Sanders is the One

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Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Dear Editor,

It has become obvious that Bernie Sanders is the front runner. The two challenges the other Democrats are focused on is not just who can beat Trump, but who can topple Sanders.

Before the candidates started announcing, many Democrats said the party needs a Democrat Trump firebrand; Sanders is that. The most ridiculous statement to come out recently is the claim that most Democrats don’t want Sanders to be the candidate. If that were true then who put Sanders into his first-place status?

Sander’s Medicare For All, which really hasn’t been defined, scares a lot of people with what one would call Cadillac Health plans. The Union bosses are against his MFA, but the rank and file worry about their friends and family who have no heath care plans. Besides, union membership has been declining for years, even before Trump. I worry too about my health plan, but I also worry about what the GOP alternative would be. MFA is not a handicap for his election.

He has been defined by Dems and GOP alike as a grouchy old white man, but he has the support of the young, the ones with no health care and crushing student debt.

Sanders is the real anti-Trump and has won the support of The Squad, the future of the Democratic party. AOC is the young firebrand to complement Sanders elderly firebrand. Both support the New Green Deal which addresses what worries the young and old. Can it be implemented? Not wholly, but parts of it appeal to issues that the other candidates shy away from.

For many young people their only option for higher education without taking on crushing student loans is to join the military and face danger in many war zones. My oldest daughter joined the Army after graduating from Anderson. She received a free education but also served in Bosnia and Rwanda. Sander’s Free Education definitely appeals to those looking at college.

Though it has been a problem for years, President Trump has brought increased focus on the southern border, immigration, The Wall, cages, environmental impact. The New Green Deal would attempt a more humane and workable solution.

Taxing the rich was the main goal of Occupy Wall Street, but where OWS puttered out the NGD continues that.

NGD targets Climate Change, which has been blamed for more of the world’s problems than Trump.

President Trump may have all the right wing voters, but Bernie Sanders has the rank and file voters.

Sanders’ biggest obstacle is getting past the DNC upper elite who have no more in common with “the Little People” than the GOP big wigs.

This letter is not an endorsement, but looking at the facts.

Full disclosure. Then again, my brother and son in law served in the U.S. Army and went through Russian language school, and both my son in law and daughter have numerous Facebook friends in Eastern Europe. Maybe I could be a Russian agent trying to influence the 2020 election.

Bernie Sanders is The One.

Thank you.

Bruce Vojtecky
El Mirage, AZ

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21 Responses

  1. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    I have no doubt that Sanders will now go on to win the nomination. The only hang up is that he will probably not get the majority of delegates. Does the DNC give him the nomination with a simple plurality or does it go to a brokered convention with multiple votes?

    I think MFA is a stumbling block when details come out. The problem with Sanders is, and I have been reading more and more about him, and listening to him…all his interviews and speeches are merely bumper sticker and greeting card slogans. That is fine and dandy when no one is paying attention, if he gets the nomination, he has to explain his agenda. He has to explain why in this age where, according to Gallup, Americans are exceedingly happy with their lives and their future… why a revolution is needed.

    You bring up student loan debt. Student debt totaled $345 billion only 15 years ago. Today, the total is $1.6 trillion, a staggering 464% jump. What caused the current student loan crisis? The simple answer is that the government got involved in the student loan program. For every dollar a college or university gets in subsidized federal loans, tuition increased 65 cents. It was a wide variety of failed policies and programs from the Obama administration that has made the federal government the main cause of this crisis. Do we want a Sanders administration to involve the federal government even more? I certainly don’t.
    There are other options for getting through college, Bruce other than the military. My daughter who just graduated last year did not accrue ant student loan debt. How did we do it? She took her lower division work at a Santa Rosa Junior College for almost nothing and transferred to her 4 year college as a junior, saving quite a bit of money, she worked her way through college…working as a food server 4 days a week, making pretty good money..and good ole’ dad took a full time job after retiring to help with college expenses. My daughter also picked a major that would guarantee steady and well paid employment. She graduated on Saturday and started her career on Monday.

