Sunday, 26 March 2017

Consistent principles pay of for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, U.S. Congressman (now U.S. Sen...
Bernie Sanders, U.S. Congressman (now U.S. Senator) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You may doubt it but it can well help to your credibility to hold on for years to the same ideas.

It looks like people are coming to see who can be the more honest politician. Having come to see how Trump is of the same political tribe to fill his own pocket with power, no matter if he does violence to the truth, more Americans are willing to come to listen to Bernie Sanders.

Saying the same things for nearly a half-century. He's been a consistent democratic-socialist fighting on behalf of working people and against financial/corporate power. While his straightforward commitment to his ideals is refreshingly genuine, he did not make his mark on the national scene until last year at age 74.

Sanders His message about the ravages and unfairness of runaway inequality hit home because it is true.

He wants more citizens going for basic human rights.

Here's a rough draft of such an agenda:
  • The right to a job at living wage: Everyone who is willing and able to work should be entitled to a job that today would pay at least $15 an hour. If the private sector is unable to produce such jobs, then government should serve as the employer of last resort. There's more than enough work to be done to rebuild our infrastructure and protect our environment.
  • The right to universal health care: It is time to expand Medicare—our efficiently run single-payer system for the elderly—to anyone who wishes to join.
  • The right to free public education from pre-k to graduate school: Each child deserves access free of charge to as much education as he or she qualifies for through our public educational systems. Nearly every economically advanced country provides free higher education. So should we. (See here.)
  • The right to a sustainable environment, free from chemical, radioactive and carbon pollution: We need to protect working people and communities from harmful exposures while rapidly reducing the emission of greenhouse gases—the cause of global warming. The climate crisis is real and must be addressed now. In doing so we also should have a policy of buying goods as locally as possible to limit the carbon footprint of transportation, and we should make sure industries do not flee to countries with weaker health, safety and environmental standards.
  • The right to an impartial criminal justice system that does not harm anyone based on their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, racial category or religion. In particular, we need to dramatically reduce the differential impact of enforcement, prosecution and sentencing on young people of colour.
    • The right to vote, free of voter suppression activities and billionaire influence: For our democracy to endure we need to halt any and all efforts to deny voting rights, and we need to curtail the influence of money in all areas of the political system.
    • The right to citizenship for all residents: We are a nation of immigrants, documented and undocumented. There should be a straightforward pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants here today.
    • The right to organize unions without employer threats or harassment, We need to reform the current laws and processes which allow employers to intimidate workers from joining labor unions. Congress should pass the Free Choice Act which will level the playing field. (See here.)
    • The right to control our money through public state banks and a national postal bank: We need an alternative to the predatory financing provided by Wall Street. Modeled on the public Bank of North Dakota, every state should charter a public bank whose first and only goal is to serve its people. Like many other nations, we also need a national postal bank to provide financial services in all our communities. (See Public Banking Institute and Campaign for Postal Banking.)
    But can America really afford these basic human rights?

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