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Re-Visioning with Bernie (1)

September 20, 2017

Re-Visioning with Bernie (1)

Hillary Rodham Clinton pulled off our biggest political revolution, our biggest re-visioning of politics, since 1776: the election of a woman to the Presidency and to the position of most powerful person in the world. 65,844,954 Americans voted for her. 2.8 million more than the nearest other candidate, a demagogic, evil (and) clown.

If she had taken office, that would have been a much much bigger revolution, but she was prevented by a constitutional device devised by white male Southern slave-owners and white male Puritan New England male-chauvinists/Calvinists to keep their own kind in power.

So we have to keep up the good, hard work. If we’re lucky, we’ll continue to hear Hillary’s voice, all the more powerful as a wise senior stateswoman (definitely listen to her in this interview, especially her stories about Putin). We’re in for much more re-visioning of our politics. We (and hopefully she) can be much more revolting.

Her voters included tens of millions of men. One of them was recently found in polling to be today’s most popular American politician (highest faves, low unfaves, on a list of notables). And that reminded me that when, after the shock of Hillary’s losing WI, MI, and PA, and thus the E Collegiate vote, the author of this tomb (who, you may recall, had been a B supporter during the Dem primary—much of which now seems rather quaint, not to say naïve) engaged my narratorial services for a revised draft, he optimistically changed the novel’s title from Blog: A Novel, etc., to Bernie: A Re-vision, same subtitle.

Yet in pages since then, I’ve neglected Bernie, himself, because Hair Trompf has hogged my consciousness, saturated as it is by media, of which he is still Master of Attention. So I’m trying to correct the plot line, with this episode about Bernie’s post-election activities, and our re-visionary attempt to revise American politics.

By placing climate change and the influence of the predatory wealthy at the top of his list of issues, Bernie proposed, and now continues to represent, a Progressive re-visioning of our national values and priorities, and a Progressive revision of the Democratic Party. His general emphasis is on empowering ordinary people. Since the election he has continued his effort to bring attention to the poor and the working middle class, especially by supporting a $15/hr minimum wage and supporting unions.

Now he has opened a national effort to re-vision the availability of adequate health care for ALL citizens, as a universal human right afforded by civil societies (including tribal villages). His introduction, joined by 15 Democratic Senators, of the Medicare for All Act tells the nation that the Democratic Party will insist that adequate health care for all, made financially possible by nationally pooled insurance, become a major issue. The exact form that the national risk/cost-sharing will take, and the exact process of transition, will be worked out during a national conversation, led by Democrats. (NYT’s Margot Sanger-Katz, in “Buried Inside Bernie Sanders’s Bill: A Fallback Plan” and “How the Bernie Sanders Plan Would Both Beef Up and Slim Down Medicare,” makes it clear that proposing this bill establishes the principle and goal, and frames the argument; it is a beach head, with a protracted campaign ahead of us; we will move inland and take the high ground.)

By immediately signing on to the Bernie health care bill, a third of the Democratic senators, including major aspirants to presidential candidacy, signaled their belief that his Progressive vision should be adopted by the nation and the party. They also reinforced his Progressive leadership role within the party. We can now pressure other Dems to declare for it.  (Rs will help our effort, through their contrasting failure and their intellectual and moral bankruptcy, including fearmongering.)

HRC is out of the government now, but she is forcefully speaking her mind, including some criticism—sure, we all feel some sting—of B. She brings one of our brightest and most experienced minds to our effort against fascism (AS), and against Putin and his oligarchs. The Q is how she can best support the resistance, and, I hope, contribute to the Progressive political revolution (national and party) that we desperately need.

For some light seriousness (B and H laugh easily, unlike T who never laughs, except sadistically—and, come to think of it, have I seen Ivanka laugh, or even smile unself-consciously?): here’s B, on the Colbert show, when H’s crit of him had just appeared (Pt 1 and Pt 2); and here’s H, a week later (Pt 1 and Pt 2).

Obviously, while he can laugh, even when the joke is on him, B knows (as does H) exactly what he believes to be our most pressing issues, and he takes them very seriously, staying right on them.

B’s politically revolutionary agenda (increasingly the Dem agenda) is to turn America into a Caring Community, in which citizens band together, pooling their resources to solve their mutual problems and increase their well-being. (In large, this is also HRC’s vision and goal; she differed, significantly, in her proposals for how to get there, her sense of how quickly we can move, and her sense of the role of the 1%, and their interests, among the influential Dem power structure.)

Future pages of this episode will highlight Bernie’s continuing revolutionary activity (and HRC’s?).

Immediate Update: Page (2) of this episode, being composed, even as I try to think, will be posted soon.  It will feature the recent (9/18/17), visionary WaPo column by Eugene Robinson.

I try to think, therefore I am, if only as a narrator. (One might say that one is ambivalent about one’s life, but not about Being, or about the value of the lives of others.)

[Index page to “Bernie” episode pages.  But what is “evil”?]

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