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Tags 2020 elections , Bernie Sanders , presidential candidates

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Old 3rd February 2020, 11:39 PM   #1
Puppycow
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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bern

Please forgive the thread title; I couldn't resist.



So, if Bernie Sanders is the nominee, "conventional wisdom" among moderate Democrats is that he wouldn't be a "safe" choice because he's an avowed socialist. But if 2016 taught me anything, it's to not put too much faith in the conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom going into the 2016 election cycle turned out to be dead wrong. It could be wrong this time too.

Or perhaps not. But either way, we'll find out the answer to that question if Sanders is the nominee. We may have to pay the price of 4 more years of Trump to find out the answer, but the question will finally be settled one way or the other.

The thing is: I don't see any of the other candidates as an automatic shoo-in either. So it isn't exactly a case of "gambling" vs. "playing it safe." The candidate that appears to be the "safe" choice may not be so safe, in practice.

I actually thought somebody like Steve Bullock would be safer (a Democrat who can win in a very red state like Montana), but Democratic primary voters were never very interested in Steve Bullock, or Hickenlooper. Of those that remain, I perceive possible weaknesses with any of them. None of them are really a sure thing anyway, so maybe it could be Bernie. Also, if you're worried that he's too socialist, well, he isn't really going to be able to get his agenda through congress anyway, most likely. It'll have to be more modest reforms.
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Old 4th February 2020, 12:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Please forgive the thread title; I couldn't resist.

So, if Bernie Sanders is the nominee, "conventional wisdom" among moderate Democrats is that he wouldn't be a "safe" choice because he's an avowed socialist. But if 2016 taught me anything, it's to not put too much faith in the conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom going into the 2016 election cycle turned out to be dead wrong. It could be wrong this time too.

Or perhaps not. But either way, we'll find out the answer to that question if Sanders is the nominee. We may have to pay the price of 4 more years of Trump to find out the answer, but the question will finally be settled one way or the other.
Not a chance. To me, Bernie is likely to be another McGovern, who supposedly settled that question 48 years ago. It is at once a significant weakness (and a surprising occasional strength) that the Left declines to learn the lessons of history.

This is innate. We have a name for people who think history has many lessons to teach us: conservatives.
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Old 4th February 2020, 01:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Not a chance. To me, Bernie is likely to be another McGovern, who supposedly settled that question 48 years ago. It is at once a significant weakness (and a surprising occasional strength) that the Left declines to learn the lessons of history.

This is innate. We have a name for people who think history has many lessons to teach us: conservatives.
Different time, different country (in the metaphorical sense of course), different issues.

If he does lose McGovern style, then it will be a "teachable moment" though. But I'm agnostic about that. 2016 showed that we can't be so certain about things. It doesn't seem as far-fetched to me as the idea of Trump actually winning did in 2016.
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Old 4th February 2020, 01:38 AM   #4
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If Sanders is the nominee and loses to Trump, I will stop posting in the ISF forums for an entire year, 365 or however many days to the date.
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Old 4th February 2020, 02:57 AM   #5
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Every likely Democratic candidate reeks of failure. I wouldn’t trust Biden, Warren or Saunders to run my local tennis club.

Mind you, if Trump was running that club, it would already be closed and the land sold off, and any attractive women members assaulted.

This is the tragedy of the US, the UK, Australia and who knows how many democracies. Not an inspiring leader in sight.
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Old 4th February 2020, 04:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
This is the tragedy of the US, the UK, Australia and who knows how many democracies. Not an inspiring leader in sight.
Labour gets a new leader in the UK next month. Depending on who that is, they may end up being credible. 2 out of the 4 have potential, including frontrunner Keir Starmer.

So we'll see - not only who wins, but what they're like once they do.
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Old 4th February 2020, 05:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Labour gets a new leader in the UK next month. Depending on who that is, they may end up being credible. 2 out of the 4 have potential, including frontrunner Keir Starmer.