    Sanders message that the federal government is the answer to all our problems, will not resonate with middle America.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Doug — The student loan crisis started with massive cuts to higher education and research, not with the student loan program. You mention the relatively small student loan debt 15 years ago—that was a couple of years prior to Bush II’s Great Recession. The rise of tuition at three times the rate of inflation since then was a response to funding cuts, leaving universities desperate for revenue. The escalation of tuition and concomitant escalation in student loans was the response, not the cause.

      Guess who decided, and have steadfastly maintained, that our public research universities—by far the best in the world—aren’t worth funding? “F” if you guessed Democrats.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Oh, and our greatest public research universities are now absolutely loaded with foreign students whose governments realize that investing in their best-and-brightest youth is a wise investment—and we are eager to take them and their government-funded tuition.

        UC Davis, my alma mater, is currently 60% international students, with an ethnic Asian plurality of 30% (compared with about 25% white students). The biased towards international and Asian students are slightly higher at UC Berkeley. At both schools, about 15% of the foreign students simply identify as “international” ethnicity, so the percentages of Asian foreign students are no doubt underreported.

        Currently, our best hope of keeping pace with increasingly American-educated foreign competition is that many will choose to stay here rather than return home.

  2. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Bruce — I thoroughly enjoyed this, you latest op-ed.

    For one thing, it forced me to reconsider my reservations about grouchy old Uncle Bernie. Maybe he really is The One. Nobody gave Trump a snowball’s chance in hell of winning 3-4 years ago. Why not Bernie as the anti-Trump?

    For another thing, you made me laugh. Knowing you’re a Republican, I read through it wondering if you were acting as a Trojan Horse, trying to persuade us to back a sure loser. Sure enough, there at the end, you tease us with “I may be a Russian agent.”

    There is something to be said about Bernie that sets him apart from the other Democrats—his supporters are rabidly fanatical. In that sense, they’re like hard-core Trumpsters. Maybe that’s what the Democrats need in their candidate. Not the candidate Bernie, per se, but an army of passionate rabble-rousers to counter the “Trump for Lifetime Supreme Leader” crowd.

    Still, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m old enough to remember the passionate anti-Vietnam-war supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. George McGovern. Ugh. The memory haunts me.

  3. Avatar Candace says:

    Great LTTE Bruce!

  4. Avatar Karin W. says:

    Watching Sanders grow into a tall poppy has been entertaining, but I fully expect Democratic super delegates to determine Sanders has “earned more than his fair share” and redistribute themselves among lesser candidates. Panem et circenses!

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      With the new rules concerning super delegates for 2020, or as they are called now unpledged delegates, they won’t have much of an impact. The number of superdelegates have been reduced, they are now only 16% of total delegates, and they cannot vote on the first ballot. If the DNC doesn’t give Sanders the nomination with a simple plurality and they need more ballots….only then will the superdelegates have an effect, albeit a small one.

  5. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    Good letter Bruce. I’ve been researching the various versions of Medicare For All being proposed, and the different ways it could be funded. I don’t see any reason it couldn’t eventually be made to work. I think the Sanders campaign needs to stress, though, that it won’t happen overnight, and that it will take years to fully implement, which should make it a little more palatable to some voters.

    Thanks to Trump’s massive give-aways to the wealthy and corporations, this is the first time in over a hundred years that the very wealthy are paying a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than the middle-class. That needs to be corrected. If we get rid of all of Trump’s trickle down policies (which still don’t work), that alone would go a long way toward funding MFA.

    And of course Trump supporters are complaining that they had to pay for their education (I seriously doubt most of them have one), so everyone else should too. I hope the country is finally beginning to move beyond the “I’ve got mine, so s**** you” mentality.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      “…And of course Trump supporters are complaining that they had to pay for their education”

      One person confronted Warren, and since he was a a Democrat event, I doubt he was a Trump supporter, and asked if his money that he saved for his child’s education would be forgiven like she wants to do for student loans. That is a very valid question. Like that gentleman, I also paid for my daughters education. We did not buy fancy new cars or go on exotic vacations and I took a full time job after retirement to ensure that my kids don’t have to get in debt. Why should short sighted parents be rewarded, and those of us that are responsible get ignored?

