Why America needs Bernie Sanders

And why we may even get him


photo via wikimedia.org under Creative Commons license

Bernie Sanders is causing a stir among many young Americans with his ideas of social progress such as free healthcare and free public college.

Enthusiasm and politics are two concepts that don’t really go together in the minds of young Americans. Even for informed, young citizens, politics is sometimes boring and often just depressing. One of the only instances in which politics causes some excitement is during election season.

Let’s face it, if we’re lucky enough to live in a country where democracy is actually somewhat effective, it would be plain disrespectful to be able to vote and not partake in that privilege. Aside from that, it’s also really interesting to see how every four years a new group of people who think they’re qualified to run the country compete for the vote of every Americans nationwide.

What better year to represent that idea than this one? The 2016 general elections are the most entertaining elections in a very long time. On the Republican side, things are pretty much always the same. Donald Trump is winning all the polls, while the rest of the candidates play a game of “Who’s the Stupidest Republican Candidate?”

And the fact that there’s less than half as many of them now as there were in 2015 doesn’t make that game any easier. Every week there’s a new winner for that game, and it’s pretty horrifying when you realize it’s not a game, that this is real.

It baffles me that people still haven’t understood why Trump is so successful. First of all, the man is a multi-billionaire. His $10-billion net worth makes even Hillary Clinton ($21.5 million net worth) seem pathetic. Secondly, the man is a naturally gifted performer. This is more or less the same thing that attracts people to Barack Obama and even Bernie Sanders. This fearless performance that he’s putting on is, we can all agree, highly entertaining. But again, it would be okay if it wasn’t actually the race for the leader of the free world.

But let’s make this as little about Trump as possible. Let’s make this about someone who actually deserves the attention: Bernie Sanders, the 74-year old senator from the state of Vermont.

In the beginning of this year’s presidential race (which ironically began early last year), Sanders was pretty much just another candidate who wasn’t Clinton or Trump. Now, it’s impossible to talk about the election without mentioning, be it in a hopeful or hateful manner, the democratic socialist and his unique ideas.

Sanders is a politician in a million. It’s weird to even call him a politician because of how dirty the term has become in recent years. This is the third presidential race I’ve been around to follow and in all three of those races, I have not seen a candidate more genuinely passionate about this country than Bernie Sanders.

Fiercely intelligent and supremely experienced, Sanders is a man capable of sparking a very real revolution, and he’s already begun it with his openly progressive ideas. Sanders is a strong advocate of ideas such as free healthcare and a free public college education for all, ideas which are modeled after countries including Denmark, Canada and Sweden.

One would think that such a popular European idea would latch on quickly in the states, considering how successful it’s been across the Atlantic. But many people dismiss Sanders’ ideas either because they don’t want to pay higher taxes (which would be inevitable in such a system) or just because they are immediately turned off when they hear the word “socialist.”

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are the two remaining democratic candidates and are neck and neck in nearly every poll across the US.
photo via flickr.com under Creative Commons license
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are the two remaining democratic candidates and are neck and neck in nearly every poll across the US.

To make it perfectly clear, Sanders is not a socialist. He is a social democrat, or a democratic socialist. All this means is that he supports a system in which capitalism and socialism are blended so that the economy can maintain stability while society is still happy with the services the government provides them. Sanders is offering a perfect solution, because as of right now, our economy is not stable and citizens are not happy with government services.

Maybe we would be paying slightly higher in taxes, but just look how it would pay off. First of all, most of the tax money would be coming from the one percent of people in the country who have avoided paying taxes for decades. The rest of the 99 percent of us would be paying just a little more in taxes, so that when we go to college or when our kids go to college we aren’t in debt for the next 10-50 years.

If we’re smart enough to realize how this system will eventually pay itself off and if there is a large enough voter turnout, Sanders could stand a chance. Whether or not a democratic socialist could be elected president in this intensely capitalistic country is still a mystery, but it’s definitely not an impossibility.

Sanders’ success in the past several months has been remarkable and truly inspiring at times. It’s quite an event to see young people so excited about politics and so excited for the fate of this beautiful country.