5 Pros and Cons to Bernie Sanders the Presidential Candidate

bernie-sanders-2016-formidable-republican-oppAnyone who follows me knows I’m not exactly on the “Bernie Sanders 2016” bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t like him, I just have strong doubts about his ability to win the general election even if he overcomes long odds to win the Democratic nomination.



While many of his supporters are caught up in ideological euphoria, most of them are ignoring the political realities and challenges Sanders would face as the Democratic presidential nominee. Most notably, a Gallup poll that showed 41 percent of Democrats wouldn’t support a candidate who identifies as a “socialist.” In fact, of all the descriptors Gallup asked, socialist ranked dead last among Democrats – even below an evangelical candidate.

Then let’s not forget about independents (only 49 percent said they would support a socialist) who often fall in the middle on many issues. They’re also voters that history has shown usually don’t flock toward ideological purists.

With 2016 probably being one of the most important elections in many of our lifetimes, Democrats cannot risk messing this election up. I don’t care if it’s Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or a box of rocks – get your asses out and vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. I truly don’t care what you think about Clinton, Sanders or that box of rocks because any one of those options is better than whoever Republicans eventually select… which will likely be Donald Trump.

All that being said, I thought I’d list 5 pros and cons to Bernie Sanders the presidential candidate.

Pros

1. What you see is what you get: One thing I like about Sanders most is that he’s very genuine. Like Senator Elizabeth Warren, I feel that almost everything he says is what he really believes. He has his principles and he’s unapologetic for sticking to them. While he’s not perfect, he does bring with him less b.s. than you’ll find with most politicians. Which is a breath of fresh air in American politics.

2. He’s raising money the way it was meant to be raised: Campaigns are meant to be funded by regular Americans giving a few dollars to fund basic ads, speeches, campaign trips and other expenses. They were never meant to be entities funded by the rich and through Super PACs where secret donors are shielded from the public. If you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t be scared of people knowing who you donated to and how much you donated.

3. He doesn’t care: While I’m not comparing him to Donald Trump, he does have at least one thing in common with “The Donald” – he doesn’t care what people think of him. If you ask him a question, he’ll usually say what’s on his mind.

4. He’s energized young liberals: I’ve asserted that Sanders is like the liberal version of Ron Paul in many ways, though usually not in a positive way. But if there’s one thing he does well, like Paul did in 2012, it’s that he’s gotten the attention of younger Americans. While younger Americans tend to be the least likely demographic to vote, their attention is still an added benefit in aspects of social media and “getting the word out” on the Internet. Which has been made apparent by how popular Sanders is, especially online.

5. Many of his ideas are just common sense: I value two things above all others when it comes to analyzing issues and politics in general: Facts and common sense. Socialized health care and affordable higher education aren’t “radical” liberal nonsense – they’re two things many other modern countries around the world already have. We never hear about countries repealing their socialized health care, do we? We don’t see many seniors pushing for the end to Medicare either. So, logic and common sense would then dictate that it seems when people are given socialized health care, they actually like it. Though the debate we’ve seen this election really hasn’t been about whether or not universal health care is a “good” thing, just whether or not it’s feasible in today’s political world.


Cons

1. He’s an ideological purist: Look, it’s great to go out there and say a lot of wonderful things that get people excited, crowds to cheer and your name in the headlines. But if you don’t show an ability to get any of those promises done, they’re mostly just empty words. The fact remains that, while Sanders is pushing for a lot of massive changes to how this country functions, almost every major pillar on which he’s running stands zero chance at getting through Congress. He would either need to compromise (which would defeat the purpose of the “Sanders revolution” as many are calling it) or he would have to stick to his guns and probably go down as the least effective president in U.S. history. As I’ve said many times before, I’d rather elect someone who can give me 70 percent of what I want half the time than someone who will give me almost nothing that I want nearly all the time.

2. He’s never proven to be an actual leader: Honestly, how many of you had heard of Sanders (or knew much about him) prior to Elizabeth Warren becoming a senator? She has done more for the progressive cause in just over two years than Sanders did in the 20+ years he served in Congress before she arrived. Why is it that she made such an immediate impact (which is really what brought him into the national spotlight to begin with) while he served in Congress for over two decades, mostly floundering in obscurity? To me, that hints at the distinct possibility that he’s lacking in leadership skills. When Warren came in, she made a huge impact almost immediately, shifting the whole foundation of the Democratic party – something Sanders never accomplished.

