According to Bernie Sanders in an article on Huffington Post,
Our job is not to think small. It is to think big.
Bernie starts his article with a list of questions all Americans should ask. A key segment is:
We have more billionaires in this country than any other nation on earth. We also have more child poverty than any other major industrialized nation. We have the highest rate of student debt. We have more prisoners, more homeless people and more economic inequality.
It doesn’t have to be this way. These conditions are the result of deliberate policy decisions. We provide outrageous tax loopholes for billionaires and large corporations. The top tax rate is less than half of what it was during the postwar economic boom. The real minimum wage has fallen dramatically since the 1960s.
We can make better choices.
After listing the questions, Bernie describes the better choices. I am not going to try to reiterate what Bernie says so well. Please read the article yourself, especially if you are not yet familiar with Bernie’s views.
Live blogging – Dana Milbank on CBS this morning. Says that the Sanders campaign is “not about Bernie Sanders.” Bernie is simply filling a niche. Progressives are looking for a candidate with progressive views, and Sanders has stumbled into the niche. He dismisses Sanders as a candidate with no charisma. If that is true, then there are a lot of people who don’t seem to care about charisma. Does the media and Milbank think that the crowds showing up to see Sanders are meaningless?
What pure s##! Sanders is charismatic because he tells the truth. Sanders is charismatic because he speaks up to power. Sanders is charismatic because he never tries to be charismatic. Sanders is charismatic because he addresses the issues seriously without depending on dumbed-down talking points. Sanders’ charisma is a completely new kind of charisma that the media doesn’t seem to understand. It owes nothing to hyperbole, sound bites, pandering, tailoring his message to his audience, etc.
Here is another questionable item in the media. Yesterday the St. Paul Pioneer Press ran a small item from the Associated Press (AP) headlined “Sanders draws big crowds in Madison”. I will quote from the article and then change the quote a bit to show how the words used by the media to describe Sanders are biased. The bias may be intentional, but it is there and it is damaging.
The AP version:
Sanders . . . is trying to appeal to the most liberal Democrats with his message of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, bridging the gap between rich and poor, criminal justice reform and raising taxes on the wealthy and Wall Street.
Sanders . . . is trying to appeal to Americans with his message of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, bridging the gap between rich and poor, criminal justice reform and raising taxes on the wealthy and Wall Street.
Successful presidential candidates do not try to appeal only to a section of their own party. If they do, they are not serious and won’t succeed. Sanders is serious. He is speaking to everyone. He can succeed even if the media still seem unable to avoid labeling him. Polls show that majorities of Americans agree with his proposals. So how is it that the media still insists on describing him as a radical?