I have heard a lot of people and seen many articles or videos claiming that Trump fears Sanders more than other Democratic candidates.
If this were true, Trump has a strange way of showing it. On 2/18/2020, Trump tweeted the following, “ The Crooked DNC is working overtime to take the Democrat Nomination away from Bernie, AGAIN! Watch what happens to the Super Delegates in Round Two. A Rigged Convention!”
This is interesting because Trump also mentioned in 2016 how the DNC rigged the primary against Sanders. The only other candidate running that has mentioned this has been Gabbard.
Sanders is still silent about DNC election fraud in 2016, still blaming Russia.
Politically, if you fear your opponent, you don’t tend to basically support their position. Nor do you point out how the opposing party is placing that opponent at a disadvantage. You would do this even less when that is the view of many of that candidate’s supporters. What Trump did with this was the equivalent of elevating support for Sanders while drawing attention to the dishonesty of the DNC in one shot. Kind of ironic that Hillary and the media talked about Trump so much in 2016, long before he got the GOP nomination, which directly elevated Trump. Since then, we learned how intentional that was.
What you should find interesting is that I have not heard or seen Trump tweet or say anything about Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard happens to be the only candidate running who has met with him personally since he was elected. She is also the only candidate who has not made disparaging remarks about Trump’s supporters. If he has mentioned Tulsi and I missed it, post a quote or link in the comments below.
This seems more like fear of Gabbard to me. If you fear an opponent, the best thing you can do is try and make them invisible. You simply don’t mention them at all.
Of course, he has plenty of assistance in that effort. Corporate neoliberal media barely mentions Gabbard or only mentions her negatively. The same is true with the DNC elite. She has been left out of town halls, debates and even polls too many times to count. This is true even as she gets coverage by Fox News and is gaining ever-increasing backing by Libertarian leaders like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Plus she has considerable support by Green Party and Independent voters.
Nothing has changed since that writing except for it to become even more true. Now it appears that even Trump realizes it.
There is no certain way of knowing how much of this is theater, how much is manipulation. One thing is certain. If I were Trump, I would reverse the tactics used on me in 2016. I would do all I could to split the Democratic Party, portray them as dishonest and unreliable. I would also do anything I could to elevate the opponent I felt most confident I could win against. I would ignore the opponent I knew was an actual threat. One thing Trump does understand is that people are sheep. They will look at what you tell them to look at. This is exactly what he is doing and it’s working.
The New Hampshire primary is over and Bernie Sanders reportedly won by a slim margin over Buttigieg.
This is good news, indicating that those who oppose the Establishment are taking a greater lead.
Bad news in that both walked away with an equal number of delegates, illustrating how rigged the party system is, which we all know quite well.
I’ll jump straight to Gabbard, who came in at number 7, with 3.2% of the vote. Everyone in between is purely Establishment neoliberal.
Yang dropped out. I am hoping this is good news for Gabbard and most of Yang’s voters will support her going forward. It seems most likely, as there appears to be a similar mindset between the followers of these two candidates.
From this point on, the field will narrow quickly. Most of the remaining candidates have primarily corporate financial backing. Corporations will only financially fund a candidate when they expect to win. When it becomes obvious that candidate will lose, corporate funding dries up quickly. When the money dries up, so does a corporate candidate.
By contrast, Tulsi’s campaign is fully funded by private small dollar donations. Her dedication to her campaign is not driven by money but her ability to continue could be.
As the candidate field narrows, this is where Tulsi has a much greater chance of overtaking the lead. It should be obvious that the supporters of candidates other than Sanders and Buttigieg want someone other than those two to win. I am expecting nearly every other candidate to announce the end of their campaigns within days.
Yes, I realize that I may be overly optimistic but not unrealistically so. The balance of an election can change dramatically very quickly. If nothing else was learned from 2016, that was something we all should recall.
So, I am truly hoping Tulsi will continue her campaign all the way up to the convention. I will continue supporting her every second of the way. Even if she does not win, the point is increasing awareness, getting the message out, making a difference. If nothing else, upsetting the balance to deny Buttigieg of votes.
Most of all, the point is expanding the narrative. I’ll keep saying she is the ONLY antiwar candidate in the race. That remains true. So, even if she does not win, her message will ring loudly in the general, no matter who gets the nomination. The standards of being against warfare and having actual POLICIES which enable ending conflicts will not be requested of other candidates, they will be DEMANDED, as they very much should be. The message of unity across party lines should be heeded because if the Democrats continue dividing the country, they will lose in November.
