Feeling the Bern
I am a sixty-year-old woman that had pretty much given up on having a candidate to vote for that was not the lesser of two evils. This year, my dream candidate arrived in an unlikely package of a seventy four year old man that calls himself a Democratic Socialist. I see Bernie Sanders as my once in lifetime political candidate cut in the model of FDR. He is running a campaign that is both positive, which is how I have always lived my life, and issues oriented. The appeal for me is the way he includes everyone in the process. He knows he needs the people to be with him, not just for the vote but to make anything happen. It really is not about him; it is about us! How unusual that in politics today where most candidates are so full of themselves that they can’t even understand how us little people live, we have an opportunity to vote for a person that has always stood up for the people and is willing to take this on, even if it is the last thing he does!
I have had people say to me that he is too old. My father lived to be ninety-seven and was a sharp person. I feel no one has an expiration date stamped on his or her forehead. Some people unfortunately die young; others seem blessed with long life. Bernie’s ideas and platform have called me to him. He believes we can make this country better and I believe it as well. If other countries can provide universal healthcare, why can’t we? My sister died an early death because she didn’t have health insurance. I feel strongly about this topic. I have given money to people on Go Fund me pages because they needed money for surgeries. This should not be happening in our country. A poor person’s life should be as valuable as a wealthy person’s life. Republicans like to call us a Christian Nation. I don’t particularly care for that label, as I believe in a separation of church and state. However, if you want to go with that idea, then what would Jesus do? Would he let people die on the street or suffer? I doubt it.
AS far as tuition free public colleges go, I am all for this. As a teacher, we have been pushing for college for everyone for the last several years. Unfortunately, college is largely unaffordable for most people of lower and middle economic standing and thus unattainable. I believe we need to be an educated nation. It is better for our work force and it helps to teach tolerance of other people’s ideas. We should be embracing college for all that are able to withstand the rigors of a higher education. We should also be investing in trade schools as well. I recently read an article about many American students going to Germany for their free college program. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32821678
Germany wants an educated work force and they know some of those foreign students are probably going to stay there and be productive in Germany using what they have learned. Our country needs to embrace the concept of free tuition for public colleges. Our kids are the future of this nation. Do we really want some of our best and brightest students to skip college because they can’t afford it or leave after a year because they have accrued too much debt? Do we want our children enticed to live in other countries because they have a better life style? Do we want our children facing massive college debt that largely forces them into years and years of an ever-growing debt payment that sometimes gets larger because they can’t get the principal down on their paltry salaries? I think we can do better as a nation. We seem to have plenty of money for prisons and war. Maybe we need to invest in our children first!
A few years ago, I read that the cost to house a prisoner at the little prison in Coldwater, Michigan was around $27,000 a year. Most schools in Michigan are getting around $7000-$7500 to educate students. I know that most prisons cost like double the figure from Coldwater, so that seems like a bargain. However, from my point of view, I could see that money easily spent on educating people instead of building prisons and especially those “for profit” institutions. Bernie also has talked about how the years from 0-4 are so important for children’s future well-being. He wants affordable childcare for parents that have to work. He has mentioned getting the proper training for the childcare workers so these children can be in a loving environment where they are nourished.
Bernie wants to invest in our country. He knows our infrastructure is pathetic. We need everything repaired. There hasn’t been much invested in this country in years. Why can’t we invest in our country? We spend an unbelievable amount of money on these wars that seem endless to me. I think we need to invest in our roads, our water systems, affordable housing, airports, modern transportation systems that move the masses, and building businesses that can thrive in this country.
Bernie believes in the American people and he will do everything he can to keep jobs here. He has been against many of the trade bills that have devastated our country and moved so many of our jobs out of this country. He bellows on and on about the 1% and how much they own and how little the rest of us own. He has ignited a flame in the people with that bellow and it is what happens when he tells it like it is to the masses. He asks us to have the courage to join him. How can we not join the man who has dedicated his life to the people of this country?
This ad means so much to me. I look at my students in school and I see all of them in this ad. Yes, I know that the ad features adults but I see my students. I think our country needs to come together and be the best that we can be.
Now some people might be wondering why I am not a Hillary Clinton supporter. Back in 2008, I was a John Edwards supporter because of his issues addressing poverty and healthcare. He was a flawed candidate and I moved on to Hillary Clinton and had an opportunity to attend a rally at South Bend, Indiana. I was impressed with her and left supporting her. Naturally, when she came into this election, my first impulse was for Hillary and that first woman president concept. However, I study politics and read a lot about what is happening. I discovered that Hillary was involved in things over the last eight years that really left me wondering what I ever saw in her. It’s the whole money thing. My son is always asking me when is enough enough? Why do the rich always want more? Her speeches to Wall Street firms for hundreds of thousands of dollars just put a nail on that coffin for me. Her ties to Wall Street, the $350 some thousand that a Wal-Mart billionaire put into the Hillary Victory fund, her questionable ethics when she was Secretary of State, and the interesting Clinton Foundation donations during that time are inexcusable. To add to this, she pushes for troops on the ground and war, which has created crises in Libya and Syria and make me see her as a very flawed candidate. When she said we would never, ever have single payer, I wondered why anyone would support her. Her constant use of the word “I” and not “We”, (Well lately, she seems to have gotten that message.) tell me she just doesn’t get it. She has really become the candidate of the “establishment” Democrats. This, for me, is just unacceptable and excessively far right of where I want the Democrats to be.
In reality, I feel like my party has abandoned me in favor of a center right party that appears to be a lot like the old Republican Party before it went very crazy. I find myself unsubscribing from emails, un-liking Democratic candidates on Facebook, and very discouraged by the direction my party is going. I see people pretty much the way Bernie does when he was asked a question about religion which I will share in the video below. I believe we should be giving each other a hand up not stepping on people’s fingers when they are trying to pull themselves up out of despair, poverty, suffering, getting an education, getting a job, and volunteering. We are all connected and it is time we all see what Bernie sees.
I can’t seem to embed this video, so here is the link. I get the link to work so you will have to copy it and paste it into another url tab. I am sorry you will have endure the ad first. I guarantee it is worth watching.