Jun 052015

Alex Symington

by Alex Symington…….

These last few days I’ve been thinking how am I going to resolve my internal conflict with my total loss of faith in our ersatz “two party” system, but still be some kind of participant? Just when I was going to resign myself to the grim idea of the “choice” between Hilary and “Jeb” (whoever), along comes this disheveled rumpled suited Vermonter-via-Brooklyn guy named Bernie Sanders. Here is someone who is unafraid to speak the truth and just when I was at my apex of despair in this God forsaken shadow of a former great republic he has pulled me back in! Bernie is saying things that I say and things that I believe, such as; we need to raise taxes on the super wealthy, we need to close tax loopholes for large corporations that ship jobs overseas, we need a constitutional amendment to ban big money in politics, we need to enact a single-payer healthcare system (all O.Care does is add public money to the private insurance industry, you would think the radical right would LOVE that!), we need to break up the too-big-to-fail banks, we need affordable, if not free college tuition for all qualified students, equal pay for women, a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage and expand social security, Medicare and Medicaid. I call that a people’s platform if ever there was one!

The Hyper-Capitalist radical right regime would have us believe that Social Security is in danger of drying up tomorrow if we don’t make cuts and raise the retirement age. Poppycock! “Today, the Social Security Trust Fund has a $2.8 trillion surplus,” Sanders said. “Social Security can pay out every benefit to every eligible American for the next 18 years, but listen to this; if income inequality had stayed at the same level as it was in 1983, Social Security would have $1.1 trillion dollars more than it does today, and it would not just be solvent for the next 18 years, but for the next 38 years. In other words, it’s not just that income inequality is wrong unto itself; it has significantly hurt the lifetime of Social Security.

As for corporations being people and money being free speech, here are a few interesting Republican poll numbers by CBS/NYT :
– 80% of Republicans believe that money has too much influence in our politics.
– 54% believed that most of the time candidates directly help those who gave money to them.
– 81% of Republicans felt that the campaign finance system needed fundamental changes (45%) or a complete rebuild (36%).
– 64% are pessimistic that changes will be made to reform the campaign finance system.
– 71% want to limit the amount that individuals can give to campaigns.
– 73% felt that super PAC spending should be limited by law.
– 76% thought that superPACs should be required to disclose their donors.

These numbers reflect the reality of the people’s historic American sense of fair play that transcends political party affiliation and we are ready for leadership that represents the people, not Corporate.

The reason our higher education has become increasingly unaffordable and therefore unattainable for many promising students is the practice of greedy lenders that borrow money from the Fed at 0.75 percent and turn around and gouge our youth charging anywhere between 3 and 11 percent. These parasites are called “bankers” and they hobble college graduates with crushing debt before they can even start a career (yes, and good luck finding work). This is a perfect example of private business using public money to profit at the expense of that public. It is a disgusting scheme that should be outlawed. We need to cut out the middleman and have the Fed loan directly to the students or better yet provide free education and halt the nation’s dwindling intellectual global relevance.

Senator Sanders quipped, “The folks who control politics in America, the people who control the media aren’t particularly interested in that discussion. They’re doing just fine. Ninety-nine percent of all new income being generated is going to the top one percent. The top one tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. ‘What’s your problem? Things are going just great.'” Sarcasm aside, Sanders pointed to Denmark, where most education is free of tuition and health care is universal. Sanders facetiously continued, “But that’s democratic socialism, we don’t want to talk about that, do we? We love the current system, where we have massive wealth and inequality.” Yay Corporate Oligarchy! (I added that)

Bernie had this to say on healthcare, “The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to its people. Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on health care with worse results than other countries that spend far less. It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American health care system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage. It is time for the United States to provide a Medicare-for-all single-payer health coverage program.”

While making the case for a single-payer system nationwide, Sanders applauded his home state of Vermont for its progress toward developing its own single-payer system which could become a model for the nation.
So far the biggest complaint on Bernie from the radical right is, “He’s a socialist, for God’s sake!” That may strike fear into the hearts of the boomer generation because of the Pavlovian training we received in the fifties and sixties, but today’s youth don’t suffer that affliction. Their view of socialism isn’t seen with the jaundiced eye of the sixty and seventy somethings. It actually is seen as a reasonable and reasoned form of government social responsibility blended with an intelligently regulated free market system that works quite well in many countries.

