A few days ago Firebrand Left asked for letters from readers explaining why they had chosen to support Bernie Sanders. In our first featured letter, a writer who asked to remain anonymous, tells the story of his evolution from Ron Paul supporter to possible Rand Paul supporter to Bernie Sanders supporter:

“Dear Rand Paul,

I once had GREAT respect for you…

A few years ago, I supported your father’s run for presidency. He was the only candidate willing to fight against the destruction Wall Street is doing to this country. He was the only one trying to make the Fed’s secret practices public. He was the only one against all the wars. He was the only one fighting against mass incarceration. He was the only one supporting marijuana legalization. He was the only one against the lies the corporate media presents as facts. He was also the only one against the unconstitutional collection of data from the NSA…

Once he announced he was not running for 2016, my immediate reaction was to lean towards you. I heard you speak and saw a lot of Ron Paul in you. You gave me some hope. Then, the first GOP debate came about… Even though I believe you make more sense than most Republicans, I did not think you were strong enough and even came off as a little bit “annoying” (you kept interrupting some candidates).

After a few days passed, I heard Fox News (or CNN; can’t remember) calling this unknown person, Bernie Sanders, a communist. At first I was surprised a communist was even ALLOWED to run for president! Of course, I know better than just believe what the corporate media says and started doing my research on Bernie. He stands up against most things your father did! He goes even FURTHER. I believe in Social Democracy, so I instantly connected with him. Even though he calls himself a Democratic Socialist, everything he stands for translates to Social Democracy. Social Democrats believe in a mixed, mostly capitalist, economy that works for everyone and not just handful of billionaires… He has different ways to get us out of debt than you might have. Both ways are totally valid and up for the people to discuss and decide which way they believe will work. People need to know the candidates’ REAL position before they can make a decision.

So…why are you scaring people away from supporting Bernie by LYING about his position? Why are you saying he wants to implement a socialist economy? You even went as far as saying it could turn out to be genocidal. Even The American Conservative understands Bernie is not a socialist…. I am EXTREMELY surprised and disappointed that you have chosen to lie about Bernie’s intentions, rather than point out why you think he is not the correct choice for America. I expected this from Trump, but definitely not from you.

Do you support firefighter stations? Or do you believe only those that can afford it should receive help if their house is burning down? Do you support public schools? Or do you believe only those that can afford it should get an education? Do you support road maintenance? Or do you believe everyone should take care of the little bit of road in front of their house? Do you support public hospitals? Or do you believe only those that can afford it should get cancer treatment? Do you support public parks? Or do you believe we should pay some company a fee to take our kids there? Do you really believe EVERYTHING (including the military) should be privatized? MAYBE THERE IS a little “socialist” in you.

I understand you are all about FREEDOM and you believe Bernie will take ALL of our freedoms away… Let’s define freedom. The dictionary definition of FREE is… “not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes..”. Republicans argue that by expanding social welfare, people will get lazy and DEPEND on the government. They MIGHT have a point. They consider receiving government assistance as not having freedom. So what do we do? I am not sure what your position is, but I am assuming it is the same as most Republicans; they want the minimum wage to stay the same… If people working full-time are STILL poor, how are they going to get an education? a car? a mortgage? THEY WILL GET IN DEBT…so now they are not “under the control or in the power of” the government…They are UNDER THE CONTROL OR IN THE POWER OF BANKS!

I also know most Republicans consider a minimum wage raise a “freebie”. How is THAT a freebie? People WORK for it! Some are even working HARDER than those making more, and they are STILL living below the poverty line. Bernie Sanders supports a raise in the minimum wage so that people that work full-time do not live in POVERTY. This will start a chain reaction. If more people have more disposable income, every economist in the world knows that means economic growth. So what are we going to do with the working poor? Do we raise wages or do we provide them with social welfare? You can’t possibly reject both. Please, tell us YOUR solution, and WE will be the judges.

If Bernie’s policies are a DANGER to freedom…then how can you explain that out of the TOP 12 MOST FREE countries in the world, 10 of them consider healthcare as a RIGHT of all citizens and give everyone free healthcare? Do you believe it is a coincidence MOST of them are also considered the HAPPIEST? Is it a coincidence most of them have strong economies? Why don’t you call THEM socialist? I bet it would not be a good idea, because if THAT is what socialism is then we should try that, right? Obviously, they are not socialist. They are SOCIAL DEMOCRACIES.

Tell us why you believe raising the minimum wage is a bad idea. Tell us why you think free education should stop at the high school level. Tell us why you believe we should not consider healthcare as a right of all citizens. Tell us why you believe we should not make cuts on the outrageous corporate welfare tax we pay. Tell us why Bernie’s ideas (and those of social democratic countries) don’t work. DON’T tell us why LENIN’s or KIM JONG-UN’s ideas don’t work.

I am sick and tired of seeing Republicans call Bernie Sanders a socialist/communist. I am sick and tired of the corporate media lying to everybody about what Bernie really stands for. We, unfortunately, can’t have an educated conversation or discussion in America today because there is people like you that do not allow FREE THINKING to happen.

I have been explaining this to some Republicans, and even though most insult me or just run away, some actually do listen and at least open up to him. This is a DEMOCRACY. We should be able to listen to different points of view and not try to censor someone because they think differently. We should be able to make decisions on our own and not depend on the media to tell us who to vote for.

I always thought a debate between both of you would be EPIC. Now, I realize, if this debate was to ever happen, you would first need to analyze his ideas and proposals. Currently, you have no idea what his plans are or what he stands for.

You lost respect from a lot of people and the only way to get it back is to accept you were wrong, and to start challenging his points of view; without going into ridiculous name calling and scare tactics. I hope you come out and apologize to Bernie Sanders and to the American people for trying to scare them with lies, instead of trying persuade them with facts.

Thank you,

A Social Democrat supporting Bernie Sanders for president of the United States.”

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