Why a Bernie 2020 Campaign is Drawing Fire

Sanders is in step with most Americans, says Norman Solomon, and that bothers the defenders of oligarchy.

By Norman Solomon
NormanSolomon.com

With a launch of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign on the near horizon, efforts to block his trajectory to the Democratic presidential nomination are intensifying. The lines of attack are already aggressive — and often contradictory.

One media meme says that the senator from Vermont made so much headway in moving the Democratic Party leftward with his 2016 presidential bid that he’s no longer anything special. We’re supposed to believe that candidates who’ve adjusted their sails to the latest political wind are just as good as the candidate who generated the wind in the first place.

Bloomberg News supplied the typical spin in a Feb. 8 article headlined Sanders Risks Getting Crowded Out in 2020 Field of Progressives.” The piece laid out the narrative: “Sanders may find himself a victim of his own success in driving the party to the left with his 2016 run. The field of Democratic presidential hopefuls includes at least a half-dozen candidates who’ve adopted in whole or in part the platform that helped Sanders build a loyal following . . .”

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, January 2016.(Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, January 2016. (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Yet Bernie is also being targeted as too marginal. The same Bloomberg article quoted Howard Dean, a long-ago liberal favorite who has become a hawkish lobbyist and corporate mouthpiece: “There will be hardcore, hard left progressives who will have nobody but Bernie, but there won’t be many.”

So, is Bernie now too much like other Democratic presidential candidates, or is he too much of an outlier? In the mass media, both seem to be true. In the real world, neither are true.

Last week, Business Insider reported on new polling about Sanders’ proposal “to increase the estate tax, the tax paid by heirs on assets passed down by the deceased. Sanders’ idea would lower the threshold to qualify for the tax to $3.5 million in assets, down from the current $11 million. The plan would also introduce a graduating scale of tax rates for the estates of wealthier Americans, eventually reaching a 77 percent marginal rate for assets over $1 billion.”

Here are the poll results: “When presented with the details of the proposal, 37 percent of respondents supported Sanders’ policy while 26 percent opposed, according to Insider’s survey.” (The rest had no opinion.)

Giving Voice to Majority Views

That kind of response from the public is a far cry from claims that Sanders is somehow fringe. In fact, the ferocity of media attacks on him often indicates that corporate power brokers are afraid his strong progressive populism is giving effective voice to majority views of the public.

A vast range of grassroots organizing — outside and inside of electoral arenas — has created the current leftward momentum. “As a progressive, it is heartening to see so many other candidates voice support for Senator Sanders’ policies,” said Alan Minsky, executive director at Progressive Democrats of America. “However, I’ve been around the block enough times to know that politicians who adopt positions in tune with the fashion of the moment are not as trustworthy as those rare few, like Bernie Sanders, who have held firm to a powerful social justice vision through his entire long career.”

Sanders supporters at a town meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, July 2015. (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Sanders supporters in Phoenix, July 2015. (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

I also asked for a comment from Pia Gallegos, former chair of the Adeline Progressive Caucus of the New Mexico Democratic Party. “Bernie’s competitors lack his track record on economic security for all American workers, Medicare for All, free public college education, taxing the rich and opposing bloated military budgets,” she said. “Those are long-standing positions that — more than ever — resonate with grassroots activists and voters. Other Democratic presidential candidates will try to imitate this populist agenda, but only Bernie can speak with the vision, clarity and moral authority that the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate needs to defeat the incumbent.”

The overarching fear that defenders of oligarchy have about Bernie Sanders is not that he’s out of step with most Americans — it’s that he’s in step with them. For corporate elites determined to retain undemocratic power, a successful Bernie 2020 campaign would be the worst possible outcome of the election.

Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon is the author of a dozen books, including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

 

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72 comments for “Why a Bernie 2020 Campaign is Drawing Fire

  1. February 27, 2019 at 14:55

    Bernie is the best progressive in the field, but he’s nothing more or less than a sixties or perhaps 1930s liberal. He’s no socialist. He’s not looking to do away with capitalism. They may not have liked it, but the mainstreamers have lived with politicians like him before and survived. Yet even a candidacy like his makes corporate media and political circles apoplectic. How come? Maybe they worry that he could lead to something worse, so stop that by stopping him. Maybe they just don’t want any stopping or even slowing of the great and continuing income inequality process. There’s no question that they treat even the tepidest proposals from anywhere to the left of the Democratic Party mainstream as a threat to the survival of western civilization. Hyperbole and hysteria is their default mode.

  2. Maxim Gorki
    February 20, 2019 at 08:07

    If the DNC supports Bernie, then he’s another Obama. If not, then he won’t get nominated. If you vote Dem or Rep, you are an accessory to murder.

  3. Steve Izzo
    February 19, 2019 at 21:13

    The corporate Dems will not let Sanders ascend without totally compromising him. If he doesn’t bend to their wishes, either he will get caught doing something vile or be killed if perceived a true threat. Since he caved last time, I suspect he’ ll do it again. I’m not sure there is any hope for truth to enter the Oval office, we live in The Matrix and peaceful revolution seems pretty hopeless. I look forward to France like protests in the US, not because I want violence but because until Americans wake up, no Bernie has a chance of changing our direction. Our actions in Syria and Venezuela show just how sick out sociopathic masters are.

  4. Dennis Rice
    February 16, 2019 at 22:20

    I am eighty-one years old. And if anyone thinks that Americans are not manipulated by our “investigative” agencies, sometimes with the help of the major, and sometimes the minor, media is poorly informed. Also, those who control the money control the government.

    Additionally, both political parties, Democrat and Republican, learned nothing from the last presidential election and are trying hard to maintain control of the government. But today’s young folks are on to the game and are having none of “business as usual.”

