Young people all over the country are “feeling the Bern,” according to an NBC News poll taken in October. Opponent Hillary Clinton led that poll nationally, but among younger voters, more than 54 percent chose to give their support to the Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.
At Webster, it is hard to walk around without hearing someone chime in on how Bernie is the greatest. Although I admire him, his principles and the young people that support him, I am worried his language at times will hurt him in a general election and damage a political system plagued with dysfunction.
One problem I have with Bernie’s campaign is how he fails to address the need for a unified country. In 2008, Barack Obama’s campaign was unstoppable during both phases of the election. His words of “There are no red states or blue states, just the United States” and “Yes we can” won the hearts of younger voters.
These messages of hope and coming together are stark differences to phrases Sanders uses. His messages are pessimistic and talk about how the billionaire class is controlling our country, according to Rich Lowry of Politico.
I do not disagree with him when he says vast amounts of money are hurting the political process, but to say, as Sanders does, that the economy is orchestrated by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit only rich people at everybody else’s expense is a stretch. Money is a problem, but making rich people sound like they are out to get everyone is not a unifying platform of optimism.
Another concern I have with Sanders is his ability to compromise if he makes it to the White House. Although I admire him for his commitment on many policy issues, including gay marriage, I do not believe his mind has changed on anything else in 40 years.
With the government facing shutdowns and defaults because of the failure to compromise amongst both parties, putting someone in charge that rarely writes bipartisan legislation is not the best idea.
According to GovTrack.us, Sanders is the second lowest amongst committee members to pass legislation with cosponsors from the Republican Party.
The political climate is in Washington is tense, and I feel it is of the upmost importance to elect someone that is both principled and pragmatic. Cooperation is needed to actually get the government back to governing.
Being a team player is crucial to bring home a win, another area where Bernie falls short. Young people might not like the idea of going with the establishment, but it is needed if you want to win a big-time presidential election.
Bernie has only recently put that big D for Democrat next to his name. He has been an independent for most of his career, and I find it convenient he is jumping on the bandwagon now when he needs party support.
Only two members of the House have announced support for Sanders. Not a single colleague in the Senate, not even his colleague from Vermont, Sen. Patrick Leahy, is endorsing him according to USA Today, and that should be troubling for Sanders’ supporters.
Progressives who you would think would support Sanders, like Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president instead.
The critical issue for Sanders is electability in a general election. With the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage, winning the presidency will help ensure the decision is not overturned for years to come.
Swing states matter, and I just cannot imagine independent voters from states like Ohio and Florida casting their vote to a self-described “democratic socialist.”
Republicans control both houses of Congress, and if they win the presidency next November, then issues that young people care about go out the window. I know it feels good to support a candidate because of their idealism, but in this case I think we should think strategically and not “feel the Bern” so much.