(Reviewed by JD Jung)
“Politics is ultimately about people coming together to improve the lives of all Americans, and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors.” Bernie Sanders
I’m a political junkie and have been my entire life. My favorite pastime is watching national election returns and I always look forward to debates, Republican and Democratic. And yes, I have become disillusioned and angry due to corporate money in politics, the proliferation of guns, income inequality…and that’s just a start.
I have also become energized with senators like Elizabeth Warren. I’m also excited about the number of young people who “feel the Bern” as I witnessed when Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned in Los Angeles. I had thought that the trend of millennials was to follow libertarian principles supported by the likes of Rand Paul. (BTW there are unpopular opinions of Paul that I do support, but that’s for another story.)
If you want to learn more about the evolution of today’s progressive movement and Bernie Sanders in particular, I would suggest grabbing a copy of Matt Dukes Jordan’s book, Bernie Sanders, Independent for President: His Life Story, Ideas, and Goals, Plus a History of the Reagan Revolution and the Rise of the Billionaire Class.
Jordan not only details Sanders humble beginnings, college years as a civil rights activist in Chicago, and political career as mayor, congressman and senator, but puts in context how his quotes on sex were shaped by the 1960’s counterculture. He also explains his oversimplified label as “socialist.” That is, how Sanders would like to combine the best of American democratic-capitalism and a European democratic-socialism.
He also explores the post WWII mindset, what led to the political and cultural revolution of the 1960’s and then how those with corporate money maneuvered the United States –and even the Republican Party—in a completely different direction, a “Greed is Good” ethos. Though he points out the fallacies of Reagan’s “trickle down” economics, I wish Jordan spent more time in explaining how our economy is driven by consumers. That is, if no one can afford to buy a product, the wealthy will not hire more employees to sell something that no one is buying.
That said, Jordan still gives us a complete but succinct history. Growing up at about the same time as Jordan, I agree with his assessment of how our economy and political landscape got to where it is now. I recommend Bernie Sanders, Independent for President to those who want to give the fans of Reaganomics a true look at our society.