Bernie Sanders is a pretty popular guy among a large group of disenfranchised voters who are looking for something different. He’s also a proud socialist who has been representing Vermont as an independent in the US Senate. He is also the only candidate who is openly trumpeting socialist ideals, even if they are hard to identify at first. Don’t be fooled.
Bernie is an interesting character to learn about. He is the son of immigrant Jews who had first-hand experience with Nazism and the destruction of Europe during WWII. This makes him an unlikely candidate for carrying the socialist banner, but his views on big and intrusive government seem to cloud his understanding of history. On the other hand, Bernie is also a patriotic and independent-thinking American who also holds views that align very well with conservatives.
In all fairness, Bernie’s leanings and positions can probably be more identified with a populist blend of nationalism along with socialism. He decries fair trade with China just as he opposed other monumental trade agreements such as NAFTA. He is for individual freedom, but he wants to see a bigger and more intrusive government. He is all about creating jobs and rebuilding our manufacturing sector, but he doesn’t support the free flow of capitalism.
His positions resonate with independent voters as well as those who sit on the fringes of Republican or Democratic ideals. The many sides of Bernie make him an unlikely Democratic contender, and it’s doubtful that he will ever get the nomination. However, he has struck a chord with a certain free-thinking segment of the population, and his candidacy has the potential to swing the 2016 election either way. This is especially true if Trump stays in the race or if Bernie decides to run as an independent later.
The effect of Bernie’s candidacy, or how he is categorized, is not as important as understanding the positions that he supports and the philosophy that he holds. His version of socialism is not nearly as sinister as what we think when looking at governments in Latin America or eastern Europe. However, the results would be the same if his policies ever turned into reality.
They are not all that different than what modern Democrats espouse, but the consequences are more far-reaching. He wants to see greater governmental control in our financial sector. He wants more environmental regulation. He wants the government to be the provider of millions of jobs that would build up our infrastructure and health care system.
Unfortunately, the last thing that a free republic needs is a government that regulates the economy or controls a large percentage of the workforce. Bernie is asking the American people to accept a more intrusive government in exchange for temporary prosperity, but the long-term ramifications of this doctrine will be destructive to what’s left of the American dream.
The unintended consequences of his policies could open the door for the government to have greater and more direct control over a significant portion of the population as well. We all learned the hard way that relinquishing freedom and self-determination to the government, even for the right reasons, does not produce it’s intended effects. The Patriot Act is one example. We surrendered some of our basic civil rights for the good of the nation, and the O’Bama administration took advantage of this legislation to further reduce our liberties.
The last thing that America needs is a bigger and more intrusive government. Unfortunately, a greater percentage of the population is starting to disagree. The question is to what degree will voters allow government to encroach into the private sector. The Democratic party is exploiting this to their advantage, and the good news is that there really is no difference between Bernie and Hillary’s overall views.
Bernie is pulling some of the left-leaning Republican vote while grabbing a piece of the Clinton pie at the same time. The hope is that he will force Hillary to move more to the left as opposed to maintaining her phony, centrist campaign strategy. This could ultimately help conservatives to pick up some moderate and independent votes at the end of the day.
It is highly unlikely that the Bernie Sanders candidacy will gain any real long-standing traction. His appeal to a sizable, but limited core of moderate voters is based on the rehashing of positions and policies that are nothing new or innovative. His presence on the campaign trail only helps to illustrate how Democrats and the liberal elite are hell-bent on expanding government and limiting individual liberty. The question is how conservatives will use this to their advantage in order to woo voters in the 2016 election.