Readers disagree with recent contributions from our columnists that Bernie Sanders cannot beat Donald Trump.
As a Vermonter, I take issue with Bonnie Greer and Michael White on Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (TNE #184). As Bonnie says, Bernie is rich – total wealth approaching $2 million. But Trump, if you believe him, is over 100,000 times as wealthy.
The important point is that while the most presidential campaigns are financed by billionaires, Bernie explicitly rejects such funding.
Neither is Vermont, as Bonnie claims, a particularly rich state. It’s just below average in annual household income ($60k) and is 49th out of 50 for economic outlook.
Thanks for the warning, Michael White, but Bernie’s no Jeremy Corbyn. In four terms as mayor of Vermont’s only city, Burlington, he spearheaded its transformation from decay to a vibrant business- and arts-friendly city with a first-class university. After 28 years in Congress he has a track record of achievement, independence, toughness and collaboration.
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Arguably he would have defeated Trump four years ago – his anti-establishment stance might have attracted some of the same voters, on a more honest basis.
The destructive way in which the Democratic Party has conducted the nomination process is one of several factors decreasing the likelihood of anyone beating Trump, but belittling and oversimplifying the Sanders candidacy (not to mention Vermont) won’t take us anywhere.
As I’m not American I’m reluctant to challenge Bonnie Greer that the worst thing you can be accused of in the USA is being a socialist. Surely the worst thing to be in America is what they call a cum-yew-nist?
It is in Britain that socialism now seems to be a dirty word. Blame must be put on Mrs Thatcher but also Tony Blair, who removed the socialist basics from Labour’s constitution when he ditched Clause 4.
Until such time as Labour stop being ashamed of socialism, it has no chance of being re-elected.
“It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime” – Tom Paine, The Age Of Reason.
This one truthful and wise statement by the father of the American Revolution describes Trump and his “basket of deplorables” supporters – lest we forget Brexit – perfectly. Tom died in 1809. His work remains eternal.
Stephen Bennett, London SW4