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Frizell writes: "I am not a theologian. I am not an expert on the Bible,” Sanders told the crowd of 13,000 at Liberty. “I am just a United States Senator from the small state of Vermont.” With that caveat, Sanders painted scenes of a progressive utopia: free higher education, health care for all, bolstered wages and chastened billionaires."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Marius Bugge)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Marius Bugge)


The Gospel of Bernie

By Sam Frizell, TIME

19 September 15

 


as it Opposite Day at Liberty University? Here was Bernie Sanders, who spent his 20s preaching sexual liberation and social revolution, taking the stage to speak to a student body of fresh-faced Christian conservatives at the school founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell. Liberty students pay a $25 fine for “attendance at a dance” and $50 for “visiting alone” off campus with a member of the opposite sex. At 74, Sanders was an old man among young people, a self-described “democratic socialist” in the boiler room of the Christian right. And you could argue that his presence was the opposite of clever. After all, why was this overachieving underdog of the Democratic Party–the breakout star of a season that was supposed to be all about Hillary–stumping for votes in a place where he had virtually no chance of finding them?

Why does a missionary venture out among the heathen? Bernard Sanders, a paint seller’s son from Flatbush, an early-’60s campus radical, a rumpled transplant to progressive Vermont who worked his way gradually up a small ladder in a small state to become the unlikely embodiment of a very large yearning–leads with his heart and his sermons. He seeks conversions, not just votes.

If that strikes you as insufficiently calculating, you are starting to understand Bernie’s momentum. And to understand the Sanders surge is to understand the spirit of 2016. Look around at the candidates who are stumbling and fumbling toward the first balloting less than five months away. Republican Jeb Bush of the White House Bushes learned to count delegates when most kids were still counting fireflies. Democrat Hillary Clinton is part of a family that once commissioned a poll to choose a family vacation that would endear them to voters. So far, calculation is getting them nowhere. The surging candidates–rampant Donald Trump, novice Ben Carson and retro Bernie Sanders–represent the opposite. Slickness is out, conviction is in.

“I am not a theologian. I am not an expert on the Bible,” Sanders told the crowd of 13,000 at Liberty. “I am just a United States Senator from the small state of Vermont.” With that caveat, Sanders painted scenes of a progressive utopia: free higher education, health care for all, bolstered wages and chastened billionaires. The audience in Virginia received him politely, though their biggest wave of applause went to the student who asked why his compassion for the weak did not extend to unborn babies. Sanders’ real audience–the roughly 1 in 4 Democratic-primary voters who have lifted him into contention against former Secretary of State Clinton–could only love him more than ever. He was defending the faith. Daniel, as they might put it at Liberty U., in the lion’s den.

With each twist and wrinkle of this election season, which is as wide-open and unscripted as any presidential cycle in living memory, we see more clearly that these are special times in American politics, baffling times, times to challenge categories and scramble expectations. The Internet has killed the kingmakers. Freshness beats incumbency, while the perception of sincerity beats all. There is no room for focus groups in the elevator to the top of the polls; America wants its candidates straight up and packing a kick. This is how a squinty-eyed New Yorker goes from shooting his cuffs and hawking condos to the head of the GOP pack. It’s how Bernie Sanders can join the Democratic Party in April and by August be battling for first place in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Without a single TV ad–or a single congressional endorsement–Sanders has exposed the weakness of the party’s Clintonian establishment while at the same time spotlighting its hunger for an ideological savior. Polls now indicate that if the nominating contests were held tomorrow, Sanders would edge out Clinton in Iowa and beat her in New Hampshire by 10 points. Nationally, he has cut Clinton’s lead from an impregnable 46 points to a crumbling 21 points in just two months.

But even those metrics don’t convey the extent of the Sanders phenomenon. At Clinton events, campaign staffers section off floor space before her speeches to make her crowds look densely packed. Sanders needs no barriers. His audiences are authentically huge–28,000 in Oregon, 11,000 in Arizona, 7,500 in Maine. His volunteer army, meanwhile, though mostly self-organized online, numbers more than 182,000 people spread out from rural Alaska to the Florida Keys, people who have asked the campaign how to improvise events, knock on doors and spread the gospel from campus quad to living room to farmer’s market.