  5. dean 1000
    February 16, 2019 at 21:56

    Yes Bernie appeals to that broad majority of voters. But the democratic party has a problem getting the most electable candidate on the ballot. So it should go democratic. The national convention would become a TV extravaganza where the presidential candidates introduced themselves to the public and to democratic voters. At the end of the convention, registered democrats would have received a mail-in ballot. They vote their choice and mail it in.

    The primary ballots would be counted by projecting every ballot on a wall or screen so that TV viewers can count the ballots along with the official counters. Every city that has cable TV has a channel reserved for city council meetings. Those stations would televise the count 24 hrs a day until all ballots were counted. No official ballot counter could count more than 8 hrs a day. The count would take awhile but a proven vote getter would emerge who would almost certainly win the general election. The 2020 election is shaping up to have a bunch of candidates. So the election would have an instant-runoff or ranked vote ballot so the most popular (read democratic) candidate would still win a majority of votes

    The general election count wouldn’t take long. Venezuela has the best method. Venezuelan voters touch a TV like screen for the candidates they want to win. A receipt/ballot is then printed out. If it matches the candidates the voter chose, the voter drops it into the ballot box. It is next to impossible to so much as fudge the election. The link is to a 2013 article. The only link I have explaining the voting system. Scroll down to the 7th paragraph.
    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/statistical-study-shows-that-first-audit-of-venezuelan-election-is-decisive

    Of course the democratic party could use the touch screen method for its primaries. The long count method would be reserved for contested elections. The number of voters wouldn’t be as high as with the mail-in ballot.

    A group of world beaters and great leaders like the US congress could have the above general election procedures in place for the 2020 elections. Tell em to do it.

    https://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_phone_list.pdf

    https://www.house.gov/representatives

  6. Tom
    February 15, 2019 at 14:35

    MSNBC Ordered Ed Schultz Not To Cover Bernie Sanders, Then Fired Him

    https://youtu.be/-0w_8spt-6c

    Phil Donahue fired for opposing the invasion of Iraq

    https://youtu.be/_XJ5dmkkFno

    MSNBC Contributor QUITS…..Says Network Is WAY Too Pro War

    https://youtu.be/_olee1mrv6I

    • Skip Scott
      February 16, 2019 at 06:59

      Thanks Tom. I believe it’s pretty clear with those examples that MSNBC is an “Intelligence” agency asset. They have been fully co-opted by empire.

  7. chuck utzman
    February 15, 2019 at 14:11

    I have gladly gone from supporting Bernie to Tulsi with my $27/mo.
    Bernie was always weak on our regime change wars. Tulsi is not.
    Tulsi quit her DNC post to support Bernie. Bernie caved to support HRC.
    The list goes on, but I need not belabor the point.

    • Tom
      February 15, 2019 at 14:37

      Tulsi has a real backbone…..she is proving fearless…

  8. JL
    February 15, 2019 at 12:14

    bERNIE has about snowballs chance in Miami to win in November 2020.

    • Tom
      February 15, 2019 at 14:39

      Trump won Florida…..your point?

      So more Hillary like democrats is your solution?

    • Calgacus
      February 17, 2019 at 12:07

      Hey, I’ve been hit by a snowball in Miami. Something of a surprise! Walking down Biscayne in the 90s and my big sister got me from behind. She noticed there was a skating rink nearby, with a pile of snow in the back.

      You think you have bad luck? I also had a close friend, not with us any more, who got frostbite there. Probably the first case in millennia.

  9. Silly Me
    February 15, 2019 at 08:51

    What happened to the leftover money from his campaign?

    What does he think of the second amendment?

    • Tom
      February 15, 2019 at 14:24

      Hillary stole it….and she also stole the money meant for state races.

  10. Lucinda Cuthbertson
    February 15, 2019 at 08:13

    Because he will win?

    • Tom
      February 15, 2019 at 14:25

      He would have won…..Hillary gave us Trump and what did democrats learn?…….nothing.

  11. Al Godinez
    February 15, 2019 at 00:07

    Wall Street movers and shakers have recently declared their FEAR OF a Bernie Presidency!They acknowledge that should Bernie be elected POTUS,THAT would all but assure that ANOTHER Blue Wave has turned the Senate Blue! And THAT would translate to financial legislation that will TAKE BACK the GENEROUS,no,no,OBSCENE tax HEIST granted to them by the Trump/Ryan/McConnell triad of MILLIONAIRE BANDITS!

  12. February 14, 2019 at 21:37

    #Bernie2020! #ItsTheRealThing! 8-) <3

  13. Maracas From Caracas
    February 14, 2019 at 20:40

    “We’re supposed to believe that candidates who’ve adjusted their sails to the latest political wind are just as good as the candidate who generated the wind in the first place.”

    On foreign policy some of them are way better. Bernie has been a total let-down on the Venezuela issue, to give just one example.

  14. Zenobia van Dongen
    February 14, 2019 at 19:47

    For once I fully agree with an article on Consortium News.

  15. DH Fabian
    February 14, 2019 at 19:33

    Criticism has come from the left as well, as Sen. Sanders drifted to the right to appeal to middle class liberal voters. This issue has sometimes come up over the past few years. Basics: Most voting choices come down to economic issues. Democrats split their voting base apart in the ’90s, middle class vs. poor, and the Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. Sen Sanders used to speak out about US poverty, and advocated for legit poverty relief programs. This doesn’t sell to post-Clinton Democrats, so he dropped the issue by 2016, acknowledging no one worse off than min. wage workers. It was a pragmatic choice, I suppose, but it shouldn’t be hard to understand why much of his former base didn’t drift to the Dem Party right along with Sanders.