As the field narrows, the winning candidate will be forced to incorporate the messages of the major candidates who had actual messages or they will fail to retain the support of those voters. Something else that should be recalled from 2016.
Those of us who supported Sanders in the primary and other candidates in the general in 2016 have a full understanding that if 2016 is repeated again, this country will dissolve in ways most people cannot imagine. The DNC will cease to exist, as well it should in current form. This country cannot survive in any capacity with one corporate party LARPing as two parties.
After several days of deception and withholding results from the Iowa caucus, the results were released, stating Bernie Sanders won the popular vote. However, Pete Buttigieg won the most delegates.
Is this scenario sounding familiar? Didn’t we go through the exact same thing in 2016? Yes, we did. I can tell you that as an absolute, as a person who helped moderate no less than four Progressive forums on social media in 2016.
Obviously I am not happy that Sanders walked away with fewer delegates than Buttigieg. I have explained why the electoral college is important but in primaries, the electoral college has no relevance whatsoever. The fact that Sanders got more votes but fewer delegates is a clear demonstration that the DNC has not changed in the least and will do everything in their power to suppress any candidate that is viewed as remotely Progressive.
Yes, I am happy that Sanders got the greater share of the popular vote. This is an indication that more people have awakened slightly more than they were in 2016. Very slightly.
When it comes down to it, if Sanders gets the nomination, I will most likely cast my vote for him. However, that is ONLY because we need to get Trump out of office. NOT because I think Sanders is the best candidate. I will continue saying that Tulsi Gabbard is a better option by orders of magnitude.
Domestic policy. I have stated on many occasions and demonstrated through many, many articles that I believe that the major portion of Sanders’ domestic policies are ones I agree with. That is, depending on how they are constructed, which is a key point but I prefer taking those one by one. I have also pointed out that the president does not have the power to write domestic policy. Domestic policy is written and controlled by Congress.
Rule by executive order. Yes, the president can introduce domestic policy by executive order. However, those executive orders can be vetoed by the Republican-majority Senate. No, his policies would not fare much better with a neoliberal Democratic majority. Remember that the ACA was passed with a Democrat-majority House and filibuster-proof Senate and did not include a public option, which was the key part of what had been promised. Another issue with this is simple- Do we want the president to rule by executive order? How is this not dictatorial rule?
Foreign policy. The president is primarily responsible for foreign policy, which even Sanders’ supporters realize he is weak on and contradicts himself frequently. At least, those who pay the least bit of attention realize. He claims to support diplomacy, yet calls leaders he does not agree with dictators and tyrants. He claims to be against use of force, yet uses the word “force” in his own foreign policy, supports sanctions and issues mandates to foreign leaders. He claims to be in favor of democracy, while stating it is the role of the US president to rebuild the UN.
Better than Trump. Yes, I support Sanders insomuch as he is better than Trump. Then again, name someone who would be worse. (Besides Hillary. She would be worse, no question.) Sanders would be marginally better than most of the other candidates the DNC is trying to push down our throats. Yet I still question deeply the ability of Sanders to beat Trump in debate in 2020. In 2016, pre-convention, I would have said he would definitely have beat Trump. It is his words and actions since that time which bring this into question. Yes, he would likely do better than the other DNC candidates. Once again, that’s not saying much. The point is that the lines have been drawn and Sanders is unlikely to attract voters across party lines in the general election, including convincing Independent voters. He would repel Libertarian voters.
Weaknesses in debate with Trump. Yes, I believe Sanders would fare better in debate with Trump than Buttigieg, Warren, absolutely better than Biden and on down the neoliberal list of the DNC. None of that means he would beat Trump in debate. He has definite weaknesses which will come up in debate with Trump which are not going to be mentioned at all in DNC debates. Such as his foreign policy. Trump’s foreign policies are dismal failures and he has insulted many leaders. However, he can point to having met with leaders we do not agree with, pushing NATO to spend more on their own defense. Sanders cannot even point to any stated policy which indicates he will meet with adversarial leaders. On Russiagate, outside of the Hillary crowd, absolutely nobody in this country believes in Russiagate, yet Sanders has continued that charade, even stating “Russia” helped his 2016 campaign. Sanders’ rhetoric indicates a leaning toward censorship. Trump has made bombastic and outrageous statements which can be construed as censorship by some but he has taken or endorsed no actions which amount to state-sponsored censorship. Sanders has never called out the fraud by the DNC in 2016 or mentioned the DNC fraud lawsuit, which will definitely come up in debate. The self-imposed label of “Socialist” Sanders has used to portray himself and which still carries negative connotations to capitalists and those of low education status will be raised.