Win or lose, Sanders seeks to transform his party and redeem American politics through an epic battle against some of the wealthiest powers in human history. “A lot of people have given up on the political process, and I want to get them involved in it,” he tells TIME. “In this fight we are going to take on the greed of the billionaire class. And they are very, very powerful, and they’re going to fight back furiously. The only way to succeed is when millions of people stand up and decide to engage.”

This is not just a campaign, says Sanders. It is a “movement,” a “revolution.” He is not only after delegates; he plans to “raise the political consciousness.” Contrast this with the message Clinton conveyed during a meeting this summer with a group of activists. Consummate political engineer, virtuoso of the knobs and dials of public opinion, Clinton said, “Look, I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate.” David Axelrod, the onetime guru to Barack Obama, brutally mocked the plodding story line. “Hillary: Live With It,” tweeted Axelrod, “is no rallying cry.”

Sanders is all rallying cry. When the Wall Street Journal attempted to tally the cost of his agenda–trillions in new government spending on health care, 90% tax rates on the superwealthy, free public college, a Scandinavian-style safety net–his defenders criticized the effort. It’s time, Sanders says, for billionaires storing their cash in the Cayman Islands to pay up. He is tapping into a recurring desire among Democrats for an outsider to purify the party. “Carter, Clinton and Obama all ran against the party,” Simon Rosenberg, Democratic strategist and veteran of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, observed of the last three Democrats to reach the Oval Office. “We don’t do coronations. It’s not our thing.”

What better way to convey his purity than to take his message to Liberty U., where abortion is murder and gay marriage apostasy. “We are living,” Sanders told the students, “in a nation and in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth. I do not believe that is the country we should be living in.”

For Phil Boyd, the revolution began in August, when the 24-year-old manager at Barnes & Noble started marching door to door in his town of Clayton, N.J., seeking Sanders recruits. Within weeks, he decided to drive six hours to New Hampshire to hear the firebrand in person.

Sanders delivers stump speeches that are equal parts economics and jeremiad. His numbers have an apocalyptic feel: the 15 wealthiest people in America saw their net worth grow $170 billion in the past two years; 99% of all new income today goes to the wealthiest 1%. Meanwhile, the earth trembles in the face of global warming–“more drought, more floods, more extreme weather disturbances, rising sea levels,” Sanders preaches. “It means more acidification of the ocean with calamitous impact on mammal life.”

What Boyd really wanted, though, came after the fire and brimstone. “Yes, I am here,” Sanders told the crowd in his gravelly Brooklyn accent. “I want to win the Democratic nomination. But I need something more than that–I need your support the day after the election.” Like many others who are rallying to Sanders, Boyd was seeking more than a candidate. He wanted a cause for the long haul. “We have to keep our foot on the pedal, whether it’s Bernie or anybody else who wins,” Boyd said.

Truth be told, many Sanders supporters would have preferred a fresher standard bearer to expose the injustice of income inequality and rail against the buying of elections. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts comes to mind. But Berniemania is about more than just the candidate, and more than one election. “The end goal is to build a political movement that pushes beyond whatever the campaign is or does,” says Corbin Trent, a 35-year-old who sold his food-truck business in Tennessee and now travels the state on behalf of the movement.

Such stories of abandoning careers and setting aside studies to join the Sanders brigades are common. Stephanie Rountree, a 17-year-old high school senior in Baltimore, spends upwards of 20 hours a week analyzing data and helping train volunteers. In Concord, N.H., palliative-care doctor Bob Friedlander left medicine to volunteer full time, rallying health care workers. Alayna Josz, a manicurist in nearby New London, N.H., paints red, white and blue Bernie slogans on her customers’ nails. “He says the things I always wanted to hear, that I knew were true,” Josz, 27, gushes. “All day long, I find myself thinking about Bernie and this revolution.”

The challenge Sanders faces is to build a campaign that can harness this energy effectively. His paid staff is growing rapidly, from four to nearly 40 in New Hampshire in just a month’s time. In Iowa, Sanders is quickly catching up to Clinton, with 54 paid staff to her 78 organizers. He’s set his sights on hiring in the Super Tuesday states.

He has volunteers eager to be involved in 47 states from Alabama to Michigan, where the campaign has no staff and no offices. In a largely unproven experiment, two staffers at the Burlington, Vt., headquarters are using conference calls, Internet chats, organizing parties and digital seminars to train hundreds of Sanders enthusiasts–who in turn are supposed to train other volunteers in rippling circles of self-sufficiency.

