The Oct. 18 front-page article “Sanders the socialist embraces his moment” stated that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie “Sanders wants the government to start providing [Medicare] to everybody, a national single-payer system that might cost something like $15 trillion.” A newspaper must provide some context to have value.
In this case, the reader was left to wonder if this sensational-sounding “$15 trillion” is the cost per year, per month or even, perhaps, per minute. A little research indicated that the cost would be spread over a decade. Additional research indicated that $15 trillion might be about half of what we would spend otherwise, in which case Sanders’s idea could result in a net $15 trillion savings to the country over 10 years.
Alan Migdall, Gaithersburg
The fascinating Oct. 14 Style article “Rumpled stumpskins” focused on Bernie Sanders’s famously disheveled look and compared Sanders with Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party. However, a more apt comparison with Sanders would be the leftist British Labour Party leader in the early 1980s, Michael Foot.
The physical resemblance between the two men is striking: glasses, a large shock of unruly white hair and a careless regard for appearance. In the British press, Foot was often referred to as “Worzel Gummidge,” a scarecrow in the popular British children’s novel of the same name.
Sanders and Foot also closely resemble each other in their politics, standing well to the left of the political mainstream in their respective countries. If Sanders is nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, he might emulate Foot in another way: Foot was crushed in a landslide in 1983 by his Conservative opponent, Margaret Thatcher.
It is for this reason that former British prime minister and past Labour Party leader Tony Blair has tried to scare away support for Corbyn by comparing him with Foot and predicting a similar electoral disaster.
Paul Rood, Silver Spring