Not Biden Our Time: A Rallying Cry to Supporters of Bernie Sanders

photo by Gage Skidmore
photo by Gage Skidmore

Ladies and gentlemen, let me be frank:  There are tough times ahead.  Those of us who support Bernie Sanders and believe in the merits of democratic socialism are seeing the odds mount against us.  Hillary Clinton has survived her long-festering e-mail server scandal and Joe Biden has decided not to challenge her for the support of moderate and conservative Democrats.  There will likely be no Clinton implosion, and no help is coming from outside.

It will be a long fight to Democratic nomination, and the road will not be easy for the idealists among us.  Compromise is easy, and will be tempting.  Those who truly believe in the true power of universal health care and tuition-free public higher education will find themselves urged to give up and go along.  Those who value idealism and integrity will be encouraged to make a deal.  Being a Bernie Sanders supporter from here on out, knowing that no outside forces will help us against the Clinton machine, is not for the faint of heart.

Getting Bernie Sanders to the Democratic presidential nomination is a movement that will require us all.  The Clinton machine has used its money and power to glean the endorsements of most mainstream Democratic politicians and mainstream media outlets.  We must work in unison to prevent the Democratic nomination from being an anti-American coronation.  We must make it a competition, as our Founding Fathers intended.

We must champion the merits of democratic socialist reforms, the likes of which all Americans enjoy and take for granted.  Though Bernie Sanders has already discussed libraries and emergency responders, he must remind the public that our greatest socialist reform is public education.  We must help him do this.  We must tirelessly explain how government-run primary and secondary education has made our nation the most powerful and productive on earth, possessing boundless human capital.

Public K-12 education has long been offered free of charge to all students because all pundits and policymakers acknowledged that such an education was an absolute necessity to operate in our economy.  Today, no pundit or policymaker argues that post-secondary education is not vital to operate successfully in our modern economy.  No school district in the nation would tell a child that they should not aspire to go to college.  It is now gospel that higher education is necessary for young Americans.

Why do we not provide this education, free of cost, to all students who have the ability to undertake it successfully?  It is undeniably silly to champion tuition-free K-12 education, which is now only part of the education needed to achieve a middle class career, but not similarly help able young people complete their learning and training.

The money exists.  America has the capability to pay for all capable and hardworking young people to attend college.  We spend ridiculous sums of money on our military, which we constantly overfund and underutilize, and on our prisons.  Our government wastes vast amounts of taxpayer money on corporate welfare, defense spending, and funding prisons.  We have the ability to divert this money to developing our nation’s human capital through creating tuition-free public higher education.

We must champion the merits of universal health care.  Many of our European allies, which provide their citizens with tuition-free public higher education and universal health care, enjoy a considerably higher quality of life than we do.  Their citizens are healthier, happier, and better able to realize the maximum extent of their capabilities.  How many doctors, engineers, scientists, and talented entrepreneurs are not being developed in the United States because families can be bankrupted due to illness or injury or priced out of higher education?

How many citizens are sick, hurt, and in debt because they cannot pay ridiculous health care costs?

It does not have to be this way.  We have the resources to fix it.  All we need is the political will to do so, and only Bernie Sanders will make it his mission to accomplish these invaluable reforms.  All other presidential candidates prefer to maintain the status quo, allowing the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.  Only Bernie Sanders is vigilantly sounding the alarm on the decline in real wages, the record-high wealth gap and income inequality, and the looming retirement crisis for Baby Boomers.  Only Bernie Sanders will fight to truly fix these devastating problems, and democratic socialism is the only way to provide invaluable reforms while controlling for cost.

Other politicians, including Hillary Clinton, want to try to “fix” our economic woes by continuing to champion “false markets” in health care and higher education.  By offering consumer and producer freedom, but pouring on trainloads of government subsidies, we see what appears to be a true market…but with demand vastly inflated by subsidies.  As a result, the market price is too high for most consumers without taking out loans.  And leaving university administrators and insurance companies in charge of the subsidies only leads to price hikes and wasteful spending.

Access to health care and higher education in America remains based more on ability to pay than on need or ability to perform.  As a result, we are allowing prices to inflate and talent to be squandered.  Democratic socialism will utilize existing funds that are misappropriated, and raise taxes on the super-wealthy, to turn two vital markets into public goods for the benefit of all Americans.  The resulting boosts in productivity will more than pay for the cost of the reforms, including the additional taxes paid by the top 0.1 percent of earners.

We need this change.  We can have this change.  We must fight for this change.  Bernie2016.

 

Calvin Wolf

By day, Calvin Wolf is a high school social studies teacher. By night, he is a freelance writer and novelist, penning political thrillers and commentary on politics, education, economics, foreign policy, and culture. In the past, he's worked as a professional cartoonist and as a backpacking guide. He once stood between a mother bear and her cub and emerged unscathed!