35 years of unchecked Reaganism have produced perpetual right-wing attacks on the New Deal, Great Society, women’s and civil rights, and any notion of our collective will being employed to curb excessive accumulation of wealth… to the great detriment of general equality and quality of life.
Unabashed Reaganism has become a malignancy in our society and democracy. It has firmly established a strong “no we can’t” mentality, a mentality that is populated mainly by offstage bogeyman economists (Wizard of Oz academics who affirm that what is good for the average American is bad for America), even within the Democratic party.
“How are you going to pay for it?” is not a question only for Bernie Sanders. It’s a question our whole nation and political system should be attempting to answer, but isn’t. People’s daily struggles for the basics constantly get pooh-poohed as “Oh, those people just want handouts,” while in reality the handouts flow faster and faster in the other direction.
Can we afford to spend umpteen times more on our military than any other country? Yes, we can. Can we afford another war or two in the Middle East? Yes, we can. (And yet Cold-War-hungover Reagan Republicans will keep crying wolf that our military standing is on the demise.)
Can we afford universal healthcare that would in the long run save us money by changing course toward a health system rather than a disease system, as it does in every other wealthy nation with universal healthcare? No, we can’t. That we cannot afford. Because that would restructure our economy in a way that a few large industries don’t want. And those very industries have invested enough in politics to have veto power. Which, by the way, explains the entire situation.
I am tired of “no we can’t.” Very, very tired of it.
Hilary Clinton is far, far better than any candidate on the Republican side, and I will vigorously support her if she is the nominee. But meanwhile, I am eternally grateful for the dialogue that Bernie Sanders has injected into this election.
People are extremely dissatisfied with how things are going, and if the most compelling explanation/solution for that does not get presented from the left, it will most certainly get volunteered from the right.
Is Hilary more experienced and more presidential? Absolutely. And lots of people in the know don’t consider Bernie presidential at all.
But also, we truly need a political revolution.
I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but I’m very glad that this is the conversation we’re having. Lets talk about how we’re going to pay for it. Lets put our imaginations to work. But lets not allow what would be best for this country to get vetoed by the question itself.