Explaining Bernie's Radical Position
Joshua B. Hoe I finally understand what Bernie is saying, and why he doesn't seem to care about Congress, it took watching four open forum debates and Town Hall's to get it (he needs to work on messaging).
Just so everyone can catch up, the clearest statement Bernie has made was the concluding argument of last Thursday's debate (starts about 3:53 in):
What the media, Hillary Clinton, and even other radicals like Ta-Nehisi Coates seem to be missing is right in his closing remarks.
He believes that trying to get his agenda through Congress via bipartisan incremental change cannot work.
He believes that HRC trying to get her agenda through Congress via bipartisan incremental change cannot work.
He does not think any of what either of them are promising can happen without a change in HOW we do politics and legislative reform.
Wall Street, Large Campaign Donors, the Corporate Media prevent that change from every being substantial.
The process has been corrupted, its corruption will crush any real reform.
He is saying, the ONLY hope we have - no matter who we elect - is reinvigorating an informed and active citizenry. Having the 99% become a counterweight to the 1%.
It is "not about having the most Progressive Agenda" it is about bringing millions of new people into the political process and them refusing to stand silently as Senators and Congressmen obstruct at the behest of their corporate overlords.
He would likely agree that even that might not work, but I suspect he thinks if things stay as they are now - neither his or HRC's agenda can pass.
This is a much more radical statement than what he has been given credit for.
Most news organizations, and even me, thought he was just saying that his supporters are revolution for him.
What he is saying is literally that progressive reform is impossible in a corrupt Congressional system.
He is saying no real reform will happen absent a shift in HOW we make policy.
He is saying checks and balances, incremental legislation, and bipartisanship are just shifting chairs on a doomed ship.
He is saying we are in a post checks and balances world - or have to be.
That is radical.
Some debate suggestions (as a new supporter and former National Debate Champion and long time coach):
1. Senator Sanders HAS to start responding better off the cuff in debates.
Currently, he just repeats stump speech segments verbatim over and over.
I have heard him answer many different questions in the debates and town hall meetings with the EXACT same speech segments.
This is what bit Runio in the butt in the last GOP debate.
2. Senator Sanders HAS to start catching at least some of the nuances in the questions he is being asked
Not only is Senator Sanders often missing the questions entirely with his answers, he is missing many of the nuanced parts of the questions that HRC is nailing.
3. Senator Sanders HAS to start making comparative arguments ON OFFENSE. He needs to start saying his policies are better than hers because __________ instead of constantly reiterating the exact same thing over and over and over.
4. Senator Sanders needs to let it all hang out with his radicalism. If he is taking on the entire current political culture, do it. Say the difference between HRC and Bernie is that Bernie doesn't believe either of us can make much difference UNLESS the people are active and informed.
And one overall suggestion:
If you need to build support in the African American community, you could probably start by pointing out that Hillary may be for Criminal Justice Reform, but she is also for the continuation of the War on Drugs.
Anyway, that is my 10 cents.