Bernie Sanders

Right-Wing Blog’s Plan To Expose Sanders Fans As Economic Illiterates Hilariously Fails


“Priceless Meme Shows Exactly What Kind Of People Support Socialist Bernie Sanders,” is the headline on a Young Conservativespiece blasting…people who support Bernie Sanders. The meme is below:


Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

This meme is also the profile pic on a Facebook page called “Economic Illiterates for Bernie Sanders.

Young Conservatives’ entire post is about how the people who support Sanders don’t understand economics, all the while showcasing just how little they themselves don’t understand economics (or how progressive taxes work, for that matter). Bernie Sanders believes in wealth redistribution to a degree. He understands that the extreme income inequality we have here is not sustainable, because rich people cannot sustain a consumer economy on their own. There just aren’t enough of them.

Sanders isn’t alone in this; billionaire Nick Hanauer knows that he can’t buy enough suits, cars, electronics, appliances, and more, to sustain any one of the businesses that manufacture and sell these things. He’s one man who might buy three suits in a year. Not 3,000, despite the fact that his income is roughly 3,000 times higher than the average American. He’s not going to buy 3,000 cars every year, either, and neither is any other billionaire.

Young Conservatives merely provides a link to Sanders’ “hilarious” stance on the minimum wage. It’s safe to say that this publication buys into the myth that raising the minimum wage will destroy jobs. In one article, they point to a single story from the American Enterprise Institute, which is a right-leaning, pro-business think tank based in Washington, D.C. Of course the AEI is going to put out stories that “show” raising the minimum wage is a bad idea; business wants to treat workers like slaves and liabilities, not like the assets they are. (Without workers, you have no business. The bigger your business, the more dependent you are on your workers.)

The Department of Labor has its own page busting these minimum wage myths, including metastudies showing that there’s no discernible effect on employment when the minimum wage goes up. Of course, pro-trickle down conservatives call that a bunch of hooey; they still think that the only way to create jobs and wealth is to let rich people have all the money, and pay working people peanuts. Hey, they’re still working and making a little money, right? Something is always better than nothing.

Studies, statistics, sources, and micro- and macro-economics aside, there are two questions that conservatives just never seem to be able to answer. In 30 years, when has trickle-down ever worked? When will it start working?

It hasn’t, and it won’t. If it had, we’d be in absolute paradise by now, not watching working families struggle while the super-rich keep getting richer.

We can’t expect Young Conservatives to understand that, though. They’re so sure the economy would work if we’d just stop regulating it at all, stop taxing the rich entirely, and all workers would just work a little harder for a few more peanuts. If all that happens, we’ll all be fine. The real problem is socialist governments refusing to let business run amok. Typical right-wing economics, of which we’ve seen 30 years of failure.

What’s with the comparisons between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump?

Bernie Sanders, via AFGE / Flickr

Bernie Sanders, via AFGE / Flickr


If you had told a Very Serious Journalist a year ago that, in July 2015, democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and honey roasted wingnut Donald Trump would be in second place in their respective parties’ presidential primaries, they wouldn’t have even bothered to laugh.

Today, Very Serious Journalists, seeing those two men in second place in their respective parties’ presidential primaries, are writing Very Serious Articles suggesting that the two are equal and opposite flavors of radical. It’s the only way they can make sense of the phenomenon.

They all go something like this:

Bernie Sanders is an uncompromising and avowed socialist who hates the market and your freedom; Donald Trump is an uncompromising and avowed racist who hates Mexicans and their freedom. Both are the distilled essence of their parties’ core ideologies, so the two represent equal and opposite poles on our ideological spectrum. Both have gained momentum by appealing to the frustrations each party’s most radical wings have with their respective establishments. Therefore, Sanders is the Left’s Trump.

As Antonin Scalia would say, that argument pure applesauce. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump’s similarities start and end with their position in the polls.

Those who make the comparison between Sanders and Trump can only do so by suggesting that Sanders’s views are radical so as to be out of step with the Democratic Party and the country as a whole. As I’ve noted before, Sanders was as liberal as David Vitter was conservative in the last Congress. His proposals for an infrastructure bank, free college tuition paid for by a speculation tax, single payer health care and an income tax increase for those making more than $600,000 per year are progressive, yes, but let’s be clear: They don’t come close to being the ideological analogs of the ideas being thrown around in the Republican primaries.

