RESPONDING TO THE CRITICS of “Why ALL Progressives Should Vote Biden”
First, much of what was said was spot on - from Biden’s sexual harassing to his decades of corporate friendly policies and plans. From a corrupt DNC establishment to not even holding a hearing for the 8 women who CREDIBLY accused him of violating their person, to the Party’s chronic addiction to Wall St. dollars. Agreed! We shouldn’t put up with one more day of this, but without Bernie or Elizabeth (even with them) centrist policies will continue until WE THE PEOPLE put an end to it. HOW? with the much TALKED about but long overdue Movement.
I’ve been at odds with Centrist thinking and outcomes ever since returning from San Francisco State College in 1968, from what is still today, the longest student strike in American history. We had to fight like hell for Black and Ethnic Studies Depts and a fairer distribution of financial aid to non-white students. We fought and won this and more, because we were organized both on campus and in the community. That experience taught and inspired me about our endless possibilities if we apply commitment, unity and skill. It served me well in the 70’s working the successful campaign for Rent Control in Los Angeles, the third largest city in the world.
As Bernie has said, the success of our Progressive agenda depends on mobilizing and organizing millions of Americans into a mass movement that shifts the Democratic Party away from Wall St. to Main St. however (and this is me speaking), it may ultimately become necessary for us to create a formidable Progressive 3rd party of our own.
The point of this and my previous post is not to praise Joe Biden but to point out the threat posed by Donald Trump, a corrupt, repulsive, menace to us all. All of us includes YOU, your family, friends, and other people in this country and around the world. This is not intended to alarm beyond the facts on the ground. It is to sincerely ask you not to be complicit in a Trump victory by voting 3rd Party or not at all.
Regrettably, without Bernie or Elizabeth or the Movement that will take MANY years to build, we literally have no way to stop him beyond voting Biden. But it should be of some consolation to know that Bernie and Elizabeth (who both endorsed him) are working on Biden for more concessions beyond what he has already given them around Student debt relief, Tuition assistance, and modifying the 2005 industry sponsored Bankruptcy law that will now make it easier for people to declare bankruptcy for their unexpected medical bills, job loss or divorce. In addition, millions will be added to Obamacare and some kind of Public Option offered. YES, YES it's far short of the 88 million uninsured/underinsured that WOULD be covered by Medicare For All, but nevertheless is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and timely for tens of millions of people even someone YOU may know.
Again, all of this is far less than needed but Biden will stop the bleeding and this support will add much SECURITY for individuals and families throughout the country. Add to it the pressure that will come from us as our Movement grows day to day and with it more from Biden can be expected. I hope we care enough about ourselves and one another to get beyond the very VALID disappointment, anger and pain that came loud and clear through your words.The best way through it is TOGETHER first in political community as Progressives building our Movement, then soon after in PERSONAL community when finally FACE to FACE we can start building close and sustaining personal ties. (details to follow).
In the end it comes down to what we are willing to do together for each other. Please understand, that to live in the better world you write about, we have to get OFF OUR ASS and do the work of building our Movement or the future you claim to care about will NEVER happen. Big donor politicians will never take us seriously if they don’t believe we have the power to remove them.This is not about depending on Bernie, Elizabeth, or Jill Stein (Greens) it’s about YOU and ME!! Either WE get it done or it doesn’t get done!. Are you willing to give 1-2 hours a week knowing that we always make time for the things we care about?
So hook up with Our Revolution or Indivisible probably the two most promising national Progressive groups. Call a Progressive Unity Summit in your state. Come up with at least a semi common agenda. Create National, State and Local teams to identify Progressives and run them for office winning the Primary election so we can offer OUR candidates in the General election), all with the singular purpose of creating Progressive majorities at every level of government especially at the center of systemic corruption in Washington D.C.
Let’s empower ourselves by taking charge of OUR future. Let's fight hard, be patient with our progress, and know that what we are doing is honoring our highest and best as we depend on the ONLY ones that count US!!!! Let’s get beyond advocacy to implementation, past vision to reality. No more wasted YEARS as frustrated critics. And underneath it all, let’s collectively pledge to finally assume our rightful title as America’s OWNERS!
