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A world led by Bernie Sanders..
Last uploaded : Thursday 18th May 2017 at 13:04
Contributed by : Carol Gould



I love being on Emma Barnett's BBC radio 5 Live programme almost as much as I love on rare occasions being on 'BBC Newsday' with Kasia Madera - great journalists - so this morning I had a little bit of time to talk about Bernie Sanders on Emma's show.

These are my thoughts on the Vermont senator, whom a non-American friend of mine called 'scary' on FB this morning. Scary? Bernie, so loved by the young? 'Scary' and Bernie Sanders don't go together. Millions upon millions of young Americans sensed his warmth and integrity and flocked to vote for him last year. The majority of voters for him in Iowa and New Hampshire were under-25s. He was an outstanding and greatly loved 2-term mayor of Burlington and then Vermont sent him to Congress - a socialist Jew in a conservative, Catholic state! - over and over again. He was a fine constituency congressman - I had a home in Vermont, so I know - and then the state voted him to the Senate. Vermonters do not suffer fools gladly.

Over the past 18 years he has reached out to Republicans and is enormously respected by Washington legislators on both sides of the aisle. There are millions of overseas Americans and last year Sanders won the Democratic Global Primary by a landslide over Hillary and we duly sent delegates to the Philadelphia convention. Scary? Never.

The ultimate irony about Sanders is that he and Donald Trump AGREE on several issues: the detrimental effect on the American workforce of both the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the need to break up ‘Big Pharma’ - the power of the pharmaceutical industry. Bernie and Trump also had ambitions to make college tuition easier to bear for working-class families. It is notable that Donald Trump is yet to traduce Bernie Sanders in any public appearance, only to repeat over and over again ‘Bernie was stitched up by the Democratic National Committee. ‘ Exactly my sentiments. Earlier this year Sanders told a television interviewer that he would support any program that President Trump proposed if it merited his support and that of Democrats.

My point? Here is a man who campaigned for the presidency for a year and in that time the establishment Democratic machine and the Republicans could not find any ‘dirt’ on him. Hillary Clinton shoild have won Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania and no amount of screeching from Clinton supporters will convince me that Russia had anything to do with her wretched performance in those states; her referring to Trump supporters as ‘a basket of deplorable’ did more genuine damage than any Russian hacker could accomplish.

Sanders, who won just under 2,000 delegates and twenty-two states as well as the Global Primary, been the candidate and won in November, what a tranquil world we would inhabit. As of mid-May the Dow Jones Industrial Average is jittery and shares are falling. The uncertainty in the world’s markets is a reaction to the issues being raised around the firing of FBI chief James Comey; the hearings scheduled on the connection between former National Security Adviser Gen Michael Flynn and Russia and the rumours about Israeli intelligence agents being betrayed by the White House.

I stand by my belief that Bernie Sanders would have been another Franklin Roosevelt - a politician who reached across the aisle and got Republican John Gilbert Winant to convince fellow GOP legislators to support Social Security - and that the world would be a happier place had the Democratic National Committee not dismissed him as irrelevant.


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