The first time I pressed Yes, all I got was one of those annoying error messages, the bland equivalent of a "Danger Danger, Will Robinson, Does Not Compute!" warning siren. Nevertheless, I persisted, and after a couple more tries, I finally got my "vote" counted. (I think.) I know, I know, it was nothing but a ham-fisted push poll to get more money and gin up more resentment by Have-Not white people against Have-Not brown and black people. But nasty person that I am, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to mess even briefly with their race-baiting algorithms. It felt therapeutic for all of five minutes.
Naturally, they want to warn their base that the corporate Democratic Party has been completely taken over by Bernie Sanders in the dead of night, and that his Medicare for All bill has a fantastic chance of passing, and that the luxuriously appointed medical suites of the rich are about to turn into Siberian forced labor camps.
"The leftist dream is gaining more traction with the Democratic Party every day. Even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agrees it should be on the table. We need to let these extreme leftist Democrats like Schumer and Bernie know that Americans refuse to support a single payer health system," the email hilariously warned.
Just a few points:
-The Republicans need the Democrats as much as the Democrats need the Republicans. GOP hyperbole against such Wall Street extremists as Schumer saves the Democrats themselves the trouble of bashing the real left wing, which does not naturally reside within the Democratic Party.
-Something being "on the table" is politician-speak for an appetizer made out of such fake ingredients as thin air.
-The majority of Americans do, in fact, now support single payer government health coverage. Of course, the GOP's own twisted definition of "American" is the white, the whole white, and nothing but the white - or more specifically, the party's wealthy clients and donors. They're banking on the base being willing to starve or die for the plutocracy rather than see black and brown people score a trip to the doctor. "Let them eat resentment" just about sums up the Republican platform.
-Although Bernie Sanders has yet to release his long-promised Medicare for All legislation, the word is that it will be far less inclusive than John Conyers's HR 676, which now has the support ("on the table") of the majority of House Democrats.
According to Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Plan, Sanders is instead going the Barack Obama sellout route by offering to compromise with the privateers and the profiteers as a totally unnecessary and weak starting point in reform negotiations. Sanders is walking the tenuous line between serving the citizens of this country and serving his Senate colleagues in the exclusive millionaires' club to which they all belong.
When it comes to the healthcare crisis, the smallest incremental step is National Improved Medicare for All. That will create the system and the cost savings needed to provide universal comprehensive coverage. Throughout history, every movement for social transformation has been told that it is asking for too much. When the single payer movement is told that it must compromise, that is no different. The movement is demanding a proven solution to the healthcare crisis, and anything less will not work.You can write to Sanders here. With any luck and with any human decency, he will take your concerns and your pain a lot more seriously than the Republicans and the Wall Street Democrats currently do. And keep in mind, of course, that he is no populist savior; like all politicians, he is a mere instrument and a public servant. All the billionaire donations in the world do not translate into actual votes, as Hillary Clinton could very ruefully tell him.
With so many people now taking matters into their own hands and offering their own powerful helping hands in flood-ravaged Houston, what better time than now to build on this newfound solidarity? People of all ethnicities and skin colors and classes are proving that we're all in this together, that we can sink or we can swim together, and that class and race have always been mutually intertwined.
Before the catastrophic flooding, we'd already been taking the first important step: a widespread recognition, in the wake of Charlottesville, of the racist/oppressive/militaristic American past and how it has evolved seamlessly into the neo-feudal present of the most extreme wealth inequality in modern history.
We have a choice: we can use this crisis to become a more humane country, or we can allow the privateers and the profiteers to use it as just one more excuse to crush people into ever deeper levels of submission.