Everyone Wants To Stop Sanders
Except the voters who support him. I guess neoliberal hope springs eternal.
I’ve noticed a few headlines about tired and weary politicians who are saying they want to stop Bernie Sanders. The latest to jump into the fray is Walter Mondale. Before that Obama said he would speak out to stop Sanders from winning. Even Hillary Clinton, a woman who could not stop her lips from moving if her life depended on it, said that everybody hates Sanders. She spawned a new hashtag on Twitter, #IlikeSanders.
But I think there are a few more who are trying very hard to stop Sanders, for even in 2016, they knew he’d be back. If Obama said he would speak out to stop Sanders, Joe Biden is there to stop Sanders, and probably Elizabeth Warren, too. If it weren’t for Joe Biden, the race would be between Sanders and Warren, and I’m pretty sure there are some very elitist Democrats who would like to perish the thought of either one of them as president.
Mike Bloomerg is also there to stop Sanders. He doesn’t say it, but his billions earned from the terminals that he sells to traders on Wall Street and the media conglomerate he owns are telling us we’d be crazy to see Sanders as president. Mike Bloomberg is mainstream media in the flesh. He’s not a reporter, but he employs an army of reporters. He’s not a cameraman, but he has another army of just cameramen. And he has producers, directors, and gaffers, all employed by Bloomberg, ready to tell us that we’re crazy to have Sanders as president.
And now, with the first caucus results within our grasp, there are people who are very surprised to see that it looks like Bernie won Iowa, and it’s not even close. The reports released by the Sanders campaign from 40% of the precincts in Iowa say that Sanders got something like 29% of the votes, with Biden as a distant 4th place. If that’s how it’s going to play out, I’m sure the delays in releasing the results are caused by a certain sense of existential angst within the Democratic Party elites.
These elite Democrats see real trouble with Bernie Sanders. They also see an uprising like they have never seen before, but they knew it was coming. Already, there are rumblings that if Sanders takes Iowa and New Hampshire, he will be unstoppable for the Democratic nomination.
So when I see Obama, Hillary, Biden, and Bloomberg all telling us, ever so discreetly or not, that Sanders must be stopped, I see them speaking in $$$s. Kind of like the bird Woodstock from the comic strip, Peanuts. Instead of words in the bubble, we get ‘’’’’, sometimes upside down. With our moneyed politicians, we hear, “Yeah, Sanders is very nice, but $$$ will tell you who you can vote for.” Boss Tweed would be so proud.
And when I think of those very wealthy politicians, Biden, Obama, Bloomberg, and even Tom Steyer, I think of Tony Coelho. Some of you out there can remember his name. Coelho was the first Democrat to figure out how to do what the Republicans have been doing for decades — going after the business money to win elections. Back in 1986, he was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee and he was telling big business that “you need us”. And he gave the Democrats a fundraising kick they never forgot.
Most entrenched Democrats since then have followed his advice, go after the big business money. During the Democratic National Convention in 2016, we saw business names on banners and graphics all over the video streaming from within. Here is a shortlist including big banks, big pharma, and big media. These strange bedfellows are partially a result of the abolition of public funding for convention costs in 2014. Once that was done, the two major political parties were quite free to pursue corporate cash from the very largest corporations in America. I expect the same donors from 2016 are having some qualms about nominating Bernie Sanders. And if he wins the nomination, I wonder what they will do.
So when I hear of these wealthy politicians who want to stop Sanders, I wonder who they are thinking of. Are they thinking majoritarian politics, where the majority should have a voice in how things are run? Or are they thinking of a tiny minority, the oligarchy? You know, that word, “oligarchy” literally translates to “rule by the few”. This is what I’m thinking every time some elite Democrat says that Bernie Sanders must be stopped.
You know, I’m reading a bit of history right now, …and Forgive Them Their Debts, by economist and historian Michael Hudson. In chapter 3 of that book, he runs through several thousand years of debt cancellation, clearly showing a long, long tradition of debt forgiveness on the part of the rulers of that time. In numerous examples, populist rulers who pushed for debt forgiveness or cancellation were often assassinated. The same kinds of people would prefer to never see a “clean slate”, are with us today. They would rather use debts to rule us.
The populist rulers of ancient times saw a clean slate was necessary to restore the economy, to restore social order, and to prevent plutocrat encroachment upon government power. I believe that the plutocrats among us see a potential clean slate coming in Bernie Sanders. He might not cancel all debts, but he is definitely going push for wiping the slate clean in a few parts of American economics that are long overdue.
And if Medicare For All prevails, that wipes away a huge portion of debts, and that means loss of political control. If Student debts are canceled, and college tuition is free at public institutions of higher education, that’s at least $1.6 trillion of political control, down the drain. If postal banking becomes the norm, as Bernie has suggested it should, a lot of unbanked people can avoid the payday loan offices. This is just the start of what could happen if Bernie Sanders were elected.
It is clear that there are a few very powerful people, who also claim to be liberals, that want to stop Bernie Sanders. We should be asking them pointed questions like, “Why do you want to stop Bernie Sanders?”, in front of cameras with hot mics. I’d like to hear firsthand from Obama, Biden, Hillary, Bloomberg, and even Walter Mondale, why *they* want to stop Bernie Sanders. Wouldn’t you?