This guy. Back in late 2014 I was talking to a friend of mine about the upcoming election in 2016 and he said something along the lines of “I think you owe it to yourself to check out Bernie Sanders”. I remember thinking, isn’t he that super old senator, who the hell is he and what does he have to offer? Flash forward about 14 months and I was walking door to door in my city reminding voters that between him and Hillary, the choice was obvious.
And in 2016 there was really no choice as far as I was concerned. Hillary represented everything I hated about the establishment. Sure she would be an ok president but what were her views on income inequality? On sending our troops to war? Money in politics? I remember a quote somewhere saying something like “Bernie attacks the rich while Hillary wants to raise money from them”. In my mind at the time, Bernie would beat any candidate the Republicans put up (I think it was pretty much Trump by then). I still believe that.
But of course Bernie didn’t win the primary. But he came super close. This despite the fact that the Democratic party and the media did everything they could to make it hard for him. If you read a book like Donna Brazile’s or even read her post in politico at the time, you will see my point.
I love this guy. And I’m not alone. Here’s an awesome piece by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone that you should read. Hell, just read the tagline: “You have to be crazy to take on the donors who run Washington. Bernie Sanders doesn’t care”.
Look, I want change. I want real progressive values to be the platform of the Democratic nominee. And I know Bernie will fight for that. The new question for 2020 is this: Are there better candidates that will take his lead? That’s what the next year (and hopefully this blog) will be all about.
Will he run? That’s another question I don’t know the answer to. He may be happy with the giant leap in popularity that he’s gotten since 2016 and he may use that to help his work in the Senate. He’s already changing the debates we’re having. But what will we loose? What will not be debated if he’s not in the race? Will the others like Gabbard and Warren cover the issues I care about? Here is a really good summary of the things that Bernie would bring to the debate that we could maybe not see if he doesn’t run. I’m torn. If he runs, he could pull a lot of votes from other progressives*. Like everything else, we shall see!
* one note: I wrote about this a lot in my previous blog and I will try to recover some of those posts to put here but my views about fair voting are super strong and I firmly believe that the way we vote in America in multi-candidate elections are extremely unfair and also do a lot of harm to our system. People vote strategically instead of who they actually want to represent them and that is just awful. If you read just one thing from this blog, make it this book : Gaming the Vote. I can’t recommend it enough. In short, math proves that plurality voting (our current system) is pretty much one of the worst systems we can use. There are better ones, more fair and easy to implement.