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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/19/20

Why Progressives Oppose Joe Biden

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Message William Barth
'Call Me Irresponsible- but it's undeniably true I'm irresponsibly mad for you.'

- Jimmy Van Heyden '62, popularized by Frank Sinatra.

I agree, in part, with Bernie Sanders' claim that some of his supporters are irresponsible. Many progressive voters changed their party registration to Democrat, because this was required for them to vote for Sanders in the presidential primary. This was an irresponsible political action because, now that Sanders has withdrawn from the race, it has left many of his supporters with a nominee they actually oppose, namely, Joe Biden.


Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden In a surprise appearance on a campaign livestream, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential ...
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In short, progressives abandoned their own political affiliations such as Green Party registration for the short-term strategic objective of electing Sanders. As a result of making this change, these voters are now left out in the cold so to speak, since they have no candidate whom they can with good conscience support. In short, it was irresponsible for these voters to abandon their progressive party affiliations, as well as their principles, merely to vote for Sanders.

Unfortunately, many progressives are compelled nowadays to oppose the Democratic Party, because this party has long since abandoned its working-class base. Nowadays, the Democratic Party is merely a private association financed by wealthy donors and lobbyists, as well as corporate-sponsored PACs. This fact was demonstrated by Biden himself, who has threatened to veto the popular Medicare-for-all-program (which was once a tenet of the New Deal) if by some miracle the Democrats in Congress actually passed it. Biden's campaign accepts contributions from big insurance, as well as big pharmaceutical interests.

Furthermore, beginning in the 1960s, the Democrats have promoted endless regime-change wars of aggression, from Vietnam through to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan in our own day. The Democrats pro-war policies should be unacceptable to progressives yet liberals naively support these murderous wars. Well over a million human souls have been killed in this scourge.

Some progressives might well vote to re-elect President Trump as a protest against how the Democratic Party establishment has helped to derail Sanders' campaigns in the past two presidential primaries. At the same time, other progressives may take Sanders' admonition to heart, and never again abandon their principles for short-term electoral gain.

In fact, progressives now have the moral obligation to oppose the endless wars of Trump and Biden, along with the Trump/Biden efforts to privatize our health care system through programs such as Obama-care. As a result of Biden's nomination, the COVID19 crisis lacks any political debate over our public health system, or rather lack of one, even as millions are laid off from their jobs and lose their private health insurance coverage in the process.

Americans do not have anything close to the United Kingdom's tax-funded National Health Service, which provides British residents with free medical treatment at the point of need. Hence progressives can now dedicate themselves to the principles of Sanders' movement, by working to end regime-change war(s), as well as to expand to make universal rights out of Medicare and Social Security so that there are no eligibility requirements to benefit from these programs. In short, progressives can make amends for the past by reaffirming their commitment to progressive values within a supportive political framework, either by voting for an existing one such as the Green Party, or by establishing a new progressive People's Party, as a part of an effort to renew our ailing, multi-party democracy.

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William Barth 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

Dr. William K. Barth's book is entitled, On Cultural Rights: The Equality of Nations and the Minority Legal Tradition (Boston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2008). He received his doctorate from the Univeristy of Oxford.

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