A Senator From Vermont
The purpose of this project is to inform any interested, but especially the voters and potential voters undecided on who to elect in the ongoing US presidential primary and upcoming US presidential election in November 2016, and convince them to elect a candidate with an extensive history of moral integrity, foresight and sensibility, and has a platform based on what I truly believe will lead the nation to achieve its greatest potential by redefining politics, and with that democracy, to become once again and entity lead by the people. The candidate I speak of is Bernie Sanders.
A Senator from Vermont
I refuse to fall in line and perpetuate a political system where the lesser of evil is elected, conforming to the choice of which the powerful groups of interest have lobbied their way into electing. Although it may seem dramatic to call these candidates “evil” (unless you’ve been watching the news regarding a wall), it is this very idea that drives so many away from the political process and thus the voting booths. With the help of Super PACs, Citizens United and greedy politicians, a huge sense of mistrust will most likely throw republicans into the arms of the outspoken bigot Donald Trump, along with his great metaphorical(and literal) plans to divide us. This discussion isn’t for doomsday preparation though, but for the democratic primary election. It is time to elect someone who has decided to rise above and against the corruption, has stood by his beliefs for civil rights, equality for all, whether it be treatment or opportunity, with the foresight and courage to stand for said beliefs, from pushing for single-payer uniform healthcare, opportunity not only for a few to attend university, and has the record to back these not-so-radical ideas. Senator Bernie Sanders has proven to be the ideal choice for those seeking progress and advancement for all, as President of the Unites States.
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush signed into law the Patriot Act, which resulted in the surveillance and monitoring of practically anyone without warrant, which was brought to light by Edward Snowden in 2013. As member of the House of Representatives, Sanders voted against and heavily criticized many aspects of the law, while Hillary Clinton indeed voted for it (US Senate). Sanders said in an article about the Act and policies, “There is no doubt that we must be diligent in protecting our citizens from another terrorist attack. But the threat of terrorism should not be used as an excuse for the government to intrude on our most cherished constitutional and civil rights. Proposed remedies should not be more dangerous to our social fabric than the problem they are supposed to protect us against” (Sanders). Sanders showed foresight of a law that had potential room for abuse and perhaps not even to the magnitude of which it has been revealed to be. Nonetheless, during its extension vote in 2005, Clinton compromised and voted for it, while Sanders opposed and pushed for repeal of library surveillance (US Senate). But unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg in many differences between who could be considered a left republican, and a true liberal democrat.
During on the earliest democratic debates, surrounded by conventional politicians such as Senator Jim Webb and Governor Martin O’Malley, the question at hand was to address the biggest national security threat to the United States. Overall the answers were in tune: foreign policy including relations to China, Middle East and terrorism, etc. Sanders had something else to say: “The scientific community is telling us if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable, that is a major crisis.” (Sheppard). Again, we have a politician who has the foresight and courage to address very real problems, and to bring them up while others seem to just seek out for fear-based issues that are real as well, but while foreign policy is prominent and important, but without resources to fight for, would only worsen.
It is beyond worth mentioning that Senator Sanders has brought up many issues that are often overlooked and dismissed during debates and rallies, at least without any true sentiment or a record to back these ideas up. Among these ideas, as said global warming, we also have the crumbling infrastructure, the influence of Super PACs/Citizen’s United, Universal Healthcare, the unfathomable and disproportionate amount of imprisonment, distribution of wealth (and with that the Middle Class vanishing), and opportunity for higher education for all. While these ideas seem like an agenda any true liberal would tackle, and yes, Clinton has addressed these issues as well, it is unlikely to hold any water for many reasons. It is unrealistic for someone to claim to crack down on an institution which has supported her campaign to no end. During a debate, while confronted on the influence of this money, and in response to the bail out the 2008 mortgage crisis, Clinton had the following to say: “I went to Wall Street in December of 2007 — before the big crash that we had, I basically said, ‘Cut it out! Quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors.” Sanders response was a heavy hitter: “…Congress does not regulate Wall Street, Wall Street regulates Congress” (ProPublica).
Today, after these companies where bailed out, are now bigger than ever, served with negligible repercussions for their dangerous and irresponsible behavior which in part brought the US economy to a recession. Sanders does not claim to have the power alone to change the US, and with that break up the banks, instead he is calling for a political revolution in which more and more people get involved in the political process to begin a reform in how the system currently operates, a new involvement where elected officials are held responsible by those who elected them to act in the interest of the people. This movement of his is after the holy grail of politics: one that is not bought out and payed off by the richest in the nation.
In a study on the race between the two, it was said “In the two months since Hillary Clinton officially launched her presidential campaign, the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination has moved left early and often. She’s made a forceful case to reform the criminal justice system, expand President Obama’s immigration overhaul, establish universal and automatic voter registration, and make same-sex marriage a constitutional right. Her leftward turn continued this past weekend with her call for a pay hike for low-wage workers, the latest sign that she’ll try to use economic equality as a populist calling card in 2016.”(Lechner). Since this journal released, it indeed seems as though Clinton has begun to mimic Sanders’ agenda in hopes of bringing in some of those less-informed yet hopeful liberals. During the Univision Democratic Debate Clinton said, “We’re going to refinance everyone’s existing student debt,” Sanders replied, “I think what Secretary Clinton just said is absolutely right. I think I said it many months before she said it, but thanks for copying a very good idea.” (Hanley). Roaring claps and cheers followed, as the transparency of Clinton’s election and almost desperation to move left and right as required to get elected. One could believe that she is taking new ideas and adapting to what the US citizens a calling for, or it could be a standard political stunt to again, just gain votes.
When dealing with politics it is quite a challenge to cover a full spectrum of stances, history, and involvement. However, thanks to the internet, information can be easily published and access, ideas can be spread and facts can be checked. I urge the reader of this article to inform themselves of both Sanders and Clinton’s history, and make an educated decision that will affect future generations to come. As leader of the Free World, Sanders will push for peace and equality; he has been involved in civil rights since the sixties and has walked with Martin Luther King, JR during protests. I urge whoever reads this to consider the world where every American has access to education and healthcare without a worry of how to keep a roof over their heads and managing student debt, which is the only debt for which on cannot file bankruptcy. Feel the Bern, we could save the world.
Lenchner, Charles. “Bernie Versus Hillary.” New Labor Forum (Sage Publications Inc.) 24.3
(2015): 62–67. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.
Sanders, Bernie. “On My Mind: The Patriot Act’s Threat to Libraries”. American Libraries 34.2
(2003): 32–32. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.
“Find Votes.” U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
Sheppard, Kate. “Bernie Sanders: Climate Change Is The Biggest National Security Threat.”
Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 13 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.