The results so far have been unpredictable. Over 100,000 people have said on Facebook that they would attend an “Enough Is Enough” rally on the Washington Mall to support Sanders. But the campaign hasn’t sanctioned the event. In San Antonio, 50 Sanders acolytes picketed a prominent Clinton backer–which came as a surprise to Sanders when he read about it in the newspaper the next day. “Sometime, I’m sure we’ll get in trouble because one of these groups will say something we’ll have to disavow,” Sanders tells TIME.

We’ve seen this movie before: a grassroots darling surges to early stardom only to lose to a better-organized moderate. In 2003, the Sanders role was played by progressive Democrat Howard Dean, another Vermonter, who attracted huge crowds and an avid Internet fan base but failed to win a single nominating contest. Republican Ron Paul in 2011 drew partisans so sincere that many quit their jobs to volunteer for him, but he was just a blip in the Republican primary race.

“The whole notion of self-organizing is a pipe dream,” says Marshall Ganz, a Harvard-based adviser to both the Dean and Obama campaigns. “One of the great values of the Internet is it’s a way to share information, but it’s not a substitute for relational structure and accountability.”

Sanders is undeterred. There must be a way to make it work, he muses on a warm afternoon shortly after Labor Day as he slouches on a sofa in his Capitol Hill office. A poster-board cutout of a happy Holstein stands sentinel and pastoral scenes from the Green Mountain State line the walls as Sanders talks about the power of the presidency.

It’s all about the movement, Sanders admonishes in the deep bass voice that he reserves for one-on-ones. What President Obama didn’t understand when he took office is that you have to keep your movement alive. “Barack Obama ran one of the great campaigns in American history. The biggest mistake he made is that the day after the election, in so many words, he said, ‘Thank you very much, but I will take it from here,'” Sanders says.

Then he paints one of his word pictures. Imagine President Sanders facing a vote in Congress on free college tuition paid for by a tax hike on the wealthy. He’d have to persuade Speaker of the House John Boehner to help him pass the bill. That’s where his army of activists comes in. “How do I convince John? Is my personality that much better than Barack Obama’s?” Sanders says. “The answer is to say, ‘Hey, John, take a look out your window. Because there are a million young people there that are in support of the legislation. They are voting. They know what’s going on. If you refuse to make college affordable, they’re going to vote your people out of office.’ That’s the offer you can’t refuse.”

This kind of insurgent idealism has driven Sanders all his life. His education began at home, in a 3½-room apartment in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood, which stamped his character as well as his accent. His father, the paint salesman, was a Polish immigrant and high school dropout, and the family lived paycheck to paycheck. Teenage Bernie studied Karl Marx and Greek democracy with his older brother, who brought him to neighborhood Democratic Party meetings. When his mother died unexpectedly, Sanders fled New York for the University of Chicago, where he threw himself into activism. By his 23rd birthday, Sanders had worked for a packinghouse union, joined Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, signed up with the university socialists and been arrested at a civil rights demonstration. He was a sloppy student but an ardent radical of the sweater-and-slacks, nonviolent early-1960s variety.

In his second year at college, Sanders made national news. One frigid Tuesday in January 1962, the 20-year-old stood on the steps of the administration building and railed in the wind against the college’s housing-segregation policy. “We feel it is an intolerable situation when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments,” the bespectacled Sanders told a few dozen classmates. Then he led them into the building in protest and camped the night outside the president’s office. It was the University of Chicago’s first civil rights sit-in, and a first taste of victory for Sanders.

From there he made his way to Burlington, Vt., where he staged unsuccessful bids as a socialist candidate for governor and Senator in the 1970s. His winning campaign for mayor of Burlington in 1981 was a notable counterpoint to Ronald Reagan’s conservative uprising, and it launched Sanders on an upward trajectory that took him to Congress in 1991 and the Senate in 2007.

Now, as most of his Kennedy-era comrades have faded from the scene, Sanders has become ubiquitous in Democratic politics–to the irritation of the front-running Clinton. At a recent event in Iowa, for example, a student fired his name at Clinton like a spitball. “Hi, I really wanted to ask about your political views for Bernie Sanders?” a young man clumsily asked at his earliest opportunity. “My political views?” Clinton parried. Then she dodged–a bad habit to have this year. “I don’t have any issue whatsoever in having a really good, strong contest for the Democratic nomination,” she said.

