This Day in History

"Truth, Justice and Morality have no political affiliation"

Thursday, March 22, 2018
A Middle Of The Road Viewpoint

U.S. Civil War ll: Unpredictable Dangerous Crossroad

By Allan Duffis

Published Saturday, June 11, 2016


“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Abraham Lincoln

“However, the people, by popular choice can fool themselves"

The Editor


America is now at a critical point in its history where it is looking into a mirror of time that reveals its own history: the beginning is its end and the end is – in reality – a new beginning

Such a conundrum is often referredd to as a course correction. However it is a correction hampered by the present state of dissolution of a fractured nation and its people, who are no longer united.  In essence the country is at - a fork in the road.

Incredible as it may seem, that ‘fork in the road’ of the American Democratic System is represented by one politically stubborn individual who preaches what he believes in and has steadfastly refused to give up the stage, the fight, or the election, to his adversaries. That individual, the man of the hour, is none other than - Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders.

The Bernie Sanders Dilemma:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (born September 8, 1941) is running for the nation’s presidency as something he has never been before – a Democrat.  And to be truthfully observant, it is political suit that fits him as badly as the ones he wears throughout his campaign.  Initially billing himself as an Independent, he generally described himself as a ‘democratic socialist’.

From the beginning of his career, which all facts indicate was that of an early 60’s political protestor during the Viet Nam War, the former Brooklyn New Yorker was poetically resolute; he wanted to help people.

He attended James Madison High School, Brooklyn College, and the University of Chicago, whereupon graduating, he moved to Vermont.

After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party campaigns for governor and U.S.. senator in the early to mid-1970s. Sanders moved to Vermont because he had been "captivated by rural life." After his arrival there he worked as a carpenter, filmmaker, and writer who created and sold "radical Left Wing film strips" and other educational materials to schools.

In 1981, he entered the local election and shocked the entrenched political establishment by being elected mayor of Burlington, the state’s largest city; just making it by just 10 votes. He was reelected three times and in 1990 he was elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the U.S.. House of Representatives.

 In 1987, U.S.. News & World Report ranked Sanders as - one of America's best mayors.

During the 1980s, Sanders was a staunch critic of U.S.. foreign policy in Latin American. In 1985, Burlington City Hall hosted a foreign policy speech by Norm Chomsky. In his introduction, Sanders praised Chomsky as "a very vocal and important voice in the wilderness of intellectual life in America" and said he was "delighted to welcome a person who I think we're all very proud of."

Sanders' administration balanced the city budget and drew a minor league baseball team, the Vermont Reds, then the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, to Burlington.

Under his leadership, Burlington sued the local television cable franchise, winning reduced rates for customers.

As mayor, Sanders led extensive downtown revitalization projects: One of his signature achievements being the improvement of Burlington's Lake Champlain waterfront.  In 1981, Sanders campaigned against the unpopular plans by Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau to convert the then-industrial waterfront property owned by the Central Vermont Railway into expensive condominiums, hotels, and offices.

Sanders ran under the slogan "Burlington is not for sale" and successfully supported a plan that redeveloped the waterfront area into a mixed-use district featuring housing, parks, and public space. The waterfront area now includes many parks and miles of public beach and bike paths, a boathouse, and a science center.

Sanders hosted and produced a public-access television program, Bernie Speaks with the Community, from 1986 to 1988. He also collaborated with 30 Vermont musicians to record a folk album, We Shall Overcome, in 1987

In 1987, U.S.. News & World Report ranked Sanders as - one of America's best mayors.

In 1991 Sanders co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to the U.S.. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was reelected with 71% of the popular vote.

Sanders rise to national prominence followed his 2010 filibuster against the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010. He favors policies similar to those of the social democratic parties in Europe, (particularly those of the Nordic countries), and has built a reputation as a 'leading progressive voice' in congress on issues such as - campaign finance reform, corporate welfare, global warming, and income inequality.

In November 2015, Sanders announced that he would be a Democrat from then on, and will run in any future elections as a Democrat.

In October 2015, on the late-night talk-show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kimmel asked Bernie, "You say you are culturally Jewish and you don't feel religious; do you believe in God and do you think that's important to the people of the United States?"