      Yes, Patrecia…everyone should pay for their education…if you have to take out loans, pay them back. That is being a responsible citizen. Why should there be an expectation that we can ignore our obligations? It is not a “I’ve got mine, so s**** you” mentality..it is slap in the face to every responsible American that lived frugally in order to pay for college. So if student loan forgiveness goes through, I get screwed twice. I paid for college when I didn’t have to..and I will pay higher taxes to pay off the $1.2 trillion in unpaid loans.

      “…I seriously doubt most of them (Trump supporters) have one (education). ”
      All I can do with that is shake my head.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Sorry, Doug. Go ahead and accuse Patrecia of hyperbole, but the education gap between the parties is real, it’s big, and it’s growing.

        https://www.people-press.org/2018/08/09/an-examination-of-the-2016-electorate-based-on-validated-voters/

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          So what…there are millions of Americans that don’t have a college education. Are their views diminished because they are not as educated as others? There are farmers that provide our food, carpenters that build our homes, factory workers that build our cars. I’m sure you are not insinuating that those without a formal post high school education can’t comprehend politics and can’t make informed decisions, right?
          I believe that the gap between the parties is not good for the Democrats. It shows that the Democrat party is moving away from middle America, the Democrats used to be the great defender of working people. It is no longer, and you seem to be proud that the Democrat party is moving away from the people that keep this country moving.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            America is the only developed country where a good chunk of the population has been brainwashed into believing that their taxes shouldn’t be spent to further the well-being of the actual citizens.

            America spends trillions of dollars to promote and/or protect corporate interest abroad, to rebuild countries the U.S. destroyed that posed no verifiable threat (while conveniently enriching corporate powers and seizing the country’s resources in the process), and to install brutal dictators simply because they’re pro-capitalist exploitation.

            Right-wingers are even so clueless that they think American taxpayers should be robbed of billions of dollars to provide the citizens of Israel (a nuclear power and world-class armament dealer strategically located in the Middle East, which is the entire purpose for this U.S.-created state) with the free education, health care etc. that they themselves don’t have.

            The U.S. is the world-wide base of operations for multi-national corporations, which have managed to convince the population that unions are bad, that they are at fault for not working hard enough if they’re poor (despite the fact that a vast percentage of jobs now pay poverty wages), and that they should have to pay through the nose for all the basic needs other countries provide their citizens, because that would take tax dollars away from things that benefit the wealthy and corporations.

            Sanders is right, and more and more Americans are finally beginning to realize what dupes they’ve been.

        • Avatar Randy says:

          “Among the much larger group of white voters who had not completed college (44% of all voters), Trump won by more than two-to-one (64% to 28%).”

          The majority of Trump supporters get their, ‘education’, strictly from right wing ‘news’ media and ‘Christian’ radio.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            What is your source for where Trump supporters get their ‘education’ from? Or did you just make that up? I’ll repeat what I said earlier. The Democrat party used to be the defenders of the working class, now it seems like progressives like you want to ignore these people. Why is that , Randy? Why has the Democrat party turned into a party of bureaucrats, power brokers, media elites, special interests and snobs? Why are you against the middle class? How odd

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Doug asks: “Why are you against the middle class?”

            It doesn’t take much digging to see how the middle and working classes have fared in they ongoing Reagan Revolution. The poor and working classes have grown in numbers. The middle class is stagnant in size, losing its share of the nation’s wealth, and most of its members are a missed paycheck or three from financial disaster. The 1 percenters hoard an increasing share of the nation’s enormous wealth. These have been the trends for decades.

            Add to that the policies of cutting taxes, running up the nation’s credit cards, and laying the debt on our kids; and deregulation that has led us to impending economic turmoil yet again.

            To blame those trends on progressives is either willfully dishonest or wildly delusional. Let’s be charitable and go with the latter.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Programs that provide education and health care to the average citizen are NOT all about “bureaucrats, power brokers, media elites, special interests and snobs”. Neither are strong unions, which Democrats promote and corporate-pandering Republicans despise.

            Republicans have always been the toadies of the wealthy and corporate powers, which hasn’t changed under Trump. Most of the 3 or 4 Billion he added to the national debt benefits the wealthy, while his ongoing efforts to slash survival programs like food stamps and medical aid hurt low-income working families more than anyone else.

            Of course I don’t expect Doug to acknowledge these facts (or any others). If it isn’t being propagated by some far-right-wing lie machine or conspiracy theory website, it must not be true.

