It became clear during the 2016 presidential election process that Bernie Sanders was successful in getting the attention of tens of thousands of potential voters thus challenging the candidacy of the darling of the party, Hillary Clinton. The Democratic National Committee felt so threatened by Sander’s success that they conspired with the Clinton election staff to withhold support to and undermine Sander’s candidacy.
What was it that Sanders presented that got the attention and support of so many people? After all, Hillary was considered a shoe-in to win both the Democratic nomination and the presidency as well.
Bernie Sanders was offering the people hope. His agenda called for meaningful change that would affect the lives of working people as well as those caught in the cycle of poverty. His plan for Medicare for All provides a plan to take health insurance out of the hands of the private for-profit corporations and replicate what those over the age of 65 qualify for. Medicare for All is not a Band-Aid, it is an overhaul of the structure of the healthcare system that allows all Americans to enjoy what all other people in the western, industrial nations already enjoy.
Bernie has also expressed his support of a program that offers our young people an opportunity to pursue a college education free of charge and, therefore, free of debt. Currently, college graduates often leave school in debt for tens of thousands of dollars, a debt that may take decades to repay.
Bernie expressed his support for a national policy of $15 per hour minimum wage and a redistribution of wealth. He even had the chutzpah to publicly state, despite the fact that he is not anti-capitalism, that there should not be any billionaires, a comment which is often used by his opponents to verify their claims that he is a socialist. This is a claim that is used to frighten American people who have been brainwashed to think that socialism is a system that oppresses people’s freedoms rather than one that takes economic and political power away from the wealthy and increases the power of the people.
Bernie also emphasized his seriousness by refusing to accept corporate financial support relying completely on the small contributions to his campaign made by ordinary people struggling to survive the predatory system of capitalism. He has avoided an indebtedness to the monied class and can continue to serve the needs of the working class.
The candidacy of Joe Biden, a moderate conservative, is an attempt to challenge Bernie’s efforts for the nomination. Just as in 2016, Sanders threatens the establishment of the Democratic Party. Although Biden has not shown to be a serious contender, he is being portrayed as the best candidate to defeat Trump in November.
As Biden fails to gather support, along comes Michael Bloomberg, a Republican worth $55 billion, as a new Democrat who, with the support of the DNC, has entered the race. The DNC found it convenient to alter their rules to allow Bloomberg access to the nomination despite the fact he did not participate in any of the previous debates and had little support from the people.
Is it a surprise that the party of the people find Bloomberg a more acceptable candidate for the presidency than Bernie Sanders? Bloomberg is a moderate Republican who will maintain the status quo and make capitalism a little gentler and kinder while Sanders is willing to make some moderate structural changes to capitalism, a predatory, hierarchical system that ensures inequity, imperialism, war, and poverty.
Dave Alpert has master’s degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology. He spent his career working with troubled inner-city adolescents.