Letter writer: Bernie Sanders’ message resonates with the 99 percent

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Bernie Sanders’ popular message is the reason for his dynamic rise in the polls. It’s not that the public is buying into the smear campaign against Hillary Clinton. It has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton.

It’s much deeper than that. People have had enough of business-as-usual politics purchased by big-money interests that have little regard for the needs of middle-class and low-income families who make up 99 percent of the population. Sanders has spent his long political career building a well-deserved reputation of honesty and independence from Wall Street and from the general corruption of our political system.

The all-powerful multinational corporate interests and the “mainstream” news media that represents their perspective didn’t see the Sanders campaign coming and still are in denial of what is happening.

Bernie Sanders is not Barack Obama, and this isn’t 2008. The Sanders campaign is bringing to the surface an ocean of underlying injustices and misplaced priorities in the corporate-co-opted American political system. Sanders’ message is resonating deeply with the American public, including members of all sectors and demographic groups. It’s not a cult of personality. It’s a movement motivated by real issues that affect all our lives on a daily basis. The more people learn about Sanders, the more they like him and his message.

There is no acceptable reason why, in the wealthiest country in the world, millions of people can be working 40 or 50 hours a week and still be living in poverty, lacking affordable health care, decent housing and the financial ability to provide a higher education for their children, while the upper one-tenth of 1 percent have accumulated 90 percent of the wealth generated by a growing economy. Something is very wrong with this picture.

It no longer matters how much of a monetary advantage other candidates may have over Sanders in the campaign. For instance, Clinton has been spending heavily in Iowa, while Sanders has yet to spend anything on TV, radio or newspaper ads. But still he has rapidly closed the gap in the polls. The thousands who gather to hear Sanders wherever he goes speaks volumes about the hunger for authenticity that he brings to the electoral process.

We can expect that process to continue because the corporate news media are no longer the actual “mainstream” media. Social networks are now the new and real mainstream media. As members of the public, we are now capable of informing ourselves and are no longer dependent on the carefully tailored indoctrination of the network news.

And that’s why Bernie Sanders is probably going to win in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina on Super Tuesday, at the Democratic National Convention and on the presidential Election Day in November 2016.

— Avram Friedman
Dillsboro

Editor’s note: Mr. Friedman notes that his letter represents his personal viewpoint only and not any organization or group of people with whom he may be associated.

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