Progressivism 101, Taught by Bernie Sanders for Over 40 Years

It often seems the left, Democrats and often even progressives either don’t know how to do politics or maybe they are just afraid to speak a straightforward truthful message. And guess what, voters have noticed. Too many left leaning leaders (here I use that term very loosely) either don’t really believe in a progressive platform or are just scared to death to face the enmity of corporations and the wealthy. Either they have been drinking the neo-liberal kool aid so long they are hooked or fear has negated any ability to lead. One star has been consistently shining, spouting a real progressive message for over 40 years and it is time democrats and progressives look to follow this light, building a solid game plan using his proven blueprint. This, of course, would be Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

In the ALTERNET article below, Les Leopold tells us “Sanders’ message about the ravages of runaway inequality hit home because it is true.” Few denied that. For years, before he was a presidential candidate, I tuned in to Tom Hartman’s Friday podcasts titled “Lunch with Bernie“, where he gave sensible, progressive, democratic-socialist solutions to many of the ills in our democracy. Problem was then and largely still is today, few Americans heard that message while we are overwhelmed daily by the massive execution of the Powell Memorandum. The resulting widespread control of most message and media seems to have no counterpart on the left.

Sanders “did not make his mark on the national scene until last year at age 74”, but his impact has been dramatic and very enthusiastically received. Problem was, he just didn’t have enough time nor the forces to counter the resistances he received from power structures in both the DNC and RNC. “He and his campaign became the next phase of the revolt against the one percent initiated by the remarkable, yet short-lived, Occupy Wall Street.” Since losing to Clinton, he continues, seeking out and listening to what people all over America are saying, while “articulating a social-democratic agenda for working people”. It seems to be working, because that “social-democratic” phrase is no longer the discussion stopper it initially was. For the last 40 years conservatives, Republicans, corporations and the wealthy have been slowly implementing their long term plan and the fact is, it is shockingly close to being complete. It is time the left, democrats and progressives adopt a plan to counter Powell’s. A plan the American people will support, the party will consistently voice, and a plan that constantly floods all media. Where Bernie fits in will evolve, but one thing is sure he is our mentor.

Leopold goes on to further discuss details of the plan. A summary of his rough draft of an agenda follows:

  1. “The right to a job at living wage,
  2. The right to universal health care,
  3. The right to free public education from pre-k to graduate school,
  4. The right to a sustainable environment, free from chemical, radioactive and carbon pollution,
  5. The right to an impartial criminal justice system that does not harm anyone based on their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, racial category or religion,
  6. The right to vote, free of voter suppression activities and billionaire influence,
  7. The right to citizenship for all residents,
  8. The right to organize unions without employer threats or harassment,
  9. The right to control our money through public state banks and a national postal bank”

Eat your heart out GOP, because this looks like a simple, straightforward agenda that most Americans can only love.

Read Leopold’s complete article where he asks other questions, like:

  • “Can America really afford these basic human rights?
  • Financial strip-mining (must be) halted
    • A Financial Speculation Tax on All Wall Street Transactions
    • An End to Stock Manipulation
    • A Wealth Tax of 1 Percent on All Those Whose Net Worth Is More Than $10 Million”

And finally Leopold asks is this all just “Pie in the Sky? … Where is the political space for a Sanders-like agenda?” We don’t really know, but that shouldn’t stop us. It may be right in front of us, staring us in the face, waiting for the collective execution of a “social-democratic” plan? We have to get started and give it 110%, the alternatives to democracy are just devastating.

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