3. Those who know him best, and have worked with him most, seem to be endorsing Hillary Clinton: The fact is, most congressional Democrats are lining up with Hillary Clinton. But it’s not just them, Vermont’s two biggest political leaders, Governor Peter Shumlin and Senator Patrick Leahy, have endorsed Clinton. That tells me a little something about what he might be like behind closed doors. It’s not good when those who should know you best, and have worked with you the most, are siding with your opponent. While many might claim that’s just “part of the establishment,” I think it’s a bit naive to try to dismiss this reality so haphazardly. Even some of the most liberal members of Congress, Corey Booker and Tammy Duckworth, have endorsed Clinton. Folks are free to downplay the significance of this all they want, that’s fine – but this means something. 

4. A lot of his support is coming from younger voters: Look, you can twist numbers however you want, but the overwhelming political fact is this: Older Americans vote much more consistently, and in larger numbers, than younger Americans. Earlier I mentioned that 41 percent of Democrats wouldn’t support a candidate who identified as a socialist, meaning that 59 percent would. Well, when that poll was broken down by age, the numbers get even worse for Sanders. The largest demographic of voters who support a self-described socialist is the 18-29 crowd at 69 percent. But that’s also the demographic least likely to vote in 2016 no matter how “energized” they are. Now, when you get to Americans aged 50 and older, the support for a self-described socialist drops to 34 percent. In the end, while 59 percent of Democrats say they would support a candidate who calls themselves a socialist, the majority of that support is coming from a demographic that votes in the smallest numbers. While he might bring out more of the youth vote than normal, like he did in Iowa, I don’t see him overcoming that large of a deficit among older Democrats. Especially more “conservative” Democrats who aren’t exactly overly supportive of some of his rather large tax hikes. And let’s also not forget that many independents also said they wouldn’t support a self-described socialist.

5. He’s a self-described socialist who’s going to be 75 in 2016: His age is an issue, period. While it might not matter to every voter, it will matter to some. Being a 75-year-old candidate will only impact him in a negative way because nobody is going to vote for him because of his age – just against him. Furthermore, if you honestly don’t think that someone who literally says the words “I want to redistribute wealth” and proudly identifies as a socialist isn’t going to drive some Democrats to either not vote or potentially even vote for a Republican, you’re fooling yourself. If Sanders, the ideological purist, turns out to be the candidate, that leaves a huge swath of voters for Republicans to pander to as the “moderate” alternative. While we all know the GOP has gone batshit radical, to the tens of millions of Americans who are causal followers of politics, all they’ll see is Republicans pushing “Sanders is a socialist (though they’ll likely paint him as a communist as much as they will a socialist) who wants to raise trillions of dollars in taxes (including on the middle class) and have the government take over your health care and education.” That gives the GOP the opportunity to lure in moderates and independents who don’t fall in line with someone who’s easily the most far-left candidate we’ve ever seen in this country.

I know I’ll get hammered by some people no matter what, but I do feel that this is a fair and accurate analysis of Sanders and his campaign. Agree or disagree, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook either way and let me know what you think.

And please remember, if you want to support Sanders, that’s great. If you want to support Clinton, that’s great. But no matter who you support in the primary, and I cannot stress this enough, make sure you get out and vote for whomever ultimately wins the nomination. The last thing we want is Republicans to potentially be replacing four Supreme Court Justices. 

Image via Formidable Republican Opposition on Facebook




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Nancy B

    I’m over 60 and I love Bernie Sanders. But he doesn’t have a chance at the presidency. Problem is, the DNC and Dem establishment have thrown all their weight and money behind one horse, leaving me with little choice but to hold my nose and choose Clinton, or nobody at all, which would risk the Republicans taking over. (There really is no acceptable Republican candidate, IMO). DNC should have been grooming viable alternative candidates. They’ve failed us miserably.

    • D Lemon

      I completely agree. I hate that Ms. Clinton is the presumptive candidate. The author makes some good points about Sen. Sanders’ chances, but I still believe he would be better than Clinton. Either way, I could never vote for anyone in the republican clown car.

      • Nancy B

        Way back when, I was committed to voting for the best candidate. That sometimes included Republicans. More recently, I’ve end up voting straight Dem ticket, because there are no longer any worthy Republicans.

    • Elizabeth Crawford

      I’ve done the “hold your nose and vote” thing. Several times. A very sad statement on US democracy, if that has to become the rule. Let’s not let it happen!