HOPE YOU AND YOURS STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY! ... See MoreSee Less
Why ALL Progressives SHOULD Vote Biden.
In 2016 I helped set up the Bernie Sanders Speakers Bureau in Portland Oregon. When it became clear that he would not be the nominee and that either Clinton or Trump would be running the country, many Progressives began a serious conversation about voting options for the general election including, do I vote 3rd Party, write in Bernie’s name, or simply not vote. There were some who cynically wanted things to get worse so that our Progressive agenda might later look more attractive, this while knowing that without a grassroots Movement, or even with Bernie in the White House, that it would take many years at best to implement that agenda.
For me the only question was how people would live DAY to DAY under Trump or Clinton. Should I rigidly follow my political ideology with a protest vote or be guided by the immediate and appalling reality known as Trump. What approach would best secure the common good? I kept thinking of Gandhi’s question during India’s fight for Independence - “do we fight to change things or do we fight to punish”? Is priority one our collective well being or getting even with the bad guys? Particularly galling for me was knowing that those who preferred a protest vote absolutely knew that without a Movement (then as NOW) there was LITTLE or NOTHING they could do in the subsequent four years to protect the people THEY were now putting at risk.
As a Progressive, my responsibility is not just building a Progressive future, but making sure that I don’t undermine it by UNNECESSARILY adding to the vulnerability, insecurity and fear already felt by millions of our fellow citizens. If our political philosophy doesn’t speak to the urgency of the moment then what’s needed is a short term strategy that does, in this case voting for the candidate who will do the LEAST harm. Why does that matter? Because we are Progressives committed to meeting the urgent needs and relieving the day to day pressures on our families. If we’re going to be CREDIBLE then we need to be seen fighting for the people we CLAIM to care about who need relief RIGHT NOW not just a promise of getting it at some future date.
Even before we knew what we now know about Trump, there was virtually no doubt that Americans would live at least slightly better under Clinton. And that was the choice - slightly better, possibly more, or worse. I felt back then as I do today, that if I truly give a damn about people rather than my ideological preference, it would be reckless of me (selfish) to risk electing Trump simply because I was unwilling to put an X next to the name of the candidate I KNEW to be the least damaging, whether or not our political agenda happened to be compatible. This was and now is a decision that speaks directly to how much we GENUINELY care about one another.
If we don’t want to vote for the lesser of lessers, and if seriously committed to a Progressive agenda, then our collective responsibility is to work harder, smarter and UNIFIED in every PRIMARY election so we offer a Progressive option in every GENERAL election. If we do that, we can FINALLY create that much TALKED about grassroots MOVEMENT, LITERALLY the ONLY strategy capable of competing with big donor politicians by demonstrating our ability to REMOVE THEM!
So once again come November it’s either the insanity of Trump or the centrist Biden. As distasteful as it is for some, we have it in our hands to minimize the pain and fear of literally millions of people by taking a few seconds to put an X next to Biden REGARDLESS of his questionable history or ANY policy concessions to Progressives. Then with a deep sense of commitment and urgency, let’s get out and do our part in building a powerful Movement that not only allows us to avoid future lesser of lesser choices, but ACTUALLY moves us beyond endless TALKING points toward the Progressive American future we all deserve. ... See MoreSee Less
IN RESPONSE TO WARREN CRITICS
Before responding to some of her critics, here is where we agree.
As to the name Warren Democrats I don’t like the name either. Although it will help her in the Dem Primary it doesn’t broaden the Progressive base, one of three reasons why I supported her over Bernie. My preference would have been “WE THE PEOPLE’ that would have spoken better to the American heart of justice, democracy, equality, and freedom rather than implying the Centrist identity.
As to her accepting PAC money. It is true that 9 days before ending her campaign she accepted money from PERSIST PAC a group of women who were organizing on her behalf. And it’s true that she used money PREVIOUSLY raised from her Senate campaign mostly from big donors. BUT other than this end of campaign PAC money she like Bernie raised ALL of her money from SMALL donors. Although I too want perfection on this issue I think it reasonable to allow her a little imperfection on this point.