So we'll see - not only who wins, but what they're like once they do.
I hope you are right. I think the Labour mindset that thought Corbyn was a good idea is alive and well though.
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Old 4th February 2020, 05:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I think the Labour mindset that thought Corbyn was a good idea is alive and well though.
That would be the other two candidates.

And yes, I too worry that Labour have learnt absolutely nothing from the last 5 years or so. We'll see.
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Old 4th February 2020, 05:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Different time, different country (in the metaphorical sense of course), different issues.

If he does lose McGovern style, then it will be a "teachable moment" though. But I'm agnostic about that. 2016 showed that we can't be so certain about things. It doesn't seem as far-fetched to me as the idea of Trump actually winning did in 2016.
Indeed. If past elections were destiny, Trump would have gone down in flames like Goldwater.

The electorate today is vastly different than the electorate of the the 1960's.
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Old 4th February 2020, 05:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
If Sanders is the nominee and loses to Trump, I will stop posting in the ISF forums for an entire year, 365 or however many days to the date.
Willing to qualify that? I could easily see centrist dems spiking the election by supporting some third party run or write-in campaign. Bloomberg seems like a likely candidate.

Party unity is only something they believe in when the progressives acquiesce to the centrists, never the other way.
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Old 4th February 2020, 06:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Willing to qualify that? I could easily see centrist dems spiking the election by supporting some third party run or write-in campaign. Bloomberg seems like a likely candidate.

Party unity is only something they believe in when the progressives acquiesce to the centrists, never the other way.
The centrists are all those black and latinx people the progressives are supposed to be woke about.
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Old 4th February 2020, 06:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The centrists are all those black and latinx people the progressives are supposed to be woke about.
Bernie is polling second with black voters behind Biden.

I suspect that the technocrats that control the party will take a "Never Bernie" approach and would support a third-party, self-financed Bloomberg run.
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Old 4th February 2020, 06:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Bernie is polling second with black voters behind Biden.

I suspect that the technocrats that control the party will take a "Never Bernie" approach and would support a third-party, self-financed Bloomberg run.
Thats pretty far-fetched.

Why is it, do you suppose, that the "centrists" would prefer that Sanders not get the nomination?
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Old 4th February 2020, 07:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Thats pretty far-fetched.

Why is it, do you suppose, that the "centrists" would prefer that Sanders not get the nomination?
Because they are hostile to the progressive wing and fear losing control of the party.
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Old 4th February 2020, 07:06 AM   #15
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I don't see much evidence for that interpretation.
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Old 4th February 2020, 07:06 AM   #16
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If you like Bernie, have you tried Warren? In a blind taste test 8 out of 10 cats either preferred Warren or couldn't tell the difference. And Warren is 30% more fat free than Bernie by volume mass weight! Ask your grocer if Warren is right for you!
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Old 4th February 2020, 07:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Bernie is polling second with black voters behind Biden.
....at 15%, compared to 44% for the moderate

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/1...-voters-084285

There are good second places and bad second places. This is the bad kind.
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Old 4th February 2020, 07:46 AM   #18
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The depressing thing is, even if Bernie wins, he won't really have a mandate to make the kinds of radical changes his radicalism promises. For me, I'd be content with such a no-op president. But only if most Americans also see and understand this.

What will probably end up happening is people will expect Bernie to push his brand of progressivism on a sharply divided nation, and then get unreasonably angry when that works about as well as you'd expect.
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Old 4th February 2020, 08:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The depressing thing is, even if Bernie wins, he won't really have a mandate to make the kinds of radical changes his radicalism promises. For me, I'd be content with such a no-op president. But only if most Americans also see and understand this.

What will probably end up happening is people will expect Bernie to push his brand of progressivism on a sharply divided nation, and then get unreasonably angry when that works about as well as you'd expect.
Yeah, I mentioned in the OP that he won't be able to get his agenda through congress without a lot of compromises that will water it down. But that't only to be expected. Heck, even a watered-down version of his agenda may be hard to actually achieve. But I do think healthcare reform, a raise to the minimum wage and a few other things would be in the realm of possibility. A president, unless he has massive coattails, can't just tell congress what legislation to pass.
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Old 4th February 2020, 08:24 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
The conventional wisdom going into the 2016 election cycle turned out to be dead wrong.
Because it turned out Americans in key swing states found a throwback message centering on unapologetic xenophobia, mercantilist trade policy, and White Christian Nationalism to be surprisingly appealing.

