Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Sanders has shown amazing leadership which has broken through the politics-as-usual doldrums. He was, to the left, what Trump was to the right, and believes he could have defeated Trump in 2016 if he had been given the forum to do so.
Sanders has made “democratic socialism” less of a confusing, dirty, disrespected idea. He has dared to sound other than “American exceptionalist” by simply pointing out that some European countries are able to balance free enterprise with taking care of all of its citizens.
He is accurate about the urgency of global climate change, and he proposes “Medicare for All”, and he is unapologetic about being a truly Progressive candidate. His influence on others who are running, such as Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, is fairly self-evident.
He may still be considered, however, a bit weak on foreign policy. Then again, he might rein in America’s involvement in half a dozen or more wars at any time. He might open fair dialog about Israel and Palestine, but Palestine is home to plenty of right-wing religious fanaticism of its own. Palestinians deserve a decent life, but this is a horribly complicated issue, and peaceniks just have not succeeded there so far (which is awful to admit but true). Mostly, foreign policy does not seem to have been a focus on Sen. Sanders during his political career.
Regarding his calling for college for all as well as health care for all, that’s great. Student debt is obscene. Wealthy people getting their kids into top schools is obscene. But imagining that college for all will solve job and economic problems falls short of giving at least as much emphasis to vocational training to help America’s workforce be nimble for the massive changes that are rolling in like hurricanes or tidal waves. As far as I can tell, only one candidate, so-far-little-known Andrew Yang, is addressing this.