Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the column, “All parties have political positions that baffle me,” published April 29, 2020.
I normally have the greatest respect for Rich Elfers, but he simplifies Bernie Sanders support by progressives in several ways. First, he calls us Democrats —wrong. The Democratic party has almost totally abandoned the middle and lower class in this country and instead has become Republican-lite in that they cater too much to the rich and corporations, not quite as blatantly as the Republicans, who don’t even try to hide their disdain for anyone but the super rich and corporations.
The largest numbers of voters in this country are not Democrats or Republicans but in fact Independents. I personally feel that most of these voters are progressive, by that I mean that we are tired of business as usual from our federal government no matter which party is in control.
Also, to infer that Bernie’s supporters are all young and support him because they want free college and forgiveness of student debt is far off the mark; Bernie has many supporters of all ages. I have listened to this man for more than two decades and he has always had the interests of the common man at heart and has fought for programs to support them throughout his career. I am nearly 78 years old.
What really upset me, however, is his dismissal of Bernie’s proposals regarding Medicare for all, student loan forgiveness, and free college as fiscally irrational is without merit. I looked at Bernie’s proposals and how he plans to pay for them online and found them reasonable and fiscally responsible, and while there may be some modest tax increases on the middle class, they are more than offset by savings on the monstrous cost of private insurance, either to their employer, or to them, or both.
Mr. Elfers, your opinions are normally well thought out and well researched, but where Bernie Sanders is concerned, I feel that you really missed the mark.
And, an aside to one of the other issues he commented on, what is wrong with unisex bathrooms? We’ve had them in thousands of places for years.