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The Bernie Sanders Issues Poll October 23, 2015

Posted by angryscientist in About Me, Bad Science, Feminism.
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Bernie 2016 Official Supporter Survey
Tell Us What Matters To You

A presidential campaign is about the issues. We want to know what matters to you. Submit this survey today to tell our campaign what you care about.

What is the #1 issue for you for this election?

What other issues do you care about the most?

Ending Citizens United and Reforming Campaign Finance
Fixing our Broken Criminal Justice System
Combatting the Effects of Climate Change
Reducing Income and Wealth Inequality
Immigration Reform that Helps Undocumented Workers
Fighting Institutional Racism
Ending Failed Wars and Reforming Our Foreign Policy
Enacting Paid Family Leave
Ensuring Equal Rights for LGBT Americans
Expanding Medicare for All
Make Public College Tuition-Free
Protecting and Expanding Social Security
Stopping Unfair Trade Deals
Taking on Wall Street and Breaking Up Banks
Defending Women’s Rights to Choose
Protecting Workers’ Rights

Why do the issues you chose inspire your support for Bernie?

This was my response:

None of those are among the top issues for me. How about the causes of climate change? Is combating its effects the only environmental issue you deem important enough to mention here? Nuclear power? Fracking? Genetic engineering? The pesticide and herbicide treadmill? What about equal rights for women? Or creeping fascism, national security going way overboard? Isn’t failed wars redundant, at least since World War II? Oh I forgot, Bernie wants to continue the drone strikes. I think Bernie is on the right side of some of these issues, but maybe they don’t seem important enough to put on this list. These are just some of the reasons I will never support a Democrat for President.

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1. angryscientist - October 25, 2015

The Sanders campaign responded with an e-mail that makes it very clear that what I wrote was either completely ignored or not read. It’s a boilerplate appeal for funds that thanked me for joining his campaign, but didn’t respond to anything I wrote.

… The disastrous decisions of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case and in other related decisions are undermining the very foundations of American democracy, as billionaires rig the system by using their Super PACs to buy politicians and elections.

And the peril of global climate change, with catastrophic consequences, is the central challenge of our times and our planet.

The middle class in America is at a tipping point. It will not last another generation if we don’t boldly change course now.

After a year of travel, discussion and dialogue, I have decided to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. But let’s be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It’s about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: “Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”

Our movement needs people like you involved to help it succeed. Contribute $5 now to support our campaign for president.

I run not to oppose any man or woman, but to propose new and far-reaching policies to deal with the crises of our times. And I run because I know we must change course now, or risk losing the future for so many to the interests of so few.

A successful national campaign is a massive undertaking, especially when we will be heavily outspent. It will require the active participation of millions of Americans in every community in our country. In fact, it will require nothing less than a political revolution that combats the demoralization and alienation of so many of our people from the political process.

Let me be very honest. It may be too late to stop the billionaire class from trying to buy the Presidency and Congress. The forces of greed already may be too powerful.

But we owe it to our children and grandchildren to try. We owe it to them to make the fight and, through the power of our numbers, turn back this assault on the foundation of our democracy and our future.

We are at a moment of truth. We need to face up to the reality of where we are as a nation, and we need a mass movement of people to fight for change.

I believe America is ready for a new path to the future.

I agree with some of that, but Bernie Sanders isn’t the leader I’d pick to chart a new path to the future. Democrats always yell and scream about how Republicans want to wreck things for the middle class. Nothing new about that, and the hypocrisy is rank, especially with Obama pushing for these disastrous trade agreements. Sanders opposes those, but Hillary Clinton says she does too. That’s a new position for her, kind of hard to believe she means it, like it was hard to believe Obama was serious when he said on his campaign trail that he would revisit NAFTA.

My point is, the problems of the middle class may be troubling, but they pale in comparison with the problems of far more numerous less fortunate people, not to mention other living things, and climate change is just the tip of the iceberg. It isn’t the central challenge at all, more like a recent symptom of the disastrous consequences of capitalism as we know it. Science and industry have run amok, chasing profits at any cost. America never had much of a democracy; that rigging he talks about goes way back, and the Supreme Court decisions were icing on the cake. I’m more inclined to believe Bernie Sanders is just another liberal Democrat out there to get people to believe there’s some chance good Democrats like him will turn things around. I know he claims to be independent, but sorry, I’m not drinking his Kool-Aid.

