“Bernie Sanders did a town hall event Monday morning in Iowa Falls, Iowa. He asked the crowd for testimonials about the difficulties of sustaining a life off of $12,000 a year.
What happened next is both hard to watch/listen to and important. A woman is called on and she emotionally tells the story of her life — minimum wage jobs despite a degree, on disability and living with her parents. Here’s a snippet of what she said:
It’s so hard to do anything to pay your bills, you’re ashamed all the time…when you can’t buy presents for your children it’s really really really hard – and I work 3, 4, 5 jobs sometimes, always minimum wage, I have a degree, divorced and it’s just I’m waiting for disability to come through so my parents have to support me – it’s just hard.
Sanders thanked her and the crowd applauded.” Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/25/a-remarkably-moving-thing-happened-at-a-bernie-sanders-rally-today-in-iowa/
Bernie Sanders was born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended James Madison High School, Brooklyn College, and the University of Chicago. After graduating, he moved to Vermont where he worked as a carpenter and documentary filmmaker. In 1981, he was elected as mayor of Burlington, the state’s largest city, by 10 votes.
At 74 years old (or young), he tirelessly holds rallies in which the attendance is often north of 5,000. My daughters tell me that on campus he is a “rock star”. Although he is decades older than their parents and often in their grandparent’s age group, he “speaks to them”. Every once in a while Hillary Clinton makes an awkward stab at screaming “sexism” or racism at her staged rallies. Although she does this with the hopes of attracting young “feminists”, the photo’s and television coverage consistently show staged events in which grim faced, middle aged women are yelling and pumping their fists in the air or clapping with determined gusto as if they hope to make enough noise to imitate those university coliseums of 10 – 15 thousand that seem follow Bernie. I watched her in a very crackling deep voice make a pitch this afternoon for a “historical” presidency — meaning “elect me because I am a woman”.
So, what is his message? He has summoned the people to a “political revolution,” arguing that the changes our country so desperately needs can only happen when we wrest our democracy from the corrupt grip of Wall Street bankers and billionaires. Galvanized by his demands for economic and social justice, hundreds of thousands of Americans have packed his rallies, and over 1 million small donors have helped his campaign shatter fund-raising records while breaking the stranglehold of corporate money. Sanders’s clarion call for fundamental reform—single-payer healthcare, tuition-free college, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, the breaking up of the big banks, ensuring that the rich pay their fair share of taxes—have inspired working people across the country. His bold response to the climate crisis has attracted legions of young voters, and his foreign policy, which emphasizes diplomacy over regime change, speaks powerfully to war-weary citizens. Most important, Sanders has used his insurgent campaign to tell Americans the truth about the challenges that confront us. Read more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/bernie-sanders-for-president/
In addition, Sanders has long been critical of U.S. foreign policy and was an early and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War. He rose to national prominence following his 2010 filibuster. He is also outspoken on civil rights and civil liberties, and has been particularly critical of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system] and mass surveillance policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA surveillance programs.Wikipedia
To many, his ideas might seem “revolutionary” and new, however, to one degree or another his views, which he himself describes as socialism, is not new and it is not new for a person of this persuasion to run for office. Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. (September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968) was an American author who wrote nearly 100 books and other works across a number of genres. Sinclair’s work was well-known and popular in the first half of the twentieth century, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943. Wikipedia
Upton Sinclair, the muckraker and socialist, authored the book , “The Jungle,” a sensationally grim exposé of the noisome squalors and dangers of the meatpacking industry. Dedicated to “the workingmen of America,” the book became an overnight best-seller. Theodore Roosevelt, who had watched soldiers die from eating rotten meat during the Spanish-American War, wrote a three-page appreciation and critique of the novel, and sent it to Sinclair with an invitation to visit him. (Those were the days.) “The Jungle” played a major role in pushing forward the Pure Food and Drug Act, which Roosevelt had long favored, and which was passed in June of 1906, marking a major expansion of federal regulatory power.
As far as societal influence, this book is considered second to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. Of all the left-wing mass movements of 1934, Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California (EPIC) crusade proved most influential, and not just in helping to push the New Deal to the left. The Sinclair threat—after he easily won the Democratic gubernatorial primary—so profoundly alarmed conservatives that it sparked the creation of the modern political campaign, with its reliance on hired guns, advertising and media tricks, national fundraising, attack ads on the screen and more. The ads parsed words, misled the public, lied and outright smeared Sinclair.
Sinclair lost in November, but the inspiring success of his mass movement—among other things, it basically created the liberal wing of the state’s Democratic Party, which also endures to this day—and its powerful influence on a wavering new president deserves close study. Read more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/upton-sinclairs-epic-campaign/
It is likely that Sanders just as Sinclair did in his day, America is not ready for a wholesale switch to socialism nor should we be. Clinton is in possession of the “super-delegates” and many of the large banking concerns that have paid her millions over time to gain access will probably squash the uprising of those who they believe are naïve to the “real world”. And… when you consider the fact that the DNC is solidly behind Hillary Clinton, making sure that all debates where held at obscure times, sometimes close to midnight Friday, Saturday or hours opposing popular football games……. there is a bias and a significant one at that.
Regardless of what she says, however, the Black and Hispanic votes might be a challenge ….especially Black and Hispanic males. But then again…. there is a challenge for her to receive the “male” vote of any race religion or creed. , A recent Quinnipiac found Clinton’s negative ratings with white men at a stunning 72 percent—significantly worse than the Democratic Party’s already-serious struggles with that demographic group. Meanwhile, she’s not performing at nearly a strong-enough level with women to counteract the problem. Only 49 percent of women viewed her favorably in the poll, with 47 percent holding negative views. In other words, she might have to count on each and every woman’s vote to carry her across the finish line….. and that is unlikely.