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Bernie Sanders on…

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, October 19th, 2016 - 16 comments
Categories: democratic participation, elections, International, politicans, us politics - Tags: , , ,

The ‘New Republic’ has published a fairly wide ranging interview with Bernie Sanders. It’s worth the read…well, maybe not the first half a dozen cringe worthy paragraphs that preface the interview proper. I’ve only picked out a few passages, some tasters of what he has to say about the US election and what comes after. I’ve also included, somewhat as an aside, what I read as a quite telling ‘admission’ or insight on Obama’s reason for supporting the TPPA. The full interview is here.

The rest of this post, bar the sub-headers, are some snippets of what Sanders said.

On Clinton and Trump

For me, this is not a tough choice. I am a United States senator, and I know what would happen to our government if Donald Trump became president. I think Donald Trump is the worst candidate for a major party that has surfaced in my lifetime. This guy would be a disaster for this country and an embarrassment to us internationally. A man who is a pathological liar. Somebody who, to the degree that he deals with issues at all, changes his position every day. That is clearly not the kind of mentality we need from somebody who is running for the highest office in the land.

I think that Hillary Clinton is sincere in a number of areas. In other areas I think she is gonna have to be pushed, and that’s fine. That’s called the democratic process.

Anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton will not be more sympathetic, more open to the ideas we have advocated than Donald Trump obviously knows very little. So the day after the election, we begin the effort of making Clinton the most progressive president that she can become. And the way we do that is by rallying millions of people.

On Change

What we have done is taken the campaign and transferred the nuts and bolts of that, in a much reduced fashion, into an organization called Our Revolution. I am not a part of that. Legally, as a United States senator, I can’t be. But the goal of Our Revolution is to get people involved in the political process..

Somebody reminded me just the other day of something that happened during the Progressive era, during the early part of the century. The Progressives signed up 60,000 actual teachers to go out into communities and educate people about the issues of the day. Certainly social media and bright young people can play an enormous role in that effort today, in a way that we have never seen before.

It’s not gonna happen overnight. The fight has got to continue. And if you are serious about politics, then you gotta put your shoulder to the wheel and keep going. Sometimes the choices that are in front of you are not great choices, but you do the best you can. And the day after the election, you continue the effort.

TPPA

The president has been adamant in his support for the TPP. I spent a half-hour with him on the phone talking about the issue. He is dead wrong, but he feels very, very strongly about it.

He sees it as a geopolitical issue. He does not pretend, as previous presidents have, that this is going to create all kinds of jobs in America. His argument is that if you abandon the TPP, you’re gonna leave Asia open to Chinese influence.

16 comments on “Bernie Sanders on… ”

  1. Manuka AOR 1

    … the worst candidate for a major party that has surfaced in my lifetime. This guy would be a disaster for this country and an embarrassment to us internationally. A man who is a pathological liar. Somebody who, to the degree that he deals with issues at all, changes his position every day. That is clearly not the kind of mentality we need from somebody who is running for the highest office in the land.

    And there it is.

  2. HRivera 2

    Bernie, I vote for you and supported your campaign but cannot support corruption. So it is Green Party for me this season. I’m in a deep blue state and my vote will do nothing to change the fact that this state is going to HRC regardless of who I vote for. I do want to strengthen the one party that does not take any corporate donations, like you, and that is the Green Party. I truly hope Bernie, that you will have full support from the many so-called “progressive democrats” who abandoned us during the primary regardless of who wins. When I start to see real change in the Dem Party I might decide to support your “Party Reform” effort, right now the party has shown nothing but corruption and collusion with the media for the benefit of the 1%. Peace.

  3. weka 3

    Sounds like the words of a man who has been doing the right things for a very log time. There’s wisdom there based on a keen understanding of his values and on what actually works and is needed.

    That makes me think about who the comparable people would be in NZ. Not just politicians, but people of his mana and understanding and experience. I’m struggling to see that in progressive or left politics. Lots of younger people, but I’m not seeing the ones of Sanders’ generation or above mine (I’m early 50s). Marilyn Waring I think is one, but she’s not out and about in the public sphere. Anne Salmond perhaps, but again, don’t see her a lot. I’m sure there are others, maybe my mind is just blank today.

    • Bill 3.1

      That makes me think about who the comparable people would be in NZ.

      Unless you’re hanging out for some great leader and think such a thing is necessary, then the comparable people are, or can be, you, me, the checkout operator at the local supermarket…

      Bernie Sanders on his own is nothing. The people who found common cause during the leadership contest are everything. Bernie Sanders’s understanding isn’t rare or unusual, and lightning strikes whether or not there’s a lightning rod around.

      I can’t think of any establishment figure in NZ who could act as a lightning rod in the way Bernie Sanders did, but then, I’m not giving too much thought to it because such a person isn’t necessary and can turn out to be a liability in much the same way as they can be an asset.

      I commented previously on a newspiece reporting that Sanders had attempted to ‘lay claim’ to the movement that had pushed him up. I said then, that if true, it was the end for him and the momentum that had built up. But on the basis of this piece, I’d say that original piece was incorrect and that Sanders is more aware and intelligent than the ten-a-penny wanna be leaders who are poisonously wont to lay claim to and car crash political awakenings.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Unless you’re hanging out for some great leader and think such a thing is necessary, then the comparable people are, or can be, you, me, the checkout operator at the local supermarket…

        Er, no, I’m not talking about some great leader. I’m talking about people who have done the hard yards and consistently enough over their lives so that they have developed that wisdom. Of course there are those people who aren’t in the public sphere, but I was talking about the ones that are. Like Sanders.

        (as an aside, there is no need for a saviour, but leaders can still be useful people. They’re not better than other people, but they do do specific tasks that non-leaders don’t do. Nothing wrong with that)

        “Bernie Sanders on his own is nothing.”

        Obviously.

        I’m not talking about Sanders as a lightning rod (not sure where you go that). I’m talking about the people who have been around long enough and lived their lives in such a way that they have wisdom that is useful to the culture.

        “Bernie Sanders’s understanding isn’t rare or unusual”

        I could count the people I know personally who have the qualities I was talking about on the fingers of maybe both hands if I was lucky.

        I think you have misunderstood what I was talking about 🙂 I’m definitely not talking about the great hope who will come and save us, or simply good political analysis. The more aware and intelligent bit at the end is perhaps getting to closer to what I was talking about.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          I could count the people I know personally who have the qualities I was talking about on the fingers of maybe both hands if I was lucky.

          That suggests people have quite a bit to learn. And the best way (only way?) to learn is to do and make the mistakes, refine how things are done and keep moving. :-).

        • pat 3.1.1.2

          “Er, no, I’m not talking about some great leader. I’m talking about people who have done the hard yards and consistently enough over their lives so that they have developed that wisdom”

          think you may find those that fit that description want nothing to do with politics…and for damn good reason.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    Obama and TPP

    “If the US abandons the TPP, we’re gonna leave Asia open to Chinese influence.” Did Obama’s American exceptionalism blind him to the reality that China is THE dominant Asian power?

    The lame duck (January) Congressional battle will create cognitive dissonance for the “make America great” crowd. “Do I prefer to lose my job to those other low-wage Asians or prefer to smash the [racial epithet removed and replaced with…] Chinese?”

    Obama is holding a weak hand. He’s got no lollies to bribe with. If the markets take a dive, protectionism will definitely triumph.

    [Absolutely no need to include racial epithets in comments or imply that people holding political views you disagree with are driven by racism. Leave it out.] – Bill

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      His argument is that if you abandon the TPP, you’re gonna leave Asia open to Chinese influence.

      China has understood for years that the TPP is nothing more than an anti-China NATO on Trade.

      Why else would you create an economic agreement between all these Asian countries…and leave out China?

      Incidentally, I think this is one of the major reasons why China diplomatically snubbed Obama when Air Force One arrived in Hangzhou for the G20.

      The Chinese pretended that they didn’t have air stairs ready for Air Force One and forced Obama to disembark his plane using a secondary exit. Then they openly harassed Obama’s officials and senior aides in front of the press.

      • Murray Simmonds 4.1.1

        Yeah, that line “His argument is that if you abandon the TPP, you’re gonna leave Asia open to Chinese influence” struck a chord with me, too.

        . . . . Leave Asia open to Chinese influence. . . . .

        For God’s sake!

        i recall visiting the Tokyo museum many years ago. There was a fascinating display there of Japanese fans and fan-design tracing their history back over a couple of thousand years. In Every case, the “fashionable” fan in Tokyo was pretty much an exact replica of what had been fashionable in China a year or two earlier. I remember thinking at time: “Japan has been about the business of apeing whats been done in the rest of the world foe aeons . . . ”

        With the benefit of hindsight I now see that display of ancient fans as indicative of the influence that China held over the rest of East and South-East Asia in general for the past 2000 years or so.

        You only need to look at the character-set used on signs in the Tokyo subway too see where they got their writing-system from. Even the Japanese language exhibits strong Chinese influence e.g ‘Yuan” in China became “Yen” in Japan. Similarly with Japanese Architecture, and the architecture throughout much of SE Asia.

        The Chinese influence over its neighbours is a long-standing fact of history. People like the new President of the Philippines are rapidly waking up to the fact. If I’m not mistaken, Duterte is in Beijing, not Washington right now.

        Wake up, Obama b4 its too late. China pretty much IS AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN the dominating cultural influence in Asia, apart from a brief period when China went into recession in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, dragged down by European colonialism and its Maoist aftermath.

        Sorry, Obama, (and Hillary too for that matter). You are a bit late, buddy-boy, to be contemplating the re-colonialisation of China.

        China will not allow this mistake to be made again.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          Yeah, but the “influence” has been often imposed rather than traded.

          Vietnam has also had a pretty fractious relationship with imperial China over the centuries.

          But basically, “spheres of influence” has been a pretty solid model for geopolitics for a few decades now. Like any model, it’s not the be-all and end-all, but it gives a pretty solid perspective on resource availability and buffer-state alignment. Stronger relationships give bases, weaker relationships give trade advantages and UN votes. Geographically China will always have at the very least trade relationships with all Asian countries, Obama’s position seems to be that if the US doesn’t manage likewise, that leaves space for stronger Sino relationships – and that could create strategic problems for the US.

          NZ’s role as a smaller regional power is to stay on the moderately good but largely unnoticed side of both competing superpowers. That way (to be influenced by chinese culture) when the elephants eventually fight, this particular blade of grass doesn’t get trampled so much.

    • aerobubble 4.2

      Given TPP locks in big corp US of A, Obama means US influence corp interests…

      As for media practice to assume anti-TPP means anti-free trade, or anti globalisation, or anti trade, is wrong.

      Greens want management of ecology, requiring global interconnectedness, interchange, trade…

      Its just the narrow mindset of big US dominated Murdoch media thats to blame for growing stagnation, strangulation, of progressive adaption.

      It needed a global war to unseat the last owners of the world and shift their blinkered vision, the era of oil now must give way to the networked earth.

  5. Anne 5

    Bernie Sanders shows just what an enigma America has become. On the one hand you have the uninformed, bigoted, loutish, hate-filled Trumpites. On the other the intelligent, fair minded, generous and kind Americans who have much to offer all of mankind.

    I’ve said it before and I say it again. We had our own Bernie Sanders once. His name was Norman Kirk. He died before he could complete the task he set to make NZ a fair minded, generous and kind society.

    • mosa 5.1

      Yes Anne totally agree about Kirk.

      The only one that i could have come close was Helen Kelly who i am certain would have led the Labour party and and been PM with a massive endorsement and would have ushered in a new dawn for our country after years of destructive National rule.

      Sadly we will not get to see her be the great leader she promised to be.

      Bugger !

  6. peterlepaysan 6

    Prez Obama was right on target and honest. The TPP started out as as a (very unlikely cohort of Pacific nations) to explore setting up a FTA.

    The US muscled in because of geopolitical concerns about influence in the Pacific.

    China is the most obvious worry for the USA. N Korea, Russia, Indonesia, India also loom in the background. Currently the the Phillipines are giving the fingers to the US which will concern others over disputed rocks and islets.

    J Howard effectively turned Oz into a south west pacific texas for the US.

    Hawaian domiciled J Key was brought into NZ by the Nats to bring in Wall Street, Hollywood, and Washington values to NZ.

    The US puppet, known as J Key, can mouth all the Crosby/Textor scripts he likes about the benefits the TPPA is going to bring to the already bloated wealthy but once the US came in it was never about “free trade”.

    J Key and the Nats want to turn NZ into an appendage to the US.

    American Samoa or Rhode Island would have more clout in Wall Street. Hollywood or Washingtonthan NZ ever will.

    The TPPA is about turning NZ into a US military base, like Hawaii, where J Key lives (rather than the country he is minister of tourism for).

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