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Things Bernie Sanders Is Doing Wrong

Updated on January 29, 2016

Democratic Socialism vs. Social Democracy

As much as my own views are close to Sander's, I have to point out several things that I believe he's doing in an undesirable way, which will eventually contribute to Hillary Clinton's election. First of all would be his claim that he's a democratic socialist. Now, what's wrong with that? Only the latter, namely socialism. It is not rare to hear accusations of Bernie being a red starred communist with the hammer and sickle stamped to his forehead. Because you don't want to live in Soviet Union, do you? Or, we've seen the success socialism had in all communist countries. Would you like the US to share the same fate?

What people fail to realize is two things. First of all, most of the communist countries during the cold war period had nothing to do with communism or socialism itself, as was described by Marx and Engels. These were simply just another tool for Stalin, Mao, Castro to impose their authority at their citizens' expense, while shamefully enriching themselves and strengthening their global power. Which by the way was exactly the opposite of what communism represented in theory and resembled more capitalism in fact than any other system. Even though they lacked corporations, the communist authorities were the rich elite, after all, while the rest of the people were at the very bottom. Communism was therefore an extreme version of capitalist exploitation. And then you have a certain amount of empty heads who excitedly point out that even Hitler was a socialist, since his party bore the name National-Socialist. I am not even going to make a comment on that one.

However, trying to explain this to the public, especially during the elections campaign, would be futile. Bernie should know this. And Bernie should know better when he decides to use the word "socialism". It might pass on the European soil, but not in America. And this is not to say that Europeans necessarily comprehend socialism better than the Americans, but simply because the Republicans will do anything to try and use it against Bernie. So, he should be, or should've been more cautious. Instead, using the term "social democracy" would be more appropriate when defining his political stance.

And this is something Hillary Clinton has recognized. You won't hear her using any terms which would label her as an extremist or a revolutionist because her political experience has taught her that the majority of Americans is not seeking for any drastic change that would lead towards the extreme right or extreme left on the political scale. Americans want the change, but not the one they don't fully understand. Bernie might be right in everything he says and stands for, but Hillary knows the mentality of her people more profoundly.

Watch your tone, ladies and gentlemen.
Watch your tone, ladies and gentlemen.

Obama's name is not trademarked

Hillary sure is doing a good job when it comes to giving credit to Obama and throwing his name out there every once in awhile (sometimes too often). Not that it's a bad thing. And Bernie does it as well, but way less than she does. The first time he noticed her trying to present herself as someone who would continue Obama's politics, Bernie should've done the same, and then some. Obama's name is not trademarked, especially when it's coming from politicians who are close to him. And using it obviously works with the majority, that voted for Obama and is satisfied with his mandate. Considering that it's the Republicans who hold the House and the Senate, Obama definitely deserved the praise. Bernie is trying to stay original, but he's forgetting one thing: this is a political race and the only way winning it is using political tools.

We need revolution, but do we want it?

It's obvious that Bernie is calling for a civic revolution. I believe he's genuine in his standing up for the working class and confronting the all too wealthy corporations and their pathetic moguls. But what kind of impact is this making on the American public? The Americans are not ready for a revolution. It sounds too left-wing. And I don't see them as such. Most people voting for the Democrats are at best moderate leftists, also known as the left center. Bernie has my full support in going through with his revolutionary politics if he was to become president (although I'm not sure how much success he would have or how long he would last as POTUS). But politics has taught us that being a president and running for one are not the same thing. In most cases politicians don't lie, they're just telling you what you want to hear. This has shown to be one of the key tactics to winning the race. It all comes down to the ordinary voter. Trump is doing the same, only he's targeting the extreme right wing niche (Although Trump is not a politician, therefore also fails to recognize certain political tools which eventually could backfire on him. However, that's debatable and I might talk about it in another hub). He's also investing too much emotion into his campaign. The tone, the energy (positive or negative), the personal excitement, it all leaves an impression on the voter. So, Bernie should ask himself: Is the majority of the nation willing to see this revolution and do they understand the meaning of it? I understand he needed something to give his race a start. But I believe it's time to cool the passions a bit and handle himself in a more "political" rather than "political activist" manner.

