Posted on- March 18, 2018 at 10:30 A.M.(Written By Joshua Hill)
I have seen a lot of people saying that they wouldn't vote for Bernie Sanders in 2020 if he ran in the Democratic party, they say they will never vote for anyone in the Democratic party ever again no matter how Progressive/Liberal the candidate is. I think this is a silly way to approach voting & it makes the people who claim to be above the whole party lines system seem to be the ones who are putting all the emphasis on party lines.
I would vote for a Republican, Democrat, Independent,
Green, Libertarian, Working Families, etc... etc... as long as they
pass my Progressive/Liberal litmus test. I don't give a shit about party
lines, I will look to see if they take any corporate or Super PAC money
while they're running while at the same time I will look into their policy
& record. I have maybe three disagreements with Bernie Sanders, but
virtually on literally every other issue we agree & Bernie has a
record of fighting for those Populist Left policies for around 60 years. Although some on the Political Left will use those few disagreements they also have with Sanders as an excuse as to why they would not support him at all. I'm not above understanding Bernie has some flaws, but with that said he is the best politician in literally every single category within the Senate.
I want to refute the mindset of those on the Political Left who say they will never support Sanders based on the few disagreements they hold. Sanders is mostly criticized for three major things including supporting the lesser of two evils in Presidential Elections as he did with Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. I have already addressed that topic in my Bernie Sanders Endorses Hillary Clinton article. The second issue most on the Political Left take with Sanders is his position on Russia (Myself Included). Many believe Sanders is incredibly off base on the Russia Narrative which has only become a hyper focused issue in an attempt to scapegoat Russia for Hillary Clinton & the Democrats abysmal performance in the 2016 Presidential Election which may have never happened if Hillary Clinton & the Democratic Establishment hadn't rigged the Democratic Primary against Bernie Sanders in the first place. The third criticism comes from his foreign policy positions & is a little bit less of a black & white issue then some may make it out to be. I haven't talked too much about Sanders foreign policy so I will focus on that issue when refuting the mindset of those on the Political Left who say they will never support Sanders based on the few disagreements they hold.
Bernie Sanders foreign policy gets called out mostly because he hasn't come out as strongly against the use of drones as much as some would like him to & he is against supporting Boycott Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) on Israel. On the issue of drones Sanders has said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, "Drones are a big issue," Sanders continued saying, "& drones have done
some good things. They've been selective; they've taken out people who
should be taken out." At the same time Sanders says, Drones have also done "some terrible things, which have been
counterproductive to the United States,". "But would I rule
them out completely? No, I would not. But I am aware that they have in
some cases, you know, you use a drone & you end up killing 40 people
in a wedding in Afghanistan; that is not a terribly humane thing to do
or productive thing to do." On the issue of BDS it is unfortunate that Sanders does not support the very best policy opportunity for the Palestine/Israel situation. I believe public pressure should be applied to Sanders in order to make him change his position on issues like these, but I don't think these small number of foreign policy issues should be reason enough to throw out all support for Sanders.
While Sanders does have a few foreign policy flaws, his good positions far out weigh the bad. Sanders was against the Iraq War, he was against intervention in Libya, he is against any potential war with Iran, he is against escalation with North Korea, he is against the war in Yemen, & despite the fact that he is not in favor of specific positions such as BDS, he is still against the illegal occupation of Israel in Palestine & he believes in a two state solution, he also is against the massive & unnecessary aid being given to Israel from the U.S.
Again I feel I must reiterate that I understand Sanders is not perfect on foreign policy, that's why when compared to other Politically Left politicians in other countries in the world he is actually considered somewhat of a moderate. Although in the context of the United States, in the situation we're in now he's not only by far the best we got, but he's exceptionally damn good. Support should be given to Sanders because he takes no big donor money from millionaires, billionaires, or special interest groups.
One of Sanders core beliefs is that we need comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform to get money out of politics & achieve publicly funded free & fair elections so that we can effectively root out corruption. That is the issue above all other issues, because money in politics births all of our other problems. If the politicians are no longer being bribed by their corporate donors, then they would no longer be beholden to those corporate donors, they wouldn't need to do favors for their corporate donors because they simply won't have them anymore. In turn the people who would be flipping the bill to fund elections is the public via their tax dollars. The politicians would then be beholden to the American voters as opposed to their donors. At the point you root out the corruption, just go down the list of policies the American people are overwhelmingly in favor of. If you get money out of politics it'll be easy to get ranked Choice voting for third parties. It'll be easy to stop the wars, & not go to war in the first place because the military industrial complex won't be able to buy off your politicians. It will be easy to fight climate change because you won't have to compete with the bribes of oil & gas companies. It will be easy to legalize marijuana because you won't have to compete with the bribes from pharmaceutical companies, alcohol companies, & private prisons. It will be easy to get Comprehensive Health Care reform because you won't have to out raise pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, & the healthcare industry as a whole. With money out of politics just imagine how Progressive & Liberal this country could truly be. This is why I support Sanders, because he has passed my "purity test" of taking no big donor money from millionaires, billionaires, or special interest groups while also pushing to get money out of politics.
Bernie Sanders absolutely fights against money in politics which is my biggest issue, because the corrupting influence of money in politics affects every other issue. But Sanders also flights for Medicare-For-All, tuition-free public college & universities, a living wage, ending the military wars, ending the drug war, sick paid time off, etc... etc... This article should not only be applied to Bernie Sanders, but any candidate or politician. The people who say they won't vote for a principled Progressive/Liberal simply because of the party the candidate is running in are just as obsessed with party lines as the people they claim to fight against. Also the people who say they won't vote for a principled Progressive/Liberal simply because they can count the number of disagreements they have on one hand can also be undermining the rare opportunity to accomplish true Progressive/Liberal policy goals. I myself had a few disagreements with Jill Stein of the Green Party, but just like Sanders she took no corporate or Super PAC money & she held the correct position on money in politics, & that combined with the overwhelming amount I actually did agree with her on is why I supported her in the same way I supported Sanders.
Just because somebody is in the Democratic party doesn't automatically make them corrupt. I have seen Republicans run that are actually mostly Progressive, I have seen Democrats run who are far more Progressive than some that I've seen running the Green Party, would you not vote for Paula Jean Swearengin or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez simply because they're running as Democrats? Disregarding a true Progressive who is fighting the Neo-Liberal Corporate Establishment machine simply because of a color like Blue, Red, or Green makes no sense to me. It's about policy not party!