Bernie Sanders and America's Future


Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the only Independent in Congress, has expressed a truly intelligent and progressive program he is working towards which will benefit the majority of Americans as opposed to what the current Congress wants to do to the majority of Americans. This agenda commits America to peace, economic justice, environmental responsibility, and equal rights for all Americans. I would like to share just some of these programs and movements with you to demonstrate that not all members of Congress are low, greedy, senseless little gnomes who belong, body and soul, to whichever section of Corporate America bought them.

To begin, I agree with his assessment that campaign finance reform must become the priority of Congress and the President. When 99% of Americans cannot afford to purchase the Democracy which should be their due, something is terribly wrong. When the airwaves, which the Supreme Court once ruled belong solely to the American people, are given away as part as the Corporate Welfare scheme and are then barred by their new owners from having to repay the people through free air time for candidates, something is terribly wrong. When over two thirds of American voters have given up on the system due to the corruption so evident in the political order and refuse to even exercise their hard won right to vote, something is most assuredly terribly wrong. We must demand immediate and substantial change to these laws, which must include air time and access to the people by all third party candidates, which will result in a vastly improved choice for the American voter.

Next, no matter what evil rhetoric the Republican party lives on, we must expand the safety nets for the poor, the elderly and America's children. We must force them to cease their efforts to destroy Social Security, education, Medicare and Medicaid, and all of the various benefits this unbelievably wealthy nation has the moral responsibility to provide its most defenseless people. Dignity and security must cease being a political issue and become the reality it deserves to be.

We must re-examine the priorities of our nation. We must decide if Corporate America truly deserves the massive welfare programs they receive at the expense of the rest of us. Which, we must ask ourselves, are more important; capital or workers, people or companies, the defense industry or the education of our children, providing more wealth to the wealthy or providing security to America's citizens both young and old, leaving our children a healthy planet or continuing to allow Corporate America to despoil and pollute the air and water and oil we all depend on every minute of our existence. This debate must include only the American people, themselves, in order to remove the greed and spite of our politicians and their owners.

We must completely reform the tax system. We must absolutely avoid the horrors which a flat tax or value added tax would impose on the middle-class and poor. No matter the vile lies told by those who would most benefit from those options, the progressive income tax has the virtue of being the fairest form of taxation man has ever devised. It is the loopholes that Corporate America and the rich have developed for themselves which makes it so slanted towards a dependency on the bottom 40% of taxpayers. We must also redefine how we want the proceeds distributed and by what process that distribution will occur.

We must raise the minimum wage and set up a permanent system by which that wage allows the lowest paid Americans to keep ahead of inflation. With the current minimum wage purchasing only 80% of what it would have bought 20 years ago and with families in which both parents work full-time at this low wage still falling far below the poverty line, we must reintroduce the idea of fairness into America's business and political worlds. Every instance in the past forty years in which a raise in this area was proposed produced paranoid warnings by Corporate America and their minions of massive unemployment. Not once has the economy suffered after raising the minimum wage and, in fact, the economy has shown marked improvement each and every time the lowest paid workers in America were provided with a more livable wage level.

Finally, we must guarantee civil rights for every American, no matter which narrow minded group argues that their personal beliefs (often read bigotry) opposes their inclusion. A person's color or sex or choice of adult sexual partners is not a matter for public discussion. We must insure access to affordable health care for every single American. The idea that any American can die from preventable causes in the wealthiest nation on earth is obscene and repulsive. We must change the focus of our foreign policy to reward those nations which treat their citizens and neighbors with the respect which we, ourselves, demand.

This is only an outline of where we must demand our nation move. For those who will immediately whine that these proposals are flawed by being, in their narrow and misguided doctrines, liberal or communist inspired, I can only say, sorry but I believe America will soon discover just how evil the Republican philosophy truly is and will discard it in the same bin that Nazis and skinheads and racists have been tossed. When that finally happens, America will return to the path towards the greatness it has been diverted from since 1980.

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Copyright 4/6/98