Sanders, Controlled Opposition And Building Popular Power

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Beyond Bernie: A Movement to Build Green Power, Realize Medicare for All & More

This letter was inspired by a conversation that took place in response to the video below posted by Dr. Margaret Flowers after the Republicans offered up a vote on HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act in the Senate.  HR 676 would expand health care coverage in America to all Americans; it would have cost tremendously less money; it would have helped make American business more competitive; and it would have been Medicare for All.  None of the people who pay lip service to supporting Medicare for All voted for it, with Bernie Sanders leading the way as political cover for the rest of the Democrats.  Meanwhile, the movement that pre-dated the Sanders campaign & helped to propel Sanders into the spotlight of American politics continues to push forward organizing allies to support HR 676 Improved Medicare for All.  This movement is led by people like Dr. Margaret Flowers, a real people’s champion.

Missed Opportunity

In the video, Dr. Flowers is saying that the amendment proposed by Republicans was HR 676 & Dr. Flowers was rightfully calling out the Democratic Party phonies for not supporting it.

The whole point of what she was saying was that Democrats like Bernie Sanders & others should have voted for it!!!

It was a HUGE! missed opportunity to capture the narrative on health care & help educate the public about why a “Medicare for All” system is the only just way forward for all Americans.  In addition, Improved Medicare for All is more affordable & better for U.S. business.  Improved Medicare for All relieves the burden from U.S. businesses having to pay health care costs to their employees making U.S. businesses more competitive in a global market place.  This is because the United States is the only developed nation that does not have a Medicare for All system!

America pays the most for national health insurance compared to the rest of the industrialize countries & America is ranked last compared to those other industrialized nations in national health!

How affordable is Improved Medicare for All?  An Improved Medicare for All system saves $592 billion!  “That would be more than enough to cover all 44 million people the government estimates will be uninsured….and to upgrade benefits for everyone else.”

“The savings would come from slashing the administrative waste associated with today’s private health insurance industry ($476 billion) and using the new, public system’s bargaining muscle to negotiate pharmaceutical drug prices down to European levels ($116 billion).”  This was the, “Chief finding of a new fiscal study by Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.”

Instead of voting for Medicare for All & seizing this opportunity, all the Democrats voted against it!?

Controlled Opposition

Everyone needs to think this through.  Who cares why the Republicans proposed it, they proposed it!  So seize the opportunity & do not have the situation be an example of the general public being ignorant to what goes on in Congress.  The propagandist corporate media can talk all day about Trump & the White House Circus but can’t cover the opportunity for Improved Medicare for All to pass, which will affect the health & well being of literally hundreds of millions of lives!  Is it not a dramatic story for the media that a Republican proposed Medicare for All?  Continuing, Democrats led by Bernie Sanders & his rhetoric during the campaign about, “Health care being a human right,” is it not a HUGE! story that he voted against Medicare for All along with EVERY Democrat?  Instead of being able to shine a spotlight on the health care system & use this moment to help educate the public for why an Improved Medicare for All system is the only way forward for health care, the Bernie-led Democrats fell in line & the media played their role in service to their corporate over-lords.

Bernie is controlled opposition.  Good people in their hearts don’t want to see this for what it is but that is what Bernie is.  Bernie is the far left of what is allowed in public discourse.  In this way, Bernie is the guide post for where, if you are more left than Bernie you are, “Really out there.”  Bernie is an example of how far we have drifted to the right since the Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower who was more to the left than Bernie Sanders.  For example, during the Eisenhower presidency, there was a 90% tax rate on the richest Americans, which was when the middle class was growing more than it ever did.

Prof. Chomsky on Bernie Sanders:

“He’s considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat.  His positions would not have surprised President Eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept New Deal programs doesn’t belong in the American political system.  That’s now considered very radical.”

The Greatest Threat to Organized Society

One thing that jumped out is how, if Bernie Sanders really got how dire the situation is with climate change, as he said it is the greatest threat to the U.S., why did he act how he did?

Let’s look at the actions of a person who understands that climate change is the greatest threat to organized society in the world.  Sadly, climate change has triggered a “Global Ecological Collapse” & it is “Happening Now.”  Are Bernie’s actions last year during the primary the actions a person would take who really understands what is happening with the global ecosystem?  Are they the actions of someone who understands that we are “Beyond Borrowed Time” & need a World War II 1941-style economic transformation to sustainability to do everything we can to brace for the impacts of the collapsing global ecosystem.

