Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Reasons I'm Excited about Bernie Sanders (and You Should be too)

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
My facebook profile has exploded in political posts lately, most of them about Bernie Sanders who is running on the Democratic ticket for president (but is Independent himself). What excites me so much about Bernie Sanders is not his views on how to improve this country (though I find very little to disagree with) but that the more I research him the more I find Bernie Sanders is not a politician. He's an everyday American citizen fighting for the rest us everyday American citizens. What do I mean by that? Take a look for yourself:

  • He refuses to be part of the problem. Bernie Sanders has never run and refuses to run negative adds against his competitors or even say anything against them when taking questions. He doesn't like the "soap opera" our political system has become. He says he'd much rather see candidates debate the real issues of this country than spending millions of dollars on ugly advertising. 
  • He practices what he preaches, even when it puts him at a disadvantage. Bernie Sanders is against the use of big money in our political system. Currently, billionaires can practically buy their favorite presidential candidate, making it near impossible for anyone to run without billionaire funding. But Sanders refuses to take money from super PACs (billionaire funding) during his presidential campaign. Most of his donations come from everyday citizens, donating an average of $40. The rest of his funding comes from organizations that share Sanders' beliefs, such as unions and environmental organizations.
  • He's accessible and wants us involved in the political process. When he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he invited citizens to call him day or night on any issue. He's been on the Thom Hartmann show every week since 2006 (at least as far back as I was able to find) taking calls from everyday people and answering their questions about the week's political developments. In the Senate, he let a Rolling Stone Reporter shadow him for a month because "People need to know how this place works." This May, he did a "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit. He still appears on the Thom Harmann show, and his efforts to encourage participation from the American people won't change once he's president. He knows no president can change this country alone, and it's about time the American people felt empowered to make that change happen.
  • Bernie Sanders has been fighting for basic human rights all his life. He was arrested in college for fighting against segregation. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr. on Washington and was there for his "I Have a Dream" speech. Bernie Sanders has voted and spoken out for Women's rights to contraceptives, abortions, and equal pay. He's in favor of a quicker path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and has stood with Obama's decision to delay deportation. He has worked to improve benefits and healthcare for veterans. He's for gay marriage. Bernie Sanders fights for the people.
  • He knows what he believes in, and he stands by those beliefs even when it seems like no one has been listening over the past 30 years. His voting record is solid. You can watch a speech he gave in 1989 compared with a speech he gave last week and find little difference between the two. Bernie Sanders is a rock.
Of how many politicians of the modern day can you list the same values? How many candidates for president have shown such quality of character? How often have the words "honesty" and "integrity" been used when speaking of a political candidate? How could we not want this man as president? And in a political system that has grown so corrupt and chaotic, how can we afford not to have him?

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