  6. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    Concerning the uneducated Conservative voters I should take exception at the Clinton-like deplorable comments but I realize those commenters are not very informed. Just in my family from Anderson my two daughters have college degrees, they did have to go out of Shasta County but when they came back found no jobs available and now are in Wyoming working at the US Attorney Generals office and in Phoenix at St Joseph Hospital. My son got a CDL license with training paid by a trucking company and now makes good money with benefits here in Phoenix.
    I have three nieces who teach in public schools in Shasta and Trinity counties. My brother in law served in the Navy and has been a successful businessman in Shasta and Trinity counties. His father in law was Ernie Glass who is no stranger to business and political persons.
    Are those exceptions in the northstate? No, they are the same people that some call uneducated because they are simply Conservative.
    That is “education profiling” which is as racist as any other profiling.

  7. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    Watch out for the Dark Horse in this race…Pete Buttigieg. When all have been excoriated and vetted to the max, it could be Pete left standing. He’s a formidable candidate and being Mayor of a small city is the same as President on a proportionate scale. Not to mention he’ll have a flock of smart advisors around him as he convenes in the Oval Room. Plan B: VP.

  8. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    I have been a Pete Buttigieg fan early on. As the primary goes on I think Sanders will be the nominee and will enthusiastically support him.
    It is almost funny the attempts to tag him a socialist in the negative sense. These negative attacks come from both democrats and republicans.
    Americans are fooling themselves by denying how social programs we have now and have had for decades are not positive programs for everyday, middle class citizens.
    Arguments against America’s socialism programs are simply uneducated and attempts to scare the public. Of course scaring the public is an easy achievement. As trump and republicans have been so successful in achieving.

    The claim that the DNC will not accept Sanders as the nominee are nothing more than rightwing talking point to discourage people from voting for Bernie, and to distract from the vile and conman trump everyday examples of a broken America.

  9. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Democratic Socialism is completely misunderstood by a lot of folks, including people that call themselves politically left or center to left. It’s a right-wing dog whistle that even some on the left like Buttigieg use. The concept has been scorned by the capital class every since Eugene V Debs lead a movement of working people against the industrialist laissez faire class that ran this nation into the ground on the backs of the middle – lower middle class and people of color, resulting in the Depression and mass inequity between the rich few and the rest of the folks called the masses. Sound familiar? In many ways the social – economic model is that we have today, lead by the 1% who are using tRump and his tRumpublicans, who in turn are using racsim, sexism, classism, hate and fear to keep the “masses” in line. The masses sometimes awake and understand that the wealth and productivity of the 1% is build on the backs of the rest of us and on the fixed economic – tax system the 1% have installed into out laws and “free market” economic system. When people become awoke, the capital class starts screaming “SOCIALISM.” Why? The only socialism they want is socialism for the rich, paid for by the rest of us, supported by the 1% capital infusion into the social-economic-political system. Remember, WallMart and many low paid workers are supported by taxpayer “socialism” so the 1% can faten their pockets!

    Don’t be fooled by Buttigieg, Bloomberg or by the capital class screams of fear; think of FDR and MLK. Think of public schools, think of fire and police departments, think of labor unions, think of the public infrastructure, roads, water, utilities, transportation, Medi Care, public health insurance, food stamps, clean air, on and on! Call all that what you want but hat’s people paid for socialism folks, and the capital class has hated and fought against all that from the days of John Maynard Keynes, who was a capitalist that understood the pump must also be primed from the bottom, because trickle down does not work for equality or the “masse,” it works only for the wealthy! BUT…whatever happens don’t be a all or nothing Berniebro or any bro! We all must work to support our candidates but in the final analysis, take the INDIVISIBLE PLEDGE! Go to https://pledge.indivisible.org/

  10. Avatar Common Sense says:

    It will be a Brokered Convention and Biden will win it all in the end. Biden will bring on board many of his challengers and be the one that will start to bring this country back to WE not ME. It will take time. Bernie is too radical and an outlier to reach the mainstream middle of the road Dem voter.

    Everyone with half a brain on the GOP side is REALLY rooting for good old Bern! Because they know Trump would trounce him!

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