Now that it is almost a certainty that Senator Bernie Sanders will never become the President of the United States—although my timing is off; is it time to take a sober look at where he wanted to take the country? The rank and file Republicans get hung up on labels and like most of their philosophies, projection is a malignant disease that infects their ideology. The GOP love to talk about identity politics while at the same time applauding the labeling of native Spanish language speakers as murderers and rapist, and now they are desperately trying to rename the novel coronavirus the “Chinese virus” for political purposes.
Republicans will never admit or concede that socialism is a part of every democracy, they instead call upon the boogeyman, calling Sanders a communist or sympathizer of dictators. Just yesterday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin proposed a payment of 1000 dollars to Americans forced from their jobs because of Covid-19, I am cheering for the relief payment to eventually pass Congress. For the men and women whom we cannot conduct life without, and to the benefit of their temporary fiduciary relief this is a marvelous gesture; but what happened to the worries of socialism? I have asked a lot of questions without providing answers because the people we look to for answers seem more confused than me.
When Richard Nixon instituted the most drastic environmental change, the EPA, in 1970 Republicans applauded. “Study after study, public opinion poll after public opinion poll have revealed that the economy of this nation can absorb the costs of cleaning up pollution without inflation or without a loss in economic productivity,” said then-Republican Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee. “As I have talked with thousands of Tennesseans, I have found that the kind of natural environment we bequeath to our children and grandchildren is of paramount importance,” Sen. Baker continued. “If we cannot swim in our lakes and rivers if we cannot breathe the air God has given us, what other comforts can life offer us,” he concluded.
Contrast that to the current Republican Senator from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, who in 2014 was a Congressional Rep. said there is no consensus on climate change. The environment has not gotten better, just the partisan messaging. Buzzwords like pinkos, tree huggers, snowflakes and yes socialist easily win the day with Republicans over logic and science. During the Obama campaign, the name Saul Alinsky became an anti-Obama rallying cry for the GOP in his 2012 reelection campaign. This gave rise to Obama being called everything from a dangerous radical to having a “Kenyan anti-colonial” worldview. Of course, this was code to stoke white fear of a black president.
I started the piece, and rant, about how conservative America covered their head in fear of Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism as if they were preparing for a return of the Red Scare. In the meantime, Donald Trump has so mesmerized his 40% that fascism has become acceptable. Yale philosopher Jason Stanley defined fascism in a writer interview with Vox’s Sean Illing, “Part of what fascist politics does is get people to disassociate from reality. You get them to sign on to this fantasy version of reality, usually a nationalist narrative about the decline of the country and the need for a strong leader to return it to greatness, and from then on their anchor isn’t the world around them — it’s the leader.” Admittedly, I am a Joe Biden supporter, maybe it has something to do with my age and his offer of stability. I would vote for Bernie in the general election—happily because enhancing a system, I already live within, is better than accepting Trump’s neo-fascism.
Vote in 2020 for Change.