Rand Paul wants to implement a flat tax. Scott Walker thinks the minimum wage is a “lame idea.” Multiple mid-to-top-tier candidates are on record supporting a constitutional marriage amendment. Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal want to change or eliminate the Supreme Court. For his part, Donald Trump wants to build a Great Wall of America and have Mexico pay for it, which, by the way, is the only thing distinguishing him from his opponents.

One need only look to see how each candidates’ parties are reacting to them to see the difference. Hillary Clinton has already begun deploying surrogates to cast Sanders as a radical — a Ron Paul figure whose large crowds are themselves indicative of support that runs deep but not broad. The Republican Party, for their part, can’t cast Trump as a radical because of how little separation there is between him and the mainstream GOP — and how popular his racist rhetoric is within their party.

Sanders’s support is a measure of the substantive ideological differences between himself and Hillary Clinton. Trump’s support is a measure of the rhetorical amplification he has given to what the Republican field was already saying. As Ana Marie Cox wrote in The Daily Beast, in anarticle confusingly titled “Bernie Sanders is the Left’s Trump”:

When Democratic base voters flock to Sanders, they are expressing dissatisfaction what current Democratic policies. When Republican base voters flock to Trump, they are expressing dissatisfaction with Republican rhetoric.

Put another way, Bernie Sanders’s support is about Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump’s support is about everyone else.

That makes them different, not similar.

Jon Green

Even Barack Obama Campaigned For Bernie (VIDEO)

Even Barack Obama Campaigned For Bernie (VIDEO)

You Tube Capture


In 2006, Barack Obama was a Senator and a rising star, despite the fact that most in America hadn’t heard of him. One fellow Senator, though, saw enough in the young man to ask him to campaign for him. That Senator is running for President today. His name is Bernie Sanders.

Early in that campaign year, Obama headlined a rally and fundraiser for the Senator and for Vermont’s one House member Pete Welch, in their home state of Vermont. Even then, the future President’s star power was evident. The venue couldn’t fit everyone, so 500 people stood on the steps outside to hear Obama speak with a megaphone.

Even then, he was talking about change. He was very critical of the Bush administration, saying that they weren’t serious about the things that people care about, like the environment, energy independence, health insurance and educational opportunities.

He called Sanders and Welch candidates for change.

“When ordinary people decide they want a different future for themselves and for their children and their grandchildren, and they come together and work at a grassroots level, it doesn’t matter how much money is spent,” Obama said, previewing a theme that would dominate his first presidential campaign, “it doesn’t matter what the powers and principalities say; we can bring about a change.”


But the change, Obama said, doesn’t come from Sanders or Welch; it comes from people participating in the democratic process.

Here’s the video:

If Sanders is smart, and I believe he is, he won’t make the mistake that many made during the 2014 election. He won’t run away from the record of this great President. Instead, he will embrace it and run with it. I’d like to see this video in campaign ads.

Clinton Advisers Admit to Being Worried About Bernie Sanders’ Growing Support In Iowa

Clinton-Sanders | Politicus USA


As Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign continues to draw large crowds in Iowa, Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisers are admitting that they have a real race on their hands. One Clinton staffer admitted that Clinton’s campaign had originally underestimated Sanders. Another adviser, communications director Jennifer Palmieri, spoke candidly during an interview on “morning Joe”, admitting:

We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish.

Although Hillary Clinton remains the frontrunner in Iowa, Bernie Sanders has closed the gap from a 35-point deficit in May to a 19-point gap at the end of June. Sanders is also drawing enormous crowds at campaign events in Iowa, as well as in other parts of the country.

Sanders’ economic populist message that calls for raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans in order to pay for a bold one trillion dollar public works program for creating jobs and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, is resonating with Iowa voters.

Given that the Democratic Caucuses tend to attract the most passionate activists in the party, Sander’s poses a real threat to pull off an upset victory in Iowa. With Vermont’s next door neighbor, New Hampshire, hosting the nation’s first Democratic primary, Sanders might even be able to deliver a stunning one-two punch, carrying the first caucus state and the first primary state in rapid succession.

While many national reporters are still treating Bernie Sanders like a gadfly candidate, the Clinton campaign is wisely taking him seriously. Some national reporters may view Sanders as a Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader style also-ran. However, the Clinton staffers are concerned that Sanders could be more like the 2008 version of Barack Obama. In the 2008 election cycle, Obama scored a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in Iowa. That victory was followed by many more victories as Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in a fiercely contested race for the Democratic nomination.

While it is too early to tell whether the Sanders campaign will continue to build enough momentum to win Iowa, it is clear that his campaign needs to be taken seriously. The Clinton campaign acknowledges that Sanders is a real threat to win in Iowa. If that happens, there is no telling when and where, or even if,  his momentum will come to a halt.

Keith Brekhus

Bernie Sanders Is Officially Making Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Nervous

Image Credit: AP


Hillary Clinton’s campaign wants you to know they are taking the threat from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) very seriously. On Monday, Clinton campaign officials made it clear that Sanders’ insurgent candidacy is on their radar, following weeks of the independent senator drawing huge crowds and climbing in the polls in two crucial early states.

The Clinton campaign is right to worry. Recent polls in Iowa and New Hampshire have placed Sanders within striking distance of Clinton. Over the weekend, Sanders drew the biggest crowd for any candidate in Iowa so far this cycle, attracting more than 2,500 to a rally in Council Bluffs. Earlier in the week, his campaign reported raising $15 million from 250,000 donations in the first two months of his campaign — 99% of which were contributions of $250 or less.

In other words, the Sanders surge is undeniable. Rather than deny this fact, the Clinton campaign has chosen to acknowledge the closing gap between the candidates, revealing two imperatives for Clinton as she seeks to fend off her liberal challenger: avoiding the appearance of taking the nomination for granted, and managing performance expectations in the early primary and caucus states, where a Sanders victory could throw her quest for the nomination off track.

What the Clinton camp is saying: Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri offered up a clear indication that the campaign is very much aware of the threat posed by Sanders. MSNBC’s Willie Geist asked Palmieri if the Clinton campaign was worried about Sanders, and Palmieri indicated that they certainly are.

“We’re worried about him, sure. He’s a force,” Palmieri said. “He’ll be a serious force for the campaign and I don’t think that will diminish … We’ve said from the start that it’s going to be really competitive.”

Source: Mic/MSNBC

“Of course we’re worried about him. This is an election,” she continued when pressed by Geist. “He is doing well. And we’ll have to, you know, we’ll have to make our case. We knew this was going to happen … So, yeah, it’s going to be a slog.”

Later Monday, the New York Times reported on the Clinton campaign’s apparently sudden realization that Sanders could defeat her in Iowa, the first contest in the Democratic nomination process:

“I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren’t likely to support Hillary,” said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. “It’s too early to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We’re working hard to win them over, but yeah, it’s a real competition there.”

The Times also quotes Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, who says, “We take nothing for granted in Iowa because the caucuses are always such a tough proving ground. But Hillary Clinton’s regular travel to the state and the organization we have established on the ground show how committed we are to prevailing there.”

A fine line: Why would Clinton’s campaign downplay its candidate’s chances of winning Iowa and acknowledge the viability of Sanders’ candidacy? Because doing so is smart politics — and one way to make sure her supporters stay engaged.

Clinton is seeking to avoid the aura of inevitability that surrounded her disastrous 2008 run, in which her campaign embraced her role as the all-but-certain nominee and failed to do the work necessary to actually win the nomination. This apparent certainty was off-putting for voters, particularly in Iowa, where Democratic caucus-goers relish the opportunity to upend conventional wisdom. If Clinton’s supporters believed that she had the nomination wrapped up, why would they devote time or energy to help her get elected?


OUR BERNIE SANDERS MOMENT: This July 4, remember only true independence and revolution ever brings change

Our Bernie Sanders moment: This July 4, remember only true independence and revolution ever brings change

Bernie Sanders (Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin/Salon)


Tectonic change comes when people are hopeful and sense something new is possible. Here’s how we build on victories

One of the things progressives often get wrong has to do with how fundamental change comes about. The standard reasoning is that people are stirred when they hit the bottom of the bottom—a condition of diminished expectations. It takes an economic depression, or a lot of political repression, to prompt people to rise. We need things to get worse before they get better. Let the suffering come.

This appears to be an entirely logical dialectic. But politics as desperation, as we might call the thought, rarely, if ever, proves out. Almost always it turns out to be an error.

Follow this line, and you want the Kochs to smash what remains of the political process to smithereens. You want the Supreme Court handing down ever more irrational judgments, you want more cops-in-camo shooting African-Americans, you want more unemployment and more reckless ambition among the foreign policy cliques. Then, you declare, people will be stirred out of the stupefied apathy that grips this nation.

We ought to ask ourselves this July 4 the extent to which we are given to this argument. Speaking only for myself, I made the mistake too many times too many years ago not to have learned how wrong it is.

Those who, in another time, made revolution their work knew better. It is amid rising expectations, not falling, that people are most likely to exert themselves in pursuit of authentic change.

