Letter to the editor – Patti Edwardson

To the editor,

The first time I experienced an earthquake, it was so small my body did not sense it. I was only aware of the shaking of the earth when I noticed my parked car slightly swaying on its tires. A few years later, I felt a jolt that was unmistakably an earthquake. Even as the earth we live on is in a constant state of flux, we don’t normally feel the movement until the force is powerful enough.

The support shown by voters for Bernie Sanders in his campaign for President of the United States is similar to the earth’s movement. It began with rumblings from individuals and groups around the country, rumblings of frustration and discontent of middle and working class people. Many of them have come to realize that when their government’s programs and policies support corporate profit above the lives of its citizens, individuals and their communities suffer.

With each speech and rally that Bernie gives, this movement is gaining strength. The concerns that sparked the rumblings, such as low-wages, insecure jobs, unaffordable healthcare, an unreachable college education, family and medical leave, and an unjust criminal justice system, are Bernie’s focus and his solutions are the reason for his democratic socialist label. He was referring to that label when he said in a recent speech, “I do believe that the middle class and the working families of this country, who produce the wealth of this country, deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down.”

He is now being pushed ahead by a forceful, grassroots-powered movement that will be felt in American politics long after this election cycle is over.

One of Bernie’s key issues, single-payer health insurance, was supported by over 50 percent of likely voters in a January 2015 poll. Shouldn’t it be a right of all citizens to have equal access to health care, no matter their acquired personal wealth, employment status, or the wealth of the family they were born in to? Shouldn’t it be a right of all citizens to know their insurance will provide a level of support from the burden of health care costs when they or a family member are faced with a devastating diagnosis? With an assurance of affordable, equal health insurance, our citizens could afford to spend more time with their families and to participate in their communities. They could have the stability to begin a new business or to move to a new location.

The single-payer program would replace today’s inefficient, profit-oriented insurance companies with a single streamlined, nonprofit, public payer system. It would be the end of our for-profit system whose profits depend on people getting sick.

Bernie Sanders is connecting with people all across this country. His appeal crosses religious, gender, ethnic, generational, and even political boundaries. Farmers and factory workers, nurses and school teachers, small business owners and laborers, students and senior citizens are becoming aware of the positive aspects of Bernie’s policies and platforms for them and their communities. They are feeling the power of this movement and finding hope in his messages, such as this quote: “At a time when the wealthiest people and largest corporations are becoming richer while virtually everyone else is becoming poorer, working-class people have got to fight back.” We can do that by caucusing for Bernie Sanders on Feb. 1.

Patti Edwardson, Churdan

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