Bernie Sanders' 12 Best Reasons for Being a Democratic Socialist

Pow! A US Presidential candidate speaks truth!

After snoozing off to Obama's carefully crafted speeches of vague feel-good phrases, I was blown away by Bernie's authentic language.

... a system, which for example during the 1990s—and I want you to hear this—allowed Wall Street to spend $5 billion, over a 10-year period, in lobbying and campaign contributions in order to get deregulated. They wanted the government off of their backs. They wanted to do whatever they wanted to do….

"Then, 10 years later, after the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior led to their collapse, what our system enabled them to get bailed out by the United States government, which through Congress and the Fed, provided trillions of dollars in aid to Wall Street. In other words, Wall Street used their wealth and power to get Congress to do their bidding for deregulation, and then when Wall Street collapsed, they used their wealth and power to get bailed out. Quite a system!

“And then, to add insult to injury, we were told that not only were the banks too big to fail, we were told that the bankers were too big to jail.

Republican candidates glorify our system, Bernie criticizes it, uses sarcasm.

Even more impressive...

... Wall Street CEOs who help destroy the economy, they don’t get police records, they get raises in their salaries.

... whether it was Saddam Hussein, or Mossadegh, or Guatemalan president Árbenz in 1954, Brazilian president Goulart in 1964, Chilean president Allende in 1973—this type of regime change. This type of overthrowing governments we may not like, often does not work, often makes a bad and difficult decision even worse. These are lessons we must learn.”

Daring to tell the public, and the world, that we overthrew foreign governments -- that's political courage. His language doesn't ring phony or manipulative. This speech made Sanders electable, if his countless powerful enemies don't assassinate him first.

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Besides the welcome fresh air, Sanders is bringing more truth to US politics than I've heard since 1952 when I first voted.

Whether Sanders or Clinton, we voters have to elect a functioning Democratic Congress.

As Mark Twain's king in Huckleberry Finn says to his partner in crime:  "Ain't we got all the fools in town on our side?  Ain't that a big enough majority in any town?"  In the movie version, he will be played by Donald Trump.

Bert, I've been doing politics since 1973 and no one has ever told me that.

Are you sure you're not a disappointed idealist?

Daniel, you jest.

Disillusionment is a consequence of too much idealism.

Too little idealism, Bert, is what remains after there was too much.

My "too much" idealism was a result of religion's big fat lie, that I was a god's special creation.

In college I quit religion for agnosticism but didn't know I was holding on to some of that idealism.

That's why politics 15 years later was traumatic for me; I wasn't ready to see politicians as potentially sociopathic. In four more years I knew the leading politicians were without conscience.

OK, we have established that politics is dirty and corrupt. Given that reality, what is a clean and honest person to do? 

Cry? 

Whine? 

Beg?

Plead?

Find those who have bee been harmed by dirty and corrupt politics?

Find other clean and honest people? 

Form a coalition of like-minded people?

Speak truth to power? 

Develop a mission statement?

Explore options? 

Design an action plan? 

Take action?

Evaluate the effectiveness of working the plan? 

Determine if we are getting from where we are to where we want to be? 

Find who has bee been harmed by dirty and corrupt politics?

Knowing I was not helpless, I first told myself I can fight city hall.

Needing information, I looked for people who could tell me more.

Among them I found allies and worked with them.

I increased my activity until I was using the available energy

Tom, when you knew you were not helpless and looked for people for information, and worked with allies, what kinds of things did you learn? What was your vision? What options came out of your search? What worked and what didn't? 

After this experience, are you more or less optimistic about being able to effect city hall? 

Do you feel encouraged or discouraged about bringing forth the changes you desired?

The biggest change?

I grew up in an authoritarian (ethnic German) culture and my dad sent me to authoritarian (Catholic) schools.

I learned and habitually used authoritarian language, such as "must do this" and "cannot do that".

It failed in politics. People responded as if I had spoken a language no one understood and had no time to learn.

Not wanting to become irrelevant, I set out to learn democratic language, a tiny sample of which is "Let's talk about what we want." It took years.

I know a few elderly Catholic men. Their religion has damaged their minds.

For instance, one of them disliked movies I was showing on a closed circuit TV system and called me a communist. I told him, "The Soviet Union fell fifteen years ago; you can stop beating that horse!"

Another told me "Once a Catholic always a Catholic" several times, maybe once a week, and wouldn't stop. I knew him well and was able to watch him work. I finally replied "Once a Catholic, always helpless." He stopped.

Are you more or less optimistic about being able to effect city hall?

More optimistic. Last month I finished a year on the county's Commission on Aging. Nearing 85, I decided against a second year so younger folk would have something to do.

Do you feel encouraged or discouraged about bringing forth the changes you desired?

Encouraged. For instance, my knowledge of parliamentary law enabled me to end--democratically--a club's practice of opening its meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance (and those two words). In the debate I used the SCOTUS ruling that the Pledge is for children, and the words by Paul to the Corinthians about putting away childish things.

The club's members, most of them veterans, know I'm an atheist!

I could vote for Sanders with a lot more comfort if he would explain his financial support of Israel and bombing of Palestinians. Killing and maiming Palestinians and destroying their infrastructure does not secure peace and justice. 

Oh! I know, he is Jewish, he lost family in the Holocaust, he feels an obligation to protect Israel, and he is willing to supply money and means for offensively warring against Palestine.

There is no Republican worthy of the office of POTUS, I find no Democrat to whom I would give my vote.

Sanders, the truthteller, gets my vote! I would be happier if he left the Democratic Party and brought a lot of sensible voters with him. 

...I would be happier if [Sanders] left the Democratic Party and brought a lot of sensible voters with him. 

Where would  he and they go, Joan?

A Green president without a  Green Congress will fail, but the Greens seem to not know that.

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