The key to this truth, I have always thought, lies in a people’s consciousness of themselves. It is when they get some worthy things done, and so realize the power they possess, that they use it to effect change with true dedication. Nineteenth century Europe offers many examples making the point. If I have my history right, the Russian revolution is a classic case. (And so is the Berlin Wall’s fall.)

But there is no need to go further than the event we now celebrate, thoughtfully or thoughtlessly as the case may be, to find an irrefutable demonstration of the point.

Let’s ask ourselves this July 4: What exactly was on the minds of the signers gathered in Philadelphia 239 summers ago this weekend? Was George III’s boot on the colonists’ necks the primary sensation? The Declaration was the original American case of politics as desperation? It was all about the Stamp Act, the taxes on tea, the Boston Massacre?

Wrong read, obviously. The Declaration was a statement of principle reflecting the confidence of people who had the Boston Tea Party, the First Continental Congress, the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress and Bunker Hill immediately behind them. In Jefferson’s handwriting they read of a future that they understood would belong to them. The document exudes determination in its very cadences.

I mention this for a reason that may be plain by now. As anyone who pays attention knows, we have just witnessed at least two very significant political advances and probably a third. Suddenly, the expectations of many millions are rising.

The gay marriage and health care decisions, handed down by the worst, most corruptly biased Supreme Court to sit in my lifetime, suggest that those judges who are nothing more than creatures of conservative ideology and corporate interests recognized that they would risk a national revolt had they ruled the other way on these questions. This is my read.

What will come of the Charleston murders is still to be determined. But we have already seen an extraordinary display of solidarity and restraint as a forms of power among South Carolina blacks close to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and it looks like this could eventually drive the worst of Old Dixie down.

The point not to be missed: We reach this national day with the wind at last at our backs and the road coming up to meet us, as the Irish say. I see a momentum in the cause of a progressive redefinition of what it means to be American that seemed little more than delusion or a faded memory but a few years ago, so thoroughly did the American right appear to triumph in the name of a perverse notion of patriotism.

Expectations rise. Returning to my original thought, a chance to get still more done, created by way of a lot of sacrifice and hard work, presents itself. What will people do with it? This is our question—not least because the 2016 election draws near, and I will return to these.

A little autobiography here. In many years abroad I often looked back and thought I saw some salutary impulse to resist the marketization of the political process and the commodification of all culture at the hands of corporations possessed of a conscienceless greed. It seemed just under the surface, waiting to break through.

Then I would return on home leave and find everyone kicking the dirt. Talk about diminished expectations. An assumption of powerlessness was everywhere I looked. I found it hard to be around. I had to put what I thought I saw from afar down to illusion, or an incurable streak of optimism wholly in the American grain.

What about Obama’s victory in 2008, you ask. Yes, it seemed at the time a confirmation of the perceptions I describe. I have said this before in this space: I wept tears of joy when McCain capitulated—11 in the morning where I was. But soon enough, the cold, hard judgment rendered by the late, estimable Alex Cockburn seemed more the case: The junior senator was too pretty for his own good, Cockburn wrote before the election, and would never get his hands dirty.

A revised, altogether complicated take on Obama will have to get written, given how things have just turned, but it no longer seems I was so wrong as all that. What I thought I saw now takes form. The events of the past couple of weeks have been crystallizing in this respect.

I leave the foreign side out of this, you will note. It is the dark side of Obama’s moon by any reasonable reckoning.

At writing, there are one and a half exceptions.  Yes, the opening to Cuba is a triumphant stroke. (I wept the morning that was announced, too, half a century’s suffering at American hands finally ended.) Iran may come good, depending on how Secretary of State Kerry does in the final days of negotiations on a deal governing the Iranian nuclear program.

But Cuba is as nothing next to the truly strategic blunders—Russia, Ukraine, Iraq redux, a god-awful misinterpretation of China and its intent and now NATO unbound. By the same token, any Iran deal will be purposely shorn of its proper significance: An agreement with Tehran should open out to a broad rapprochement, so altering numerous dysfunctional relationships, not least Washington’s with Israel. But the White House is already clear that no such potential is to be explored. What Obama wants is primarily to assuage the Israeli right wing, and that is the wrong ambition. It has already cost Egyptians their first attempt at democratic government.

So the Cold War ends in Cuba and begins again on Russia’s western border and across the Pacific. Status quo in the Middle East. This is the Obama record on the foreign side. I count it an appalling legacy.

I do not think we can forget this when celebrating the past couple of weeks’ good news at home. In this there is a lesson in the Obama presidency, and I will return to it shortly.

