I like Bernie Sanders…his affinity for everyman. Sanders’ compassion for the less fortunate is palpable. His ideas to uplift the struggling masses and level the playing field is what America should be about. If everyone thought as Sanders does…peace might be possible.
Sanders, however, cannot be our next president. He proselytizes, speaking to our “better angels.” Abraham Lincoln first spoke to that side of human nature in his First Inaugural Address on March 4, 1861…
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Almost 155 years to the day, we are where we were then. American turning against American, each side using the Constitution in defense of its own dogmatic, ideological stances.
I give Sanders credit for being the voice of Lincoln when that President’s own party, the Republican Party, has long turned its back on what he stood for…and died for.
Being a senior citizen myself, I can understand Sanders sense of urgency to remake America before he dies. He’s 74. He wants it done…yesterday.
Like President Obama before him, Sanders has started a movement, primarily among young adults. He is calling upon them to help fix our broken society. Sanders expects that they will continue to actively support his presidency, if and when that day materializes. They are to strong arm Congress into enacting all that Sanders envisions in a progressive society.
It may be that Obama wrongfully shouldered the burden of his office alone, as some in the media have accused. However he may have been more realistic than Sanders who expects working class folks to add to their daily overload by actively involving themselves in remaking America. It’s not that it can’t be done, it’s just a question of how realistic an expectation it is.
How will Sanders pay for all the freebies he proposes to give out…free college education for all, rich and poor…and Medicare-like health insurance for all, rich and poor? In addition he wants to expand Medicaid benefits…raise the minimum wage…make it easier for people to join unions…break up the big banks…bring parity to women’s wages…invest in our crumbling infrastructure…and more. Fantastic…rhetoric, to be sure. But who’s going to pay for all of this?
If Sanders’ desire is to fashion our society to look like some in Europe, then we must be prepared to pay the price, as do those citizens. For example, Norway’s total tax burden is 45% of GDP…twice that of the U.S. More than the cost in dollars, however, is the price paid in individual enterprise and hard work.
Yes, I’d like the have-nots to have more, but they should still have the opportunity to work for it.
Hillary Clinton’s plan to help college students is to…allow them to refinance, just as we are allowed to refinance our homes, so that they are not paying excessive interest rates of 10% or more. She is not about forgiving their debt altogether. Furthermore, Clinton offers college students the opportunity to repay their loan as a percentage of wages earned after graduating.
Bernie Sanders is unrealistically ideological. Hillary Clinton is pragmatic about her ideology.
…I’m for getting something done…
…not for daydreaming about it.