Bernie Sanders, I love you. I really do. I love your vision of what America should be. I love the things you did as the longest serving independent congressman in the US and the things you are doing as the Senator of Vermont. I love that you’ve been advocating the same beliefs and spurring out the same statistics since the first time I saw you on "Real Time with Bill Maher" in 2005. But Bernie, as much as I hate to say this, I don’t believe in you.
More than 27,000 people flooded the LA Memorial Sports Arena on August 10 to hear what the presidential candidate had to say. At that time, all I knew of Bernie was what I had seen on TV, read on Facebook posts, and heard from my friends. He was the underdog, but he had all the hype and he undoubtedly lived up to it by the time he finished his speech. Every other sentence was followed by an uproar of applause and ardent cheering and for good reason. He fervently declared to the audience what needed to be done to get America to the top again with talk about free public colleges, universal healthcare, income equality, raising the minimum wage and taking down big business. In that moment, I thought he was the one and so did everyone else in that crowd.
Here’s the problem, almost all of his platform will be nearly, if not completely, impossible to pass.
And here’s why:
This is a Republican Congress we’re dealing with and it’s highly likely that it will stay that way for the time being. As seen throughout Obama’s presidency, the drift between the Republican and Democratic parties has become so extreme that the government shut down once in 2013 over the failure of both sides to reach a consensus on the 2014 Fiscal Policy and according to recently elected House Speaker Paul Ryan, another government shut down over similar disputes may occur again. This conflict will only escalate if Bernie becomes President seeing as Obama, who holds much more moderate views than Bernie, has found it difficult to ensure progress within our country throughout his terms. Especially due to Sander’s adamant call for a change in minimum wage and increased government spending on healthcare and other social programs being exactly what the Republican party is fighting against.
And although the majority of this is speculation, Bernie’s sixteen years in the House of Representatives only reinforces my point furthermore. Out of the 357 bills and resolutions Bernie has sponsored, only one substantive bill (5 million dollars to the VA) passed. Albeit his intentions and relentlessness to back only what he sincerely believes, this lack of compromise has perpetuated the lack of change in America.
Yes, Bernie, I truly do think your ideas are great, and when it comes to standing up for what you believe in, we all know you’ve done nothing but. Still, it takes a lot more than fervor to change an entire nation. Your ideas mean nothing if they’re ineffectual and quite frankly I’d like to have a President who can actually make a difference. Maybe it won’t be as drastic and definitely not as ideal, but we can’t have another government characterized by constant stalemates that stunt our own growth. What we need is a leader who will put the interests of the American people and the well-being of our country before their own politics. This new presidential term needs to be different, it needs to be productive. So Bernie, I love you, I really do, but I can’t vote for someone who won’t be able to change a country that so desperately needs to be changed.