Clinton’s aides say they prepared for a strong challenger and they’re not changing course. The insurgent has been unable to break through with African-American voters, who could prove decisive in the later primaries. “Sanders may be rocking her with white progressives,” says Joe Trippi, a veteran Democratic strategist. “His problem is whether he can break Clinton’s domination of minorities. It’s a huge hurdle if it can’t be solved.” Clinton is still far ahead in nationwide polls, leading Sanders by around 20 percentage points. And her minions have begun to attack, sending out fact sheets that draw comparisons between Sanders and former Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chávez. “That is the kind of politics that I’m trying to change,” Sanders says of team Clinton’s attack.

Characteristically, Sanders professes to be uninterested in such details. “This campaign is about begging you to fight for your kids and your parents, to fight for your planet, fight for the future of your country,” he says. There is no calculation in that answer. Let the other candidates worry about the horse race; Bernie Sanders is worried about forever. It is the opposite of everything we’ve come to expect from the political process–and this year, being an opposite is the secret to success.


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+72 # babaregi 2015-09-19 19:24
I'm changing my voter registration from Republican to Democrat so I can vote for Bernie in the Primaries.
I was a Democrat most of my life (voted for Nader) but switched to Republican to vote for Ron Paul so it is time to switch again.

I like Trump's view on Illegal Immigration and want to stop the flow of illegals but I think Bernie is the better man.

Trump is an establishment player that the powers that be can live with but Bernie scares them.

I believe Eisenhower's warning in 1961 about the Military-Indust rial Complex; that it would be our undoing.

Pure socialism motivates people to depend on others (like the Welfare State) but we need a correction on the rapacious crony Capitalism/Plut ocracy we now have.

Concentrations of power inevitably leads to corruption in any system.

Some middle-ground is necessary until we reform the system top-to-bottom with something better.
 
 
+72 # indian weaver 2015-09-19 20:11
Like babaregi, I too changed to Ron Paul / Republican in order to support him for his policy to withdraw from military expansionism etc. That would refocus Trillions right back home. But his other policies were too right wing. So, I decided late to switch back to Democrat, which I've always been, to vote for Obama. Bernie, however, is heads and shoulders more mature than Obama in character, wisdom, courage and honesty. He's been there, and is still there for us. I know his negatives. But, like Ron Paul, who had only 1 policy I liked a lot, Bernie has umpteen, and his arguments supporting them. To me, the European examples are the talking and validating points for free higher education and single-payer / federal health insurance. Europe's been doing this for decades. Ram these issues down the throats of the Republicans by telling every one: "Hey, Europe has done this for 50 years", or whatever. What's the Republican counter argument to that? Bernie is not afraid, like Obama appears to be. Bernie is what I think of as "Authentic" (no b.s., been there, done that). Hit'em again, Hit'em again, harder, harder.
 
 
+30 # John Escher 2015-09-20 05:21
"I like Trump's view on illegal immigration..." ? How can any rational person like razor wire?
 
 
+21 # John Escher 2015-09-20 06:51
I've never seen red before. Perhaps I should be grateful. I wonder if these critics think that Trump's wall will be so beautiful that it won't have coils of razor wire on the top. Maybe former East German guards (in green) will be marching along up there with submachine guns instead. Some of them must be out of work and Donald can hire them. Heil Hitler, bozos.
 
 
+2 # babaregi 2015-09-20 10:28
Quoting John Escher:
I've never seen red before. Perhaps I should be grateful. I wonder if these critics think that Trump's wall will be so beautiful that it won't have coils of razor wire on the top. Maybe former East German guards (in green) will be marching along up there with submachine guns instead. Some of them must be out of work and Donald can hire them. Heil Hitler, bozos.



Don't you worry, Trump, himself, said that the wall will be a great looking wall. He takes pride in his ability to build.

He even thinks that it might be called 'Trump's Wall' after he passes away.
 
 
+6 # CL38 2015-09-20 08:00
sorry...meant to hit thumbs up, hit down, instead.
 
