Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Presidential Run for Senator Bernie Sanders?

Senator Bernie Sanders has said that if no other populist candidate enters the 2016 presidential race, he will be prepared to do so. It is essential, he said, to have someone in the 2016 presidential campaign who is willing to take on Wall Street, address the “collapse” of the middle class, tackle the spread of poverty and fiercely oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare. (See Burlington Fee Press HERE and numerous pieces reporting on this in all the usual places.)

The above came along with news at the weekend that Kshama Sawant, who ran unsuccessfully for the Washington State House of Representatives, won a seat on the Seattle City Council, making her the first socialist to win a city-wide election in Seattle since the radical progressive Anna Louise Strong was elected to the School Board in 1916. (See here).

Warms the heart somewhat! While the chances of our seeing a President Sanders, should he decide to run, are slim in the extreme, what his candidacy would do is widen the conversation. As Ralph Nader said during an interview at In These Times
"You may not win, but you send a message that is very discomforting. First, Democratic politicians hate primaries. It disrupts their routine—their weekends. Second, they’re always afraid some dirt will come out and a lucky star will hit a primary challenger........"

Time to re-post scribbles of mine about Senator Bernie Sanders, combining posts from 2008 and 2010 :

Senator Bernie Sanders took a stand on 10 December 2010. 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 diplomatic 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.

A glance at the ephemeris for November 2016 tells that Uranus will be transiting Aries close to his natal Moon and Mars at that time; Jupiter in Libra will be heading towards his natal Venus. Uranus is planet of unexpected change, Jupiter transits usually signify something beneficial. If he decides not to run because another populist/progressive candidate does so, then it might indicate that a new, national, position would open up for him then.


mike said...

“QE may have been driving down the wholesale cost for banks to make loans, but Wall Street was pocketing most of the extra cash… the biggest ones (banks) have only become more of a cartel: 0.2% of them now control 70% of the U.S. bank assets… Amazingly, in a supposedly free market nation, QE has become the largest financial markets intervention by any government in world history.”

Andrew Huszar, Manager of Federal Reserve’s $1.25 trillion agency mortgage-backed security purchase program in 2009-2010, “Confessions of a Quantitative Easer,” Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2013

The above quote essentially states that our government is operating in a Socialist manner! But, it's very difficult for our pseudo-American patriotism to wrap around that notion.

I could sure vote for Senator Sanders! He's been very outspoken and critical of the same issues that concern me. He's against the NRA, however...so, he'll need to figure-out a way around that...or maybe there will be more gun violence that will conveniently coincide with election efforts, should he decide to be president-elect. He's fine with me, but I can see how his stand on various issues is likely to be utilized as unpatriotic in campaign ads against him. You and I like this veracity in a person, Twilight, but the general public prefers the blinders of fear mongering, capitalism, guns, machismo, and "free markets" rhetoric.

I like Green Party's Jill Stein, too...I've been impressed with her statements, but she has an unproven tenure in politics, other than campaigning. There are several issues that wouldn't appeal to the general public and would likely preclude her gathering votes.

As you state, there isn't a lot of astrological concern for him. Something that could benefit him, too, is the transiting N Node at 10* Virgo on 11-8-2016. He will have two wildcards that day: Uranus will be at the Moon-Mars mid-point and Saturn will square his Sun.

I'm not in a position to donate to political campaigns, but I probably would make an exception for him, if he ran for office.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I'm a numbskull regarding banking and financial matters, so not quite getting your point in the first part of you comment (blushes).

I'd love it if Senator Sanders were to decide to run in 2016. He has the recognition that's lacking for Jill Stein, he already has a voice, whereas she has still to find one that's loud enough, though I do admire her.

I've never donated to an electoral campaign yet, but like you I'd definitely do so for Sen. Sanders, should he decide to throw in his hat.

I wonder whether Alan Grayson might get into the race too.

It really is too soon to be speculating, but Bernie Sanders has mentioned it....so off we go into the realms of speculation. :-)

mike (again) said...

Re: The quotation from Huszar regarding Quantitative Easing (QE)

I put it here, because everyone fears socialism and fully believes that America operates with a capitalistic ideology (free markets). The USA government bail-out of our banking system is uber-socialistic...perhaps verging on communism (gasp!). China's government is constantly criticized for subsidizing its banking and industrial sectors, giving China an unfair advantage on foreign trade. The USA is subsidizing through the extremely low interest rates the Fed Reserve charges banks (aka QE), which allows banks to make loans to business at low interest rates.

This is NOT "fair market" practice, and is quite the opposite. Banks (and the auto industry) would have failed without the government intervention. The principles of capitalism do not allow government intervention in the private sector.

I should note that QE was instigated to prevent a complete collapse of American financial markets, which would have world-wide repercussions. It's too soon to evaluate the effects of QE...it may be a complete success or it may be delaying the inevitable collapse. It has rescued the banks for now and has made them very profitable (again!).

Twilight said...

mike ~ Ah yes! I see - many thanks for the explanation. :-)

So what's ok for the goose isn't ok for the gander (We the People being the gander).

ex-Chomp said...

WEll, where are those two damned cows... ha ha ha

Any way it would be interesting that senator Sanders may enter the presidential

mike (again) said...

"We the people" are footing the bill for the Quantitative Easing"!

Twilight said...

ex-Chomp ~ LOL! I think they emigrated in disgust- started a cow commune somewhere. :-)

Twilight said...

mike ~...Yes, and we're not allowed any of the same socialistic privileges/advantages for ourselves.....'cos that'd be communism, and we can't have that there here! :-/