Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 8:42 am | Overcast 66º


Irv Beiman: Susan Estrich Should Know Bernie Sanders’ Support Is Coming from Everywhere

In a recent commentary, columnist Susan Estrich remarked that she didn’t “understand where the continued support for (Bernie) Sanders is coming from.” I offer below my strategic view of that issue.

Irv Beiman
Irv Beiman

First, consider that Sanders has stated during the Democratic presidential debates that climate change is our greatest national security threat. As a recently retired behavioral scientist, management consultant and change agent, I have been researching and publishing on climate change since 2007.

Downloading and reviewing more than 6,000 articles on the topic has led me to deeply explore why and how our climate is changing, as well as why the news media and our political process seem immune to the starkly disturbing reality that we face.

Second, consider the legalized corruption of our democratic process that has been enabled by the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The enormous growth of Super PACs and the obscene increase in political contributions from corporations has established the power of corporate donations to buy votes on the key issues affecting shareholder value.

The common good is simply not in their equation. The only variables of interest are short- and long-term profit of the corporation. The Koch brothers’ funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council has enabled model legislation to be written at the state level specifically to support corporate profits rather than the common good.

Let’s compare Sanders and Hillary Clinton on these two issues. He has taken a clear position on climate change. Sanders says climate change is important and must be strongly addressed. Clinton has been relatively silent on the issue.

He intends to work toward overturning the Citizens United ruling because it has corrupted the political process. She will not do that, because she would lose the millions of corporate dollars that have flowed into her campaign coffers.

The average contribution to Sanders is in the range of $30 and it has come from almost 1 million donors. What is the average donation to Clinton and where has the money come from? Tens of millions of dollars from large corporations.

Sanders has dedicated his political career to supporting social justice and the common good. Clinton has flip flopped on too many issues, with Sanders’ polling support pulling her verbal statements in his direction.

If anyone is concerned about honesty and integrity, there is no contest between the two candidates: Sanders wins hands down. This is why he has so much support. Check it out on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.

Beyond these two issues, we the people require safe, clean and ample food, energy, water and a resilient infrastructure to deliver it. We need protection from single-minded, profit-hungry corporate interests that spoil our air and toxify our water.

We need to stop the unceasing wars that drain our national budget and increase the threats that we face resulting from an enormously powerful weapons industry that has bought votes right and left.

We need to take care of the poor souls who have been maimed and mentally wounded from so much conflict, killing and tragedy.

Sanders will control military spending and take care of veterans. Clinton will not. Why not, you might ask? Because she will be strongly influenced by the huge contributions from Big Oil, Big Pharma and the major defense contractors. Sanders refuses large donations from these powerful players in the political drama that holds us hostage to an increasingly tragic future.

The choice is clear to me. Sanders is our only hope for a Better Future, if we even have a chance at it. Clinton will take us down the same road we have been on, with business and politics as usual.

If you want a change, Sanders is the right choice. If you are satisfied with the way things are, go with Clinton. But don’t expect your children and their children to have a Better Future. It’s not possible with her. We at least have a chance with Sanders.

In answer to Susan Estrich on where the support for Sanders is coming from, it’s coming from all of us who have awakened to the reality that we face. We will not stand down. Our numbers are increasing daily.

We are standing up for what is right, and we will be heard at the ballot box.

— Irv Beiman Ph.D. has served in a variety of roles, including stress management researcher, psychology faculty, organizational change agent, management consultant, author, climate change researcher and, more recently locally, protector of Santa Barbara underground aquifers. The opinions expressed are his own.

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