If a person really understood what is happening, wouldn’t that person do all that they could especially if they were a servant of the people?

Bernie had an excellent opportunity last year, with the world watching, to make a HUGE! impact & didn’t.

Bernie Falls in Line Supporting the Coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton

Did Bernie fight the establishment party when it was released by Wikileaks that there was collusion amongst the Democrats & the media to coronate Hillary throughout the entire primary?  This was released the weekend before the Democratic convention.  Why didn’t Bernie make more of this?  In the face of that injustice with clear evidence & the public’s support, why, if you are a servant of the people, did Bernie bow by falling in line?  Instead, Sanders could have made the Wikileaks release an issue that was HUGE! pushing for a brokered convention.  Just like Sanders could have made more of Hillary’s, “Damn emails!”

Why not ever mention that Hillary served on the board of directors of Wal-Mart?  More could have been made about this too which would have helped to sink Clinton’s ship before the convention.

When Hillary served on the board of directors for Wal-Mart, she was silent about the union busting that Wal-Mart was engaged in.  Hillary fell right in line.  Hillary worked on the board of a company that is literally the poster child for anti-unionism.  Meanwhile, Democrats proclaim to support unions?  Lip service.

The Voice of the People is One Big Union & that Union is Being Given a Platform which is the Building Green Power Initiative

Unions get a bad reputation.  Countries with strong functioning unions have more policies that favor the common people as their democracies are more answerable to the people.  However, unions are under attack everywhere.  A big blow to organized labor came in the 1950s when private & public unions were broken up in America.  Now, unions specialize for this or that profession, divided & making concessions when their internal structures have been weakened by a top down authority.  The collective voice of the people really is one big union.  This one big union is being granted a platform for its voice to be heard.  That platform is the Building Green Power initiative. Click here to read and sign the statement.

If government functioned as it was designed to, April 15th each year would be a celebration.  People would celebrate the giving of tax dollars to the government so that the will of the people would be carried out improving the lives of all through New Deal legislation & other people-centered policies that once helped create a thriving middle class in America.

This is seen especially with teachers who are a targeted group on the front lines of the struggle to realize a functioning democracy.  In the turmoil that is cast by ever-changing national standards, with a lobbied push to privatize education to create another revenue stream, the first step always done to de-legitimize a government service is to de-fund it.  When it begins to run inefficiently, because it is underfunded or a shell of what it could be, the fingers get pointed for how a private system is better.  Where is the solidarity with the education system & the communities?  This is all a part of what a functioning democracy would look like.

Instead, we have students that are disengaged from learning.  Young people with less power to reason than past generations distracted by online profiles & virtual egos in a world that appears more connected in quantity though the quality of the connection is lacking.  Our whole society could benefit from more critical thinking as well as the ability to learn from the past in order to put the present in context & have ideas for where we should be headed in the future.  Though the difficulties that people have with mathematics is often dismissed with an odd sense of pride.  Being good at math & understanding what science even is, on a basic level, helps to guard against unwarranted influence:

“Acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

– President Dwight D. Eisenhower

With a Neo-liberal Assault & the Earth’s Sixth Great Extinction Upon Us, Will There Be the Regularly Scheduled Programming or a System Strike? 

July 22nd, 2016, the Friday before the DNC convention in Philadelphia, the headline news is how Wikileaks published hacked emails of Hillary Clinton which shows direct evidence of corruption within the Democratic Party.  It was right there in black & white.  Where were the protests for Bernie in July?  Where were the millions of people in the streets of America like when Drumpf became the Commander in Chief of the most powerful military on Earth?

Too many democrats were comfortable enough with Hillary. Sure they might have said they wanted Bernie, but they’re doing OK, they have nice homes & good lives, things are not all that bad.  That is why they all were clearly shown to be what they are, supporters of the establishment.  Sure they might be on the left, but they are on the establishment left.  There is more in common with those on the establishment left & with those on the establishment right than the real right with the establishment right or the real left with the establishment left.  The public seldom hears of the real left like Dr. Margaret Flowers or real right like a Dr. Ron Paul because these views are hardly permitted on television & other sources of mainstream media.  When those seldom moments occur when you get to hear from someone who is really on the left, the media plants opposition viewpoints to distract from the message as was the case in early July of 2017 when Dr. Flowers spoke on CSPAN about Medicare for All.

So again, why did Bernie bow by falling in line for the Democrats?  Controlled opposition.   Bernie could have won a brokered convention.  Bernie could have won if he ran as an Independent or a Green with the momentum that he had last July.  The Green Party offered to discuss giving him instant ballot access by taking the top of the ticket.  Bernie had captured the hearts & minds of a critical mass.  Over the course of his campaign, American society witnessed a cultural revolution & a raising of consciousness which unfolded in real time.  The sprouts of democracy began to break through the fertile soil & seeds laid by committed organizers & activists.  A candidate was being heard in debates whose message resembled some of the calls made during Occupy Wall Street, a movement that began an Occupation of the System.  A dream of many to have a complete System Strike to stop business as usual, Stop the Machine!  Any on-looker of this planet over the last several hundred years would see that this machine of power is a machine of death, with all life systems in decline.  The planet has not seen extinction rates this high for sixty four million years!  To put that in context, the T-Rex roamed the Earth then & the asteroid that struck the Yucatan Peninsula wiped out most all life on Earth.  Flash forward millions of years & human beings, particularly the powerful few that dominate the government & the media because of their immense concentrations of private wealth, are playing the role of an epoch-ending asteroid!

The seeds laid by committed organizers & activists are the actions of good people who have given much of their time, effort, energy & own money in the struggle against the billionaires, bankers & big corporations.  People who have interwoven service into all of what they do in life & the way in which they live.  These people live lives that are committed to serve & help make the world a better place & help realize, “Justice for All,” as more than rehearsed words.

Had Bernie been a real champion of the people, Bernie would have not bowed down.  By standing up, his actions alongside the actions of the people that supported him, would have surely led to his nomination as the Democratic candidate & presidency over Clown Face von Drumpf, ring leader of the present White House Circus.

During the DNC convention in Philadelphia as the roll call was made, a reserved hopefulness was present when the moment came for the state of Vermont.  Bernie Sanders was to be given time to talk.  Will there be a break from the regularly scheduled programming?  Will Bernie go off script?  This hope laid in the heart of a revolutionary, a radical progressive, a libertarian socialist.  What else would a person do who is a servant of the people & really understands the gravity of the moment that we face ecologically & more.

With delicious irony, thousands of people camped in FDR Park across from the Wells Fargo center where the DNC Convention went on for almost a week.  These people camped in support of the candidate against the big banks & who was also suppose to be their champion of the New Deal.

On the other side of Philadelphia, in an area of the city called Kensington, there was a Clintonville camp of homeless people.  The homeless encampment named Clintonville was where the neoliberal policies of the Clintons & Bushes that were a continuation from the Reagan regime could easily be seen.  This ideology having its roots with the Nixon White House & before that, American corporate money being sent to fund fascism in Germany as well as prior attempts to overthrow FDR in the 1930s by those same financiers in opposition to the New Deal.

The #DemExit event was planned & ready to go, waiting for the Bernie delegates to purge their democratic credentials in FDR Park, replaced by the People’s credentials.  The waiting had to continue because the democratic party had the police block the exits for two hours!  This was the third time during the week people were not allowed access in or out of the Wells Fargo Center, a clear violation of the fire code in addition to being ethically wrong.  That is what the phony Democratic Party has to resort to, they must lock people in by force because if they didn’t the people would walk out.  Let’s take just another moment to acknowledge this reality.  This is the party that good people want to invest their time, effort & energy to reform?  Maybe it is time to invest that time, effort & energy into an initiative that is really of, for & by the people.

The scenario was now clear, the Democrats were sticking it to Bernie & there was a movement ready to back Bernie all the way to the White House had he pushed forward, but Bernie bowed to the Democrats by falling in line.

Had Bernie taken the top of the Green ticket he still could have won the presidency.  Imagine the power of a ticket that had Bernie at the top & included Green Party Vice Presidential candidate & Human Rights Activist Ajamu Baraka.  Instead, Bernie just went along with the regularly scheduled programming.  Sanders went on to stump for & shepherd voters to Hillary Clinton.  In addition, Sanders went on to support the disgustingly corrupt corporate Democratic Party through the present with the vote against Medicare for All last week.

Join the Resistance & Help Build Green Power!

We all need to emotionally detach from how we feel or felt about Bernie & see him for what he is, controlled opposition.  We then need to work to build a people’s party outside the duopoly that is the Democratic & Republican Parties.  That is not to say that Bernie is disingenuous.  He might fully believe what he is saying.  However, if he believed something else, he would not be given the platform for us to hear it.  In the end when it matters most, Sanders knows when to bow by falling in line.

