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Why We Need Bernie Sanders for President
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Meet Bernie Sanders, the Leftist Rogue
Bernie Sanders will not become president. He is too old, too liberal, too outspoken, and not conventionally handsome enough to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, not to mention the general election that November. The Democrat's "inevitable" candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a veritable aircraft carrier compared to Sanders' diminutive attack boat. She has a widely-publicized political background and a dazzling Rolodex of powerful friends and donors. Bernie Sanders has...well...he has the truth.
Sanders, who stands alone as an independent in Congress, is not widely known. He came up slowly through the political hierarchy, beginning as a city mayor and eventually winning a House seat. Now he is a Senator and is the second major-league Democrat to throw his hat into the presidential race. And, unlike most other formal presidential candidates, he is truly different. He wants to make big changes, including looking at other Western democracies and learning from their successes.
He wants universal health care. He voted against authorizing the controversial Iraq War in 2002. But, despite his progressive credentials, he's supportive of hunters' gun rights and is a supporter of agriculture. Bernie Sanders is no limousine liberal. In the parlance of our times, he keeps it real.
Real is what we need in 2016. Whether you like Sanders' brand of real, you must acknowledge that realness is a rare commodity in politics. With Rand Paul, the rookie U.S. Senator (R-KY) revered for his libertarian honesty, changing his views now that he is on the campaign trail, Sanders stands alone as a voice of unbridled honesty. He does not shy away from the term "socialist." He does not seek wealthy donors. He is a progressive who seeks progress for the working and middle classes.
While Bernie Sanders will not win the Democratic nomination, he can adjust the political discussion in the way it needs to go by forcing Hillary Clinton further to the left. Sanders could also increase the popularity of likely Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor, by inspiring voters to search for a more progressive liberal than the moderate-leaning Clinton. Inspired by Sanders, liberal voters might seek a quasi-Sanders in the form of a younger, more electable candidate like Martin O'Malley or Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
In sum, Sanders could be the reason why the Democratic Party moves from the moderate middle and makes a real attempt at helping the poor and middle class.