What can people who live in extremely red areas do to support Bernie besides donating?

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I support Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, I live in the Deep South. You can see the issue here.

Besides donating (I can’t give any money right now besides 5-10$ a month with my current financial situation), can I do to raise support for Bernie?

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SandersForPresident: search results – bernie

Why I support Bernie

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I wrote a long post in the intent to persuade my friends. I decided to post it here as well for two reasons: If you think I missed out something important, please let me know; if you want to convince some one, but do not know where to start, you can use mine as a template(maybe). My writing is not decent as English is not my first language. (I can get perfect scores on TOEFL and SAT on language and grammar session, but my writing tends to have lots of grammar errors, which tells us exactly how important tests are.)



I took time to write this and hopefully I can persuade you objectively. If you can spend some time reading about it, I will appreciate it very much. If I persuaded you, please let me know. I will be super excited to hear about it. If I had not, that is ok. People vote on different issues.

First of all, I am a Bernie supporter, a quite fervent one I would say. I donated close to the maximum to him in 2016 and canvassed and phonebanked vigorously for him then. Now in this 2019 primary, I maxed out my donation soon after he announced his candidacy and will be in action soon as well. I am writing to you to see if you can be one of them as well after I present my reasoning, if you have not already made up your mind strongly.

Who is Bernie Sanders? Well, that depends on where you get the information. The big media hates him. Check out this video if you want to get the feel of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZhkKATtqtU Check out this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYxZfksAyco to get a sense of the real Bernie Sanders. Then you might ask why the media hates him. The answer is simple: the rich and powerful own the big media, and they don’t like him. Another reason media does not like him is because he is very boring, he talks the same things over and over again about what is wrong in the US, and how to fix them. Media likes novelty and drama.

Why do I choose Bernie over other candidates? When I decide whom I support, I am first looking for a certain set of character traits in a candidate which can be verified by his history. I want the candidate to be honest, principled, courageous and also has good judgements, ideally has good executive skills as well. Then I think about proposed policies, who are the intended beneficiaries, who will be harmed by the policies? Last if not least I want to see the realistic path of how the candidate plans to get things passed. The slogan like “I can fix this” or “I have a plan” does not work for me, afterall, president does not control budget and could not write bills. So based on my criteria, why I chose Bernie?

First of all, honesty, principled and courage. What is abundant in DC? The special powerful interests dressed up as lobbyists. Princeton study on democracy done by Martin Gilens https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf showed that average citizens preference has miniscual affect on policy, while economical elites and special powerful interests dominated the policy making in the US. Given our president will be surrounded by lobbyists, honesty, principles and courage become crucial. If a president is not honest, we only know his public opinions but unfortunately he will be using his private opinions to govern. If he is not principled, he will be first swayed one way, then another, and govern as what is convenient rather than what is best for his citizens. If he has no courage, he will inevitably cave when he meets an endless string of powerful lobbyists, each ask for some special favor from him. Therefore any candidate who had not demonstrated these three traits or who had shown otherwise are not worth my vote and these really separate Bernie apart from the rest.

In the 60’s, when Blacks were still treated as second class citizens, Bernie chained himself to black women to protest the housing segregation in Chicago and got arrested. He actively participated in Martin Luther King’s march. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/06/bernie-sanders-civil-rights-movement-activism

In the 80’s, when gays were frowned upon, Bernie arranged a LGBT parade as the city mayor while risking his political career. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2015/06/30/32-years-before-scotus-decision-sanders-backed-gay-pride-march

In the 10’s, as a senator, he filibustered for 8 and a half hours against the extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the rich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtXRX9P5PuY&t=1364s

On his long political career, you can always see him stand up for his own beliefs and act on his them, rather than do what was convenient for him. When democratic party shifted more and more towards right over the past few decades, he remained firm as a democratic socialist advocating FDR policies. He is the longest serving independent in the congress.

Good judgments: I strongly prefer a presidential candidate who had shown good judgement and foresight and had demonstrated courage to act on his beliefs rather than merely based on popular opinions. President should lead his citizens, not the other way around. Therefore good judgements and firm principle have to be intertwined together.

As a House representative, Bernie spoke against the first Gulf war in 1991 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QetUJHS5rE and later strongly against the Iraq war in 2002 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_om-x323Em0 . He believed that war is expensive and unnecessary, and the war will destabilize the middle east. The US has the largest military budget, 37% of the entire military budget of the world. It is roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world combined. Bernie has repeatedly called for ending the endless wars and reduce military budgets.

In 1999, Bernie voted and advocated against rolling back the Glass–Steagall Legislation provisions that kept investment banks and commercial banks separate entities. He was a vocal critic of Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan. Later Greenspan admitted he was wrong then and we all know that 2008 crisis largely was due to banks taking big gambles, the direct result of rolling back of the Glass-Steagall legislation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GHSrySrn4U

Good executive skills. When Bernie was elected as the mayor of Burlington, the biggest city in Vermont, he faced opposition from both Democrats and Republicans because he was an independent, yet he managed to transform the city. For example, he created a trust fund for affordable housing and it is the largest and most influential housing trust in the nation. He was ranked as one of the best mayors in the US by U.S News & World Report in 1987.

When we look back at Bernie’s 40 years of career as a public servant, from the city mayor to the house representative, to the senator, his 40 years is 40 years of fighting for justice, not just social justice, but economic justice for the poor, the middle class, and the forgotten native indians against the greedy special powerful interests. His messages are remarkably consistent. He advocated Medicare for all then and now; he talked about income inequality then and now.