    • BobJThompson

      Or you could keep your nose unplugged and vote for him in the primary. Maybe send his campaign some money if you love him so much. Screw what the DNC and the establishment want. They are at least partly culpable for the mess America finds its’ self in. And Hillary is more of the same.

      • Nancy B

        So, if by any chance he wins the primary, a member of the Republican clown car gets elected. Been down that road. it never turned out well. Wish we had a Constitutional Convention, so we could get a run-off election system in place.

      • Earlene Hammond

        I have been a big fan of Jon Stewart, but I’m sorry, I don’t agree Bernie can’t win against the Repubs. We, the voters, have the power and WE HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!! If we don’t, the country is doomed to become a monarchy with only the wealthy in charge, or perhaps even a fascist state, with only the wealthy in charge. Either way, the USA will no longer exist for “we the people.” Hillary accepts big money from corporations and Wall St, so we will just have more of the same bullsh** and I, for one, am very tired of it. I believe my instincts are correct because I’ve been watching the changes closely for quite a few years, I do not want to be a sucker for the wealthy anymore. Maybe some of you are too young to know what this country used to be like, when people were proud to be Americans. Any reason for pride will no longer exist without Bernie Sanders. The problems in the US are our fault for allowing it to get this far, due to complacency, and WE have to take charge to help Bernie fix it!

      • Nancy B

        Earlene, I agree with you big time. We’re already a plutocracy, and becoming more so. But I am also a pragmatist. And there is NO WAY Sanders will become president. The opposition is already doubling down on his democratic socialism beliefs (and calling him a commie out of ignorance). Until we raise the level of education in this country, which will not happen under Republican control, he and people like him don’t have a snowball’s chance.

        btw, I’m older than dirt. So I remember when the opposing sides worked together to actually get something done, and rarely resorted to vitriol. It’s maddening. But it is what it is.

      • Tyler

        “Experience is valuable” is a lie. E.g. Napoleon Bonaparte. Economic statistics and logical and critical thinking have proven command economies do not work. E.g. China, USSR, North Korea. You may lived longer, but a bachelors in math/econ with grad in statistics disclaims your reading of reporter articles. If people knew this, I think we would be seeing more economic/Law candidates rather than just Law candidates. Don’t believe me? Then why are you sitting here, preparing yourself for a hate comment rather than looking into it yourself. Start with the simple article: I, Pencil.

      • Nancy B

        I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about or how it relates to my comments. My “reading of reporter articles?”. What does that even mean? “Preparing myself for a hate comment?” Where did you get that gem of nonsense? You have a degree. Well, good for you. I have one too. But I don’t use it to justify poor writing skills.

      • UCF_Engineer

        Bernie supporters are just upset that they don’t have a very good shot at winning. So they run around saying Hillary is a Republican which couldn’t further from the truth. Its true that Bernie is obviously left of her but as a life long liberal democrat I actually don’t want someone that far to the left. I’m not completely sold on socialist ideas to begin with but At best he would get some watered down socialist ideas through congress (which kinda defeats the purpose of his message). At worst he would be a lame duck. Hillary can push the country forward incrementally like its always been done. Extreme change doesn’t come quickly so don’t let these Bernie supporters distract you.

        #I’mwithher

      • Nancy B

        I align politically more with Bernie. But as you indicated, he won’t be able to fulfill anything close to his promises. I do not like Hillary, but would hold my nose and vote for her if I could. Unfortunately, I live in the US Virgin Islands now, where we are treated as second class citizens. We cannot cast a vote for president, even though we have to abide by the Administration’s and Congress’ whims, not to mention the US Constitution.

    • Brian Gilcrest

      You totally have a choice, Nancy. Until you don’t.

      Vote your principles in the primary…your party in the general. Period.

      • Nancy B

        That has the chance of backfiring. Not willing to take the risk.

      • Tom Barnes

        That’s exactly the kind of logic that makes it so difficult for someone like Sanders to get elected. A Presidential election (and especially this one) is no place to “hedge” your bet. If you truly believe in a candidate and his/her message, you only betray yourself by not voting for that person. “It is what it is” is what it is because too many are “not willing to take the risk”. Bernie’s political revolution requires risk. It will take many millions of us to take that risk, to commit. It won’t be enough to be all “rah, rah” up until that moment you cast your vote if, at the last minute you cast that vote out of fear. Yes, the idea of a Rep in the White House is indeed frightening – the stuff of nightmares. The way I see it though, anyone other than Sanders is a nightmare only slightly less frightening. I will vote for Bernie. Should he not win I will at least be comfortable knowing that I voted my conscience, that I made the effort to do what I could to make America better. I will take the risk.