I’m not particularly interested in politics, since it disgusts me to no end, but I’m making an example of Sanders because he’s pretending to be so different. I’m beginning to suspect he’s no better than any other Democratic greenwasher.

2. angryscientist - November 3, 2015

The Sanders campaign seems to think I’m one of his supporters, judging by all the fundraising appeals they’ve sent me since I answered that survey (I wasn’t getting any before, not being on most people’s radar). I decided to look over his issues page to see where he stands on some of the issues I mentioned. As I suspected, he makes some noise about the national security state going overboard, and he supports the Equal Rights Amendment for women. I didn’t find any direct mention of drone strikes, but there’s some vague language on the War and Peace page about fighting terrorists that would allow him to rationalize drone strikes. Otherwise he hardly distinguishes himself from Obama or Clinton, though he claims he’d “take our country in a very different direction.” He says what truly makes America exceptional is our values. I guess he means the values politicians like him honor with lip service as opposed to American values in action, which make America an exceptionally unhinged and reckless state, even among the history of villainous regimes which tried to take over the world.

One of the Issues pages is Climate Change and Environment, which is one of the shortest pages of the lot. If “the peril of global climate change, with catastrophic consequences, is the central challenge of our times and our planet,” why is that page so short? Not to mention, there’s nothing there about any environmental issue other than energy policy. Why not just call the page Climate Change? Maybe because like several big environmental groups, for him climate change is far and away the top environmental issue, nothing else comes close? My conclusion is that on some issues he may be a bit better than other Democratic greenwashers, but not on the environment!

3. angryscientist - December 11, 2015

Well, what do you know. Bernie has put up a long explanation of his plan to combat climate change. Here he has praise from the plan from the heads of Greenpeace and 350.org. I’m suspicious of both those Big Green organizations, and may at some point put them in my Greenwashers Hall of Shame.

More reasons I’m suspicious: Bernie’s plan doesn’t mention fuel cells at all, or agroecology, or the number one American source of pollution and CO2 emissions, the military. He does mention advanced biofuels.

We should emphasize new, clean technologies like cellulosic ethanol and algae-based fuels. Advanced biofuels have enormous potential to deliver dramatic reductions in carbon pollution and strengthen rural economies, …

This is one of Obama’s favorite fantasy tales, along with clean coal. At least Bernie doesn’t support clean coal, or nuclear power. These advanced biofuels will be genetically engineered, since no biofuel produced from naturally existing plants is even remotely efficient enough to pretend to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, except as compared to fossil fuels. That’s the only place he mentions anything about agriculture. Big agribusiness is itself a major source of greenhouse gases.

The Goals

Bernie’s comprehensive plan to combat climate change and make sure our planet is habitable and safe for our kids and grandkids will:

Cut U.S. carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030 and by over 80 percent by 2050 by putting a tax on carbon pollution, repealing fossil fuel subsidies and making massive investments in energy efficiency and clean, sustainable energy such as wind and solar power.

His plan is long, but far from comprehensive, and that goal will hardly suffice to keep Earth habitable and safe. If this is the best we can hope for, we are doomed. If the political will were there, we could do much better than that, but this plan only sounds good by comparison to the other major party candidates.

The United Nations Paris climate talks in December are an important milestone toward solving climate change, but even optimistic outcomes of these talks will not put the world on the path needed to avoid the most catastrophic results of climate change.

No kidding, Bernie. The first half of that sentence is BS. Those climate talks are pure greenwashing and at best represent a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.

Bernie’s issues site still gives me the impression climate change is the only environmental issue he thinks is important, or at least important enough to mention besides in passing. Yes, clean energy will help clean up our air and water, but pollution of air and water comes from many sources, not just dirty energy. Keep it up, Bernie, and I’ll put you in my Greenwashers Hall of Shame.

I’m still getting lots of solicitations for donations, as if his campaign doesn’t realize I’m no supporter of his. Obviously my attempts to communicate that fell on deaf ears (the blind eyes of a computer program that collects data, but cannot distinguish between a critic and a supporter). One solicitation asked if I had plans to donate. I answered that, giving my name as Angry Scientist google me, you’ll find out why I won’t support Democrats, and believe it or not, subsequent emails from his campaign are using that for my name.


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