Commentary by Rob Lorez—
Vermont Senator and 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speaking at John Hopkins University today called for a Political Revolution across America. During the Q&A session one student from Finland revealed that his government does not only pay his college tuition but also his living expenses and Sanders replied that he liked that concept. Sanders has previously advocated for free tuition in the US for American students. Sanders then asked the group why something like this isn’t happening in the US. He said that it was time the US invest in our youth and something along these lines would be a good start.
Sanders also told the group that it’s time people get involved in this country including getting involved in politics even though it might be not cool to do so. He joked about the evil consequences of places like Finland and Denmark and their “European Socialism” and received laughs from the crowd. Participants also asked Sanders about his stance on paid maternity leave (he supports it), foreign policy (he was a leader in opposing the war in Iraq), the federal minimum wage (he says it should be $15 p/hr), and other issues. During the meeting Sanders described himself as “just a regular person who happens to be a senator.”
Sanders is actually a socialist but he caucuses with the Democrats and is seeking the 2016 Democratic nomination for POTUS. He is tagged as an independent. His form of socialism is less intellectual and more populist. He cites the major issue facing the US as the “grotesque level of income and wealth inequality.” He has often advocated a redistribution of wealth and stated that there is something fundamentally wrong when the top 1/10th percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 99%. At the session today Sanders said, “There is something profoundly wrong when 99% of all new income generated in this country goes to the top 1% today.”
Sanders holds to the view that gross wealth inequality has corrupted American culture and society and also our government and politics. He said, however, we don’t talk about these issues because the people (corporations) who “own the country” don’t want us to. He also noted the recent SCOTUS Citizens United decision removing campaign donation limits as one of the worst decisions in American history. He says that decision has opened the floodgates for moneyed interest in politics. In other words, the one with the most money (campaign contributions) wins the election!
Sanders did not attack front-runner Hillary Clinton in today’s session and, in fact, has not attacked her policies directly. Clinton is part of the 1%, however, and she is raising money for her presidential campaign on Wall Street and other large contributors. Clinton is just another Corporatist who, frankly, couldn’t care less about the common American down on Main Street. Yes, it would be good to have a woman POTUS but Hillary is NOT the one in my opinion!
During today’s session Sanders said, “What I’ve called for in this campaign is what I call a POLITICAL REVOLUTION.” He told participants they must go into their “heart of hearts” and look around at the state of the country today and recall all those who have died in our history trying to protect American democracy. He said, then you must ask, “Are you content with where we are right now?”
Politics has become BIG MONEY even more so than in the past. America has become a Corporatist state which is moving us to become a Fascist Police State. But this should not surprise any of us as the current people and corporations that own this nation are the SAME who financed Adolf Hitler more or less including the Bush clan et al.
President Barack Obama promised “Change” but he’s delivered very little. What he’s given us is a HIGHLY watered down form of Democratic Socialism and he’s disappointed almost everyone who voted for him both elections. He said there was something “fundamentally” wrong in America and politics and he promised not to listen to the corporate lobbyist and have a highly transparent administration. Yet, he’s delivered just the opposite! American politics is more corrupt than ever! What is fundamentally wrong in this country is EXACTLY what Senator Sanders says about wealth inequality. The few own everything while the masses own NOTHING! That’s why growing numbers of Americans feel like they are mere SERFS and their voices are NOT heard on Capital Hill any longer! Further, we really don’t invest in our youth in this country because if we did we’d be doing the same thing Finland and other countries are doing by giving our youth FREE EDUCATION, student stipends, and ensuring that when they graduate from college they do NOT have a massive amount of debt due to student loans.
Sanders may not win the election but my hope is that he can begin a conversation in this country that will lead of a political revolution PEACEFULLY. Hopefully, he will push Clinton more to the left and out of her current centrist position so everyone will see clearly that she is, in fact, just another Corporatist financed by big money with no real concern for the masses on Wall Street.