Senator Sanders’ popularity is rising, but why? Maybe because he is the only presidential candidate whose past record shows he gives a damn about the people
A year ago, if someone told you that Bernie Sanders was going to dominate the New Hampshire primary, you would probably say ‘Who?’ However, this presidential candidate who was once treated with dismissal has now crushed his opponents in the key state of New Hampshire. Sanders won with 60.4 per cent, beating the once-untouchable Hillary Clinton by 24 per cent, an important victory for the Vermont Senator.
What caused a state that voted for Clinton in the New Hampshire primary of 2008 to turn to Sanders? Bernie Sanders has captivated men, women, and young voters with his anti-billionaire and revolutionary rhetoric. But what is Bernie saying? And why are people listening?
Sanders’ Track Record
Bernie Sanders ran as an independent, won, and served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont for four consecutive terms.
Sanders is the longest running independent in congressional history. He is not afraid to speak out against either party when he feels that they are wrong. Why doesn’t he run for president as an independent? An independent has never won a presidential election and he didn’t want to syphon votes from the Democratic nominee and be responsible for a Republican president.
He voted against the Gulf War in 1991, the USA Patriot Act in 2001, and the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq in 2002. It’s safe to say that Sanders has some incredible political foresight.
Sanders is a Democratic Socialist
Bernie is a self-declared democratic socialist. When the American public hears the word ‘socialist’, they panic. For some reason, the term is political poison. However, it may surprise you to find out that the United States is quasi-socialist. Because of social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, the U.S. can fall under the political spectrum as partly socialist. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not a crazy concept. Nearly all of Europe falls under a sub-category of socialism and it works. Bernie is simply trying to catch the U.S. up with the rest of the Western world.
Every single political policy aside, Senator Sanders has been on the right side of history his entire life.
As a university student, Sanders led a student organization, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) that journeyed to participate in the 1963 March on Washington. Bernie Sanders has literally walked with Martin Luther King Jr. back in the 60s when he would have received much criticism, and yet he stayed true to his beliefs.
In July of 1996, Sanders was amongst the only 67 votes against the Defence of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. It wasn’t until 2013 that the Supreme Court threw out that law. This was back in the 90s, before same-sex marriage was as socially acceptable as it is today. Sanders’ beliefs were very controversial at the time, and many opposed him for having these views on marriage equality.
Sanders voted no in 1999, about a decade before the 2008 crash, on a bill that would take away many financial regulations enacted after the Great Depression. He also confronted Alan Greenspan in the Senate in 2003, calling Greenspan out on his flawed economic ideology. Five years later, in 2008, Greenspan admitted that his theories were wrong.
Why is there so much media attention toward Senator Sanders? Why are young people, a group treated as apathetic voters, his loudest advocates? Bernie’s popularity can be attributed to the widespread mistrust of politicians. As the only candidate completely funded by donations, he proves that his loyalty lies completely with the American people. As voters educate themselves on the issues, they are seeing time and time again Senator Sanders making the most sense out of all the candidates. Say what you want about policy, but no candidate has the public service track record and moral compass that Bernie Sanders has.