Van Jones of CNN wrote:
Even though he is 78 years old, history will someday remember Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as a leader who was ahead of his time.
In the age of the pandemic, Sanders' ideas no longer seem like radical throwbacks to 1960s idealism. Today, they feel like hard-headed responses to the deadly challenges of the 21st century.
Just consider the following:
Essential workers: Sanders has always known that America runs on the labor of poorly paid workers who too many people are only just now beginning to recognize as essential. Since the beginning of his career, he's been at the forefront of the fight to make the minimum wage a living wage. It was only a few years ago that some economists thought the idea of raising the minimum wage to $15 was "radical." In the midst of a pandemic where we depend on those people for our nation's survival, even that dollar amount now feels too low.
Health care for all: The case for the Sanders-championed Medicare for All is stronger than ever due to the pandemic. The populations hit hardest by Covid-19 also appear to be many of the ones who cannot afford basic health coverage. It is hard to see how our current health care system survives this crisis without radical change. Even the Trump administration announced Friday it will use federal funding to pay hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 patients who have no insurance.
Housing and homelessness: The mandate for most Americans right now is to shelter in place. But so many people don't have a place. Millions of homeless people are therefore vulnerable to the virus -- more susceptible to catching it and more capable of spreading it. Sanders' proposal to end the housing crisis by investing $2.5 trillion to build nearly 10 million permanently affordable housing units seems a lot more sensible now.
Climate threat: This pandemic has shown us that "we the people" are fatally blind to threats we can't see with our own eyes. Even as we're learning about travesties taking place at our local hospitals, too many people don't believe the threat is real until it affects them personally. Yesterday's Hurricane Katrina or today's viral pandemic will be tomorrow's global climate catastrophe. Sanders has done everything in his power to get ahead of imminent disasters. Americans may now listen to people like Sanders who take science seriously and propose bold solutions like the Green New Deal.
Paid family leave: Sanders has long championed the idea of "family leave" for workers. Having children, falling ill or taking care of a family member shouldn't cost you your job -- nor should quarantining due to a global pandemic.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/08/opinions ... index.html
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