In the end, Sanders has many weaknesses and vulnerabilities which Tulsi Gabbard would be immune to. Russiagate and Ukrainegate have moved many voters further to the right. Gabbard has the endorsements of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, not for her economic policies but because of her stances on legalizing drugs and ending wars, in addition to reaching across part lines.
Yes, if Sanders gets the nomination I will likely vote for him. Depending largely on what he says going forward. I would pinch my nose and hold my breath while pulling the lever, hoping beyond hope that he assigns someone to handle foreign policy who can do so better than he seems able or willing. Yet the truth is, I don’t expect him or any other “top-level” DNC candidate to win.
I am happy Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa. It means people have awakened marginally since 2016. I still believe in absolute terms Gabbard is the best candidate of all parties for 2020. If she does not win the nomination, I hope Sanders does. If so, the job of actual Progressives will be lighting a fire under his supporters to hold his feet to the fire regarding foreign policy. To not allow him to back down from fights against the DNC neoliberals and warmongers. No matter what, I expect independent media to have no shortage of content to produce over the next 9 years, no matter who wins 2020.
So, The DNC has announced new rules for the convention which amount to election rigging. This will lead to a contested convention and use of superdelegates to determine the Democratic nominee. To enforce those rules, they are putting a rules committee in place comprised of neoliberal capitalist warmongers. In addition, there is allegedly talk on the sidelines of reversing the decision regarding superdelegates, allowing them to vote in the first round of voting to avoid even a contested convention.
Who could have seen this coming? Woe is me.
Now Bernie is speaking out. Really? Now? Even this response is weak tea and limp noodles. Hardly a Revolutionary response.
This has been my major complaint against Bernie for years. He has had 4 years to speak out against election rigging and has failed at every turn. He has had his chance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for 4 years and remained silent through all of that time.
In 2016, Sanders had promised to contest the convention. He never did so. Instead, he surrendered and campaigned for Hillary.
During the 2016 primary, he did not object to the superdelegate system. Instead, he tried using it to his advantage, trying to swing superdelegate votes to his side and failed.
Since then he has gone on the DNC Unity Tour with Perez. When the DNC Fraud lawsuit came along, he was silent. He has never once commented publicly on the DNC defense in court that they were not obligated to offer a fair primary and could “select the nominee in a smoke filled back room”.
Russiagate has been used against Sanders. His response? He has stated that “Russia” helped his campaign in 2016 and he didn’t know about it. He uses the DNC-authorized language, always specifying “Russia” as a ghostly, fearful, malignant entity. He does not state the Russian government did anything. Just “Russia”. His most recent major statement proving he is still doing this was on 14 Jan 2020, when he released this statement:
In the last few months, Sanders has been silent on the arbitrary rules for inclusion in the debates because he has met the threshold for each one. Tulsi Gabbard has been excluded from multiple debates but Bernie says nothing about that. His response? To participate in the DNC Unity fundraising video.
When Hillary attacked Tulsi Gabbard, Sanders was silent for days. No doubt he finally responded weakly because his supporters demanded something from him and his advisers told him he better say something. If not for that, I expect he would still be silent. Notice he was not silent for days when Hillary said something less offensive about him. That got a response right away.
Now Tulsi has been excluded from the upcoming debate, yet candidates with less support will be included. Even billionaire Bloomberg will be included. Bernie’s response? Silence. Not a word. Obviously as long as he is included, that’s all that matters to him.
We need a warrior who will fight for us. Sanders has proven beyond doubt that he is not that warrior. Millions of votes can be discarded, superdelegates can decide who the nominee is before the campaign begins, the DNC can blame another country, increasing risk of confrontation with a nuclear power and Sanders will be silent. A popular candidate can be excluded from debates and town halls, replaced by neoliberals and billionaires and Sanders will be silent. A former SoS can make false claims that a female member of Congress and decorated war veteran is a Russian asset and he will remain silent. Though when the rules get changed to oppose him, he will speak out. That is not fighting for you, that is fighting for himself.
