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Bernie Sanders For President in 2016

For quite some time now, my interest in politics has been on a downward slide. This week, however, I learned of something that could rekindle my progressive passion.

It seems that people are beginning to talk about a campaign by progressive independent U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders for President in 2016.

sanders for presidentSanders is among the most liberal politicians in the United States Senate. Liberals, including people here at Irregular Times, have urged Sanders to run for President before, but Sanders has flatly refused to do so.

That’s not the case now. Not too long ago, Sanders put the following message out: “I have not yet made a decision as to whether or not I will run for president. If I do, the main focus of the campaign would be on the decline of the middle class, high unemployment, income and wealth inequality and the fact that the United States is the only nation in the industrialized world not to guarantee health care for all people as a right.” That’s a fairly specific platform. Clearly, Sanders has actually been contemplating a 2016 run for the White House.

Elsewhere, Senator Sanders has made comments that make it sound like he is warming up for a Sanders for President campaign: “I am going to stand with you. And I am going to take these guys on. And I understand that they’re going to be throwing thirty-second ads at me every minute. They’re going to do everything they can to undermine my agenda. But I believe that if we stand together, we can defeat them… If you had a President who said: ‘Nobody in America is going to make less than $12 or $14 an hour,’ what do you think that would do? If you had a President who said: ‘You know what, everybody in this country is going to get free primary health care within a year,’ what do you think that would do? If you had a President say, ‘Every kid in this country is going to go to college regardless of their income,’ what do you think that would do?”

This week, a Roots To Action poll of its membership found that 81 percent want Sanders to become a 2016 candidate. 2014 could be the year that Sanders makes the commitment, one way or another, to run for President or to serve out another term in Congress.

11 comments to Bernie Sanders For President in 2016

  • Bill

    Man, a Bernie Sanders candidacy would really put me in a pickle. I love everything about the guy’s politics, and his humanity, and his intellect. And yet for those very reasons I strongly doubt he could be elected President in today’s climate. What to do, what to do….

  • J Clifford

    Well, progressives lost when Obama won, and Hillary Clinton would be yet another non-progressive Democrat.

    Really, what’s the positive alternative?

    Why would any non-progressive Democrat stand a chance, if progressive Democrats actually stopped caving in by supporting non-progressive candidates?

  • Sanders needs to set up debates between himself, the major Republican and Democrat candidates, and other progressives, such as Jill Stein. These would be “empty chair” debates because there would always be empty chairs or podiums for Democratic and Republican candidates. If any of them participated, it would be a major event. Otherwise, Sanders would be judged alongside other progressives. He should pledge that if he doesn’t out-perform the others, maybe even a “maverick” major party candidate, by realistic measurements, he’ll withdraw and support whoever out-performs him.

  • Jim Cook

    Bernie Sanders is a current United States Senator. This gives any run by him significant legitimacy.

  • Charles Manning

    Bill: I don’t think many people would have a problem with the resemblance to Eastwood’s performance. Actually, that’s what comes to mind before anything else when I recall the 2012 conventions. Evidently it made an impression on you, too. Sanders lacks comedic qualities, so the “empty chair” device would supply some of that. More importantly, it would remind anyone viewing, at any time, that the Democrats and Republicans continue to avoid vital issues, as they did in 2012.

    The dismal failures of progressive candidates in the 2012 cycle shows that progressives like Sanders must devise innovative – indeed, revolutionary – changes to reach the electorate in today’s environment, which essentially is like a field under flood waters, except that it’s a flood of money, not water.

  • Chris

    You might be interested in this page which has gained over 15,000 followers since early January: http://www.facebook.com/draftbernie

  • Nick de Matties

    When I first learned of your thoughts about running for president, I was very excited about the possibilities.
    After some reflection, however, I started thinking about how badly managed and mangled our gov has become, that it wouldn’t last, and the best way forward would be a clean slate.
    Men & women of your intellectual and ethical caliber will be in short supply for the after effects of such a change.
    I would give some thought to keep aggressively campaigning for the inevitable change, so that when it does occur you won’t be in prison, or rendered, or who knows what, but will be in a prominent position to help guide us through what will surely be one of the most trying times in our nations history.
    With the big multinationals controlling everything, I have serious reservations about just how much even a president could have, given the scale with which the oligarchs can influence elections. And whatever the ’16 presidential outcome, there will still be a Legislative and Judicial branch that will more than likely look somewhat like today’s, only inverted. Besides, after the bitch-slap, bait & switch program Obama has delivered, how much credibility is ANY campaigner going to have during the next cycle? Talking with my youngest son’s 30 something cohort, none of them have any intention of voting, let alone listen to or watch mainstream media. They are not waiting for or expecting Washington to do or fix anything, although I suspect they would respond enthusiastically to the right message, which I believe you have.
    Just a thought, I may be way of base here. But I do strongly believe we, the nation, really need you, and many, many more like you. I do respect and honor your many previous years of public service.
    If you do decide to run, you would have my vote in a heartbeat. Please take care of yourself, stay healthy, and as my History professor used to reminded us: “Nollo Bastardo Carborundum”.

  • J Clifford

    Nick, you have a good point that Barack Obama’s bait and switch maneuver may have ruined liberal activism for a generation.

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