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Hi all, I just came to read this text from April by Nathan Robinson in Current Affairs: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/04/why-bernie-sanders-should-give-his-millions-away
Robinson is one of my favorite socialist writers, who always has something smart to say IMO. In this text he raises an issue I had kind of forgotten about and put to the side: Bernie's millions. Put simply, he thinks that it would be the best choice for Bernie to give away the millions he made on his book, both as a moral choice and as a political strategy:
"Bernie being a millionaire muddies the whole “us against the 1% framing.” Now he’s not one of us, he’s one of them who has allied with us. He’s a “class traitor.” It used to be that Sanders was “the socialist in the millionaires’ club,” a man who could say truthfully to audiences “I do not have millionaire or billionaire friends” and who could joke that “most of the people in this room, unless I’m mistaken, are not millionaires or billionaires.” No longer. Bernie has voluntarily given up a huge advantage. Now he’s the socialist millionaire in the millionaires’ club. It’s far less powerful.
Image matters a lot, and the flipside of the damage that being a millionaire does is the tremendous gain to be had by giving up his wealth. Let’s say Bernie paid off a thousand people’s medical debt. He could use the moment to make a powerful point. He could say:
It is a disgrace that I should be in the position of getting to personally decide whether these people can pay their medical bills. Health care should be a right, not something left to the charity of millionaires. I never asked to be a millionaire. I don’t want to be a millionaire when there are people out there with nothing, and nobody else should want to be either. I could have been part of the millionaire’s club, but I am choosing not to be, because until we have guaranteed a basic standard of living for all, it is obscene that we have millionaires."
After having read this text, I've become convinced that Robinson is right. Particularly at this time, when Bernie doesn't seem to be making any gains in the polls, I think it becomes even more important for Bernie to distinguish himself from the others. On this sub, we know all about his history, his principles etc, which hasn't changed. But for the average voter, I think there are few things which would distinguish him more from the others than actually giving away the money he made on the book sales to pay for people's medical debt.
What do you think?
submitted by /u/Japsenpapsen
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