Why support U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders for President in 2016? How about ethics?
Senator Sanders isn’t some newcomer to national politics, unlike candidates that have made it to the top of the Democratic presidential ticket in the past. He knows how the game is played, and throughout his long career he has refused to join in that game.
Unlike Barack Obama, and unlike Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders doesn’t play along with the independent expenditures system of campaign finance, in which corporate-funded Super PACs are set up by campaign confidants, while supposedly operating, with a wink and a nod, as independent entities. Sanders has placed himself above this corrupt system, and he can afford to do it, because he has built his professional reputation on ethical integrity, not on cozy relationships with wealthy donors.
The long Sanders record of integrity adds extra weight to what he had to say recently, at the end of the “Plant Your Flag” video you see below.
“If you’re concerned about the economy, if you’re concerned about health care, if you’re concerned about education, if you’re concerned about global warming, if you’re concerned about women’s rights, gay rights, anything else, you have got to be concerned about the issue of campaign financing. What we are seeing now is a real undermining, a very fundamental undermining of what American democracy is supposed to be about… Here in Washington, what we are seeing now, as a result of Citizens United, a disastrous Supreme Court decision, you’re seeing a situation, and it’s getting worse every day, where big money interests, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and others, are prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to elect the candidates they want, and to defeat the candidates they don’t want. To allow corporate interests and billionaires to control the political process is in my mind an outrage. It is not what American democracy is supposed to be about. So, what we’re going to continue to work on, and accelerate our efforts, is to pass a constitutional amendment which overturns this Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and then we’ve got to move aggressively to public funding of elections.”
Will you hear words like these coming from any Democratic presidential candidate in the 2016 election? I can’t predict the future with absolute certainty, of course, so perhaps, a Democratic candidate might make big promises about reforming campaign finance.
What I can say is that none of the major Democratic presidential candidates will be able to stand with the kind of record of ethical campaign finance that Bernie Sanders has. Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley might complain about Citizens United, but they’re already setting up conduits that will enable their campaigns to profit from the corrupt system.
Bernard Sanders is a rare candidate – a leader with experience who has yet to compromise his principles. That’s why we at Irregular Times are paying special attention to the developing Sanders for President campaign. We’ve begun constructing a collection of Sanders for President campaign gear this morning in anticipation of the senator’s eventual announcement.
We’re not the only ones getting ready, though. There’s also a Draft Bernie grassroots group getting ready to show popular support for a Sanders for President campaign. More on that to come…