Thursday, November 22, 2018

Bernie Sanders On Thanksgiving | Lefsetz Letter

Democrats need a bold agenda. Here’s what they should do in the first 100 days of Congress.

I’m kinda weirded-out.

Yesterday Angelica died, and she was full of life. We met nearly twenty years ago, when she worked for Atlantic Records. I went through my e-mail last night and found one from last spring where she detailed the treatment for her cancer. Hard to think someone’s gone when they’re so fierce on the page.

And one thing Geli e-mailed me about consistently was Bernie Sanders. Not that I made the connection last night, but I did today. After reading Bernie’s piece in the WaPo.

I know, I know, you’re not supposed to discuss politics, or religion, on Thanksgiving. Even worse, you can’t really change somebody’s mind. Furthermore, I get the WSJ, which is like a disinformation society, topsy-turvy, electric cars bad, Russia didn’t interfere in the election, and if you let the corporations run free all issues will be solved.

And I’m open-minded, I read what the writers have to say, but then I turn to the NYT and the WaPo and get a completely different take. And in an era where even a right wing Supreme Court Justice has to stand up to Trump, it’s hard to be optimistic about America. Then again, Roberts saved health care, sometimes people do the right thing.

But not often these days. Like Facebook. Protect yourself at all costs. The Street is your boss. Deliver profits and forget about the proletariat.

And that’s how we ended up with Trump to begin with.

I know, I know, now they say it’s racism. Then again, how do you feel when other colors eclipse you? It’s all rolled up in one ball of wax, and it’s hard to trust a media that got America so wrong to begin with, that couldn’t see Trump coming.

So every day I wake up and get on my phone. I have a folder with all the news apps. I see the insights from “New York” magazine. I go to the L.A. “Times” last, the paper being an illustration of what cutbacks to protect your margins leaves you with, close to nothing.

And when I got to the WaPo this morning, I saw this headline, “Democrats need a bold agenda. Here’s what they should do in the first 100 days of Congress.”

The media missed Bernie Sanders too. And if the socialist from Vermont had started earlier, he’d be President today. We thought it was an outsider run, making a point, but it turned out Sanders captured the mood of America best, and his agenda was positive, unlike Trump’s negative. Sanders was all about truth, justice and the American Way. And we’re looking for a Superman to solve our problems, to lift us above this crazy world full of strongmen and people voting for them, America used to be a beacon for Democracy, the country you could count on helping you out.

No more.

But Bernie is too old and…

By gosh, I’m reading his words today and they resonate, I want to throw my fist in the air, he’s unafraid, he’s leading, he’s direct, he makes sense and…

That’s been the problem with Democrats for too long. They’ve been playing defense, they’re on react. They let the Republicans define the game and then they play it poorly. Bernie wants to bat first.

The middle class has been eviscerated. Income inequality is a huge issue. We’re supposed to venerate the winners, but the victors are duplicitous turds with blind spots who oftentimes got a leg up upon birth and are out of touch with the issues confronting the hoi polloi.

Who doesn’t want better wages? Who doesn’t want the guaranteed health care the rest of the western world offers? Who doesn’t want to help our seniors? And if you take prescription drugs and you’re not horrified each and every time you go to the pharmacy, even with insurance, you’re rich.

These are the things Bernie Sanders is standing for. This is a positive agenda. And he’s talking about Democrats, he’s not an outsider independent, but one of the team.

You remember teams, before we were all in it for ourselves? You can’t win without a team, ask Serena Williams, who got signals from her coach illicitly during the Open.

Without optimism we die. Living in our silos we die. That’s what the internet has wrought, a Tower of Babel society. And no one seems to want to combat it. Whether it be the famous wankers wanting to use the system to promote their wares or the individuals looking to garner fame and attention. The music business has been broken by too much music. Didn’t they say the internet was gonna make it so no one wanted to make music anymore? Another negative viewpoint from those refusing to accept the present, never mind the future.

I want a better world. One of harmony, where you love your brother and sister. Where you believe you have a voice. Where injustice is not tolerated. That can get on the right course and continue to succeed.

And what impressed me most in Bernie Sanders’s screed, was the focus on climate change. You’ve got to tackle the big issues. And acknowledge facts. Without facts you’ve got chaos.

And in this era of chaos, politics reigns supreme. Because it is focused on the people. For far too long, government was in the background, life was free and easy, like in the nineties. But things have changed, and too many refuse to change with them. Like those right wingers that want to jet back to a past that didn’t exist in the first place.

The future is here. We need leaders. We need optimism. We need truth.

I’m sick and tired of everybody pulling punches, putting their finger to the wind before speaking, afraid of angering some potential constituency. Honesty is the best policy. Didn’t you learn that in the first grade?

When people speak the truth it resonates.

We’ve got a war for the soul of our country right now.

This past election illustrates that despite gerrymandering more people are upset about where we’re going than aren’t.

Let those who abhor life reside in their backwater. Trumpeting their main streets and albums and buggy whips. Until you acknowledge where we are now, you can’t solve the problems.

I’m thankful that Bernie Sanders surprised me with his spot-on piece today.

That’s the power of the individual, that’s the power of the word.

Meanwhile, we’re more together, more alike than projected by the press.

Watch the parade on TV, watch the NFL which has been revolutionized by passing, as a result of trying to save hits to the passer. Eat turkey. And talk. Talk is the highway to the future. And listen. And know that although you cannot change someone’s mind on the spot, you can plant seeds that will grow in the future.

So now I’m contradicting myself. Now I’m evidencing hope. I’m pro-engagement. Because I just can’t help myself. I want a better America. I want a better world. I want to take care of others. We can’t make it alone.

But we can make it here.

Not every leader is a celebrity with a clothing line and a perfume. Some rely on their essence to make it. Whether it be Neil Young in music or Bernie Sanders in politics. Be who you are. Let your freak flag fly. Know that you are enough and we can make it if we really try.

I am trying.

I know you are too.

Here’s to a better tomorrow.

Over and out.


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