The Building Green Power initiative that Dr. Margaret Flowers is helping to lead is the most hopeful political effort to realize the power of the people through a functioning democracy.  As it was said during the election, “You can’t have a revolution in a counter-revolutionary party.”  The work of those to reform the Democratic Party is appreciated & is sure to be genuine heartfelt work.  Work whose hopeful purpose is to help us all realize a better functioning democracy.  Question to all progressive democrats: Why not join with Dr. Margaret Flowers, Ajamu Baraka & many more knowing that you are on the right side of history, sign the statement here.

With the Building Green Power initiative, there is no neutralizing corrupting power coming to negate your hard work at a critical time when it matters most.  You will be a part of the real resistance a, “Popular Resistance,” resistance to the corporatocracy.

Now more than ever, the moment is ripe for the picking.

If not now, when?

Republicans are fully exposed for being the corporate & power servants that they are.

Democrats are exposed as being just as, if not more, corrupt then the Republicans.  The establishment Democrats aim to support the same corporate masters & the same deep powers as the Republicans.  The difference being the Democrats make the occasional statement as lip service to attempt to convince the public that they are there to serve the will of the people.  Long has it been known by people everywhere that money governs Washington D.C. & the voice of the people has been muted by money.  Now, empirical evidence can be provided to show that the opinion of the public matters not, to what actually gets passed by the government.  “Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.”

The opinion of the people has virtually zero mathematical impact to what gets passed from a policy standpoint since 1980.  Enough really is enough!

Join the Resistance by signing the letter & registering here for the Building Green Power conference call series with Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Real People’s Champion:

  • DHFabian

    Key to the broader idea, understand how much the “movement” of the past quarter-century was successfully co-opted by the Democrats (with the help of much of the media marketed to middle class liberals), splitting the “masses” apart, middle class vs. poor.

    Sen. Sanders is an interesting player in this drama. He once did claim support for democratic socialism (which, in fact, includes legitimate welfare programs). He spoke out powerfully about US poverty and the need for poverty relief, understanding the significant shortcomings of US capitalism. This doesn’t sell to post-Clinton Democrats and liberals, so he dropped the issue with his 2016 campaign.

    Quick history of the Dem Party: The Reagan Dems of the 1980s moved further to the right to merge with the Clinton “New Democrat Party” of the 1990s. The Clinton wing split the Dem voting base wide apart, and the past eight years confirmed that this split is permanent. During this time, Democrats have implemented more of the right wing agenda than Republicans would have dared to attempt. As the overall life expectancy of the US poor fell below that of every developed nation, media led us in a pep rally for the middle class. This is modern America. Keep your expectations low.

  • Aquifer

    Yeah, Sanders did and still does a lot of “speaking” – so did O and so did the first Clinton – so does just about every Dem we put into office – but when push comes to shove, as illustrated in part by this piece, when push comes to shove, where the rubber meets the road, it is party over principle and that party is terminally corrupt – addicted to money which is much more addicting than crack …

  • Aquifer

    Whew, what a mishmash – some good stuff but I would definitely tweak it … To whit:

    1)Technically speaking only 2 Ds voted “Nay” on the HR676 amendment – the rest voted “Present” meaning they chose to vote neither “Aye” nor “Nay” – one might say this is a difference without a distinction, but the important point that NO Ds voted FOR it is the salient point which can get lost if loyal Ds want to shout “No, you’re wrong, they didn’t vote against it!” Details ARE important if you want to get your point across without being accused of “telling lies” …

    2) I would add a more recent episode where Sanders and others kept their mouths shut at an important point – the recent last minute confirmation, apparently without a quorum, of Trumps FERC commissioner appt’s – with no objection from these guys/gals who could have insisted, at least, on proper procedure ,,,, and risen to oppose the appt.s …. thus enabling acceleration of business as usual with regard to the fossil fuel industry …

    3) With regard to HR676 – folks had an opportunity to vote for a person, Dr. Flowers who, as a Sen from MD, would actually, unlike Sanders, etc, introduce it into the Senate and for a person, Dr. Stein, who, as Pres. would actually sign the bill into law … And, in fact, if we don’t actually put folks like these in office, you WILL NOT get HR676