We need a warrior who will fight for us. Tulsi has shown clearly she will fight for us. She stepped down as DNC vice chair to protest election rigging and openly stated so. She suffered defunding and opposition by the DNC as a result, yet still won reelection in her district. She has voiced opposition to the arbitrary rules for inclusion in debates. She has confronted CNN while on CNN. She has confronted Hillary Clinton in public, gave Clinton a chance to retract her accusation and then, when that failed, filed a defamation lawsuit against Clinton. Tulsi has met with foreign leaders whom we do not agree with and states that is her foreign policy. In other words, diplomacy. She knows we have to end the conflicts first, cut “defense” spending as a result and direct that spending to our own people.
We need a warrior who has appeal across party lines. Tulsi has appeal and support across all party lines, Democrat, Independent, Republican, Green Party and Libertarian. She has support from veterans who oppose war, people of color, women, Progressive men and antiwar activists of all stripes. For those who are apprehensive about the age of a candidate, that anxiety does not exist with her. Which means she has support from younger voters.
We need a warrior who has policies, not rhetoric. One thing is certain, when Tulsi says she will fight, she fights. When she says she will do something, she explains how she will go about it. When she says she will end wars, she explains that she will meet with adversarial leaders. NOBODY else does that. When she says she will oppose political parties yet fight for unity across party lines, she has already proven she will do exactly that. She does not resort to name-calling and party loyalism, which only divides us.
We need a warrior who can face Trump. Trump will be able to use many things against most of his opponents, including Russiagate and this recent failed attempt at impeachment. In direct debate, anyone who has supported or been silent on election rigging will have to answer for it. If they are capitalists who have benefited from his tax cuts, they will answer for it. If they voted in favor of wars they will answer for it. If they have never suggested meeting adversarial leaders for diplomacy, they will answer for it. If a candidate has described themselves as a Socialist, that can be used against them for voters who still object to that label. For those who object to corruption, profiteering and nepotism, there is nothing in her record to object to. Absolutely none of that can be used as ammunition against Tulsi. She would be able to stand toe to toe against Tiny Hand Major Bone Spurs and attract support not only from his opposition but his own base who feel disappointed in Trump. Someone who could not be put on the defensive. NO other candidate could do that.
We need a warrior. We need someone who has not only emotional appeal but has reasonable policies that work for the people. Someone ready, willing and able to use diplomacy but who does not back down. Someone not enslaved to a party but who would serve the American people. Someone who recognizes the human rights of those in other countries. Who opposes regime change. Who follows the Constitution. Who conducts herself with dignity. Who thinks on her feet, is always informed and uses rational thought processes.
Anything less is surrender and settling for less. Anything less is sentencing not just the US but the world to suffering the consequences of our weakness, our oligarchy, our imperialism.
I keep hearing people who claim to be ideologically left, yet continually espouse such sentiments as not voting, eliminating parties and outright eliminating government. This is more dangerous thinking than everything we are currently facing today.
Many, if they apply a label to themselves, call themselves Anarchists. Merriam-Webster defines Anarchy as, “ a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority”.
Of course, they will attempt to apply the third definition, which is, “ a Utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government”. We’ll get to that.
Many also adhere to Libertarianism, which I have raged against previously, pointing out clearly that Libertarians are NOT, I repeat NOT Progressives.
Libya is the best example of anarchy and capitalism. If you want to know what Anarchy and unrestricted capitalism looks like, look at Libya today, since the US-orchestrated destruction of the Qaddafi government. They have no elections and no viable government. They also have open slave markets in the streets, lack of food, lack of water, armed gangs running the streets. Unrestricted capitalism means unrestricted. That means anything and everything is for sale. Including human freedom and life. If you cannot pay, your freedom and perhaps your life will be surrendered. Because of lack of government, lack of laws, lack of law enforcement, your freedom and your life may be forfeit even if you DO pay. After all, who is there to insure that your abductors or abusers hold their side of that bargain?
Define no government. Those who call themselves Anarchists or Anarcho-Socialists (aka Libertarian Socialists) have an objection to the existence of a centralized government, especially one which controls the economy. In general, they protest against the collection of taxes. Meaning any existing government would have to be self-funded. In other words, only those who could purchase their way into office would hold office. They claim that all humans should be self-governing and they toss in the Socialist label to try and legitimize their claims that this would be freedom or “liberty”. Their ideas would serve to empower the rich and the most brutal in society. Why would anyone think that the rich and violent would not threaten and control anyone opposing them? That already happens right now!
Their labels are oxymorons. No matter which label they choose to apply to themselves is self-contradictory. You cannot be in favor of social liberties while denying funding or oversight to the very programs which provide for the welfare of the people, especially the young, elderly, poor and chronically ill. What they propose is survival of the privileged. Not very social, is it?