For now, a couple of things that should be considered next to the crystallizing events of the past couple of weeks.

One is the unexpected (at least among many of us) success of Bernie Sanders since the Vermont senator announced he would run for the Democratic nomination. The other, of considerable importance if of somewhat lesser magnitude, was a remarkable piece published recently on this site called “Hillary Clinton is going to lose: She doesn’t even see the frustrated progressive wave that will nominate Bernie Sanders.”

Numerous students of American politics argue now that Sanders cannot win the nomination and is even further from carrying the election next year; he is important because he shows how weak Hillary is. As of now, both of these judgments seem right.

But I hold to “as of now.” One, Sanders trails Clinton by a startlingly small margin in one poll after another. Two, you do not want to underestimate the power of rising expectations. Think again of the signers in Philadelphia and the events that propelled them there over a very short period. Political landscapes can change very quickly.

Listen to what Sanders has to say. To me it is perfectly clear, and I doubt he would be so shy of the language as American politicians customarily are: He is talking about a social democratic America, which is not a new idea. It is a 19th century idea buried and made “un-American” by very bad Americans posing as patriots.

In terms deployed previously in this space and in the books noted at this column’s end, Sanders is talking about a demythologized America, a nation free of its exceptionalist tradition, one wherein we understand ourselves and what we do in historical terms. Myth or history: In my view, absolutely no distinction is more important now. At bottom, it is putting this question in front of us, if only implicitly, that makes Sanders important.

As to the Salon piece just noted, it is remarkable not only for its argument but also for who makes it. Read it here. Bill Curry was an adviser to Bill Clinton and twice ran for governor on the Democratic ticket in Connecticut. And here he is asserting, “There’s a rumbling out there, but most Democrats are a long way from hearing it, let alone joining in.”

Continue reading here>>>

Bernie Sanders: ‘I’m not a great fan’ of Benjamin Netanyahu

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (screenshot/youtube)


Earlier this week, NPR host Diane Rehm asked Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is competing for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, whether he is an Israeli-American dual citizen (he isn’t). What was less noticed was the dialoguebetween Rehm and Sanders afterward, where they discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sanders went on to explain his views on Netanyahu:

REHM: Tell me your feeling about whether there should be a two-state solution should Palestine be given statehood?

SANDERS: Absolutely. What you have in that part of the world is an unspeakable tragedy. And it seems like it’s never-ending and it seems like it every year gets worse and worse and more killing and more bombings and everything else. And again, Diane, if I had the magical solution to that problem I would be in the president’s office today giving it. I don’t have it. But clearly the goals are two-fold: number one the Palestinian people, in my view, deserve a state of their own, they deserve an economy of their own, they deserve economic support from the people of this country. And Israel needs to be able to live in security without terrorist attacks. Those are the goals of I think any sensible foreign policy in that region.

REHM: How do you believe President Obama’s relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu has affected our relationship with Israel?

SANDERS: Well, I gotta tell you, I am not a great fan of President Netanyahu I did not attend the speech that he gave before the joint session of Congress. I think it was opportunistic. I think he was using it as part of his campaign for re-election. I think he was being used or did use the Republicans to go behind the President’s back. And I think in that region sadly on both sides I don’t think we have the kind of leadership that we need. And so you know I think the President is trying to do the best that he can in enormously difficult circumstances.

Sanders did not call for ending the sizable diplomatic, military and economic support that Israel receives from the United States. He didn’t match the position of his brother, Larry Sanders, who ran for Parliament in Britain under the Green Party ticket in calling for boycotts against Israel.

But it is unusual for a major party candidate seeking the presidency of the United States to criticize Israel’s government during the campaign. Hillary Clinton strongly defended Netanyahu during a summer 2014 interview with the Atlantic and never offered any criticism of his attempt to sink the Iran negotiations. One of her biggest backers is the pro-Israel tycoon Haim Saban, who is working with Sheldon Adelson to crack down on Palestinian activism on American campuses.

Bernie Sanders’ Momentum Is Growing As He Gets 41% Support In Wisconsin Straw Poll


attribution: None


The growing momentum surrounding the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign took another step forward over the weekend. In a display of strength, Sanders got 41% of support in the Wisconsin Democratic Party straw poll to 49% for Hillary Clinton.

