Saturday, September 5, 2015

Can Bernie Sanders do it?

Over the course of my life, I have gone from reasonably right-wing and conservative to the far left wing.  My dad would maybe even call me "left of Lenin" as he so often uses to describe his many liberal friends (he is not a liberal).

This upcoming election is no exception to my liberal leanings as I find myself hoping that Bernie Sanders can pull off a win. He is definitely further to the left than Hillary, or really any of the other democratic candidates as far as I can tell.  So, he appeals to me greatly.  He also seems relatively untouched by the corruption of DC, though one can never really know with politicians. 

But can he do it? Can he actually pull off a win? If you could read my Facebook feed, you'd think he definitely has a chance.  But I will certainly admit that my Facebook feed is far from representative, even of American liberals.  And I often wonder, even if he got the nomination, would he actually be a good president?  

I have discussed some of these issues with my realist friend Background Dominated, and as much as I hate to admit it, he has some good points.  For the sake of brevity, I will only focus on one here.  What if Bernie is too good for the presidency?  As unfortunate as it is, politics necessitates a philosophy that is far from idealism.  In other words, the most effective politicians are the ones that are 1) sufficiently moderate to have some common ground with the opposing party and 2) able to play the system and milk it for whatever they can.   

There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary knows how to work the system.  She's clever, devious, and hawkish, and I don't like her at all because of it.  But she may be more effective as President than Sanders.  

I will continue to hope that Sanders will win AND that he will be effective.  But unfortunately, my annoyingly realistic friend may be correct - maybe he just would be too far left and too idealistic to get anything done.   We shall see in the coming months...

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