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Bernie Sanders Hits On Winning Message He Avoided In 2016 – OpEd


video has shown up on Senator Bernie Sanders’ Facebook page, with his name on it and his face in it making all the familiar (to a small number of people) points about U.S. military spending (how much it is, how it compares to the rest of the world, how it does not produce jobs, what wonders could be achieved with a small fraction of it, etc.).

I wish there were mention of the fact that it kills huge numbers of people, or that it risks apocalypse, or that it damages the earth’s environment. I wish the alternatives proposed were not all of the bring-our-war-dollars-home variety, as if the amount of money under consideration were not enough to radically transform this and every other country.

Still, had Sanders put out this video in 2015, tens of thousands of people wouldn’t have had to petition him in vain to oppose militarism, to fill the glaring gap in his website. I wouldn’t have had to write this or this or even this.

Sanders willingly subjected himself to endless accusations of raising taxes, rather than declare that he would push for a small cut in military spending. Jeremy Corbyn has had greater success — albeit in a different country — by taking the other approach. I continue to think Sanders is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

It’s not as if Sanders doesn’t know the issues. A half-century back he would have said something very close to what I want to hear. There’s no reason why he can’t do so now. But I’m afraid that this video may have slipped through because there’s not a presidential election this year, and that such things will be nowhere to be found in the years ahead.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope that Sanders actually declares himself in favor of a serious transfer of resources from militarism to human and environmental needs. As soon as he does, I’ll start advocating for all of us to work for his election. He can keep promoting the Russiagate nonsense that was primarily invented to distract from the story of the DNC cheating him. He can publicly commit to allowing the DNC to cheat him again. He can ask Saudi Arabia again to kill even more people. But if he comes out against the military budget, that’s the big one. He will deserve the support he could have had last time.

David Swanson

David Swanson

David Swanson's books include "War Is A Lie." He blogs at and War Is A Crime and works for Roots Action. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

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