North Texas Daily

Why I can’t #FeelTheBern

Why I can’t #FeelTheBern

Why I can’t #FeelTheBern
March 09
11:56 2016

Harrison Long | Opinion Editor


I’d like to get something out of the way.

I do have respect for Bernie Sanders as a congressional trailblazer and a person at large. His commitment to civil rights and equality has shown to be steadfast and unwavering over the past half-century, and that is commendable. His inability to be bought by high-roller donors is also encouraging.

With that being said, I cannot support his bid for President of the United States — not that he really has a chance, anyway. This should not be taken as my supporting Hillary Clinton either, nor a plea for those on the fence to jump to the right. This is merely a detailing of my lack of faith in regard to Sanders.

While the Senator from Vermont is running for the Democratic ticket, he is not an enrolled Democrat and never has been. While this matters less to the common voter and local-level politicians, believe me when I say that it absolutely does matter to Democrats in Congress. While Hillary has fundraised for her own campaign, she has also accumulated millions for her fellow party members, which will bode well for her in terms of sparking loyalties in November and beyond.

Sanders, on the other hand, has raised exactly zero dollars for those in the party he would be the de facto leader of. This unfortunate reality spells disaster in terms of Democrats’ willingness to go to bat for him against Republicans, who will, most assuredly, be gunning for him from the get-go. Take a look across the aisle and you can see that a strong leader is necessary for a party to throw its full weight behind a particular candidate, which is why the GOP is frantically searching for someone who could effectively challenge Donald Trump. Both parties want unity, not a wedge — this applies to both their constituents and those who represent them.

While Sanders’ disassociation from the Democratic party has been a none-factor in his state of Vermont, it would be to his detriment in the Oval Office. He is already facing a tough climb in terms of selling his ideals to Congress, and a lack of support on his own bench will spell disaster for the Senator’s ability to get anything done.

Also, it is important to cite his inherent lack of experience on foreign policy. While his ability to plead cases for domestic issues are without question, Republicans will drive full-throttle towards opportunities to expose his lack of experience on the international scene once the actual campaign begins. Think Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” ad from 1964 — some say it was what won him the election.

And despite his ability to defend himself on issues at home, the GOP is still going to fight him tooth-and-nail on every single thing he would attempt to legislate. This, accompanied with a questionably-defended front in foreign policy, leads me to believe that he could not win the general election in the first place. While it would certainly be interesting to see the clout his inevitable “I voted against the Iraq War” narrative would buy him, one vote does not equal a substantial wealth of foreign policy expertise.

Taking personal politics out of the equation, it should be understood that the world is currently a tinderbox, and it would be to our benefit to elect someone with a clue on how to go about handling these varying situations. While we do have our own fair share of problems, we are still the wealthiest nation in the world, and without question chart the course which the world sails in attempting to solve its collective problems. We need to have our stuff together.

In conclusion, let it be known that this is neither an attack on Sanders’ character nor a support ad for any other candidate. I simply refuse to standby and watch four more years of political gridlock and in-fighting while the world burns around us. I refuse to sit idly while campaign promises are forgotten, and him lose reelection in four years at the age of 78.

I don’t doubt Mr. Sanders’ desire to see the world become a better place, I just question his ability to make it so.

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