John Cassidy, writing for the New Yorker, says that Bernie Sanders should stay in the race for four reasons: his supporters want it, he still has a slim chance to win, it won’t affect the November election and Clinton did the same thing against Obama in ’08.
There is a fifth reason, far more significant than the first four: he’s right. Bernie Sanders has, in very plain and solidly reasoned language, exposed the exact needs of this country and, by contrast, he has also exposed the cancer at the heart of the policies proposed and followed by those who have wrested control of the Republican party.
Senator Sanders puts forth in plain language the basic needs of the people of this nation. We need to provide basic health care to every citizen. We need to provide a solid basic education to every child. We need to make higher education available and affordable (and effective) for everyone who wants it and qualifies for it. We need to make an all-out commitment to cleaning up the environmental mess we have made and leaving our succeeding generations with a world fit to live in. And, finally, we need to have an economy that truly benefits all.
The Republican party, the party of Lincoln, the party of caring conservatism, has been co-opted by a cabal of self-serving people who care not a whit for the community and who speak, not forthrightly, but with blatant sideshow rhetoric. Ask them what they will do about the environment, and they will tell you they will provide jobs. Ask them what they will do about healthcare, and they will tell you that Obamacare is hurting business. Ask them about income inequality, and they will call you a Communist. What they won’t tell you is what they will do about these massive problems, and the reason they won’t tell you is that they plan to do absolutely nothing at all. They are not true conservatives, nor are they true Republicans. They are a bunch of self-serving power mongers.
When George W. Bush was elected, the group that was to run his presidency set forth three basic goals: cut the income tax, cut or eliminate the capital gains tax, and cut or eliminate the inheritance tax. That’s it. They wanted nothing else. They did not want to do anything about education, healthcare, infrastructure, environment. They wanted money, plain and simple. And they got it. They cut education, opposed any kind of healthcare program, ignored the infrastructure, and, faced with overwhelming evidence that they were ruining the environment, they simply and brazenly denied it.
The response of those opposed to these egoistical bandits has been less than good. President Obama tried reasoning with them, so they followed the audacious program of denying him absolutely any cooperation. So blatant was this that, when he supported a bill that they had proposed, they voted their own bill down. They appealed to prejudice, but they did so not merely to exercise their own bigotry, but for the sake of money. Their goal was to make as much money as they possibly could, to keep these balloons up in the air as long as they could. And they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. And here they sit, floating in a sea of cash, with the country collapsing around them.
And then came Bernie. Subtleties be damned. Negotiation and compromised be hanged. Bernie Sanders has stated it coldly and plainly. Government exists for the benefit of the people, all the people. It has not been that for a long time, and the people have suffered mightily for its lack. This is no time to take baby steps back to sanity. We need to have a government that serves the people, and we need it now.
Donald Trump’s success is a loud announcement by the real people of the Republican party that they are fed up with those who pretend to lead them. Hillary Clinton is no doubt bright and experienced and knowledgeable. But the time is long past when we could have cooperated with those presently in power. The country is in crisis now, and we need a voice to tell us that we must act boldly and act immediately. Senator Sanders is that voice, and we need to hear it as often and as long as possible.
RUN, BERNIE, RUN!!