Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent Socialist.

Senator Bernie Sanders took a stand on 10 December. It's time someone did so. Our President appears to have forgotten what the people elected him to do.

In a speech lasting over 8 hours Senator Sanders (Independent-Socialist) from Vermont, made good on his threat to present a kind of "filibuster" against President Barack Obama’s deal with Republicans to extend the Bush Tax Cuts in exchange for an extension on unemployment benefits.

Senator Sanders began as follows, full transcript of the speech is at his website, linked at the top of this post. Some highlights are shown in a video HERE.

Mr. President, there is a war going on in this country, and I am not referring to the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan, I am talking about a war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in this country against the working families of the United States of America, against the disappearing and shrinking middle class in our country. The reality is that many of the nation’s billionaires are on the war path. They want more, more, more. Their greed has no end and apparently there is very little concern for our country or for the people of this country if it gets in the way of the accumulation of more and more wealth and more and more power....................
(And later) How can I get by on one house? I need five houses, ten houses! I need three jet planes to take me all over the world! Sorry, American people. We've got the money, we've got the power, we've got the lobbyists here and on Wall Street. Tough luck. That's the world, get used to it. Rich get richer. Middle class shrinks

The voice of Senator Sanders is a voice in the wilderness - but it is at least one voice, and from what I've read in articles and comments since Friday he has a lot of appreciative supporters.

Why then, does the very word "socialist" strike fear and loathing into the hearts of so many in the USA? Bernie Sanders presented what are broad socialist ideals in his speech. President Obama, ridiculously labelled "socialist" by some Republicans is so far from matching that label that it'd be funny, if it were not so serious for the majority of the ordinary people of America. And don't forget, "the ordinary people" are the majority, they ARE America.
Update: Yesterday the Senate moved the Bill forward. Only 8 voted against it, including Senator Sanders, of course. Perhaps the House of Representatives will offer more opposition.

What follows comes from a post of mine written in 2008, after Senator Sanders had appeared on the TV show Real Time with Bill Maher.

Socialism. The very word strikes fear in the hearts of too many Americans. However, if a politician is shrewd enough to call it Populism - then it sneaks in by the back door. Bernie Sanders is too straightford a character to mince his words in order to pander to his public.

Socialism. It's impossible to define it in a few words. Researching the internet on the subject only serves to confuse a simple mind like mine. In the smallest of nutshells, and slightly tongue-in-cheek, the "2 Cows Philosophy" defines it thus:

You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So what?

Interestingly, the same list also defines:

A CHRISTIAN: You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

Compare "A Socialist" with "A Christian". It's odd, isn't it, that in a country so proud of its Christian values, socialism is derided and feared ?

Throughout the show (Real Time) Bernie Sanders' responses elicited enthusiastic cheers from the audience. Granted, it was a largely liberal audience, but the fact that a socialist's words were accepted by them so graciously was a baby step forward. In the United States socialism is more often than not equated with communism. It's a serious mistake which has been fed to the public by right-wing pundits.

A quick look at the natal chart of Bernie Sanders then. Perhaps he has the astrological patterning to make a brand of socialism palatable to Americans.

Is there some reflection of his political leanings here? Aquarius planets perhaps, or strong Uranus - both have connections with socialist thinking. Born 8 September 1941, New York NY. No birth time known, so this is a chart set for noon on his date of birth. Ascending sign and exact degree of Moon in Aries not shown.

Hmmmm....no Aquarius (unless it was the rising sign, which we can't know without a birth time). His Sun lay smack-dab in the middle of Virgo indicating a discerning and critical nature, one that can separate the wheat from the chaff with consummate ease.

Mercury (mental processes and communication) is found in an early degree of the more tactful and dipolimatic Libra, and trines Uranus at 00 Gemini - here's that socialist rebel mindset of his! And.... Saturn is conjunct Uranus, albeit in a very late degree of adjacent sign, Taurus.

Saturn and Uranus are opposites in essence. Tradition versus the avant garde, the old versus the new, status quo versus change, capitalist versus socialist. Bernie Sanders has them well-blended in his personality blueprint!

The signs the two planets occupy, Gemini and Taurus, could also be said to represent opposite ideas - free thinking, adaptable (Gemini) and the more traditional fixed mind-set (Taurus). He has an innate understanding of traditional values, but with a yearning to modernise and improve them to fit 21st century needs, and the unusual talent of being able to communicate on both levels. These characteristics have helped him to make his brand of socialism acceptable in Vermont, one of the first 13 states, steeped in tradition, yet willing to step into the 21st century with Senator Sanders.


Gian Paul said...

The natal horoscope of Bernie Sanders, although "disappointing Twilight's hunger for some planet in Aquarius" is very much proof that the man is genuinely with his people.

Venus in Libra (ruling) stands for empathy and justice, Mars opposite, in Aries (also ruling that sign), conjunct Moon for emotional involvment and readiness to fight for his folks. That Mars being retrograde probably adds to his standing power (8 hour speaches remind me of the Kremlin under Chruschov).

And then his map is void of planets for 6 full signs, from Libra to Aries, opposing America's Sun in Cancer. Probably Sanders truly feels the void left there to so many poor by an otherwise very rich nation.

Without being cynical, a billionaire (the average fortune of American billionaires appears to be of the order of some 20 billion, Bloomberg being just there, average) can easily forget about half his fortune.

Say he spends half a million per day (have to do it, not easy, must keep you damned busy!) he can go on with the one half left to him (and not counting interest it will accrue) for about 55 years. In detail: 182 million per year x 55 = 10 billion.
Facebook's Zuckerman must have done some of these arithmetics.

PS. At confirmation, back in Switzerland I received my first whatch from an uncle. He did not miss the opportunuty to explain to me (that was in 1958, cold war-time) what communism was:

A communist, if they take over, he said, will also take your watch - then you must ask him what time it is...

Wisewebwoman said...

A true hero in every sense of the word, doing what the prez has failed to do at every turn, honour his promises and the people who so believed in him they gave him the highest honour in the land and to protect them from harm.
Lovely post, T.
PS Where are the rest of the hero/ines?
Lapping at the feet of the puppeteers.

gainstreiquan@interfree.it said...

Indipendent nad socialist, it is a long age we do not hear these words anymore... Let us hope to hear them again at least few, but again...

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~ Thank you for your additional insights GP - much appreciated!

Millionaires and billionaires - the thought of them boggles my mind ! I'd be very happy for them and wish them joy of their acquisitons, providing everyone on this planet had enough food and water and access to medicine to make their lives free of pain and worry. that's not the case, so those millionaires and billionaires disgust me.

I guess your uncle was right about communism - I'd not wish that on the USA. Aspects of socialism, though, are very badly needed now.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Thanks. :-)

There are way too few like Sen. Sanders. Only 6 other Democrats voted with him yesterday (and 1 Republican). That tells me all I need to know about Democrats. thank goodness I registered Independent !

Twilight said...

gainstreiquan@interfree.it ~~
Hi there!
Amen, my friend.....amen!

Anonymous said...

Bernie Sanders for president in 2016!!!! He's got crowds of 30,000 people showing up weekly! This could happen!!!!!

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ Yes!!! It SHOULD happen! ;-)