Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of sports metaphors used to describe politics. Yes, I’ve done it myself, and I’m going to do it again. I’ve also noticed that the extremes in both parties tend to believe in a “Great Leader” scenario. “Elect X and they will do all these wonderful things!” When you point out that it doesn’t work that way, you’ll get dismissed as being an “in name only,” and not understanding that the Great Leader will make a speech and all will go their way. They’re thinking that politics is a one-on-one sport, like tennis, boxing, or mixed martial arts. They’re continually disappointed if the person they’ve designated as the next “Great Leader” is elected and fails to accomplish what they thought would happen. The problem is they didn’t realize that politics are a team sport.
Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders
Today was primary day in New York, and over lunch, I went and voted. Yes, as the title said, I voted for Hillary. That I voted in a primary is not unusual, I vote in all of them. There’s another one in September for state offices, and yes, I wish they’d change that. I regard voting as a duty, one that goes with my rights as a citizen. As I’ve said in a previous post, it’s not often I’m “excited” about any candidate. Mostly, I take a look through what their platforms are, review their records and qualifications, and pick the one I think will probably do a better job than the other one. Sometimes, it’s really “flip a coin,” in that both are good and you can’t lose either way. This year though, I couldn’t wait for the primary day to arrive so I could vote. Not because I was excited, but for a reason that hasn’t happened to me before.
A couple of months ago there was an article on another site arguing that one of the reasons some Democrats were against Bernie Sanders was that they were “afraid to sell the case for higher taxes.” More particularly, meaning that they aren’t willing to make the case for the tax increases necessary to pay for all the programs he was proposing. Leaving aside the rather nebulous nature of his healthcare plan, and the unlikelihood of his college plan being accepted, my response was “Do you really expect me to tell people in my area that their tax bill will double?” That would be a tough sell in any event, even if I was really enthusiastic about the programs.
Over on the People’s View, there’s a post looking at Bernie Sanders “free college” plan. One can assume that it’s the same as a bill he proposed along those lines. The idea of “free college,” although it’s really only tuition free college, has caught on with number of people, particularly the younger generation of current (or soon to be) college students. It’s not a bad idea, except for the problems. As I said about the healthcare plan, it’s another “alligators in the swamp” problem. That is, it’s not that the general idea isn’t laudable, it’s the details where things get tricky. Matthew Yglesias over at Vox has a couple of articles about the problems, and reluctantly concludes that it’s unrealistic. In looking through the legislation, not only do I agree it’s unrealistic, it’s not going to be “sellable” even to “solid blue states.”
In previous post, I talked about the Left’s ideal agenda, and why it keeps being a distant ideal. One of the problems has been that they keep thinking in terms of “revolution,” overturning the existing political order and being able to implement their programs all at once. It’s why they’re excited about Bernie Sander’s call for a political revolution, and you’ll hear things like “the people will march on Washington,” as a means of achieving it. There was similar excitement over the Occupy Movement, and if you go back, you can find any number of “revolutionary movements” that were supposed to bring about radical changes in this country. The problem? They didn’t work. While there’s a great deal of pointing at various progressive achievements of the past, and calling them revolutionary, a close look at them shows that they weren’t quite that revolutionary.