 
+23 # Vegan_Girl 2015-09-20 08:48
Bernie Sanders is tapping into a left-right coalition on domestic economy and social justice. (Corrupt rich vs. the working class and the rule of the law.)

The GOP likes to focus on what divides us. Let us leave that for them and focus on what we agree on.
 
 
+26 # tedrey 2015-09-19 23:02
A magnificently positive response to Bernie's Liberty speech--from a pastor, no less! Do read it.

http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/politics/evangelical-pastor-gives-profound-response-to-bernie-sanders-speech-at-liberty-u/
 
 
+17 # rradiof 2015-09-19 23:03
A presidential candidate who was a member of SNCC? Stokely Carmichael has just awakened. That's what we need, if we want it. To the barricades. WOW. Over and out.
 
 
+44 # Left Coast 2015-09-20 01:21
Every day seems to be a better day when I see Senator Sanders on T.V or hear a clip from a recent speech. Here we are in September. What Bernie has achieved at such an early stage of the political campaign process is beyond incredible. And every day I hear or see a speech at another rally, I increasingly come to the conclusion: Bernie is going to be our next President of the United States. How can he not be? His message is electrifying a despondent electorate for the past 30-40 years. They finally have awakened. Now they are getting involved. Incredible? Yes. And it will only get better.
 
 
+4 # kerwinskeepers 2015-09-21 16:27
The following is intended to expand on your comments and draw attention to Bernie's speech at Liberty College. It also ties in with Tedrey's reference to website above. The following message also appeared earlier as comment on Bernie's speech:

I had not intended to make my debut into this forum of great thinkers just yet, but I felt I had to express my thoughts about this most impressive and inspiring speech I have ever heard from the political arena; it is encouraging, not demeaning, leaving us all with the feeling that we may just be able to improve our lot after all.
 
This sincere, heartfelt, and classic appeal to our better natures; should be read from every pulpit, lectern, etc. where people gather to discuss their humanity and how to activate that Golden Rule which is the guiding principle of civilization. Thanks, Bernie, for focusing our attention on the goal that all governments and religions are intended to achieve; Social Justice, also known as Morality, the Golden Rule, a Fair Deal, Equality. That's right; "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  That's what civilization is all about; not "do unto others before they do it to you."
cont...
 
 
+4 # kerwinskeepers 2015-09-21 18:24
Having said the above, it should be fairly obvious how I feel about Bernie Sanders as a person and candidate for president or leadership at any level. Bernie is the kind of choice that we seldom get a chance to elect. I think he has a chance, more so than any other similar unpromoted candidate that has appeared on this planet during my 84 years. I tend to stay clear of MSM, Fox News, Clear Channel, etc.; with RSN being my main source of info. However, there are a more than a few million voters who rely on Fox etc. as their only source, and their votes play a large part in determining elections and with the MSM hardly reporting on Bernie as they do for the promoted candidates. Bernie would be "the tree falling (unheard) in the forest." It will take an unprecedented effort to overcome this lack of publicity, but it can be done. For starters, we should share this speech of Bernie's electronically with every contact we have via Facebook,Twitte r, etc. This speech alone will reveal Bernie's intrinsic honesty, compassion and leadership abilities to many who don't even know that we have such a man as a candidate. We also need to "eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive.” No more "can't do it," "all odds are against us" nonsense, which is one way of guaranteeing negative results. cont....
 
 
+4 # kerwinskeepers 2015-09-21 18:35
Let's be clear about this; Negative Results means victory for the Republican party in the election. The monumental hurdle preventing us from pursuing our dreams of Social Justice, Equality, the Golden Rule is the Republican party, with their guiding philosophy of "Greed before Need.” In order to fight the enemy, we need to identify the enemy and that enemy is the Republican Party, not just some individuals; all of them. They all adhere to the idea that unregulated profit is the end all and be all of civilization; devil take the hindmost. It works somewhat like the private fire companies of the 18th century; if you weren't a paid member of the company, it was "burn baby, burn.” (I guess the people who got burned were mollified by the knowledge that they didn't waste any of their hard-earned money by paying taxes). cont....
 
 
+3 # kerwinskeepers 2015-09-21 18:37
When it comes to elections, we have to live with the system we've got, and, that current system virtuall y ensures the selection of a candidate of either the Democrat or Republican party, i.e., the odds prevent any other action.  We all know that both parties are significantly financed by special interests intended to influence "Gree d before Need" outcomes; but there is a significant difference between the two parties. The Republican party totally identifies with the privileged class and justifies their actions with their trickle-down theory of wealth sharing. The Democrat party, while also harboring some greed peddlers, is still the only party with the will and the where-with-all to represent the people and protect us from the depredations of the free-wheeling money dealers who currently have a stranglehold on our government.
 
All of the aforesaid has to do with what we should do to regain our future. Voting is the answer; voting for the leaders and legislators who truly represent us and follow the principle of the Golden Rule. cont...
 
 
+3 # kerwinskeepers 2015-09-21 18:58
Finally, we should not confine ourselves to voting only for the upcoming election but vote for all off-year elections also. Bernie Sanders, or anyone else, for that matter, cannot govern efficiently without the support of congress. Voting for individuals should always be primarily influenced by the principles of the party platform. These principles are what we are really voting for. Those who would vote for Bernie to the exclusion of any other Democratic candidate would not only be defeating the cause that Bernie advocates, but would effectively be turning control over to the enemy, the Republican party, A non-vote for a Democrat is a vote for a Republican, and that outcome would be disaster.
 
For the Bernie only crowd, it should be noted that, while Independent, Bernie caucuses with democrats, he's on their ticket for the primaries and he has stated that he will support the eventual winner if he loses. Bernie knew what he was doing; he chose to join the dems because he could be comfortable with their platform and they have the power to support him and help to achieve his goals. Win or lose the primaries, the more interest and followers he attracts will give him increasing power and influence in the democratic party. He would make, e.g., a great Majority Leader. He sees the difference in the parties, even if you don't. We hope he wins the primaries, but, if not, do not desert his cause by letting the Republicans win the final election.
 
 
+22 # Inspired Citizen 2015-09-20 02:48
Revolt Against Plutocracy has devised an innovative strategy to help Senator Sanders secure the nomination called the Bernie or bust pledge. Essentially, Bernie's supporters have the opportunity to tell the Democrats it's Bernie or else!

http://wp.me/p6itlU-5r
 
 
+25 # John Escher 2015-09-20 05:32
If I've got my Krugman straight, you just print a lot of money, but don't put it into stocks and hedge funds and the usual banker bags. You put it into infrastructure, alternative power, preserving the environment, eliminating student loans, reforming or eliminating bad cops-- every smart program you can think of.

Conservatives prefer dumb programs to these and many others of course, along with little house on the prairie budgets to bolster their country club imbued macho money understanding delusion, and are blind to the pitfalls of austerity that constantly are demonstrated here and abroad.
 
 
-50 # WaaDoo 2015-09-20 07:36
Well written, Mr. Frizell. Of course! Your creative style is applied to an ancient dream of creating Utopia on Earth. Everyone wants that. I would like that - but don't you dare take the money I worked for to give it away (to nations that hate us or indolents who will not work). Give it to those in genuine need? - of course, but not indiscriminately.

Anyone supporting Bernie's views should read the roots of such illusion as described in David Horowitz's book, "Barak Obama's Rules for Revolution". You will soon see the foundation of what you support. A foundation built on sand.
 
 
+17 # reiverpacific 2015-09-20 09:04
Quoting WaaDoo:
Well written, Mr. Frizell. Of course! Your creative style is applied to an ancient dream of creating Utopia on Earth. Everyone wants that. I would like that - but don't you dare take the money I worked for to give it away (to nations that hate us or indolents who will not work). Give it to those in genuine need? - of course, but not indiscriminately.

Anyone supporting Bernie's views should read the roots of such illusion as described in David Horowitz's book, "Barak Obama's Rules for Revolution". You will soon see the foundation of what you support. A foundation built on sand.


I try to be somewhat respectful to most people I disagree with and try to engage in a meaningful way but in your case, you're an impudent, irrelevant COWARD who doesn't even have the bollocks to respond to my probes and is "Sae base as be a slave" to the reactionary neocon status-quo, who give not a shit about you any more than they do anybody else of the many-headed.
You're a gutless, meaningless cipher, who wouldn't get the meaning of creativity if it was served up to you on a Spode platter with a side of cornichons.
 
