Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bernie Sanders can't have it both ways; and Bill O'Reilly has a point...

As much as it pains me to say but Bill O'Reilly and Fox News has a point about Bernie Sanders and his socialist position. In this first interview Fox asks to explain what is socialism and how much socialism would cost the average rich person. 

It's reasonable to propose to consider more socialist policies to change how society is working. Bill is asking reasonable questions - which of course are not couched in the capitalist rhetoric with Sanders standing in front of him - about what the cost would be to adopt said policies.

I have to give Bill credit for at least asking for an answer.  To my shock, Sanders says he won't give a cost for rich people; it's going to be studied. He sidesteps the truth about how taxation would change while pointing out how little corporations pay.  It is Sanders that is evasive. While he may not have a real number on paper, he needs to give people a range of values so people can honestly compare the options for themselves.

If Sanders wants to be president, he owes it to his capitalistic followers to explain the costs and benefits of socialist policies.  I suspect they would find that the values are not that high, only reprioritized from what they know already, and that would dispel the Socialist bogeyman that Fox News scares people with.  If you want to win, you need to make your case and not hide it. If you don't then opponents can run a hidden agenda tactic on you like Fox News knows how to do.

The Hidden Agenda is a political tactic Canada's Liberals made famous for insinuating that Canada's Conservatives were secretly trying to impose Christian Sharia Law in Canada. To roll back rights and civil liberties to appease Christian values of the base. It is a sneaky assertion without basis that casts doubt in voters' minds. People were made afraid for no reason other than politics. And the insidious part is the more you protest you don't have a hidden agenda the more it looks like you are hiding something. And the fact is the Conservatives ran the country for 10 years, held a majority for over 5 and that hidden agenda never appeared. They did try to extend surveillance in the wake of terror attacks, but they didn't touch abortion, or LGBT rights. It would never have happened; the Supreme Court would have struck it down. Conservatives protested and even Liberals knew it had no basis but it works really well on otherwise reasonable people who assume the worst without communication.

So this tactic is a cheap parlour trick that weakens reasonable leadership and replaces it with nothing substantial as a counter argument. Frankly it's dirty politics because you can't disprove the nonexistence of a non existent thing. Like there are no unicorns.
The only way to dispel it is to pronounce quite loudly and clearly what your policies are and what is on the agenda to enact.  That gives no room for fear, uncertainty, and doubt campaigns.

If Bernie Sanders doesn't outline his anticipated upper class tax increase then people can claim how bad it will be without rebuttal.  If he doesn't give a range for tax changes for business then people like Fox News can spend all their effort spouting hyperbole and claiming sensational numbers to scare their viewers and make more money.

Without a tax plan, now Bill O'Reilly can claim it's going to be 90% with impunity. The only counter to tell the truth first.

In fact, Sanders should learn from Trump about weakening Fox News not empowering it. Trump boycotting the Fox debate destroyed the debate numbers!