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I found myself doing something today that I have never done before. I went on line to call voters in the State of New York and elsewhere to try and encourage them to vote for Bernie Sanders in the April 19th primary. Despite having been told incessantly by the mainstream media from the beginning of the primary season that, "Bernie Sanders is not a serious candidate and he doesn't have a chance of winning," I nonetheless tried to point out to the people I talked with today how it is that somehow Bernie continues to keep racking up victory after victory with his latest on April 9th in Wyoming.

Phone Banking for Bernie

Phone Banking for Bernie—Leonard Isenberg

My goal was to do my own small part to conquer the public's artificial media nurtured apathy that has attempted to marginalize Sanders from the beginning of the primary season. I found myself pointing out to the folks I talked with that the millions of dollars the Sanders campaign has raised with an average donation of $37 per person continues to give Hillary Clinton a run for her—seemingly endless supply of corporate—money. Money derived from endless $350,000 speaking engagements and dinners with bankers, Wall Street, and other corporate interests sanctioned by Citizens United in their continuing coup over the remnants of America democracy. Was it really part of our Founding Fathers original intent to include corporations in "We the people"?

Does anybody really believe that these corporate interests fund-bundling for Clinton and all other presidential candidates except Sanders are doing so to further the democratic process? Or is it clearly to ensure continued corporate control of our government and those that continue to run it for them as their well-compensated vassals. Does anyone really think that political candidates like Clinton, who are clearly beholden to the corporate financiers of their campaigns, could ever stand against those interests and for the interests of the people when they get into office? It seems implicit- if not explicit—in Clinton's attacks on Sanders as his not being a "political realist." Clearly, political realism in Clinton's lexicon puts corporate sovereignty right up there with government sovereignty.

And as I spent hours on the phone talking to people in New York and elsewhere, I found myself addressing in turn each one of the incessantly repeated lies being promoted by the corporate media to discredit Bernie Sanders candidacy:

What then Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown (present Governor Jerry Brown's dad) understood was that California subsidizing the cost of my education was more than paid back in the taxes collected from a better educated and compensated college graduate.

Bernie is a socialist and that is dangerous: The democratic socialism that Sanders advocates has already existed in the United States, since the beginning of this country. A program like Social Security from FDR's New Deal recognized that a "single payer" retirement system like Social Security run by the government is the most efficient way to ensure all working Americans and their families are protected throughout their lives with a government guaranteed social safety net.

And in clear example of his platform and in stark contradiction of corporate media's assertion that Sanders ideas are unrealistic, Sanders points out that Social Security's shortfall was caused by the government having invaded the Social Security trust fund and an aging population with lesser worker to retired ratio. Easily, this could be solved as Sanders proposes by simply raising the present $118,000 cap on wages subject to the Social Security tax. Is it really so unreasonable to ask people making more than the present $118,000 cap to have a little more deducted from their paychecks? Or is that just too socialist?

A free college education at public schools supported by our taxes or a tax on Wall Street: This is not a new idea. In fact, it's an idea that was already instituted, when I went through UCLA in the 1960s. When I graduated in 1969, my tuition for my last quarter was $80.50. What then Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown (present Governor Jerry Brown's dad) understood was that California subsidizing the cost of my education was more than paid back in the taxes collected from a better educated and compensated college graduate. Furthermore, it gave California an advantage when it came to attracting high tech industries to the state based on no small part on our then highly educated workforce. Is it really preferable to now have college graduates come out of school with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and few prospects for gainful employment?

Rebuilding America's infrastructure and using some of corporate America's record profits to finance it: Again, this is not anew idea. The engine that drove the New Deal in the 1930s was public works projects that not only built the critical infrastructure that cause this country's economy to come out of the depression, but it also gave workers the salaries that in turn stimulated all the goods and services they were able to buy, because FDR was willing to "prime the pump." Now that Sanders wants to do the same, it has somehow become naive?

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Single-payer healthcare:The United States remains the only industrialized country without a (socialist) single-payer healthcare system run by the government. Whether those completely against such a plan like the Republicans or against it like Clinton, who says it is not politically possible, the end result remains the same. The United States continues to pay 34% of every dollar spent on healthcare to an insurance company. While the folks who remain adamantly against a government run program seem to have no problem with a healthcare system run for corporate profit, which has lead to the United States paying twice as much for healthcare as a country like France, while getting healthcare that is objectively inferior by every measure of quality assessment, e.g. infant mortality, longevity, and timely quality of care.

Endless war and terrorism: Is there not a clear correlation between regime change, supporting dictatorships, and endless war and the rise of terrorism in the Middle East where only corporations like Haliburton continue to profit? If we had not overthrown the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953, while supporting the Shah and his secret police, would we now be dealing with fundamentalists in Iran and elsewhere? At the time, Iran was the best educated and most progressive country in the Middle East. And the same is true in Egypt with our longstanding support of an oppressive military dictatorship in open contradiction of the democratic values we continue to tout, but do nothing to support. It seems we will do anything- including the subversion of democracy in Egypt to maintain Western control of the Suez Canal. One must wonder just how much American inspired terrorism would exist today, if rather than spending more than $2 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting war the United States had rather used the money to build infrastructure in these countries. And yet, when it comes to justifying our continued support for the repressive undemocratic family controlled government of Saudi Arabia, our government remains silent.

The greatest hurtle Bernie Sanders faces is not being unrealistic, but rather the fact that human beings are creatures of habit. We've been doing a variation of violence and intimidation of each other for as long as our species has been around. What has radically changed for the better in recent years is a technological ability that now has the objective possibility of literally dealing with and resolving every problem all humans face. Gross disparities in human well-being no longer need to remain the hallmark of our self-destructive species. What Sanders proposes in no small part is a first step toward implementing this different approach that with the power of the United States behind it just might allow us to survive our baser nature.


Leonard Isenberg

Can we count on you to keep powering the political revolution forward this week?

LA 4 NY Phonebank @ LA EcoVillage:
Wednesday, April 13ᵗʰ in Los Angeles

Phone banking for Bernie - Los Angeles, CA:
Thursday, April 14ᵗʰ in Los Angeles

Phone banking for Bernie - Los Angeles, CA:
Thursday, April 14ᵗʰ in Los Angeles

Phone Bank for Bernie into New York:
Saturday, April 16ᵗʰ in Los Angeles

You can also help us find and turn out Bernie's supporters in New York by phonebanking from home.