by Tom Calarco
Loveland is easy-going and friendly, a small town with a positive spirit. I moved here last year because of that, and the bike trail. Nothing like a relaxing bike ride to loosen up the aging joints.
I’m originally from upstate New York and had moved to Cincinnati on the west side in 2006 to further my study of the Underground Railroad (UGRR). By that time, I had completed a substantial book about the UGRR in eastern New York, and two lesser books, and had just signed a contract to do two encyclopedic volumes on people and places of the UGRR. What better place to do it than in heart of the UGRR along the Ohio River.
[pull_quote_left]Not only is the government spending money in the wrong places but for the wrong reasons. Who’s setting these priorities?[/pull_quote_left]I moved to an apartment near Anderson Ferry, still in use after nearly two centuries and which undoubtedly ferried fugitives from slavery. It seemed appropriate, geographically and spiritually. I learned a lot about the UGRR during those four years, but after completing my two books, I moved to Florida. Like many northerners, I wanted to leave the frigid winters behind for good. I lived in Orlando and Bradenton, and finally ended up in a mobile home park in Wildwood just outside the Villages, that Disney-like haven for seniors set in the middle of more than 40 golf courses. But it wasn’t right for me.
Because I had two more UGRR books about to be published, I returned north. I was familiar with Loveland because of the many times I had ridden the bike trail during my earlier years in Cincy. It seemed like a good choice. I’m still writing and researching the UGRR, but today I want to tell you why Bernie Sanders will make a good President.
I know a lot of Republicans live in this area, and some who aren’t familiar with him and listen to the right-wing propaganda go so far as to call Bernie a communist. Nothing is further from the truth. He is simply a man of the people, and if a small group is taking control of everything, and people are losing their wealth and their freedom, like what’s happening now, then we need a leader who is not controlled by these moneyed interests. And Bernie is the man.
Listen — the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is costing us $4-6 trillion, he says, and all of that is being “charged,” added to our national debt, and who do you think is paying for this, the people. At the same time, he points out, that while we can borrow unlimited amounts of money to go to war, when it comes to education, healthcare and other social programs, the government doesn’t have enough money.
Not only is the government spending money in the wrong places but for the wrong reasons. Who’s setting these priorities? Not the people, that’s for certain.
Corporations complain about taxes and the Republicans keep up their mantra, ‘lower taxes means more jobs.’ Wake up, people. If that were true, then with corporate taxes the lowest in U.S. history and corporations making record profits, why aren’t there more jobs with better wages? Oh, there are more jobs but they’re not here – they’re going overseas where the corporations pay even lower wages.
[pull_quote_right]That’s why Bernie wants to raise the minimum wage so working stiffs like most of us and many of whom have given up voting, can make a living wage.[/pull_quote_right]That’s why Bernie wants to raise the minimum wage so working stiffs like most of us and many of whom have given up voting, can make a living wage. When was the last time you had a raise? That’s probably why the income of the average worker with inflation has remained stagnant for the last 30 years while the average income of the top one percent has nearly quadrupled! Even more outrageous is that, according to one study, the average CEO now makes more than 829 times as much as the average worker! I think that most of us don’t have to be told that there has actually been a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the top ½ of 1 percent, and that it is continuing.
Bernie will stop this, or at least he will try. One way he’ll do this is to put Americans back to work, creating government programs to rebuild our deteriorating infrastructure, like FDR did during the first Great American Depression. He wants to give us better healthcare and education – if possible, make it freely available to all Americans. Why not, he says, they’re doing it in other countries, and none of them [pull_quote_left]Bernie is a man of the people. He is about fighting for the little guy and ensuring that we all get a piece of the American pie[/pull_quote_left].possess nearly the wealth of the U.S. He wants to slow down climate change and develop energy sources that will realize this goal. Yes, it will take some doing but where there’s a will, there’s a way. He supports programs to combat racism and will work to fix our criminal justice system that discriminates on the basis of race. His heart is in the right place.
When Bernie talks about socialism, what he really means is reining in capitalism that is out of control, and one step in achieving this is to break up those banks which have become “too big to fail.” This would involve reinstating legislation like Glass-Steagall, an act passed during the Great Depression which had divided commercial and investment banks until its repeal in 1999, and whose repeal some believe was responsible for the economic crash of 2008 – incidentally, Hillary, the candidate of Wall Street, opposes this. He also wants to expand Social Security and Medicare to ensure that America continues to be an equal, just, and humane society. Bernie’s kind of socialism means more oversight of trade treaties like the TPP which benefit corporations at the expense of the people. It requires overturning the anti-democratic Citizen United and lesser known McConnell Supreme Court decisions that removed limits on campaign funding and have given the rich indecently excessive influence in our electoral process
Bernie is a man of the people. He is about fighting for the little guy and ensuring that we all get a piece of the American pie. He will make a good President because he will try to take back our country from the rich and restore the vanishing American Dream to all of us.
Tom Calarco is a resident of Downtown Loveland