Thursday, April 30, 2015

Let's give Senator Sanders a fair hearing

By Richard Barry

Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, is running for president as a Democratic, and he says he's running to win. Well, that's not true, but he will, as the New York Times reports, surely inject a consistently progressive voice into the contest. And that, I would add, ain't nothin'.

Sanders, in a statement to supporters, laid out his goals, which include "reducing income inequality, addressing climate change and scaling back the influence of money in politics."

He will also no doubt talk about his oppostion to foreign military interventions and his concern about the power of big banks, which might, as the Times suggests "force Mrs. Clinton to address these issues more deeply."

I suppose that could happen, but here is what I hope also happens. I hope the voters take Sen. Sanders seriously, because he is a thoughtful and intelligent man. Americans are unused to giving serious consideration to a well-reasoned social democratic perspective and I fear Sander's candidacy will be treated like a sideshow, an insignificant aspect of the horse race, instead of an opportunity for the electorate to stretch its understanding of what politics can be and what government can do if it really acts in the interests of the many instead of the privileged few.

Yes, it will take an intellectual leap for most Americans to give Sen. Sanders a fair hearing. I hope they make the effort.

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  • I think that just the fact that he embraces the label "socialist" will prevent anyone in the media from taking him seriously. Hopefully votes will make up their own minds. But I'm not optimistic.

    By Blogger Professor Chaos, at 10:30 AM  

  • I'm with Professor Chaos. I think the issue is not really the people but the media. And let's not forget that for younger people "socialism" doesn't have the stigma it does to the dying demographic. What I hope is that Sanders makes Clinton get explicit about her policies. That would be a very good thing.

    As for me, on the one issue I most care about (economic), Sanders is fantastic. I will almost certainly vote for him in the primary. But I'm sure I know how this goes, "Dated Sanders; married Clinton."

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12:48 PM  

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