He ain’t pretty, but Bernie is actually speaking on behalf of the people. I repeat: Bernie is speaking for the people in a refreshingly candid, up-front manner. He is treating us like the intelligent thoughtful adults we are. He does not talk down to us and is a real, honest-to-God populist, unlike Hilary, who only plays one on TV.


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Alex Symington
Actively engaged human being distressed by the current global paradigm of destruction of the planet for short term profit by the global corporatocracy and the bovine reaction of the people most affected. I write essays and poetry in order to sleep at night.
More Articles by Alex Symington Prior to November 2014.
 June 5, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Alex Symington, Issue #117  Add comments

  8 Responses to “Bernie?”

  1. Alex,

    Fantastic story, spot on. Extraordinarily put together.

    Among many reasons why ‘war’ is the ultimate insanity, a quote from Bernie concerning the VA hospital scandals: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, then don’t go to war.”

    Blessings & Respect…

  2. Wow Alex. The only thing more frightening than Bernies completely misguided communistic rhetoric is your praise for him. Yet there is hope for you Alex, Only if you care to read anything by Thomas Sowell, Frederik Bastiat, Milton Friedman, F. A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Andrew Napolitano, Ludwig Von Mises, John Locke, Adam Smith, John T Flynn, Thomas Paine, Lysander Spooner, etc etc…….. JUST ONE BOOK ALEX, FOR LIBERTYS SAKE !

  3. Thank you Alex for this great editorial that reflects my thoughts and frustrations as well.

    Bernie is a breath of fresh air in a dirty back room.

    But I temper my enthusiasm with the understanding that a president does not a government make. If he is elected and congress gives him the Obama treatment, we can’t expect too much progress.

    Not until the people (99%) rally and rebel will there be noticeable change. I would be surprised if this happened in my lifetime, having seen the shuffle and cower leading up to the war in Iraq and the bank bailouts.

    I plan to vote for Bernie and strongly support his platform, but I will also hope for a people’s revolution against the corporatocracy. I think that can only happen when we withdraw our financial support from the very corporations that control our country. I’m not sure most American’s are ready to make the sacrifices that would require.

    Until that happens, I’m not so sure who is elected president really matters too much. It’s like shuffling the deck in a game where the rules are stacked against the people. If we were living in a democracy, I’d feel more optimistic about the possibility of new leadership getting the rules changed. But my instinct tells me we need to toss the deck, flip the table and begin a new game.

  4. Bernie Sanders is one of the few politicians in Congress who seems to really care about the state of the union and its’ people and he is obviously the only one with the guts to call it the way it is. As is so typical of politicians today, it is just so easy to find fault with a suggestion but they never seem to offer any better solution. Bernie Sanders is the only politician in my lifetime (and I’m no spring chicken) that has any concern for the “regular people” and the condition of this once great country. My hope is Bernie’s message will be heard by the masses, especially those that are capable of thinking clearly and aren’t blinded by the BS fed to us by both parties and the mainstream media. It’s time to stop the corruption and cronyism that the current political system flaunts to we the people, and Bernie Sanders, so far, is the only one who has stepped up to the plate. If not Bernie, who? If not now, when? God help us all.

  5. Alex, while this entire article is filled mostly anti-freedom, pro government rhetoric that I vehemently disagree with, I’d only like to touch on one point where you are dead wrong. – College Tuition.

    The reason why College Tuition is so high now a days is because everyone goes there. It’s in very high demand. The demand is only raised higher when it’s subsidized by governments.. such as the GI Bill, Pell Grants, Grants to schools direct – which turns into higher prices (unaffordable).

    Government is causing another bubble in the student housing market as we speak.. just like the government caused the housing crisis last decade.

    -Mike Kane
    Chair – Libertarian Party of the Florida Keys

  6. Also, please check this page and watch the video….this ain’t no joke folks…yea, yea, double negative, I know.


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