    4) with regard to Sanders and the GP – i believe that the offer was made to collaborate – the decision as to whether Sanders got to “head the ticket” would have been up to the GP itself – personally, I would have considered him a “Trojan horse” and would much prefer Stein – Sanders stumped for Clinton without being on the ticket – he could have done much the same for Stein, if the causes he purportedly supported were what was really important to him – as he said “It’s not about me!” – if that were so, that would have been a perfect chance to prove it …

    5) “The public seldom hears of the real left like Dr. Margaret Flowers …”
    Oops, forgot to add Dr. Jill Stein – who speaks on a multitude of “real left issues”

    6) I get back to one of my favorite themes – the need for prog groups/movements, whatever, to get together and focus like a laser on getting ind., non-corp party candidates into office where they can actually effectuate the policies and programs these groups support …. I keep hearing about the need for building a “people’s party” – I have been hearing about that for ages … folks apparently waiting around for it to appear like Athena from the head of Zeus – but we have a People’s Party – and it has been running candidates for years – folks like Dr Flowers and Dr. Stein – what it needs is for people to get involved with it, support it and actually VOTE for it …

  • Controlled opposition indeed: Bernie the Betrayer, like Barack the Betrayer before him, has just shown us his true colors.

    All my adult life I have been, as I remain, an emphatic supporter of some form of socialized medicine that provides equally effective treatment for all regardless of income or lack thereof. Of the various care-delivery possibilities within that context, Improved Medicarefor All surely seems to offer superior mechanisms both for start-up and care delivery. But even with its burgeoning public support, I will be dead long before it is enacted — if indeed it ever is.

    The obstacle to its enactment, insurmountable by any measure short of revolution, is the fact one cannot achieve legislative power in the United States without becoming a wholly owned whore for the Capitalists.(Yes, a genuine humanitarian occasionally achieves elected office. But they are either bought off, as Sanders has obviously been, or they are assassinated, as Paul Wellstone most likely was.) This is an inviolable reality of USian despotism, as unbreakable as any law of physics. Meanwhile the Capitalists insist on keeping healthcare a privilege of wealth because they see the need for healthcare as a whip with which to flog their already subjugated workers into ever-more-frantic (and therefore ever-more-profitable) productivity.

    That’s why I believe the present single-payer campaign is putting the proverbial cart before the metaphorical horse. Surely we all know the Capitalist Ruling Class has slain every last vestige of USian democratic process — that any of its apparent remnants are (like the Sanders candidacy), nothing more than charades intended to dupe the gullible into finding reasons for hope where in fact there is no reason for hope at all.

    Thus any genuine movement toward making USian healthcare a human right rather than the privilege of wealth it now is will be crushed — whether by co-optation, betrayal a la Sanders and Obama or outright jackbooted oppression — just as it has been throughout all my 77 years.

    Thus too if we are to achieve the healthcare we so desperately need and want, we must first organize our own Working Class party. It must become a weapon of class warfare that is sufficiently ideologically disciplined (as for example Occupy was not), to remain united in militant solidarity no matter what and thus successfully resist the tyranny of Capitalist governance.

    Admittedly — given the reality of total surveillance — this may be impossible, But we must at least try, for if we are successful we can then rise up and overthrow Capitalism completely. Only then will we be able to replace Capitalism’s deliberately genocidal savagery with a broad spectrum of humanitarian policies that of course include universal healthcare for all.

    Precisely as proven by the Two Betrayers, Barack the Betrayer and Bernie the Betrayer, the bitter truth is that anything short of revolution guarantees failure. It is the one lesson that ultimately defines our own history, including the methodical, rapidly intensifying destruction of the last remnants of the New Deal and all the gains made by the Civil Rights, Feminist and LGBTQ movements.

    Nevertheless it may well be the struggle for Improved Medicare for All that at long last awakens the ever-more-savagely oppressed USian masses to the fact revolution is our only remaining option — not just to liberate ourselves from the total subjugation intended by our Capitalist overlords, but to save our species and our planet.

  • Steven Berge

    Funny how the party has demos in it’s name when they are so undemocratic. False advertising to the extreme. Maybe the people will wake up to the fact when enough are aware of their legal argument with regard to cheating Bernie out of the primary election. That being that they are under no legal requirement to hold fair and honest primary elections. An excellent argument for nobody to give money to a democrat during primary elections, since big money will have already chosen the winner.

  • Jon

    Well said, Aquifer!

  • Aquifer

    Thanx – that’s my 2 cents, for now …:)