The reason you should vote for Sanders even if you are a Republican
Disclaimer: I am not related to the Bernie Sanders ‘s campaign in any way, shape or form; I am not associated with any of his Super Pacs. I was never in contact with him, anyone in his campaign or anyone in his Super Pacs. Oh, I am not a supporter of any political party or candidate. This is simply an objective opinion about a candidate to help filter through the elevated noise of the campaign this year.
To keep voting your party and expect a change is a nightmare you will never wake up from for words not accompanied with actions are useless.
If you already voted at least twice in your lifetime, you should now have plenty of reasons to vote for Bernie Sanders this election season; it should be an easy exercise. If you’ve lost count how many times you had voted, the decision to choose Sanders over your party’s candidate this election season should be a walk in the park. Why in the world would you do such a thing? Every election, just like clockwork, whether you actively participated in rallies, attended a debate or simply followed the elections from your armchair at home in front of a television set, on that faithful first Tuesday in November, you voted your party, something you’ve been doing for years, decade perhaps. If you want to admit, your vote has been a routine you either picked up from your parents or grandparents (or however else the routine began) without giving it much thought. In fact, you’ve been voting your party without even being able to provide a rationale for supporting the party. I am sure you can provide plenty of reasons (not rationale), so can everyone else. Among the reasons I’ve catalogued thus far, one stands out unsurprisingly, “candidate X is Democrat or candidate Y is Republican” but very few people could provide a rationale to have supported candidate Y instead of candidate X vice versa. The most popular “line” to end any conversation asking for rationale is “I would never vote for a Democrat or I would never vote for a Republican”. The other disturbing trend and boilerplate answer is: “Republican Presidents are better or Democrat Presidents are better.” My favorite is “Democrat Presidents are easy to work with or Republican Presidents don’t compromise on principles and values.” (Whatever any of that means) If the individual is asked to justify the reason for voting, the answer is usually uniform across partys, “I vote because I would like to see a change in the direction of the country” (whatever that means). And if one pushes further and asks, “Has the country changed direction? Are you satisfied with the changes?” the answer here is also uniform across partys, it is almost always a “I am not a bit satisfied”. I am a bit perplexed that anyone would continue to do the same thing over and over, knowing darn well it would lead to the same outcome. There is an animal which seems to have a similar behavior, a porcupine (more on that later). This election season, the country is offered an alternative, a true alternative, Bernie Sanders. He is what I call the real deal. Throughout his political career, he has maintained his focus to serve the constituents who have elected him in office. Bernie does not change his views to score political points or to win elections; that’s commendable; no other politician (not one) would adopt such noble ideals. Bernie most coveted prize is the satisfaction that he has faithfully fulfilled the duty of serving his constituents. So, if you’d like, if you really want to change the direction the country is going, your party’s candidate is not the answer; then again, you already know that. To keep doing the same thing will bring you the exact same outcome. To illustrate, no matter how many times you add 2 + 2, irrespective of the language, the answer will always be 4. To keep voting your party and expect a change is a nightmare you will never wake up from for words not accompanied with actions are useless. I am sure you will feel good after casting a vote for your party, so what? Voting should not be a feel good exercise. Don’t be a porcupine this elections season.
Why Bernie Sanders Should Be President
Presidential elections can be explained very simply; i) there is a small group of people (the candidates) who want to become president ii) there is a very large group of people (the constituents) who will make one candidate president. Beyond that, it’s all noise. Whether you elect a Democrat or a Republican to be in the Oval Office, it makes no difference whatsoever. If you think it’s gibberish, take a stroll in history of the past 50 years. Democrats like having a Democrat as commander-in-chief; Republicans like having a Republican as commander-in-chief. It’s a feel good exercise. The constituents (i.e. you and myriads of others) are not smart enough (sorry but you’re going to have to prove me wrong) to choose “the right candidate”; you are most inclined to elect the candidate of your party irrespective of the candidate’s qualification, ideology and intelligence. Don’t take my word for it; if you’re a Republican, can you think of the last time you voted to elect a Democrat as President? The answer is probably “never”. If you are a Democrat, when was the last time you voted to elect a Republican President? The answer is probably “once or twice” a very longtime ago. Put differently, you have voluntarily, deliberately contributed to the problem the country has had; you have stubbornly elected individuals you must know could not and would not do much for the country but you elected them anyway because they belong to your (political) party.