A Socialist government still needs a central government. Understand something. Any time you gather a group of people together, including civilians, to define rules of conduct in any way, you have created laws and regulations. Those laws must include penalties or there is nothing to stop anyone from violating those laws. Without defined laws, courts and means of enforcement, what results is mob rule and vigilante justice. Without laws and a system to enforce those laws, who protects the general public? Who stops businesses or anyone from selling unsafe medications and medical equipment? Who enforces food safety? Environmental protection? Worker safety? Consumer finance protection? Child labor laws? Wages?
Who saves capitalism? Opposing a government basically means opposing safety, security and the general welfare. It also means opposing capitalism itself. In 2008/9 it was inadequate financial regulations which led to the financial collapse. Who did capitalists turn to? Who saved them? The government. Right this minute, the Federal Reserve is creating roughly $180 billion PER DAY to bail out unstable private banks which would otherwise collapse. Those banks became unstable by placing money in risky investments. What are the banks doing with the money loaned to them? Bailing out the risky investments, of course. In all honesty, without government, what stops banks from taking your deposits and closing their doors?
Don’t vote? If you choose to not vote, that is your personal choice. You have chosen to silence your own voice which could at least be used to help raise the chances of increased ballot access for third and fourth parties. So do not act like not voting is making a statement. That is passive-aggressive whining. It is highly unlikely that there ever has been or ever will be one candidate for any office that you agree with absolutely. It is a matter of balance and priority. If you don’t see anyone you like running for office and you want to be so much of an activist, get out and run for office yourself. Instead of sitting on your ass criticizing, put yourself on the line and be the one being criticized. Be the one trying to find the balance needed to improve things. Be the one to offer solutions, not just complaining about problems.
Revolution? Anyone who reads my writing knows I absolutely oppose violent revolution. That kind of violence always gets out of hand and causes harm. The ones who advocate violence have some fantasy that they will be immune to that violence. There’s nothing humanitarian about their ideas. Does any of this mean that I do not expect violent revolution to occur in this country, at least in limited pockets? I fully expect that to happen. Does that mean I will shy away if it comes down to an outright physical confrontation between varying factions, including the government against the people? I will be right there if and when it happens.
However, IDEAS are what are truly revolutionary. Knowledge, truth, peaceful negotiation. Unity across party lines is revolutionary and what the oligarchy truly fears. We will not gain that unity by attacking one another using labels and contrived divisions between us. We will not gain that unity by violence. None of us can expect to agree on all points with all people or even most people. We have to be dynamic in our allegiances by joining with one group for one goal and another group for another goal, etc. Not only can we accomplish more that way but we gain stronger bonds with a wider variety of people. We build COMMUNITY.
Yes, we absolutely need changes to our system. That’s not a question. We need a system which bails and benefits the people, not the banks, not the corporations, not the warmongers. Let the ones throwing money into failed investments fail. Only then will they learn their lesson.
Banding together is anything but anarchy. Banding together as some propose for the purpose of destroying the government with no viable alternative is mob rule. Destroying the government would result in mob against mob, gang against gang. Which is not very Utopian, is it?
I really did not think I was going to have to write a follow up on this one. I should have known better. So, this follow up is really to address the contradictions I have encountered from the left.
Some have claimed that because I am stating that universal healthcare would have to be phased in that I am in some way against universal healthcare. The first thing that is obvious about that argument is that they have not read my writing, including the entire first article. They claim they did, of course but if they did, the indication is worse. It means they are arguing for the sake of feeding their addiction to conflict. I made it very clear on too many occasions to count just how much I am in favor of universal healthcare, so their arguments hold no water at all.
Rational approach. Every single thing that I write comes from a rational perspective. In this case, I have not only formally and informally studied economics for over 30 years but have direct experience with basically everything involved. I have been a nurse for over 25 years. I have written medical protocols. I have worked as a subcontractor for multiple insurance companies and the longest position in that respect I resigned from because of my own ethical objections to changes in criteria which denied needed imaging studies. Lastly, I have been writing about politics for years. Thus, I know politics, economics, medicine, medical protocols and the insurance/medical funding processes.
Compassionate approach. Not only is everything I write rational, it is also humanitarian in nature. My detractors on the first article are still absolutely set on the idea that insurance company employees would be able to transition directly and immediately to a government universal healthcare system. That would not happen. It could not happen. It is all but impossible.
