He’s the former Greek finance minister who was tasked with renegotiating Greece’s bailout terms with the troika. And since his resignation from Syriza’s government and the subsequent acquiescence of Alexis Tsipras to the eurozone’s demands, Yanis Varoufakis has set up Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), an organisation whose aim is to unite progressives across the continent to reform the European Union. Now he is turning his attention to America, and specifically to a presidential candidate who he thinks can help spark a global progressive movement: Bernie Sanders.
Do you think it’s important that Bernie runs for president again?
No one person matters – I don’t believe history is personality-driven – so I’m not going to say that Bernie is the one and only. But it is true that Bernie Sanders introduced a new kind of politics in the US, introduced a discussion in the US that was forbidden until then. No one was allowed to talk about poverty, at least since the time of LBJ. Bernie Sanders has pointed out the magnificent paradox that the richest country in the world produces the greatest and most hideous aspects of poverty in the world: if you’re a poor American, you’re far worse off than being a poor Indian in Kerala. He’s brought that discussion back to the fore.
Okay, so people say what about his age – it is true. But on the other hand, none of the other people that have risen up in the wake of Bernie Sanders’ revolution are up to the task yet of running for president. This is why it is important that he throws caution to the wind, defers his retirement and runs one more time, to sustain the burgeoning progressive movement in the US.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction