The first time I heard Bernie Sanders, I wasn’t facing the TV and all I heard was his voice. Not sure how many other folks have noticed this, but Bernie sounds one heck of a lot like the Aardvark, in the old Ant and the Aardvark cartoons. My most vivid recollection was when the aardvark was trying to make a sandwich out of some bread and a bunch of ants…only they kept jumping out and running. The aardvark says, “My sandwich keeps losing its flavor.” The aardvark, for reasons unknown, sounded like an old Jewish guy. Your first revelation in the burying of Bernie: He’s Jewish.
For some slice of the geo-political pie, this may seem like a deal-breaker because…he talks like an aardvark? No, because he’s Jewish… If you really want to go with stereo-types (which is just about always a mistake) let’s just do it for a couple of secs. Throughout history, like ’em or hate ’em, the stereotype has been that Jews are pretty damn smart, pretty damn funny, they know money and they really hate wasting it. Are these good or bad attributes for someone handling the taxpayer’s money?
Waffling: Okay, we’re not talking about what you cook-up on a Sunday morning. We’re talking about what 99.999% of politicians do. In front of a black audience, they love their black brothers. In the corn belt, they love their farming buddies, and wear a feed hat to prove it. They will say whatever you want to hear, but then a short flight later, they’ll flip-flop, hoping you don’t notice. Every one of them…Hillary, Jeb, The Donald, right on down the line. No exceptions: Oh….wait a minute… Yeah, there is one exception: Bernie-the-Aardvark actually tells you what he believes and it’s not only consistent for that day, it’s consistent over the years. Check it out for yourself. Go on You Tube and watch the actual debates and interviews. This is how we learn who really is the best candidate.
CITIZENS UNITED: All Politicians are in Someone’s Pocket: Yes, this is a fact of life…now more than ever. You and I and pretty much of the entire country were sold down the river by our own SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the United States, when they passed a bill (sounds so patriotic) allowing Citizens United to choose your next president. Now, any individual can with a little two-minute side-step, contribute any amount, 500 million, 800 million…a billion if they like, to pave the way for their candidate. This sounds great if the candidate you like is being wooed. But, what if that SOB on the other side is getting 800 million? …those bastards!!! In short, any really rich guy can negate your vote and the vote of several million others, by the mere swipe of a pen. I don’t think this is what the drafters of the Constitution had in mind.
But wait… Bernie-the-Aardvark is eschewing this loophole. He really, seriously, won’t be bought by anyone. Think about this for a moment. A politician who can’t be bought! It takes me back to a movie called Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
Bernie’s average donor contributes…. $42. No Super Paks. He just won’t be bought. The idea of putting your country ahead of your own financial well-being…it’s a heady thought and yet it’s so simple. Score another one for Bernie.
He’s old. Yeah… he’s been on the planet for 73 years and that’s old. You can’t have everything. But then, wait just a second. Are we asking him to run marathons and do yoga, or do we want a sharp and resilient mind? His voice is young. His thoughts are young. Most amazing of all, ole Bernie does not use double-speak. When he tells you what the problem is and what he intends to do…you actually understand what he said. Is that amazing or what?
Socialism: Boo…hiss… This is as anti-American as it gets. Do we want a socialist for a president? Oh, hell no…….. Okay, let’s wake up and smell some fresh coffee now. If you’re over 65 are you collecting SOCIAL SECURITY? Do you have some form of Medicare umbrella guarding you and your family? You and I and every other American are living in a socialistic country already.
Close to 80% of Americans would be taking their Winchesters off the wall if you tried to take away their social security. I would, too. But Bernie Sanders, in an attempt to not talk down to you, is using the correct words. He’s trusting America and Americans to have a brain.
For the record, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone, without proper medical coverage, my beautiful, wonderful wife, Pamela, would not be here this year. Social policies aren’t your enemy. They work beautifully in Sweden, Denmark, and a number of other, peaceful, thriving, intelligent countries. If you aren’t part of the one-tenth of one percent super rich who have multi-millions in the bank, you really need that medical coverage, maybe even that check every month…the fund which you paid into all your life.
A concern: Is Bernie Sanders somehow in Israel’s pocket? Guess again. Watch him on You Tube addressing Benjamin Netanyahu. Bernie’s not in anyone’s pocket and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
What about your kids? More important, what about your kids’ education? Bernie has a solution that, #1 you can understand, #2 would work, and #3 hurts no one. This sounds like a space hook, a perpetual motion machine. Sounds impossible. And it’s not. One of the major things keeping American kids back, relative to the rest of the world, is education or lack thereof. And if your kid does get a college education, chances are you have a second mortgage or your kid has a student loan that will follow him, for years, maybe decades.
Bottom Line: Where does this magical money come from, Bernie? Not from taxes. It comes as a very, very small percentage of the massive profits made by hedge fund transactions. These are transactions which can occur in a quarter of a second and make multi-millions of dollars…more than you will make in your lifetime. They’d just shave that particular profit back a very small percent…I believe it’s 5% and that alone will allow your kid and mine to go to college, and have a chance at bat.
One Last thing: He has a cool head. If his finger were on “the button,” I’m pretty sure he would replace the safety lock and say, “Hey, before we blow up the planet, let’s think about this for a minute. Oh and pass me that bowl of ants.”
Sooo, to sum up: He’s not a kid. His hair gets mussed up when he talks. He talks like an aardvark. And he’s also smart, consistent, can’t be bought and wants what’s actually good for the country, not just that one-tenth of one percent. Does he have a chance???
God, I hope so. The 99% of Americans in the middle class really need a break.
Been a while since I wrote. Just read last two blogs. Good stuff. Very insightful. I know why I love your blog so much because I think we are alike. As in actually thinking about what is right. I am a little left of center (no surprise: Spanish teacher/surfer/musician/hammock weaver) and a registered independent but have been fascinated with the primaries. Thank you for shedding light in the candidates. I hope Bernie makes it through primaries so I can vote for him. For the record, I agree with the donald that we should build a wall along the Mexican border. May sound strange coming from a Spanish teacher, but why have laws if we will not enforce them? If I lived in poverty on nil wages I would try and come “al norte” in a skinny minute to make a better life for my family and me. So I don’t blame anyone for trying, but that’s not the point.
The true beauty that is still America lies in our nearly infinite diversity. Once in a while, I like to climb up on the soap box and state some facts that may otherwise get swept under the carpet. When each of us closes that curtain behind us, that’s when it all comes together.
Yep, I was stationed out in Tucson for a years and understand the severity of the problem with the Mexican border. I’m not sure how long that wall would have to be to keep out an entire country, but it seems like that solution needs a bit of refinement. Like trying to keep the ocean away from the land. Eventually something breaks or falls apart. Or the people just go over the wall.
Half-jokingly, I suggested over dinner one time that if they really wanted to stop people from coming north, we could solve two problems with one document. Give a narrow strip of land, say a mile or so, by however many miles you wanted to protect…to Israel. Get them out of the Middle East and tensions go WAY down and plug them into a hunk of land that is desolate, deserted, unusable, and very much what they’re accustomed to. I guarantee you no Mexicans would make it across that strip. Keep in mind, this is said with a devilish twinkle in the eye. It’d never go over.
WOW! I’m actually, quite inspired. Tremendous article – insightful, informative — and convincing! In the end, I couldn’t help but view “Bern” as a viable candidate and now, feel compelled to learn more about him – and will continue doing so.
Whether he wins or loses, I think Bernie is the Real Thing. And by that I mean, a human being who actually wants to do what’s right for the country, not just represent a faction or a corporation.
It really is a whole lot like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, only the world is a whole lot tougher and nastier than it’s ever been.
I just read your blog about Bernie Sanders. I thought you were smart. I didn’t know that you are that scary smart. Bernie is the ONLY real deal candidate but I thought very few people would ever see it. Why is socialism a bad word? Caring for citizens is bad? You pointed out many good benifits in our country and how well it works in other countries. Israel is a very democratic socialistic country and they have a Jewish president so maybe…hopefully….we can too.
Regarding the compliment…thanks! To paraphrase a bit of wisdom from the poem, Desiderata, if you compare yourself with others, you will become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Mom was a concert pianist. Van Cliburn used to come out to the house on weekends. One night after a recital at Carnegie Hall, I listened as she handled all the critiques afterwards. She saw I was watching her. She whispered, “if you buy-in the compliments you have to buy-in the criticism, too. And that can tear you apart. “Just say thanks, Henry and press on.” She was right.
Candidly, I think it’s the truth that’s gonna ultimately be Bernie’s biggest blockade. Most of America is scared shitless of the very word, socialism. I’m not sure we have enough savvy people to see past that………………but my fingers are crossed.
Thanks for your comments!
I’m on the same page.
Having spent some time in Scandinavia back in the 60’s and watching the system work so very well there, I came home touting the educational, health care, and senior social services in existence there. Citizens there were … happy!!!!
Physicians got salaries. Kids were cared for from infancy on. Seniors were never without. Wow! And, Boy! Did I get slammed with taunting about my “Socialist views” when I returned home!
Ed and I met a Swedish millionaire on the slopes when we were on our honeymoon.
I asked the gentleman about this – and it’s cost.
He told us that 80% of his earnings go to taxes and that was just fine!
He and his family had all their basic needs met. Never a worry. Was worth every penny.
I, too, am watching Bernie closely. I DO like him. I just wish we had a viable candidate with military experience; I think the world we’re living in demands someone who’s been there and has a working knowledge of global concerns. I need to read more about his foreign policy…
Hi Mary Lou,
Interesting hearing your impressions of Scandinavia. What absolutely amazes me is the people who are getting hurt the most, are defending CEOs getting a bonus of 20 or 40 or 100 million dollars that they don’t even need, can’t even use. And you’re right on about the fear we Americans in particular have about certain words. Socialism in particular. What is Social Security?????
I like Bernie, but Marvin the Martian is a likely close runner-up.
Naaaaah…. Bernie the Aardvark would inhale Marvin in one quick snort and then swallow. Boy I miss the old cartoons….
The first time I heard Bernie’s voice, I knew I had heard it somewhere before, but I could not place it. My husband finally figured it out for me, and I immediately googled, “Is it just me or does Bernie Sanders sound like the Aardvark?” and I found all kinds of wonderful things!
This blog is right at the top of my list of wonderful things. Very nice. I have not had high hopes for a candidate in a very long time. I honestly did not think any candidate would be able to inspire me again.
Strangely, the only thing I can think to say right now is….do you play the harmonica?
This is the weirdest time I have ever seen in political America. I keep thinking that Hillary has some deal with Trump to get him to utterly screw up the GOP. That would be amusing, but that, too, is not the way the process is supposed to be. Thanks for writing!