By Scotty T. Reid – Heading into the Nevada Caucuses, the Nevada Culinary Union leadership created quite a bit of news headlines with its anti-endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders by not issuing an endorsement of any candidate but instead jumping onto the Bernie Bro smear train in complaining to the media that online supporters of the Senator were mean to them.
The Bernie Bro smear, which was started by the Clinton campaign and her friends in the corporate media newsrooms as a way to attack Sanders not on the issues but on a notion that Sanders was leading an army of aggressive white male misogynists who are rude or mean to those who did not support Bernie. Of course, the narrative doesn’t quite work so well in 2020 when the Sanders campaign has brought together the most racially and gender diverse multigenerational base of support out of all the campaigns vying for the DNC nomination but it has not stopped the enemies of the poor and working-class from using it.
Despite the leaders of the largest union of working-class people in Nevada criticizing Sanders’s signature healthcare plan, Medicare For All, which was supported by a majority of all caucus-goers in entrance polls, the majority of rank and file members of the Nevada Culinary Union backed Sanders and Medicare For All citing the healthcare needs of their family members who do not have access to healthcare. The willingness of those union members to put the needs of the uninsured and underinsured before their own was in the spirit of the Sanders campaign’s slogan #NotMeUS and harkens to the Sanders campaign’s early call for people to fight for each other.
Despite Medicare For All expanding coverage to cover eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental and mental health services, despite it significantly costing less than what the US government currently pays for healthcare and despite those with healthcare insurance actually saving money by eliminating the out-of-pocket expenses associated with private insurers, despite its expanded coverage to provide health coverage to all men, women, and children in the United States thus saving tens of thousands of lives annually, unfortunately, there are those who say, “I got mine, go get yours”. Fortunately, those selfish unempathetic people did not prevail in Nevada as Sanders came out as the clear winner ahead of the South Carolina primary where the senator is gaining in support among poor and working-class Black voters who make up a significant portion of the electorate.
“South Carolina has many rural communities where chronic health problems are compounded by poor access to medical care. The state’s rate for diabetes is among the highest in the country, and our citizens face many other challenges due to heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and stroke. Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health, seen throughout the United States and the world, are also visible in Charleston, providing our team with many ways of understanding the factors that perpetuate health care disparities.”
The South Carolina Democratic Primary is scheduled for February 29th and if Sanders can eke out a victory there, it will be a daunting task for the other candidates to overcome his lead and momentum heading into Super Tuesday. In the meantime, Nevada caucus participants and specifically the members of the Nevada Culinary Union should take a bow for sending a clear message that this election isn’t about meeting the needs of a few but meeting the needs of us all.
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