Bernie Sanders: A Unique Candidate in a Unique Cycle.
This Presidential cycle has been unique in its own right, with the rise of Donald Trump, the cracking of the Republican Party’s framework, and Hillary’s second demise by a little-known senator. It has not only brought unique politicians (even those who claim not to be), but it has begun to redefine what has become expected from the presidential candidates. The candidates are preferred to be “outsiders”, “anti-establishment”, or even populists. The rebellious millennials choose such candidates without even understanding why such a term is good or bad for the presidential preparedness of their candidate. The issue is not necessarily that these candidates (re: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders) define themselves or allow others to define them as anti-establishment, it is that they would (in some cases) be unwilling to compromise with those who classify themselves as party leaders or even party members. But I digress.
Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, has brought his own shiny angle to this mystical mirror maze of a presidential cycle. Realistically, Sanders is a social democrat. Succinctly, he believes that society, particularly in an economic sense, is unfair, and ought to be rectified via the federal government. He differs from others in his party in that he is actually willing to work with the opposition, whether on social, economical, or international disagreements. This is what separates the previously little-known senator from Vermont from Hillary Clinton. Practically every other sentence from the former First Lady’s mouth is a partisan soundbite.
Yes, Sanders tends further Left than his rival on most issues, especially those concerned with the economy, and yet he is still more bipartisan! He also furthers crafting his own political niche as the candidate whose donations rise solely from individual supporters, as opposed to “big interest money” or SuperPacs.
Bernie has often coined the term “political revolution” during his campaign. He cries a seemingly populist message, while also supporting an expansion of federal power. Whether or not he wins the nomination, (which seems increasingly unlikely, short of Hillary being indicted by the FBI) it can surely be said that the Sanders campaign has awoken a large demographic of the voters who would have remained uninterested in the political spectrum otherwise. While this is the candidate’s greatest strength, it is also his greatest weakness.
Sanders methodology is simple: he fires his supporters up with impassioned speeches, and then he promises them the world. Realistically, not only will Bernie be unable to win his primary, but even assuming he received the nomination and managed to defeat whoever the eventual Republican nominee is, he wouldn’t be able to pass legislation that fulfills his lofty promises of free universal healthcare, expanded Social Security, expanded Medicare and Medicaid, and free public education.
Regardless of his ability to cooperate with opposition, Bernie’s policies will be laughed at and utterly rejected by the Legislative branch, whether or not it contains a Republican majority. The reality is the simple fact that even if, (this being an incredibly large if), the Vermont Senator’s proposals would be somehow economically sound, the legislation would never be allowed to pass. America can not, and simply will not, radically change its unique socioeconomic position over the course of four, or even eight, years.
The sickening reality of the 2016 Presidential cycle is this: whichever candidate is ultimately elected: the blustering businessman with incendiary rhetoric, or the cell-worthy former Secretary of State, the devastating partisan divide will only grow wider and further the government’s habit of avoiding solutions and multiplying problems.
Originally published at themoap.wordpress.com on April 8, 2016.