By Jon Dougherty
POTUS Donald Trump made it a point — to huge applause and to many cheers around the country — to proudly reject socialism during his State of the Union Address by reminding all Americans that our country was “born free and will remain free.”
That didn’t set well with the leading advocates of all-out socialism: The 2020 class of Democratic presidential contenders. As the already-crowded field grows ever larger, the candidates are trying to “out-socialism” each other with wild promises of freebies and ‘green new deals’ that will cost the country tens of trillions of dollars none of the contenders has a clue where they will come from.
One of the biggest, and oldest, advocates is ‘Crazy’ Sen. Bernie Sanders, who — with his three homes and jet-setting lifestyle — has long been one of those awful 1 percenters he so often rails against.
But he’s going full-on for a ‘fundamental transformation’ of our country as founded — a free-market representative republic which enabled us to become the most powerful nation on the planet — to a super-sized version of Venezuela, which is on the verge of collapse after years of torturous Marxist policies that have sapped the life blood from South America’s former No. 1 economy.
In an op-ed for the uber-Left-wingÂ Guardian newspaper, Bernie out and out called for a “revolution” to cleanse our country of POTUS Trump and, presumably, his supporters:
It’s Time To Complete The Revolution We Started
One week ago, when we launched our campaign for president,Â I asked people from across the country to sign up to be part of an unprecedented grassroots campaign. The response from the American people has been historic.
In six days, more than one million people have answered the call. Americans from every single Congressional district in the country have signed up to help lead a movement that is not only about defeating Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history, but aboutÂ creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.
This task will not be easy. Today, we have more income and wealth inequality than at any time since theÂ 1920s, and the three wealthiest AmericansÂ own more wealthÂ than the bottom half of our country.
Despite relatively low unemployment, millions of people workÂ multiple jobsÂ because they earnÂ starvation wages,Â 34 millionAmericans have no health insurance, and we pay theÂ highest pricesÂ in the world for prescription drugs.
Shamefully, we treat our most vulnerable people with disdain.Â We have the highest rate ofÂ childhood povertyÂ of almost any major nation and a dysfunctional and unaffordable childcare system. While many Republicans want to cut Social Security, about half of older Americans haveÂ no retirement savings.
And, in the midst of all of that, we have a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, racist, sexist, xenophobe, religious bigot and someone who is moving this country in an authoritarian direction.
To be successful in creating a government and economy that works for the many, we will have to take on powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life â€“ Wall Street, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial-complex, the private-prison industry and multinational corporations. These special interests have extraordinary power, and they will spend enormous sums of money to maintain the status quo and their wealth.
The only way we will defeat Donald Trump and the special interests that support him is with a grassroots movement – the likes of which has never been seen in American history.Â We must stand together – women and men, black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian American, gay and straight, young and old, native born and immigrant – to address the challenges we face as a nation.
At a time when our infrastructure is crumbling and we have an affordable housing crisis, we can create millions of good paying jobs rebuilding our country. Together, we can raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour, provide pay equity for women and guarantee all workers paid family and medical leave.
While we spend almostÂ twice as muchÂ per capita on health care as any nation, our health outcomes areÂ worseÂ and life expectancy is inÂ decline. It is time for us to join every other major country and guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare-for-all program.
Unbelievably, Americans are saddled withÂ $1.5tnÂ in student loan debt and many young people canâ€™t afford the cost of college.Â We must lower the egregious level of student debt and make public colleges and universities tuition-free.
The United States has theÂ highest incarceration rateÂ in the world and African Americans are incarcerated at more thanÂ five timesÂ the rate of white people. Our job is to end the destructive â€œwar on drugs,â€ eliminate private prisons and cash bail and bring about major police department reform.
Instead of demonizing undocumented immigrants as our current president has done, we should fight for comprehensive immigration reform, a path toward citizenship, immediate legal status for the young people eligible for the DACA program and a humane policy for those at the border who seek asylum.
At a time when womenâ€™s rights are under attack at the local, state and federal level, we must defend a womanâ€™s right to control her own body.
To confront the epidemic of gun violence, we need to take on the NRA, expand background checks, end the gun show loophole and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons.
And finally, we must end Trumpâ€™s support for authoritarian leaders. We need a foreign policy which focuses on democracy, human rights, world peace, global wealth inequality, climate change and massive corporate tax evasion.
In 2016, our campaign began the political revolution. The ideas we fought for, which then were considered â€œradicalâ€ or â€œextreme,â€ are now supported by a majority of Americans. Now, it is time to defeat Donald Trump, complete that revolution and implement the vision we fought for.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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