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Galindez writes: "As Democrats across the country try to figure out what has been going wrong, I suggest looking at the big picture. What is America? What do we need to build the America that we dream about?"

A Sanders rally in September 2015. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A Sanders rally in September 2015. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Can the Democrats Find America Again?

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

10 April 17


ne of the most brilliant political campaign advertisements I have ever seen was this Bernie Sanders “America” ad.

This should be what politics is all about, seeking an America that we all believe in. Barack Obama understood that in his campaign. He presented a vision of hope and change that inspired millions of Americans to believe that “Yes We Can.”

Donald Trump, no matter what you think about the divisive campaign tactics he used, also inspired millions of Americans to believe in an America that they could be proud of again.

Bernie understood the American people’s yearning for an America that represents their values. We don’t agree on how to get there, but we all seek the America that people dream about.

We all seek an America with opportunity for all. We are all looking an America where everyone has a quality standard of living. That includes a job that doesn’t leave them in poverty. That includes a quality education. It includes quality health care.

For many of us, that is what we are looking for. But for too many, the dream is about greed and narrow-mindedness. I don’t have anything against wealth: it’s stepping over others to achieve it that is the problem. It’s leaving others in poverty and not wanting to help them have the same opportunities that is a problem.

I believe we can all be successful if we provide an opportunity for everyone. Education and healthcare for all with a living wage would give us all a quality life. It is time for another war on poverty. We will never achieve the America in Bernie’s commercial until we eradicate poverty.

Education, jobs, and healthcare are the keys to ending poverty.

Everyone deserves an education, and if they want to go to college, it should be free just like K-12. When you get sick, you should be able to go to a doctor and not go without something else to pay for it. When you work 40 hours, you should not still be in poverty. You should make enough money to support your family comfortably.

Common sense stuff, right? A political party that commits to those three goals as its core mission is guaranteed to succeed. There is already a party that represents big business. Their mission is to make sure that business can profit in America. They care more about getting rich than taking care of people’s human needs. What is lacking in this country is a party that at its core guarantees health and opportunity.

I hear many of you shouting other concerns now. The environment, civil rights, defense and many other issues have to be included. I just believe that health care, education, and economic opportunity should be guaranteed. If they are, the rest will come.

A healthy, educated population will take care of the environment. A healthy, educated population will make wise decisions on the country’s defense. Hate and greed will not cloud their view of the world. We will still have to fight racism and bigotry. If everyone has a living wage, we won’t be divided by demagogues who use fear keep us from uniting.

As Democrats across the country try to figure out what has been going wrong, I suggest looking at the big picture. What is America? What do we need to build the America that we dream about? It is not about “Making America Great Again,” it’s about making America America again.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.

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+12 # mashiguo 2017-04-10 10:58
"What do we need to build the America that we dream about?"

We need free and fair elections.

Through the imposition of super delegates, on the electoral process, the Democrat party prides itself on denying us that possibility.

The democrat party is thus largely responsible for the destruction of America.

Vague memories of past triumphs are about as relevant as Republican claims of inheriting the merit of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
+11 # Ken Halt 2017-04-10 11:11
The 99% desperately need a political party that represents their interests, neither of the two major US parties do so at the present time, they both serve corporations and olligarchy. Dems seem unwilling to learn from their disastrous attempts to be Repub lite, an effort that has cost them at the state and local levels and of course the '16 presidential race. I'm supporting Our Revolution and wonder how much time we can allow the Dem party to redeem itself before forming a new, truly populist party?
+10 # REDPILLED 2017-04-10 14:00
Since the 1970's, neoliberalism from both major parties has been redistributing wealth and income from the poor and middle class to the top 10% Ruling Class parasites.

Unless the Democrats are about to advocate the redistribution of wealth and income from those parasites to the 90% of us, they won't "find America again".
+8 # SMoonz 2017-04-10 14:13
How can the Democratic Party find America again when it is turning on everything it once stood for?
Howard Dean just told Tulsi Gabbard that she needs to resign from Congress because she (gasp)... is questioning the Syria narrative and asking for a peaceful resolution!

The Democratic Party is far gone as long as people like Dean, Pelosi, Feinstein, Adam Schiff and the Clintons still have any input in the party.
+7 # economagic 2017-04-10 15:58
"Common sense stuff, right?"

Right -- to me, and to most of the people who use RSN, and even to some who don't but are also represented in Bernie's ad. But there are a lot of "Americans" not represented in that video, and I don't mean just those living in Central or South America. Everyone in the video is well dressed and smiling, and a lot of people in "America" are neither. Paul Simon called them "the ragged people" (nearly 50 years ago, in "The Boxer").

