialists have a long tradition of standing up for principles that end up becoming commonplace fifty years down the road. Norman Thomas (who ran for President 6 times) wanted to end Jim Crow laws, accept Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis and to end Roosevelt's decision to intern Japanese Americans during World War 11. He advocated for social security, introducing a minimum wage and ending child labor. He was also called a "dreamer" and never won the presidency.
What Sanders is calling for, are programs that exist in almost every, social democracy on the planet, yet the MSM likes to label it as "pie-in-the-sky fantasies" as if the American electorate is just too damn ignorant to grasp such fundamental ideas as universal healthcare and free colleges. 70 years of corporate brain washing will be difficult to overcome, but people are coming around. It is obvious to anyone who is paying attention, that the middle class is disappearing while the wealthy get wealthier. The key now is for the electorate to recognize HOW these changes have come about. Once the 99% can connect the dots, we may finally see the type of political revolution that Sanders is advocating for.


Rather than "redefining politics like Reagan did", by any metric the Obama Administration looks like Reagan's 8th and 9th terms.


I couldn't agree more. Reagan set the new course, and no administration since has veered from it. Clinton in particular, with his "triangulation" and his DLC, gutted the Democratic Party.


Maybe not, but - Full points to Gryffindor!


... Sure, genius. It had nothing to do with the press and media being taken over by right wing interests or the pervasiveness of Message emanating from Koch Brothers' financed Think Tanks?

Reagan, like any Republican winner, received a PORTION of the U.S. vote. Since 100% of eligible voters do not vote, at best, Reagan may have had a 40% mandate.

That 40% speaks to idiots that buy the White Christian, all American Exceptionalism brand. That is typically the demographic that "buys hogwash."

When your posts don't disparage anything and everything about Sanders' platforms and his chances, you fall back on generic pabulum.

And now idiot boy, "Andrew boston" is back to work to discredit the meaning and functions of Socialism.

Tag team, is it?


I would think upper middle class goes beyond $150,000. It probably depends on where you live. If you live in an area with high state taxes, high property taxes, and have a big mortgage because a typical house costs half a million I could see where it would take a lot more than $150,000 to be considered upper class. Clinton put it at $250,000. That is probably closer to the upper limit of middle class.