So we published an article a few days ago detailing reasons Donald Trump would make a great United States President. For those of you who asked, I did not get fired, but thanks for asking. It received mixed feedback to say the least. Much of the negativity stemmed from the fact that Trump made disparaging comments about Mexicans (among others) which is not one of the reasons we listed. As per usual, the people who objected did not read much of the article and ignored the fact that Trump would brilliantly handle the United States’ economic woes.
Well, this time around we have prepared a treat for the leftists out there. Bernie Sanders is a former mayor of Burlington, Vermont and has served in the House of Representatives and senate over the past couple of decades. He’s a left of center democrat who doesn’t shy away from the word socialist. This word scares a lot of people in the United States as it brings back thoughts of communism and the dreaded Soviet Union; for good reason. With that said however, many Americans are starting to think a few more social policies might be the way to go. Right or wrong, Bernie Sanders is a candidate in whom increasing numbers of Americans are starting to believe.
He holds himself as a man of the people, and is one of the most successful independent politicians in the history of the country (he is an independent, despite running for the Democratic nomination). His popularity is unquestioned, but what many do question is whether or not his “democratic socialist” ideals will work for America. While he is as controversial a candidate as any other in the race (okay, maybe not Trump), here are twelve reasons he’d be a good fit in the white house.
12. He’s Against the Militarization of Police
Don’t you love that feeling when you look out your window and see a group of cops decked out in about 50 lbs worth of military gear, consisting of everything from body armor to enough shotguns and rifles to pin down a small village? If you answered “yes”, then it may be time to move on.
Seriously however, the militarization of police, whether it be in the form of bigger guns, more body armor, combat helmets or even armored vehicles, is producing distrust in the police and government as a whole. Sanders has indicated time and time again that he is against increasing the amount of force that law officers can use against citizens.
11. He’s Served at Multiple Levels of Government
This is a minor point, but important nonetheless. He has worked in the Senate, the House of Representatives and of course, as the Mayor of Burlington. He’s seen how decisions made at the top can impact functionality at the state level and more importantly, the local level of government. In effect, he’d be more adept than other candidates when it comes to implementing initiatives and policies that will not cause havoc in their offices and constituencies.
10. He’s a Man of the People
Sanders grew up in Brooklyn back in the 40’s and 50’s, born to a pair of working class Jewish parents. It is well documented that much of his father’s family was killed in the Holocaust. He worked hard throughout school, and went on to earn a degree in political science. From his family’s history to his experiences growing up with modest means, Bernie Sanders can relate to anything with which American families may be dealing. Other candidates cannot earn this level of understanding with the public.
Furthermore, take a look at who supports Sanders. His largest campaign contributors are unions, from the Teamsters to the auto workers; Hillary Clinton on the other hand, is supported primarily by banks and corporations.
9. He’ll Control the Biggest Banks
With some of the largest financial institutions taking massive bailouts just a few years back, Sanders is of the belief that “too big to fail” is a serious problem. He believes that giving tax money to failing financial giants is an offensive idea; claiming that the phrase “too big to fail” is a method through which such banks can hold the country hostage. For Sanders; “too big to fail” equals “too big to exist”. Many are skeptical of this idea, but one factor that must be taken into account is that Sanders doesn’t receive his funding the same way (through massive donations by huge corporations) as many others in the running, so there is no “buying his presidency”.
8. Smaller Classroom Sizes
Sanders is a fan of significant reforms within the realm of education. One of the issues he has argued should be first on the agenda is to make smaller classroom sizes. Teachers can have more of an impact in such an environment; and he has argued that 18 children per class is a good number for which to age. It will cost more to hire a suitable amount of teachers (plus more support/admin staff) but education is important; anyone disagreeing with that is just confused.
7. Cost Efficient Foreign Policy
The biggest foreign policy issue for the United States right now is how to stabilize the Middle East. Obviously the biggest threat in that region (and arguably the world) is the Islamic State (ISIS). He has identified them as the greatest threat to world stability, but has also argued that the United States has no place leading the charge against them. He has held that it should be Saudi Arabia who controls the Islamic State. It’s brave of him to even suggest it, given that the United States essentially sits in the pocket of the Saudis, but good on him for suggesting it.
His actions against Israel are somewhat suspect but his critique of the situation is rational. He has simply pointed out that while it is normal for Israel to protect its borders, doing so by attacking residential buildings and blowing up families will ultimately cause more problems than it solves.
6. He’s Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership
The TPP is a trade agreement that started out between four countries; Brunei, Singapore, Chile and New Zealand, with several other countries such as the U.S. and Canada considering membership. It has been criticized for many reasons, including lack of transparency, throughout periods of negotiation and for being a serious threat to American workers. Sanders has said that agreements like the TPP are hazardous to Americans and that the country should focus on rebuilding its own manufacturing rather than outsourcing jobs overseas. He’s also skeptical of any deal that involves China.
5. He has a Good Policy on the Drug War
Sanders has indicated over the years that with regard to marijuana, there is little reason to keep it illegal, and throwing nonviolent offenders who haven’t created any victims in jail is counterproductive to society. He hasn’t come out and shouted “yay for weed, let’s all smoke up” but he has voiced his support for medical pot and hinted at the idea of decriminalization. Other drugs may be another story, but weed is a good start in terms of eliminating prosecution of victimless crimes.
4. He Won’t Start New Wars
While Obama is involving the United States in Middle Eastern affairs more than some are comfortable with right now, especially with the foul taste of Iraq and Afghanistan in the country’s mouth, Sanders has indicated that more military conflict isn’t something the country can handle right now. In this case, he’s right. With trillions in debt the country can’t deal with the massive amount of spending that military campaigns require. He knows this and while it may come off as weak in terms of foreign policy, war isn’t worth it if it leads to a completely bankrupt country with no means to sustain itself.
3. Money Saving Policy on Crime
One of the policies that Bernie Sanders carries close to his heart is that which has to do with crime and punishment. I already detailed the fact that he isn’t going to expand the drug war, but this goes one step further. One of his social priorities is to focus police and prison work on prevention and rehabilitation, rather than brutalizing criminals and handing out massive prison sentences.
Putting people who used some drugs, got in a street fight, or stole something in jail for a decade (or two) is costly, and in many cases, the conditions in prison make minor offenders worse. Rehabilitation programs are working all over the world and they cost less. Many will argue that a government offering crime rehabilitation programs to inmates is giving them something they haven’t earned, but keeping some cash in pocket would be nice.
2. He’s Not a Hardline Christian
Bible-thumping Christians have cost the United States too much money. Between trying to keep gay marriage from happening, trying to prevent women from getting abortions, and foreign policy implications, Christianity being intertwined with government is a dangerous concept that leads to pointless, unnecessary social programs and an alienated population. Sanders was raised Jewish but has no clear religious agenda, having demonstrated that religion should be kept in the home, rather than in public office.
1. He’s Critical of Mass Surveillance
One of the most divisive aspects of American life right now is this surveillance state that has been set up. While some may argue that the Big Brother apparatus is for safety, it’s invasive and not a policy that can be accepted in any free nation. Sanders has been critical of these awful measures for years and is one of the candidates who is most likely to repeal most of them. Along with violating the freedoms of American citizens, it wastes far too much money, and for those who smugly mutter “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear”; privacy and freedom are two things upon which your country was founded, use your head.