I'm a 70-YO white male, middle-income (now) and well educated -- like Scott, which happens to be my name also. I have always felt fortunate in being able to survive doing work I enjoyed while doing relatively little damage and not compromising my principles all that much. But until the last few years I never thought of myself as a member of a privileged elite, which I am, in several dimensions. So is Scott Galindez, although I seem to recall that he was unable to afford health care insurance until the ACA came along. Neither was I for some 20 years between being a college student and a college teacher, with another 15 years of bare minimum medical coverage only. But good luck is a big part of being in a privileged elite.

The first thing DLC Democrats need to do to "find America again" is to repudiate the neo-liberal policies of the past 70 years and actually BECOME the constructive alternative to the Republican party that they falsely claim to be.
+5 # futhark 2017-04-10 16:05
The fundamental defining characteristic of America as envisioned by the people who organized its political institutions seems to have been based on equality and opportunity, with a built-in system to both preserve and advance these values, adapting public policy to changing circumstances. I don't think they believed this would be easy and, from our current perspective, many of them seemed to be lacking in humility in their personal affairs. However, America is perhaps the first nation in the world to have announced at its founding both a progressive vision and a design for the means to achieve it. It is for us to recognize and continue to advance these principles.
+5 # Radscal 2017-04-10 16:11
I concur with your point absolutely, Scott. Once people are free from desperate want, secure from the horrors of war, and have the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to make rational decisions, everything else will fall into place.

Then we'd be free to debate those issues that divide us. And frankly, I doubt if most of them will even be big issues anymore.

And yes, we already have a party that serves the interests of the greedy. It comes in two party flavors, but is really only one. We need a second party.
+11 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-04-10 17:57
I agree wholeheartedly with all of Scott's aspirations. But there is one major problem. America is not a democracy. When Stott asks, "What is America?" we need to recognize first and foremost that America is an empire, run by its military and capitalist exploiters.

We who are the people, the "demos," have been struggling for more than two centuries to try to bring some democracy to America. Mostly, we have failed, especially at the Federal government level.

The Imperialists control government and the electoral process. Obama and Trump won because they appeared to be outsiders, but in reality they were only tools of the Imperialists.

America really does need a healthy and educated population. But that is exactly what the rulers of America do not want. The few who educate themselves, as in my case, are ostracized by other people who just cannot think outside of the terms set up for them by the rulers.

The struggle will go on in America just as it goes on in most nations.
+5 # Saberoff 2017-04-10 21:33
Quote: "(Barack Obama) understood that in his campaign. He presented a vision of hope and change that inspired millions of Americans to believe that “Yes We Can.”

Donald Trump, no matter what you think about the divisive campaign tactics he used, also inspired millions of Americans to believe in an America that they could be proud of again."

Yes, and as usual, they both lied.

Quote: "But for too many, the dream is about greed and narrow-mindedne ss. I don’t have anything against wealth: it’s stepping over others to achieve it that is the problem.

Pretty Naive, Scott. You've never heard the words conspire, rig, plan, overthrow, fix, propaganda, strategy...?

Now Hear This... They're killing us, on purpose!

I wish you guys would stop explaining what's wrong (everybody knows) and start addressing what's it's going to take to...

And I agree, about the ad.
-5 # ojg 2017-04-11 00:28
scott, this article is hilarious! bernie is NOT a Democrat. Neither are his bros. Democrats may not be able to find America again, and they sure won't be able to until bernie unties his albatross self from the neck of the Democratic party! what happened with the idea that he would start his own party? hasn't he "helped" the Democrats enough? seriously, he needs to start his own party so that he and his bros will be up and running by 2020 AND that way the Democrats will be able to try to find America again.
+3 # Radscal 2017-04-11 15:32
Bernie faithfully performing his role as "Outreach Leader" that the Democratic Party assigned to him is about the only thing keeping that putrid party even remotely relevant.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-13 16:00
Sooo many folks here made the terrible mistake of second guessing Bernie when they should have been LISTENING to him.

As Prince Charles tweeted on Dump's enthronement facilitated by youse guys, "Now there will be hell toupee..."

But I think you are clueless as to how MUCH hell is ahead of us. That makes this atheist pray, "Forgive them father, mother, and uncle Louie... THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. "
0 # Radscal 2017-04-13 23:52
I expect the economy to crash far worse than 2008 within 2 years, probably much sooner. I expect the Police State to go fully live either right after the crash, or sooner if an actual resistance rises. Whenever it happens, the State will likely target lefties first since the armed side of the populace will cheer for that. But no one who resists will be left unscathed.

I expect our wars to escalate greatly, possibly leading to a nuclear war in which most of the population of the Northern Hemisphere will be exterminated. Then the psychopathic 0.01% will start all over in the Southern Hemisphere using labor that will be happy to do all our jobs for far less payment and lower expectations, but they will earn enough to buy all the consumer goods we spoiled Westerners already have.

I do NOT believe that Global Warming is as existential threat as most "liberals' do. But together with overall environmental degradation, much of the currently inhabited planet will become unlivable.

Do you think it's worse?
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-14 13:01
I do not expect nuclear war because the power elite would suffer greatly, too, and that is NOT what they do. Conventional and guerilla wars, yes.

