Call Me Crazy: I’m Voting for Bernie

No Super PACs here.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Justin, you know he’s a socialist, right?”

I do. Well, he’s a democratic socialist to be more accurate — and there’s a big difference. While I’m tempted to spend time defending the reasons that democratic socialism actually could be a good thing for our country, others have already done a much better job than I would. So, I’ll just stick to the purpose of this post: I want to communicate to you the reasons that I believe that Bernie Sanders is the best choice for the office of President of the United States of America, given the current state of issues facing our country.

So, here we go…

1. He’s not bought.

This is the number one reason I am supportive of Bernie Sanders. People hate politics because politicians don’t represent people — they represent the interests of those who fund their campaigns. This is, I believe, the single biggest problem with American politics.

I realize that sounds slightly conspiracy theorist, but in my research I’ve seen this happen time and time again: large corporations fund political campaigns to put politicians in office that will then work the system in their favor, often to the detriment of the general population.

Outside of Donald Trump (who is apparently mostly funded by himself), there’s not another candidate in the race that isn’t heavily funded by large corporations. In February, Bernie raised over $42 million, which is the most raised in a single month by any candidate running for president in 2016. The average contribution was about $30. Rather than the backing of a handful of corporations, Bernie has the backing of millions of people.

I can understand disagreement with his policies, but you will not find another politician who actually represents the American people like Bernie Sanders.

2. He’s defends those who don’t have the power to defend themselves.

In order to address the issues mentioned above, we need a politician who is not only not funded by these businesses, but is actually willing to fight against those who are using their massive wealth to further bend public policy in their favor. Bernie has consistently used his position in the Senate to stand up in representation of average Americans.

Bernie getting arrested protesting segregation

As an example, check out the video below of Bernie standing up to former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan in 2003, who was at the time arguably one of the most powerful people in America.

Not only this, but he literally marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement. If that’s not representative of a man defending those without power, I don’t know what is.

3. He has integrity and doesn’t change his opinion to get votes.

Many candidates have changed their opinion regarding certain matters over time. This is not necessarily a bad thing — many of my views are different than they were 5 or 10 years ago. It becomes problematic, however, when a candidate changes their opinion in order to get votes.

While many other politicians on both sides will say whatever it takes to get elected, Bernie has held to his values throughout the duration of his time in politics, and he continues to do so today.

4. He sees war as a last resort option.

I hate war. Any solution that involves potentially massive amounts of killing should without a doubt be a last resort, and we certainly shouldn’t jump at the chance to send people into harm’s way. We should deeply consider the effect it will have on both Americans and our fellow human beings from other countries.

I believe Bernie realizes this. He voted against the Iraq war and I believe he approaches military decisions with a clear realization of the affect it will have on people’s lives.

5. He wants to address the redistribution of wealth in America.

Many Americans are against any attempt of the government to redistribute the wealth via taxes and social programs. Here’s the problem: this is already happening — it’s just happening for the super-rich. The super-rich heavily fund certain candidates campaigns. When these candidates get elected, they are compelled to pass laws that favor those who get them into office by creating tax breaks, loopholes, granting government contracts, and creating laws that make for greater profits for these corporations. All of this is at the expense of the general public.

Bernie wants to create a system that works to the benefit of average Americans and undo the systematic redistribution of wealth to the top 1%.

6. He cares about taking care of the planet.

There is consensus in the scientific community that climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity, and it could have significant effects on our planet and the well-being of humanity. Unfortunately, there’s not a single Republican who is willing to recognize this and address it.

On top of this, I am a Christian and I believe stewardship of our resources is a God-given responsibility. While our motivations may be different, I believe that Bernie is willing to stand up against those who just want to make more money at the expense of our planet’s resources.

7. He is our best shot at not having a Trump presidency.

After reading the previous six reasons, I hope you’re feeling the Bern. If you’re not, I hope you can at least say “I can see how some of those things make sense.” And if you’re sane, you can agree that Bernie would be a significantly better option than Trump.

Now get this: Bernie polls significantly better than Hillary against Trump in the general election.

The presidential election is now a three person race. Trump will win the GOP nomination. He dominates nearly every state. Bernie’s got some work to do to become the Democratic candidate, but it’s not out of reach. We just need people to actually get out and vote.

I close with this: I know it may sound strange, but a big source of the fuel behind this decision to support Bernie Sanders is my faith. I’m a follower of Christ, and that influences my political views. My faith creates in me certain values, and while I’m not interested in supporting a politician that claims the Christian label just to get votes, I am interested in electing politicians that, at least in some ways, exemplify what Jesus taught.

I’m not saying that Bernie exemplifies all of these values or that all Christians are obligated to see it the way I do, but I do believe he has integrity. I do believe he fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. I do believe he wants to properly steward our planet’s resources. And I do believe he wants to create a government that is representative of and works for all Americans.

These are the reasons I plan on voting for him in the democratic primary. I hope you’ll join me.