 
+5 # Firefox11 2015-09-21 16:29
Quoting reiverpacific:
Quoting WaaDoo:
Well written, Mr. Frizell. Of course! Your creative style is applied to an ancient dream of creating Utopia on Earth. Everyone wants that. I would like that - but don't you dare take the money I worked for to give it away (to nations that hate us or indolents who will not work). Give it to those in genuine need? - of course, but not indiscriminately.

Anyone supporting Bernie's views should read the roots of such illusion as described in David Horowitz's book, "Barak Obama's Rules for Revolution". You will soon see the foundation of what you support. A foundation built on sand.


I try to be somewhat respectful to most people I disagree with and try to engage in a meaningful way but in your case, you're an impudent, irrelevant COWARD who doesn't even have the bollocks to respond to my probes and is "Sae base as be a slave" to the reactionary neocon status-quo, who give not a shit about you any more than they do anybody else of the many-headed.
You're a gutless, meaningless cipher, who wouldn't get the meaning of creativity if it was served up to you on a Spode platter with a side of cornichons.

Dude, please please please skip the attacks and focus on the point that you want to make. I too am interested in what anyone has to say, but civil discourse is a must, for us all. Otherwise, we have abandoned rational behavior in favor of name calling, the province of young children, certainly not adults.
 
 
+21 # Vegan_Girl 2015-09-20 08:53
This makes a lot of sense to me. What is the point of a debate if you only talk to people who agree with you?

Every time establishment attacks Trump, his numbers go up in the polls. That is because the Trump voters, like us, resent the corrupt ruling elite. They hate the lack of democracy, and the economy rigged to work only for the rich. A big portion of the Republican voters are finally realizing that the GOP establishment is not their friends. Those people are ALL potential Sanders voters and we need to reach out.

Go Bernie, go! We are ready. The 99% has your back.
 
 
+5 # newell 2015-09-21 15:41
agree -keep lines of communication open with everyone--and conservatives and liberals have more in common than we think.
 
 
+21 # diamondmarge7 2015-09-20 10:22
It is obvious to anyone with a brain that Bernie isn't in this for himself; his heart and soul are committed to making life better for the millions of us beaten down by the corporate oligarchy. If you want to see the real Bernie, read/listen to his address @ Liberty U. Inspirational, prophetic, full of love for his fellow creatures.
 
 
-30 # jazzman633 2015-09-20 11:34
I love Bernie, but the solution to most of the country's problems lies in less government, not more. If the govt. were doing only what's authorized by the Constitution, it would be much smaller, there would be many fewer wars and regulations, less corruption, and much lower taxes, and the country would be much wealthier.
 
 
+20 # reiverpacific 2015-09-20 11:58
Quoting jazzman633:
I love Bernie, but the solution to most of the country's problems lies in less government, not more. If the govt. were doing only what's authorized by the Constitution, it would be much smaller, there would be many fewer wars and regulations, less corruption, and much lower taxes, and the country would be much wealthier.


Dream on.
Remember Ron Raygun, for whom if you recall "Government WAS the problem", increased spending by a record 189%, much of it on the Military.
The current batch of conservatives on both sides and downright reactionaries in The House and Senate are unlikely to do much about it, in spite of giving it lip-service, as they have a cushy, tax-overpaid job with lifetime benefits and a huge pension -after they're done with jobs as lobbyist for those they protected and legislated for all of their alleged working lives.
Sanders is the singular exception in one who walks the talk and is likely to use our taxes in a more populist way to get Universal Healthcare, job-creating and much-needed Infrastructure Modernization, free, quality Higher Education and breaking up the big banks.
He's vowed to do (or try it at least) all of this from his own mouth, the money coming from no warmongering, cutting back on military spending and taxing Wall Street transactions, long overdue in mu 'umble opinion.
 
 
+9 # Bruce Gruber 2015-09-20 15:02
Government is US ... u..s, the people. We elect supposed leaders from among us to represent the priorities and policies that serve our interests and needs. They are supposed to work out the various priorities at local, State and Federal levels and design solutions to those problems we identify and they prioritize. Then they have to find a method for addressing the priorities within the democratically elected framework and figure out how to pay for the needs we have identified.

The Supreme Court's job is to assure ALL of us that the policies and priorities are addressed within the philosophy and intent of the laws and the Constitution of the United States ... that they are consistent with our definition of who we are and how we get along with one another within this vast, varied, ever changing nation.