Ok, on to the two major critiques.
THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU (CFPB)
I was surprised that one of you referred me to The U.S. Chamber of Commerce to make your point about her “many CFPB failures”. As you know that national organization is a Right Wing big business lobby not particularly fond of regulation. I prefer instead to listen to more reliable sources such as Ezra Klein a former reporter with the Washington Post who wrote
“I have never covered an agency where the moral was as high, the sense of mission as clear and the collection of talent as impressive”. Even the Inspector General praised how she set up the agency. And from the other side, a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase one of the biggest banksters on Wall St acknowledged that her CFPB had “beaten and pounded” the commercial banking sector. And as I noted earlier, her agency returned over 12 billion dollars to 25 million people who had been cheated by banks and credit card companies. So much for her “deserting Progressive issues’.
Elizabeth Warren is not simply an ADVOCATE she is an obsessive IMPLEMENTER!! She built a coalition, fought the banks (for real!!) and won beyond just advocating for her CFPB. As a Progressive for 51 years I want to get beyond just beating up on the bad guys. I want to move beyond Progressive visions to Progressive reality. I supported her in part because she has the tools and the smarts to actually deliver on her plans with a proven record of management, leadership and execution. Outside of her Wall St. expertise and communication skills that had “the STREET” in a near panic (according to the NY Times) when she was a front runner last year, her knowledge of systems along with an impressive Progressive agenda and a relatable personality GAVE us a unique candidate that I felt and feel today was best positioned to get us to the future we deserve.
And finally here are the highlights of Elizabeth’s and Bernie’s Medicare For All plans. BOTH are TRANSITION proposals designed to get us to Medicare For All by the end of their first term. Using this material and whatever other documents YOU HAVE- you decide which is more generous and which WAS more likely to be IMPLEMENTED.
WARREN MEDICARE FOR ALL TRANSITION PLAN
To transition to Medicare for All, Warren proposed a two-stage process. First, she would sign executive orders lowering prices on prescription drugs and strengthening the Affordable Care Act. Then, within the first 100 days of her administration, Congress would pass a bill enacting a robust public healthcare option and expanding Medicare benefits to minors, low-income households and people age 50 and older. In the second stage, in the third year of a Warren administration, the full Medicare for All bill would be enacted.
The bill Warren aims to pass in her first 100 days would set up an insurance option that would cover benefits such as primary and preventive services, vision, dental and long-term care,(vital for an aging population) and mental health and substance treatment. It would provide free coverage for children under the age of 18 or any American earning up to 200% of the federal poverty level, which is about $51,000 for a family of four.
Others can choose to buy into the plan at a modest cost instead of private insurance, and coverage will become free for everyone within 4 years. This first part of her plan is expected to benefit about 135 million Americans. She would pass the transition plan using ‘special procedures’ that would require only a simple majority in the Senate, rather than the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
BERNIE’S MEDICARE FOR ALL TRANSITION PLAN
In Bernie’s Transition to universal health care, in the first year his legislation will immediately improve traditional MEDICARE for seniors and people with disabilities by covering dental, vision hearing aids home health care.which are not covered under current law. The Medicare eligibility age will be reduced to 55 and Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D deductibles would be eliminated. During the first year, every child between the ages of 0-18 would become eligible to enroll in the Universal Medicare program.A Medicare Transition plan would also be established during year one to provide affordable coverage for all Americans and to make sure that no one loses coverage? During the second year of implementation, the Medicare eligibility age would be reduced to 45. During the third year, the eligibility age would be lowered to 35. By the fourth year, every individual who is a resident of the United States will be entitled to benefits for comprehensive health care services and will get a Universal Medicare card that they can use to receive the health care they need.
Especially for Matt, Quint, James and Paco, I hope these points help you to better understand and appreciate how Elizabeth Warren might have gotten us to the Progressive future we all deserve. I could go on but really don’t want you to feel bad about yourselves for not supporting her. LOL! ... See MoreSee Less