Thursday, August 20, 2015

Do you feel the Bern?

Here's a strong Bernie Sanders clip (5:38). It is worth watching the candidate being articulate and passionate about what he cares about. He's good!

It also points up why many of us no matter how liberal or progressive we are on vital economic issues don't instinctively trust him. I'm old enough to remember when old white guys who talked about doing right by the working class didn't really include women in their picture of that class -- and certainly they weren't thinking of queers or single women. It doesn't take a lot of imagination for me to wonder whether Bernie's mental image of the working class really includes people of color. I suspect Bernie's pretty good on my issues and even on communities of color's issues.

But for an awful lot of the people, people who are the contemporary working class, old white guys have to prove they mean it. They have to work for an awful lot of people's trust.

For what it is worth, if he's still in the game, I'll vote for Bernie in the California primary. I've even sent him a few bucks. I don't expect him to be the Democratic nominee, but he's playing a good and honorable role, demanding national policies to fight economic inequality.


Rain Trueax said...

It is possible that Biden will get in. He's another old white guy though ;). I don't have a problem with old white guys but then I am an old white woman married to an old white guy and our views aren't traditional to our age group if you believe the polls anyway.

To me, if we get someone in power who is honest about what he says (and has lived his life that way), treats us all as people, and works for the good of everyone, we'll be ahead-- female or minority. That person might just be Joe Biden. If he though or Bernie are forced to make special concessions to this or that group, they will lose in a general election. This country is very divided and we have to accept that half of us want the opposite of what the other half of us want. We can lose by demanding everything instead of what we can get-- for now. A lot of change happens because the American people, as a whole, come to see a better way as has been the case with gay marriage. We better not let a minority (and it is a right wing minority) undo what we've gained. It can happen.

Biden can win-- it is said. Of course, some aren't thrilled with Obama and won't want Biden. Biden though might have some differences with Obama on key things. For me, anybody on the left is preferable to anybody on the right. I am horrified everytime I hear one of the right wingers say anything :(

Anonymous said...

The Bern feels better than Hillary.

tina a Lebanese in Beirut said...

What is the weight given by voters (you) to the candidates’ stand on foreign policy? After all, they are all candidates to head an Empire! no?

janinsanfran said...

Rain: I think it is too late for Biden to get in. Seems like a nice guy, but it isn't going to happen.

Anon: exactly re Bernie

tina: all our candidates are going to stink on foreign policy. We the people have become somewhat akin to Latin Americans; more likely to bumble along in relative peace when US rulers are distracted. Bernie pledges allegiance to Israel. On the other hand, more than Hillary, he doesn't seem to really give a damn about maintaining hegemony and he has domestic priorities.

I think this exchange from the NYT very much captures some of the good and bad of Bernie (questions are in bold):
Do you think it’s fair that Hillary’s hair gets a lot more scrutiny than yours does? Hillary’s hair gets more scrutiny than my hair? ... Yeah. O.K., Ana, I don’t mean to be rude here. I am running for president of the United States on serious issues, O.K.? Do you have serious questions?

I can defend that as a serious question. There is a gendered reason — When the media worries about what Hillary’s hair looks like or what my hair looks like, that’s a real problem. We have millions of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, who want to know what candidates can do to improve their lives, and the media will very often spend more time worrying about hair than the fact that we’re the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people.

It’s also true that the media pays more attention to what female candidates look like than it does to what male candidates look like. That may be. That may be, and it’s absolutely wrong.

tina a Lebanese in Beirut said...

Jan: as long as the electorate does not ask about foreign policy the carnage that is done by the US outside the US will continue, and you really think that things are going to get better for you inside? "Famine threatens Yemen warns the UN" and the role of the US is known in that war, the candidate who doesn't give a damn about killing Yemenis is really going to give a damn about poor Americans? In my view this is the real question.

Hattie said...

Bernie Sanders has got tons of vitality. He's got a lot more years in him. He's quite clear about who he is and what he stands for. He puts issues before personality. He voted against the Iraq War. That's a lot right there. He's correct from his standpoint to defend Israel. If I don't agree entirely with him on that score, it's because I'm not Jewish and don't feel that sense of loyalty in my bones the way he must. Israel is going to hell in a lot of ways, but it's still a democracy, and so is this country. We have elections and sometimes manage to throw the rascals out, even. This is not true of too many countries in the Middle East. Lebanon, for instance, is a fake democracy which is really a theocracy. For all the carryings on of Jewish fundamentalists and settlers, Israel remains a secular state, and there is plenty of dissent, as is true here also.
I don't for a minute condone Israel's foreign policy such as the disgraceful bombing of Lebanon or their recent murder of so many Palestinians! Their military is out of control, as is ours. I think drone warfare in Yemen is contemptible, and to say Americans don't care is, simply, false.
Our job as U.S.citizens is to strengthen democracy, expand it in our own country and demand accountablity from our leaders in the foreign policy sphere. Above all, we need to put a stop to weapons proliferation and the glorification of the military. Upholding and strengtening democracy is the only way to work for justice in the era of global capitalism.

tina a Lebanese in Beirut said...

Lebanon a Theocracy!! Israel a Democracy!!
Real ignorance of reality.
Useless to talk about ethics.

janinsanfran said...

Got to jump in with Tina on this one: whatever Lebanon is (I think it should be thought wonderfully sui generis, it is not a theocracy. Perhaps a cacophony of competing theocrats jostling each other amidst a population of smart, busy secularists. With lousy, interfering neighbors.

But it isn't up to me to talk about Lebanon. Tina is doing that.

I don't think we're getting anywhere.

And I'll vote for Bernie in the primary -- I'm just not swept off my feet by him.

Rain Trueax said...

I wasn't swept off my feet by Obama either and a lot of people who voted for him hadn't actually paid attention to what he said. He did a lot of what he said by the way. My big disappointment with him was the Middle East, where I personally think we should have stayed out from the get go, and at the least gotten out as fast as we could-- but we never have. I vote for anyone who will keep us out of wars except those that directly threaten us (haven't seen one of those since WWII) and then we should not take our young but older people as the young are our future. The wars we have been fighting have been wars of choice and profit. I vote against anybody who promotes them. I don't want to take over the government anywhere else. We aren't doing that terrific on just our own.

I also feel some nations in trouble have made some of their own mess-- just as we have here. On the other hand, the West has taken from what some call the Third World and left them often with our own chosen for them pathetic leaders and resources that were stripped. Can we blame them for wanting to come where their wealth went? I saw some photos of the refugees from Syria and it's heartbreaking. The US whines about our border issues but this is a worldwide readjustment of human life.

If he does decide in September (he may not want to come in), it's not too late for Biden. He can get into every primary and his polling is good for the fact he's not in. He is even liked by some of my Republican fans. They like his casualness. He may not get in. If he does, he'll be no panacea either. I haven't seen anyone running who offers that in my eyes. But I don't know enough yet about O'Malley. The election though is a year and 2 1/2 months off. There is a lot of time to have this flip several directions.

Hattie said...

Hmm. Perhaps. What is the nature of dissent in Lebanon as opposed to dissent in Israel? Are there secular political parties in Lebanon that hold power? What is the status of the press? What is the mechanism for holding elections?
God knows I'm no apologist for Israel!

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