OPEN LETTER TO HILLARY CLINTON
In some ways, I feel a bit like your husband must have felt while sitting on his hospital bed talking on the phone to a rather confused John Kerry who insisted they talk about the issues of Constitutional amendments for abortion and gay marriage at the same time that the economy was in freefall and millions of people were losing jobs at such an alarming rate. Mr. Kerry would carry these issues, instead of "jobs," to the Midwest with his worthless choice for vice-fool, John Edwards, the only candidate capable of losing a vice presidential debate to Dick Cheney. Bill could only reply that he wouldn't be talking to John again because there was obviously nothing he could really do to help him.
I can't help you with your foolish email debacle or the fact that you didn't plan to give the gratuities from speaking engagements before banking groups and Wall Street to charity. I can, however, advise you to work really hard at losing the dangerous feeling of elitism that seems to have been responsible for these mistakes. Democratic voters are in quite a "pickle." Most of them love Bernie Sanders, even your supporters. They either "like" you or they are willing to vote for you because they must admit that you are the most qualified candidate. At the rate you are going, they are never going to appreciate you because you are not you! Your latest ploy, trying to buy minority votes by defending President Obama's mistakes, especially the well meaning but botched Affordable Care Act, merely shows the lack of a coherent vision in your current campaign strategy. Unfortunately it will be interpreted as the absence of a coherent vision of America.
In your last official debate, your argument against a single payer system was lame. You sounded exactly like a mindless Republicans trying to save an archaic, poorly conceived health insurance system which is already on life support. Without artificial respiration and billions of dollars in corporate welfare, private health insurance could not take care of sick people unless the victims could afford the enormous premiums necessary to sustain the policies. Instead of defending a "virtual" tax that puts a devastating and unfair burden on businesses, admit that we need a single payer system, but that Bernie may not know how to pay for it and you do!
While Bernie is certainly the de facto champion of healthcare, you are the de facto champion of incremental change and logical compromise. For universal healthcare to work, once legislated, it needs to be taken out of the grubby hands of a Citizens United infected Congress and turned over to well regulated private insurance companies to run, but not own. It is the only way to save affordable healthcare and the medical insurance industry at the same time. Only you can do this because it will take careful planning, incremental change and compromise. I am a long time supporter of your candidacy, but I love Bernie too. The issues, however, are more important than either of you, so I am offering both of you a long term vision of America.
A well designed, honestly run single payer system with Medicare members already paid up and everyone else paying from contributions to the general fund according to income, could possibly benefit every phase of the economy. Part of the compromise: in exchange for relieving the huge burden on businesses, wages could be gradually raised across the board.and a formula developed for lowering corporate taxes based on increased hiring and legitimate expansion of companies within our own borders. The horribly abusive and costly Medicaid system could be mercifully laid to rest.
Meanwhile, Bernie's live wire issues involving fines, indictments and effective taxes on Wall Street and banking interests can be examined separately, however the issues must be addressed! Bernie may be exaggerating the extent to which Wall Street is a fraudulent system, but not by much. Furthermore no one can deny the fact that Wall Street enjoys a virtually free ride, rarely producing any tangible product, but reaping many huge tax free benefits. I have always been a fiscal conservative, but it is hard to argue with the fact that even a miniscule tax on stock and bond transactions could pay off most of our national debt in a decade. Mr. Obama's exercise of "nepotism" in choosing his "Uncle Tom" Holder as his worthless and unethical Attorney General was worse than Bill's choice of the same scoundrel as his Assistant Attorney General. We both know that Mr. Holder was personally responsible for the first Bush election theft by brother Jeb in 2000, refusing to investigate due to about sixteen million conflicts of interest($) and in 2009, chose not to investigate the second election theft, involving the possible murder of National Republican Committee IT expert, William Connell in 2004. No surprise that no one from Wall Street or the banking industry was arrested for criminal activities, If you don't address Mr. Obama's worthless Justice Department, however superficially, at least suggest that A.G. Loretta Lynch swear that she plans to clean up the disgusting mess left by her predecessor and rid the place of the lice left by President Bush.
My next suggestion is tricky because you've always let Bill explain things to your audience. Even Mr. Obama, an excellent speaker, but shy by nature, used Bill to explain, like a teacher to a student, what the president should have explained himself. You need to be that teacher! You have to learn, like Bill, how to converse with live and television audiences as Presidents Roosevelt and Carter did during their "fireside chats." Explain the problems of healthcare and insurance and graft in Congress, why "Obamacare" is the best temporary solution available at this time, that we cannot afford to scrap it unless we have a better system ready to take its place. You might also explain how the same Republican Congress in 2003 developed the Medicare Part D price scam as well as the plot to destroy the U.S. Post Office. If you don't, then you, like Mr. Obama, will be open to the accusation that you're afraid you'll expose the favorite Democratic Medicare scams such as durable goods, oxygen products and medical labs and others. Mr. Sanders has none of this to haunt him.
My last suggestion involves being practical. Too much criticism of Mr, Sanders' record on civil rights may have some indirect justification, not because he hasn't fought for racial equality, but because you and your husband have done so much. However, there is the danger, as I have pointed out in many of my articles, that isolating racial bigotry from obvious universal economic inequities may weaken the fight for racial equality. Many whites may tire of the fight if they feel they are merely doing someone else a favor. Brag about your record for both causes, but don't criticize your worthy opponent for trying to solve both problems at the same time.
I sent you a donation and a letter with advice back in 2008. To my surprise, your campaign attached a link to my blog at the time and actually took some of the advice in the letter. I assumed that many others offered the same advice. Afterward, you won most of the primaries, but had already lost too many superdelegates. This time, I believe most of the superdelegates are already leaning towards you. Good Luck. I believe that you are uniquely qualified for the office you are seeking.
With the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, this election, which was always about the Supreme Court, is even more about the next appointment. That appointment will surely be up to the next president, not Mr. Obama. If that appointment is anything like Mr. Scalia, the Court's goal will be to make sure that millions of elderly and minority voters will never reach the polls. The future of this country is literally in the hands of you and your colleague, Bernie Sanders. May the best person win!
Allen Finkelstein, D.O.
(Article changed on February 22, 2016 at 15:51)