Going negative on ad campain

There has been talks these days about whether Bernie should go negative in his ad campaign against Hillary. It's not an unusual thing in American politics to see this way of conducting the campaign. It is a political tool, for sure. I would even say it's a part of the American tradition (you won't see too much of it in European politics). I remember being shocked when I found out that the oppo man was a real job. And I'm pretty sure every candidate has their own oppo man. However, it's more a Republican thing. It suits them more. It does not suit the Democrats. It's one of the political tools they should not apply. If he went negative, it could spark up an even bigger demonstration of hatred and sexism towards Hillary than it already exists out there. You can hear and even read a lot of it on different social media. Hillary is getting attacked, cursed at and disrespected left and right (literally). I'm 100% positive Bernie doesn't approve of it. He's not against Hillary, he just has a different agenda. And it really should stay that way. All those who support Bernie but can't stand Hillary's guts should keep that in mind. The race between Sanders and Clinton is not a race between good and evil. Neither is it a race between two sworn enemies. So, leave the negative ad campaign to Trump and Cruz, and your chances will go up. Good luck, Bernie!

Don't become like these guys...
Don't become like these guys...

Comments

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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 12 months ago from Ohio, USA

      I hope Bernie supporters take time to read my Bernie hubs.

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 12 months ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Bernie has some amazing ideals that fit my beliefs big time. I wrote Bernie a letter, as a hub...... to encourage my support of the ideals he pushed. strongest.

      Keep on promoting radical change... by radical I mean open minded solutions. Cheers

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

      "@nicomp, you did not answer my question so I can't take you seriously,"

      I couldn't care less whom you take seriously.

      "Your argument is what is known as logical fallacy."

      No it isn't.

      "The founding fathers were not preoccupied with education and healthcare (why would they be)."

      Yes they were. They made certain that such issues were not under the purview of the federal government.

      "Back in the day the US had just emerged from a war, and priorities were in fact different, focusing exclusively on the legislative powers of the Congress, the President, the court system, territorial issues, separation of church and state... All in all, it defined the powers of the government. "

      Of course it defined the powers of government. That was the whole point. British Tyranny was why they convened. The focus was on legislative powers of Congress and clearly the result was to limit the legislative powers of Congress. You're missing the point.

    • Gordan Zunar profile image
      Author

      Gordan Zunar 18 months ago from New York

      @nicomp, you did not answer my question so I can't take you seriously, just like I can't take Trump's agenda seriously either.

      Your argument is what is known as logical fallacy. Back in the day the US had just emerged from a war, and priorities were in fact different, focusing exclusively on the legislative powers of the Congress, the President, the court system, territorial issues, separation of church and state... All in all, it defined the powers of the government. The economy was still being largely boosted by the slavery system.

      The founding fathers were not preoccupied with education and healthcare (why would they be). They themselves did not respect the Constitution they created (take civil rights as an example). The Constitution had 27 amendments! It was never created to be untouched.

    • Farawaytree profile image

      Michelle Zunter 18 months ago from California

      Ha ha! No, that's not what I'm saying...

      Anyways, goodnight everyone and great hub Gordon Zunar :)

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

      "Excuse me - And now that people are living well into their 70's and 80's (and beyond) health care is relevant."

      I'm confused -- when life expectancy was 35 (in 1790) then it was OK for the federal government to let everyone die, but when we live to be 80 it's deficit game-on? You lost me.

    • Farawaytree profile image

      Michelle Zunter 18 months ago from California

      Excuse me - And now that people are living well into their 70's and 80's (and beyond) health care is relevant.

      nicomp, what do you consider to be a priority for the US govt? Would love to know. Closing of borders? More military? Pollution?

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

      "The Constitution was written in 1787 when things might have seemed different with different priorities. Today we see that the American society is facing a huge crisis in these two segments."

      You're kidding, right? In 1787 we had much worse health care and education. Our priorities were getting crops harvested and avoiding dysentery. Life expectancy was 35. The first dental college wasn't opened until 1840. Somehow we survived without Bernie giving us free stuff.

      Just common sense.

