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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Only Voter Suppression Can Stop Bernie Sanders

Only Voter Suppression Can Stop Bernie Sanders

The most popular politician in the country is up against all three facets of the American political power structure, and he has already defeated two.

After weeks of inspiration and joy, there was anger and sadness this past week in the Bernie Sanders movement. After historic rallies throughout the state, Hillary Clinton’s apparent victory in New York left millions in the movement wondering whether it was the corporate media or the Democratic National Committee that was screwing them over. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but it’s a third culprit who deserves their scorn.

Yes, the DNC has actively worked to rig this primary for Hillary Clinton, by minimizing and delaying the debates, by counting superdelegates as if they vote before July’s convention, and by surreptitiously funneling money to her campaign that was solicited for down-ticket candidates.

Yes, there have also been countless instances of blatant propaganda in the corporate media, most galling perhaps the ones appearing daily in the New York Times and NPR — the so-called “N-axis” — where many thoughtful urban Democrats get their news. So tendentious has Paul Krugman become, for instance, one can only assume he’s angling for a position in a Hillary Clinton cabinet

But the Bernie movement has it’s own sources of news, thanks to the Internet you’re using right now, and the campaign has its own sources of funds, too, thanks to the number 27.

The Elephant in the Room

The obstacle that the movement has to confront right now is something else: the voting system itself. (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 4:30 pm on April 26, 2016

There Is a Moderate Republican in this Race, but She’s Running as a Democrat

Historical perspective on Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Who is the real Democrat — Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton? Why are fringe candidates getting all of the attention this year? Who are the moderates?

These questions can all be answered by understanding something that has been unfolding for forty years: The center of American politics has shifted steadily to the right. Today neither party is even remotely similar to what it was when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, for example, first entered politics.

In the late 1970s, as large corporations turned into transnational giants, they pumped huge amounts of cash into the political system. This largesse lured, first, the Republican Party, in the 80s, followed by the Democratic Party in the 90s, and precipitated a rightward political shift as both parties rewrote their policies to compete for the same corporate contributions.

Before this, from 1932–1976, the Democratic Party as a whole was far more progressive. The issues and approaches advocated today by Bernie Sanders (more…)

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Posted in Democratic Convention | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 12:36 am on April 18, 2016

The Five Stages of Feeling the Bern

A spark sets the fire.

 

1. Innocence. You’ve heard of Bernie from occasional appearances in the mainstream media, but you have a neutral or negative impression based on a New York Times or CNN piece. He looks so unpolished. He’s definitely unusual. You become curious.

2. Curiosity. Out of civic duty, a friend’s suggestion, or just boredom, you look up Bernie online. You go past the big media outlets and read a few articles at USUncut, TYTNetwork, DemocracyNow, Huffington Post, or one of dozens of smaller media outlets. You visit Bernie’s own website. You learn about his actual policy proposals and his impressive political history. He seems honest, his ideas are refreshing, and you find yourself agreeing with him.

3. Agreement. You’re drawn in deeper and learn about Bernie’s personal integrity, his longstanding and tenacious commitment (more…)

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Posted in Inner Life | Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 6:32 pm on April 10, 2016