Hillary Clinton is banking on the hope that you are stupid. Bernie Sanders knows you aren’t. So ask yourself:
Have you ever had to juggle expenses to pay down your medical bills? Did you have to walk away from your family home during the foreclosure crisis? Do you have enough money saved up to pay for your child’s college tuition? Are you still repaying student loans while trying to save for retirement, but getting nowhere?
Do you wonder if you’ll have enough money for groceries until the next payday, even though you work full time? Do you worry that your teenage son or daughter will be a victim of police brutality or racial profiling? Are you a long time environmental activist hoping to see your country finally make a major investment in clean energy and break from outdated technologies that destroy our waterways and mountaintops?
Are you chronically ill or self-employed and unable to manage the cost of healthcare premiums, prescription drugs, co-pays and annual deductibles that increasingly eat away at your income? Has the cost of healthcare ever kept you from seeing a doctor or specialist? Mandatory health insurance coverage is not the same as equal healthcare benefits for all.
Are you a young college grad unable to find a decent paying job that values your education and intelligence? Are you struggling to pay down your massive student debt balance? Are you a two income family working harder and longer only to realize less and less financial stability as each year passes? Do you wonder how you will ever be able to afford to send your children to college?
You’ve heard the claim that Clinton is a champion of women and all Americans. But how could her fighting spirit not push for a $15 minimum wage for all American workers, including the millions of hardworking American women, many of whom are not being paid what men in the same positions doing the same jobs are? As Julie Kashen, senior policy advisor of the Make it Work campaign fighting for working women's rights, recently wrote:
“...since two-thirds of the people who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage are women, higher minimum wages would help close the gender gap in pay.”
The cold hard reality is nowhere more plain to see than in the numbers: Sanders has a personal net worth of $330,506. Clinton’s is $21.5 million. To take a page from Bill Clinton, that looks like good old “arithmetic” to me. Clinton is the candidate of the privileged class and a type of feminism that isn’t concerned with poor women.
Clinton’s message has reinvented itself time and again to fit the seemingly most advantageous political path. Sanders has been saying the same goddamn thing for the past 30 plus years and has the voting record and career campaign finance record to prove it. With the sales and royalties of her multiple published books alone, Clinton could still currently earn a handsome salary. Instead, she chose to accept enormous sums of money from the very corporations she claims she will rail against if elected. Clinton Foundation donors include those who have specifically benefited from offshore tax havens. It takes a special kind of delusion to turn a blind eye to this duality.
What’s wrong with being rich, some ask? Everything, if it keeps you from understanding the anger of the very people whose lives are being destroyed by the greed of a few. The top richest possess a gilded future and the laws and rules of taxation governing this future look extremely different those than those that apply to the ordinary American, whose wealth lies not in trusts and shadow companies and capital gains or offshore, but instead in ordinary checking and savings accounts.
Lobbyists who have pushed for the Keystone Pipeline, and accepted money from Lehman Brothers, are, as you read this, currently heading Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Her top campaign finance bundlers have worked for the fossil fuel industry. By saying she is going after the same lobbyists who run her campaign, the moneyed elite that donate to both her campaign and her family’s Clinton Foundation, it's clear Clinton’s recent adoption of populist language on the eve of the Iowa caucuses amounts to nothing more than posturing for votes.
Last week as voters in Iowa listened to Sanders explain his proposals, Clinton was scheduled to fly to the East Coast to attend a finance industry fundraiser for her campaign. It has now been postponed until mid February. But for the few privileged enough to drop anywhere from $2,700 individually or raise $27,000 for the one dinner, my guess is that the subject matter of these two events will be drastically different. She is banking on this, and hoping you won’t notice at all.
Pundits wonder why Clinton’s brand of politics is no longer resonating with younger voters? Here's my guess: They’re hungry for more and will no longer be satisfied with mere crumbs tossed their way. As Gen X parents screwed by the system installed in large part by Clinton’s husband now raise their own children and young adults, they have instilled much of their anti-establishment skepticism upon them.
Not content to be merely placated by brand loyalty and reality television, a massive number of younger voters are looking for the alternative to a status quo that has left them and their parents future out to dry.
It’s time to end legalized tax evasion in America. If hoarding extreme wealth could be defined as a mental disorder, isn’t it time that we wrest control of this country from the grip of the unhinged 1 percent?
In early 1972, a book called “A Populist Manifesto” The Making of A New Majority was published. Authored by Jack Newfield and Jeff Greenfield, this book outlined a progressive populist “political alignment” among the many political interests of the day (civil rights, the ecology movement, women’s rights, low and moderate income citizens being short-changed by the mutating liberal agenda of the day moving away from the social democrat ideals of Roosevelt and Johnson). The book’s preface begins with 3 facts, the first of which states:
“Wealth and power are unequally and unfairly distributed in America today.”
That was 44 years ago. Enough is enough. Our time is now. Our candidate is Bernie Sanders. Intersectionality is at the heart of the Sanders campaign and the reason his campaign messages resonate with such a wide cross section of Americans. We see through Clinton, the candidate who fiercely opposed gay marriage, supported the Iraq War, called the TPP the “gold standard”, received funds from the private prison industry, opposes the Glass-Steagall act, advocated for fracking, and profited from promoting the Keystone Pipeline.
We the people of the United States of America deserve more and we are not stupid.