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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Why I'm now supporting Bernie Sanders

Uploaded: Aug 29, 2015
I dropped Rand Paul because of his positions on Planned Parenthood. I'm still something of a maverick voter. I pick candidates based on who they are and what they say and not whichever political party they are in.

Bernie Sanders confuses many people because he doesn't behave like a typical politician. Most politicians on either side of the political aisle mouth the same political blather aimed at reinforcing support from their existing supporters.



Bernie is different. He tells the truth. He doesn't pretend to be something other than who he is. So if you like what he says and who he is, you would support him and if you don't you would oppose him, but at least you would know which side to be on.

Most politicians try to be all things to all potential voters. Democrats are liberal with liberal voters, and moderate with less liberal voters. Most Democrats don't try to attract conservative voters because that would turn off the liberals.

The same goes for the Republicans. They are conservative with their conservative base and a little more moderate to capture any on-the-fence conservatives.

The true conservatives, or Tea Party politicians, try not to be too moderate or they would be labeled RINOs, Republicans in Name Only, but they may come down from their high horse to get a few on-the-fence Republicans (like me), or even conservative Democrats, such as those left over Dixicrats who haven't changed their party registration.

Both parties try to vilify the other and are mostly successful with voters who like to have their biases supported. They are told by Rush Limbaugh and other political ideologues that they use "Critical Thinking" because they believe whatever BS the commentator is spouting. These are the basic fallacies of true Critical Thinking: Apple Polishing (you are so smart to agree with me) and Group Think (Think like me and not like those others).

The "Other" is the favorite enemy of the "Us." It doesn't matter which Other the "Other" is, but they are the opposite or different from the "Us."

Sanders doesn't play that game. He's wears the label "Socialist," proudly and doesn't try to change anyone's opinion about it. Since most Democrats and some Republicans are also Socialists, but avoid labeling themselves as such, Bernie is refreshing for his candor.

Will he or can he beat Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden in the Democrat primary? Probably not. Would he accept the VP slot on either one's ticket? I don't know and I'm not going to speculate on it, but I hope not. I would be disappointed if he did.

Would I vote for Bernie if he won the Democratic nomination? It depends on who the Republican candidate is, but I would consider it. Income inequality is a very serious problem. We do need to get big money out of political campaigns, and limit contributions so rich folks cannot buy candidates.

People who work hard should not be underpaid or undervalued. Let's be real about this. The 1950's, when Unions were strong, was the most prosperous time for the American middle class.

Don't be one of the "Us's" opposing unions because some of the members may get benefits they don't deserve. Most of them should not be cheated out of what they earned. The only way to bring back the middle class is to give Unions back their bargaining power with employers. This is a balance. This is a yin and yang. Once you start with the "them or us" stuff, we all lose.
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Comments

 +   11 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm

I like Bernie because he's not a pathological liar:

Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Bernie S. is an out and out socialist. One ought to be ashamed to say they support him, but if you have leftist tendencies, that is better than support for Hillary C. Bernie's political leanings are best described by his initials----------B.S.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

So far no one has commented that I jumped from a Libertarian, Rand Paul, to a Socialist, Bernie Sanders. That's quite a jump, but I follow candidates who interest me and not the herd.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Great link Cholo. I love the cartoon at the end about cats vs. dogs. Funny and true.

Roz


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Brian from Indiana, a resident of another community,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 12:46 am

For those of you who don't know Bernie Sanders or his positions, please watch this because it's very well put-together.
Web Link

Thanks for a great piece, Roz.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by sam ramon, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 7:43 am

Resident engages in the time-worn practice of 'otherizing' by label, instead of really examining any issues. It's a useful device for hunter-gatherers meeting someone unfamiliar on the trail, but a very dull tool for understanding contemporary society and politics.

Up your game, sir!


 +   3 people like this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 9:43 am

Roz: I agree with your analysis of politicians, and not being honest, and it is interesting poll found one word best describe Hillary is "liar". However, don't understand how a person can go in matter weeks from endorsing a libertarian to a socialist? I respect your opinions but don't understand or agree with them. Socialism is a serious threat to America & so is your candidate. Please consider Governor Kasich, who unifies people, and won 44 of 46 counties in Ohio, showing he is truly diverse & man of the people, but no Socialist.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years ago, a resident of Castlewood,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 9:44 am

it would not surprise me that anyone in favor of selling baby parts like lungs and kidneys would be in favor of this nut.
Hey Roz who is the last candidate you supported who was not a democrat?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 10:37 am

I appreciate Kasich but Bernie is my kinda guy! Labels like "Socialist" don't mean much anymore. PLEASE BE MORE SPECIFIC ABOUT YOUR DISLIKE OF SANDERS.

Check out what Bernie Sanders has accomplished. Bernie Sanders is a GREAT AMERICAN!

HOORAY BERNIE! EVERYBODY IN CALIFAS LOVES BERNIE SANDERS! VIVA!

REVIEW THE ABOVE VIDEO ABOUT WHAT BERNIE HAS ACCOMPLISHED! HOORAY!


 +   4 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 6:20 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

American,

Haven't you been paying attention to our government? It is already Socialist. Bernie is just open about it. Also the gap between the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor is obscene.

I'm not extremely wealthy, but I'm upper middle class. There's no shortage of money to go around for all. Those at the bottom should be given more opportunities. Some will never be able to climb out of poverty and some may not deserve to, but many are down there for no fault of their own and don't have the resources to improve their lives.

I believe a hand up is better than a hand out and just because Bernie calls himself a Socialist doesn't mean he wants to take your money and give it away. He just wants to lessen the gap between the extremely rich and the extremely poor. It is a gap that needs closing.

Roz


 +   4 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 6:30 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Resident of Castlewood,

Obviously you don't read my blogs or even my latest comment. Look again. See if you can find the name "Rand Paul?"

By the way, those "baby parts," are used for medical research to save babies with birth defects and premature infants. So are you also against researchers who pay the legally required fee to use them?

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Roz,

Just so I have this right, in this column you have self-identified as a "on the fence republican", a libertarian, AND a socialist?!

Wow!

What really jumped out in your post was your bringing up the three fallacies of critical thinking, and most specifically the fallacy of "group-think".

Wouldn't you say that group-think is synonymous with socialism? What I mean by that is that socialism is defined as being production and distribution decisions and control by a community (group?). Therefore, wouldn't the practice of socialism be antithetical to critical thinking?

And wouldn't you say that YOU are indeed practicing "other"ism by stating: "They are told by Rush Limbaugh and other political ideologues that they use "Critical Thinking" because they believe whatever BS the commentator is spouting."

I can't figure out if you are being ironic, hypocritical, or...?

Dan


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Roz,

Does not opportunity exist now? If it doesn't, who exactly, controls it? Let 'em swing for his incompetence! /sarcasm

Who SHOULD control opportunities and income dispersal? Politicians who have been lawyers their whole lives? Academics who have no real experience in the business economy? Journalists and reporters?

Tell us how you can constrain human nature and make those at the bottom, equal to those at the middle and top?

Capitalism isn't perfect, but I've visited enough socialist and communist countries to tell you that it is a heck of a lot better than those systems combined! Have you? How about B.S.?

Some of my fellow Americans have absolutely no idea how good they have it!


 +   4 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 7:47 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Dan,

I don't think I'm being hypocritical. Confused perhaps, but not insincere. I do not consider socialism the same as group think. Socialism is working together but not always doing or thinking the same things. It could also be called "cooperation."

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Roz,

I appreciate your opinion. But by definition and practice, socialism is not what you THINK it is.

Sorry, it just isn't.

And I don't think you're confused or insincere.

Dan


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 30, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Conservative Socialism: Web Link

Since I'm not allowed to post on the Town Square, I would simply like to state that I find the plan for a Veteran's Memorial exciting. However, I have a different plan. HERE' MY PLAN:

I believe that it would be possible to consult with scientists at Lawrence Livermoore Lab re: growing large crystals. Large lab grown crystals could be arranged in a reflective pool, viewed from different positions throughout the day. Light would be reflected in shifting patterns, intensities, open your heart and allow others to say Thank You in a different way.

HOORAY! AN EXCELLENT IDEA! VIVA AMERICA!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 31, 2015 at 12:04 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Here's another one of my recollections from a long time ago. It goes back to when I lived in New Rochelle, NY. I moved to California in 1972, so it was some time in the late '60's or early '70's.

I lived with my parents then and a neighbor was a plumbing contractor. He offered me a job as a bookkeeper. I was the "office person" who answered the phones, took orders, did payroll, etc.

The company had two divisions. One was the construction side for new buildings or housing developments and the other was one guy who did house calls. The construction side was unionized.

The Plumbers' Local was like the HR Dept for the contractor. If they had a job, they would go to the Union Hall, and the guys with the skills they needed would be assigned to the job. A % of each plumber's pay went for Union Dues and a matching amount was paid by the contractor, but the Union took care of a lot of other functions. They covered sick pay, vacations, retirement; so the business didn't have to provide any of these benefits.

It was not easy to get into this union local. The mix was Jewish and Italian. The one guy who did house calls was Irish. The business owners wanted to get him into the union, but one of the members had to endorse him. So it took awhile before he was accepted.

Once he was accepted into the union the contractors needed a replacement for house calls. The father of one of the partners offered the job to me. The only woman plumber around in those days was Jane Withers who played Josephine the Plumber in TV commercials.

I was surprised by the offer but even though plumbing is easy, and I can change a washer in a faucet with the best of them, I wouldn't want to snake out toilets or crawl under houses, so I turned the offer down. I went back to college to finish my degree.

