Bernie Sanders Is The One
Sanders is a voice of firm resolve and commitment to all Americans in the chaos of the pandemic.
So this weekend, I’ve been taking in the news and some media. First, I noticed that Donald Trump waivered on the travel ban. He ordered a travel ban on Europe to prevent them from coming here but excluded the UK and Ireland at first. It became apparent that Trump had properties in the UK and Ireland, and with some pressure, he eventually relented and adjusted the travel ban to include the UK and Ireland.
Then I noticed on Twitter that Joe Biden was doing a live-streamed press conference with a couple of interesting twists. First, he forgot how many months there were between now and the election.
And for good measure, he just wandered off-camera:
This is uninspiring and actually, kind of scary. Especially when we need focused and coherent leadership to confront the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As usual, conservative media is picking up on this, but they are far more generous to President Trump than to Joe Biden.
I suppose Biden’s consistently poor performance on camera might explain why Nancy Pelosi isn’t calling for Sanders to drop out. According to a report from the New York Post, Nancy had this to say:
“In case you were going to ask, no, I don’t think Bernie Sanders should get out of the race. I think — I’m a grassroots person,” the House speaker told reporters at the Capitol during her weekly press briefing.
“I know the enthusiasm of supporters for candidates and they want to see it play out for the ideas, the causes that the candidates advances, for the opportunity for people to show their support,” the California Democrat continued.
“I congratulate both of the candidates as they go into debate on Sunday. I wish them both well.”
Note: There will be a televised debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden tonight at 8 PM ET on CNN. The debate will be held without an audience due to coronavirus concerns. It will almost certainly stream live on YouTube.
While Biden seems to prefer standing at a lectern giving speeches before a teleprompter, Sanders is contrasting himself to Biden’s weaknesses by giving interviews like the fireside chat he had just yesterday.
The graphic you see there was up for about 14 minutes into the video, so the interview starts around there. It was a great interview and during the interview, Sanders explained the problems before us in terms that were easy to understand. Sanders wasn’t just coherent. He was actively engaged in the interview, explaining his policy positions and his reasoning for them.
When I compare the three of them, Sanders, Trump, and Biden, I notice that I’m afraid of Biden. I’m afraid of Biden not just because he apparently lacks his faculties, but I’m also afraid that he’s vulnerable to undue influence from powerful special interests.
I don’t trust Trump because he is a special interest, and he can’t decide between profits for his hotels or helping the people. Trump will sometimes change his policies with pressure when self-dealing is evident. And Trump takes no responsibility for the abysmal response of his administration to the pandemic. I say, respondeat superior or, “let the master answer”. So what else isn’t his responsibility? I’d really like to know before being asked to vote for him.
I trust Sanders because he can remember and clearly grasp and explain the response to the coronavirus that he has in mind and the rationale for his detailed policy proposals.
Sanders brought up some very interesting points that I’d like to briefly go over here. He frames them in a way that I have not seen any other candidate for president do in this or in previous elections. How is it that the richest country in the world should have these problems?:
- We are spending twice as much per capita on health care and all that money has bought us a woefully insufficient response to the coronavirus.
- 87 million of us are underinsured or without insurance, and many Americans are afraid of going to the doctor just because they might not be able to afford testing or treatment.
- We bailed out Wall Street in 2008, yet Congress, especially the Republicans in the Senate going home for the weekend, seem unwilling to help the people prepare for the economic chaos that is ongoing and more that we are about to confront.
- We can’t make enough masks, gloves, testing kits and we will not have a vaccine for about 20 months.
- Sanders is the *only* candidate running for president to utter these words on camera, “we don’t have enough doctors”.
- We don’t have enough hospital beds.
- The wealthiest country in the world makes people wait 3 hours in an ER for treatment.
- Why are people waiting so many hours in line to vote?
- He notes that in the latest coronavirus relief bill that was just passed by the House, the largest companies are exempted from the paid sick leave provisions of that bill.
- Sanders also notes that in that same relief bill, coronavirus testing is paid for, but treatment is not paid for.
In a short interview, Sanders brought out a consistent set of policy proposals and explained the rationale for each one. He also brought up one important point that neither Biden nor Trump did: Sanders said he’s not a scientist, and that it should be the scientists and the doctors running the show. They have a far better understanding of the way viruses work, how they propagate, and how to treat the illnesses they cause.
In contrast, Trump is a “stable genius” who has a “natural talent” for grasping complex policy challenges like those presented by the coronavirus. And Biden? He could offer nothing more than wandering platitudes about how we’re in this together and that together, we will get through it. Don’t tell me about Biden’s website. We don’t know if the words on his website were actually written by him. In fact, I’d love to see the three of them write a 5 paragraph essay on the coronavirus. That would be a great test for our candidates.
There was something else about Sanders and his policy proposals. Universality. In his view, unemployment benefits, healthcare, tuition-free college, The Green New Deal and other public policy initiatives should be universal in scope.
“We are in this together.” During the fireside chat, that sentiment was very much apparent in Sanders’ attitude, his words and his policy proposals. I’m not sure Biden knows what he’s talking about. And I know that Trump, the pretended expert, doesn’t play golf with the rest of us. I’m sure he doesn’t know what he’s talking about or we would have had a much more coherent response to the pandemic.
Sanders is right when he says that the pandemic is shining a light on the weaknesses in America and that we need to address those weaknesses to survive as a nation. With our help, Bernie Sanders can address the structural problems in America that prevented us from returning a more than adequate response to the coronavirus. And given the weaknesses of Trump and Biden, I’d say that Sanders is our best hope.