When we compare to Bernie’s records to another progressive candidate Elizabath Warren, we can easily tell Bernie’s fighting spirit is much stronger and more consistent than Warren. Bernie has been fighting for the same things for decades. In 2016, when Hillary Clinton had became the presumptive nominee even before primary started, Bernie decided to challenge her because he did not believe in neoliberal policies in which Hillary Clinton believed. What did Warren do in 2016 if she truly believed in progressive policies? She solicited Hillary to run for president. Though Bernie lost the primary, he successfully changed the democratic party’s platform and ideology. Things appeared to be radical then suddenly became mainstream ideas, medicare for all, $ 15 an hour minimum wage, free public education etc. Now in 2019, most candidates had embraced his ideologies like Elizabath Warren. Bernie relied on small donations to fund his campaign through and through. On the contrary, Warren solicited big money on 2018 during her senate run, transferred 10 million dollars to her presidential campaign, and then declared that she would only rely on small donor to fund her campaign. Money is the source of the evil in DC. Bernie knows that and acts on that. Warren, on the other hand, either has to believe that big money only corrupts her at certain time to have different approach at different time or she really has no ability to act on her principles. Her inconsistency and lack of courage to act on what is right against the establishment leave me no doubt that she will be a much weaker president. Yes, I know she has a plan, so does Bernie, so does all the other candidates. But plan alone is not enough in DC. All past presidents had wonderful plans, ideas and policies, they are just not strong enough against the special powerful interests’ money persuasion.

As Noam Chomsky, the world famous political thinker in addition to many academic achievements, said “Well, Bernie Sanders is an extremely interesting phenomenon. He’s a decent, honest person. That’s pretty unusual in the political system. Maybe there are two of them in the world, you know. But he’s considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat.”

What Has Bernie accomplished? Media likes to say that he does not get anything done when he is in congress, that is a flat lie. Here is an article talking about Bernie’s past accomplishments. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/5/5/1855034/-Bernie-Sanders-is-an-accomplished-effective-leader-hope-you-read-this-and-learn-something-new We all know our congress is very partisan, given Bernie is very radical compared to the rest of politicians, it is a wonder to see how he crossed the isle to work with Republicans. He was called “amendment king”. What had he accomplished, here is the video to discuss the major bills he had big impact on as a senator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44m2LHT5DLc.

Why it matters and What is wrong in the US right now Anyway? Extreme income inequality, The U.S. was ranked the 6th from the last among 173 countries (4th percentile) on income equality measured by the Gini index. The top 0.1 percent in US holds the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90 percent. The income inequality started on the 70’s, and the gap keeps growing wider and wider. For the average working family, adjusted for inflation, income is not more than 20 or 30 years ago. At the same time, we are faced with higher healthcare, education, housing cost with deteriorating infrastructure. I have been in the US for over 20 years now, I honestly have not seen our government initiated one major policy that changed my life for the better.

What are his policies anyway? To put it in one sentence, is to help the working family at the expense of the super rich people, wall street speculation and the big companies which are evading taxes. Medicare for all, Green New Deal, campaign finance reform are his signature policies. Free public college, $ 15 per hour minimum wage, affordable housing and etc.

Personally among all the policies he listed, campaign finance reform is the one I care most. As long as big money can buy policies, we will never have true democracy.

Next one I care deeply is Medicare for all, because I had witnessed a few people I know filed bankruptcy due to medical bills. Republicans love to say that we shall have a choice in health care. The truth is that when you are sick, you really do not have the energy or time to shop for doctors or hospitals, let alone the prices of the service are generally hidden. Furthermore having the freedom to choose among millions of health care plan is completely different from having the freedom to choose the doctor you like. Medicare for all allows you to go to any doctor you like. As of now US spend twice as much on healthcare per capita as the rest of developed countries, with worse outcome: higher infant mortality rate, lower life expectancy. There is really nothing to brag about US health care unless you are super rich.

Going forward as a president, how he will get his agenda passed?

Being an organizer in chief. As he repeatedly said his campaign is not about him, it is about millions of people stand up to demand our government to be a government of, by and for the people. When any candidate tells his followers that I can do this or that, or I have a plan, or I can fix it. I consider that person either is ignorant, or lying. The only way to fight against powerful special interests in DC is to have massive number of people to put pressure on the politicians and demand each of them to represent their interests not the powerful lobbyists.

I always believe that as the richest nation on earth, we can afford to act a bit more compassionate towards our own citizens. There is nothing worth to be celebrated about our growing GDP, ever increasing billionaires in the US when in our daily lives, average working people are faced with broken infrastructure, accumulated student debts, the ever increasing possibility of medical bankruptcies and growing number of homeless. What is the point of growing economy if the quality of the majority in the US has not improved one bit since 1990?

Is he too old ?

Yes, Bernie is old. He is 78, but he is super energetic, active and sharp. I had not detected any sign of mental deterioration.Not every 78 years old is halfway into graveyard. His workload will probably send me straight to the hospital in a week or two. There is another reason for support him despite his age. In choosing a president, we do not just vote for one person, we actually vote for a vision, an ideology because a president brings in VP, cabin members. Different presidents will choose different VP, and different cabin members. I have no doubt that Bernie’s VP and his cabin members will be truly working for citizens’ interests. Here is the short clip of his comments on the most recent debate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evwHO9iFjzg

Can he beat Trump?

Definitely. Why? Because Bernie appeals to working class people. Both Trump and Bernie said that existing systems are rigged against the poor and the working class, only Trump said he could fix things alone and lying, while Bernie said millions of people need to stand up against the special powerful interests. Their voters in some ways overlap. In short, Bernie can peel away Trump voters. Our election result is not determined by popular votes, rather by electorate college. The truth though sad is that there are only a handful states determine the presidential election result: Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, those rust belt states. Poll after poll show that Bernie beats Trump in those states.

To know more about Bernie Sanders, you can start with wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders I promise you when you get to know him, you might not agree with his policies, but you will end up admiring him as an understanding human being and politician.

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