Why Women's Interests Will Be Served Better by Bernie Sanders
What has Hillary done for Iraqi women, who are far worse off than they were under Saddam Hussein? What has she done for the women of Saudi Arabia, the U.S.’s chief Middle-Eastern ally apart from Israel? For Syrian women? How many Syrian women have had to live in refugee camps or sell their bodies for food because Hilary Clinton decided to back a rebellion against the Syrian president? (And how many Syrian women and other civilians died, and where does that number compare with the number of Syrian civilian casualties before the invasion?)
Indira Gandhi, a four-term Indian prime minister, was the most powerful prime minister, male or female, in Indian history; yet, three decades after her death, the improvement in the status of women is not especially remarkable compared to India’s development in other areas, such as telecommunications and transportation. For over ten years, her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi was India’s real ruler, considered one of the ten most powerful women in the world; but her chief interest was in seeing her son groomed to become India's next prime minister. Margaret Thatcher, India’s many women chief ministers, and Brazil’s Dilma Roussef—they were all more concerned with their own power than with empowering other women.
The idea that the war between men and women is the chief issue facing the planet is a divisive, myopic, ignorant, and distracting idea, as divisive and distracting from the real issues as Donald Trump’s claim that immigrants, or blacks (implied in that most of his followers tend to be white racists), or Muslims are the enemy. However, so long as the 1 percent can keep the 99 percent divided, busy fighting each other, they can continue to rule the world: both men and women (there are quite a few women in the richest 1 percent; and some of them happen to be the wives or daughters of the rich: of the Walton family, for example, whose combined net worth is equal to that of the bottom 40 percent of Americans, and who I don’t see donating to women’s shelters).
Now, if Hllary Clinton wins because of the support of women who are otherwise liberal, and becomes enmeshed in scandals or drags America into another war--in other words, if she is not the best candidate for the job--that will in fact harm the interests of women (as well as men). It would be much better to wait for an outstanding woman of impeccable integrity and elect her to be the first woman president.
Listening, on YouTube, to just one lucid, passionate, and heartfelt speech of Bernie Sanders at Santa Cruz, CA, on May 31st 2016 provides more than ten reasons to vote for him, but I start with ten.
1 He’s for reforming a corrupt political system in which candidates rely on contributions from corporations and wealthy individuals, then return the favor by working for them. Logically, how could that not? Which is why such the promises of such candidates turn out to be lies. Bernie launched a political revolution merely by refusing contributions from corporations or Wall Street, and showing us that it was possible. Will we make his miracle come true?2. He’s With Us*. Fighting for Justice for ALL of us. He’s calling for America to be a true democracy, with “a government that listens to us, not just to the 1 percent.” This is a fundamental principle of democracy (a government of the people), in contrast to the de facto plutocracy America is now: with a government working for the wealthy few at the expense of everyone else. He’s also right to challenge the Democratic Party’s nomination process as rigged and corrupt: it’s a matter of integrity for him not to give up the fight for his principles. What if Mahatma Gandhi had decided to call off the independence struggle because some people were getting hurt, or because a few minor democratic concessions had been given by the British?3. Economy: He got it right when Alan Greenspan didn’t. As a mere Congressman in 1999 and 2003, he challenged Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan on the economy, warning that his policies (low minimum wage, transfer of manufacturing jobs to the Third World) would be catastrophic. It turned out Sanders was right, while economic wizard Greenspan was wrong. Why? Judgment, and being in close touch with common people. As Jordan Chanton points out, he’s not a pie-in-the-sky revolutionary, but an FDR Democrat. It’s a sign of how Republicans have so changed the dialogue that espousing FDR’s positions is now considered “leftist” or “pie-in-the-sky.”4. Foreign Policy: Intelligence and Good Judgment. He got it right on Iraq, Libya, and much else. Far better than Hilary Clinton’s experience (for which she can list far more blunders than specific personal achievements), Sanders has what’s much more important in a Commander-in-Chief: common sense and the judgment not to embark on reckless, un-winnable wars. Why? Because he asks the right questions, isn’t afraid to challenge authority or the consensus. A humane, non-interventionist US president will do more for peace, will generate fewer new terrorists than our present aggressive, militaristic policy is doing (according to Noam Chomsky).5. He believes that “Health care is a right of all people, not a privilege.” We’re the only advanced nation without free universal healthcare for all its citizens. He also calls for free and immediate treatment, “without having to fill out 50 forms,” for mentally disturbed people in a crisis.6. Fixing “a broken criminal justice system.” Compassionate, humane, Sanders points out that the US has more people in prison (2.2 million) than any other country, including Russia and China. Inhumane prison conditions, harsh or unnecessary prison sentences do not solve the problem of crime; they perpetuate it.7. “Addiction and drug abuse are not criminal issues but health issues.” He promised to take a “new look at so-called War on Drugs.” The intelligent consensus has been that the war on drugs has been an expensive disaster.8. He’s reaching out to ALL groups (except to the selfish, greedy 1 percent): black and white, first generation immigrants, undocumented immigrants, gay and straight, men and women. He’s not pandering to specific groups, as Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton (implicitly) are.9. Immigration Reform: Ending current policy of deportation and giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, because currently they have no rights, and employers can rip them off. Consider that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are hardworking, law-abiding persons no more “un-documented” than Columbus or the immigrants from the Mayflower; and that they live lives of fear, poverty, and shameful exploitation. This is unnecessary, and Bernie Sanders has the understanding and the heart to change that: his parents were poor immigrants, after all.10. He will defeat Trump, Hilary could lose. Why settle for cynical, lesser-of-two-evils defeatism? No electable alternative candidate comes anywhere near him in integrity and public trust. Not Hilary Clinton, with her multiple cases of bad judgment and her issues of trust and honesty; even without potentially damaging revelations of Wall Street speeches or the FBI case against her, she is tied or losing to Trump in many national polls; whereas Sanders is beating him by 8-15 percentage points. And Donald Trump, a crass entertainer and a dangerously thin-skinned individual to trust with the power of the American presidency, must be defeated at any cost.The environment, compassion for women and children immigrants, for the many women whose husbands and brothers are in prison, for all humans regardless of gender, race, or religious belief: that to me is where the interests of all of us lie. And Bernie Sanders is the one whose record on these issues is impeccable.