  16. February 14, 2019 at 18:54

    Would this be the same Bernie Sanders who allowed the DWS, DNC, and Clinton rig the primary against him, without a word. Who before the primary election was notified by Donna Brazil how bad they had done so. Have I said, without a word yet? 2 years later might run again in 2020, still without a word yet. Who also in stead of, nice no word, joined in with those very people advocating a false narrative of Russiagate as a reason they lost the election. When it might have been because enough of us refused to support a corrupt party who ripped us off of our moment. Still no word yet. Sanders running within a party who we all now know screwed him and us, in court admitted they are not bound to run a fair election, really sounds like a sane thing to do to me. I think I’ll vote for him. Not a dam chance! If it wasn’t for Wiki Leaks we’d all be clueless sheep like the rest of those who still support the 2 party establishment. And while we’re at it. Has anyone already in the run or even these new so called progressives mentioned that primary cycle and how it was rigged? No, they haven’t. I’ll leave that right there in the cesspool it lays in for everyone to think about.

    • Tom
      February 15, 2019 at 14:30

      Hillary kills people and she likes it…….

      Hillary on Gaddafi – “we came, we saw, he died.” laughing? What an Embarrassment

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=UtH7iv4ip1U

      She not only OVERTLY cheated Sanders but gave Sanders voters a stiff middle finger { TIM KAINE?} and ignored working class democrats….

      Chuck Schumer on Hillary’s campaign strategy:

      “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

      Trump voter in exit poll interview: “I heard her talk a lot about the black vote, the latino vote… what about the working class vote?”

      No Russians needed.

    • Homer Jay
      February 19, 2019 at 11:58

      Thanks for saving me the trouble. Really could not say it better. He should’ve taken Jill Stein’s invitation to lead the Green Party ticket. He sold us out. Never again!

  17. Winston
    February 14, 2019 at 18:07

    Tell me where you hid the money!

  18. mike k
    February 14, 2019 at 16:25

    Bernie is going to save us?? Tell me when to start holding my breath.

  19. Maxwell Quest
    February 14, 2019 at 16:23

    As Ricky Ricardo would say, Bernie’s “got some splainin to do” to his base, after his nauseating endorsement of the woman (Stumbles McMyTurn) that cheated him out of the DNC nomination back in 2016. It was a cruel betrayal that will take more than candy and flowers to heal.

    The author rightfully points out that Bernie’s campaign blazed a ten-lane highway into the long, overgrown jungle of socialist ideas – a land that has for decades been erased from all the political maps like Area 51. Will all the establishment detour signs and blockades halt the onrush of the new left? I seriously doubt it.

    • DH Fabian
      February 14, 2019 at 19:37

      In fairness, most of the media marketed to liberals hailed Hillary Clinton as a “bold progressive.” A good many of us got blocked off of liberal discussion boards for pointing out Clinton’s own long record of work on behalf of the right wing agenda.

      • Maxwell Quest
        February 15, 2019 at 17:34

        Thanks, DH. I never understood the support for Hillary other than the fact that everyone wanted her to be the first female president, which in my book is not good enough.

        At Bernie rallies thousands came from all over, and bluebirds alighted on the podium as he spoke. Whereas when Hillary attempted the same, special camera angles were needed to provide the illusion of large crowds, while vultures circled menacingly overhead.

  20. Mike Perry
    February 14, 2019 at 12:42

    Something is telling me that talking about Candidate Committees, this is just far too early:
    (.. for the General Election)
    From and including: Thursday, February 14, 2019 – To, but not including Tuesday, November 3, 2020
    * It is 628 days.
    * Or 1 year, 8 months, 20 days.

    But right now, I ‘am just so grateful for any “leftist” conversation that could possibly penetrate the current Iron Curtain of what was suppose to be by law the American citizen’s airwaves.

  21. February 14, 2019 at 12:41

    This would sadly be the Bernie who, on both his Twitter feeds, has yet to say anything about the Venezuela coup and has yet to offer even a partial defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar. (He didn’t even go as far as AOC, who threw Omar under half the bus while claiming to be defending her.)

    That says as much about the American people as him, though.

    • David G
      February 14, 2019 at 14:32

      Sanders’s statement on Venezuela is feeble, but it exists (Jan. 24):

      “The Maduro government in Venezuela has been waging a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly and was re-elected last year in an election that many observers said was fraudulent. Further, the economy is a disaster and millions are migrating.

      “The United States should support the rule of law, fair elections and self-determination for the Venezuelan people. We must condemn the use of violence against unarmed protesters and the suppression of dissent. However, we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups – as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.”

      https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-venezuela

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      February 14, 2019 at 16:58

      True. Always beware of premature hype, no matter from which direction it comes. (Obama was a prime example from the recent past)

      • Anne Jaclard
        February 14, 2019 at 18:34

        For all of the new congresspeoples’ anti-war rhetoric, alas, AOC, Tailb, Omar and Ro Kahanna all voted to uphold NATO and require a congressional 2/3 majority to leave. Only the far-right voted against. Out of the major Democrats Tulsi abstained but she’s problematic elsewhere. US parliamentary left must understand like German and French left and communists that NATO should be ended, a statement endorsed by Podemos, Labour, Die Linke, France Insoumise and the other counterparts to the DSA.

      • DH Fabian
        February 14, 2019 at 19:43

        The issue isn’t the political leaders, but the masses. There has been much disagreement for years over several issues, which liberals routinely shut out, refusing to consider. There’s little common ground and no legitimately progressive agenda… which makes sense, I suppose, because we don’t agree on the new meaning of “progressive politics.” And it has been this way for over 20 years now.

