Dear Bernie Sanders Supporter,
I’m writing you a letter today as your fellow citizen, and as a member of America’s growing right-wing insurgency. We have a few things to talk about. Bernie’s candidacy doesn’t look like it is going to be successful, and, as at the end of any unsuccessful campaign, it’s time to do some soul searching. Now I’m not asking you to change allegiances, or to support a candidate in the election, or anything like that. I just want to talk about America and what’s wrong with the country and try to find some common ground. As you know, we’ve got a lot of problems, and they seem insurmountable. I think that if we recognize those problems and commit to solving them, we stand a fighting chance at saving the country.
I didn’t know much about Bernie Sanders before the election started, and even though we come from different schools of thought, I’ve admired his forthrightness, his tenacity to fight for his beliefs and his ability to stand tall and proud against the biggest and most powerful political machine in the nation. Considering the lack of personal scandals unearthed since the campaign started, it would seem that he is personally more moral than most politicians.
In addition to that, we all know Bernie isn’t losing because he has inferior ideas or is worse at explaining them. Bernie is losing because he faces an entrenched political machine that uses the very worst kind of favor-trading, grievance mongering, victimhood manufacturing and political patronage we all despise in politics.
One of Bernie’s best qualities is his ability to identify the problems within our society. The university system is the single biggest problem in America. The big banks and large multinational corporations don’t care one iota about America or the people in it and coordinate with the government to get special favors. Income inequality is the symptom of the sickness that ails America. Bernie Sanders diagnoses these issues as well as any politician does.
These are problems that people revolting against the conventional right-wing also identify as serious ones facing our nation. College costs too much versus the benefit it confers. For most people who go to college, it is a rubber-stamp signifying that they are indeed relatively smart and able to follow direction. In addition to these problems, I think there’s an even greater one: college is a requirement which serves as a means to enforce conformity amongst the smartest Americans.
The right-wing insurgency also sees big banks and multinational corporations as forces opposed to the interests of Americans. They reap huge profits from our country and then hoard them in countries where they weren’t earned in order to avoid taxes. Now I’ll admit to thinking the corporate tax rate in the United States is too high, but that doesn’t mean I support large businesses subverting American laws in a way small businesses cannot.
The interests of these companies are diametrically opposed to a strong American nation.These corporations would much prefer it if America was simply an administrative district in the global economy. They shape the flow of information that reaches Americans so that they can influence American politics to suit their corporate ends instead of letting Americans chart their own path. Not only that, they help foreign governments oppress their own citizens.
After they’ve shown their disdain for America as a nation, they then expect the American government to support their perpetual copyrights. They expect the government to let them use foreign workers instead of Americans. In addition to that, they get the bureaucracy to pass regulations that benefit their corporations but hurt American citizens of all stripes. Then, despite receiving all of these unearned benefits, they expect the taxpayer to bail them out when things take a turn for the worse. It is absurd.
As incomes become more unequal, it puts huge strains on the American family. There was a time in America when a typical wage-earner, working full time, could support their whole family. Today, supporting a family comfortably requires two full time incomes. This increases stress, lowers happiness, and keeps people from taking on the roles they’d be most happy with. It means placing your children more often into the care of strangers while you work more for less.
An America with more wealth in the middle means an America where more people have the means to seek the kind of life they want most; to live in the communities they want to live in; to spend their lives doing the kinds of things that give them fulfillment. Americans today may have higher incomes than ever, but we are more a slave to that income than ever before.
Now you may see corporate America as the primary driver behind these problems. You’re half-right because corporate America is half the problem. The other half is a government that works with them to perpetuate ends that harm Americans.
Take for instance, our unaffordable and underperforming university system. The reason that it is too expensive is that the government and universities, with a big smile of approval from the biggest financial companies, have created a system that encourages high costs that burden average people for a decade or more.
Colleges love that the American taxpayer helps students to borrow obscene amounts of money that go straight to pockets of administrators with confusing job titles. That way they can keep charging extremely high tuitions without repercussion. Big banks love this because they know these debts can never be discharged through bankruptcy, and they can keep collecting interest payments after buying the loans.
If we simply gave disadvantaged but talented students direct aid instead of perpetuating this broken, complicated system, we’d lower costs and make sure our best students got to go to college. If the government helped legitimize alternate, cheaper credentialing systems, we’d lower the cost even more, and some people would be able to skip college and get on with their lives without debt or lost years of work.
When it comes to the ways corporations and the big banks screw over the average American, it is almost always aided and abetted by the government. There are numerous cases where a business used its influence in government to declare its competition “unsafe” or “dangerous to the environment”. The reason the taxi industry has been calling in all of its favors to stop Uber isn’t because it is highly civic-minded. Like any large business, the taxi industry wants to use the government to protect and increase their profits at the expense of citizens and small businesses across America. The people in government often owe their job to these businesses, and favor them over the public interest.
On the immigration front, the government works alongside these rich and large corporations to hurt the average American. We see the proliferation of H1-B visas which serve to lower middle-class wages by increasing the supply of labor and creating a class of worker which has less rights than non-unionized American labor. If a company is treating an American poorly, the American can quit and find a new job. An H1-B hire cannot quit and stay in the United States. Is it any wonder companies that are known for their grueling work demands like Facebook and Google want them so much? Is it any surprise they’d want to hire H1-B employees instead of Americans?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on how corporate America and the government collaborate to hurt the citizens of this country; the ways in which the government and big business collaborate against Americans in the realm of healthcare could fill a book all by itself. It is imperative that we recognize that both groups are working together at the expense of the citizens of our great nation. We cannot allow either of these groups to reign over us. When we transfer power from one to the other, it just changes the job titles of our masters, not the underlying forces which wield power.
So long as power resides with these two groups, the government and large corporations, they will continue to collaborate for their own gain against the citizens of this country. Things like campaign finance laws and contribution limits only obscure this relationship. What needs to be done is to take power away from both sides and return it to individual citizens.
If we’re to get out of this mess, it is necessary that we put the well-being of American citizens first and focus on building their independence and freedom. As part of that, we must encourage people to think for themselves, instead of ingesting the steady stream of propaganda issued by corporate and government collaborations. It also means that our safety net needs to focus money directly at the people who need it, and not let it be perverted by the collaboration of corporate and government interests.
Now that I’ve laid out how the interests of large corporations and the government wield their powers together, and why it creates disaster for America, I hope you will be able to better see and understand people like me. In American politics, things are often framed that either corporations are the problem, or that the government is the problem. In reality, they both are the problem. Both sides of the political aisle have done a good job of supporting one half of this alliance against America while demonizing the other. The result is both thrive as America declines. Don’t support the apparatus which governs America, and don’t support multinational corporations. Support the American citizen.
–Caleb Q. Washington