Friday, February 05, 2016
The Pros And Cons Of Bernie's Candidacy
Bernie is a politician that all Democrats should respect, but like all other politicians, he is not perfect. There are both pros and cons to his candidacy. Here is my view on those pros and cons.
* Bernie is a progressive, and has long supported progressive values.
* Bernie has caucused with the Democrats in the Senate, and has been a pretty reliable Democratic vote on important issues.
* Bernie is a tireless campaigner, and appeals to some voters who have not participated in our political system in the past.
* Bernie is not a Democrat, and has rejected Democratic nominations in all prior races he has run. And even though he is running in the Democratic primary this year, I have yet to hear him say he is a Democrat. This makes him look like an opportunist -- willing to use the Democratic apparatus, while rejecting the label "Democrat".
* Bernie has done nothing to help down-ballot Democrats (either financially or otherwise) -- the very people who he would have to depend on to get anything done if elected president.
* Bernie openly calls himself a socialist -- a term that scares many Americans (who still can;t distinguish the differences between socialism and communism). If he is nominated, we can expect Republicans to play on this fear, and we'll get sick of seeing pictures of him with a hammer and sickle, or the communist flag.
* He has recently been attacking Clinton as not being a progressive. That's just silly, and smells like the kind of purity test engaged in by GOP teabaggers. Democrats need to come together -- not argue about who is the purest progressive.
* I don't think he could be elected, especially if the Republicans nominate a faux moderate (like Marco Rubio). The election will be decided by those moderates in the middle of the political spectrum, and too many of them view him as a leftist extremist.
For me, the most important thing is to elect a Democrat as our next president. Allowing a Republican in the White House (any of the current GOP candidates) would be disastrous to this country, in my opinion. Hillary and Bernie are politicians, and both have "warts" -- as all politicians do. But either would be a thousand times better than any of the Republican politicians.
While I don't think Bernie is the best choice Democrats could make, I would vote for him if he is nominated. Can Bernie's supporters say the same about Hillary?
(NOTE -- The image above of Bernie Sanders is by DonkeyHotey.)