    • Tyler

      I’m sorry, how are Fiorina and Rubio not decent candidates? You do understand that we have close to 19 trillion dollars in debt, you do understand that is a factor of inflation, and you do understand that Bernie is socialist, which is indeed a negative phrase, unlike many people wish to believe, because it is paraphrased as a command economy which as history has proven, command economies do not work. I mean guys, stop being politicians and start being economists. You cannot tell a 50 year old man to pay for some 20 year old kids college by increasing his taxes. That is not only bad economics, but immoral. Socialism sounds great, until you uncover the hidden facts behind it. The next socialist candidate will say “this” is more important and then redistribute money to that rather than something that affects you and it just goes on and on and that’s just outside of economics.

      • Nancy B

        Fiorina is not credible. She’s already distorted her HP career by cherry-picking her stats to make herself look good. Her foreign policy is downright frightening. She’s going to demand we break the Iran deal, which will make it null and void, and Iran will have those nukes we don’t want them to have many years earlier than the deal made possible. And she won’t even talk to Putin and will place more troops in Germany to piss him off. Oh, but she’s going to call Bebe her first day on the job and kiss his a$$ because she doesn’t understand he’s playing us like a fiddle. And let’s not forget her lying about the content of the PP tapes to either pander or show how gullible she is – I’m not sure which.

        Rubio? Well, first there’s his story about his parents fleeing the Castro regime. Except they didn’t. That can either be attributed to pandering or gullibility too. He lied to the public about Obamacare, too. He stated businesses weren’t hiring, or were switching to part timers because of the expensive requirements. Anecdotally, that happened. But overall, nope, it didn’t. Foreign policy? Rubio had to have the basics of Sunni and Shiite politics explained to him so he’d understand that Iran wasn’t against us bombing ISIS.

        I’ve got plenty more where that came from.

        Sanders is not a socialist, as in Marxist socialist. He’s a democratic socialist. Since you have that degree, you should at least understand the difference between the two from an economic standpoint. Am I all in on that ideology? No. But our balance of power will not allow him to change our economic system, and it’s much better than the plutocratic leanings of the candidates on the right. Regardless, yes you can, in general, tell that 50 year old he has to cover a 20 year old’s college costs through taxes. Just as you can tell a 20 year old he has to fork over some money for the 50 year old’s health costs. It’s worked well that way for generations. Sad that the gimme-gimme generation has lost the understanding that a rising tide lifts all boats.

  • Stephanie Daugherty

    Bernie may seem to be a long shot against the Republican field, but I think his common sense message, integrity, and brutal honesty give him a fighting chance with the moderates who will swing the election.

    I don’t see the same for Hillary. She’s a center-right, establishment candidate, with “baggage”, even if all of it’s been imagined by Fox News. The Republican propaganda machine will easily paint her as “far left” despite her center right leanings, just as they have done with Obama, and the less polarizing of the Republican candidates look to have good odds of beating her out in a general election. Either way, if she makes it to the general election, we shift the political discourse further to the right whether she wins or loses.

  • Joshua Tyler Williamson

    I know Sanders will probably be smeared as the “extremist left-wing” candidate.

    Here’s the problem with worrying about that. Republicans smear whoever the Democratic candidate is, as an extremist left wing liberal. Obama and Clinton are very moderate, yet you never hear that from Republicans. To any average Republican voter, a Democrat could be anything from a Marxist to a DINO and it won’t make an ounce of difference. So maybe we just shouldn’t worry about them.

    • Raul Antonio Noguera-McElroy

      Except that it’s a lot easier to smear someone who has unabashedly admitted his socialist views as an extremist than someone who hasn’t.

    • CrackerJack Man

      ” Obama and Clinton are very moderate ” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Robonatron

        I had to laugh as well!

      • Ubiquitousnewt

        They have medications that can control your Tourette’s now, you know.

        They are moderates. Obama and Clinton’s policies are to the right of much of the Democratic party. Hello, who do you think all the Sanders supporters are? People to the LEFT of Clinton. They are both moderates.

        …They just don’t seem centrist because the Republicans have lurched so far to the right.

    • Robonatron

      I believe that is the same way any Democrat looks at Republicans as well. Unfortunately, those of us who want smaller government and feel we should tighten our borders (obey rule of law), are always bunched in with the “Extremist Right Wing” camp. The only real way for our voices to be heard is to support either of the extreme parties. That theory goes for the Dems also. Clinton is exactly the opposite of Bernie in every way (almost), yet they share the same party. Trump is opposite of Cruz, Rubio or any of the rest- but they share the same party. Oddly enough I see Trump and Sanders as being in a very similar position, both outsiders that their party hates- but a majority of (different electorates) are supporting them. Interesting election cycle for sure!

      • UCF_Engineer

        That’s because the 2 party system is corrupt and broken. I personally support Hillary because I like her policies and know she is a capable leader but in some ways I wish Trump and Sanders would make an agreement to drop out of the primaries and run as independents. Give the Dems Hillary, give the Reps Cruz and lets see what the country does in a four way race.

        The Australian system does elections very well actually. You vote according to preference so your vote is never truly wasted and the U.S would benefit immensely from this. Instead of having a really nasty primary and dividing like minded individuals, you can still vote for your main candidate but also give a second and 3rd (4th, 5th etc.) choice.
        I’m sure being on the right you would prefer to see anyone of your guys over Hillary or Bernie and the same could be said for my side about Trump and Cruz but instead we have these primaries where your side is saying “anyone but Trump” and “lying Ted Cruz” and my side is saying Hillary is a “centrist Republican” and Bernie is a “far left extremist”.
        All of it is nonsense and unnecessary but makes for good TV Twitter feeds and Youtube videos. It’s sad really. There are much, much better ways to go about electing a president and we have just about the worst system in place.

  • BlueSky

    After working really hard for George McGovern, running against Nixon, I was badly shaken to learn that he had gotten only 3 Electoral College votes. I’m sure the Koch machine will have lots of dirty tricks ready to smear any Dem candidate, but having been burned so badly once I’m leery about following my political heart.

    • Tom Barnes

      Which serves only to keep the Koch machine running. The only way to break that machine is to do exactly that…follow your political heart.

  • DAN

    I don’t think Bernie is a long shot at all. He has real ideas as opposed to either party not really addressing corporate greed or the real inequality that exists. I have been watching Sanders for years and has been saying the same thing for years. The only difference is now what Bernie is saying resonates with the middle class and the poor. Hilary, lets face it won’t go after the banks or Wall street. No more Clintons and No more Bush’s.

  • barbaralee12

    I am not fond of people who have set in Congress for years and have very little to show for it.You have to show me just what you have accomplished.If we want to win we have to be more informed .Besides if Hillary gets the nod she will certainty get the Presidents delegates.So there you have it.

    • Steve

      Bernie has passed more roll call amendments than any other lawmaker since 1995. He works with Both Republicans and Dems to get stuff done, and you say he has very little to show for it? Just because you don’t read about him or do research on him doesn’t mean he isn’t good at his job. Tell me What has Hillary done that makes her qualified to be president or even electable if she was to get the nomination?

      20% of people are Republican 27% are Democratic, and 43% are Independents. Why is it that people say Bernie is undetectable?

  • Brian Gilcrest

    I couple of things that I think are not being taken into consideration.

    1. I get the praise for Senator Warren. She’s amazing. But keep in mind, she was elected in 2012, which is one year after Occupy. Has everyone read the recent Washington Post (I think it was WaPo) article about how Occupy was the very model of how not to instigate political change…right up until it won? (I quibble with the “won,” since we still have to see meaningful legislation happen…but the point was, suddenly everyone is talking about income inequality. And money in politics.)

    Point being, articles like this one have their root in the idea that things are how they’ve always been. They’re not. Saw another article yesterday, I think, reminding us that 2016 will be the Facebook election. It was about the fifth article I’ve seen about the fact that recent surveys show that 60% of people get their news from Facebook. (Now, Facebook isn’t WRITING the news…it’s just the DELIVERY SYSTEM. But that’s how it’s being delivered. The corporate media isn’t about a Bernie Sanders. And the corporate media will be powerful. BUT…it no longer runs the whole show.

    Bottom line…I will vote my principles in the primary. I will NOT allow anyone to tell me “Sanders can’t win.”

    • I looked up the Washington Post article. IMO Occupy didn’t “win” anything; it tapped into sentiment that already was brewing out of the notice of national news media, yes, but I think the Sanders candidacy would be just as strong now if Occupy had never happened. Occupy remains a sad example of missed opportunity, IMO.

