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Vote For The Moderate Candidate: Bernie Sanders

March 9, 2020 Featured, Politics/Policy No Comments

Wait, isn’t Bernie Sanders the left-wing extremist? No, not really.

In the 1940s, Senators Robert Wagner and James Murray and Congressman John Dingell Sr. introduced legislation that would have established a national program for hospital and medical insurance. It was stymied by a coalition of Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans, as was also the case with Truman’s efforts after 1949 to achieve the same result. But it was central to the party’s core ambition for many years after.

Only in the 1960s did Democrats abandon the concept of universal, single-payer health care and champion a narrower program of guaranteed hospital insurance and voluntary medical insurance for the elderly—the program that we now know as Medicare. They didn’t abandon universal coverage because they viewed it as too radical. Rather, they believed it was no longer necessary. After World War II, major employers began extending unprecedented benefits to workers, including annual cost-of-living adjustments to wages, defined benefits pensions and private health insurance. Given this reality, they turned their focus to a narrower subset of the population that, by definition, would not benefit from employer-based health programs: senior citizens. (Politico)

Since 1980 Democrats have been moving to the right, FDR wouldn’t recognize today’s Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders in Affton four years ago.

The policies Bernie Sanders has advocated for decades are very moderate:

  • Healthcare for everyone. Millions would live longer, others wouldn’t go bankrupt, people wouldn’t need to resort to online fundraising. Our peer countries have universal healthcare, but somehow we think this is extreme.  Now with Coronavirus it’s especially important people not to fear the cost of going to the doctor.  Speaking of cost, we could save money with Medicare for All.  Doing nothing will continue to cost us more and more. Better coverage for less money isn’t radical, it’s common sense.
  • Taxing the 1%. Decades ago the wealthiest paid their share of taxes, but now we’ve got the 99% objecting to them paying more. Some billionaires paid a lower rate than their workers. It’s not radical to think they should pay a higher rate.
  • Act on climate change. Time is running out, today’s kids count on us to make wise decisions. Not doing anything is the radical position.

Elected Democrats that call themselves “moderates” are only slightly less conservative than Republicans. No wonder the other candidate would consider a republican as a running mate.

Missouri votes tomorrow, Illinois a week from tomorrow.

— Steve Patterson

 

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