Bernie Sanders’ Campaign – The End Of The Vote, Hope, And Disappointment Cycle

A few days ago, a blogger and good friend of mine, Matt Osborne, wrote a blog entitled On the Inevitable Disappointment With Bernie Sanders. This post, Bernie Sanders’ Campaign – The End Of The Vote, Hope, And Disappointment Cycle, is a rebuttal of Matt”s premise. I will review each of Matt”s 10 assertions that support his premise. However, before launching into this rebuttal, a little historical context is useful. To read the entire historical context, click on the summary of each section below.

FDR was elected to enact bold legislation to lead America out of the Great Depression and into the most prosperous era in American history.

Life following the Great Depression was difficult for most Americans
In 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt embarked on a presidential campaign to overcome the desperate conditions suffered by the American middle class. We think about this era as the Roaring 20 with

Why is the first paragraph always ignored?

The Reagan Revolution ushered in 35 years of assaults on the middle class from four distinct but related initiatives: Deregulation, Privatization, Globalization, and Tax-Cuts-For-The-Wealthy.

At the height of middle class prosperity America was confronted with its first economic challenge, the OPEC Oil Crisis. While the inflationary spiral that characterized this crisis began under the Nixon Administration, it would take its greatest political toll on the middle class and the presidency of Jimmy Carter in the late 70s. By this time, the middle class was struggling under the combined economic assault of inflation and stagnant wages. Media pundits began referring to this phenomenon as stagflation. The media called the effects of stagflation on the middle class prosperity the misery index. The mistake Carter made was insisting on governing as a fiscal conservative. Carter also turned his back on his most important constituency, the unions.

Unfortunately, America turned to Reagan in 1980 to lead us out to this crisis. No one has done more to destroy the security of the American middle class than Ronald Reagan. He ushered in the era of Deregulation, Privatization, Globalization. and Tax Cuts For The Wealthy. With a smile, a cute story , and a promise that wealth at the top would trickle down to the rest of us, Reagan rigged the American economic system to ensure that a few people would do very well and everyone else would compete for what little trickled down. While the double-digit inflation had dropped to around 4.5% by the early 80s, interest rates remained in double digits. Reagan’d presidency began with a recession and nearly 17,000 business failures and ended with the onslaught of the savings and loan crisis. The S & L crisis was the first of many corporate excesses made possible by deregulation and has cost the U.S. taxpayers over $164 billion to date.

As the steel and manufacturing industries began moving offshore, thanks to globalization, the northeast turned into the rust belt and whole industries disappeared. Most of the workers in these industries, union members with good salaries, were forced into service industries with big pay cuts or into long-term unemployment. At the same time the middle class was shrinking and salaries were decreasing, the tax burden was shifted from the wealthy to the middle class. By 1992, the housing bubble was ready to burst and a recession was lingering. America was ready to dump trickle-down economics, which George H. W. Bush had called Voodoo economics in the 1980 primaries.

Why is the first paragraph always ignored?

Democratic leadership since 1980 has been to timid to inspire the popular political revolution that characterized the FDR presidency.

Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992 promising to focus like a laser beam on the economy. He would appoint Wall Street bankers to oversee his plan to grow the economy out of the seemingly never-ending deficits. Clinton did, in fact, preside over the only federal budget surpluses since 1969. However, this turned out to be smoke and mirrors when the tech bubble burst and began wiping out most of the gains in the economy. To be fair, the middle class did enjoy a small increase in real wages during the Clinton years. However, those surpluses derived from inflated valuations of tech startup companies and the capital gains taxes their stockholders would pay on the profits. The tech bubble did prolong the housing bubble and the Great Recession that would result when it finally burst.

The George W. Bush presidency would drive the nail in the coffin of the middle class. The combination of tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy, two wars, and the final collapse of the housing market left America on the verge of financial collapse.

Why is the first paragraph always ignored?

In his blog supporting his premise that Bernie Sanders will ultimately disappoint, just as every other presidential candidate and eventual president has for the last 50 years, Matt offers the following 10 assertions.

1. His rhetorical range is narrow — and so is his appeal
2. Rhetoric aside, Bernie Sanders is just another politician
3. His potential path to the nomination also remains very narrow
4. Sanders needs the Democratic Party more than it needs him
5. The right wing Wurlitzer has yet to put Sanders on blast
6. President Sanders will not deliver peace in our time
7. President Sanders will not deconstruct the military-industrial complex
8. Bernie Sanders isn’t wearing coattails
9. ‘Changing the conversation’ does not actually change the laws
10. If this ‘revolution’ fails, we are totally screwed