David Avella: Bernie Sanders' socialism has won – Democrats fully embrace his agenda

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has already won. Even if former Republican Michael Bloomberg and the Democratic establishment steal the nomination from him, Sanders has won. His self-described democratic socialist ideas have become the central and consistent message of his rivals for the Democratic nomination. 

Beyond Sanders going three for three so far and his strong position going into Super Tuesday, he is controlling the discussion among Democrats and essentially pushing disagreements to the margins. Even the progressives writing editorials at The Washington Post recently attempted to downplay the need to nominate Sanders by claiming there were no moderates in the race. In other words, any of the candidates would give “progressives” what they are seeking.

 Let’s go through the key issues motivating the faithful in the Democratic Party. 

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When Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., started pushing her version of Sanders’ “Medicare for All”, the cost estimates were so astoundingly high that even hard-core progressive groups expressed misgivings. Yet, after some hemming and hawing, even the Democratic candidates who are not fully on board still would expand Medicare and have government more in control of our health outcomes. Think about that for a second. The Democratic candidates would have doctors and nurses following the same work rules and standards as government employees at every other government agency.

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At least Bernie has the decency to be somewhat honest about what he wants. He confirms his “Medicare-for-all" plan flat eliminates private insurance — “that’s gone.” He also openly admits that anyone making more than $29,000 a year (about half the average household income) would see their taxes go up.

Sanders and his debate stage partners also suggest prisons are full because of minor drug offenders. As Rafael Mangual, a fellow and deputy director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute points out, most of our criminal justice laws are created and enforced by state governments, not the federal government. Mangual emphasizes that four times as many prisoners are convicted of murder, robbery, rape/sexual assault, burglary or aggravated/ simple assault states as those convicted of drug offenses. Our country needs to take a hard look at the state of New York, which lifted bail and allowed inmates to go free, to get a better understanding of the full impact of Sanders and his cohorts’ desire to release 50 percent of those in prison. 

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For those tired of having school loans, Sanders would hit delete on making any additional payments. To those who honored their commitments and repaid their debts, he would condescendingly pat them on the head for being responsible.  It’s not surprising that this is exactly the same approach that others such as Warren have embraced. Sanders’ rivals for the nomination stand in line ready for their turn to tell us what is fair. Further, all of them favor some form of “free” college and/or continuing education.  But here’s what they leave out: when taxpayers can’t turn over enough to pay for all to attend college, then the federal government decides who goes and who does not.

The Democratic Party is fully embracing the ideas of a self-described democratic socialist who has never appeared on any ballot as a Democrat, except when he has run for president.

 With the Green New Deal, Democratic candidates’ concern for the environment is mere cover for what the impact will truly be for Americans. The “Deal” would see the largest shift of decision making away from Americans and to government overlords in our country’s history. Quality of life would decline with the amount of taxes needed to pay for their alleged environmental protections. One example economists provide is gas taxes would need to go up by $10 to $15 per gallon. According to Sanders, “you cannot go too far on this issue.” Some of his opponents might quibble on how to have the government take more control of everything from the car we drive to how we power our electronics, but none dare oppose the Green New Deal. They all agree we have to flat eliminate the use of fossil fuels. As Sanders puts it: “End of discussion. There is no middle ground.”

Even former New York Mayor Bloomberg sounds as if Sanders is writing his speeches. His mocking of farmers and praising of technology elites could just as easily have come out of Sanders’ mouth. Plus, Bloomberg is now following the non-written rules to be accepted by progressives, with an apology tour for his success and white privilege. Imagine living in a country where the government decides how much each American earns, the jobs they will work and the path their lives will take.

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 Win, lose or draw, the Washington Post has it right. The Democratic Party is fully embracing the ideas of a self-described democratic socialist who has never appeared on any ballot as a Democrat, except when he has run for president. Sanders has the Democratic Party singing his song, one even President Obama has suggested is too extreme for our nation. 

 With the takeover of the Democratic Party by progressives and know-it-all activists complete, all that remains is a decision on whether or not to let Sanders sit in the high chair over the festivities or to give the honor to someone else.  

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