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I supported Bernie Sanders, not because he was my idea of the perfect candidate, but because he was a lessor of two evils. Maybe some people don't want to hear talk like that but that is exactly what he was, better than Hillary Clinton, but still not where I really wanted. I like many things he had to say, especially about the disparity of wealth in the United States, and I like the fact that he didn't take corporate donations, and I like his stand on Medicare for all.
What I didn't like about Bernie Sanders, was the fact that he never mentioned cutting the defense budget and using that money to finance all the things he espoused during his campaign. To me, he still represented the Washington that I have come to know and despise. The idea that the United States must maintain a military presence in the world with a budget for military roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets needs to be addressed.
Below is a pie chart of the discretionary spending budget for 2016. A picture is worth a thousand words;
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as you can see, spending on defense makes up over 50% of the discretionary budget of this nation. If this chart isn't enough to make you sit there and scratch your head than I don't know how to get through the fact that we have gone totally overboard in military spending. Here's a fact that I can put into words; we spend more now on the military even adjusting for inflation then we did in the year 1945 the high of the second world war! This is not a supposition, this is a fact. The government's politicians don't want you to know exactly how much it is they are spending, but government's own regulations makes them publish these numbers. If they didn't have to they probably wouldn't. It is clearly damning. So they don't talk about it.
No, Bernie Sanders didn't harp on this fact when he talked about big Pharma and corporate greed on Wall Street, but he failed to mention the greed of the defense industries. This is because he too had a vested interest in seeing his own state of Vermont continue to produce the F-35 fighter jet(the biggest waste of money in decades), that brought jobs and income into his state.
This is how the defense industry operates. They make sure that they have factories and research facilities in just about every large congressional district. They have consciously done this to influence every Senator, Congressman, and every potential candidate for Congress. Therefore, I have no faith in the Democratic Party ever becoming anything but what it is; a corporate party run by corporatists.
My intention of including the graph of the 2015 discretionary spending budget was to illustrate just how duplicitous the Republican party really is. They constantly tell people that the cost of Medicaid and Social Security and Medicare is driving the government to insolvency when you can see how much of our discretionary budget is going towards these programs as well as things like health and human services. This graph only shows discretionary spending not spending that we are not obliged to spend as part of the overall budget. We have obligations to make good on the interest from the bonds we issued to save the banksters and get them solvent after they almost bankrupted this country in 2008 with all the gambling they did. We also have obligations to pay for Social Security benefits, but we wouldn't be in such dire straits if the Social Security trust fund hadn't been raped during the Clinton administration. That's how he "balanced" the budget.
Political parties need to be a thing of the past. Human nature has a predilection to form up into groups. We must resist that predilection and learn how to think independently of groups. Large groups of politicians tend to run roughshod over the will of the people that elect them. This is true of both the Democrats and Republicans and to a lesser degree the Greens and other parties. I know it is impossible for someone to run for our national office without financial backing, so in reality political parties must exist, as unpleasant as they are. Still, we must learn to think independently of political group-think and learn how to follow our own consciences, and vote for what we think is right without being influenced by political parties and by the mass media. This will take an understanding of the issues involved in each political campaign.
This is not an insurmountable task as only about 40% of the eligible voters even vote in the presidential elections and even less in the Congressional elections. Those people who vote must learn to think independently and learn to cast their vote for people that have researched and who support their own values. Maybe one day we won't need political parties because we will change the laws to let those who wish to run for office on a national level to do so without having to rely on the financial backing of corrupt political parties.I Won't see that in my lifetime.
(Article changed on February 22, 2017 at 06:21)