Bernie only checks one of those boxes, at best worst.
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Old 4th February 2020, 08:29 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Yeah, I mentioned in the OP that he won't be able to get his agenda through congress without a lot of compromises that will water it down. But that't only to be expected. Heck, even a watered-down version of his agenda may be hard to actually achieve. But I do think healthcare reform, a raise to the minimum wage and a few other things would be in the realm of possibility. A president, unless he has massive coattails, can't just tell congress what legislation to pass.
So how well do you think he will do staffing up the white house to administer the multi million member federal workforce?

Heck, can he be a good boss to a top staff of hundreds? What is his management philosophy?
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Old 4th February 2020, 09:51 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Yeah, I mentioned in the OP that he won't be able to get his agenda through congress without a lot of compromises that will water it down. But that't only to be expected. Heck, even a watered-down version of his agenda may be hard to actually achieve. But I do think healthcare reform, a raise to the minimum wage and a few other things would be in the realm of possibility. A president, unless he has massive coattails, can't just tell congress what legislation to pass.
That's why sweeping the senate is a big deal, too. Which the DNC has been apparently sleeping on.

It should also be pointed out that Mitch McConnell will road block anything the Democrats try to push if he is still the Senate majority leader. He's already called Biden a socialist on the Sunday talk shows. Biden negotiating from the middle only pushes us further to the right.

Why start from the middle then? Why not start from further left, try and take more seats, and get something closer to the agenda the Democrats claim to have?
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Not a chance. To me, Bernie is likely to be another McGovern, who supposedly settled that question 48 years ago. It is at once a significant weakness (and a surprising occasional strength) that the Left declines to learn the lessons of history.

This is innate. We have a name for people who think history has many lessons to teach us: conservatives.
Biden needs to stop being creepy with children, Bernie is too far left, I don't like the Dem chances. That said, Bernie is more sincere in what he stands for than Biden who paints the picture of a career politician although a possibly more electable one. That said, if the NYC mayor sticks it out he might just be electable more than those two.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:32 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The depressing thing is, even if Bernie wins, he won't really have a mandate to make the kinds of radical changes his radicalism promises. For me, I'd be content with such a no-op president. But only if most Americans also see and understand this.

What will probably end up happening is people will expect Bernie to push his brand of progressivism on a sharply divided nation, and then get unreasonably angry when that works about as well as you'd expect.
Very valid point, any Republican point of influence will fight him tooth and nail.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:38 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Different time, different country (in the metaphorical sense of course), different issues.

If he does lose McGovern style, then it will be a "teachable moment" though. But I'm agnostic about that. 2016 showed that we can't be so certain about things. It doesn't seem as far-fetched to me as the idea of Trump actually winning did in 2016.
And the AOC crowd will claim when she runs that it's a different time, different country, different issues.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
That's why sweeping the senate is a big deal, too. Which the DNC has been apparently sleeping on.

It should also be pointed out that Mitch McConnell will road block anything the Democrats try to push if he is still the Senate majority leader. He's already called Biden a socialist on the Sunday talk shows. Biden negotiating from the middle only pushes us further to the right.

Why start from the middle then? Why not start from further left, try and take more seats, and get something closer to the agenda the Democrats claim to have?
And what could be further to the left than not being in power at all?
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
If Sanders is the nominee and loses to Trump, I will stop posting in the ISF forums for an entire year, 365 or however many days to the date.
Why would you do that?

I think you should put your avatar at half-mast instead.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:44 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Why start from the middle then? Why not start from further left, try and take more seats, and get something closer to the agenda the Democrats claim to have?
Because 'starting from the left' is a riskier position to campaign from.

