Becoming a Liberal
Why Bernie Can’t Win the General Election
(And Why Trump Might)
A stagecoach robber named Black Bart (circa 1870) used to leave poems behind after he robbed everyone on board. My favorite:
“I’ve labored long and hard for bread, for honor and for riches.
But on my corns too long you’ve tread you fine-haired sons of bitches.”
This simple class warfare poem perfectly encapsulates our current problem. BOTH the Trump supporters AND the Sanders supporters would agree with Black Bart. The working class, blue-collar Trump folks feel they’ve been fucked over by the east coast, Ivy League elites for decades. Guess what? So do Bernie’s far left “socialist” backers.
Trump thunders at his rallies that his voters have been “treated so unfairly.” (Unfair is Trump’s favorite word.) He promises that he will make it right for them. Surely by giving the 1% yet another tax break, they will create more jobs, and we’ll go back to the 1950s. How is that working out so far?
Bernie promises to “redistribute the wealth” back down to the middle class. The billionaires will finely pay their fair share. Us rubes believe Trump and Sanders, and think our votes will matter. Truth is, Bernie can do none of this unless the dems control both houses of Congress, a very unlikely scenario. In addition, when Congress are the lap dogs for the healthcare insurance and pharmaceutical industries, without tanks in the street, nothing will change.
Bernie’s ideas are so far left as to constitute a political revolution (hopefully without violence.) As economically dire as things are for many, (check out the disgusting sight of the homeless encampments under our freeways) things are not bad enough to create such a sea change.
When FDR introduced the New Deal, and instituted a 90% tax on the wealthiest people (yes… that was 90%), there was a 34% unemployment rate, and the Army was brought in to quell riots in the streets and force striking workers back to work. Bodies literally were piling up. The Russian revolution was doing well, and people were predicting the demise of capitalism. Roosevelt had some leverage. None of that is true for Bernie. Not enough pain for a drastic systemic change. The republicans will hammer away on the evils of socialism.
Ironically, the far left and the far right are pissed off about the same thing. Is there enough suffering to give Bernie enough support to beat Trump? I doubt it. Republicans will holler that Bernie will take away the healthcare insurance (what about Congress?) that people love. NO ONE talks about loving their healthcare insurance program. But, Trump will scare hell out of the voters that the evil socialists are taking over. So there is not enough pain for Bernie to win. Hope I’m wrong.
Hmmm, wonder if Black Bart is interested in running for president?