Adhering to an ideology is not inherently wrong by any measure. However, when strict ideological embrace portends certain defeat in a national election to determine the fate of the country, a pragmatic person will moderate their position. It is a sad commentary on America, but there is a group of ideologues who will “stand their ground” regardless of the consequences to the nation – these are the emoprogs waging war to take down the Democratic Party.
These so-called “Bernie or bust” emoprogs apparently have failed to ponder exactly why dirty Don Trump, the Russians, and Republican voters are supporting Sanders to be the Democratic nominee for president. It certainly isn’t because Sanders is a Democrat, and certainly not because they embrace any of his fantastic socialist policies. It is because they know that in a general election Trump would win easily if Sanders is the nominee.
No matter how disastrous Trump’s tenure in the White House has been, a large segment of Americans will not support most of the policy proposals being proffered by Sanders and promoted by his ignorant supporters. Those supporters, no matter how altruistic their motivation, or their demand for free stuff, fail to comprehend that most Americans are not interested in suffering the exorbitant personal cost of providing the free stuff Sanders and his zealous followers demand. The majority of American voters understand that nothing in life is free, not even in so-called democratic socialist countries.
Sanders likes to point to other nations’ ability to provide something such as national healthcare, but he never talks about their high taxation necessary to fund that healthcare. For example, Sanders says his kind of socialism is more akin to Sweden and Denmark as opposed to Cuba or the former Soviet Union when queried how much his health plan will cost or how he intends to fund it. Mr. Sanders said on national television that he doesn’t know what it will cost. Estimated cost over 10 years, according to the Urban Institute, is roughly $34 trillion. It is worth looking at how Sweden or any other nation with a national health plan pays for it.
Sweden, England, Norway, Denmark and similar, what Sanders calls, democratic socialist nations have tax rates that would spark an honest-to-dog violent revolution in America. It is also noteworthy that in those countries, citizens pay for private health insurance to supplement the national coverage – exactly like American retirees receiving Medicare coverage.
In each of those democratic socialist countries, the marginal income tax rate hovers around 50% on incomes over about $80,000 annually, and a flat income tax rate of close to 25% for all others. Add to that are payroll and “value added taxes.” In Sweden, particularly, the revenue generated by oil contributes greatly to providing “free” healthcare as well as government pensions.
Despite having access to national health care, this author’s colleagues in those democratic socialist countries all pay for “supplemental” insurance coverage to avoid long waits for elective procedures.. It is nearly impossible to believe a majority of Americans will suffer a monumental tax hike, or the abolition of private health insurance that Sanders promotes; a fact not lost on Republicans and why they desperately want Sanders to run against Trump.
Nearly as ideologically untenable as a gargantuan hike in tax rates to fund national health care is the fantastical “Green New Deal.” Of course it is critical to address climate change, but not by proposing a Utopian fantasy that is unattainable even in ten years. The deal is not just about “going green” either. It provides free housing, free income for those “unable and unwilling” to work, free government-provided “healthy food” to every American, a ban on 99% of cars, elimination of fossil and nuclear fuels, free college for life, guaranteed government jobs, and eliminating air travel.
Those proposals drew a sharp rebuke from the co-founder of an international environmental group as pure fantasy. And, the rebuke did not address the high cost to taxpayers to provide all that “free stuff” the majority of Americans will reject when they learn the high financial and personal costs. As it has been estimated by people who are pragmatists, the plan’s authors proposed marginal tax rate of 70% will barely raise $700 billion over a decade; an amount that does not begin to cover even a fraction of all that “free stuff” and is in addition to the cost of free health care.
Now, what began this piece was the socialist ideologues’ strict adherence to their “Bernie or bust” position. Democratic-leaning voters have taken the position that they will vote for whichever nominee Democrats choose – even if that nominee is NOT a Democrat. It is that important to get Trump out of the White House. However, the ideologues in the emoprog movement have already stated emphatically that unless their socialist champion is at the top of the Democratic ticket, they will either stay home or vote for another candidate. It is a telling sign that these “neverBiden” sycophants are not bothered by the damage Trump will wreak on the nation with four more years in the White House. That scenario validates the notion that strict adherence to an ideological candidate is a danger to the nation.
As Jason Easley reported here, the polls showing Sanders winning a national election against Trump are a mirage. Sanders and his supporters make a lot of noise, but that unrelenting din cannot cover the fact that America is still a center-right country; another fact not lost on Republicans. In fact, as far back as August the RNC sent out promotional letters pledging to fight to the death to prevent everything Sanders is proposing, with a special emphasis on nearly every aspect of the Green New Deal. And, the RNC has already branded all Democrats as “socialists” who will force hardworking taxpayers to provide all that “free stuff” for ideologues on the “radical” far left.
The worst part of this ideological “revolution” is that it is being promoted by a career politician who knows none of the Utopian fantasies will ever be embraced by most Americans, not one Republican, or moderate Democrats. They all comprehend the electorate is unwilling to suffer an enormous tax hike to provide all that “free stuff.”
No doubt all Democrats, and even some Republicans, want all Americans to have access to healthcare, but there are other reasonable proposals the people would accept more willingly. However, those same people understand that nothing is free, and that any ideology claiming otherwise is a fantasy – a fact residents of “democratic socialist” nations know too well.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.