Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stop the Search, Diogenes. We found him. It's Bernie.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, held the senate floor for 90 minutes yesterday, talking directly to President Obama, pleading, cajoling, scolding--begging the president to take the lead on obvious things like lifting the poor and the downtrodden out of the depths, protecting them from any more grief, and demanding that the rich pay their fair share of U.S. taxes.

In what's called "a letter to President Obama", Sen. Sanders, a man Diogenes would be proud to call an honest man, said this:
No, we will not balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor, who have already sacrificed enough in terms of lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, and lost pensions.  Yes, we will demand that millionaires and billionaires and the largest corporations in America contribute to deficit reduction as a matter of shared sacrifice.  Yes, we will reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending at the Pentagon.  And, no we will not be blackmailed once again by the Republican leadership in Washington, who are threatening to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States government for the first time in our nation's history unless they get everything they want.
He said this:
Now, Mr. President, given the decline in the middle class, given the increase in poverty, and given the fact that the wealthy and large corporations have never had it so good, Americans may find it strange that the Republicans in Washington would use this opportunity to make savage cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, education, nutrition assistance, and other lifesaving programs, while pushing for even more tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations.
Unfortunately, it is not strange.  It is part of their ideology.  Republicans in Washington have never believed in Medicare, Medicaid, federal assistance in education, or providing any direct government assistance to those in need.  They have always believed that tax breaks for the wealthy and the powerful would somehow miraculously trickle down to every American, despite all history and evidence to the contrary.  So, in that sense, it is not strange at all that they would use the deficit crisis we are now in as an opportunity to balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor, and work to dismantle every single successful government program that was ever created.
He spoke for 90 minutes, but the essence of it is above, and the conclusion is here:
So, I am asking the American people who may be listening today that if you believe that deficit reduction should be about shared sacrifice, if you believe that it is time for the wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share, if you believe that we need to reduce unnecessary defense spending, and if you believe that the middle class has already sacrificed enough due to the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, the President needs to hear your voice, and he needs to hear it now.
Go to my website: sanders.senate.gov and send a letter to the President letting him know that enough is enough!  Shared sacrifice means that it's time for the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations in America to pay their fair share and contribute to deficit reduction.
 I believe Bernie Sanders is our last, best hope.  He's dogged in his beliefs (my beliefs) and he believes in us.  We are his last, best hope.  He wants to believe that our president will at last listen, but if the president doesn't, Bernie needs to know that his eloquent, impassioned truth-speak isn't going unnoticed.

Go to his website, please, and let him know you're on his side.  Follow him on Facebook. And pass along, please, the transcripts, the videos, his website address--anything that will bring Bernie Sanders to the attention of the public and the press.  Sending a letter to the president would make Bernie so happy.  He might even find a reason to smile again.
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