I've pointed to references to studies before that showed that, on average, candidates on the 'extremes' (of either left or right wing) have a harder time winning elections. (Not that they ALWAYS lose, just that they statistically win less.)

If you start with fewer seats in congress, you have less influence to get anything one.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:44 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Not a chance. To me, Bernie is likely to be another McGovern, who supposedly settled that question 48 years ago. It is at once a significant weakness (and a surprising occasional strength) that the Left declines to learn the lessons of history.

This is innate. We have a name for people who think history has many lessons to teach us: conservatives.
FDR won FOUR terms as a proud Progressive.

We have a name for people who refuse to learn the lessons of history and progres: conservatives.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:44 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
Biden needs to stop being creepy with children, Bernie is too far left, I don't like the Dem chances. That said, Bernie is more sincere in what he stands for than Biden who paints the picture of a career politician although a possibly more electable one. That said, if the NYC mayor sticks it out he might just be electable more than those two.
I don't think anyone would ever accuse Bernie Sanders of being a fake.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:47 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Quote:
If Sanders is the nominee and loses to Trump, I will stop posting in the ISF forums for an entire year, 365 or however many days to the date.
Why would you do that?

I think you should put your avatar at half-mast instead.
Actually I think a more appropriate symbol would be to put the avatar upside down. (Flying a flag upside down is a widely accepted sign of distress... it would be an apt symbol for another 4 years of Trump to put the avatar upside down.)
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:53 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Because 'starting from the left' is a riskier position to campaign from.

I've pointed to references to studies before that showed that, on average, candidates on the 'extremes' (of either left or right wing) have a harder time winning elections. (Not that they ALWAYS lose, just that they statistically win less.)

If you start with fewer seats in congress, you have less influence to get anything one.
But you keep letting the Republicans define "extremes". Also, one of the reason the "extreme" candidates don't win is the perceived lack of support form the party itself.

Answer this: If Biden starts from the middle and the GOP in Congress are on the extreme right, where does the negotiating go?
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:54 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
FDR won FOUR terms as a proud Progressive.

We have a name for people who refuse to learn the lessons of history and progres: conservatives.
All we need is another Great Depression to usher in a new golden age for Progressives.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:57 AM   #34
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A Great Depression and a World War.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:58 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't think anyone would ever accuse Bernie Sanders of being a fake.
Showing its possible to not agree with but respect a guy in politics. But if you want electable, Bloomberg is likely the way to go.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:58 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
And what could be further to the left than not being in power at all?
Out of power seems to be where centrism gets you. Just ask the Dems who lost 1000 seats at every level during Obama's administration and then went on to lose to the least popular candidate of all time.

By all means, go with the candidate people "have " to vote for. That works so well.
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Old 4th February 2020, 10:59 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
Showing its possible to not agree with but respect a guy in politics. But if you want electable, Bloomberg is likely the way to go.
Electable to what? There's a reason he chose to sit out the first few debates.
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Old 4th February 2020, 11:00 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
FDR won FOUR terms as a proud Progressive.

We have a name for people who refuse to learn the lessons of history and progres: conservatives.
FDR ran during the WW II era, completely different time, and the word "Progressive" is completely BS. There's little progressive about what they, the Socialists want. Nor are they i sync with the Majority of the U.S. at least in my opinion.
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Old 4th February 2020, 11:00 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
All we need is another Great Depression to usher in a new golden age for Progressives.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A Great Depression and a World War.
Give the GOP Robber Barons time...they're working on it.
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Old 4th February 2020, 11:05 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
FDR ran during the WW II era, completely different time, and the word "Progressive" is completely BS. There's little progressive about what they, the Socialists want.
Greater social equality, a broader distribution of wealth, true justice before the law regardless of race or class. I think those things are a fair definition of what Progressives want and that is a vast improvement over now.

Quote:
Nor are they i sync with the Majority of the U.S. at least in my opinion.
That is not what the polls say when the American people are asked about the specific points of the Progressive agenda: Minimum Wage, health care for all, retirement security, and so forth.
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