From time to time, I hear critiques of Bernie Sanders and some of the policies that he and Elizabeth Warren have espoused like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal as being unattainable and therefore bad politics. I disagree, in fact, lofty goals are inspirational. Look at John Kennedy’s goal of putting a man on the moon within a decade. That feat was thought unattainable by many and NASA scrambled to make it happen, but we did it.

When we elected President Obama with promises to fix our broken health care system, many thought he would fail since Bill and Hillary Clinton had failed to do it more than a decade earlier. My friends and I quickly learned that his proposal was a stretch as far as Congress was concerned.

We worked hard to convince Congressman Henry Cuellar, who represented Guadalupe County at that time, to support the bill which he finally did though he threw his share of monkey wrenches into the mix. Democratic senators like Max Baucus from Montana held up the bill for months while stripping it of some of the best parts. We didn’t get everything we wanted but the Affordable Care Act was an improvement over what had existed before.

Had our Republican governor not failed to take advantage of the tens of millions of dollars available to expand Medicaid, tens of thousands of Texans could be healthier and happier today.

During Obama’s presidency, we learned that pre-emptive compromise intended to get the support of Republicans early in the process was a failure because they just moved the goalpost further off center. Now that many of us have turned our attention to electing a president to replace the one currently in office, some folks seem to believe that the only important issue is winning the election and therefore we should choose a candidate that at least some who voted for Trump will vote for.

Oddly, they seem to think that those are folks who are somewhere in the middle on most policy issues. The reality is that those voters who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 then voted for Trump in 2016 wanted to “shake things up.” They didn’t vote for Trump as much as they voted against Hillary Clinton, whom they viewed as an establishment candidate.

Preemptively compromising on a centrist/establishment candidate like Joe Biden or Mike Bloomberg, etc. isn’t going to win over those voters, they’ll just go for another four years of Trump trashing our democracy, violating the constitution, and lining his own pockets with public funds.

Instead, we need an inspirational candidate who talks about the possibilities that can be achieved. Joe Biden has essentially campaigned on bringing another four years of the Obama presidency. First, Biden is no Barack Obama and second, at least the people I talk to think it’s time to move forward not have more of the same.

Voters who switched to Trump after voting for Obama wanted to shake things up, because they felt that our federal government was more responsive to big business than working class people and they’re absolutely right even if their prescription for fixing it was totally wrong. Giving them a candidate that doesn’t offer a big change in how our government works isn’t going to bring them back.

Early voting started yesterday, vote for the candidate whose message inspires you and your family because that is the candidate who will inspire others. For me, that’s Bernie Sanders.

JC Dufresne is a liberal activist and current member of the State Democratic Executive Committee, representing Senate District 25.

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(1) comment

Shepard

Mr. Dufresne would have you believe that voting for Bernie Sanders would be like voting for John Kennedy’s space program. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth.

President Trump is in office because many in this country just looked over and saw... more Obama, Clinton and Bush. Most couldn’t stand the thought of any of it. Corruption, war, and government waste. Like being served a cow pattie disguised as a hamburger over and over, they just kept adding more condiments.

Not sure why people like Mr. Dufresne, or even Mr. Harper, can’t see it, but most people with sense realize that we’ve been led down the garden path by the establishment, and Senator Sanders is one of them.

Medicare for All. What does that mean? What it means to those of us who’ve lived outside the US is a system not unlike what we already have, just one managed by the gray faced bureaucrats in DC, vice the ones in corporate headquarters. Why is it that, in order to fix a problem, we have to completely destroy a functional working system? There are experts in the insurance industry that will tell you how to bring down the individual cost of health care, how to make it affordable without breaking the backs of the taxpayers. How to change the laws as written to eliminate the corruption within.

How about ending individual state controls on insurance and let companies move fully national to broaden out their risk pool? How about making ‘catastrophic’ insurance available through the government while leaving everyone some personal responsibility? Do you really think the average taxpayer is going to agree with a program to provide medical care to illegal aliens? Really?

Mr Dufresne complains that the Governor ‘failed to take advantage of the tens of millions’. Well yes sir, he did. He did to eliminate Federal encroachment and, Mr Dufresne, have you no sense of dignity or pride? Are we such that we need to get handouts from the Federal Government?

Let’s be honest, a vote for Bernie Sanders is like pushing yourself off the landing of that slide at Starke Park during the peak of summer buck naked. You’re going to lose the skin on your backside and the ride down won’t be pretty to watch.

A ‘Democratic Socialist’ is merely PC for ‘Democratic Communist’, so like crossing the road, think before you vote!

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