My mind keeps going back to 1968. The lies coming from the Nixon presidential campaign. Violence in the streets. The ongoing and unnecessary war in Vietnam. The slaughter of America’s youth. In many ways, things are now the same.
Our leaders feed us lies by omission with regard to the way the Oligarchs have purchased our government, turning the Democratic process into an illusion. Black kids are routinely gunned down by cops who should have been filtered out at the academy while the travesty of the disproportionate number of black men in prison is routinely avoided in polite conversation. As for war, we remain entangled in not one, but several.
One thing that’s not the same, is angry Americans rising up in indignation. Where are they? Even those who correctly advised against getting bogged down in an ongoing conflict in the Middle East, prior to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, have now fallen silent. Even though they were right. As a people we have come to accept perpetual, unending warfare on somebody else’s home ground. Just as it was in 1968, war is oh so profitable for those corporate oligarchs who remain in command of the Military Industrial Complex. They need another war to keep the money coming in. Our money. Taxpayer’s dollars.
Rather than bearing their teeth against the Oligarchy that’s taken control of the country, Americans appear to have become mostly a nation of sheeple, Victorian ladies and gentlemen not wanting to make any noise or raise anyone’s ire, even while our Democracy is stolen from us by a corporatocracy that thrives on the destruction of our traditionally egalitarian way of life, using a rigged system to transfer wealth from the middle class to the top of the economic ladder.
All the while my mind keeps going back to 68. So much of what happened then is happening now, and once again, a handful of national figures are exhibiting the courage to stand up to the established power structure and “tell it like it is.” Bernie Sanders, is one of those national figures. The size of the crowds Sanders is drawing speaks volumes for his credibility as a candidate in the national political arena, even while pundits continue to parrot the line that his only value is as a tool to force Hillary farther to the left.
Pity the poor pundits, faced with the possibility that a (God help us!) Socialist from Vermont, might actually force them to confront the single most important issue of our time, the death of American Democracy at the hands of an international corporate Oligarchy. You don’t really think the corporate bosses at the networks want their on-air personalities batting that hot potato around, do you? It would be professional self-immolation and all of them know it, from the big shots in the board rooms to the pundits on their million dollar sets. You don’t bite the advertising hand that feeds you. It’s an unspoken truth that’s part of the problem for those who are supposed to be part of the solution.
And then there’s Bernie.
Even though he’s running as a Democrat, writers and news-talkers alike continue to refer to Bernie Sanders as a “populist,” or a “self-described Socialist.” In other words, he represents the wants and needs of the majority in their struggle against the privileged elite ensconced in the various mega corporations and on Wall Street.
To my way of thinking, Sanders, a self-described “Democratic Socialist,” is fighting for a specifically American cause as laid out by our founders in the Constitution, that being, to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,..”
Sanders, is supporting an American point of view, while those on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton, who refuses to support a reinstatement of the Glass Steagall Act, support a corporatist position, favoring the few over the many.
If you’re going to refer to Bernie Sanders as a “populist” or a “Socialist,” then it’s only fair (and balanced) to tell it like it is with regard to his opposition. They are corporatists, and should be labeled as such as the runup to the election continues.
Hillary Clinton, is a “corporatist Democrat.” Jeb Bush, is a “corporatist Republican.” As such, they clearly stand for a government that can be purchased by the highest bidder and against the Democratic process. They should be labeled for what they are.
Here’s the full preamble to the Constitution-
“We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Bernie Sanders is drawing large crowds because he supports the goals of our founders as defined by the Constitution. For that reason alone, he deserves your support.
(Disclosure – The author of this article, Ron Olsen, is a contributor to the Sanders presidential campaign.)