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  1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    How is it our politicians don't all resemble Bernie Sanders?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by GingerCoffee, Nov 1, 2014.

    Bill Moyers interviews Bernie Sanders
    I realize a lot of people don't agree with him because he's a Socialist. They fear regulation and too many government programs, yadda yadda.

    But that's only half the voting US population. Where are the rest of Senators and Congresspersons like Sanders? Here's why they should and why they don't:
     
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  2. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I applaud this man for what he's doing, but I can also understand why very few politicians eschew both parties. It's much harder to get elected and pass legislation without party support. His decision entails the whole idealism versus practicality argument, and how much to weigh each one.

    The Reagan and onward era of conservatism has done a great job of demonizing big government in the minds of the public, but I hope that the further the US gets away from the Cold War and WWII, the more accepting the public will be of socialistic elements. There is a lot of sentiment that the government can't afford to pay for it, but there are many examples of much poorer countries having socialistic measures such as stronger and universal health care, or higher taxes on the rich. (I had a professor who came from a Latin American country who, upon arriving in the US, was shocked to learn that you have to pay for expensive prescription allergy medication here.) What we need is better allocation of our resources. We don't need to be spending more than 3 times as much on military as any other country in the world. We don't need to be cutting taxes for the rich in hopes that they will use the money to stimulate our economy instead of holding onto it in tax havens or investing it into risky financial markets.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Money in politics is the biggest problem we have. Bernie Sanders could almost only be from Vermont, given it's particular make-up.

    What's interesting is how, particularly in some of the reddest of red states, we're seeing some instances of where the GOP has run the economy into the ground, and the wackiest of wackos are running. People who used to be somewhat moderate Republicans are running as a third party, since they see no way for a Democrat to get elected (which is beyond asinine, but whatever). So, we may see some increase in parties outside the main two. However, these candidates have indicated they'd either caucus with Dems or would caucus with whoever is in the majority. They'd have no power if there were a large majority in Congress, but if it's a very slim majority, they could be quite powerful.
     
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  4. stevesh
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    Somewhat ironically, most other politicians don't resemble Sanders because they are more honest (in one way, anyway) than he is. Sanders caucuses with Democrats, which makes him one in any practical sense, regardless of how he tries to flatter himself to the contrary. He's a lot like former congressman Ron Paul who had his admirers for his views on issues (including me) but was mostly ineffective during his 26 years or so in office.
     
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  5. GingerCoffee
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    This ^

    But there is more. We get less bang for our buck by not having universal health care, not less as many people believe. That is as measured by resources spent and outcomes measured rather than perception. It's a myth that innovation is not stimulated by public health care (it is), and that one has to wait for care (there are many places and specialties in the US where one also has to wait for care). There's more but that's enough to get the picture.
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    So you have one of the most honest, less influenced by money members in the Senate and you see a dishonest Democrat?

    Are there any dishonest Libertarians pretending to be Republicans in the Senate?

    If you'd watched the interview you might have heard what Sanders thinks is wrong with the current Democratic Party.
     
  7. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    And here's the reason I regret violating my self-imposed exit from the Debate Room. Sorry, won't happen again.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    It was an honest question. You made a statement that was a complete contradiction to how I view Sanders who began his political career as an anti-Vietnam War activist in 1971 and has been in the Congress or the Senate since 1990 and whose politics have been consistent throughout with the exception of a couple NRA supported gun bills.

    Yet you called him dishonest for not registering as a Democrat, which had you listened to the interview you would have heard him say that he believes the Democrats are just as steeped in the money as the Republicans.

    My point in the thread was to ponder why a politician that is consistently pro-the people is the only one. I get it why people that think like Libertarians, the government can do no good and the free market solves all ills, don't share my view. I can understand why they forgo politicians that pretend to be pro-freedom (except when it comes to laws dictating religion, prohibiting abortion, and any number of other one issue causes that can be counted on for votes). Those anti-freedom positions are sacrificial lambs given up to gain the bigger prize: the anti-regulation/anti-safety net legislative positions.

    But the other half of the population, the half of the 99% that doesn't believe the rich are overtaxed and would like to see a more level playing field, those are the Americans I wonder why don't elect more Bernie Sanders.
     
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  9. Ben414
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    Agreed. And it's a shame that the US government ignores public health to the extent that it does. Health care is obviously important, but spending some of those funds on public health to prevent the need for so much health care in the first place should be a no-brainer. The free market is not economically optimal in this case because of the free loader problem and because people are not all rational. It is in their best interest to do so, but many people don't want to spend money now for an intangible better future.
     
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