    • Zenobia van Dongen
      February 14, 2019 at 20:17

      Defense of Ilhan Omar? Are you kidding?
      Ilhad Omar belittles Somali terrorist attacks in Kenya, saying they are the fault of the US.
      However Somali guerrillas have been attacking Kenya for decades, since long before the US becae interested in east Africa. “Mitchell also participated in operations on the Northern Frontier District of Kenya. At the time, Somali guerrillas were launching raids as part of a campaign to unite the region with Somalia …”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Campbell_Mitchell
      Moreover in her October 2013 interview about the Westgate shopping mall attacks, she likewise justified it by blaming American meddling. However during that attack, the Somali terrorists selectively killed non-Muslims. So they were waging religious warfare, not warfare in reaction to a foreign attack:
      “An eyewitness said that the attackers had told Muslims to leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. Others were asked to name the mother of the Islamic prophet Muhammad to distinguish Muslims from non-Muslims.[72] They also distinguished Muslims from non-Muslims by asking others to recite the shahadah.[73]To Associated Press, the al-Shabaab called it “a meticulous vetting process … to separate the Muslims from the Kuffar”.[74] Gunman were seen on CCTV talking on mobile phones and bowing down in Islamic prayer between their attacks.[75][76]
      Source: Wikipedia, Westgate shopping mall attack
      In a Bangladesh restaurant in July 2016, the jihadis spared those who could recite from the Qur’an. A Muslim in Minnesota asked mall shoppers if they were Muslim and then stabbed non-Muslims. In Mali, Muslims screaming “Allahu akbar” took hostages, freeing those who could recite the Qur’an. In May 2018 in Belgium, a Muslim who murdered four people told a hostage that he wouldn’t harm her since she was Muslim and was observing the Ramadan fast. Were those cases also the fault of US intervention? Obviously not. This is typical jihadi behavior when conducting warfare against the infidel.

      • Ma Laoshi
        February 14, 2019 at 22:05

        I have no bone in the Ilhan Omar debate, but can’t it be both? Yes some muslims are absolutely bonkers; the attacks you cite may well have happened in the way you describe, i.e. out of takfiri zealotry. Yet even though the crazies have been crazy for centuries, the US/CIA (is there still any difference) is making things much worse by giving weapons to the crazies, and offering other assistance such as shielding the Saudi theocracy. Add to that that the crazies have much more success recruiting in the chaotic aftermath of American regime-change and resource wars.

        It’s truly unfortunate that, through accidents of geography, the US itself is almost completely shielded from the resulting mayhem, leaving others to cope with it–none more so than non-crazy muslims.

    • evelync
      February 15, 2019 at 12:16

      SocraticGadfly,
      David G already shared Bernie’s statement on Venezuela including “However, we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups – as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.”

      Bernie also expressed this same position in his 9/21/17 Foreign Policy Speech speech at Westminster College in Missouri.
      Bernie is of the few politicians who does not self sensor on foreign policy. The Cold War fear mongering that keeps questions about our endless regime change wars at bay by using the scare tactic “national security” shhhhh – we can’t talk about it because it violates national security is in full force in the “liberal” AKA MSNBC media.

      As far as Representative Omar is concerned, I read this morning that Bernie called her in support of her speaking out (on what we all know – including conservative Republican Trump voters, who I’ve spoken with who are also sick at heart over our endless regime change wars and coups that, surprise- surprise, fit neatly into the goals of what Eisenhower referred to as the MIC and, surprise-surprise, use Cold War fear mongering to shut people up).

      I also called Representative Omar’s office to thank her for her courage in speaking out and to tell her I read Glenn Greenwald’s piece pointing out, correctly, that Representative Omar did not say any that was anti-semitic. Another effort to shut someone down with faux threats of fear mongering and name calling.

      • Gregory Herr
        February 15, 2019 at 21:24

        Representative Omar appears to have a refreshing penchant for truth and righteous indignation. She questioned Elliot Abrams:

        “Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide — if you believed they were serving U.S. interests (as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua)?”

        Abrams declined a response. Omar looked directly at Abrams and stated:
        “Whether — under your watch — a genocide will take place — and you will look the other way — because American interests were being upheld, is a fair question!”

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qz6d5Xk78vY#

  22. Matt
    February 14, 2019 at 12:27

    testing

  23. February 14, 2019 at 10:55

    Trump, Hillary, Republicans, Democrats, all of them

    Welcome Their Hatred: It’s a Good Sign

  24. February 14, 2019 at 10:03

    Expect to hear the scare word “socialism” a million times between now and 2020.

    Sanders actually is a FDR New Deal Democrat rather than a socialist, but then, Americans don’t know the difference, so does it matter?

    To Americans, everything is a “brand” now, so the average take of the “political consumer” is AOC and Bernie are selling the “socialism brand” like Trump is selling the “MAGA” brand. Everyone and everything is commodified now.

    http://opensociet.org/2019/02/09/whos-really-afraid-of-socialism

    • DH Fabian
      February 14, 2019 at 20:01

      No, he isn’t. Simplest example: What came to be known as AFDC was first included in FDR’s Social Security Act. Our capitalism (dare we say) is highly flawed. Not everyone can work, viable jobs aren’t available for all, and every American should have the means to survive. Eleanor Roosevelt played an important role in creating the UN’s UDHR, which establishes food, shelter, and medical care as fundamental human rights — even for America’s jobless poor. Sanders used to advocate for legit poverty relief programs. Then came the Reagan/Clinton years, and the country reversed course. with Democrats moving to the capitalist right. Democrats ended basic poverty relief, took the first steps to similarly “reform” Social Security (targeted the disabled), embracing an anti-FDR agenda. Sen. Sanders was pragmatic. He dropped his former years of advocacy for the poor to appeal to middle class liberals.

  25. elmerfudzie
    February 14, 2019 at 09:47

    Norman Solomon’s comment about grassroots organizing, says it all. For example; France’s ‘gilets jaunes’ completely unmasked a domestic “social racism” that exists there today. The proles don’t have high speed trains, they don’t visit swank restaurants and order up one hundred euro dinners. A much poorer class of folks, who are reliant on a nineteenth century train system or rusty old cars to get them from the countryside and into work, usually large metro areas like Paris. This scenario should sound familiar to readers of CONSORTIUMNEWS here in the US of A. An ever widening economic disparity, can be said of what once was a 1970’s style capitalism. Now, a truly dysfunctional ism, and in the UK as well. Grass roots organizing shows the true extent of Intel agency penetration within organized labor officialdom. Labor unions can no longer be at the forefront of what soon will be pockets of a common folk uprising and insurrection against blatant aristocrats. Leaders like Macron, Obama, May and of course, Trump. These are the dynamic events that will soon fill the plate to the brim for Bernie. Again, the great economic and cultural divide that revealed itself in France will soon surface here in the US. Those who salaries come from the world of finance or gun running (weapons) will do very well and the rest of us will be grovelling in the dirt, working three separate part time jobs, all low pay, no benefit, service sector “jobs”.

