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If I Were Bernie, Here's the Speech I'd Give Now

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Andy speaking for Bernie
Andy speaking for Bernie
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Democratic voters have a choice between two candidates. Which candidate is the better choice depends on what you think is possible for us to achieve.

If you think we are stuck with the power system we have -- in which moneyed interests take over the American democracy and get to call more and more of the shots, and where politicians can be rewarded rather than punished for betraying the American people -- Secretary Clinton is an admirable choice. She is intelligent, hard-working, and has shown over many years a concern for the well-being of American families.

She has pledged that, if she is elected president, she will work with the system as it is to work toward many of the same goals that have also inspired me to run.

Like me, she wants for Americans to have health care coverage, just as the citizens of every other advanced society do.

But she thinks that the health insurance companies and Big Pharma will inevitably have veto power over what kind of health insurance system we can have in the United States, and that there's nothing we can do about that.

I believe that together, we the people can regain the power to make those choices that are best for America.

Like me, Secretary Clinton wants for our country to respond to the challenge of climate change.

But she thinks our responses have to take into account the enormous political power the fossil fuel companies now have. Which is probably why it took her so long to oppose the terribly ill-advised Keystone pipeline project.

I believe that together, we the people can overcome that corporate choke-hold on our progress.

Like me, Hillary is concerned with how wealth and income in America are being transferred from the distressed middle class to the very richest and to the corporate system.

But she believes that we have to accept as given that corporate power gets to choose our economic arrangements even if they hurt America's working families. And that probably explains why she came only lately to oppose the TPP trade agreement which, the American people should understand, represents a power grab by corporate America.

I believe that, together, we can create a political revolution that ends this rigged economy, making our economic system serve all Americans, not just the billionaire class and the corporate system.

Like me, she recognizes that -- to accomplish anything -- we have to deal with the determination of the Republicans now controlling Congress to block anything that a Democratic president tries to accomplish.

But she apparently accepts as a given that the Republicans can practice this kind of across-the-board obstructionism without paying the political price such behavior deserves. And that's why, I believe, she speaks about "reaching across the aisle" -- even though President Obama has reached across that aisle time and again, only to get his hand bitten by Republicans who had no interest whatever in working with him to find good solutions for America.

I believe that we do not have to accept this unacceptable Republican obstructionism and that, by calling out this destructive Republican conduct, we can together compel this Republican Party to choose between becoming again the constructive conservative party America needs, or having its power taken away by the American people.

Like me, Secretary Clinton wants to rescue our democracy from the corrupting influence of Big Money and, in particular, to overturn that terrible Supreme Court decision , Citizens United.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
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