It’s time to give Bernie his due. Sanders, the Vermont Senator from Brooklyn, is nearing the end of his political career, but he’s going out with a bang instead of a whimper.
Sanders, an avowed socialist who honeymooned in Russia, has long been considered a radical in the Democratic party, so much so that he actually left the party and became a declared independent who caucuses with the Democrats. But even as a radical outside the party he has managed to reshape the party in his own image.
At the virtual Democratic National Convention, Sanders stole the spotlight on the first night, and with good reason. Although he was considered too radical to be the face of the Democratic presidential candidate, he has become the framer of its political platform. Don’t take my word for it.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board says, “The ideas that once were deemed radical are now Joe Biden’s platform.”They say Joe Biden has made the unprecedented move from a moderate to a far left radical after winning the Democratic presidential nomination. Most candidates move closer to the center as they approach the general election to appeal to a wider range of voters. But not Uncle Joe.
The proof of this is his invitation to Sanders and his team to join the Biden team on platform task forces. Biden allowed radical Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to co-chair the task force on climate change. He allowed Stephanie Kelton, the evangelist for Modern Monetary Theory or cost-free money printing, to sit on the economy panel. Even Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Seattle proponent of Medicare for All, co-chaired the healthcare group.
Sanders is enjoying his moment. On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Sanders gushed, “The people on those task forces worked very, very hard. And I’m not here to tell you, as a strong advocate for Medicare for All, that we got everything we wanted. We surely did not. But I think if people look at the outcome of those task forces, they’ll find the reality that if those task force proposals are implemented, you know what, Joe Biden will become the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”
He knows what he’s talking about. WSJ editors call the 110-page Biden-Sanders manifesto “the most radical policy document of either major party in our lifetimes. It leaps to the left of the Obama Administration on nearly every policy area, from education to taxes to climate change.”
Here are a few of the notable proposals:
- Medicare for All/ Elimination of private health insurance – Biden won’t admit this is the immediate goal but his “public option” and the reinstatement of the Individual Mandate will lead to the same result within a few years. The first step would be Medicare for anyone over 60 and Medicaid expansion would be expanded to all states. Bernie Sanders has to be ecstatic to be this close to his ultimate prize.
- Elimination of Carbon Fuels (The Green New Deal) – Democrats pledge to “retrofit” four million buildings and two million households in five years. All new American buildings will be “net-zero” in carbon emissions by 2030; all 500,000 school buses nationwide will be “zero-emission alternatives” within five years. America has become the leading producer of fossil fuels in the world under President Trump; an energy exporter no longer dependent on the unstable Middle East. Biden will reverse all that progress. If you want a peek into the Biden future, just look at California today. They are experiencing frequent “Green Blackouts” because the renewable energy systems they are promoting can’t provide adequate energy for the state when demand is high in hot weather.
- All public-works projects must pass new climate test – This in practice will eliminate new fossil-fuel projects. That means all new public-works projects will suffer from the instability of renewable energy in meeting everyday energy demands.
- Right to work laws repealed and labor laws rewritten to favor unions – This would force all employees to join and support unions. This is bad for workers who must pay fees to unions they don’t believer represent them and will undermine our political system by providing funding for only those who bow to union policies.
- Most student loans written off/Public college free – Families making less than $125,000 per year would have no college tuition payments. Just imagine the cost of that to the taxpayers!
- Eliminate School Choice – Bowing to the teachers unions, Biden will eliminate federal funding for charter schools. He favors the teachers unions over the poor minority children who most benefit from these charter schools.
- Public policy based on race theory and political identity – It would create a new public credit facility at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “provide consumers with a government option that seeks to minimize racial disparities.” The Federal Reserve will be given a third political mandate for redressing racial injustice, in addition to low inflation and full employment.
No one has bothered to explain how we’ll pay for all these proposals – that’s not important! These ideas were considered radical not long ago. Today, they make up the mainstream agenda of the modern Democratic party.The public would recognize the radicalism of Sanders, but not Biden. President Trump has called Joe Biden the “trojan horse” for the Democratic Party because they are using Biden to get their progressive agenda inside the walls of the White House. .This is not just a political slogan – it is reality.
The WSJ editors summarize: “The political cliché every four years is that party platforms don’t matter, and usually that’s true. This time is different. More than any recent nominee of either party, Mr. Biden has no clearly defined agenda of his own. Can you think of a single idea or proposal that is distinctively his? He has absorbed what his party wants, and the Biden-Sanders manifesto reflects that.”
(Note: As a physician, my expertise is principally on healthcare issues. For more on Medicare for All, plug in the words “Medicare for All” in the search engine and read earlier posts on this subject and others on single-payer healthcare systems and socialized medicine.)