    • Gordan Zunar profile image
      Author

      Gordan Zunar 18 months ago from New York

      @nicomp, what do you consider to be the priority for the US govt?

    • Gordan Zunar profile image
      Author

      Gordan Zunar 18 months ago from New York

      Relative to a big number of people without high school or college education, including drop-outs as well as students who can't afford higher education. Relative to an increasing number of people with serious health problems caused partly by lack of education as well as chronic deceases.

      The Constitution was written in 1787 when things might have seemed different with different priorities. Today we see that the American society is facing a huge crisis in these two segments.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

      "It doesn't have to be, it's common sense."

      Relative to whom? I'm common and I have sense and I think that the federal government has no business in education and healthcare.

    • Gordan Zunar profile image
      Author

      Gordan Zunar 18 months ago from New York

      It doesn't have to be, it's common sense.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

      "Those are the two things the govt needs to invest in the most and there should be no protest to that policy."

      Now, I'm certain free speech is in the Constitution.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

      "When it comes to education and healthcare, those are the things that should be the priority for the US government."

      Let me know when you find those in the Constitution.

    • Gordan Zunar profile image
      Author

      Gordan Zunar 18 months ago from New York

      When it comes to education and healthcare, those are the things that should be the priority for the US government. If the govt was to redistribute certain tax spendings, decrease interest rates on loans, as well as increase taxes for the 1%, there would be enough to provide the American citizens with free education and free healthcare. Those are the two things the govt needs to invest in the most and there should be no protest to that policy. It's not impossible. College fees and loan rates are insane. There are countries in Europe whose economies are way worse off than America's but education is affordable for everyone. America has money. It just needs to start using it for the society's good.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 18 months ago from Ohio, USA

      Bernie's managed to convince otherwise sentient humans that he can give them free stuff. Evidently he's doing that very well. He also excels at ginning up class envy.

    • Gordan Zunar profile image
      Author

      Gordan Zunar 18 months ago from New York

      Thank you, Virginia, for sharing your opinion. It really is surprising he got this far and you're right, young voters don't have this Cold War mindset. He is doing a good job and the support he has right now is there to stay. So, now he should seriously start focusing on the potential voters who are undecisive or vote for Hillary, and who do it for a reason. And the reason is they don't feel he's reaching out to them (mostly because of different political views as well as the intensity of his rhetoric). He really needs to learn from Hillary, as we have to admit she knows the political waters all too well.

    • Gordan Zunar profile image
      Author

      Gordan Zunar 18 months ago from New York

      Thank you very much for your comment, Michelle. Glad you enjoyed reading it :) Exactly. Bernie has been lacking that type of pragmatism, which directly puts Hillary in advantage. He would need to change that now. He has a strong support of people who agree with him on the main issues and share the same ideology and values, but now he needs to think of other voters who are still undecisive. Because even if he wins the Democrat election he will still have a way tougher job in communicating with the rest of the voters, including those moderate ones who have the tendency of switching from voting Republican to voting Democrat.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 18 months ago from Central Florida

      I'm a yuge Bernie fan (typo intended). Several times in interviews I've seen him emphasize progressive and not mention democratic socialism. Too late to rebrand perhaps at this point.

      With the young voters, they don't have the Cold War indoctrination against Russia and communism and socialism that put the fear into the older folks. Hopefully, he and his supporters can overcome this perception.

      It certainly doesn't help that the media keeps saying "avowed Socialist" while making an evil face. The fact that he has come so far in gaining support without any media coverage gives me hope for a positive outcome in the elections.

    • Farawaytree profile image

      Michelle Zunter 19 months ago from California

      This was terrific. I completely agree with you, as a Bernie supporter myself. Though Bernie may be sincere, he's not as politically "smooth" as Clinton. Both Bernie and Trump have a degree of "I speak for the people" attitude, though on different ends of the spectrum of course. But Bernie's manner of delivering his points may go over the heads of many.

      As you say, what Bernie stands for makes sense, but he needs to change the way he delivers it, because it's not quite jiving with many of his potential supporters.

      It's kind of like kids eating their vegetables because they're good for them. Maybe put some cheese on top and they'll eat it :)