Bernie Sanders Should Be A Runaway Favorite

He Spoke Out About How The Wall-Street Collapse Devastated Minority Americans While Hillary Got Rich From Big Banks

Bernie & Jane Sanders. I hijacked this photo from Jane’s Facebook Page. It’s her profile pic

I deeply appreciate those who have their hackles up after watching the vicious character attacks and assassinations against President Barack Obama for the past eight years. I understand Democrats who want to yell back at the Tea Party, “AMERICA IS ALREADY GREAT!”

But unfortunately it isn’t quite true. I don’t blame President Obama for our shortcomings because the problems began long before he stepped into office. I agree with Bernie Sanders when he says President Obama made great progress — especially considering the barriers he faced with an obstructionist Congress. But the progress that President Obama achieved doesn’t change the fact that AMERICA HAS NOT YET RECOVERED from the Wall-Street Collapse. And the change necessary to rebuild this country won’t come about from the incremental measures Hillary Clinton proposes. The Washington Post verified this morning that Bernie Sanders was correct when he said, “The African American Community lost half of its wealth in the Wall-Street collapse.”

Can we observe a moment of silence for every American who lost a home or life savings during the collapse?

I know white people who lost their homes, too, a number of them. But the reality is, African American communities and Hispanic American communities were hit even harder than most Americans. And when our Black and Latino brothers and sisters lost their homes — or saw the value of their homes drop fifty percent — the equity they were expecting to generate was often the only investment plan they had. The fact is, when minority Americans lost their homes — or saw their property values drop in half — many Americans lost their hope for retirement, their hope for educating their children and their hope for achieving a piece of the American dream.

I didn’t have a home to lose but I lost everything I had during the recession myself and for years I went without health insurance despite having Multiple Sclerosis. In fact, after I lost my job and found myself without insurance for the first time in my life, I had my first severe attack but didn’t follow up with getting diagnosed for years because I was warned by a nurse practitioner that if doctors got to the bottom of whatever was wrong with me, I would be in danger of never qualifying for insurance due to a preexisting condition. So I am extremely grateful to President Obama because before he even unpacked his suitcase at the White House, he abolished the inhumane “preexisting condition” clause that was standard in most insurance plans. Furthermore, I am very grateful that due to the Affordable Care Act I now have health insurance. President Obama made my life better. But I still have a number of loved ones who can’t afford health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. I still know people who are in their fifties and sixties who have absolutely no savings. I know college graduates who are $100,000 in debt and stringing together part-time jobs that don’t offer health insurance. America is not in recovery yet.

I don’t blame President Obama for what happened and Bernie Sanders doesn’t, either. I do, however, believe Bill and Hillary Clinton share gravely in the responsibility for what went wrong. Bill Clinton signed NAFTA which led to the closing of 50,000 American factories. He also repealed the Glass-Steagall Act which FDR put in place to regulate Wall Street after the Great Depression. Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the War in Iraq. Bernie Sanders voted against the war. President Obama was not in Congress when the war started but expressed opposition to it.

Neo-Conservative Democrats such as the Clintons and Republicans keep harping “how is Bernie Sanders going to pay for his lofty proposals?” I wish Hillary and other Bernie critics would have asked “how are we going to pay for it?” before they dragged us into a war that’s cost us trillions and destabilized the Middle East.

It’s a question of priorities. Bernie said at an Eastern Michigan University rally I attended earlier this week, “If we can rebuild Afghanistan, we can damn well rebuild Flint, Michigan!”

It’s always a question of priorities. Bernie Sanders has been consistently fighting the same fight for 30 years. Bernie stood strong with Rev. Jesse Jackson during his 1988 bid for president. Bill Clinton endorsed Michael Dukakis.

Hillary Clinton can say whatever she wants about Bernie Sanders’ loyalty to President Obama and black Americans. Maybe it’s not my place to get into this tiff given that I’m a white woman.

But I feel like the fact that I’ve lost so much in the past 10 years gives me a right to speak out on this subject. Disproportionately African Americans and Latinos have suffered since the Wall-Street Collapse, but many of us white folks have also been crushed. Possibly, those of us with serious medical conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lymes disease, cancer or AIDS have suffered disproportionately as well. I don’t know. I haven’t seen statistics about that.

I do know this: Since reading this morning that Bernie Sanders won the Washington Post’s coveted Gepetto Checkmark for frankly and accurately stating during the PBS Debate “The African American Community Lost Half Its Wealth” I’ve felt pretty heartsick. Of course I am happy to know my candidate wasn’t exaggerating as politicians sometimes do. I’m also happy that this fact-checking mission was undertaken by The Washington Post.

But it gives me no joy to realize the extent of the economic loss endured by minority Americans the morning after Hillary Clinton once again (this time during the MSNBC Town Hall Meeting in Nevada) defended her position about refusing to release transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs. The longer she remains smug about it and avoids the issue, the more disgusted I feel. My disgust is compounded when I realize the African American community whose vote she is so desperately courting lost half its wealth while she became a multi-millionaire.

The fact is, she doesn’t feel the pain that those of use who suffered during the Wall-Street Collapse felt and, in many cases, still feel. How can she? Since Bill Clinton left office the couple has earned a whopping $150 million from speaking fees. Hillary alone received $9,680,000 for her 2013 speaking engagements according to the Huffington Post.

While minorities and those of us with medical disadvantages were getting poorer and poorer, the Clintons were personally enriching themselves at the trough of Wall Street and Corporate America.

Go ahead and boo and boo, Clinton supporters. As Hillary said last night about Bernie’s recent registration as a Democrat, “It’s a fact.”

And while we’re on the subject of Bernie Sanders being a new Democrat, let me remind people that Ronald Reagan was a Democrat before he ran for president on the Republican ticket and Hillary was a Goldwater girl in her high-school years while Bernie Sanders was creating waves as an upstart Civil Rights Activist at the University of Chicago.

If you really think Hillary Clinton is a better Democrat than Bernie Sanders, I ask you this: What would FDR, JFK and LBJ say about that? Which candidate, Hillary or Bernie, advocates more wholeheartedly for our core Democratic values?

Bernie does. He is incredibly consistent about the issues of income equality and civil rights. He is our clear choice for the Democratic nomination.