Once again, I’ve come across the talking point that Americans who support candidates like Bernie Sanders just want a bunch of free stuff. You know: non-essentials like health care and education. What are these freeloading Americans thinking of?
We live in the richest country in the world, yet we seemingly can’t afford health care and education for our people. Yet we can afford roughly a trillion dollars each and every year for national “defense.” Why does the Pentagon want so many “free” bombers, fighter jets, drones, aircraft carriers, and missiles? Why do the militarists always get what they want, with few complaints about the price? (And let’s not forget roughly $6 trillion wasted on the Iraq and Afghan Wars, or for that matter the trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and the banks. Why did they get so much “free” stuff at taxpayers’ expense?)
We truly need a political revolution in this country, which is why I support Bernie Sanders. He’s the only candidate who truly gets how rigged our system is — how it’s become an oligarchy, even a kleptocracy, that favors the richest and most powerful among us. Sanders has been a model of consistency for decades, and he’s as genuine as a public servant can be.
No candidate is perfect, but Bernie will move this country in a fairer, more humane, direction. He realizes health care is a human right. He realizes education shouldn’t put students into a form of debt peonage. He realizes hardworking Americans deserve to be paid more, deserve better benefits, deserve to be treated with dignity.
We need to combat an attitude in this country that says rich people are our winners and the poor are losers. We in America are still taught to idolize the rich and fear or despise the poor. The rich represent “success” and the poor are supposedly lazy or just losers. Can’t they just get a job? Can’t they pull themselves up by their boot straps? If you’re poor, it’s all your fault — this is still an all-too-common idea.
We need leaders who understand the working classes and want to work for them. Bernie Sanders is that kind of leader.