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Bernie's Obstacle Course

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Message carol wolman, MD
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I certainly hope Bernie makes it to the White House. He is the only sane candidate in the bunch- sane, in the sense of facing the reality of what is happening to our planet, and presenting a vision of "a future to believe in". This is a pivotal election. If he loses, we all lose. It's probably our last chance to turn things around.

To quote Robert Reich : "The energy that fuels Bernie's "political revolution" is a determination to sever the connection between great wealth and political power, and thereby reclaim our economy and restore our democracy. Nothing else we want to accomplish -- saving the planet from the further devastations of climate change, avoiding interminable war, restoring middle-class prosperity and creating paths into the middle class for the poor, providing universal healthcare, overcoming structural discrimination -- is possible unless we reestablish these foundations of our civic life.

Of course, the wealthy who are invested in the status quo will do everything in their power to prevent a political revolution. They have many ways to prevent a Sanders presidency, ranging from marginalization to assassination.

Only people power can overcome every obstacle. Bernie is the true representative of the 99%. A mass movement of the people, which he is deliberately leading, can get him through all the obstacles. To quote him : it's impossible to separate the question of "electability" from the question of democracy. "If you try to put together a movement which says, we have got to stand together as a people, and say that . . . our country belongs to all of us, and not the billionaire class -- that's not raising an issue, that is winning elections. That's where the American people are."

This article contains several petition links. Please sign them, and send them to your social networks, to help build the movement.

His first hurdle was marginalization. At first, Sanders was not considered a serious candidate; a media blackout prevailed. Despite this, the internet, which has become the people's media, enabled him to mobilize voters and raise large sums from many small donors.

The tie in Iowa and the landslide in New Hampshire made it impossible for the media to ignore Bernie. In fact, he is now the leading Democratic candidate. Even after he lost in Nevada, the abc news reported that he continues to be a serious threat. Clinton's landslide in South Carolina again had the press dismissing Bernie. But Bernie's surprise victories on SuperTuesday, in Oklahoma, Colorado and Minnesota, make it clear that he has a good shot at the Presidency.

Every candidate faces attacks on his/her record and platform. Bernie is no exception. It's hard, though, to find hooks, because he that rare bird, an honest politician. So far, there have been no attacks on his personal integrity. There have been negative comments about his changing positions. In fact, he has kept his positions on most things consistently over his career, and when he does change, it is from flexibility, not waffling. For instance, during the recent debates, he realized that his defense of the 2nd Amendment, while appropriate for his home state of Vermont, is not realistic on the national level. Still a sitting Senator, he recently cosponsored a bill tightening gun control.

Hillary and some of the pundits are highly critical of his vision for change, saying that it is unrealistic, that he wouldn't be able to implement it even if he did attain the White House. But given the steady impoverishment of the American people, there is enormous public support for his platform. What he needs is a likeminded Congress, and there are many progressive candidates now vying for election. Readers should pay attention to the congressional primaries as well, so he can put his program into effect.

First, Sanders has to gain the Democratic nomination. He is facing many blocks from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which runs all Democratic campaigns. They are supposed to be unbiased, but in fact lean heavily toward Hillary. DNC Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard resigned last week in order to support Bernie, pointedly saying that she was supposed to be neutral while on the DNC.

Debbie Wasserman, chair of the DNC, is far from neutral, and has shown her bias in many key decisions. For instance, early on, she tried to block Bernie's access to the all-important voter data base. His court challenge put an end to that.

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Carol S. Wolman, MD is a psychiatrist in Northern California. A lifelong peace activist, she is helping to distribute a Peace Plan for the Holy Land- email her for a copy. She also a film producer with Paradise Cove Productions, currently (more...)

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