An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders
“Writing today to ask you to share your thoughts on what our progressive movement should be doing to address the many crises we face as a country. I would very much appreciate hearing from you, so please, add your comments today.”
— Bernie Sanders, broadcast e-mail, 12 February 2022
(213th birthday of both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln)
Dear Bernie (and my fellow Americans, and World):
Issues raised in Bernie’s letter (in my words):
- Pandemic: 900,000 Americans dead, 14-24 million dead worldwide in less than 3 years.
- Jobs: lost, not found, given up, poorly paid.
- Education: disrupted and unaffordable at all levels.
- Seniors isolated by COVID-19, abandoned by neoliberal economics.
- Desperation, loss of control: mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, domestic violence.
- Democracy fails, media lies, science disbelieved, paranoia rising, factuality vanishing, irrationality.
- Bigotry enables Authoritarianism: White Supremacy, vote suppression, racism, xenophobia, fascism.
- Plutocracy: enrichment of the already wealthy few by further impoverishment of the desperate many.
- Corruption of government by accumulated and incorporated wealth, to enhance plutocracy.
- Impoverishment of the wage-slave masses to lard the Military Industrial Complex.
- Fossil-fueled Capitalism and its international military power forever overriding Climate Change.
- Ukraine: one focal point of competitive imperialist adventurism today, February 2022.
— 1. “What is the best way forward?”
— 2. “What should the President be doing?”
— 3. “What should Congress be doing?”
— 4. “What should the progressive community be doing?”
Bring the maximally socialist program advocated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Bernie Sanders and their associated Progressive legislators, to the House and Senate for votes (ASAP). Let the chips fall where they may, and let the American people see those facts.
President Biden should:
— give full-throated support to the above and direct the Democratic Party to vigorously enact as much of it (originally Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 proposed “Second Bill of Rights”) as possible as soon as possible without making any concessions to Republicans and Copperhead Democrats;
— push vigorously to raise taxes on the wealthy to pre-Reaganite (and ideally Eisenhower) levels;
— enact a transaction tax on Wall Street trades;
— cease all provocations of Russia over Ukraine and accept Western European energy commerce with Russia;
— stop nuclear weapons production and deployments immediately;
— end the Cuban Economic Blockade and relinquish its Guantanamo base-and-prison;
— stop CIA destabilization of foreign governments;
— direct the Justice Department to vigorously prosecute January 6 insurrectionists and bar those who were elected or appointed officials from ever holding public office again;
— direct the Justice Department and the Treasury Department to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of the 2008 Financial Crash, and current inside traders and stock market and banking manipulators, and bar all government officials from all such trading and activity;
— stop subsidizing Israel, an apartheid state;
— support the U.N resolutions demanding cessation of Israel’s occupation of Palestine;
— appoint pro-union judges to Federal and Supreme courts,
— cut military spending and close many foreign military bases (as at Okinawa);
— stop all arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Gulf states at war with Yemen;
— release Afghanistan’s foreign bank accounts so it can fund its famine, drought and natural disaster relief;
— reign in, even stop, drone warfare: stop killing foreign civilians!
— vastly expand pandemic preparedness and mass vaccination programs (COVID-19, influenza, measles, polio, etc.);
— inoculate (flu, COVID) all migrants and refugees crossing US borders;
— ban family separations of undocumented migrants, and reunite those separated;
— forgive/cancel ALL student debt;
— direct the National Academy of Sciences to formulate a plan to transform US energy production to 100% green/solar, and US food production to 100% Regenerative Agriculture within 5 years, and all Cabinet Departments to support (not contradict) those efforts;
— ban the use of coal for energy production;
— ban fracking nationally;
— prosecute fossil fuel companies for manslaughter (minimally) because of knowingly adding to climate change, which is known to kill people;
— enact federal legislation banning state restrictions on solar home systems, as a restraint of trade;
— ban all hunting and killing of wolves and other animal predators, nationally;
— ban clear-cutting for timber, nationally;
— end the criminalization of drug addiction, nationally, (replace with M4A treatment);
— direct the Justice Department and the NLRB to prosecute corporate anti-union activities;
— seek out progressive Democrats to primary and displace Copperhead Democrats and Republicans;
— enact strict campaign finance laws, ideally with only public funded elections at all levels;
— declare war on the “democratic deficit” and corruption of government by billionaire capitalism;
— advocate seriously, loudly and often for all the above positions;
— obviously champion the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of Americans — not corporations!
Congress should support all the above, vigorously, immediately and continuously:
— Work for us (the 99%), not them (the 1%) — now and always;
— Work to eliminate White Supremacy, not support it;
— Work to expand Social Security and Medicare for All, not exclusionary private equity;
— enact national Gun Control legislation, and ban retail sales of automatic weapons;
— end prisoner slavery (now a 13th Amendment exception) and the death penalty;
— Work to reform the Judiciary and all Police Forces (largely replaced by expanded Emergency Services) to serve public social needs, not to protect and shield accumulated capital from public social responsibility.
Progressive Democrats should:
— displace the corporate-controlled DNC for leadership of the Democratic Party;
— lead as much of Congress as they can ally to pursue all the above;
— and not stop nor flag their efforts regardless: lead if you want people to follow.
- antitrust prosecutions to break up media, internet and other monopolies and cartels;
- ensure 100% internet neutrality;
- reestablish the 1949 FTC Fairness Doctrine for broadcast news media;
- cancel pharmaceutical patents based on any federally funded scientific research;
- immigration reform with a path toward citizenship (especially for already long-term residents).
And more, as you can imagine in line with the above.
On Ukraine, today in February 2022:
“For both Hitler and Stalin, Ukraine was more than a source of food. It was the place that would enable them to break the rules of traditional economics, rescue their countries from poverty and isolation, and remake the continent in their own image. Their programs and their power all depended upon their control of Ukraine’s fertile soil and its millions of agricultural laborers. In 1933, Ukrainians would die in the millions, in the greatest artificial famine in the history of the world. This was the beginning of the special history of Ukraine, but not the end. In 1941 Hitler would seize Ukraine from Stalin, and attempt to realize his own colonial vision beginning with the shooting of Jews and the starvation of Soviet prisoners of war. The Stalinists colonized their own country, and the Nazis colonized occupied Soviet Ukraine: and the inhabitants of Ukraine suffered and suffered. During the years that both Stalin and Hitler were in power, more people were killed in Ukraine than anywhere else in the bloodlands, or in Europe, or in the world.”
— Timothy Snyder, ‘Bloodlands, Europe Between Hitler and Stalin’ (2010, Basic Books).
To understand the attitude of Ukrainians today (2022), and the attitudes toward the Ukraine by the successors of Hitler’s Fascism (Neoliberal Anglo-American Capitalism) and Stalin’s Communism (Putin’s Oligarchic Russian Nationalism) — even with the differences between those successor powers from the 1940s powers they replaced, and the differences between the early 21st century “World Order” from that of the mid 20th Century — it is necessary to understand “the special history of Ukraine” as well as that of “the bloodlands” between Berlin and Moscow from 1914 to 1945, and particularly from 1933 to 1945 during which 14 million non-combatant civilians were intentionally murdered by government policies of territorial conquest and control, and the expansion and consolidation of political power.
The ultimate state of human society if the devolution of today’s politics is not checked:
28 January 2022