So the election is history, and now many Democrats are wringing their hands and trying to figure out how they “lost” an election where they gained seats in both houses of Congress and their presidential candidate received some three million more votes than the man who is about to occupy the White House.
But there is at least one Democratic leader who isn’t about to take the election results lying down. And until this past year or so he wasn’t even really a Democrat.
Bernie Sanders is leading the opposition to Donald Trump and his xenophobic, corporatist agenda. On December 28 he, along with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, sent a letter to Democratic members of Congress inviting them to join him on January 15 for a “day of action.”
Even though the letter was signed by three Democratic leaders, the wording of it leaves no doubt about who is spearheading the effort. The letter asks Democrats to organize rallies across the country in their districts, and tells them who to contact with questions: Senator Sanders.
Republicans are set to drastically alter the health care landscape in the country, and Sanders intends to continue the fight to stop them. Not only are the millions of Americans who have benefitted from Obamacare in danger of losing their health insurance, GOP leaders are preparing an all-out assault on Medicare and Medicaid.
The letter highlights Republican budget proposals that would seriously restrict access to health care for many Americans. According to Schumer, Pelosi, and Sanders, GOP plans would
- Take away health care coverage for more than 30 million Americans by dismantling the health care system.
- End guaranteed Medicare benefits for millions of older Americans by converting Medicare into a voucher program.
- Slash Medicaid and threaten nursing home care for more than 4 million vulnerable seniors.
- Jack up prescription drug prices more than $1,000 a year for more than 5 million seniors and people with disabilities.
- Slap a $4,800 tax hike on millions of average Americans, while providing hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country.
Sanders is one of a handful of Democrats who seems willing to vigorously counter Republicans, and it’s good to see other Democratic leaders are starting to recognize he has the support of many left-leaning voters. Over the years since the party chose to align itself with corporate interests Democrats have responded to electoral losses by moving to the right. The inclusion of Bernie in Democratic leadership is a signal that this time will be different. Let’s hope he is able to bring the Democratic party back to the positions of FDR, and away from the “Republican lite” party of the past 30 years.
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