    Fictive capital at zero interest rates and endless war for endless peace (blood money profiteering) cannot uplift and maintain a slowly eroding western Occident middle classes (baby boomers) of post WW II and their progeny. Add to this milieu, a mix of ingredients that can only intensify discontent such as robotics, heavy (middle class) taxes, lopsided militarized economies, corrupt union officialdom and now the latest threat, Artificial Intelligence or AI.

    We don’t need a Bernie or Clinton (God forbid) or a second Trump term. We need, allow me to quote one of our greatest Presidents, FDR, “A New Deal” The deal will not be based on some capitulation by the western bankster blue bloods. This deal will be a whole new, political paradigm shift based on medicare for all, guaranteed basic income and a thorough decoupling of our western economies from the last world war’s command economies, which are for the most part still in force, making weaponry for non existent enemies! and deliberately instigating wars in peaceful times.

    Bernie, democrats, republicans and libertarians no longer fit the bill. The first world countries are now ready for a complete over throw of the current system and are ripe for revolution. Che’, wherever you are, I know your smiling

    • Anne Jaclard
      February 14, 2019 at 18:37

      The fantastic Gordon Dimmack: GJ should go global: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3a9Z3Q5-5vA

    • DH Fabian
      February 14, 2019 at 20:09

      Just a side issue, but a good many boomers never made it up into the middle class. Thanks to former poverty relief programs, however, they didn’t fall into destitution, either. Well over 80% of former welfare recipients used aid short-term, and it provided the stability necessary to get back into the job market, in spite of cyclical economic downturns.

    • evelync
      February 15, 2019 at 15:59

      Noam Chomsky (at some point during the last presidential election) stated – Bernie Sanders is not really a Socialist – he’s a “decent, honest, New Deal democrat”.

      What I like about Bernie Sanders and that none of the other known candidates have so far proven to me is that:

      1. He knows a helluvalot about how this country functions – the laws, the institutions, and the ugly distortions of a corrupted political system that serves the wealthy and powerful and disenfranchises the poor and working people of this country.
      2. He understands and cares about moving away from this current unsustainable mess back to the stability and equity of the New Deal.
      3. He offers solutions that make sense – to me.
      4. I trust his sincerity and I’ve been learning from people across the political spectrum, even those who may not agree with everything he says, that they trust him to tell them the truth! That they might have voted for him if he had been the Democratic candidate. And they’re sick of the lying and the endless regime change wars and the predatory banking shenanigans.

      Let’s face it about the announced contenders – anyone can parrot a “poll winning” policy directive. But leadership is more than a set of policy prescriptions.
      Bernie understands how all these policy choices fit together to accomplish particular goals that serve the public interest and deal with the challenges we face – climate change; poverty; getting “for profits” out of our public schools and prisons; ending endless regime change wars; establishing fair trade that recognizes environmental impact and a livable wage etc etc. etc.
      Alexandra Ocacio Cortez also has the intellect to recognize how a set of policy choices can work together to serve the public interest.
      (I’m not saying she’s ready to be president or would want to be president, but that she has convinced me that she is capable of understanding this kind of thinking whereas most of the other candidates so far have not indicated this interest or capability.)

      I don’t know of one other politician who is running today who is expert on all the critical issues facing us and has a moral core that can see right from wrong on issues that impact peoples lives and I think really cares to do the necessary work to accomplish that.

      I like Tulsi Gabber’s recognition that our foreign policy has run amok. She cares about how we “use” – misuse – our military.
      Does she have a progressive economic policy? I don’t know. Does she understand the complexity of derivatives and the highly leveraged bets that Wall Street still hangs over us like the sword of Damocles? I don’t know. Does she understand that these things require public airing and disclosure not behind closed doors decision making? I don’t know.

      Elizabeth Warren understands the intricacies of the runaway predatory too big to fail banks whose political power twisted Reagan and Clinton and even Obama to bend to their financial interests at the expense of vulnerable people. But will Elizabeth Warren get pushed around by the MIC just because she’s unprepared to deal with that and could get herself stuck in a corner like everyone else in the White House has for decades? I don’t know.

      Then there are some who I don’t trust at all, based on what they say when interviewed, to have the knowledge, moral core/backbone and commitment to stand up/fight off the criticism and really work for the majority of people in this country. Instead of paying lip service to it and taking orders from the for profit lobbies.

      IOW, they have a long way to go to prove that they are qualified.

      So I appreciate Norman Solomon’s essay. Especially since he’s dedicated to honest, transparent journalism and is an antiwar activist, and his support for a Bernie Sander’s candidacy is meaningful.

      The wealthy and powerful who try to buy elections but don’t understand or care about the long term impact of their “influence” will not like policies that cost them tax dollars even when its on their $10 millionth dollar and they will threaten a candidate like Bernie with words like “Socialism” or Cold War words like “national security”.

      And if they succeed we’ll just wind up with another Trump who’s a genius manipulator but an idiot everything else.
      And that’s because discouraged voters want someone real not someone who will say anything do anything to get into the oval office.

      • February 18, 2019 at 17:49

        Tulsi Gabbard supports returning to Glass Steagall banking regulations which will make most of the wall Street derivative games illegal again. So I wouldn’t worry that she would not support a fair and progressive economic policy.

