Bernie Sanders, not the democratic candidate liberals want
By BRANDON QUINTIN
Bernie Sanders is a good man, and while growing up in Vermont, he was a constant presence on my local television. As mayor of Burlington, he was even a customer of my grandfather’s gas station. My close-knit community has always been very sympathetic to Sanders, and rightly so. There are few men like him in politics. Unlike most politicians, he is neither fake nor manufactured by an entourage of advisors and pollsters. People love him for his honesty and authenticity, and he certainly believes what he says. But unfortunately, it is what he’s saying that is the problem.
Bernie Sanders is a socialist. For those of us born after the Cold War that word has little meaning, but it should. Sanders is quick to promote the merits of European-style socialism. Yet he ignores the significant damage that left-wing policies have brought to the likes of Greece, Italy, Spain and Great Britain. It takes no reminder that Europe is truly the Old World. Replicating their destructive economic policies will only give us the problems they are currently experiencing: mass debt, chronic high unemployment, stagnant growth and political turmoil.
Sanders also admires the early twentieth century socialists who tried, and failed, to make a major impact in American politics. Huey Long and Eugene V. Debs, who Sanders honors with a portrait in his senate office, were the poster children of populist socialism in America. Their beliefs were too extreme then, and are too extreme now. Bernie Sanders’ ideas are nothing new. They are simply foreign and old-fashioned.
Such policies may be plausible in small, homogenous and isolated European nations. Perhaps even in similar American states like Vermont. However, for countries and states with power and responsibility, they are not. Vermont, like Europe, is no model for the future of our country, and as a Vermont native, it pains me to say that. But I know it to be true. Vermont is a heavily left-wing state.
The Democrats and the “Progressives,” a group of individuals too extreme for the Democratic Party, have maintained a super majority for quite some time.
Bernie Sanders’ ultra-liberal ideology is more or less what Vermont is currently living through, and the resulting government policies have taken their toll. Vermont has the smallest economy in the country, is ranked 43rd in best to do business, and is tied as most costly for manufacturing. Not to mention, taxes in Vermont are high and significantly stunt growth. Which was enough to force one town into voting to secede and join New Hampshire in 2004. Additionally, Vermont’s lax drug laws and weak police force have facilitated an 800% increase in illegal drug use since 2000.
Sanders also supports a number of ideas that even liberal democrats take issue with. He has a record of voting against gun control, which are showcased in both 1993 and 2005 when he voted against legislation that would have imposed restrictions on gun ownership and instituted greater waiting periods.
Moreover, Sanders is opposed to the idea of free trade and regularly attacks NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, in his speeches.
Additionally, while most believe that a modest increase in the minimum wage is necessary, a jump to $15 per hour as Sanders has proposed would dramatically increase unemployment, especially among the youth. He also believes strongly in wealth redistribution and a 90% income tax rate for the top earners.
Clearly, Bernie Sanders is an inspirational and honest man, and I would trust him with many things, but the future of my country is not one of them. His policies are downright suicidal for a major power. If you do not care about your nation’s place in the world, the integrity of the international order, economic progress or growth, and care only about forced equality of outcome, then Bernie Sanders is the man for you. If not, then be sure to voice your opinion in the upcoming primaries. We must always be vigilant as citizens of a democratic state. People like Bernie Sanders are exploiting the fatal flaw inherent within every free nation. Voters will always want more benefits and less sacrifice.
The people will always be drawn to the candidate that promises them more, and says someone else will pay for it.
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