The Heartbreaking Tragedy of Bernie Sanders

by on March 11, 2020 · 37 comments

in Election

By Scott Stephens

The outcome was nearly inevitable, but it was still painful, nonetheless. On Tuesday, March 10th, Bernie Sanders made his last stand. If the United States is ever to become a democracy again, a younger version of Bernie Sanders will have to lead the way. But at this point, with the majority of wealth held by so few individuals, it’s conceivable that Bernie may be the last of his kind.

Just like the last election, the establishment wasn’t about to risk letting Bernie go any further. This wasn’t just the DNC putting on the brakes; it involved almost all the major media outlets. Even MSNBC gave Sanders almost no support. Ironically it comes back to the same thing that Bernie has been preaching all these years, the ultra-rich having a disproportionate say in the electoral process.

Bernie was too old to run. If inaugurated, at 79, he would’ve been eight years older than the next oldest president to take the throne, Donald Trump who was 70 at the time he was inaugurated. A democracy needs a young, vibrant leader. Obama, Clinton and Kennedy were all in their 40s when they took office. Jimmy Carter was in his young 50s. Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan, the two oldest presidents at the inauguration, were both about 70 years old. Bernie was nearly a full decade older than that. But Sanders was the real deal. He was authentic and because of that, he was loved by so many. Most progressives knew he was past his prime even during the last election. We wished and hoped for another charismatic candidate like Barack Obama, but more progressive. But as unbelievable as it seems, there was no one to match the appeal of the principled man from Vermont.

Do you feel the politics of this self-proclaimed democratic socialist so radical? Sanders platform contained four main ideals:

1. Higher taxes on the ultra-wealthy

2. Medicare for all

3. Free college for all

4. Green new deal to combat global warming

None of these programs could be considered radical in any way. In the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, the top federal income tax rate never dipped below 70%. Most Americans would agree, that period was the best of times for this country. This period was a time in which we built our schools, our roads and had ample leisure time. No one called the United States of America socialist at that time.

Every other developed nation in the world offers universal healthcare. The United States is the only first-world country that has yet to implement free or near-free healthcare. Is this a radical idea? The obvious answer is certainly not!

Currently, 24 countries offer free education to their citizens. These include France, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Panama, Egypt, Malaysia and many more. It always baffles me how so many pro-American nationalists don’t feel we can do what so much of the world is doing. Is health care a radical idea? Are all of those countries above socialist? Of course not!

With all of the compelling scientific evidence on global warming, is protecting the environment a radical idea? Only to the companies that stand to lose some of their enormous profits. To the rest of us, it’s certainly not a radical idea.

Overall it’s a pretty tough case to make that Bernie Sanders is radical. His progressive politics are extremely fair to everyone and bring about important changes that are so necessary right now.

So what else did Bernie propose? A new tax on individuals with a net worth of over 32 million. High-speed Internet for all. Gun safety. Legalization of marijuana. Fairtrade. Wall Street reform, and so on. If you go down the line issue by issue, most Americans agree with Bernie.

The media and the DNC have never given Bernie a fair shot. Democrats are very lucky that Sanders isn’t driven by his ego the way many politicians are. He has a strong moral compass and an abundance of common sense. Therefore he has never ventured out to lead a third-party run. He realizes this would be a disaster and guarantee another Trump victory. Self-control and modesty may well be his best asset. It takes great inner strength to pass up the opportunity of a third-party run. That’s the kind of person Sanders is.

Whoever the next great progressive leader might be, they will need to promote policies very similar to what Bernie has been advocating all his life. The progressive agenda is not radical at all. It’s right in the center of where we need to be. To the left of democratic socialism is communism. That is not something Bernie or progressive Democrats advocate. To the right of this center should be the politics of those like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Biden has been handed the baton. Like Sanders, his better days are behind him. It is hard to fathom that the Democratic Party cannot put forth a younger, more vibrant candidate than Joe, who is now 78 years of age. That’s just flat out too old. The establishment now has the two candidates they wanted. They will win with either of them. Joe Biden is anything but progressive and he won’t rock the boat. The oil and financial sectors would love to see Trump reelected, but their second choice now doesn’t look too bad to them. Once Sanders and Warren exited their nightmares subsided. Life is never fair.

