Of Course I'm for Bernie. Aren't You?

Steve Novick

So I totally agree with Jeff Golden that this is no time to be saying "I support Bernie Sanders, but ..." To me, the question - one that genuinely puzzles me - is this: "Why isn't virtually everyone I know publicly for Bernie?"

If your prime concern is economic inequality, Sanders is the obvious choice. From tax reform to trade to card-check union recognition to single payer health care, he's the guy. (Although I do give Clinton credit for supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.) Elizabeth Warren has pointed to at least one very clear contrast with Clinton: she supported the bankruptcy bill, after telling Warren she understood how bad it was; Sanders was against it. And, of course, Clinton was part of an Administration that went on a banking deregulation binge and cut the capital gains tax.

But even if economic inequality is not your prime focus, the choice for progressives is still clear. Sanders voted against the war; Clinton voted for it. Sanders voted against the Patriot Act; Clinton voted for it. Sanders voted against the Defense of Marriage Act; Clinton didn't protest when her husband signed it, and didn't support marriage equality until 2013.

And if you're willing to overlook a lot of policy differences because you want a strong candidate ... Sanders has clearly run the strongest campaign so far this year. Unlike Donald Trump, he did not start out with universal name recognition and has not received saturation media coverage. But he is now ahead of the prohibitive favorite in New Hampshire and Iowa.

I know people will say "but he's too far to the left to win the general election." Well, my young friends, we oldsters all thought Ronald Reagan was too far to the right to win the general election. I think the record shows that the American people - and especially 'swing' voters - are not very ideological. If conditions (primarily economic conditions) are right for Party A to win the election, Party A will win, regardless of the specific candidate's ideology or personality, unless the Supreme Court steals the election.

So of course I'm for Bernie. As is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And Belinda Carlisle. Aren't you?

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