From: Elle Smith of midwest-diary.blogspot.com
How do we talk to people about Bernie Sanders?
How do we talk to those whose ideals and values are very different from our own?
We don’t have to convince those who agree with us, we have to persuade those who do not.
So how do we talk to a Republican?
Republicans are Americans, as are the rest of us. One of the American values we hold high is family values. We, as Americans, value the strength of family. We value the ideal of our children achieving their goals, and of achieving more. We value education. We value a family structure that if one or both parents are working, the family should not be struggling. A strong family unit can only be strong if the basic needs are met. If the parents are working, childcare should be in place and a family should not have to struggle to make that so. I think we can agree on that. There should be enough food for the family to eat. I believe we agree on that. The parents should be able to reasonably pay rent or mortgage without fear of losing their home if they, or one of their children fall ill. This one, for whatever reasons, we struggle to agree upon. But I think as Americans, we can agree that these values are a baseline.
Unfortunately this is not the America we are living in. Parents working full-time must also receive food stamps. It is shocking how many schools across this country feed meals to their students because entire communities are below poverty level.
These are not American values. These are not Bernie Sanders’ values. Bernie Sanders wants to adjust the minimum wage to support a family in 2015 so they can depend upon their own income and are not routinely directed to receive social services.
Republicans agree than an educated America is a strong America. If our Republican friends are worried about our national security, then they will certainly agree that nothing is more important than a higher education. Our first line of defense starts with our scientists and mathematicians. Our student loan system is predatory and corrosive. Bernie Sanders advocates college affordability and a college education should not be out of the reach of anyone.
These are just a couple areas, that we, as Americans can find some common ground.
Here are some more thoughts of how we can talk about Bernie Sanders from my conversation with Colin Cole, Field Organizer for Bernie Sanders. We met in a small Mason City, Iowa coffee shop.
“Democracy, if it is working properly, is a good system. It works. The people. and what they want their government to do, should be relatively in sync. So if the majority of your constituency – whether that be in a city, or a state, or the United States – feels a certain way, in a democracy the government will represent those views, and the people will be satisfied.”
Our democracy is not currently working and our voices are not being heard. Colin went on to talk about how, yes, we each have one vote in the ballot box, but individuals can spend millions promoting their candidate, and attack others with influence that you and I will never have. Thus my vote really does have less power when another’s wealth can influence so many.
As Americans, if we can agree that a properly functioning democracy will lead to a good outcome, then our Republican friends should consider Bernie a “gateway” candidate, – whose goal is to fix the system-, so that you and I will better have our voices heard, AND our Republican friends will have a better chance to elect the candidate of whom they really want and best represents their interests next time around.