Bernie Sanders is the most interesting democratic candidate for President in my lifetime. Why?
First, he isn’t a Democrat. Bernie Sanders is an Independent and describes himself as a Democratic Socialist. He is running as a Democrat for President, but as an Independent for Senate.
Second, he has run for president before. In 2015, he announced his run for President and nearly all the pundits thought he had no chance. By the 2016 convention, the Democratic National Committee was terrified. Damaging emails had linked showing that the DNC had actively worked to undermine the Sanders campaign and supported the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign panicked at the Dem Convention in 2016 when Sanders was booed at a pre-convention meeting with his delegates where he encouraged them to support Clinton at the convention. Ultimately, he supported Clinton in her bid for President in 2016. (Its unclear if his supports truly ever got on board with Clinton).
Now, Bernie is running for President again. As a Democrat. Fascinating. Bernie is running as an Independent AND as a person who is openly at odds with the Democratic establishment just as he was in 2016. So, what does Bernie stand for?
Bernie is most concerned with income and wealth inequality. In his own words:
What this campaign is about is developing that strong grassroots movement where millions of people come together and they say, you know what, we’re gonna create a government and an economy that works for all of us. That works for our children, our grandchildren, and not just make billionaires richer it really is not all that much more complicated than that.
Senator Sanders wants to attack the income and wealth inequality problem by:
- Medicare for all
- Green New Deal
- College for All
- Workplace Democracy (abolish Right-To-Work and at-will employment)
Bernie has a large list of other issues, but these are the first 4 that pop-up on his website AND those 4 dominate his speeches over the past 30 or more years. He has been constant and consistent in his call to transfer wealth and power from the billionare class to the working people in the United States.
A quick note on social justice. Bernie is squarely in the camp of supporting People of Color and other minority groups. However, he holds to an economic framework when talking about those issues. He sees economic justice as the only way to create social justice.
Bernie has a core group of supports that remain very steady for him. He is always 2nd or third, but rarely first, in the polling for the Democratic primary.
Bernie is looking to tear down the status quo and create a new social contract with Americans. He wants a society and government where billionaries may not exist at all. If you are an American looking for radical change to government and society, Bernie may be your candidate. I don’t know if he will win. I think he is a top 3 candidate AND he is not likely to shut down his campaign before the convention no matter what. He has a real chance of winning the nomination. I do think that Elizabeth Warren is splitting the progressive vote with Sanders. That split could doom the Sanders 2020 run.