Location, location, location. First, detractors are making the completely erroneous assumption that new jobs will be created in the same cities in which they currently exist. That would not happen in the majority of cases. There may be a select few jobs available in larger cities created but not enough to replace all the jobs which would be lost by a long shot. Maybe they think workers can simply pull up their entire lives and relocate to where the new jobs are created. Leave their homes, their families, their friends and all that they know for the sake of a paycheck. A few may be willing to do this but they will be an extreme minority. That thought process also takes no account of what that would do to the housing market. So, who is thinking about the direct welfare of those workers and their families? Me or my detractors?
Money is not healthcare. Detractors have said to me that insurance is not healthcare. I agree. Know what else is not healthcare? Throwing money at the problem. I explained in detail the challenges of training, building and expanding systems, contracts, staffing, etc. Just funding is not enough. Throwing money at a problem does not make it go away. The moment that universal healthcare passes, I explained that the stock market will plummet. Perhaps they think this only has implications for rich investors. However, it would definitely affect the average American who has a diversified 401k. People could lose a significant portion of their life savings within hours. Just funding would not create the needed systems and medically trained personnel needed to provide the care and services required. Who is thinking about the average American with retirement accounts and the lapse in services? Me or my detractors?
Staffing, education and licensing. I covered this in the first article but let me repeat it. Medical training takes years. Implementing universal healthcare will place a heavy burden on the system we currently have. Waiting times will lengthen and there is already insufficient staffing in many geographic areas. Yes, you can increase pay/bonuses/benefits but then you merely move the shortage from one place to another. More people will have to be trained and licensed. Would you want your family member in a hospital which was still accepting patients at half the minimum staffing levels? I have been a nurse long enough to have had 14 patients on a surgical unit, 40 patients in inpatient hospice with one CNA, over 60 in a nursing home or skilled nursing unit, over 300 patients one time in a long term rehab unit. Those are the kinds of things that led to the nursing shortage and almost made me leave nursing. Do you want that back? Who is thinking about patient safety and who is not? Me or my detractors?
Overburdening. One thing is absolutely true. Before you can train people into a new system, the system has to exist. While those opposed to me claim workers can be trained into the existing system, the Medicare/Medicaid system is not created or equipped with the resources or even protocols needed for a universal healthcare system. However, let’s say the protocols and computer systems existed. What happens then is that you overburden the current workers with training new employees. Even after a person is trained, they have to have their work overseen and reviewed for accuracy for weeks or months. That includes for fraud, waste and abuse. During this time, the processing time for claims would be extended considerably. Perhaps taking weeks or months. So, who is thinking of the people who are actually ill, acutely or chronically during this period? Me or my detractors? Who is thinking of the stress level placed on already overworked government employees? Me or my detractors?
Offshore effects. Not many Americans have any realization as to how much of their medical claims process takes place in other countries. Yes, your private medical information is sent to other countries on a daily basis. I know this because of my experiences doing preauthorization for medical imaging studies. One big reason for this is that the insurance companies pay workers in other countries far less than domestic workers. I have also worked in medical facilities that send imaging studies to Australia to have reports written. That’s so they do not have to keep a Radiologist PhD on staff at all times. Now, while I strenuously object to our medical information being sent to other countries, I accept the fact that the workers in those countries rely on that employment for an income. An immediate change to universal healthcare would leave them without an income with no warning. So, who is more compassionate to those workers? Me or my detractors?
Probationary period. One cannot deny that implementing universal healthcare would be harshly scrutinized and criticized by capitalists. That includes the capitalist media who make many many billions per year hosting advertising for insurance and drug companies. So, how would they be reporting on this transition? If we suddenly had tens or hundreds of thousands out of work, waiting times and processing times extended to months, a stock market crash and seeming incompetence all along the way? Do you remember how much of a problem it was to bring the ACA online? The problems with the government portal? How many times the system crashed? The processing time to get people enrolled? Do you remember how the media reported on every single tiny problem? The absolute fact is that capitalists would be seeking any and every excuse to declare universal healthcare a failure. That is ALL they would report on all day, every day. While probably blaming Russia, of course. So, who is thinking of how imperative it is that universal healthcare be implemented in a way that considers all that can go wrong, plans for exceptions and has contingencies in place? Who sounds like they want it to be successful, me or my detractors?
