The Case for Bernie Sanders

bernie-sandersAs we approach Super Tuesday, Democrats in many states have an important choice to make: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. If one spends any amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat or any other social media, the battle between the two sides is unavoidable. As a lifelong, involved Democrat, I will support my party’s nominee no matter what, but personally believe the best choice is Bernie Sanders. Only he can lead our party to the place it needs to be.

Since the election of Barack Obama, the Republicans have marched in lockstep to prevent him from being able to undertake the actions of a president. Whether Clinton or Sanders is elected, there is no chance that this obstruction will cease. While we Democrats may retake the Senate, there is nothing to indicate that we have any chance of retaking the House. (Which does not preclude working hard to win those red-to-blue races that we can!) This is an important marker. What can any Democratic president do with a Congress that will not allow legislation to reach the floor, or even allow for consideration of a Supreme Court justice?

Some Clinton supporters say that she would be able to get “something” through Congress since she has experience working with them and knowing how to operate in that theater.

But Bernie Sanders has been in the Senate for the past 9 years, and was in the House for 16 years previous to that. If you look at his list of legislative votes, you’ll see a long history of being able to work with Congress. Thus, Senator Sanders has a 25 year history of productively working within Congress. This is a list of some of his most important successes.

Some say that Clinton is more electable than Sanders.

However, polling indicates that the best chance the Democrats have of holding the White House lies with the Senator. At the time of this writing, the RCP average indicates that Clinton would beat Trump by 2.8%, but would lose to either Cruz or Rubio. Meanwhile, Sanders would beat Trump by 6%, Cruz by 4.7% and tie Rubio.  Specific polls have indicated bigger spreads for Sanders, but none indicate that Clinton has an elective advantage over Sanders.

Bernie Sanders being arrested by Chicago Police in 1963.

Bernie Sanders being arrested by Chicago Police in 1963.

The most important issue, is that Senator Sanders has always shown judgement and been on the right side of history. He voted against the Patriot Act and going into Iraq. He supported civil rights (even getting arrested at a protest) from the time he was in college in the 1960’s. He supported LGBT rights, gender equality and civil rights far before they were the popular choices. He has been outspoken on the need to undo the damage of income inequality for decades. My vote will go to the person who shares my values.

In a nutshell, that’s the list of arguments in favor of Bernie Sanders: electability, values, ability to work with Congress and an overall commitment to leveling the playing field for all Americans, not just the rich. Some say that he is a newcomer, but I remember when Senator Sanders was first elected as Mayor Sanders of Burlington, VT. He balanced the city’s budget, revitalized the downtown, and improved Lake Champlain’s waterfront so that to this day it is mixed use with parks, bike paths and a science center instead of the proposed high-priced condos, hotels and offices that would have denied use of the lakefront to the citizenry.

Senator Sanders worked on the kibbutz Shaar Ha’amakim in 1963. As someone who worked on a kibbutz in 1976, I can tell you that living in Israel gives you a perspective and a dedication that people who have only been tourists, or only talk about, cannot have.

Bernie Sanders is a man who has dedicated his whole life to enriching his constituents and the world in which he lives. He doesn’t give paid speeches, he doesn’t have a private email server, and he is an honorable man. Who better to be our next president?

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