I never was a fan of Bernie. Bernie has never been for me just a person. Bernie is an idea. No, Bernie is a philosophy to which, in almost all parts, I subscribe and to which I have been subscribed for most of my life. That philosophy is about what Paulo
Freire calls humanization, about growth of human consciousness toward kindness and generosity, the purging of ruthless selfishness that can be achieved when people know they do not have to fight one another to get what they need because they have spent a good part of their time on earth findings ways to insure that everyone has enough. That is a sane and humane goal and by buying into it one is him or herself humanized, capable of and wanting to celebrate the wonder that is the human being, that being more fully realized each minute and hour and day by further discovery of the capacities of the human mind.
Bernie, the philosophy, is based in a profundity of empathy, a what hurts you hurts me sensibility that prevents the one doing harm to another one. The individual is precious and the primary goal of government is to allow all to grow fully as individuals while supporting a system of constraints that individuals agree to impose upon themselves for the sake of a society that allows all amongst many to live as freely as possible. The primary work of good government is to discover, promote, and perpetuate the common good, it, to a large extent, manifest in the freedom to think and form opinions that contribute to the formulation of policy–in the realm of the personal and in the realm of the societal–that makes possible the best conditions for the best possible life.
This is not the philosophy that guides shapes our current policies and the actions that result from those policies are patently inhumane. One child starving as a result of policy or for the lack of humane policy indicates that humane society has not been achieved and, the ongoing creation of policy that is inhumane, according to our Declaration of Independence, violates nature’s law, makes for an unnatural and rancid society.
Some of us hate living in a rancid society in which many children and many adults, a great many too many when one is tragedy enough, are allowed under policy formulated by the governing to live miserable lives while, at the very same time, others live gluttonous lives, these made possible in good part by the misery of those others. Bernie philosophy has it that this should not be. Bernie’s take on the current reality is that the few have been exploiting, crushing the humanity out of the many, that many ever more so being excluded from participation in the decision making process by which their lives are shaped.
Cruelty was a part of Bernie’s defeat. Selfishness was a part of Bernie’s defeat. Fear of change when that one child and the many need the help of a humane society to be allowed to exercise their right to live decently.
America has always been about goodness and doing right. Platitudes! Propaganda! The big lie that somehow is effective in turning people away from seeing the nastiness of American reality. Last democratic convention, the good old boys and girls that pushed for Hillary constantly repeated the phrase “America is already great.” It was a lie. None there could have believed it if they possessed the least bit of humanity, if they cared at all about the plight of the suffering of that many harmed by the greatness of the system they wanted to keep in place. It was an inhumane chant meant to cause people to vote for a twisted reality that would work to serve the interests of those with their bellies already full at great cost to those already hungry.