Too many of my detractors are completely driven by emotion. That emotion is unreasoning, uncompromising, compulsive and selfish. As a nurse, I am trained and experienced in applying critical thinking to achieve results which are based on emotion, compassion, caring. As a nurse, I am also absolutely no stranger to setting my own emotions aside while applying that critical thought process or even doing what the patient wants when my own choice would be far different.
I am very much in favor of Socialism and my writing displays that. However, as a reasoning person I also think clearly that transitioning in that direction must be done gradually and with extreme planning. We cannot throw one system out completely without having a new system already built to replace it. That is the equivalent to learning you have lung cancer and the doctor’s response is grabbing a scalpel and removing your lungs with no anesthesia, no transplant organs. “Well, we have funding for it!” How would that work for you?
The whole point is that using critical, rational thinking to detail exactly HOW things can be accomplished effectively with the fewest complications does not lack compassion or emotion in the least. You would not want someone performing surgery on you or administering medications to you when they have no knowledge on the procedures. It doesn’t matter how much emotion they put into it, certain things take knowledge, planning and education. Your FEELINGS don’t matter if you sabotage the system you implement while causing very real danger to the beneficiaries of that system. If we cause more problems than we solve, we doom that system before it ever gets off the ground.
I have stated many times that my preferred part is the Green Party. For some while, I have also promised to detail why I am for the Green Party in general, yet will likely not vote GP this election.
First, my praise.
The GP has the most extensive, Progressive, detailed, transparent party platform of any party at all. If you care to read it, be ready to spend some time. I really encourage you to do so. Each section goes into extreme detail and it will take hours to read the whole thing. This is especially impressive because it demonstrates how issues are woven together and must be viewed as such. Their platform can be found here: https://www.gp.org/platform
The GP is the most fervently anti-war and most humanistic party you can find. No other party comes close as far as human and environmental rights versus capitalism. I truly cannot praise the party platform enough because it is lucid, not based on special interests and tries the absolute hardest to work toward equality, peace, fairness and justice.
Now, my criticism.
My first criticism of the GP is to agree with many others who have criticized the GP previously and currently. The GP has a very big problem with organization. Rather than having a true national party, they have a collection of independent state parties which act autonomously. This is especially puzzling for a party that has such comprehensive views on rights as a nation. This also tends to call into question their ability to function as a national organization for the benefit of the country should a GP candidate be elected.
My second criticism is based on this specific election. This election cycle has been rife with accusations of unfair treatment of candidates. Multiple presidential candidates from the GP have filed formal complaints and press releases stating that the GP has suppressed certain campaigns and promoted a limited number of others. I can attest that this is true because I looked at the GP list of candidates months ago and several times over several months. During that time, I never even saw these candidates listed on the official GP website as active candidates. If the GP is basing party backing of specific candidates on monetary fundraising or something similar, that negates everything in their platform.
I also think the GP needs to move up their timing of naming their nominee. For a party that gets insufficient media coverage, it becomes more important for the party to unify behind a single voice. There is no single spokesperson for the GP. As noted above, they are not a national party, so a single spokesperson is next to impossible to name. For years, we considered Jill Stein the leader and spokesperson for the GP but she has bowed out of this election cycle. Thus, operating on a similar time frame as the two major parties really does not work. Delaying the naming of a nominee simply means that each candidate and the party as a whole suffers from lack of attention.
Right now, Howie Hawkins appears to be the most likely nominee. Hawkins has many very good policies which I agree with. In theory. However, Hawkins is basically a Marxist. I actually support Marxism as a concept. However, this country is far from being evolved enough to adopt Marxism at this point in time. This becomes even more crucial a concept to contend with after the petty, delusional Russiagate McCarthyism we have been dealing with for the past 3+ years. Trying to run someone that far to the left with no transition period would likely lead to civil war. Just think how corporate media would react to his campaign and/or presidency!
I’ll cover Marxism and this country in another article.
Hawkins is also a propagator of the Russiagate myth, so I rather fail to see how he can claim to be anti-war. Nobody who promotes Russiagate is anti-war. Nobody.