"Less" government suggests there are issues and priorities we cannot or will not address. Smaller government suggests we will do as little or as cheap an approach or solution to governing ourselves ... or that we do NOT want people hired by us to implement policies we determine ..FOR us. "Less" government, at its ultimate minimum of interest or purpose would be anarchy. The "country" would have no wealth, because everything would be in the control of those able to acquire it. That's where we are headed now.

PLEASE READ the 1980 Libertarian Party Platform under which David Koch ran for vice president. Rethink your theory - unless you are VERY rich.
 
 
+6 # Ralph 2015-09-21 05:52
Start with the same amount of government we have today and take half of the money we spend on illegal wars of foreign aggression and put that money towards higher education, medicare for all, rebuilding the infrastructure and development clean energy alternatives. Medicare for all would eliminate the costly insurance middlemen and reign in big pharma. Savings would be to the tune of 5 TRILLION dollars over 10 years. Unconstitutiona l laws demanding that we buy shoddy private goods and services in the form of health insurance would no longer exist. Less government and more money in the pockets of the 99%. Restore our progressive tax structure, tax capital gains as income, eliminate Wall Street loopholes and the 99% would see less government in the form of reduced tax burden. Less government. Build upon an educated society that innovates and makes the societal pie bigger and government grows smaller in proportion. Less government for the 100%. In addition, we actually get a return on our tax dollars.

On the other hand, tax cuts for the wealthy have resulted in a shifting tax burden on the 99%. More government for the 99%. In addition, laws forcing us to buy shoddy private health insurance and pay exorbitant amounts for drugs has left us TRILLIONS of dollars poorer. More government.
 
 
+2 # newell 2015-09-21 15:50
everyone wants less government. it would be less restrictions, fewer rules. but greed is in the way. greed tries to pass off tainted meat, we don't want just private education, we need roads, a military, parks, families no longer keep care of all members so we need social security and public healthcare. etc. ....and in the 1950's the high tax bracket was 92%--today it is 39%.
 
 
+5 # Bruce Gruber 2015-09-21 09:18
Ralph,
The 'size' of government has way different meanings depending on the propaganda source one encounters. If you are talking about number of dollars spent (which means the $$$ 'cost' of operating the process of governing) you immediately hit the wall of separation between "public" service (government employees) and 'private' enterprise - which generally comes with overhead and profit of 20-30% in additional "cost" to taxpayers. Remember, soldiers don't even erect their 'tents and showers' or cook their own meals in our endless cash flow enterprise called "war".

If you are talking about programs that assist poorer, disabled, ill educated, younger, or non-living wage recipients, then you have entered the debate arena of Self actualized vs. brothers keeper morality and opinions and attitudes are in grotesque conflict. The budgetary allotment for 'welfare' is about 2-3% of the amount we spend on EMPIRE maintenance and enhancement ("defense"). Incentives (and disincentives) within the legal system and tax code are other areas where 'big' and laissez faire conflict. One Food and Drug enforcement officer overseeing dozens of meat packing plants (alleged by some to be hiring cash paid illegals) seems somewhat inadequate - as does subcontracting airlines' safety inspection work to other countries without regulatory oversight ... again, "cheap" or "small', or "indifferent" or "laissez faire" - the definition of "small" is really 'telling'.
 
 
+2 # motamanx 2015-09-21 11:14
Right on, Bruce!
 
 
+3 # Firefox11 2015-09-21 16:33
[quote name="Vegan_Gir l"]This makes a lot of sense to me. What is the point of a debate if you only talk to people who agree with you?

Thank you for stating the obvious. It takes courage, patience, and forebearance to leave our comfort zone, whoever we are, and venture into the unknown/uncerta in territory of people we disagree with; but that is what we as a country must do if this experiment is to continue.
 
 
+3 # Firefox11 2015-09-21 16:36
Quoting newell:
everyone wants less government. it would be less restrictions, fewer rules. but greed is in the way. greed tries to pass off tainted meat, we don't want just private education, we need roads, a military, parks, families no longer keep care of all members so we need social security and public healthcare. etc. ....and in the 1950's the high tax bracket was 92%--today it is 39%.

Therein lies the problem. If a person makes more money, they must pay more tax if the country is to have funds to operate.
 

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