Sanders replied: “I am who I am, and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we're all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people ... and this is not Judaism, this is what Pope Francis is talking about, that we can't just worship billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that.”

Sanders quote:” Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.”

In 2016, he stated he had "very strong religious and spiritual feelings" and explained, "My spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me."

However in his recent frantic run against Democrat Hillary Clinton, it is clear to anyone who looks closely at his political history that Bernie Sanders is, in reality, a firebrand – Soapbox Socialist.

To date his campaign fundraising  strategy and impressive ‘attraction of thousands’ to his speeches has been, to say the least, nothing short of remarkable. Soliciting an average campaign donation of just $27, and convincing his fanatical young followers that, by his own words, “If large amounts of people show up at the primaries, we win.  With lower turnouts, we lose.”

Sanders Campaign Funding

0.02 % from Super PACs
99.98% individual donors


The problem for Bernie Sanders and the country as a whole is that, other than opposing the Iraq War, over the years he has shown no major interest in foreign affairs. His main concern has been the attainment of a $15 an hour minimum wage for the working population, a single payer medical system, the expansion of Social Security, and just about every other - Socialist wish list.

In fact, his entire approach to foreign affairs has been dangerously simplistic if not almost completely absent. He has clearly indicated that his philosophy is that if we leave other countries alone, and the problems they pose to themselves and us will solve themselves.  He firmly believes that foreign threats can be resolves without resorting to military action, regardless of the adversary. This includes ISIS, al-Qaida and the Taliban.

By and large, Sanders fully understands that his campaign for President of the United States will be one way or the other - his last hoorah. It will be the culmination of his entire political career and that once he has left the political stage this late in his life (he is 74), all that will remain for him is obscurity.

Therefore, no matter what he may say, he is obligated to run his adversary, Hillary Clinton, to ground in any manner he can  even if doing so, potentially, guarantees - a Donald Trump win.  Short of actually magically managing to win the election over Clinton or Trump, it is simply his only option.

Saunders is not free however from financial pre-election scrutiny and criticism from both his political rivals and the press, mainly emanating from his second marriage to (Mary Jane O’Mara in 1988) who was to earn her own scandal baggage.

Extravagant spending by Sanders’ wife sinks her former school

Mary Jane O'Meara (born October 8, 1950) is a social worker, college administrator and professional political staffer. Mrs. Sanders, a divorce (who is Catholic), was the Provost and interim President of Goddard College (1996–97) and president of Burlington College (2004–11).

She earned her college degree at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, with a bachelor's in social work. Sen. Bernie Sanders has described his wife, Jane, as "one of his key advisers" and has employed her at various times as "an administrative assistant, spokeswoman, policy adviser, chief of staff, and media buyer". In a 1996 article in The Washington Post, she was credited with helping him draft "more than 50 pieces of legislation.

Mrs. Sanders was the fourth president of Burlington College, a small Vermont institution from 2004 to 2011 at a salary of $160,000 per year.

In 2011, the college trustees, while crediting Sanders with acquiring a permanent campus for the 200-student College, called a meeting for September 2011 and accepted Sanders's resignation. "We reached a decision which I believe is best for both the College and me," Sanders said after the meeting, "The board and I have different visions for the future and that’s perfectly fine."

It would appear that her questionable financial administration has forced the college to close its doors after this school year due to the “crushing weight of the debt”, stemming from the financially punishing purchase Mrs. Sanders made of a new campus in 2010.

“Founded in 1972 as an informal gathering of students, Burlington College grew into a small, regionally accredited liberal arts college,” the Burlington Free Press reported. “But financial strain and academic probation created by an ambitious but ill-fated expansion under then-President Jane Sanders onto prime waterfront land led to the school’s demise.” Under Mrs. Sanders‘ directive, the college purchased 32 acres of land along North Avenue for about $10 million to expand its campus.

With the College unable to collect on some promised pledges after Sanders resignation, and the enrollment increase plans failing, the Diocese settled the loan debt with the College in 2015 for $996,000, less than the agreed amount, with $1 million of the repayment made in shares of an - unidentified LLC.

Upon her resignation, Mrs. Sanders was awarded a $200,000 severance package — which some have called a “golden parachute”, because the executive pay amounted to more than four times the average annual household income in Vermont.

It is suspected by many that Sen. Sanders determined limiting of his financial disclosure to the release of his 2014 tax returns only, is that his overall worth  (estimated at a mere $300,000) may be much higher than that  projected by his  preferred projection of his image as a ‘vow of poverty Socialist’.

Presidential Prospects:

Looking through the historic magnifier of congressional reality, sincere and good man that he is, Bernie Sanders has a snowflakes chance in hell of being an effective leader, even should he somehow magically manage to pull off a victory at the Democratic convention and go on to attain the presidency.

He is in fact on reflection at the same point Hillary Clinton was in her 2008 run against an incumbent President Barack Obama.  With very little possibility of winning, she stubbornly refused to drop out of the race against her party’s wishes. And her husband Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton faced a similar circumstance when unexpectedly coming face to face in the primaries in 1992 with a politically revived Jerry Brown.

The difference this time is that our nation is experiencing the worst times of internationally, while still engaged in our longest war (Afghanistan). And must now come to terms internally by an egotistically maniacal candidate for president, powered by a rebellious populous, who may stand a real chance of winning the presidential election, namely - Donald Trump.

My fellow Americans we are at the crossroads of a  - new Civil War, only this time it will be fought and, won or lost, in November 2016 at the - ballot box.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Abraham Lincoln

Submit your comments

You can submit your comments about the editorials published on this website by completing the form below - all fields are required. Comments that are poorly written, in bad taste, in capital letters or sent with incomplete identification are unlikely to be used. All submitted comments are subject to editorial review.

About the Author


World News

Trump announces $50bn in China tariffs
The White House argues that China encourages the theft or transfer of intellectual property.
Trump's top Russia probe lawyer resigns
John Dowd is reported to have concluded that Mr Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice.
Ukraine arrests pilot hero Savchenko over 'coup plot'
Ex-helicopter pilot Nadiya Savchenko does not deny conspiring against Ukraine's government.
Kenya payout for mother made to deliver on hospital floor
A mother was awarded $25,000 after nurses left her to deliver her baby in public on a hospital floor.
Facebook data: What the social media giant knows about you
Downloading your Facebook data is dead easy - and very revealing, as Newsbeat's De'Graft Mensah found out.
Uber self-driving crash: Footage shows moment before impact
Police release footage of the moments leading up to a crash involving a self-driving car in Arizona.
Nicolas Sarkozy: French ex-president says funding probe is 'hell'
The ex-president is being probed over claims he received illegal campaign funds from Libya's Gaddafi.
Syria war: First rebels to leave defeated Eastern Ghouta town
The Ahrar al-Sham group has agreed an evacuation deal with troops besieging the Eastern Ghouta.
EU and six other countries exempted from US metals tariffs
The US trade representative says the import duties have been "paused" while further talks take place.
Miss Venezuela to close temporarily over corruption claims
The contest is to close pending an investigation into claims of sexual and financial impropriety.
Dapchi kidnap: Nigerian father's pain as daughter flies to Abuja
Hours after returning from Boko Haram's capture in northern Nigeria, Dapchi school girls were separated from their parents to meet the President.
Dutch referendum: Spy tapping powers 'rejected'
The "no" vote is marginally ahead with most results counted, as new spying powers split the country.
Dutch parliament halted as man jumps from public gallery
Shock among lawmakers as an individual is injured after leaping from a height of several metres.
UK passports 'to be made in France after Brexit'
The existing UK manufacturer says it will be replaced by a Franco-Dutch one after Brexit.
Skating Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake
Skaters describe taking to the ice on Lake Baikal in Siberia.
The Pink House: The last abortion clinic in Mississippi
Life inside the only abortion clinic in the state with the toughest restrictions in the United States.
Meet SoFi - the soft robot fish developed by MIT
Scientists hope a robotic fish will guide aquatic life and help clean up pollution in the ocean.
Curiosity rover: 2,000 days on Mars
The Nasa robot this week celebrates 2,000 martian days investigating the surface of the Red Planet.
Ghana computer teacher's chalkboard Microsoft Word inspires
Meet the Ghanaian teacher who went viral thanks to his chalkboard version of Microsoft Word.
Iran officials mocked for buying foreign products
After the Iran Supreme Leader urges local purchases, officials are mocked for using foreign products.
Puerto Rico still in the dark six months after hurricane
Six months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma, many in Puerto Rico are still going to school and looking after the elderly in the dark.
South Korea to shut off computers to stop people working late
The initiative in South Korea's local government aims to stop a "culture of working overtime".
The sisters rebuilding Mosul University's library
Farah and Rafal are restoring Mosul University's library after the Islamic State group destroyed it.
Fighting for freedom after killing her abusive ex
Gloria Chochi is serving six years in prison in Spain for murder. She is now pinning her hopes of seeing her son on a rare pardon.
The community of 2,000 people with 151 cases of sex crime
In the small community of Tysfjord in northern Norway, sexual abuse was rife for decades. How come it was never stopped?
Was Israel prepared to kill a journalist to get to Arafat?
Israeli assassins trailed a reporter to a meeting with the PLO head to kill him, it is claimed.
Dapchi girls: Freed Nigerian girls tell of kidnap ordeal
What the Dapchi schoolgirls have said about their time in the hands of Boko Haram militants.
The vivacious fighter shaped by the favela
Marielle Franco was shot dead on 14 March but her sister hopes her legacy will live on.
Joseph Mifsud: The mystery professor behind Trump Russia inquiry
A Maltese professor, the "selfie king" of the diplomatic circuit, has played a key part in the Russia inquiry.
Cynthia Nixon and 10 other celebrities who entered politics
Including Katie Price, Glenda Jackson... and Donald Trump.
Cambridge Analytica: The data firm's global influence
The data firm facing questions over its work practices has operated all over the world.
Wanted: Robot wrangler. No experience required.
As we build more robots, more people will be needed to manage them, and they may not all be advanced engineers.
Kim Wilde on aliens and pop comeback
The 80s pop star describes seeing a UFO in her back garden, and reveals how that inspired her album.
South Africa and the fable of the missing Guptas
The tale of how the Gupta family wormed its way into the heart of South Africa - and then vanished.
Entrepreneurs tackling racial inequality
Black Brazilians face higher levels of unemployment, lower salaries and get fewer managerial jobs.
China PR 0-6 Wales
Gareth Bale scores a hat-trick to become Wales' record goalscorer as Ryan Giggs starts his managerial reign with a comfortable victory over China.
England 58 all out: Trevor Bayliss says players like 'deer in headlights'
Head coach Trevor Bayliss says England's players were like "deer in headlights" as they were bowled out for 58 by New Zealand.
Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton & Sebastian Vettel play down race for fifth title
Four-time world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are each bidding for a fifth in 2018, but both insist improvement is their main aim.
Jose Mourinho: Man Utd boss says 'people with brains' understand team in transition
Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho says people with "a brain" and "common sense" appreciate the Red Devils are in a period of transition.
China Cup: China 0-6 Wales - highlights
Watch highlights as Gareth Bale scores a hat-trick to become Wales's record goalscorer, during their convincing 6-0 win over China in the China Cup.
Football chiefs urged to investigate alleged historical racial abuse of players
Football chiefs are being urged to investigate the full scale of alleged historical racial abuse of players.
'Everybody thinks it's only boys who join gangs'
Nequela Whittaker was once a feared gang leader in south London - now she tries to stop other young girls from taking that path.
Who were my parents - and why was I left on a hillside to die?
In 1937 a nine-month-old girl was found hidden in a bush on the South Downs, with her hands tied. She has always wanted to know why.
Where are the UK's youngest and oldest city populations?
Cities are often thought of as places for the young, but that's not always the case.
In Syria's Eastern Ghouta, a doctor's battle: 'We will stay until the end'
As the Syrian government tightens its noose around the enclave, medical staff describe working in "hell on earth".

© Copyright 2005-2018 Allen J. Duffis. All rights reserved.
Animated flag courtesy of