    • Robonatron

      I strongly suggest anyone who is looking for a source that exposes the corporate news machine should be reading the Drudge Report, Vox, Breitbart and listing to Rush Limbaugh- doesn’t matter if you are a leftie or rightie- you will learn the microscopic details of all things political. Stay away from Huffington Post, Salon, Washington Post, NBC and all affiliates thereof. FB News? that’s a new one to me. It seems that most of my liberal friends post from god-awful sources, because it fits their narrative. The key is to search out all sides of the coin.

  • DudleyDoright

    I love how everybody gets excited about the word Socialism. It’s almost like it’s tied to Nazism, since that word is used to describe that fascist historically detested aspect of Germany’s culture. But the reality is that we have various social constructs across our nation that are exceptional and necessary for our nation: public safety, education, “social” security, ACA, DMV, Our highways and road systems, parks, sanitation etc. there is absolutely nothing wrong with those entities in the estuary of free market. Well, in my opinion anyway. Furthermore, many of our socialistic endeavors, to appease the Christian Right, have Christian undertones as they address the elderly, the sick, and especially the poor. What’s wrong with our nation taking care of our down trodden via a social welfare system? Senator Sanders platform doesn’t threaten any system that we have in place in this country and I think he is refreshing and delivering a clear honest message about his vision for this country. At least you know what he believes in wether you agree with it or don’t.

    • UCF_Engineer

      I used to think this way too (with regards to the Christian right getting on board with socialism) but then I came to realize the key point that you are missing. Socialism helps people through the government. The right wing is hates and is mistrustful of the government (and in some cases its justified). So basically it boils down to the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I don’t know if socialized healthcare and college in the long term can work in this country (it may if people grow a brain and use the free education on a real degree instead of wasting their time and taxpayer dollars on a psych or lib arts degree) but I do know it will be painful for all Americans in the short term from the initial tax hike and possible reduced wages.

  • OkinKun

    To quote another article: “since the Republicans took over Congress in 1995, no other lawmaker – not Tom DeLay, not Nancy Pelosi – has passed more roll-call amendments (amendments that actually went to a vote on the floor) than Bernie Sanders.”

  • pete barnes

    Maybe all you guys should move to Venezuela or Brazil so you can wallow in your progressiveness….

  • Hayden Zann

    hey guys, new to the group here. all i can say is…

    I do not like this Donald twit,

    I do not like him just one bit.

    I do not like his funky hair,

    I do not like that he don’t care.

    I do not like that he thinks strange

    Science facts on Climate Change.

    I do not like his ’50s views

    About a woman’s right to choose.

    I do not like the way he speaks

    And insults everyone he meets.

    I do not like his lies and tricks,

    I do not like his head of bricks.

    I do not think that he is smart,

    I think he’s only just a fart.

  • This was an excellent article on both pros and cons. As life long Democrat, I will not vote Bernie for all the reasons you mentioned. I’m 74, and believe me you don’t have the energy you did even at 50. So he is a ‘high risk’ candidate, and let’s not forget our metal capacities can also fail. Most of all I don’t think his ideas will fly because Washington is extremely reluctant to change. Also, I’m tired of hearing whine about the ‘big’ banks. We have more pressing issues with IISIS and immigrations and even global warning.

  • Deepforest

    You make some interesting points, and given that there hasn’t been a president elected from a third party since, uh, *checks Wikipedia* 1848, I WILL likely vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is in the general election, unless someone else I like better has a staggeringly good chance of beating the Republican candidate. And I mean STAGGERINGLY, because I’m just NOT OKAY with a Republican winning.
    I am a 21 year old college student. I was not previously registered to vote, as I felt I couldn’t vote on things without making an informed decision, and I didn’t want to take the time to do the research and Internet trawling required for that, especially since I didn’t keep up with the news at ALL.
    I am now registered, a decision I made for the express purposes of voting NOT Trump and made when I discovered he was not only running to be the Republican presidential candidate, but somehow WINNING.
    I am, however, attempting to do my due diligence in becoming informed, since I feel that’s the responsibility of every voter. Through this, I discovered Bernie Sanders. Based off his party page and a couple of the “what candidate matches you?” quizzes, I absolutely love what he stands for and it meshes incredibly well with my own opinions on a lot of these issues. Granted I’m not sure how practical any of it is, especially as I don’t have a super great understanding of economics and I doubt the big money people will let the tax reforms through, but from an ethical/ideal/the right thing to do standpoint? Yes, absolutely.
    This is way more text than I was expecting. Basically, I like Bernie so far and will probably vote for him in the primaries. In the general election though, I am voting for whoever has the best chance of beating the Republican nominee.