But my point here is that unions, which are a form of socialism, worked very well back then and helped businesses and workers do more than they could alone. President Regan ran as the only candidate to have been President of a Union (The Screen Actor's Guild), and then turned around and busted the Air Traffic Controllers Union. This did not make things better. Even Ron Jr. says his Dad was wrong.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 31, 2015 at 1:54 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Brian from Indiana,

Thanks for the link. That's a very informative video. If more people who are turned off by the label "Socialist" would watch that video they might change their minds.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 31, 2015 at 4:52 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Cholo,

I like your link on Conservative Socialism. Here's another link to a very good video lesson on Democratic Socialism and why it is very different from Nazi Socialism and Soviet Socialism. Web Link

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 31, 2015 at 5:21 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Dan,

Socialism is what I think it is when it is done right. Most forms of Socialism are not done right and that's why you think it is wrong. How things are done or have been done does not mean that's the way they should be done.

Libertarianism and Socialism are not mutually exclusive. Libertarianism means less spending by the Federal Government. Socialism does not mean Government control. That's what is wrong with Soviet Socialism and Nazi Socialism.

Look at the video I just posted. Web Link
This is Bernie's Socialism. He's even mentioned in the video. Our Federal Government is already doing these things, but not doing them well. I believe Bernie would do them better.


Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 1, 2015 at 9:40 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Ah, the ever insightful "x will work this time because the RIGHT people will be in charge" meme.

Yes, I've known a few people who think like this. Most are statists who think they know everything about the human condition because they've read the latest pseudo-science book on human psychology, all the while drinking lattes in the local corner coffee shop lamenting all the breeders.

Its funny that people on the left can claim that socialism is the way to go and even currently exists in the U.S., and yet, we see that poverty is up; real unemployment is still at ~10%; corporate welfare is at an all-time high; race relations at a all-time low...I can go on and on but you get the point.

Yep...this alleged Socialism is GREAT, and it will only get better when the RIGHT people are in charge!!! /sarcasm

No thank you.



 +   1 person likes this
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Dan,

I have never drunk a latte in a local coffee shop and I don't read pseudo pop psychology. So don't talk down to me.

There are several successful Socialist societies which are described in the video. These are mostly Scandinavian countries, which tend to have homogeneous populations with very high work ethics.

One size does not fit all (take it from me I wear a 22), and one size political or economic system doesn't fit all either. So lets at least be open minded enough to consider alternatives to what we have now.

Bernie Sanders isn't stupid and isn't a political hack. He may not walk on water, except when skiing in Vermont, but don't discard him because you don't like the Union Label.

Are you a Trump supporter? He sounds more like your kind of guy.

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Roz,

You state in your original blog:

"The "Other" is the favorite enemy of the "Us." It doesn't matter which Other the "Other" is, but they are the opposite or different from the "Us." Sanders doesn't play that game. He's wears the label "Socialist," proudly and doesn't try to change anyone's opinion about it. Since most Democrats and some Republicans are also Socialists, but avoid labeling themselves as such, Bernie is refreshing for his candor."

Then your last post says:

"Are you a Trump supporter? He sounds more like your kind of guy."

Sounds to me as if you just labeled me as the "other", perfectly illustrating my point on socialism as well as shining the spotlight on your fallacies (and hypocrisy) of critical thinking.

Thank you.





 +   2 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 1, 2015 at 4:20 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Oh give it a rest, Dan. You are just trying to pick a fight. I'm too old and tired to care. Is it now an insult to say Trump is your kind of guy?

It's still early. The election isn't until next year. I might change my mind again, two or three more times by then. I'm starting to like Carly Fiorina now. She's my kind of gal.

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Hotslide, a resident of Oak Tree Acres,
on Sep 5, 2015 at 10:37 am

Hotslide is a registered user.

Roz: A couple of things: A) You state you are in favor of socialism when it is done right. When and where has it ever been done right? This is what all socialists believe. In essence, it is taking from the achievers and giving to the non-achievers and has NEVER worked for any length of time. B) Bernie Sanders is not a "socialist", he is a communist, he has admitted this. And a question for you: Have you ever been part of a commune, you know, like back in the 60's ? Any around today? Remember the Bagwannee (sp) from Antelope Oregon and his 11 Rolls Royces that he rolled around in while his minions grew carrots, gave him their money, gave each other the crabs and swallowed masculine ? That's socialism at the grass roots level. Obama and Sal Alinsky, both non-achievers extent, believe (like you) they know how to make socialism work. Read Mr. Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" as a refresher.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Hotslide, a resident of Oak Tree Acres,
on Sep 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

Hotslide is a registered user.

For some reason the all-knowing spell check corrected the word "mesculine" to masculine in my post above. I know it has been 50 years but some of us still remember peyote buds, guess the derivative has been dropped from the word pool.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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