Feeling The Burn
Much media’s attention has been spent upon the large field of GOP Presidential candidates. From time to time, however, reports have made it to the front page that Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money. Recent polls show Sanders close in Iowa and ahead in New Hampshire. Pundits, however, predict Clinton has a lock on the Democrat nomination. Hmmm.
I remember back to 2008 when most pundits predicted Hillary would best the upstart Barack Obama. Then somehow in the heat of battle, Barack Obama won the hearts of enough primary voters to beat Clinton and the rest is recent history. Could Sanders do the same?
Recently I was returning to Philadelphia from Washington DC and as I approached Penn Station, Bernie Sanders supporters were passing out literature and bumper stickers. The stickers were printed with the logo “Feeling The Burn”.
My wife took a bumper sticker while I demurred. Could it be that she was feeling the burn?
I have always heard that women, in general, are more sensitive than men. And, intuition I know resides safely in my wife’s domain. She likes Bernie and distrusts Hillary. Hmmm.
This morning I heard a Bernie Sanders interview. My guess is the interview was a distillation of his stump speech but it was notable in its absence of general political speak. Bernie seems genuine.
His speech goes as follows. Large Wall Street banks are a danger waiting to happen (too big to fail). Sanders sees these corporations as greedy, immoral, often criminal, and still engaged in dangerous activities. He ties the big banks to stagnant middle class wages although I am unsure of his connection.
He wants to begin a national jobs program, raise the minimum wage to $15, and fix healthcare. His description of Obamacare’s shortcomings rings many correct sounding bells. Sanders sees Obamacare as an improvement from previous healthcare systems but on a global basis more representative of third world standards. Sanders points out the comparative cost with other modern countries (US twice as expensive). He pointed his finger at “for profit” insurance companies (Bernie wants single payer) and profiteering rampant in the drug industry. Hospitals charge too much, Sanders asserts, because too many patients cannot afford preventive healthcare. Instead too many wait until they are very sick, and then flood Emergency Rooms.
In the interview, Bernie caught my attention. His proposals made sense and his rational approach to changing the tax code made sense too. I would never expect to hear Hillary Clinto speak so unambiguous (even though I believe she is aware of the same information and would support the same type of changes. There in lies the rub.
Sanders is an older version of Barack Obama. He will have to learn “on the job” foreign affairs along with the byzantine domestic Military-Industrial complex if elected.
He will also have to deal with a recalcitrant Congress who will quickly substitute Bernie Sanders for Barack Obama as in “failed policies” or “executive over reach”.
My reactions are not intuitive. They may be cynical or too status quo. I can, however, still dream… oh wouldn’t a Clinton-Sanders ticket be terrific?
Feel that burn?