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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Anti Bernie Meme

Today I encountered a meme designed to make my chosen candidate, Bernie Sanders, look like a communist. I have been meaning to write on the topic of candidates and why I am supporting Bernie for some time but I have been lazy. Now is the time to invest the effort.

Here is the meme:

You'll note that it has nine points of comparison. I will cite Bernie's website for many of the responses and I will not bother to find too many external sources to validate them. My reason for this is that Bernie has carried a consistent message for his entire career and his voting record aligns with it. If you prefer to not accept his website, because it is a curation of his statements that he controls, you are welcome to do your own research to verify that he has, in fact, maintained consistency.

1. I have no comment on Stalin's opinions of big government. I don't care. What I do care about is that this is grossly misleading. Bernie doesn't want BIG government, he wants NECESSARY government. He has, repeatedly, worked to create efficiencies and leverage money in the most responsible manner possible, starting from when he was Mayor of Burlington. He was elected by the people with a completely obstructionist set of Aldermen and he STILL managed to accomplish many reforms and get re-elected. His performance was so fantastic that the citizens of Burlington elected another independent Mayor to follow Bernie. Read more here.  Moreover, if you read the list of issues that Bernie cares about you will see that the majority of them do not generate massive government. His health care reform, if he can make progress on it, will; and it will migrate a massive number of people and bureaucracy from an inefficient private sector nightmare to a less problematic public sector nightmare. Healthcare is  nightmare in countries where it is socialized but it is MORE of one here and at twice the price.

2. I have no thoughts or comments on Bernie's alignment with Marxist thoughts. I don't care. I am not going to bother to research this one.

3. Bernie has been a career politician. This, in itself, is neither good nor bad. Nearly everyone who attains the Presidency, or a Senatorial seat, or is a member of Congress is a career politician. To use this to isolate Bernie to make him look bad is ridiculous and hypocritical.

4. Stalin DID protect his people. He led the revolution to overthrow the monarchy in an effort to protect the people from the economic oppression that they were in. He signed a pact of non-aggression with the Nazi's to keep them away (they later invaded anyway). Stalin managed the USSR into a victory against the Eastern front of the Nazi war machine. Stalin protected his people from many things. What he failed to protect them from was the corruption of the USSR government and the failures of communism in a human society. Bernie wants to protect the people, too. His website states “We live in a difficult and dangerous world, and there are no easy or magical solutions. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I will defend this nation, its people, and America’s vital strategic interests, but I will do it responsibly. America must defend freedom at home and abroad, but we must seek diplomatic solutions before resorting to military action. While force must always be an option, war must be a last resort, not the first option." It's RIGHT THERE. We wants to protect his people from foreign aggression through diplomacy until that has failed. He wants to avoid wars, thus protecting all of the young people who would be sent to war, by preventing them. He wants to build coalitions to protect EVERYONE from threats that cannot be reasoned with. This is the OPPOSITE of not wanting to protect his people. This point is a flat-out lie.

5. I did a half-hearted search for college kids' opinions of Stalin and all that I found were a variety of conservative sites that all claimed college kids think some Republican Presidents were worse than Lenin and Stalin. Given the extreme bias in those sites I cannot begin to consider them remotely valid and I was unable to find anything that was not extremely biased to corroborate their claims. That, of course, is irrelevant. College kids have loved nearly all candidates. College kids span the political spectrum like adults do. Only when there is a HUGE divergence between the choices made in different age groups should there be consideration given to what that means. Bernie is VERY popular among college kids. There is a reason for this; it's because he is advocating for them and the future. A quick google search yields a ton of articles that outline this. Bernie will not live long enough to benefit from the things he is proposing; he is just too old. People who are under 40 WILL benefit from Bernie's philosophies and, the younger they are, the more they will benefit. That is why college kids love him: the establishment, which has been sold at wholesale pricing to the rich, has destroyed their future: Bernie wants to give it back to them. They are voting for THEIR FUTURE.

6. This one is TERRIBLY misleading. A violent revolution happened and Stalin was at the helm of it. Bernie wants a revolution in the way we handle our country. Bernie wants to preemptively repair the damage BEFORE the wealth inequality topples our society. Bernie wants a quiet revolution that is implemented by a few laws that stop wealth from hemorrhaging to the rich and crippling the middle class. This is an important topic: watch for a future post entirely about it. It may be a few days before I finish it.

7. I'll not dig into Stalinist thoughts on freedom, liberty, and the support of government control. I don't need to. Bernie is the one this meme is trying to put on trial so I will, again, be his defense. Nowhere in any of Bernie's philosophies is there a curbing of liberty or freedom EXCEPT the liberty and freedom of corporations to underpay their employees and give that money to their executives and ownership as bonuses. Nowhere does he outline a desire to restrict freedom in any way; rather he wants to increase the wealth and prosperity of the middle class and provide tools for the poor to escape their poverty. He wants to provide the tools necessary for EVERYONE to enhance their own personal freedom. That is the entire point of every aspect of his philosophies. EVERY SINGLE POINT is based on the idea of making freedom greater and more accessible by making it possible for everyone to succeed in our capitalistic society by working hard.

8. This is a flat-out lie. Bernie is very against the idea of the gun control laws that many other politicians favor. The only gun control laws he wishes to strengthen are point of sale background checks. This is such a non-issue for him that it is not even listed on his issues page. It is also worth noting that he is from a state which has some of the lightest gun control laws out of any state (note the second link is a pro-gun law site which is why the ranking is an F), which is an important reality for his constituents.

9.  Bernie does not hate capitalism. Bernie hates unchecked capitalism. Bernie hates the capitalist ideals that allow the, aforementioned, hemorrhage of wealth from the middle class and the poor into the rich. Bernie hates unequal pay for the same work. Bernie finds the current wage gap between the average worker and the CEOs to be absurd and obscene; let alone that this gap is GROWING. Bernie is opposed to capitalism that runs unchecked so as to poison an entire city's water supply, killing people and giving permanent brain damage to all of the children such as what is currently happening in Flint, MI. Bernie is opposed to the reality that large corporations can get away with underpaying their lowest employees so that they have to resort to government assistance, effectively pouring additional money into the company's profits... which ends up as bonuses.

Bernie sees that the government's role is to protect a country and facilitate prosperity for its people. His socialist ideas and policies are in place in countries that do better than the USA in freedom, in quality of life (we actually place fairly well on this one), in health care quality, in per capita health care cost (the not-us countries have 100% coverage, the USA less than 90% coverage even after implementing "Obamacare"), in education (we rate below Poland, Estonia, Vietnam, etc), and in general happiness.

It's about time to stop lying about which parties has the best interests of the people at heart and start looking at the ONE individual who really does. Bernie Sanders wants the future to grow; he wants YOU to succeed. The only people he wants to limit are those who are parasites on society; people who contribute NOTHING and earn massive amounts of money by manipulating the money they already have. Bernie wants to curb the ability of those people to steal from the poor and then spread the cost of subsidizing those poor across everyone. Bernie wants to stop them from making YOU pay for their theft.

For reference - here are the Political Compass ratings of various people. Note that Sanders is the farthest from Stalin of all the candidates on the vertical axis; which is the one that deals with freedom and the closest to the center when it comes to economic ideas.

And here are two important videos you need to watch if you are still not convinced about the rich being the problem:

It is your civic duty to vote.
I won't tell you how to vote.
But I will tell you that if you want a better future you'll do the requisite research to see that a strong economy comes from a strong middle class and that Bernie Sanders is the candidate who will bring that.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Political Poetry

I know not which seed is worse to sow: fascism or theocracy.
I do know that if either should germinate they will become an invasive weed that chokes out freedom and the harvest reaped will be despair.