Bernie and his single payer PR stunt

Bernie and his single payer PR stunt
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What about Bernie? I’ve been a Democrat for 2 months and 6 days. That is 2 months and 6 days longer than Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Please note I put the letter “I” in his Senate Party/State designation. He is an Independent. He is not and never has been a Democrat.

Throughout the Democratic Primary Campaign, I checked his Senate site weekly. It wasn’t to see if he was doing his job as a US Senator, he wasn’t doing his job. He was out campaigning. I checked to see if that “I” next to his name changed to “D”. It never changed and that is because he didn't join. He didn't write the letter to the Secretary of the Senate to change his party.

It didn’t change. The reason it didn’t change is he didn’t join the Democratic Party at that time,  just as he isn’t a member now. For him to run as a Democrat while rejecting the Democratic Party is dishonest.

The left’s Donald Trump

They are more common than they are different. Both are populists and that is as big of a problem for the Democratic Party as the Tea Party is for the GOP. Bernie is using the same tactics as the Tea Party has used to try and hijack a party that he holds in as much regard as he holds the GOP.

The ideological youth that is the core of Bernie’s support has fallen for a lot of populist hype. The young often do fall for idealism. It was true in my youth too.  A lot of people aren’t sure what populism is and so they consult the font of all knowledge in the World, Google. They come up a simple description that populism seeks to represent the common man. That definition is also populist hype and not an accurate definition.

If they had asked political scientists what the term means they would get a more accurate description. The Atlantic published an article awhile back about Donald Trump and his populism and what it meant. This was before Bernie Sanders decided to launch his own version of the Tea Party.

In the Atlantic article, Professor of Political Science Cas Mudde co-author of the authoritative book on the topic of populism, Populism, a Very Short Introduction, states that:

“…populism is a “thin ideology” in that it “only speaks to a very small part of a political agenda,” and that “An ideology like fascism involves a holistic view of how politics, the economy, and society as a whole should be ordered. Populism doesn’t; it calls for kicking out the political establishment, but it doesn’t specify what should replace it. So it’s usually paired with “thicker” left- or right-wing ideologies like socialism or nationalism.

Dr. Mudde further states:

“Populists are dividers, not uniters, Mudde told me. They split society into “two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other,” and say they’re guided by the “will of the people.”

That sums up Bernie Sanders and his tactical conjoined twin, Donald Trump, succinctly. Both men are appealing to people that feel they are disenfranchised. Instead of uniting the Nation, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump seek to further divide the nation for their political ends.

No, the country is not on a stampede to the left.

A common fallacy of populist movements and one those who pull the strings try to preach is that “the people” are with them. Again, it is populist hype not supported by honest research. To support their claims, populist turn to sources that have an ideological bend in their direction. For the GOP, it’s Fox News and the right-wing blogs. For Democrats, it’s MSNBC and left-wing blogs.

They tend to stay away from well-respected and non-partisan pure research groups like Pew. The professional political class wants to support a position and not discern truth. That carries onto their ardent supporters who regurgitate the populist script with evangelical zeal on Twitter, Facebook, and Blog posts.

Pew Research did a major study a couple of years ago on polarization in America. In their study which does not have a political bias or agenda, they found that polarization was growing and the nation was not shifting to either the left of the right. Instead, the middle ground had shrunk to 39% with a near even split between left and right of the difference. If political thought is a fulcrum, then in despite the shifts, the fulcrum is still in balance with the middle ground still the majority albeit smaller than in the past.

While the Bernie crowd’s eyes glaze over in dreams of fairness, the nation still has a dim view of socialism. Research from Gallup last year, again independent of those with a political agenda found that socialism is viewed favorably by only 35% of the nation. A clear majority view it in a negative light.

To compound things even further, 85% of the nation is positive on free enterprise, and 60% positive on capitalism itself. These numbers don’t bode well for Bernie’s populist movement. If the Democratic Party embraces him further, it will not bode well for the Democratic Party.

The GOP loves Bernie and his out-of-touch-with-reality servile minions. The GOP will retain power if Bernie continues to divide the Democratic Party.

Bernie’s public relations stunt

Today, Bernie Sanders and some Democrats way on the left will slap Barack Obama in the mouth. They will do so by agreeing with GOP that “Repeal and Replace” is the way to go on Healthcare. They are abandoning the ACA which was hard fought for.

Single-payer is an idea that that has a lot of traction in left-wing circles. “Medicare for all” is the sales pitch.

What fantasy land is Bernie living in that he thinks introducing single-payer which has zero GOP support has a chance of passing a GOP Senate, a GOP House, and signed by a GOP President? The answer is Bernie knows as well as the rest of us this is dead on arrival.

The polite term is “we are putting it up for a national discussion.” I spent decades in politics at the national level. Let me translate that term for you. What it means is “we’re using this politically to divide people.” Not one problem has ever been solved by a “national discussion,” and the list of problems these types of discussions have created is too long to type.

What America needs are solutions. What America needs is for us to fix the problems with Obamacare. Any move toward single-payer will have to be phased in over time. The economic dislocation proposed by Independent Bernie Sanders would be massive.

Under Bernie’s plan, we would legislate away the Health Insurance Industry. These are high paying jobs in the US Economy. Companies like Blue-Cross, AFLAC, and United Healthcare would cease to exist. Statistics show that over half a million highly paid employees in career jobs would lose their jobs. That is a massive number. In addition, there are over 1,000,000 independent Insurance Brokers, small businesses that would be thrown out of work. That is only part of the story since the support for those agents would be out of work too.

Bernie and his supporters have not thought this through. They like to wave their hands and say those displaced will work in the new entity. They’re blowing smoke. They have no clue what a new entity would be because they are selling blue sky and hopes and dreams. We must live with reality and not an ideological fog.

Just like with his free college tuition plan, Bernie has not been honest with his numbers. The Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact published an article in advance of Bernie’s big announcement today. Bernie’s numbers may not jive with reality.

Is there a place for Bernie in the Democratic Party? The Democratic Party prides itself on being open to everyone. The answer is a resounding yes. There is a caveat though. He must join the party and he has not. Caucusing is not being a member of the Party.

We’re all on the same side. I just wish Bernie and his supporters knew it. They are not looking at reality and are viewing the world through rose colored glasses. Bernie and his movement are about division.

We are playing with fire and the statistics are not on Bernie and the hard left’s side. If we continue with his divisive plans and continue to give this non-party member a platform, we run the risk of rescuing failure from the jaws of success.

The GOP is trying to hand the Democratic Party power on a silver platter. Let’s stop trying to hand it back to them.

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