The Case for President Sanders
It’s happening. Bernie Sanders announced today that he’s running again for president.
Democrats have a great crop of progressive candidates who have joined the race, and I’m not exclusively in favor of Sanders. But I do want to make the case for why people should seriously consider voting for him in the primaries, and why I think he could win — not only the Democratic nomination but the White House.
1. Bernie has been fighting for progressive policies for decades. He’s no johnny-come-lately; he’s earned his place in the spotlight through many years of hard work as an ignored or ridiculed activist and advocate for his ideas. Bernie was for universal health care before it was cool. He was for taxing the rich when few other politicians dared to go there. He was for building great infrastructure, making a college education affordable for everyone, aggressively acting to prevent climate change… I could go on and on… all of this before such policies became mainstream in the Democratic Party. There’s something to be said for consistency of vision and being ahead of your time. Bernie’s got that. It counts for a lot.
2. Bernie is exciting and revolutionary. Senator Sanders is a grumpy old white guy. Let’s face it, more often than not, he comes across as the kind of guy that would shout “get off my lawn.” But people find his lack of charisma strangely charismatic. That’s because he’s so authentic and so down-to-earth about the serious problems America is facing. He just tells it like it is. And people love that. People get excited about it, and it’s so uncommon in politics that people consider it revolutionary. He fires people up by just being himself. Most Americans are sick of carefully scripted politicians and despise the “establishment.” Bernie Sanders, despite being an elderly white male senator, is about as anti-establishment as it comes.
3. Bernie puts the focus where it belongs. Economics. Let me say that again, for emphasis, because it can’t be said enough: Economics. The biggest problem in the world today — the problem from which most of the other problems flow — is that too much money is being hoarded by too few people. The excesses of an oligarchic form of capitalism and a plutocratic form of government are preventing America from dealing with numerous important issues. Issues such as crumbling infrastructure, the decay of communities both urban and rural, the high cost of health care and higher education, the decline of opportunity for the middle class, and the continued inequities faced by women and people of color. Even climate change is mostly caused by the excessive power of the super-rich, who profit off of the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. Bernie understands how economics is the common thread that ties together all these different issues. He sees the big picture. We need that in a president.
4. Bernie attracts swing voters and new voters. In 2016, large numbers of people who were disillusioned with politics-as-usual were attracted to two candidates: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. The phony populist won. The true populist didn’t get a chance to run in the general election. It he had, I think he would be serving today as President Bernie Sanders. The reason is, many people are attracted to Bernie’s independent streak and anti-establishment vibe. He gets overwhelming support from young voters and first-time voters. He picks up votes from the huge percentage of Americans who don’t like mainstream Democrats and Republicans and who would not bother to vote unless a politician is promising radical change. Bernie expands the playing field. He’s a game changer.
5. Bernie matches up very well against Trump. In conclusion, I’ll leave you with this: We currently have a president who is a very corrupt rich dude. Bernie Sanders’ whole political career has been about fighting for regular people and fighting against the corruption of the super-rich. Remember how he was always talking about “the millionaires and billionaires” and how they are screwing up our political system and our society with their excessive power? Well, Trump is pretty much the archetype of such a person — the ultimate sleazy billionaire. Bernie Sanders is the polar opposite: a man of high ethical principles from humble beginnings. Let’s get these two polar opposites up on a stage together. Let’s have the greatest debate in American history.
That, in brief, is the case for Bernie Sanders for president. And I believe it’s also the case for why he will win and become the next president of the United States. President Sanders — I like the sound of that!
Note: This article was originally posted at Daily Kos.