Has There Ever Been a More Pro-Labor Candidate for President than Bernie Sanders?

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For the life of me, I can’t think of one, at least in my lifetime, and that covers elections going back to 1964. McGovern ran on a terrific pro-labor platform in 1972, but times were very different. Labor was closer to its highpoint, not its nadir, back then.

Bernie’s core stump speech now includes the following planks:

  1. Guaranteed jobs for all Americans at a living wage
  2. $ 15 per hour minimum wage
  3. End of “right-to-work” states, where it is almost impossible to form labor unions
  4. Easing the ability of workers to form unions, so as soon as a majority of workers in an enterprise sign up for a union, they get it. End of story.

Then there are all the other elements of Bernie’s program that are traditional concerns of the labor movement: progressive taxation, health care, public education, infrastructure, trade deals, Wall Street regulation, etc. etc.

(And in view of the gaping increase in economic inequality over the past four decades, these are policies that will go a long way toward making the USA a more egalitarian, humane and decent society. Everyone, not just workers, has a stake in them.)

But just sticking to the listed 4 points above, any union that does not support Bernie, and work for him aggressively has got to take a long hard look in the mirror. You cannot help but wonder if such a union has internalized and accepted its decline and is simply trying to slow down the path to its extinction. In 2015-16 several union heads endorsed Hillary over the concerns of their members. The rationale, as I recall, was that Hillary was most likely to win the nomination and election and if unions did not support her from the get-go, she would be unsympathetic to their concerns once she got in power.

I think the lesson should be that unions demonstrate their strength by going whole hog for Bernie, who at the very least will finish in the top three for the nomination. (I would go a step further and say that aggressive support from labor would make Bernie's chances of winning the nomination increase significantly.) Then, if another candidate does get the nomination, the nominee will have to earn labor’s support and take their concerns seriously because they cannot expect unions just to mindlessly endorse anyone who is not a Republican, and make no demands upon that candidate. Labor has to play offense.

I imagine some of the other Democratic candidates might pick up on some of these points in their own platforms, like they have with Medicare for all, when they see it begin to poll well with voters. I think some of them may be sincere advocates for labor, but none of them is close to Bernie’s league. Labor is just another constituency they deal with and need support from. For Bernie being pro-labor is in his bone marrow. Fighting for the poor, the oppressed and the working class defines him. He has always been there, polling numbers be damned. That is why you know he will do everything within his power to make those platform planks reality if he is elected president. When it comes to labor and workers rights, he is the real deal.

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SandersForPresident: search results – self:yes

Bernie is willing to go on Fox News when Warren won’t – these different approaches show why Bernie would be a more effective President and also more likely to beat Trump.

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I read the other day that Warren said she wouldn't go on Fox News, calling it a "hate for profit" racket. You know, I agree with that. Fox News sucks.

But you also know what? Fox News is one of the most popular news channels in America. Whether we like it or not, millions of voters watch it. And as that post about Bernie speaking at Liberty University said, it is important to go out and talk to people with whom you disagree. You can't change minds by only preaching to the choir.

So while going on Fox News may not help Bernie win the Democratic primary, it definitely helps him 1) win the general election against Trump, and 2) change minds that need to be changed. We cannot change America without changing minds. Bernie is clearly the best candidate for changing minds.

If the Democrats want to beat Trump, they will nominate Sanders. Bernie will win in states Democrats haven't won in 50 years. He will rewrite the red-blue state divide and usher in Democratic dominance for the next 20 years.

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SandersForPresident: search results – self:yes

Bernie will be a near-powerless President without the Senate.

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Some of us are Democrats, some of us aren’t Democrats but the fact remains, Bernie cannot enact his agenda without a progressive Democratic Senate. Bernie cannot get Supreme Court Justices seated without a progressive Democratic Senate. Volunteer for your local progressives, help progressive candidates make it to the general, especially those running for U.S. House & Senate. We need to win both houses of Congress to fix the mess that Republicans and corporate Democrats have made.

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SandersForPresident: search results – bernie

President Sanders and a Republican Congress?

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What happens if Bernie wins the presidential race, but Republicans maintain control of the Senate? What aspects of Bernie's policies can he realistically expect to implement if the Dems don't take control of the Congress? How likely is it that we'll have a Democrat majority House and Senate? Even if that happens, will Bernie face opposition from more centrist Democrats?

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SandersForPresident: search results – bernie