Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter 3 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/12/20

Bernie is Not a Radical - He is a Pragmatist

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   3 comments

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Reprinted from Market Watch

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
(Image by Gage Skidmore)
  Details   DMCA

Practical Bernie Sanders voted for Obamacare, but he didn't give up on his long-term goal of universal health care.

As Bernie Sanders continues to increase his standing in the Democratic primary, and his opponents in both parties feel the pain, there is an effort to paint him as an extremist of some sort. Someone who might even lose to Trump because of this alleged "radicalism." But it's not that easy to make the case on the basis of facts.

He has a 40-year track record as a politician. The things he is saying now are mostly what he has shouted from the mountain tops for pretty much the whole time. The main difference is that now, other Democratic politicians have joined him: on a $15 minimum wage, student-debt relief, free tuition at public universities, expanding Social Security, reducing income inequality, and some even on Medicare for All.

Read the latest news and commentary on Election 2020.

His actions speak even more consistently than his words: he understands that politics is about compromise. He fights hard for what he has promised to voters, but then takes the best deal he can win if it will advance the ball down the field, and prepares to fight again the next day.

That's why he supported Obamacare when it was the best deal on the table - expanding insurance coverage to 20 million Americans, without the life-threatening exclusions for "pre-existing conditions." This despite the fact that Obamacare was still quite a distance from Medicare for All - "health care as a human right" - that had been his passion and signature issue for decades.

But he is a "socialist," his opponents cry, leaving out the first part of the term "democratic socialist" that Sanders always uses when this issue is discussed. There is much room to induce confusion here because the term "socialist," in English, has a number of different definitions that have all become common usage over the years.

It can be used to mean anything from "communist," as in the former Soviet Union, to the European social democratic or socialist parties that have governed for much of the past 70 years in countries such as France, Germany, Spain, and the U.K., not to mention the Scandinavian countries.

It should be clear to anyone who is not trying to frighten voters that Sanders is a social democrat of the latter, European variety. There will be no U.S. government takeover of the means of production under a Sanders administration.

The biggest expansion in government will be in public funding of health insurance. Like traditional Medicare, where less than 2% of expenses are administrative costs, public health insurance will be much more efficient than the current six times as much spent by the private insurance industry. And we won't have 8 million people falling into poverty every year due to medical expenses, or worse, tens of thousands actually dying because of lack of access to affordable health care.

Sanders' program is targeted at correcting a very harmful transformation of the U.S. economy that has taken place over the past 40 years.

Unlike the first three decades after World War II, when income gains were broadly shared as the economy grew, most of the increase in income has gone to those who already had much more than their share. Since 1993, for example, the top 1% of families captured an astounding 48% of the growth in this country's income.

No wonder so many Americans feel like the system is rigged against them.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Mark Weisbrot Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Mark Weisbrot is co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is also the author of "Failed: What the 'Experts' Got Wrong About the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2015)."

He writes a weekly (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Snowden, Greenwald and Wikileaks are winning

Assange case: Sweden's shame in violating human rights

The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of "free trade"

GOP's assault on women bogs down in the quicksand of free contraception

The truth about Venezuela: a revolt of the well-off, not a "terror campaign"

The world has nothing to fear from the US losing power

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   


You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 

Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments  Post Comment


911TRUTH

Become a Fan
Author 15356
(Member since Apr 29, 2008), 26 fans, 2944 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Most, if not all, of Bernie's ideas are not new. They were all taken away from us over time. Like free education.

But now they're calling them 'radical' or 'socialist' when he's trying to re-introduce them.

Americans are just too stupid to realize that.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 at 6:52:18 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Help

David Wieland

Become a Fan
Author 512811
(Member since Jan 1, 2019), 1 fan, 243 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

When the article mentions "the transformation of some energy infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions", is it referring to Sanders' bill to ban fracking? If so, it's downplaying the significance of such a move for a large number of workers who would be inclined to disagree with such a move -- and would favor Trump.

One major problem Sanders faces is his age -- and concomitantly his health. You'll probably find a recent Spectator article disquieting.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 5:08:24 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Help

Don Smith

Become a Fan (Member since Feb 25, 2009), 22 fans, 146 articles, 597 quicklinks, 1894 comments, 45 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Yes, Bernie is centrist. He certainly isn't a socialist (despite what he calls himself). He's a social democrat, as numerous scholars have pointed out. Hopefully, he will stop calling himself a socialist! Bernie, please stop calling yourself a socialist. You're a social democrat!

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 5:18:02 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Help

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment