Bernie Sanders is a good man, brave, kind, compassionate, courageous, insightful, thoughtful, and honest. He is a friend to all living things. Bernie Sanders is the kind of candidate who comes along only once in a lifetime. We shall not see his like again. Vote your hopes and not your fears. Vote SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT!
If you want to understand why there are so many die-hard Bernie supporters such as myself, I offer this. It isn’t because we hate Hillary Clinton. It isn’t because we are all democratic socialists. It isn’t because we all hate all of the rich.
We support this good man because he is kind, he is compassionate, he is a real person who has always had the same message, who doesn’t bend and blow with the breezes of popularity or the outcomes of focus groups.
We support Bernie Sanders because he is the last, best hope of leading us by the angels of our better nature, to making the aspirational America with ‘freedom and justice for all’ real, to restoring the character and standing of America to where the people of the world will thank us for our brother and sisterhood, and not hide their children in fear and curse us whenever they hear a plane overhead.
Bernie’s America is our America is the America of “This Land is Your Land.” Our America is the America of “America the Beautiful.” Our America is the America of “We Shall Overcome.” Ours is the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Our America is the America of Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth and Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson. Our America is the America of Joe Hill and Eugene V Debs and Norman Thomas. Our America is the America of Michael Harrington and Kwame Ture. Our America is the America of Malcolm X and Upton Sinclair. Our America is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. Our America is the America of Smedley Butler and Abbie Hoffman.
Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy
The greatest ideological weapon the US used to have is that we could point to the material and ethical benefits of our free, liberal society.
*We* had freedom of speech. *We* had a free press. *We* had full employment. *We* had the right to public education, including affordable or free college education. *We* did not spy on our citizens. *We* did not engage in torture. *We* obeyed and enforced the laws of war. *We* founded the United Nations. *We* had a democratic, pluralistic society in which everyone had a voice. *We* had separation of church and state. *We* had the right to organize and form unions, to bargain collectively, and to strike. *We* had the right to peaceably organize and protest against our government. *We* had free enterprise, where monopolies and cartels were neither tolerated nor legal. *We* had banks which were regulated in the public interest to prevent another economic crash. *We* had an open form of government where the people were in charge and the government did neither fear the people nor did the people fear the government. We had so much leisure time people didn’t always know what to do.
Our people were the wealthiest, freeest, healthiest and happiest in the world.
I am not talking about some never-neverland utopia. I remember this time in America. So does anyone my age if they think back.
What the fuck happened to us?
Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy
Response to “Occupy Wall Street: How Should it be Covered Now“.
To: Arthur S. Brisbane
Public Editor of the New York Times
I find it amazing that these pundits, looking at a crowd of people carrying signs, come away scratching their heads asking, “what specifically do OWS demonstrators want?”
The conspiratorial questions about “who is the leader, who is really behind it” also show how far out of touch, and indeed, clueless, these members of the chattering classes truly are.
Let me tackle the first part of Tim Kelly’s list:
Who are the protesters?
A few groups are here.
1. Old New Leftists, now part of the establishment, going once more unto the breach.
2. First-time protesters, most idealistic young people.
3. Ideological extremists (a small, but visible minority).
4. War veterans, now home and un- or under-employed.
Who are the leaders?
The internet is the leader. There is no person who can be described as leading the movement. Intellectually, the movement is led by Noam Chomsky, probably more than any one other living figure.
Who’s really behind all this?
Adbusters started it. I think it amazed them and has long since left their control.
Who’s going to pay for the cleanup?
Presumably this will fall primarily to municipalities.
What do they hope to accomplish?
Reducing wealth and income inequality.
Enhancing civil rights.
Holding the richest and most powerful to account.
What can citizens do to take part in the protests, or avoid them?
Really? A former newspaper editor has no idea how to Google about “occupy wall street” plus (name of town) and either go there or not go there?
What is happening inside the camps?
I have been to the Boston settlement twice and I have found it peaceful, clean and orderly, with many thought-provoking discussions, books, tracts, and signs.
This degree of confusion and inability to observe the plainly obvious makes me think that, as in the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, that these wealthy pundits and apologists for the plutocratic class quoted above, see only that which they wish to see and nothing more.
Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy
Dear Ms. Bellafante,
I read your article in the Sunday New York Times website with great interest:
It is a remarkable piece of right-wing propaganda masquerading as a news story.
You pretend to have had difficulty discerning what the message of the groups involved is.
Please allow me to summarize for you.
The message is that the USA is becoming more and more a plutocracy.
They decry that this growing economic inequality is accompanied by growing political inequality, the destruction of the middle class, and social and economic disenfranchisement of the poor.
They criticize, as you pointed out in a backhanded way, the doctrine of corporate citizenship, wherein corporations are given “rights” covalent with, and contrary to, the rights of citizens.
They point out the injustice of a legal system which mandates the judicial killing of a poor black man in the name of justice even though the evidence against him is largely now discredited.
If you were having trouble taking seriously the criticism of corporatism as antithetical to popular democracy, I suggest you read Prof. Joel Bakan’s “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power“.
As Robert Reich pointed out in his piece, “The Limping Middle Class” in the New York Times on September 3, 2011, the 5 percent of Americans with the highest incomes now account for 37 percent of all consumer purchases, according to research from Moody’s Analytics. As Reich noted,
“When so much income goes to the top, the middle class doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going without sinking ever more deeply into debt — which, as we’ve seen, ends badly… The economy won’t really bounce back until America’s surge toward inequality is reversed.”
Your article was not objective coverage. You made your lede not the “5 w’s and h” of a real news story. Instead you chose to focus on the most freakish and unbalanced participant, from the perspective of normative values, that you could find. Your entire piece was belittling and apparently intended to “otherize” and isolate the participants.
You seem to have the opposite idea of the duty of the news media from that articulated by former CBS News President and Edward R. Murrow producer Fred Friendly, “Our job is not to make up anyone’s mind, but to open minds — to make the agony of decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking.”
Your article seems to have been deliberately constructed to belittle, to obscure the message, and to give people reasons not to think, and not to question authoritarianism and greed as organizing principles of society.
You made no mention of the shocking and illegal police-state tactics being used against these brave and principled, nonviolent protestors.
Shame on you, Ginia Bellafante. Shame, shame, shame.
Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA, USA
PS This letter and your entire unedited response may be posted on my social media platforms and on my blog, https://scanlyze.wordpress.com
Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy
Letter to the Ambassador from Bahrain to the US
To: Her Excellency Ms. Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States of America
It is with great concern that I have read of the suppression of peaceful protesters on Lulu Square by armed force. Such violent and extra-legal actions by the security forces damage the standing of Bahrain in the world community and threaten its internal stability.
I strongly urge you to inform the King and his Government of the concerns of the American people in this regard, and to urge His Majesty to step in to dismiss the current Government and to hold those responsible for the armed and violent attack on peaceful protesters in the square accountable to the full extent of the law.
I thank Your Excellency in advance for her prompt attention to these matters.
Henry Edward Hardy
Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy