Here was last Sunday’s “Pat Political Point” from WSGW’s First Day. I wanted to post this earlier, but the recording mechanism failed last weekend, which means we don’t have last week’s show recorded. That’s too bad because it was radio gold!!! Or something. Anyway, email me if you have comments regarding my rant. You can read a rough transcript below the sound file.
I was doing a little reading on Saturday, and suddenly heard Donald Trump’s voice on my TV set. MSNBC–that so-called liberal cable news network–broke-in LIVE to show Trump speaking to supporters at a campaign event. (He was explaining how he’s a builder, and how he’ll build a gigantic fence on Mexican-U.S. border by strong-arming the Mexican government, or something like that.)
I understand that Trump’s the leader in the Republican presidential race (according to the polls), but it’s astounding how much time the so-called liberal media have spent on Trump. I believe that the media (again, which is supposedly liberal) are greatly responsible for building-up Trump. I could go on and blame Fox News, MSNBC is devoting just as much time on him.
However, while I do harbor a belief that Trump is a media-created phenomena, I understand why some Americans him appealing. As Matthew Iglesias described in Vox this week, Trump is pairing his right-wing nationalism talk with some center-left ideas. Sure, Trump is gaining the support of some xenophobic bigots, but I think that makes his detractors hope Trump’s ceiling isn’t all that high. He has announced his opposition to cutting Social Security, and we know from past pronouncements that he believes a single-payer health care system is the way to go.
Iglesias says that Trump’s popular position on Social Security is making him unpopular with the Republican donor class, but he can survive without them thanks to the silver spoons he inherited through birth.
I find Trump opportunistic, maniacal, a megalomaniac, bigoted, and media savvy. I find his so-called solutions to this nation’s problems (like plugging more money into an already bloated defense budget) to be comical and naive, but I get why he’s getting some love from the public.
In some ways, Trump is sounding socialistic. Higher taxes on the rich to help pay for things like social security is socialism. It’s spreading the wealth. While bordering on the ridiculous (like attacking Fox News anchor Meghan Kelly, and Univision’s Jorge Ramos), Trump understands the current political and economical winds: That a mixture of capitalism and socialism has worked for years in this country, and must be sustained in order to keep America sustained.
You wouldn’t know it from the lack of media coverage (remember, from a press that’s filled with far-left loonies, apparently), but Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is leading Clinton in a few New Hampshire polls. New Hampshire is the first primary race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Sanders is doing well in some polls for the Iowa caucus, too. Sanders is filling arenas and stadiums in stump speeches across the country. And Sanders is doing this despite his “Democratic Socialist” label he proudly wears on his chest.
Why is Sanders winning the support of millions of Americans even though he lauds northern European socialism? Because the country has slowly moved in a socialistic position for the past 239 years.
The day President Washington squashed the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, and commenced with the tax on whiskey, we’ve embraced certain aspects of socialism. The creation of a military is socialism. Taxing the wealthy to help pay for wars is socialism. In some ways, Teddy Roosevelt was our first president to champion socialism. And, I think it’s TR who Sanders is trying to emulate.
The Hill’s H.A.Goodman points-out how Sanders and Teddy Roosevelt are quite similar:
Is Sanders the reincarnation of Roosevelt? Sanders has championed environmental causes, stands up to Wall Street and today’s “captains of industry,” and wants to break up the banks. Similar to Standard Oil and other monopolies during Roosevelt’s era, the top six banks today control 60 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, which is why Sanders feels the need to ensure that no bank is too big to fail anymore. Even Bill O’Reilly had a difficult time in one segment disagreeing with Sanders, and O’Reilly even admitted to Sanders (2:50 in the video), “You know Teddy Roosevelt, did a little bit of what you’re suggesting.”
Goodman also notes how socialism has been used by several Republican presidents like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Nixon used price controls to keep food costs down, and Reagan bailed-out Chrysler and believed some free-trade agreements had caused more harm than good.
(NOTE: I’ve done some research, and it appears President Carter signed the bill bailing-out Chrysler in 1980. Reagan didn’t do anything to change it once he entered the White House, but I think Goodman may want to re-check that statement.)
Lest we forget, but President George W. Bush was a big believer in socialism. He backed the $700 billion bailing out of the Wall Street banksers, whose system imploded due to years and years of deregulation (started by Reagan, btw). The Wall Street bailout ended up costing the U.S. economy…listen to this, now…$22 trillion!!!! Of course, President Obama backed the bailouts, too.
That was socialism.
Guess who voted against the bank bailouts? That’s right, that “socialist” Bernie Sanders. Guess who voted against repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, which kept commercial and investment banking separate. Sanders predicted how that repeal would eventually damage the country. Sanders is fighting to break-up the big banks, and to put the Glass-Steagall Act back in action.
If I didn’t know it better, I’d say Sanders sounds more capitalistic than Bush!
And please, most of all, remember how Sanders voted against the Iraq War authorization bill, and had correctly predicted how that war would destabilize the region, and costing us more in lives and treasure. That stupid war will cost us around $4-$6 trillion when all is said and done. And now, I’m supposed to listen to guys like Karl Rove talk about debt and deficits when they presided over these gross excesses of spending.
It’s no wonder why Trump has also decided that he’s against Iraq War. It failed and cost us more than it’s supporters imagined at the time.
Bernie Sanders had the foresight to predict how an insane war, insane deregulation of the financial services industry, and huge tax breaks for corporations and the ultra-rich would damage this country. It’s no wonder why some people, like Donald Trump, are giving Sanders’ socialism a serious look at saving this country.