Even though the 2016 elections are still a ways away, the campaigns for most of the candidates have already begun. While normally I find presidential election years fascinating and interesting, I’ll freely admit that an 18-month buildup is going to give me some intense “election fatigue.” Then again, candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have basically been using their entire time in the Senate to stage their presidential campaigns – so, in reality, many of these people are always campaigning.
Right, Rand “I like to stage fake filibusters to raise money for my campaign” Paul?
Well, on the Democratic side while many have already anointed Hillary Clinton the candidate, there’s a clear upwelling of support for Sen. Bernie Sanders. In fact, when you get right down to it, evidence shows us that he is the true progressive Democrats need in 2016.
Let’s take a look at a few of his stances on several issues showing just how progressive he really is.
Take his stance on same-sex marriage:
Every loving couple & family deserves to be recognized & treated equally under the law across our nation.
That’s pretty straightforward. He believes that every American, no matter gay or straight, deserves the same protections and rights under our laws.
Here’s what he has to say on immigration reform:
If Congress continues to refuse to act [on immigration], as president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further.
Fantastic, right? After all, the vast majority of Americans support common sense approaches to immigration reform, so we definitely need a president who’s going to step right in there and do something to tackle an issue that’s only getting worse.
We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if it takes a constitutional amendment.
The Supreme Court made a grave error with Citizens United. I will do everything I can to appoint Supreme Court justices who protect the right to vote and do not protect the right of billionaires to buy elections.
Those are two things we desperately need. A complete overhaul of how our campaigns are financed so we don’t have billionaires buying our elections and Supreme Court Justices who will overturn the absurd ruling that basically said free speech and money are the same thing.
Naturally, Sanders is a huge fighter for equal pay for women:
So many women are still paid less than men for the same work, with even wider gaps for women of color. When women are held back, our country is held back. When women get ahead, everyone gets ahead.
It is hard to believe that in 2015 so many women still pay a price for being mothers.
All of that is absolutely true.
I think it goes without saying that Sanders is also adamant about not putting any American ground troops in Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS:
I think it’s a very difficult situation, and I basically agree with the policies that we are currently following and that is American air support is available, American intelligence and surveillance is available. American trainers are trying to undo the damage that was done to the Iraqi army by former prime minister Maliki, who bears a very big part of the responsibility for what is happening inside of Iraq today.
There’s no role whatsoever for American soldiers on the ground. This has to be fought and won by Iraqis.
Fairly direct, right? He’s not completely against the U.S. providing support for the Iraqi government, but he makes it perfectly clear that we shouldn’t use ground troops and the battle against ISIS needs to be won by the Iraqi people.
Obviously Sanders is a big supporter of the U.S. doing whatever we can to combat climate change:
I give Obama and the EPA enormous credit for going as far as he can go as a president using executive and regulatory action. We have to actually convince more Americans that this is in their interest. You know, whatever it takes. I happen to think it’s a real threat. I think the science is pretty clear. The deniers, some day people are going to read about them and wonder, who were these people? And how did they say this?
There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are far more likely to be stopped by the police and charged with crimes and given longer prison terms than their white counterparts. There is something wrong when trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve breaks down. We must urgently begin to rebuild bonds of trust and respect among American between police and citizens. We don’t want to create another incarceration generation.
We can start by making sure that federal funds for state and local law enforcement are used to bolster best practices, rather than to buy weapons of war that have no place on our streets.
And when it comes to GMO’s, Sanders clearly isn’t a Monsanto sellout like his opponent Hillary Clinton, who said:
I’m amazed how much rejection genetically modified foods are receiving from the public. It smacks of the fear factor that exists at every new emergent science, where people don’t fully understand it or don’t fully know or embrace its consequences, and so therefore reject it. There are no wild, seedless watermelons. There’s no wild cows. There’s no long-stemmed roses growing in the wild – although we don’t eat roses. You list all the fruit, and all the vegetables, and ask yourself, is there a wild counterpart to this? If there is, it’s not as large, it’s not as sweet, it’s not as juicy, and it has way more seeds in it. We are creating and modifying the biology of the world to serve our needs. I don’t have a problem with that, because we’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years.
And we all know when it comes to health care reform, Sanders has been fighting for years to give access to every American.
Just looking at all of these quotes and his stance on some of the most important issues, it’s clear Sanders is the progressive candidate Democrats desperately need.
Wait a minute – my mistake. The quote on GMO’s, that was actually from Neil deGrasse Tyson. You know, the famed astrophysicist and one of the leading figures among liberals fighting for science to triumph over political propaganda? Yeah, that guy.
Oh, and the rest of those quotes were actually from Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders.
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