A Suggestion for Sanders/Warren Supporters

By on November 20, 2019

In looking at the comments for videos posted on YouTube by the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren campaigns, on the surface, there is a lot of hopeful and enthusiastic cheering, which is to be expected, and little more. I posted a sensible — based on my personal experience — comment challenging people to be more personally responsible for their situation, specifically in the area of free college. Free tuition for everyone is a sore point for someone whose parents said college was “a waste of time”, a point they hammered home daily and usually more frequently. They were the opposite of inspirational for me (and they literally produced four T____p supporters). It never had anything to do with them paying for my education, which was something I would never have considered. The concepts of intelligence, sophistication and higher education made (and still make) my parents angry. They didn’t want to make themselves better, they didn’t want their children to make themselves better and, most importantly, they didn’t want their children to do better than them. That last sentence is the blueprint for producing T____p supporters. My parents were successful at molding their other children into even worse versions of themselves and the collateral damage is unspeakable. They rationalize their own failures and the accomplishments of others. All are lifelong tax burdens. You can guess how their own offspring have fared. At minimum, what separates me from my family is my attachment to logic, reason, truth, reality and fact. I like and need all of those things, even and especially reality when it’s at is most necessarily brutal and challenging (in ways that matter) and all of those things are mutually dependent. It defies logic and reason to not want truth, reality and fact. Creating an alternate world with counteruintive values and priorities is exatly that, counterintuitive. It makes no sense. What is to be gained?

As personal as that anecdote is, by associating these people with T____p supporters, I am pointing out how much this scenario/environment plays out all over the country. It is a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed and now. The absolute best case in point is Charles Barkley’s “unintelligent blacks” comment. Here is a google search of that name and that phrase and you can see that much-needed original quote and its predictable and much-needed reverberation.


Barkely is already an all-time great athlete; stepping up to that extent to make such a strong, blunt and vitally accurate statement was other-worldly. He broke the forth wall. It’s also like that cliche comment about the observations of comedians: “He’s saying what we’re all thinking.” Believe it. Or at least those of us that care and pay attention know to be the truth. I felt a huge feeling of relief to know someone at that level finally made that point, which I will summarize as follows:

The lower, unambitious end of a demographic is the greatest detriment to those of the same demographic trying to succeed.

Once I pulled myself out of my personal mire, I worked full-time while going to school at night and graduated debt-free. While it was a lot of work, I enjoyed the challenge of having long, intense, focused days. I liked being completely spent when I got home, knowing I couldn’t have been more productive with my time. I enjoyed mentally switching gears when I left the office at the Federal Reserve Buildling in San Francisco’s financial district on the drive to San Francisco State in Daly City. (I worked at Wang Labs — an 80’s company if there ever was one — who was a tenant in what we then-called the FRB.)

The October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake happened in the middle of my final semester. The quake took out the Bay Bridge, which was my way home to Berkeley, for almost two months. The school generously gave students who lived in the East Bay the option to drop classes without penalty. When my instructor made that announcement, my immediate response of “There is no way in hell I am NOT gonna graduate this semester!” made the class erupt in laughter. The announcement was very serious and it was a pleasure to diffuse that air. For my altered commute, I had to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, past San Quentin in Marin County and cross the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. I drove by Fort Baker, a former Army post and now a national park, which is at the north base of the Golden Gate Bridge and where I’d go crabbing at night with friends and family while in my teens. That was a blast and driving by reminded me of those experiences.

My one-hour commute more than doubled but I was not phased. I just saw it as an amazing drive — especially on a clear night — and a chance to enjoy music in my car, and it was both to an extreme. There was no traffic and every angle of that drive was beautiful, especially any view of The City. That was an hour a night of valuable sleep I lost on school nights I couldn’t afford but I never thought of it like that during the time. My point is, life is so much about your own outlook and how much you have to motivate yourself. (I say I only lost an hour of sleep time but I also lost the hour extra for the drive into work. I really do not remember either extended commute being more than an slight inconvenience to me. Even as I recall it, it’s barely an afterthought.)

What I did not expect with the responses to the initial comment I put up on a Sanders-posted Youtube clip, (half angry, irrational and emotional and half thoughtful, diplomatic and rational) was how uniformly defeatist they were. People had given up on hope. One young woman is barely able to afford her apartment after she graduated and is buried in student debt. I guess it’s like when you order a big multi-course meal at a restaurant and are shocked when the bill comes and you not only didn’t bring your wallet, you don’t even have one. She feels getting a graduate degree can never happen. Even worse, her father implicitly told her there was no hope now. That’s a definition of “grave disservice.” That was the vibe beneath all the cheering for Sanders and what drove me to post this recommendation on other YouTube videos posted by the Sanders and Warren campaigns. For simplicity’s sake, this is the Sanders version. Just switch out the names and pronouns, since the candidates — on the surface, anyway — are so similar. The message and target audience are the same.

Here’s a solution on an individual basis:
Don’t resent Republicans for having all the money while you’re waiting for any plan to share the wealth. Take it from them directly. Get a job in financial services. The pay in that industry is absurd. If you won’t consider it because it is a dull field, you are correct. Job satisfaction is low and it is a joyless industry. It is poorly managed. It does not want to run efficiently. The quality of the people is a direct reflection of those traits. You can’t win the Kentucky Derby riding a mule, even if the mules think they are thoroughbreds.

Do it for a few years and get out to pursue what you want. If you won’t consider it because you don’t think you’re smart enough, you are wrong. Not only does that industry NOT require real talent or intellect, it demands a dearth of both (as well as a dearth of depth, perspective, team ethic and a soul). You don’t even have to be good with numbers. People not even good at what they do are overpaid. There are receptionist and assistant jobs that make more than management positions in other industries. I told that to a buddy years ago while his daughter was in college. His response was, “She’s not smart enough.” Now she is in marketing at a mutual fund and pursuing her personal interests and endeavors on her own time.

Beat Republicans at their own game. You can’t play the game if you don’t step onto the field. It doesn’t help to rally, protest and resent the players from outside the stadium while waiting for a money bus that:

  • has not left the depot
  • has not had a previous run
  • has not reached beta stage
  • has not reached alpha stage
  • has not been built
  • does not have a factory to build it yet
  • has a blueprint that as of yet is unproven (isn’t theory wonderful?)
  • has yet to pass heavily-and-desperately resisted legislation
  • has yet to pass a presidential election that is still a year away
  • has yet to pass a Democratic primary election

It’s like Sam Kinison said in addressing world hunger: “MOVE TO WHERE THE FOOD IS!”

That’s not meant to be funny. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and that will never, ever change.

Don’t just follow and cheer Bernie waiting for something to happen. Take his lead. Be inspired by his indestructable drive to make things better and apply it directly to your own life. Bernie Sanders never waited for anyone to share their wealth. He obtained his on his own. He puts every fibre of his being into achieving his (and the country’s) goals. His implied lessons are even more valuable and applicable than his direct ones. Be your own hero.

I have not received notification of any responses.


November 20, 2019

(11/21/2019 – In editing, I stepped up in scale from my original point by introducing another point that deserves much more attention and thought. It dwarfs the point I was originally trying to make. The article has become unwieldy. Still, I don’t believe the lack of cohesion undermines or detracts from the points I make.)

About Dan Walker

As part of an Air Force family, I went to elementary school in Great Falls, MT, junior high in Cheyenne, WY and high school and college in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in business. I was fortunate to have worked for great companies in Silicon Valley (Oracle Corp) and Hollywood (Miramax Films). I also lived and worked (primarily in financial services, which has no great companies) for eight years in Manhattan, New York City. I now reside in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley.

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