So, while the Green Party is the most socially Progressive party with the most well considered and constructed platform, this election cycle holds little or no hope for them. Sadly, I find it likely that they will lose ground this cycle compared to 2016. I’ll say that I am still donating to the GP. However, they need to organize themselves better and learn from their mistakes. It literally appears that they are engaging in some form of wishful thinking where elections are concerned. Their strongest suit is in critical thinking, so it’s a tragedy they are not applying it in this way. Socialism is an expansive concept which cannot be broken down into smaller state parties functioning separately from one another. Doing so leaves the door open for high chances of infiltration and corruption by external forces with little oversight or accountability. A national party is more likely to be able to gain ballot access in all states while gaining some level of media coverage. Yes, of course that media coverage by corporate sources would be intentionally negative but name recognition is important. Just look at Trump’s coverage in 2015/16 for evidence of that point. Until they slow their policies to graduated implementation, revealing the successive steps over time with success at each stage and form a more cohesive and defined structure, the GP will remain very low on the ballot.
Right now we are seeing the highest rate of defaults on federal student loans in the history of this country. This situation is unsustainable on many levels.
What happens when a student defaults on a federal student loan?
First, take a look at what the term “federal student loan” means. The term refers to a student loan which is backed by a guarantee by the federal government. In other words, the US federal government promises the bank that they will be reimbursed for the loan, even if the student defaults on the loan.
If you have ever been at risk of defaulting on a student loan or entered an agreed upon period of nonpayment due to some form of hardship, you know the steps that occurred. First, your loan is sent to a federal office. What you may not know is that the federal office at that point pays the bank for the balance of the loan and they assume the balance for a period of time. This is generally considered a “rehabilitation period”, during which no additional interest accrues on the loan.
At the end of that period, the loan is farmed back out to lenders. You have no control over what lender picks up the loan, so you may get the same lender back or a different lender.
If you are then unable to maintain the payments on the loan after all deferments have been used up, the loan is considered in default by the lender.
At that point, a federal office again assumes the balance of the loan, paying off the bank. This is when real problems begin.
Once the status on the loan is considered to officially be in default, the federal government will take any means necessary to collect the balance of the loan, in addition to interest, fees and penalties. Those steps can include placing a mandatory lien on a percentage of your paycheck, seizing your tax refunds, and in extreme cases they can seize your bank account assets, investment accounts, Social Security payments and more.
Disability, age and even death does not stop collection efforts. If you are married and die, your spouse becomes responsible for the balance of the debt. So any funds left to your estate can be seized. If that is insufficient, your spouse’s Social Security or pension can be penalized until paid in full.
Once you default on a federal student loan, the negative mark on your credit rating is basically permanent. It does not roll over in 10 years as other debts do. It follows you for life. Declaring bankruptcy does not apply to federal student loans at all.
In cases where the government is unable to collect the balance of the loan, the federal government (meaning you, the taxpayer) assumes the balance of the loan.
This is the extent to which the federal government goes to insuring the profits of corporate banks. Meanwhile, very little protection is offered to the student/borrower. If a school fails before the course is completed, that does nothing to erase or lessen the debt owed by the student. With no protections regarding age, extended illness or even death, you can understand clearly that your money is worth more than your life to our government.
I have explained in recent weeks how the Federal reserve (which is not a government entity, yet determines federal national debt) is bailing out banks right this minute. Banks which are at risk of failing due to taking on risky investments. By the time the Repo Market bailout ends, the risk to the federal debt will exceed $4 trillion, which is far more expensive than paying off all student loans would cost.
The unbalanced system in favor of banks and rich investors, backed by the government, with the US government acting as a collection agency on their behalf, is one of the biggest reasons to take universal adult education seriously. Add this to the benefits to the general economy in terms of disposable income translated to consumer spending which would create jobs and it simply makes sense. Right now the interest applied to decades of student loan debt does nothing for the economy, it creates virtually no jobs at all. It merely serves to enrich the already rich. The debt lessens the ability of borrowers to qualify for mortgages, apartment rental agreements, vehicle loans and often disallows a borrower from being able to afford medical care. In many cases, it impacts food security for the borrower. This is a loan shark system of the highest degree which needs to end.
There is absolutely no excuse that “the richest country on earth” cannot afford universal adult education at the 2–4 year degree level for our citizens. Not when nearly every other developed country has such a system in place. There is no other country, has never been another country, with this level of student loan debt, this level of bankruptcy for what amounts to basic needs and services for our own citizens, only to prop up the profits of the privileged.
I am the Revolution I am Anonymous I am Antifa I am anti-media I am anti-corporate I am for an establishment but changing the one we’ve had for decades I am all races I am all genders I am all sexual orientations I am all religions I am all nationalities I am against war I am non-violent by choice, not by fear I am your ally I am your defender I am your friend I am your neighbor I am not going away I am not backing down I am the Revolution I have been doing this my whole life And I am just getting started