  26. Skip Scott
    February 14, 2019 at 08:39

    The elephant in the room concerning Bernie is he’s 77 yrs old! If he won, he’d be 82 by the end of his first term. Dementia onset in the 80’s is becoming much too common to risk electing Bernie. Plus, as already mentioned, his foreign policy creds are very questionable. Stopping the war machine has to be our number one priority. Cooperating with other major powers to advance the welfare of mankind is essential to securing our collective future. For now, I think Tulsi Gabbard is our best hope, and I think she’ll need to switch to the Green Party or she’ll get DNC’d for sure.

    • Joe
      February 14, 2019 at 15:09

      Reagan, Gorge Bush Jr, and Trump all has dementia while in office. The people behind him will also drive policy.

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      February 14, 2019 at 17:05

      For me, the elephant in the room with Bernie is his real position on MIC, unending wars, Israel and Zionism. He is yet to combine on all of these issues.

      • DH Fabian
        February 14, 2019 at 20:21

        Yes, many of us strongly support Israel’s right to survive, in spite of the odds. This is an issue of justice, whether we agree with the sort of politics they choose for themselves. Jews are indigenous to that bit of land, the historic (Jewish) Palestine, restored and renamed Israel in 1948. An interesting factor is that it’s a mere 1% of the Mideast region, with the remaining 99% owned by the various Arab states. Yet, that 1% just sticks in the craws of some Americans. In sheer defiance of reality, they portray Israel as an oppressive military mega-power trampling over the impoverished Arab oil states, etc. So — we don’t all agree.

        • Joe
          February 15, 2019 at 19:13

          Israel seems to be surviving just fine. The Palestinian’s on the other hand…

        • Dennis Rice
          February 16, 2019 at 21:59

          Your view of Israel is too simplistic. Jews are not the only ones “indigenous” to that land. Why should the Arab world, or the rest of the world for that matter, accept that Israel is the “promised land?” Simply because some Jews – the right wing- say it is? Simply because Jewish history in the Old Testament says it is? To swallow that myth is insane. And 1948? Well, the Balfour Agreement of 1917 reads “a home for Jews in Palestine”, not a home for Palestinians in Israel.

          Israel IS a “mega-power” TRAMPLING over the Palestinians.

          The U.S. government (“The Ugly American”) is complicit in the abuse, mistreatment and degradation of the Palestinian people

          What do YOU say to Jews who could care less about Israel? You hate being a Jew?

    • irene
      February 16, 2019 at 12:45

      I was a strong Bernie supporter in 2016. But he was robbed of his moment and that’s that.
      His age is (one of) his Achilles heels. Also (too), many commenters seem ignorant of the
      unfortunate reality that dyed-in-the-wool Hillaryites seriously despise Bernie and all he
      stands for, they see him as the Monkey Wrench in her Coronation. (My sister is one such).
      We were supposed to ‘hold our nose and vote for Hillary’ and many Bernie supporters did
      (I voted for ‘the other woman’, a perfectly safe vote in a reliably Red state, but nevertheless
      a vote some of the females in my family have never forgiven me for . . .) But I suspect that,
      if the shoe were on the other foot, a bigger percentage of the “I’m With Her” demographic
      would find themselves unable to vote for Bernie, in the unlikely event that he was the nominee.

      Right or wrong, these voters see Bernie as having hijacked the Democratic party apparatus
      for his own candidacy. (But He’s Not a Democrat !) Which shows just how much the
      Democrats think of courting the Independent vote. (Not much, but they should).

  27. Dao Gen
    February 14, 2019 at 05:59

    Unfortunately this otherwise interesting article doesn’t deal with the serious pr0blem I — and I suspect many other progressives — have with Bernie, which is his largely conservative and occasionally almost necon statements about foreign policy issues. For example, his wholesale acceptance of the blatantly fake Russiagate hoax, for which no hard evidence has ever been offered. And his Yemen bill contained fatal loopholes. In addition, Bernie often shows a surprising lack of interest in or study of foreign issues. Recently, for instance, he stated that the last presidential election in Venezuela was flawed and problematic, a claim that flies in face of the evidence supporting the fairness of the election presented by Jimmy Carter and his group. Foreign policy is not a small, secondary policy area. The US is the center of a world empire, and foreign affairs and military interventions are intimately interwoven with domestic issues, while attacks on foreign “enemies” are constantly used by the US government as a way of suppressing domestic dissent, free speech, and efforts to shrink the military industrial surveillance complex. After seeing the way the DC neocon foreign policy establishment has rapidly and completely colonized and controlled Trump’s mind, I honestly do not have any confidence that Bernie would be able to stand up to the intel and neocon community, the DOD, and the military industrial complex. I think Tulsi Gabbard might be able to stand up to these pressure groups, but Bernie seems to constantly cave in too easily on issues even when he knows he’s right. In electing a president, we voters must look for courage, brute strength, integrity, and basic staying power, since they are more indicative of a politician’s actual performance than the words a politician uses.

    • Collodial Goldman
      February 14, 2019 at 10:10

      ” I honestly do not have any confidence that Bernie would be able to stand up to the intel and neocon community, the DOD, and the military industrial complex.”

      Take a look at his campaign finance records, net worth, and financial records.

      Sanders has been part of the same M-I-C (more Iron Triangle) as EVERY other politician.

      The difference is how well those politicians are able to sell their “persona” to their followers, and the general public.

      Politicians are just Actors, entertainers.

      “If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway.”
      -Edward Bernays-

      They exist to serve the .001 percent, the neo-feudal Lords.

      Only those whom demonstrate allegiance to the system & upper hierarchies, and are able to effectively lead the masses towards that hierarchical system, are promoted upward.

      What you call “stand up to these pressure groups” is SPIN in actuality.
      It’s those that most effectively spin the works of the pressure groups that survive & rise in the ranks.

      “After seeing the way the DC neocon foreign policy establishment has rapidly and completely colonized and controlled Trump’s mind”

      THIS IS HOW THE TRUE “DEEP STATE” WORKS.
      The’ve done the exact same to Clinton, Obama, et al.