Every four-years, you go back and do the same thing you have been doing since you’ve become of age to vote, however long that’s been; one thing remains the same however, whether it’s your party’s candidate or the other party’s candidate who sits in the Oval Office, no action is taken by said candidate on behalf of the people. And yet, election after election after election, you do exactly the same thing. The behavior is very similar to that of a porcupine placed inside an all glass cage. The experiment reveals that the porcupine could very well be one of the most stupid (if not the most stupid) animals on the planet. Here is what was observed, the porcupine would attempt to escape by dashing forward; you must have already guessed what happened. Well, the animal hit against the glass. Okay, maybe the porcupine didn’t realize it was inside a cage; maybe the glass surface was so shiny it gave the impression there was no obstacle. Whatever it was, it could have been construed as a mistake any animal (including humans) could make but what ensued next was heart wrenching, bloody, deadly and downright stupid. The porcupine kept dashing forward against the glass again and again and again; even after hurting itself badly, broken limbs, bleeding and having to rest for hours at times, the porcupine would go back to doing the same thing over and over and over, sound familiar? The experiment had to be stopped to spare the life of the little creature.
There is no point rehashing the sadness which fell on the observers. I feel such sadness each and every presidential election cycle, anticipating watching the same porcupine behavior the constituents have displayed for decades. As we rally behind a candidate or another this time around, it’s necessary to consider whether we are acting like a porcupine. We have not been keen to see the damage we have inflicted on ourselves every time we hit against the glass (vote our party no matter what), we will eventually pay a price for acting like porcupines. Our children, our children’s children will pay a price for our mistakes, our stubbornness and our stupidity. I’m sure it is not an easy task to figure out which candidate (that of your party or the other’s) will have your interests at heart once elected in office; they all lie to get elected. It was a little easier in a distant past when journalists used to be the eyes and the ears of the constituents, when journalists used to be the conscience of the nation, when journalists used to participate in the election process not as cheerleaders (for one party or the other) but rather as concerned citizens who cared deeply about the country. Because journalists today are just employees whose loyalty is to their employers who have invested heavily in one political party or the other, the journalists are turned into glorified cheerleaders with the ability to write to convince others to side with their respective employers.
Fortunately this presidential election cycle, there is one candidate who has been consistent in his values and what he stands for since a very young age. You do not need any journalist to tell you much about Bernie Sanders; his life story, since High School, is readily available. When Bernie Sanders began his political career, there was something different, refreshing even; one would say that Mr. Sanders embodies what our forefathers envisioned a politician should be, a representative for the people; someone who serves to attend to the needs of the people, someone who sacrifices his personal life, his personal aspirations, his personal ambitions to be at the service of the people in his community, in his town, in his city, in his state and yes in his country. Bernie Sanders is not “perfect” (he is not Jesus) but he is the closest you’d get in any man, especially one in politics.
Bernie Sanders does not tell you what you want to hear; he does not run his campaign on the platform of saying or doing what’s expedient, what’s politically correct. In fact, his record reveals something astounding, something which would get our forefathers to smile but is despised in Washington, Bernie would rather lose an election instead of changing his position just for the sake of knocking down his opponent to win. Politicians scoff at that “stupid” idea; after all, that’s what they all do to get elected, they knock down their opponents. They do not care a bit about discussing the best solution for problem confronted by the constituents; they are not seeking public office to serve anybody; they have one objective in mind, to attend to their personal interests.
Bernie Sanders is one of the few politicians left in this country (Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is probably the other one) who genuinely has the interests of the people at heart but you wouldn’t know that if you listen to the cheerleaders. In fact, they have been on a mission to smear him, to minimize his accomplishments and to portray him as some “out of place and out of time” old man who wants to take the country down a path no one wants to go; they’ve labeled him “socialist” and they want you to know it is a bad thing; so you should avoid Bernie at all cost. Even his opponent, Hillary Clinton, has been drumming the beat and floating the “socialist” label around in an effort to discourage others from joining the Bernie’s movement and taper the flame of enthusiasm his supporters have.
Although it is understandable and expected for Hillary to attack Sanders – it is a bad move on her part – and it is also expected for the opposing party (Republican) to do the same, what’s not expected however is to have the media (I don’t mean Fox Opinion either) dancing and jumping like cheerleaders, promoting the idea that Bernie is not electable because of his “socialist” views. Don’t take my word for it; if you google “Bernie Socialist”, you get pages after pages after pages of articles, opinions written – all of which are negative in tone – about Bernie. Interestingly, despite the avalanche of “shameless” cheerleaders which have tried relentlessly to bury him, Mr. Sanders has never run away from his views; in fact, Bernie wants you to know that the word “socialism” is not a dirty word and his “socialist” views are exactly the prescription needed to cure the ills of the country. Besides, Bernie labels himself as a “Democratic Socialist”; we’ll come back to that later.
What is Socialism?
Wealthy Americans in general and those who aspire to become rich in particular are afraid of the “socialism” ideology; they have every reason to be. Without going through a long winding road of study on the topic, suffice to say that in a socialist society, everyone would have health care coverage, everyone would have a place to stay, everyone would be able to take care of his/her family. In said society, there is equity of ownership; instead of corporate ownership, there is citizen ownership. Thus far, there is nothing scary about socialism, right? Except of course if you were rich, you wouldn’t want that. Does that sound familiar? Well, it is; it is the same argument that was made over and over which flared up just before the 2012 presidential elections campaign. The word class warfare was on every baby’s lips then, boiling down to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. While the word socialism has not been used to describe the sentiment in the country, it is an ideology most have flirted with.
The scary aspect of socialism – coincidentally, Hillary Clinton and the Republicans want to direct your attention to that aspect of socialism only – is when the means of production are owned and controlled by the state which would set structure of group living in which there is no private property. You don’t have to be a genius, you don’t have to be a scholar to know that form of government (socialism) cannot exist in the United States of America regardless who sits in the Oval Office. 1) the structure of check and balance among the three branches of the government renders even the debate of the idea childish, downright ridiculous 2) the president’s constitutional power is very limited; ask Obama how frustrating it is to even push policy regarding gun control 3) most importantly, Bernie Sanders does not subscribe to that form of socialism; as pointed out earlier, Bernie is a democratic socialist. What exactly does that mean?
Well, a democratic socialist wants the economy and society to be run democratically, i.e. to meet public needs and ensure that profits are not concentrated in the hands of just a few as it is today here in America, to have an equitable justice system, to care for the most vulnerable (handicapped and aged individuals) and to lend a hand to those most in need (the poor). What exactly is wrong with that ideology? If anything, those ideals sound like biblical principles anyone who professes to be a Christian should embrace without hesitation. And yet, the very party which claims to have embraced Christian values is out in full force trying to smear Bernie (for the Christian principles he wants to introduce). As you might already guess, those very “biblical” principles are the reason Bernie’s movement – Feelthebern – is on fire.
By my assessment, Bernie’s movement is more enthusiastic and rests on more solid foundation than Obama’s support in 2008; then, it was about getting rid of the Bush administration, getting rid of a party which failed the country. Today, it’s about getting something, a better country, getting a country which provides for its citizens, getting a country which attends to the needs of its people, getting a country which listens to its people, getting a country which fights for equity in the justice system, getting a country which cares for the veterans, the old and the disabled, getting a country which lifts everyone up. Put differently, Bernie’s supporters are vested; their interests are taken seriously. It is difficult to imagine that to label him a socialist is a path to victory for his opponent, be it Hillary or the Republicans. Bernie is the real deal!
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