I’m seventy-three now and have learned a lot about people. One of the things I’ve learned is that many people, when given a chance to acquire what they say they want, don’t reach out and take it.
This reality occurs in politics all the time. For decades I’ve heard Americans bitch and moan about politics and politicians. They can tell you what’s wrong, they can tell you the kind of person they want leading them but they cannot make themselves support and vote for that person who might be best trusted to help realize their wishes.
In the 2008 presidential races I spent countless hours sitting on a liar’s bench with mostly Republican, mostly conservative, and mostly old white men listening to them bitch about politicians. It was the same old stuff about politics being corrupt and politicians not being trustworthy. I repeatedly argued with them that if they wanted a truth teller they needed to support and vote for Ron Paul. Paul had a consistent history in politics. He didn’t beat around the bushes on the issues, he didn’t seem to say what was politically advantages, he just clearly and consistently said what he actually believed. Compared to the never consistent John McCain of that era Paul was an “I’ll never lie to you” Jimmy Carter.
Best I got from my Republican friends was, “Yeah, I suppose you’re right but I’m going with McCain, that Palin woman’s hot.” The guy who agreed with me the most actually wrote a $5000 check to Fred Thompson.
Ron Paul is not the person Bernie Sanders is. The only similarity I’ll admit to is their willingness to speak to the truths they know. Neither can be accused of waffling on the issues.
From the day before Sanders entered the race he had a defined platform that consisted entirely of policies aimed at rebuilding America’s middle and working classes. He has been open, honest, consistent, and as free from big money and power as is possible. He is everything disgruntled American voters say they want. He is everything that everyone else in the race isn’t.
The guy actually has economic plans that are proven to be consistent with economic growth. The trickle down economics of the past fifty years have been time and again proven to not work. It has resulted in exactly what its critics said it would, the rapid and continued shift of the nation’s wealth to the upper classes. There is absolutely no one else in either political party who is willing to fight the forces of this trickle down status quo.
In a recent campaign fund-raiser in which both Hillary and Bernie were present, Sanders said, “I promise you tonight as your president I will govern based on principle not poll numbers.” Clinton didn’t respond other than to say she was best equipped to take on the Republicans.
Well, that may be the truth. But if it is true it’s because too many voters will not risk their vote for what they want over what they know. Hillary represents the politics of familiarity while Sanders is the unknown. Hillary represents more of the same and people say they don’t want more of the same. But can the people be trusted? Sanders is a chance to get what you say you want but do you really want what you say you want? Maybe it’s time to be more honest with yourselves.