Why I didn’t vote for Bernie

Bernie Sanders is my home state Senator. He’s been a fixture in the state for 30+ years and is a great advocate for the state of Vermont. That said — I do not think that he’d make a good president and, as a result, I will not be voting for him.

The caveat being that if he’s nominated as the Democratic Nominee — I will vote for him since he’s less odious than any Republican candidate.

My reasons for opposing Bernie Sander’s plank are relatively straightforward — the politics of inspiration aren’t a good mix with the politics of life. Consider President Obama — he ran on a plank of soaring rhetoric. It took him 6 years to become an effective president. I do not require a morally sound person as my president — I require someone who understands the dirty job of governing and the balance between good and evil.

I would ❤ for college tuition to be “free” or for student loan debt to be repudiated. That said — it’s not good policy and would not address the core issues driving these spiraling costs. So I agree that something needs to get done — I do not believe that it can be summed up in a sound bite.

On trade deals — I do not agree with the sound bite nor the protectionist tones in Bernie’s rhetoric. If we’re going to return to mercantilist trade policies then we should probably have the industry to back it up. In a world where you can be in China within 17 hours from NYC it doesn’t make much sense to close your borders. What’s needed is stronger deals and restrictions in these agreements. On this point — I think that our government can do a better job. But there’s no way to stop the pace of globalization — even North Korea can’t do it. It’s a nice soundbite to say you fight for the “American Worker,” but who is that worker? Are we all machinists? Software developers? No — we’re a diverse set of workers who cannot cast all of the blame on unfair trade deals.

For foreign policy — I love the idea of non-interventionists, but not everyone will always play nice. Sometimes you have to knock some heads together to get shit done. Iraq was a disaster — that’s a well known idea, but that shouldn’t preclude any foreign interventions. Time and time again — bullies have backed down when confronted either with words or an iron fist backing up those words. I’m no neo-con, but I do know that people aren’t always going to play ball. Teddy Roosevelt had it right.

Insofar as the complaints about the party voting process — I’d like to take a step back and note that both the Republican and Democratic Parties are private entities. Thus they are not democratic institutions. In fact, we don’t even live in a democracy — we live in a Constitutional Republic. So while democracies operate via the capricious will of the people, Republics are bound by laws and rules. It may not always make sense — but Madison was onto something when he noted the dangers of mob rule.

There are many things that I agree with Bernie on — Health Care, Wall Street, Corruption, $$ in politics, etc., but I do not believe that this agreement is strong enough to overcome my fears how his beliefs and plank will translate into actual policy. He’s a good man and he means well — I’m just not convinced that being the President and being a good man/woman is a requirement.

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