GOP will paint any Democratic nominee as too far left
Those who fear that Bernie Sanders is too polarizing a figure for Democrats to choose as their nominee would do well to remember President Barack Obama. Obama was a financial centrist, whose tax policy was more generous to the wealthy than that of President Reagan, and who gave out unprecedented amounts of money in corporate handouts. Nevertheless, Republicans spent eight years painting him as a radical socialist.
They rebuffed every one of Obama’s many bipartisan overtures, and reacted even to his most innocuous pronouncements — supporting healthier school lunches, suggesting motorists inflate tires to improve fuel economy — as if they were acts of blatant tyranny.
Conservative media routinely propagated lies that Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim infiltrator. Even successfully eliminating 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden earned Obama little to no credit from Republicans.
So it doesn’t matter if the Democrats nominate an actual radical leftist in 2020; anyone they pick will treated that way. Calling Sanders too divisive is meaningless, since the Republican Party has made rejection of bipartisanship a core aspect of its identity, regardless of who earns the Democratic nomination.
Trump would relish a contest vs. Sanders
Yes, Andru Volinsky, Bernie Sanders is the ideal candidate — for Donald Trump (“Sanders is the one,” Opinion, Feb. 7). Trump knows it, and is not tearing Sanders to shreds, as he has Joe Biden, the candidate who frightens Trump the most. Will we let Trump pick the Democratic nominee?
Unsurprisingly, Sanders inspires young people with his ideals. But it’s all talk. Sanders has accomplished little to nothing in his 30 years in Congress, and would accomplish little as president, given the makeup of the current Congress. A vote for Sanders is a wasted vote.
Donna Haber Kornberg
Like the GOP in 2016, Democratic Party is moving toward populism
Will Americans who overwhelmingly believe the economy is in good shape enlist Bernie Sanders to dismantle it?
Probably not. But regardless of what happens in November, the direction of the Democratic Party is clear. Like the Republican Party four years ago, it is moving toward populism.
Donald Trump needed less than 12 months after descending his golden escalator to seize control of the GOP, leaving in his wake the political corpses of Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, and others.
Senator Sanders launched a similar assault on the Democratic Party four years ago but fell short against Hillary Clinton. This year, no one as imposing as Clinton is in sight.
If Sanders wins the nomination but loses the election, Democrats will not choose their next champion from the party’s current geriatric leadership. Nor will they choose a so-called corporatist like Clinton or Barack Obama.
The young Democrats who will shape the party’s future see capitalism as a failure and won’t rest until they have a national ticket aimed at ending it. Hint for star watchers: 23 days before the 2024 election, a certain congresswoman from the Bronx will celebrate her 35th birthday.
Right-wing propagandists have us believing socialism is bad
Don’t be spooked by a word. Americans all along have been living with some of the blessings of socialism, including Donald Trump in the tax-supported White House. For that is precisely what democratic socialism is: a program of tax-supported services. Look around: the public library, public schools, fire and police departments, our military — all are products of “socialism.”
Socialism is not the bugaboo that right-wing propaganda would have you believe. That slander mill, humbugging the American public, has kept us afraid of the means of our own liberation, in the hopes that we’ll never wise up and send the plutocrats packing. The most progressive countries in the world (Scandinavia, for example) are models of how much better life can be under a well-structured social democracy.
Unless you’re one of the 1 percent, don’t run away from the word that can lift up your life; rather, embrace it. It is unbridled capitalism that keeps wealth in the hands of the privileged elite.
We have to choose nominee with House and Senate in mind
Current election coverage seems to be suggesting that either Bernie Sanders or Mike Bloomberg is the likely Democratic nominee. Are we really supposed to choose between a lifelong independent and a longtime Republican? How can either of these virtual non-Democrats lead a ticket that will carry the House and Senate? Without a majority in both houses of Congress, it will almost not matter whom we choose as our Democratic presidential nominee, even if that person wins and rids us of Trump.
We should have learned by now that the only way to begin to restore this country to what we want it to be — a beacon of fairness and equality, a country that welcomes immigrants, a country with health care for all, a country for all of us and not just the rich — is to convince voters everywhere that Democratic values are American values.