This blog is voting for Bernie Sanders
The Virginia Democratic primary is tomorrow, March 1, so I just thought I’d take a moment to let you know that I’ll be voting for Bernie Sanders.
Why? Well, I should probably start off by saying that I’m not really 100% behind either Sanders or his opponent, Hillary Clinton. The choices in this election hasn’t really lit my fire the way some in the past have. I feel like lots of good possibilities were either scared away or chased out of running by Hillary’s formidable early position, which is bad for all of us. (Sanders’ performance has shown pretty clearly what a bad choice those potential candidates made; as in 2008, the “Hillary is inevitable” argument stopped looking compelling when actual ballots started being cast.) So this is not a vote I’m casting out of passion.
But I generally believe voting is more responsible than not voting, so I’ve gotta vote for somebody. And given that, Bernie’s the one who will be getting my vote tomorrow.
The reason isn’t because of any particular element of Sanders’ policy proposals that I think elevates him above Clinton. (There are in fact some serious questions about the feasibility of those programs, questions I’d feel better if Sanders would answer.) And it’s not because of any particular bad feeling I have about Hillary, either. (I’ve poked fun at her in the past, of course, but that was mostly out of hope that she could be prodded into addressing her biggest weaknesses early and thus becoming a stronger candidate.)
No, the main reason why I’ll be voting the way I’ll be voting is pretty simple. I think that the main thing we learned from the experience of living through the 2000s — specifically the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2008 economic collapse — is that the system we live in is fundamentally broken, and only real root-and-branch reform will save us from even worse failures in the future. This is, I think, the Big Issue of our time; maybe of our generation. And Sanders appears to understand that, while Clinton does not.
I have no idea if the “political revolution” of a Sanders victory would be enough, all by itself, to make those deep reforms a reality. And there’s been plenty of evidence through the Obama years that the system will fight any attempt to reform it with fire and sword.
But I would rather vote for somebody who will at least make the attempt than for somebody who will surrender right off the bat, which is what Clinton’s “pragmatic progressive” talk sounds like to me. It sounds like surrender to the idea that entrenched economic interests cannot be challenged, cannot be rolled back, and that therefore we must just all learn to be satisfied with letting them do more or less as they please.
I understand the logic of that position; such a fight would be an incredibly difficult one to win. But I believe that the times demand the attempt be made — and that it will only ever get harder to succeed as time goes on.
Bernie Sanders is the candidate in this race who is ready to make that fight. So tomorrow, he’ll be getting my vote.