Why in the world does Chris Matthews announce the next segment of the show as “Bernie has a surmountable lead can Pete catch him?” If it were Biden (or anyone else) in the lead, it would be a different headline. Why is Bernie so controversial? He has never changed his point of view and his entire career has been about helping others. Why is that considered so offensive and crazy? He simply wants dignity for human beings.
Why in the world does Chris Matthews announce the next segment of the show as “Bernie has a surmountable lead can Pete catch him?” If it was Biden (or anyone else) in the lead, it would be a different headline. Why is Bernie so controversial? He has never changed his point of view and his entire career has been about helping others. Why is that considered so offensive and crazy? He simply wants dignity for human beings.
People have given the term socialist an unbelievably negative connotation. Let me just state one simple thing, every established democracy has a socialist party as part of its government. Let me remind you, one of my favorite comparisons for explaining what Bernie’s Democratic Socialism really is all about. Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower put forth the same party platform as Bernie is running on in 2020. The Eisenhower Republican presidential platform was as follows… 1) Provide federal assistance to low-income communities 2) Protect Social Security 3) provide asylum for refugees 4) extend minimum wage 5) Improve unemployment benefits system so it covers more people 6) strength and labor laws so workers can easily join the union 7) assure equal pay for equal work regardless of sex. How in the world does this get turned on its head and considered crazy and socialist? Would anyone even dared to call General Eisenhower crazy? A Socialist? Was his warning about the military industrial complex crazy and incoherent? The most obvious object of these policies is the Interstate Highway system. These are socialist roads, 100%. They were built by the Federal Government and are maintained by the feds to this day. I have been on Capitalist roads in other countries, they are owned and operated by private investors, these are usually families with strong connections in government… crony capitalism at it’s finest. Socialism is seen as negative in America, only because it means the two parties would be losing their grip on power I believe what is happening, is the two party system is indeed loosing it’s grip on power, this will be an ugly mess and will take time; progress most of the time comes in a package that I was not expecting at all. The Grateful Dead said it perfectly in the song Scarlet Begonias… “Well, I ain’t always been right but I’ve never been wrong; Seldom turns out the way it does n the song; Once in a while you get shown the light; In the strangest of places if you look at it right. What hopeful lyrics.
My grandmother used to say to me “Robbie, we got into the Great Depression because we forgot how to take care of one another. Our society has been divided, we no longer know how to take care of one another. As I see it, Bernie simply wants to get back to caring for each other. The first step, for us to begin down the road to caring for one another again, is we need to first stop name calling. These labels do nothing but divide us and make us weak. The second step is for us to start realizing anytime we are speaking with another person, we need to start thinking that person probably knows more about everything than I know. I believe first and foremost it is important we start with a high level of humility. Don’t confuse this feeling with humiliation… lots of people get stuck in this trap. They believe that by admitting they don’t know something or know less than another person, they will be humiliated or embarrassed. We all want to protect against this happening us. These natural and healthy desires to protect ourselves, have been taken to extremes and have now become tribal in their nature. Once we stop calling each other names and putting labels on each other, we can start talking to each other again about a whole bunch of topics that have only in the last 10-15 years become taboo and dare I even say dangerous to talk about with others even in the slightest. We are all left alone in our echo chambers to falsely confirm that our worst fears are actually our reality… they are indeed are not our reality at all. For any group to be in this kind of chaos, make no mistake that is what it is, is a horrible space to occupy. Living in what I truly believe is an era of “post truth” (this has been the case for a long while… read some Noam Chomsky and you will see what I am talking about) makes this all the more volatile. When there is no truth for ANYONE to hold on to, the foundation of our collective democratic existence is at risk. Like a recovering addict, unless he/she begins to be honest with themselves, there can be no real recovery or healing. We need to admit that there is a problem and be honest about our past actions and how those actions have contributed to where we are now. This needs to be done on an individual basis, person by person. I also believe plain and simple that those of us that have already done that work on ourselves will be much better off than most when the collective shit hits the fan. As I try to wrap this up, I am compelled to share a prayer that helps me get to the space needed to get out of my own echo chamber.
The Prayer Of St. Francis
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled but to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is giving that we receive
And it is through pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life