Rick Klein of ABC News reported, “Straw polls don’t count for anything, and second place is, well, second place. But how many of these before it will become something? Hillary Clinton captured 49 percent of the vote at the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s convention over the weekend, in a straw poll conducted by The story, though, was second place: Bernie Sanders got 41 percent, just eight points behind Clinton and far ahead of his low-single-digits rivals. It’s the latest sign that Sanders is poised to inherit at least a solid portion of the Ready-for-Warren energy. And it speaks to a longstanding contention that if Clinton is vulnerable, it’s on her left.”

Straw polls are only measures of support by those in attendance. They are not representative samples, so it would be inaccurate to suggest that the result in Wisconsin will translate to the broader electorate. The attendees at events like the state Democratic convention are the dedicated activists. These people are most likely to be drawn to the grassroots activist campaign of Sen. Sanders.

Forner Sec. of State Clinton has tried to reach out to the activist left, but the popularity of Bernie Sanders demonstrates that she still has a lot of work to do in this area. The anti-Hillary activists on the left are galvanizing around Sanders. This is bad news for Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chaffee. O’Malley seems to have been caught completely by surprise by Sanders’ popularity. In a field where there is room for one challenger to Hillary Clinton, O’Malley’s candidacy appears to be redundant and unnecessary.

The segment of the left that thinks Hillary Clinton is too moderate is flocking to Bernie Sanders. As has been shown in previous elections, the activist left is a very small portion of the Democratic Party. The vast majority of Democrats are Obama/Clinton Democrats, but what can’t be denied is that there is real momentum behind the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

Straw polls are meaningless, but the results in Wisconsin do suggest that the support for Bernie Sanders is very real and that Democrats could be treated to a real primary campaign focused on the issues.

Jason Easley

Poll Finds 80% Of REPUBLICANS Agree With Bernie Sanders On Citizens United


Screen Capture – MSNBC


Sen. Bernie Sanders is often characterized by the media as an out of the mainstream presidential candidate, but a new CBS/New York Times poll revealed that 80% of Republicans agree with Sanders on the issue of getting money out of politics.

The CBS/NYT poll found that:

– 80% of Republicans believe that money has too much influence in our politics.

– 54% believed that most of the time candidates directly help those who gave money to them.

– 81% of Republicans felt that the campaign finance system needed fundamental changes (45%) or a complete rebuild (36%).

– 64% are pessimistic that changes will be made to reform the campaign finance system.

– 71% want to limit the amount that individuals can give to campaigns.

– 73% felt that super PAC spending should be limited by law.

– 76% thought that superPACs should be required to disclose their donors.

All of these positions are held by Bernie Sanders, and the opinion of the majority on each question is the exact opposite of the reasoning used by the majority of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision.

Where Republicans differ from the rest of the country is that a substantial number (48%) believe that money is free speech, and they believe that both parties benefit equally (62%), but among those who picked a party that benefitted more, they felt that Democrats (24%) benefitted more from the current campaign finance system than Republicans (6%). Fifty-five percent of Independents and 53% of Democrats felt that money is not free speech. Fifty-two percent of Democrats believe that Republicans benefit more from the current system.

In 2012, Sen. Sanders laid out why Citizens United is the threat to our representative democracy:

This is unprecedented and it is the most savage attack against American democracy, and the concept of one person, one vote that we have seen in our lifetime, and what it is is saying if you are a billionaire, you can buy elections. You can by politicians, and by the way, on the floor of the Senate, on the floor of the House, you can intimidate members, because you will be saying to them if you are going to vote against Wall Street, or the insurance companies, or the military industrial complex, you just do that, and we’re going to have millions of dollars in thirty-second ads in your state this weekend.”

So this whole effort to put huge unprecedented unbelievable amounts of money is the one percent saying look, we’re not content that the top one percent owns forty percent of the wealth. We want more. We want more. We want more, and we’re going to buy the political process to get what we want. So this is the worst assault on the basic democratic traditions which have made our country great that you and I have seen in our lifetimes, and what it means, we have to overturn Citizens United. We have to pass a disclose bill, disclosure legislation next month, which at the very least forces these CEOs to get on television when they do a negative ad, and say I approve this message, and it forces us to know who is contributing.

Overall, 84% of Americans agree with Bernie Sanders that money has too much influence in U.S. politics. Seventy-five percent favor donor disclosure and 77% favor limiting contributions.

Hillary Clinton and President Obama also favor getting the money out of politics, but both of them have been forced to raise huge sums of money in order to be competitive.

Bernie Sanders isn’t as far out of the mainstream as the media likes to believe, and it is also clear that mainstream America wants their country back from the billionaires who are attempting to take it over.

Jason Easley