A closer look at Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, announced he will be running for the Democratic presidential nomination. It is important to note he would have no leverage if he ran outside the two-party plutocracy set in stone here in the states. Sanders is notorious to many and praised by the few for his “radical views” and often declared a fringe liberal outside the mainstream. To his credit, he does bring up issues that Democrats and Republicans typically disregard such as income inequality and climate change. Stating:
“Unfettered free trade has been a disaster for American Workers.
“Global warming is the greatest environmental threat facing the planet and averting a planetary disaster will require a major reduction in coal oil and other fossil fuels.”
However, on further inspection of his stances, he isn’t too out of place among the mainstream American political discourse. He takes a middle-of-the-road position regarding the ruinous and costly war on drugs, saying:
“I have real concerns about implications of the war on drugs…. I am concerned about the overuse of dangerous drugs.” When asked about the legalization of Marijuana he stated he’d “look at it,” but “to me it’s not one of the major issues facing this country.”
The pressing issues seem to be the approximate $40 billion our state and federal government spends on the “War on Drugs” a year and the estimated 750,000 people arrested, fined or sent to stay in overcrowded prisons for nonviolent offenses.
Those incarcerated for cannabis alone cost US taxpayers roughly one billion dollars.
Curiously enough, in a town hall meeting in his home state of Vermont, When a woman asked him about last summer’s “Operation Protective Edge” that Israel unleashed on the occupied territories and the one-sided condemnation of just Hamas in the Senate Resolution, Bernie responded by telling the opposition to
“Excuse me! Shut up!”
Although Mr. Sanders gives some level of hope, as mainly trade unions fund him, unlike Hillary Clinton’s extensive Goldman Sachs and Citigroup contributions, he is far from progressive.
His economic and environmental stances are to some a breath of fresh air; but — like Bush and Cheney — he is a staunch Zionist and on foreign policy does not deviate far from mainstream US discourse.
With all being said, he still doesn’t have much of a chance of winning as only 11% of the Democratic Party supports him and Hillary Clinton has much more funding and name recognition. It’s hard not to be pessimistic when looking at the viable options available for the upcoming presidential campaign.
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