Senator Sanders And General Petraeus

Even Bernie Sanders, certainly one of the most Progressive voices in the Senate, voted to confirm General Petraeus as the new commander in Afghanistan. Sanders called Petraeus a qualified and competent leader for this historical moment, even though Sanders knows that Petraeus is one of the architects of the failed Iraqi war, and even though Petraeus plans to continue this disastrous US war in Afghanistan. The big problem exemplified here is not that all politicians, including Sanders, are bad, stupid, or the same, but rather that even the best and brightest politicians in America, the so-called progressives, have become so preoccupied with strategy, so afraid to alienate or lose the support of people, that they no longer speak for, fight for, or vote for critically important moral issues.  The National Safety Net (NSN) political proposal, or the idea that every American is entitled to a (concretely defined) decent and dignified lifestyle, is one such moral imperative that entails ending America’s imperial wars, and  it is not really controversial or considered impractical (in principle) among the most intelligent and caring individuals in this country– for these folks realize that America could easily afford it– but still this fundamental moral idea finds virtually no vocal or active support within the “progressive” community because  this community  has at least a thousand different reasons why it believes  it is not strategically smart to  push for  such an idea at this historical moment. However, when the political leadership becomes afraid to demonstrate  basic moral leadership to the people, then we end up with good people such as Bernie Sanders voting to confirm General Petraeus, and a society  in which a lot of people don’t have enough for the basics of life, while others are filthy rich, but almost no one is willing to break the false, immoral, bankrupt political consensus (of Republicans, Democrats, and Progressives) that governs or guides  this country in favor of the new, bold, positive alternative of NSN. That’s pathetic politics by any other name.

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