      Whilst individual policies may exist (which are really just diversions & distractions anyway), the end goals/results are the same.

      Hillary or Trump, we’d have gotten the same end results……more power & wealth for the true ruling elite.
      Ditto for any politician.

      As long as people keep supporting the politicians merely presented by the establishment (even those politicians presented as “rogue” or “fringe”), we’ll keep getting the same pre-determined policy initiatives by the same establishment.

      This is how truly effective propaganda works.

    • Al Pinto
      February 14, 2019 at 11:54

      In my view, Sanders pretty much ruined his chances when he endorsed RHC at the DNC Convention in Philadelphia. Doing so was an integral part of HRC loosing to DJT; there had been lot of people with the sentiment of “Anybody but Hillary…” in 2016.

      There are a lot of possible DNC POTUS candidate for 2020, but most of them riding the wave of current popular political discourse. Tulsi Gabbard, who strikes me as well rehearsed advertisement with no actual content, falls under this as well. It remains to see how it’ll play out, but I would not be surprised if the democrats end up with a candidate whom most people won’t like. That’s just how the democrats roll. It may end up the same way, “Anybody, but XYZ…” in 20102…

      • Nathan Mulcahy
        February 14, 2019 at 17:07

        I am with you. With his endorsement of Hillary Bernie had lost all credits with me. Another sheep fog – sorry.

      • LJ
        February 14, 2019 at 18:51

        Bernie Schmernie is extremely weak, almost incoherent on Foreign Policy . Truthfully, almost everything else as well . The 500lb Gorilla in the room asks how he could ever get the votes to enact Legislation in either the House or the Senate or how he get the Judges to go along with it if he could. At least Tulsi Gabbard can get up on a surfboard which is pretty cool for a politician. I’m not a Bernie fan. I voted against Hillary when I voted for him in a primary as I did previously when I voted for Obama instead of Her . Didn’t vote for any of them in a Presidential election. Gabbard if she makes it that far > I will vote for. You are wrong about her. Do you want her to stutter and pretend she is
        a pig from the Beltway. She’s Hawaiian. She has a good attitude and believe s in something. Warren and Harris are the ones who will be pushed by the DNC along with Bucktooth Biden who somehow is “The Man” . What planet is this?

      • elmerfudzie
        February 14, 2019 at 20:55

        To Al Pinto from Elmerfudzie. I second that notion. We need to throw a net over the whole lot of them including the lobbyists. The only hope for the survival of, or should I say revival of, our democracy may very well depend on legislation that openly and honestly addresses campaign finance reform.
        Corrupt and bought off government is totally useless to all of us now and if the bill doesn’t appear before 2020, I ‘m not going to vote, period!

      • Manny
        February 15, 2019 at 00:17

        If Sanders had not supported the Democratic ticket he would now be attacked for electing Trump.

        • Saddlesoar
          February 15, 2019 at 10:20

          Agreed. He never officially endorsed HRC. He said he would support her if she was the nominee. And those that question what Bernie did with campaign funds: he’s been traveling the whole country since the elections meeting with & educating the population.

          • evelync
            February 15, 2019 at 16:13

            Yes to Manny and Saddesoar. And thanks for this nuanced understanding of what he did and what he did;t do.
            Sure I was upset that he did;t call for a vote at the Convention. But realistically the Dem Party had the win baked in with the 400 delegates.
            Living in Texas in didn’t matter who I voted for in the election. In the primary I voted for Bernie.
            In the general election my protest vote was for Gary Johnson. I didn’t agree with his libertarian policies but I cast my vote for him because he didn’t know where Aleppo was. (Then he was ridiculed by Clinton et al for being ignorant of foreign policy.)
            But I thought – “Good. He won’t bomb them”.

            The first round in the Dem primary in 2020 won’t include the delegates.
            BUT, unfortunately the second round will!

  28. exiled off mainstreet
    February 14, 2019 at 01:52

    While many of his policies are good, Sanders blotted his copybook by the nature and extent of his campaign for the Clintons, which evidence clearly showed had spearheaded an effort which defrauded him of his nomination and likely victory in 2016. This made him look weak and even fraudulent, supporting the view that he was only there to provide tame opposition to the officially anointed candidate. Another mark against him has been his being a loyal exponent of the anti-Russian policies put forward by almost all elements of the democratic party, turning it into a cheering section for the excesses and crimes of the spy state and the yankee imperium generally.

  29. Ma Laoshi
    February 14, 2019 at 01:50

    It says a lot about progressives that they still pin their hopes on a 100-year-old and on the rotting carcass of the Democratic Party. All interest which Mr. Sanders once held for me, such as it was, stemmed from him being an independent. Since his fraudulent loss to Hillary he’s been a good soldier, trying to distract from the pervasive, well-documented corruption in the DNC, even as he was its principal victim. Instead of building a movement outside that cesspool, he’s been a loyal RussiaGater–you know, the stuff that’s pushing all of us towards a needless unclear war.

    This only highlights the validity of some of the establishment criticism he was drawing in 2016: that he’s always been Mr. Inequality only, without a worked-out foreign-policy vision to round out the package. (Just like Sarah Palin wasn’t wrong when pointing at Obama’s inexperience and overarching vanity.) Yes a Candidate Bernie might’ve had a good shot in 2016; didn’t happen, in part because from the beginning he saw his own role as subordinate to the Anointed One. An exposed, deflated Bernie this time just paves the way to Trump 2020. What’s wrong with Americans anyway that they’ve become so nostalgic and backward-looking.

    • Ma Laoshi
      February 14, 2019 at 20:31

      Ehmm needless to say, that’d be a “nuclear” war not an “unclear” one.

  30. February 14, 2019 at 01:47

    So much has been made and said about Russia influencing the 2016 election, yet I would be surprised if a poll showed virtually anyone admitting they voted for Trump and against Hillary because of something they read on social media generated, ostensibly, by the Russians.