Maybe water wars between China and India will go nuclear. But that IS Global Warming for you, since glaciers in Himalayas supply water for both nations.
+1 # Radscal 2017-04-14 22:19
I stopped worrying about nuclear war in about 1971 (having built a fallout shelter with my family in 1961, and believing I'd never live to age 21).

But I've come to believe that those psychopaths who call for a reduction of the population by 80% to 90% might actually want it.

And, as I wrote, they could then train the "3rd world" survivors to take our role and build a whole new "new world" in the Southern Hemisphere.

Clearly, the earth cannot bear to bring all 7.5 billion of us to "First World" living standards (not using the wasteful and polluting system we have). So, exterminate we spoiled Westerners, and do it all over again in the South.

Perfectly logical (which psychopaths are). Just unfathomably immoral (which psychopaths are).
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-14 13:13
Now, a Dump Martial Law scenario could be inside or outside job nuke reactor meltdown near Washington or any major city, actually.

Seat of Gov would Exit, Stage Left to Denver International Airport, which is out of range of major reactor fallout patterns. Search DIA and have fun, Rad.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-14 16:21
I do not subscribe to most DIA theories. But I do think it is intended to be emergency seat of government. 5 times as much land as currently needed, room for many more runways. Instant plasticized tent buildings, many underground levels. Located in middle of country, good for defensive missile umbrella around it.
0 # Radscal 2017-04-14 22:22
Yeah, I'm hip to DIA, And yeah, the water wars are inevitable no matter what scenario plays out. The "smart money" has been investing in fresh water sources for years now.

And a water shortage would be "perfect" to create the societal breakdown that would "require" full police state enforcement.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-15 13:52
What I don't get is Dump getting rid of Mexicans here. I thought they were allowed here coz they would be first ones drafted into Martial Law forced work battalions...

I've been working with hands and back for 50 years... What's another 30 years,eh?
0 # Radscal 2017-04-15 22:39
Scapegoating a minority is an important foundation of fascism. And, what with "outsourcing" and automation, there are more than enough non-Mexican "useless eaters" for exploitation.

The best we have to look forward to is competing for the wages and benefits available in China or Vietnam.

Do you still think I am "clueless as to how MUCH hell is ahead of us?" ;-)
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-16 10:41
I hope you will admit that a Hillary admin would not have been this bad.
0 # Radscal 2017-04-16 12:54
On domestic policy, the Clintonite neoliberals would likely have been less overt about their horrendous policies. I remember well the disaster of Billy's Administration, and how policies he pushed through were more responsible for the horrible situation we're in than perhaps any other single Administration.

And I had campaigned for Billy in 1992. Worked the phone banks. set up tables to hand out information. Did voter registration.

I haven't been able to shower well enough to ever feel truly "clean" ever since.

And HRC"s foreign policy promises would likely mean we didn't have to wait for the President to "evolve" before escalating our war in Syria and coming war against Iran, let alone actively working to "Regime Change" Russia.
0 # Radscal 2017-04-16 12:58
The key difference would be that, like with Clinton I and Obama, the "liberals" would be silent, or even defend such policies. At least with the Orange Fuhrer, people are waking up and speaking out.

It troubles me that our righteous anger is being co-opted so easily once again, but the genuinely grass roots anti-war protests that appeared across the country after our first admittedly deliberate attack on the legitimate government of Syria was the most encouraging thing I've seen in many years.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-16 15:15
Good points, but Dump's assault on EVERY aspect of democracy is unparalleled and plays into the hands of the military TOTALLY.

In another column, some folks are calling for a temporary military junta to get rid of him. But juntas are not always temporary, as you know.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-16 15:17
Before the election you might boogie across the border if Dump was elected and went apeshit. Hope your bags are packed, Amigo.
0 # Radscal 2017-04-17 18:12
I'll be going down with the ship.
+4 # PaineRad 2017-04-11 02:41
Education, jobs and healthcare are absolutely necessary, but they are not remotely sufficient. Healthy, educated working people need an economic system that properly rewards them for their contributions. And they need all of the above to provide them with the practical experience in making decisions in complex institutions and seeing the outcomes of those decisions.

One doesn't become adept as a fully functioning democratic citizen without practical experience in the art.
+3 # Hopeless Historian 2017-04-11 07:07
Our two party system does not reflect reality.

In the American Revolution, 1/3 of the people were British loyalists, 1/3 neutral and 1/3 rebels.

I would guess that most revolutions have similar ratios.
+7 # Concerned Citizen 2017-04-11 07:15
And the foundation of a healthy, educated population not living in poverty is fair and free elections not tainted by gerrymandered districts and large, stealthy contributors seeking special influence. It begins with people caring enough about themselves, their families, and this country to learn about the candidates and not fall for the lies and double-speak from those who have no record of producing the results that serve all of humanity.

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