Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have been a flaming progressive for as long as I could breathe. I’m a huge advocate for major reforms to the United States political system and was sharing my socialist tendencies far before Bernie made it cool, so I totally understand the excitement around his campaign and the fever my generation has to make these big changes happen. But I have a problem.
I don’t think Bernie is the right person for the job.
Look, don’t get me wrong, I love Democratic socialism and I think Bernie has the right idea for the kind of changes that this country needs. I would be ecstatic if the country was in the right place to make all of these grand visions materialize. However, I feel like he doesn’t have a logical, realistic plan to actually get much of what he wants to get done accomplished.
To be frank, I’m just not buying his speeches or debate performances. How many times can he tell us to go on Youtube or his website to see the things he has said before? At some point, I just want him to actually articulate some more details on his policy plans and his goals for getting them through Congress. I can only hear him shout about millionaires, billionaires, Wall Street, and the big banks so many times before it starts to lose meaning. And truthfully, that finger wagging at Hillary Clinton was childish.
It seems to me that Bernie is simply making a lot of broad promises to the American people. He is talking like he will be able to pass sweeping reforms to education and healthcare, but the argument his supporters are making about his great record of bipartisanship just isn’t cutting it for me. If either Democrat wins the general election, they will be facing an enormous blowback from conservatives who will likely stop at nothing to make sure the liberal agenda doesn’t go through. Obama fought for years to break ground on healthcare reform and the fact that we are still talking about how to fix it is proof that Bernie’s promises simply cannot be kept. Either he’s dangerously optimistic, or he’s playing at your heartstrings. Regardless, I’m not into it.
I know I will get hate from people saying I’m “giving in to the system” and proposing that things can never change, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying we have a system, corrupt as it is, that is already in place and to overhaul it so drastically under a single president is simply an unrealistic goal by any stretch of the imagination.
Speaking of hate, I’m sick and tired of Bernie supporters being so angry at Hillary supporters. We’re fighting the same fight here, guys. We all want to, essentially, see the same changes made to our government. That is literally what we’re doing here. The attacks on Hillary from the Bernie side are getting outrageous, unnecessary, and many of them aren’t even true. Is Hillary a perfect candidate? No, she’s not. She’s certainly made deals I’m not in favor of, and occasionally played the game a little too well. But let’s not forget that before Bernie entered the race, a vast majority of his supporters were riding the Hillary train. It’s unfair now to turn around and act like she’s some corporate monster.
I want to believe in a revolution and I think that one is possible, but that does not mean I have to agree that Bernie is the right person for the task. I believe his heart and soul are in the right place, and while his track record shows consistency and high moral value, it doesn’t show much leadership. Voting against a war doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll know what to do if one has to happen, and energizing young voters on the far left doesn’t mean you’ll be able to energize Congress to pass your legislation.
I will, of course, vote for Bernie if he makes it to the general election. That said, while I would have thrown every resource I have at an Elizabeth Warren run, my gut is telling me to go with Hillary. I would rather have someone be honest with voters about what they think they can actually achieve in office, even if they only succeed at a portion of it, than someone who promises me a revolution and delivers disappointment. I sincerely believe Hillary will be able to build off Obama’s progress to push our country in the right direction and prepare it for the kind of revolution I know we can see.
The good thing that has come from Bernie being in this race is that it has ignited a fire in young voters to demand respect and will hopefully lead to a continued movement and the rise of a true leader for the cause. It has also pushed Hillary to be a stronger progressive, which is a wonderful thing. Politicians are supposed to represent what the voters want; she heard the rallying cry and stepped up her game. That is great for democracy and great for the party, and I’m truly excited about what the future holds.
I thank Bernie Sanders for blowing the horn and getting people running, but I’m not confident that he should be leading the race. I just can’t get myself to Feel the Bern.