The problem with Bernie Sanders and his ardent supporters is that they keep calling themselves progressive. It’s a real problem when prominent people start redefining words to their own liking and simply attach it to themselves. Sanders simply has a slightly different agenda than the rest of the Democratic leadership, and if we were to analyze this just a bit, not a whole lot, the conclusion would be evident. Here is an excerpt of Bernie Sanders speaking with the late night show host Seth Meyers…
“№1, we have got to take on Trump’s attacks against the environment, against women, against Latinos and blacks and people in the gay community, we’ve got to fight back every day on those issues. But equally important, or more important: We have got to focus on bread-and-butter issues that mean so much to ordinary Americans.”
I don’t know if Sanders thinks we are in the category of extraordinary or not in this sense, but it sure feels like there is a foremost distinction that needs to to be established and that is abundantly clear as he speaks plainly to his base of supporters — that as white people they can be better than that of Trump supporters who openly, vehemently, and even slyly side with the president on his attacks against the environment, Women, Latinos, Blacks, and people in the Gay community. But more importantly the ordinary Americans — righteously so remaining I guess should more importantly be the focus.
🤔That’s not progressive.🤨
This is not a one-off faux pas either. This has always been the crux of the Bernie Sanders rhetoric. It lacks the the socially cohesive elements and aspects of equality and meanders in and around the structural aspects that enhances and broadens white privileges.
On the matter of abolishing ICE and reestablishing a new way of administering enforcement of Immigration and Customs, Bernie Sanders seemed to have been stricken with symptoms of white fragility.
When CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Bernie Sanders on Sunday if he wants to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the senator was uncharacteristically vague. “I think that what we need is to create policies which deal with immigration in a rational way. And a rational way is not locking children up in detention centers or separating them from their mothers,” he said. “What we need is Trump to sit down with members of Congress and work on a rational program which deals with this serious issue.”
🤔That’s not progressive.🤨
The Root’s Terrell Jermaine Starr sized up Bernie Sanders well with a summation of his so-called ideological progressiveness.
For someone who is heralded as America’s leading progressive politician, Sanders’ views on race are awfully regressive. The more Sanders touches on race, the more dismissive he sounds. He and Democratic insiders can’t seem to understand that black and Latinx folks have the same economic fears as the white working-class voters they so covet. Someone who considers himself a progressive would find a way to draw parallels between these groups of people while dealing with their individual needs. A true progressive has the ability to shift gears and adjust his approach.
The New Republic even chimed in with a very plausible juxtaposition and take on Sanders and his policies.
Sanders is mostly an accurate diagnostician of American problems, and his prescriptions are simple ones: Tax the rich, expand health care, and pay people enough to feed their families. But these are radical positions only because the right wing has so successfully embedded hostility to welfare and government services in American political life. In previous eras, Sanders would have been a relatively mainstream politician.
Mr. Sanders only confuses people about what being a progressive truly is. A society that truly appreciates the intricacies of its remarkable interdependence would want to highlight these wonderful features with policies that reform and dismantle social ills. That is progressive. A society hell bent on exploiting the marginalization and discrimination of minority groups, in rather subtle but obvious ways, for group think vanity and insanity is a regressive one.
Progressiveness has nothing to do with painstakingly having to make a distinction about the importance of or emphasize the focus on ordinary Americans who want to do the right thing by marginalized groups. Why not just un-marginalize them to begin with? Why not start with that? Then we will see how progressive that makes a society.