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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 11:10 am | Fair 55º


Letter to the Editor: A Reply to Susan Estrich on Why Democrats Love Bernie Sanders

This a fact based reply to Susan Estrich's April 14 piece on Why Democrats Love Bernie, point by point. I acknowledge that Ms. Estrich has been a campaign manager and must certainly be more skilled than I in creating media "spin". I have a different background, with more than 100 years of old school print journalism in my familial DNA. As a psychologist and management consultant for 40 years, I was trained in ethics and objective reporting of data and believe that the truth should always come first. As a published author of more than 25 experimental reports and innovative case studies in the top peer reviewed journals of my field, I stand by the statements made below as being true to the best of my knowledge. 

The CAPS refer to statements made by Ms. Estrich. 

BERNIE IS CUTE? Ms. Estrich suggests younger voters are calling him "cute".  In reviewing several hundred articles about Bernie Sanders since August, I have never seen one that referred to him as cute. There are serious reasons for Bernie getting the youth vote, in some cases 65-80%, depending on the state. These reasons are shared below. 

FATAL HILLARY FLAW?  Ms. Estrich dismisses the possibility up front and early in her opinion piece that Hillary has a fatal flaw. My research clearly indicates there are serious and valid reasons for voters preferring Bernie over Hillary. The flaws that Bernie supporters see in Hillary include her apparent untrustworthiness and her history with supporting fracking, Walls Street and the petrochemical industry. 

1 Trust - Hillary has flip flopped on so many issues [Keystone Pipeline, Fracking and Minimum Wage to name just three] that many voters believe she is changing her public position based on polling information and the fact that Bernie is on the popular side of these issues. Her acceptance of enormous speaking fees from Wall Street, including $675 thousand dollars from Goldman Sachs, makes millions of people wonder, "Why won't she share the transcripts of her speeches?" Her reply that she'll do it if the Repubs do it does not satisfy voters. She is being investigated by multiple arms of the federal government, including the FBI and the Justice department. This is a major weakness that the mainstream media have avoided publicizing. The FBI has granted Brian Pagliani immunity from prosecution so he can be deposed. This creates deep voter suspicion that she misused her position at the State Department to funnel contributions to the Clinton Foundation in return for government favors, arms sales to foreign countries and more. Because of her private email server, she has given the appearance that she avoided following standard protocol and legal requirements so as to avoid FOIA requests that could prove embarrassing, at the least, and at the worst, criminal activity. Gen Hayden has been quoted as saying the private email server is her "original sin". While it is true that using a personal email account is not that unusual, no one at her level has ever installed a private email server in their home and at the same time avoided even having a dot.gov account. Such accounts are required for security and for transparency in government to enable FOIA requests from the public. This is a fatal flaw in my considered opinion. 

2 Fracking, the Environment and Climate Change - While representing the State Dept and US Government, it is well known that Hillary travelled to many countries to promote fracking to the detriment of that country's environment. The "Halliburton Loophole" avoids public disclosure of the toxic chemicals used in fracking because they are treated as a "trade secret". The oil companies have contributed handsomely to the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation. Democrats who are concerned about the environment and toxification of our underground water aquifers do not accept that Hillary has truly changed her position on fracking. Bernie Sanders publicly stated in one of the early debates that climate change is our greatest threat to national security, and later that he would stop or ban fracking. Hillary has not taken a strong position, and if she did, it would be another flip flop, giving the appearance she is stating a change that she will not follow through on. In the most recent debate, Bernie expressed deep concern about climate change and called it an urgent crisis. My research several years ago reviewing more than six thousand articles on climate change indicates Bernie is correct. It is an urgent crisis requiring a mobilization of the kind this country accomplished in WW2.

WALL STREET? Ms. Estrich states "Sanders assault on Wall Street, depending on who you talk to, would either destroy the American economy or at least change it radically."  It is well documented that over 170 economists have agreed with and supported Bernie's Wall Street and other economic proposals. Bernie has proposed a one trillion dollar infrastructure development program that will create 13 million jobs and be paid for by approximately one hundred billion USD per year over ten years drawn from a tax on Wall Street.

GETTING THINGS DONE? & FREE COLLEGE ? Ms. Estrich says Clinton has "spent too much time in Washington trying to actually get things done to run around with 'pie in the sky' promises of free college for everyone, along with a chicken in every pot."  Bernie has gotten more amendments passed than any other senator [and with voice votes!] by working behind the scenes building coalitions across the aisle. He has served on numerous committees in responsible positions. On free college tuition, he has proposed that public colleges and universities would be free, and the cost would be paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculation of less than one tenth of one per cent [it may be much smaller but I don't know the exact figure]. Private schools would continue to charge tuition.  Bernie's proposal of free college is considered normal in most other industrialized and developed economies. As a mayor of Burlington Vermont, Bernie implemented many innovative programs in a practical manner that required agreement from multiple parties with diverse points of view, so he can be expected to operate in a similar effective manner as President.

DOESN'T CHOOSE HIS WORDS CAREFULLY? Ms. Estrich implies that Bernie has not chosen his words carefully. As one who has read everything they can get their hands on about Bernie, watched all the debates and Town Halls, and as a psychologist who has conducted several thousand leadership assessment center observations, I am of the professional opinion that Bernie DOES choose his words very carefully. I have come to the conclusion that he has thought through the issues very carefully with respect to root causes, and reached a conclusion about how most of the strategic issues can be dealt with. He publicly gives us his conclusion without sharing the thinking process that went into the formation of that conclusion, but the thinking process is clearly there. In contrast, Clinton chooses her words carefully as well, but gives the appearance of doing so to win votes, rather than be coming from a particular principle, such as social justice, income inequality, respond to corporate greed, and more.

NOMINATING PROCESS INTENTIONALLY STRUCTURED TO THE ADVANTAGE OF INSURGENTS? I am shocked that Ms. Estrich could make such a statement, especially when the DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been quoted as saying just the opposite when she explained the reason for having Superdelegates. Ms. Estrich must be very aware of the reasons for the Dems having superdelegates, and it is NOT to make it easier for Bernie!  Interestingly, in several states, Bernie won the popular vote by close to a landslide and won more unpledged delegates, but when the superdelegate were counted, Hillary ended up with more total delegates than Bernie!  This is because she sewed up their allegiance to her candidacy very early in the process before Bernie's campaign was rolling and before his popularity was evident. Plus, the DNC has contributed handsomely to many of the superdelegate campaigns, giving the appearance that superdelegate votes have been "bought". 

WHAT MS. ESTRICH DOESN'T SAY IS... that the mainstream media [MSM] have done a shockingly poor job of covering Bernie's candidacy. Their bias is so clear as to be deeply disturbing to millions of voters. Bernie has broken records in many states for attendance at his rallies. His passion for righting wrongs and supporting the 99% has ignited a fire in millions of voters. More than 40,000 in New York City just a few days ago, counting the 27,000 in Washington Square and another 13,000 in the streets, according to NYPD.  The MSM barely covered that event, which has been the same response to most of his events. 

Santa Barbara County residents hopefully know the TRUTH about Bernie. It is clear to me that his positions will help the county move toward a cleaner healthier more economically sound future. 

Irv Beiman
Santa Ynez

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