    Rather it was the corporate DEMOCRATS who interfered with the wish of the people and the big D super delegates tossed Bernie aside and tried to shove Clinton down our throats, even after she said twice during debates, first with Sanders, then with Trump that she “enforce a no fly zone over Syria.” In other words Ms. Goldman Sachs promised to wage war against Russia, something the International Banksters are still pining for, mainly because it will provide enough chaos that people won’t be able to effectively align against the banksters when the inevitable financial collapse happens, and many countries and efforts are being made daily to decouple from the U.S. Dollar as world’s reserve currency.

    Also, if course, war is highly profitable for the banks subsidiary companies, the military and oil cartel.

    The real problem is with the media, not just the main stream, but even those radio hosts who claim to be the number one “progressive” talk show host, I’m talking about Thom Hartmann. He talks a good game, but every election cycle he does his best to persuade his listeners that it’s better to play politics and don’t waste your vote on a progressive candidate, even from the democratic party. In the past he has wantonly kicked Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein to the curb. He has turned Stein into personna-non-grata. Believe me, Hartmann, before it’s over, will be encouraging his listeners to vote for Joe Biden over a real progressive.

    The banksters private/public network, MSNBC, absolutely tried to destroy Tulsi Gabbard last week in a political firing squad. It was disgusting, although Gabbard more than stood her ground.

    I’ve been preaching this for some time, we will not get any political progress until people rise up against the media, the propaganda arm of the International Banksters.

    And please don’t take that to mean Jews, it means the private cartel of our COMMON CURRENCY and the only religious observance they partake in is money and power.

    We need organised boycotts of all corporations and media outlets that attempt to influence the elections or otherwise act in a manner detrimental to the public good.

    Hartmann I’d against boycotts and is for the draft. Me thinks he is a modern version of OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD. If you don’t know what that is please look it up.

    • Anna Gramme
      February 14, 2019 at 09:55

      “Rather it was the corporate DEMOCRATS who interfered with the wish of the people and the big D super delegates tossed Bernie aside and tried to shove Clinton down our throats…”

      While I can’t disagree with your assesment that “Dems” utilized mass propaganda, so have the “GOP”, including team Trump.

      Beware of falling for the trappings of “Dichotomous Thinking”, that is, “either/or”, “this or that”, “us vs them”, tirbalistic-type group formation/following.

      “Rather it was the corporate DEMOCRATS who interfered…”
      It’s not merely an either/or scenario, as the system would have you fooled into believing.
      Both have engaged in the same.

      Trump is no more “fighter of the elite” than is Sanders, or any other establishment politician (yes, Trump is now an establishment politician….he in engaging with the same Goldman Sachs, Israeli gov’t (this is not an anti-semetic statement, rather focused on the activities of the government itself), corporate government bankers, and other “elite”.

      Rather than criticizing others, review your own self and biases first.

      It’s interesting how you align yourself with some of those whom are aligned with companies aligned with the same “international bankers”
      https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/contributors?cid=N00033281&cycle=2018

      I suggest you dig deeper into the underlying ownership/investment data of those whom have sponsored/supported Gabbard (along with ALL other politicians).

      This is how propaganda works.
      This is why the “international bankers” are so powerful.

      If you want to control the “market” (even the political market) you own not only the Coca-Colas, but also PepsiCos, and even the supposed “uncola” 7-Ups.
      If you want to control the “market” (even the political market) you own not only Verizons, but also AT&Ts, and even the supposed “uncarrier” T-Mobiles.

      You see, the powerful people whom learned to control the populations learned long ago that even groups like “outlaw” gangs & groups have their own internal rules, hierarchies, and conforming principles…..whether written or unwritten.

      Effective control of populations includes control of those seeming “fringe” elements as well.

      You mention “OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD”, thus you must have some concept of MANUFACTURED DISSENT.
      It’s more than a little naive to believe in a large pattern of organized propaganda, identifying some participants/politicians, but failing to identify others.

      “We need organised boycotts of all corporations and media outlets that attempt to influence the elections or otherwise act in a manner detrimental to the public good.”
      I suggest y ou read Propaganda by Edward Bernays.

      Not all propaganda is bad.
      The very dissemination of ideas is included in the definition of propaganda.

      I suggest you consider the true implications of your statement.
      You are herein contradicting/violating your own statement.

      You’re using the “media” to influence.
      So are you acting with “malicious” intent?

      Some propaganda (the dissemination of ideas) is done for the sake of truth & knowledge, some is done simply to sell others on certain ideas (often with malicious intent).
      But even that statement begs the question: “What is malicious”?

      Even “international bankers” sell themselves on the idea they’re acting in best interests.
      People always have justifications for what they do, even if others consider those acts “evil” or “malicious”.

      I’m certainly no Russiaphobe, but if you truly believe Russia didn’t try to influence U.S. elections (and haven’t done so for decades, or that other nations/governments haven’t also done the same), you’re wholly IGNORANT.

      • ML
        February 15, 2019 at 11:00

        Yes Anna, I truly believe Russia didn’t make even a tiny dent in the outcome of the 2016 election. HRC and Obama have more responsibility for the election of Trump than any other cause imagined by our incessantly petulant press. Most powerful countries try “meddling” to one extent or another, in other’s affairs. We are Numero Uno in that regard, Anna. The “ignorant” one may be the reflection in your own mirror.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 14, 2019 at 18:43

      I used to tune in to Thom when his show was broadcast by FreeSpeechTV. I think it was in the summer of 2016 when I saw how dismissive (and, for Thom, almost mean-spirited) he was towards Stein that I quit tuning him in. Did he end up “kicking” Bernie “to the curb”? Did Hartmann go all-in on Clinton? Funny–he used to have Bernie on his radio show for an afternoon every week.

    • ML
      February 15, 2019 at 10:51

      Lee Anderson- excellent post. I concur wholeheartedly. Thank you.

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