So what to do now? I would hope the answer is obvious to every Democrat or independent. Vote for sleepy Joe, of course! The alternative is an absolute disaster. It’s a tough time for those of us that believe in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and folks like Warren and Sanders. The big change we are all looking for isn’t going to happen in this next election. But we need to vote blue up and down the ballot, locally and nationally. Progress usually happens in small increments. Electing a Democratic president is a big step in the right direction. We need to turn the Senate blue and expand that beautiful blue in the House of Representatives. Until we have a strong majority in both places, we are not going to see a true progressive in the White House.

Bernie Sanders is truly a great American hero. You have every right to shed some tears in regards to what happened on March 10th. It was a very sad and tragic day for America. These are not good times. By now, let’s wipe those tears and carry the torch that he has ignited. He gave it everything he had. Let’s do the same!

 

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Gilbert E Field March 11, 2020 at 2:52 pm

The United States remain a center/right country.

It is not ready yet for Bernie and his philosophies, as good as they are.

As a progressive, i voted for Joe Biden, hoping he could win where Bernie could not against Trump.

A new younger Bernie will be around in time and maybe by then the country will be ready for national health care and other things.

May God Bless Bernie.

Reply

Avatar Derek March 14, 2020 at 5:40 am

There was a younger Bernie… Paul Wellstone… and they killed him in a plane crash!

That’s how they roll.

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 14, 2020 at 10:54 am

Hey Derek – do you have info that Wellstone was assassinated? That’s what you are more than suggesting.

Reply

Avatar Derek March 14, 2020 at 2:09 pm

Just reading between the lines Frank…

Reply

Avatar tennyson March 11, 2020 at 3:02 pm

I will support Biden for one reason: Bernie cannot defeat Trump , in the 2020 election that is my primary concern.

Reply

Avatar FJL March 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Bernie would have won 40+ states. This article is spot on…. He represents the majority, or populace. Biden it has to be, but he is right of center.

Reply

Avatar triggerfinger March 12, 2020 at 11:57 am

Would’ve? If he can’t beat Biden, how will he beat Trump? Not all of us want to live in Sweden….

If Bernie made the ticket I was resigned to voting for Trump come November. Now at least I have some equally bad candidates to choose from.

Reply

Avatar Derek March 14, 2020 at 5:41 am

Bernie would have beat Trump if given the chance and the full support of the party. There is no question.

Reply

Avatar triggerfinger March 11, 2020 at 3:15 pm

I don’t think it’s fair to equate democracy with progressivism or wealth redistribution or free stuff. And democracy doesn’t speak to any particular policy on the environment.

Democracy purely means representation. If anything the nomination of Donald Trump represents democracy at it’s purest. That someone can get the votes despite the party establishment and despite special interest spending. And now the people have voted to nominate Biden over Sanders and everyone else.

I sincerely hope that people vote for representatives that match their best vision of the future, up and down the ballot, and not blindly based on party affiliation as you suggest.

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 11, 2020 at 3:25 pm

Hey trigger! Just want to remind you that Hillary Clinton received nearly 3 million more popular votes than whats-his-face. So WTF kind of statement is this? ” If anything the nomination of Donald Trump represents democracy at it’s purest.”C’mon, dude, think about what you’re saying.

Reply

Avatar stu March 12, 2020 at 8:20 am

Frank You’re right The election of rump was not democracy . The popular vote should rule rump lost the election because of the electoral college, which is something I fail to understand. I believe it was set up for slave holders so they could vote for their slaves an oligarchy. Which is what we have now.

Reply

Avatar triggerfinger March 12, 2020 at 12:03 pm

I said “nomination of Trump”.

If you want to have a discussion about the electoral college and over-representation of more rural areas, then let’s do that. But keep in mind both candidates knew the rules going in and campaigned as such. And Trump’s team clearly had the winning strategy to get people in the right places to cast their ballots for him.

If it were a popular vote election, both candidates would’ve used a different strategy, and who knows what the result would’ve been. You may as well complain about the world series after the fact because your losing team scored more runs despite the other team winning the 4 games.

Reply

Avatar retired botanist March 11, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Yep, goodness how quickly we forget the popular vote…guess it doesn’t mean much these days! Thx Frank, for that.
Thx, Trigger, for advocating people vote for the individual vs the party, but Biden shows signs of early dementia, clearly not a wise bet, and you side-step the fact that currently, thx to the electoral college and party campaign spending, we don’t have a democracy- regardless of what one hangs that on – wealth inequality, etc. So suggesting that democracy is based on representation is a bit of a red herring: we all know that, but its just not what we currently have.
I am literally weeping for Sanders. If I get a write-in, it will be Sanders. I believe we DO have those younger candidates out there, but guess what? Because of the structure of our politics, they just don’t get a voice. And you are right, national media are absolutely culpable in this: inequality in exposure. But then, its always money that talks, right? And so we cycle back to Bernie.

Reply

Avatar FJL March 11, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Maybe a good time to take the $18 (avg) that may have gone to Bernie and consider donating to movetoamend.org
In my opinion the root of all evil in politics is what SCOTUS has decided about money is speech & corporations are people. I am embarrassed as to what the modern day republican party has become as far as being whored out to the biggest donors. Let’s get the $$$,$$$,$$$ out of politics!

Reply

Avatar Carolyn Barkow March 11, 2020 at 7:52 pm

Senator Elizabeth Warren is younger than the three men and would be a better president.

Reply

Avatar triggerfinger March 12, 2020 at 12:05 pm

I agree. It’s sad she was caught in the middle.

She’s much more pragmatic than Bernie, and she’s intelligent. But alas, us voters are not.

Reply

Avatar Oldob March 11, 2020 at 10:04 pm

Free things don’t come so easily. There will have to be trade offs that many would not sign on for. As a for instance, education in Germany may. E free, but you have to qualify for it and as you progress through the phases of your education, people get seeded out. Or maybe a better way to put it is people get directed down a path that is indicated by their performance on some test. Want to be a lawyer but didn’t perform well, too bad, no law school for you. Couldn’t cut it on the test, forget being a doctor. Education is way too expensive, I agree. But free? Does it really need to be free? That’s not progressive, that’s revolutionary and things aren’t so bad that we need a revolution. We do need covid testing kits, however.

Reply

Avatar FJL March 12, 2020 at 5:26 am

Every dollar invested in early childhood education returns four to nine dollars. Every dollar invested in the GI Bill has returned seven dollars. Do we get that back making bombs or giving tax cuts to the richest or subsidizing the fossil fuel industry?

Reply

Avatar triggerfinger March 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm

He’s not selling early childhood education, he’s selling free college. Do we really need to be spending tax payer dollars teaching everyone calculus?

I generally don’t support fossil fuel subsidies or military spending either, but that’s a separate conversation.

Reply

Avatar Frances O'Neill Zimmerman March 11, 2020 at 11:27 pm

Actually, Scott Stephens, why do I feel your expression of regret for what might have been with Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for President is unseemly hasty? Life has not yet left the body, after all, and Bernie will meet Biden one-on-one on the debate stage Sunday night. If we tune in, I think we will all learn then what we have truly lost in this stampede to faux-electability.

Reply

Avatar Donnie Taylor March 12, 2020 at 12:43 am

It’s a darn shame what the DNC did to Bernie. Again.
He still has such a movement, I do hope a younger version of him comes along shortly.
It seems to be cruel what they are doing with Biden, clearly in the early stages of dementia. Looks like we are voting for a Vice President this campaign.
I fear of how capable Joe is stand in a debate with a fire balling blowhard like President Trump.
God help us all.

Reply

Avatar Tyler March 12, 2020 at 5:12 am

Sanders had a chance to build bridges for the short time he was the front runner in Nevada. Instead he decided to taunt the very people he needed by tweeting he was going to burn it down. His constant us vs them along with hiring a completely awful senior campaign staff this go around was his downfall. The enemy of the perfect really is the good for Sanders and his camp. And the lengths they go to to make excuses and blame others for losing rather than looking introspectively is why zero ground was made in the last 4 years.

Voters are not the establishment.

Reply

Avatar micporte March 12, 2020 at 7:24 am

yo, yes, y’all…and any other y words you gotta throw…you, yours, yus… the mission of the prophet is to deliver the message, then, up to us to deliver… historically classic, so, get to it people…ain’t nobody gonna save ya but you…and your VOTE. SO VOTE, #!$%””?+!!!!!, that is keyboard jargon for , well, you know, all that sh!t…
and the Bern, god bless ya man, your message is powerful and will not be forgotten by this thankless bunch of consumer milleniums, sorry milleniums, but you are so consumer..it breaks our hearts, eat the fruits of your parents…so sorry about all the jet flights across the continents for world peace…

Reply

Avatar micporte March 12, 2020 at 7:49 am

ps, sorry about all the jet flights across the continent for world peace, but now we have skype, WhatsApp ( the most hacked site on planet earth, with bitcoin) umm, FaceTime, umm , others…
My site would be called: MYFACE: LICKIT.: modern digital consumer idiots can actually lick their phones and be counted/controlled in genomes, viruses, votes and consumer data… wow

Reply

Avatar micporte March 12, 2020 at 8:12 am

as for oldness for electability… I venerate oldness… I venerate my elders, I look to them for wise counsel, they have seen a lifetime of events, , enough to draw some critical syntheses here and there…I respect that…

Reply

Avatar Toby OB March 12, 2020 at 5:43 pm

I am a life-long Democrat who is in favor of universal health care coverage as well as federally funded college tuition among other progressive initiatives. I can’t help but cringe when I see these benefits referred to as “free.” Referring to these benefits as “free” is a labeling error that plays right into the GOP dialogue that calls social security benefits an “entitlement.” “Entitlement” carries the stigma of something that is “given” as opposed to being earned. Instead, progressive programs: Medicare, Social Security, Public College tuition should be described (and marketed) as benefits we earn and pay for with our taxes.
These important social safety nets and programs are not hand-outs (free); they are earned benefits!

Reply

Avatar micporte March 12, 2020 at 9:12 am

ps, even the old alzheimer folks have a voice, and I listen…even to future defunct Prez DT…
there is a time for all things, same for BS (Bernie Sanders)
I am always looking to the future, learning from the past, but living in the present,( basically no option there.. ) gotta love it…

Reply

Avatar Scott Stephens March 12, 2020 at 2:27 pm

When Biden entered the election, all I could think of was “say it ain’t so, Joe.” But now I’ll be casting a vote for this man because the alternative is unthinkable. Can he win? Remember these folks: Hillary Clinton, John Kerrey, and Al Gore? They were all moderates. Most long time Dems would likely feel they were stronger candidates than this year’s moderate Dem. Hillary created a buzz with the possibility of being the first female prescient. Kerrey was a decorated war hero with a long and distinguished record of public service. Gore was a favorite of the environmental movement. All of them were much younger than Biden, and arguably, all of them much stronger candidates. It is still hard to believe Biden is all we’ve got. Wouldn’t it have been worth giving Bernie a shot, especially looking back at the recent history? Now it’s is the 7th game of the world series, 9th inning, two outs and we’re bringing up a journeyman hitter with a lifetime .250 batting average, past his prime, who should have retired before the season started, to go against the reigning world champions. Not a perfect analogy but you get my drift. Confident in the coach’s (DNC) choice? No! Am I Supporting him? Hell, yes, but we need a miracle!

Reply

Avatar rances O'Neill Zimmerman March 12, 2020 at 10:10 pm

Sure sounds to me like you were eager and ready to jump on Joe Biden’s bandwagon.

First of all, the Democratic National Committee is not my coach. Joe Biden is a nice-enough, likeable-enough, glad-handing pol — way past his prime, should have known it was time to step aside after the wingman Obama years. Joe carries current heavy baggage for having permitted dissolute son Hunter Biden to set him up for damaging apparent conflict-of-interest over Hunter ‘s business deal with Ukrainian energy company Burisma, compounded by an old legislative record of going along to get along — Anita Hill hearings, NAFTA, war in Iraq, draconian criminal justice laws, to name a few. It is stunning that Joe Biden — red meat for Donald Trump on the debate stage — is going to be the Democratic Party’s nominee.
Before I have to cast a ballot for the straw man, let’s really mourn the loss. It is profoundly terrible that the Democratic Party in 2020 turned away from an articulate, committed, progressive Bernie Sanders — a principled, truth-teller of our country’s shortcomings and great promise — to back an “electable” Joe Biden.

Reply

Avatar cjdevries March 12, 2020 at 8:46 pm

??
I am sad for this country and I am angry.
When we, as a people, cannot summon the chutzpah to stand up and say “THIS IS WHAT WE WANT & WE WANT IT NOW !” (quality healthcare for all, for example – extricating the necessity of wealth from the basics required for a fundamental foundation of quality of life), we are doomed.

The Democratic party has no cojones – not real ones.
What is gained from constant concession and placation and taking a “firm” milquetoast stance in the middle of the road is getting run over … & over … & over.

The marginalized become invisible & die of ignorant apathy, autocratic/oligarchic and laissez faire social policy.

If “I” am okay, then the world is okay. Don’t rock the boat, don’t take a chance on actually trying to improve life and it’s quality and opportunities for every citizen of this country.
We should all be bloody ashamed.
What became of the good fight ?

If women’s suffrage were on the table today rather than 100 years ago, would it pass ? Or would people sit on their collective backside and let “someone else” worry about it – do something about it ?

*YES, there is a definite, undeniable point and value to removing Trump from the Presidency, the White House, politics and anything else from which he could possibly be removed.

But, if it is consistently deemed acceptable do “just enough,” the upcoming younger progressive leadership of which the attached article speaks will never come to prominence and all the good that could be done will shrivel and die – perhaps forever.

It for sure will not come to be in my lifetime and that makes me angry, sad and also very scared.

If Biden beats Trump, will anyone be out there pushing for the advancement of action on issues of human well being, or will the masses just sit back and breath a sigh of relief that one – yes, one – of many (perhaps the worst, but still only one) kakistocratic people in power in this country has been ousted ?

I have been disappointed, furious, flummoxed and such many times, but never, I think, so much in and with the Democratic party, the people and the outlook as I am now.

The blatant, steamroller behavior of the DNC, Biden and all involved in said processes over the past couple weeks is appalling and frightening.

Maybe Biden can beat Trump, maybe neither Sanders nor Warren would at this point in time, but the people are not being allowed to have their true say – we have had at least 2 decades to grow accustomed to that concept.

The DNC and it’s power group have taken our voices from us and are forcing our hands on the vote – we are being told what is best for us – for the country.

Yes, I will vote for Biden if he is the “chosen” candidate, but only because blatant, bullying stupidity has flourished on “both sides” for far too long and the only other option I/we are being afforded is either moving to another country – which many could not manage – and/or travesty on an unimaginable, possibly irretrievable, scale.

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 13, 2020 at 2:30 pm

While you’ll all patting yourselves on the back for your principled politics, the rightwing trolls are having a field day on OB Rag facebook. How about helping me out here. https://www.facebook.com/OB.Rag.blog

Reply

Avatar Scott Stephens March 14, 2020 at 9:20 am

Thank you for all the comments! Ocean Beach is so filled with progressive intellectuals. It’s one of the reasons I moved here (I spend much of my time in Costa Rica but still have a place on Narragansett). It’s okay that not everyone agrees, the most important thing is that you’re all engaged. It’s those who sit on the sidelines who give us the likes of Trump.

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Thank you Scott. I hope OB can meet your expectations.

Reply

Avatar cjdevris March 14, 2020 at 12:13 pm

Hey Scott & Frank – Ocean Beach is indeed a great place,
I visited there a couple times & have been subscribing for some time.
But I am in the middle of Iowa.
Just so you all know – we are everywhere ?

Reply

sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks March 14, 2020 at 11:38 am

Why has my comment to this thread been not posted either of the two times I’ve posted it but others continue to load into the conversation?

Please give me reasons I’m being censored.

sealintheSelkirks

Reply

Editor editordude March 14, 2020 at 12:03 pm

To all our friends, Seal, Retired, Geoff, Judi, Frances, Triggerfinger, you all probably don’t “do” facebook but there is a platoon of Trumpists who are hammering our criticism of trump. They are attempting to intimidate the OB Rag from posting anything critical of trump – so we need your assistance on OB Rag facebook https://www.facebook.com/OB.Rag.blog in keeping them at bay. Please help us out. We can monitor comments on this platform but only can monitor comments on facebook after the fact.

Reply

sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks March 15, 2020 at 1:51 am

Sorry about the Trump Brownshirts piling on the Rag. I don’t have/never had a FaceBlech account. Have no idea how to assist in stopping it. That is what reactionary authoritarians do to increase the size of their penis I guess, just like Mr. Little Mushroom Head that they ignorantly follow…

Original comment, 3rd time a charm, tried twice to post this since 3/11:

Bernie IS the right-of-center candidate! COME ON, folks, he’s always been just another FDR out to save Capitalism. Doesn’t anybody read actual history? Bernie is to the left of Obama but Obama was to the right of Reagan measured by the result of his policies…after all, Obama publicly said he admired Reagan and that right there is a serious disqualification for being consider a so-called centerist…

Real Democratic-Socialism? Here’s how it really works from five US citizens who moved to Norway:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/03/10/five-americans-living-social-democratic-norway-explain-why-bernie-sanders-so

trigger & oldob: which would you rather pay for (because you WILL be paying regardless)? A trillion dollar plus price tag for an ‘upgraded’ nuclear war chest of so-called ‘useable’ nuclear weapons that Obama signed in to effect and Trump gleefully continued, or free education? Covid 19 Coronavirus effective test kits for a worldwide pandemic (has anybody read how the 1918-1919 Spanish virus Pandemic that my grandpa Merle lived through in a trench in France while watching half of his company of American Expeditionary Force US Army soldiers choke their lungs out started?). A wall to keep out the unwanted immigrants except for Trump’s maid service in his hotels and picking our vegetables and fruit and slicing up our chicken McNuggets or a working FEMA response teams for disasters that are only going to get worse every year for pretty much forever due to a radically destabilizing climate?

Biden vs Bernie debate? I REALLY hope Bernie cuts the sh*t loose on this neoliberal war supporter.

Question: Why would the DNC want a candidate with such obvious signs of senile dementia? We’ve already seen TWICE what that causes in both Reagan and Trump! Oh, it’s about power and money and profits….hence the following article applies:

Dear Berners: Dementia Joe is How Much “Your” Party HATES You
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/13/dear-berners-dementia-joe-is-how-much-your-party-hates-you/

Enough said? I could go on but Frank knows that…HA!

sealintheSelkirks

Reply

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: